How to stay comfortable in a mask all day for work, school, flights and more

How to stay comfortable in a mask all day for work, school, flights and more

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

As the country returns to school and heads back into the office, many will be expected to wear face masks in light of the CDC’s latest recommendations for masking up indoors. While we are used to wearing face masks in general, those who have been staying home up until now will need to get used to wearing masks for longer periods of time. But fear not—masks can and should be comfortable to wear, even during an eight-hour shift.

Subscribe to Reviewed’s Resources newsletter for tips, tricks and hacks to get through this together.

Whether you or a loved one are on the job, at school, or traveling on a long-haul flight or train ride, there’s plenty that you can do to make wearing a mask the whole day a lot more pleasant. Read on to see tips from medical experts on how to make your mask as comfortable and breathable as possible.

Find your best fit

One of the best ways to ensure a comfortable mask is by making sure your mask fits you properly. With a mask that fits you just right on the nose, chin, and ears, you can avoid common pain points like ear strain from the loops or the fabric rubbing against your mouth or nose.

One way to get a better fit is by double-masking as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends for extra protection. The masks should be one reusable mask and one disposable mask layered on top of each other, not two reusable or two disposable masks. “If you can’t get a good fit [with other techniques], putting on two masks can make it fit better,” says Dr. Gabriela Andujar Vazquez, infectious disease physician and associate hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center.

If you still feel irritated by your mask rubbing against your face, you can try using a silicone mask bracket that cups around your mouth and nose to minimize contact with your skin. It helps one to feel less confined or constricted in a mask. Just make sure to properly wash your mask bracket after each use to avoid further discomfort.

Wash your masks often

There is a possibility that your mask may cause irritation on your face, especially after long periods of wear. “Mascne”—or acne under or around where your mask sits—can occur, along with other skin irritation problems like contact dermatitis, which is a kind of itchy skin rash. Dr. Cassandra Pierre, an infectious disease specialist at Boston Medical Center, recommends washing your mask regularly to prevent such conditions. The CDC says a reusable mask should be washed “whenever it gets dirty” or at least once a day. If you use disposable masks, throw them away after each use.

You can toss your reusable masks into your washer with any laundry load, using regular detergent to clean it. If your masks have metal nose wires or delicate ear loops, you may want to hand wash them with laundry detergent or soap. Allow your mask to air dry in direct sunlight if possible or toss it into the dryer on a warm or hot setting.

Anti-fog your glasses

Is your face mask making your glasses fog up? While there are some temporary fixes for this common annoyance, sometimes it’s just an inevitable part of mask-wearing with glasses or sunglasses. “It can depend on the temperature and humidity of the area,” says Andujar Vazquez. “It’s especially hard in the summertime when you go from the sweat, heat and humidity from outside, and then you go inside [into the cold].”

While Andujar Vazquez says fogging can happen even with properly fitted masks, such as a fitted N95 mask, Pierre says the fit can still be a contributing factor. “If you have gaps around the side, your warm breath will rise up and cause your glasses to fog more easily,” says Pierre.

Pierre also says you can use adhesive nose strips to help adhere your mask to your nose, potentially reducing the fog escape from any gaps around the nose bridge. You can also try an anti-fog spray or pre-moistened lens wipes to temporarily diminish the amount of fog on your lenses.

Choose comfortable ear loops

To ensure further mask comfort, you’ll want to make sure your ear loops aren’t too tight or too loose—a little like Goldilocks, if you will. With ear loops too tight, you may experience aches and pain behind your ears as the day goes on. However, if they’re too loose, you run the risk of having a poorly fitting mask that’s both uncomfortable and not as protective.

We recommend using reusable masks that have adjustable ear loops or tie around the head. Either option will provide more comfort around your ears and create a better seal to the face. Andujar Vazquez recommends the use of an adjustable mask extender strap that attaches your mask’s ear loops at the back of your head rather than resting on your ears, saying “[the extender straps] can make it better fitting.”

Have extra masks on hand

If you’re an educator, work in a shared office space, or communicate often during the day while wearing a mask, Pierre recommends bringing a few backup masks along with you should the need for a fresh mask arise. “If you’re using surgical masks, bring multiple with you. If you’re using a cloth mask, make sure you bring several back-ups,” she says.

Not only can your mask become soiled from respiratory secretion, becoming uncomfortably moist to wear, it can also decrease your mask’s protection. “If you’ve been speaking for long periods of time, you could gather some moisture inside of that mask that penetrates—this reduces the efficacy of the mask,” says Pierre.

The product experts at Reviewed have all your shopping needs covered. Follow Reviewed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest deals, reviews and more.

Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

iPhone 13 Pro's 120Hz display limits some third-party app animations to 60Hz

With this year’s iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, Apple finally brought its ProMotion display technology from the iPad Pro over to some of its phones. The feature allows the ... Read more »

How to use Apple's new Mail Privacy Protection to fight email tracking

When you read your email, there’s a chance whoever sent it is reading you too. As your eyes grab information from the screen, the sender may be grabbing information about ... Read more »

CDC director DEFENDS decision to overrule agency's advisory committee

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has defended her decision to overrule her own agency’s advisory panel and ... Read more »

Leak: Apple's new MacBook Pros may get taller, sharper displays

A new report by provides strong evidence Apple plans to increase the resolution on its rumored ‘M1X’ 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros, which are expected to be announced within the ... Read more »

'That's absurd': Bryson DeChambeau smashes monster 417-yard drive in display of ferocious power

‘That’s absurd’: Bryson DeChambeau smashes monster 417-yard drive in display of ferocious power – SHUTTERSTOCK You knew Bryson DeChambeau had some devilish sorcery planned when he lined up his body ... Read more »

Cocky most-wanted criminal told police to ‘come and find me'. So they did.

David Holmes taunted Lancashire Police on Twitter, baiting them to ‘come and get me’. So they did. (Twitter) A 'most wanted' criminal was caught by a police force after taunting ... Read more »

Dawn of the universe might have been bursting with galaxies now hidden by dust

Studying galaxies in the night sky is an exercise in time travel, since the light we are seeing represents how things looked in the past, sometimes even billions of years ... Read more »

Set a spooky Halloween scene with these painted marbled pumpkins

This story originally featured on Domino. © Mercedez Rex/Domino For the best-looking DIY marbled Halloween pumpkins, choose your colors wisely and mix them slowly. Sophisticated marbling swirls through all of Mercedez ... Read more »

The CDC recommends booster shots for healthcare workers and other at-risk groups

This post has been updated. It was last published on September 23, 2021. © Pixabay The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Over the past week both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ... Read more »

Google CEO sought to keep Incognito mode issues out of spotlight, lawsuit alleges

By Paresh Dave © Reuters/HANDOUT FILE PHOTO: Technology CEOS Zuckerberg of Facebook, Dorsey of Twitter and Pichai of Google testify before House Committee in Washington (Reuters) – Google Chief Executive ... Read more »

How to watch Gold Rush season 12 online where you are

Get your pickaxes and gold pans ready, the miners are back for season 12 of Gold Rush. Thanks to the pandemic the price of gold is booming, so it’s mining ... Read more »

Google has a few tricks up its sleeve for the newsletter platform department

As more journalists and writers are turning to newsletters to distribute their content online, Google is working on its own newsletter platform that will leverage its existing collaboration tools. As ... Read more »

Bentley celebrating 70 years of its design department

© Provided by This Is Money MailOnline logo From pen-and-ink sketches and watercolours to the latest immersive virtual reality technology, Bentley is celebrating 70 years of its design department — ... Read more »

Yahoo is building a new calendar app with help from the creator of Sunrise

Mention the name of Sunrise to a select demographic of nerds and you’re likely to elicit a visceral reaction. Before Microsoft purchased the calendar software in 2015 and shut it ... Read more »

Arsenal legend Brady on the Gunners' plight and scoring against Spurs

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo When Liam Brady was 13 and the most exciting young player in Irish football, the people from Coventry City offered his mum a ... Read more »

Microsoft applies Internet-sized Band-Aid to stem Autodiscover leaks

It’s a stopgap, not a fix. © Provided by Windows Central What you need to know Microsoft Exchange’s Autodiscover protocol reportedly has a credential-leaking issue. Microsoft acknowledged the situation but ... Read more »

VR developers prove that Steam Deck isn't a mobile VR console just yet

© Provided by Windows Central Ever since the Steam Deck was announced, PC VR gamers everywhere have been wondering if it could power a VR headset. Valve initially shied away ... Read more »

Amazon could unveil a soundbar and new 15-inch Echo Show on Tuesday

Amazon could use next week’s hardware and services event to show off a new  soundbar for TVs, a 15-inch Echo smart display, a second-generation Echo Auto device and new wearables, ... Read more »

Astrazeneca feels force of cancer drug hopes

© Provided by This Is Money MailOnline logo Pharma giant Astrazeneca was a top riser on the FTSE 100 yesterday after a strong week that saw it reporting positive clinical ... Read more »

The best golf balls for beginners to help beginners learn the game

High-end golf balls make lots of lofty promises on their boxes and marketing material. Who wouldn’t want straighter shots, longer drives, and more feel around the green? Unfortunately, those pricy ... Read more »

Scientists find 125M year-old dinosaur that has organic molecules

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Scientists from China say they have isolated ‘exquisitely preserved’ cartilage cells of a 125-million-year-old dinosaur that contains organic molecules and may suggest that ... Read more »

Razer Huntsman V2

© Provided by TechRadar Razer Huntsman V2 Optical Razer Huntsman V2 Optical two-minute review The Razer Huntsman V2 optical gaming keyboard is an absolute joy to type on, and I ... Read more »

Hurricane Sam will likely intensify rapidly this weekend

Hurricane Sam, the 18th named storm of the 2021 hurricane season (and the fourth named storm this week alone), is barreling west across the Atlantic Ocean and just this morning ... Read more »

How to customize your Windows 11 taskbar

If you’ve updated your computer from Windows 10 to Windows 11, you may find that your taskbar isn’t quite as configurable — and perhaps not quite as useful — as ... Read more »

Wind farms paid nearly £2m to switch off – even as customers face soaring energy bills

Wind farm turbines – Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg Wind farms were paid more than £1.8 million to shut down this week – at a time when consumers face huge rises in energy ... Read more »

Are AMD and Mediatek set for a surprising chip tie-up?

Chipmakers AMD and Mediatek are reportedly in talks to establish a new joint venture according to a recent report from DigiTimes. Based on the news outlet’s report, the joint venture ... Read more »

William Shatner, 90, Set to Be Oldest Man Shot Into Space

Phil Walter/Getty Captain Kirk is truly headed to space…at 90. William Shatner is set to board Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin New Shepard rocket next month, according to TMZ, becoming the ... Read more »

Xbox Chaturdays 41: Outside help on Perfect Dark with Shinobi602

Join the conversation live! For episode 41 of Xbox Chaturdays we’ll be joined by the iconic Brand Manager of Untold Tales and host of The Joy of Gaming Shinobi602 (Nate ... Read more »

Intel lining up major partners to produce its Arc Alchemist graphics cards

Ready your rigs! Some major after-market motherboard makers are lining up to produce graphics cards using Intel Arc Alchemist early next year, either designing new products themselves or working with ... Read more »

It's Friday, here's the Galaxy S22 Ultra render that has the Android blogosphere abuzz

It’s Friday, it’s fall, there’s a breeze in the air (hopefully), and there’s fresh, I’d argue ridiculous, renders of Samsung’s expected Galaxy S22 Ultra to show you. The renders come ... Read more »

US agrees not to pursue fraud charges against Huawei CFO

© Photo by DON MACKINNON/AFP via Getty Images Reuters and the CBC first reported that Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou would appear in a Brooklyn federal courtroom today via streaming video ... Read more »

Google TV finally gets its mobile remote for Android

You can now control the Google TV interface using your Android device, The Verge reports. Google announced the feature back in May, so it’s been a long time coming. © ... Read more »

Score a Samsung robot vacuum for $100 off—but only for today

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. If you’re tight on time, vacuuming can be tough. Luckily, right ... Read more »

A bunch of sports fans are about to put their personal data at risk this weekend

Being an avid sports fan can be expensive especially if you’re following multiple leagues which is why many users have turned to illegal streaming to help cut costs. However, a ... Read more »

Art project creates 'human-alien hybrids' with meteorite-infused water

© Provided by Space The first “Fountain of Tolerance,” in the Italian village of Fontecchio, offers the opportunity to become a human-alien hybrid, via the ingestion of meteorite-infused water. A ... Read more »

This International Space Station VR experience lets you explore the ISS… and it's as amazing as it sounds

© Provided by Space This International Space Station VR experience lets you explore the ISS… and it’s as amazing as it sounds Think about what VR actually is. In the ... Read more »

How to photograph meteors and meteor showers

© Provided by Space How to photograph meteors and meteor showers – a meteor streaks across the night sky Watching meteors flash across the sky is one of the most ... Read more »

Ice Melt at The Poles Is Now Causing Hidden Changes to Earth's Crust on a Huge Scale

© Paul Souders/Stone/Getty Images As the polar ice sheets melt, the process is not just raising sea levels – it’s also warping the underlying surface of Earth, a new study ... Read more »

3 wild ideas for how to stop a tornado

This post has been updated. It was originally published on July 10, 2003. © NOAA Weather in Focus Photo Contest 2015 We don’t know how to stop a tornado just ... Read more »

See what you can and cannot do with the Pro 8 when it comes to gaming

© Windows Central Surface Pro 8 Profile Best answer: Certain Surface Pro 8 models will be able to handle light gaming thanks to Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics. All models ... Read more »