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Breathe Easy with the Best Face Masks for Working Out

September 14, 2020

For the most up-to-date recommendations and guidelines on face masks and the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

We’ve lost count of how many times COVID has rained on our parade this year. And gosh darn it, we’re not going to let it ruin our gym time, too. But wearing a mask at the gym can really suck (literally and metaphorically). How do you know what to look for in a mask? Are there certain materials or designs you should avoid? To make sure you’re covered, we rounded up our favorite picks of the best face masks for working out.


What to Look for in a Mask

When it comes to finding the best face masks for working out, material matters. To find your perfect fit, you should look at what materials the mask is made of and how it is designed. Is it form-fitted around your nose? Are the ear straps adjustable? Will the material wick away sweat or keep it next to your skin?

It’s no fun wasting money on buying face masks just to discover that they don’t cut it. When you’re scoping out the options, here’s what you should look for:

  • Opt for a multi-layer mask, if possible, and make sure the inner layers are constructed with lightweight, breathable fabrics (like polyester or spandex) so that moisture isn’t held against your skin
  • Cotton can provide the best compromise between breathability and protection. However, if your mask is 100% cotton, there is a higher chance that sweat can get trapped against your skin. Outer cotton shells can allow for breathability and function as a germ barrier.
  • The last thing you want to worry about during that HIIT session is your mask. Try opting for a structured or formed mask that is designed to sit away from your face.

At the end of the day, the best face masks for working out are designed to be lightweight, sweat-wicking, and formed for your face to minimize its interference with your workouts.

Now, let’s look at some of our favorite options.


Best Overall Pick: Aero 3-layer Face Mask

First on our list is our fan-favorite Aero 3-layer Face Mask. Its multi-layer construction is why it tops our list. With an antimicrobial polyester inner layer and cooling, breathable 100% cotton outer shell, this is sure to be one of your go-to face masks for working out. Plus, the removable carbon filter inner layer makes cleaning it a breeze.

Centric Aero 3-layer Face Mask Centric Aero 3-layer Face Mask Centric Aero 3-layer Face Mask


HighTech Pick: UnderArmour UA Sportsmask

This sell-out mask might be a bit of a splurge, but some fitness junkies can’t get enough of its high-tech features. Also featuring a three-layer design, Under Armour designed this mask specifically for athletes. With a polyester outer shell and nylon/spandex inner shell, you’ll breathe easy while sweating it out.

UA Masks


UV Defense Pick: Uniqlo Airism Face Mask

If you’re more of an outdoorsy kinda exerciser, then the Uniqlo Airism Face Mask is right up your alley. This mask features a built-in filter and an outer shell that blocks up to 90% of harmful UV rays. Uniqlo’s special AIRism material allows for excellent breathability – which is key if you’re out on a run or a bike ride.

Uniqlo Masks


Cooling Pick: The Antibacterial Cooling Face Mask

You can stay fresh and cool all day (or all workout) long with Hammacher Schlemmer’s Antibacterial Cooling Face Mask. The adjustable ear straps and metal nose bridge allow you to form fit this mask to your face, ensuring the right fit. The antibacterial nylon/polyester shell don’t just work to fight off germs and viruses – it also keeps your face cool and dry, no matter how hard you sweat it out.

Hammacher Schlemmer’s Antibacterial Cooling Face Mask


Multi-Pack Pick: Athleta Made to Move Mask 3-Pack

Last (but not least) on our list of the best face masks for working out is the Made to Move Mask 3-pack from Athleta. Featuring adjustable ear straps, this mask multi-pack also comes with a head strap to help give your ears a break. It’s currently available in two different color-ways, so you can easily coordinate it with your OOTD, if that’s your thing.

Athleta Masks


Finding the right mask for daily wear can be tricky. But finding the best face mask for working out? Even more challenging. Hopefully this roundup will help you narrow down your options to find the best fit for you. 

The Centric Team