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How to Choose the Right Custom Face Masks for Your Company, School or Organization

published: April 29, 2020  |  updated: August 5, 2020
How to Buy Cloth Face Masks Infographic

Wearing face masks and coverings has become an emblem of social responsibility in the fight against coronavirus (COVID 19). As we venture out and more businesses open up, the CDC has recommended wearing face coverings in public settings to help limit transmission and slow the spread. In some areas, it has even become mandatory. You can help protect your employees, students, customers and clients, while showing them and the public how much you care by providing them with blank or custom printed face masks and PPE.

Nonmedical PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is a new and important public health precaution. This class of face covering does not include the n95’s that doctors and nurses need. Nonmedical face masks and face coverings include everything from disposable masks to bandanas, to cloth masks to face shields. Turn a necessity into the next trending branding opportunity, all while contributing to public safety.

But how do you choose the perfect face covering for your organization? Let’s run down the major decision factors. Read on or skip to the section that interests you most:

How to Buy Customized, Reusable Cloth Face Masks

How Many Plies or Layers Should Your Mask Have?

Surgical masks for medical staff have 3 plies of specially engineered material to protect the wearer. Those items have been in short supply since the COVID-19 outbreak and need to be preserved for the healthcare professionals and immunocompromised people who need them most. The most famous of these in the era of the Coronavirus pandemic is the n95 respirator mask.

Cloth masks are not as advanced as n95s, and they are not intended to protect the wearer, but are meant to stop the wearer from spreading germs to others. This is the type of mask that is recommended by the CDC for use by the public. The idea is that by preventing people from unknowingly infecting others, we slow the spread of the virus.  Cloth face masks are usually 1- or 2-ply but can also be 3- and even 4-ply. Each ply provides another layer of protection from particles but can also make the mask harder to breathe through.

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Which Imprint Method is Best?

Choose a mask that offers 1-color or 2-color imprints via screen printing or heat transfer if your logo is graphically simple or your budget is limited. If you need a perfect match for the rest of your branding, uniforms, delivery vehicles or store decoration, choose a mask that offers full-color dye sublimation. Dye sublimation will give you a mask with brilliant photo like quality and color.

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Which Material/Fabric Should You Choose?

Cotton Face Masks

reusable cotton face mask

Cotton face masks are soft and breathable, with one of the main benefits being that most can be washed and reused. In fact, most 100% cotton face masks can be machine washed and dried on hot for better sterilization.

The Triple Layer Cotton Face Mask is designed for everyday use and made from 100% cotton that allows for a 1 color imprint. The Reusable Cotton Face Mask, pictured above, has a contoured design with 2-ply construction for comfortable coverage. This mask also allows for customization and one unique benefit is that it has double ear slots for an adjustable fit. It is made of cotton jersey knit, making it soft and comfortable, like a favorite t-shirt for your face. It is also easy to wash.

Canvas Face Masks

canvas face mask

Canvas face masks are durable. Cotton canvas is thick enough that only 1 ply is needed for adequate protection, but this fabric can be hard to breath through, and does not fit snugly to the face.

To bring a little pop to your canvas mask, the Canvas Face Mask with Elastic Loops has you covered with over 20 color options to choose from. This mask allows for customization and features elastic ear loops. It is flat and foldable making it great for anyone on the go. The Face Mask Multi-Ply is the perfect option if you’re looking for a mask that ties behind the head for an adjustable fit. It features multiple layers of material with a pocket that can be used to hold an addition filter for added protection. If you prefer straps behind the ear, this mask is also offered in that style.

Polyester Face Masks

fully custom facemask

If you are looking for a durable reusable mask that allows for vivid full color printing, a polyester face mask is the best option for you. The 4-ply Sublimated Polyester Face Mask offers vibrant and saturated full-color printing on its exterior to show off your branding and design perfectly. This mask is particularly great for retail, education, restaurants, delivery companies, banking or any business that requires full-color branding. The 2-ply Polyester Face Mask also features your full color logo. What makes this mask different is that it has a back pocket for a filter to be added for an extra layer of protection. This mask is also a fit for the travel industry. It can be printed to coordinate with pilot and flight attendant uniforms to combine airline employee safety with a professional look.

If you are looking for a face mask option that ties behind the head, we suggest the 2-ply Imprinted Face Covers that features your full color design. This style ensures it will fit any head size and allows for a comfortable, adjustable fit.

If you’d prefer a polyester face mask that comes blank, look no further than the Stretchable Polyester Face Mask.

Poly cotton blend masks combine the benefits of polyester and cotton.

Poly spandex masks stretch to fit the face, accommodating a range of sizes and face shapes. The popular Reusable Stretch Face Mask , pictured below, is also thin and lightweight.

reusable stretch facemask

Masts that are polyester on the outside and cotton on the inside near the face are comfortable to wear, easy to breathe through, and still allow for brilliant color printing.

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Additional Factors to Consider – Breathability & More:

  • Does it pass the candle test? If you can blow out a candle through it, the mask does not provide adequate protection.
  • Does it have a water-resistant exterior?
  • How many colors are available?

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Laundering – How Do You Wash It?

Does your face mask require hand washing or can it go in a washing machine? That may seem like a minor point, but when your recipients need to wear a mask every day, it is a major convenience factor. Check the individual product specification or any mask you considering before purchase.

Does the mask stay together and hold its shape after washing? Cotton, polyester and spandex masks tend to wash well. Cotton canvas can sometimes fray and shrink.

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Will it Fit Properly?

Masks should cover mouth and nose completely with minimal slipping, and mold to the face without gapping. Mask should also stay on while the wearer speaks.  Think about your audience. You may need a style that can fit multiple face/head sizes, or even a separate youth mask.  Features like adjustable ear straps with toggles, elastic ear straps, multiple ear slots for different sizes, and darts all help masks fit to many faces. Metal nose frames or wire pieces hold masks in place and prevent glasses from fogging.

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Where was it made?

Common choices include the USA, China, the Philippines, and Latin America. Choosing American made masks can help you avoid tariff and stock concerns while you support domestic businesses. Be aware that many masks are made in USA but of materials made abroad, so check with your representative for details on each item you are considering if country of origin is important to you.

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Alternative Face Coverings

Traditional Bandanas

solid bandana
paisley bandana
camouflage bandana

Customized bandanas have always been a bold way to advertise your business, and now they are also being used as face masks. Protect your customers or employees while promoting your brand at grocery stores, home improvement stores, and the post office. We have options in solid colors, camouflage, paisley, and more, that you can print your logo on. Many of our customer such as girl scouts, childcare providers, contractors, colleges, and government offices have seen success promoting with bandanas. In addition to square bandanas, we also have triangle bandanas that can be tied around the back of the neck and used as a face covering. The Keep it Cool Triangle Bandana is particularly ideal for industries such as construction or manufacturing where employees work in hot conditions. These bandanas are made from PVA material that will keep cool for up to 4 hours. Turning your bandana into a face masks just takes a few simple steps. To learn how, just visit the CDC website.

Tubular Bandanas

versatile tubular bandana

More versatile than traditional bandanas, a tubular bandana or gaiter can be used as a wristband, head wrap, bandana, scarf, skull cap, hair band, scrunchie, rally towel and most importantly right now, a mask! The Yowie® is offered in a variety of colors and can be imprinted with your logo or message. Or, they can also be ordered blank. They are made with a microfiber material that is lightweight and keeps the wearer warm in the cold and cool in the heat. This is a good option for outdoor events, sports games, run/walks, biking and more.

The Stretchy Bandana has a large imprint area with ample space for a company logo or your design. For a full color imprint go with the Full Color Tubular Bandana. These would be a great item to include in welcome kits for students returning to college and university campuses in the fall. Not only does it provide students with a face covering, it also provides them with a unique school spirit item that can be used as a rally towel at school events. With tubular bandana uses going far beyond just a mask, this is a swag item that recipients will keep after wearing masks is no longer relevant, giving you brand exposure for years to come.

Face Shields

protective face shield

While a face masks might be sufficient for the average person, industries like law enforcement, medical facilities, government offices, food services and residential services are benefiting from face shields to provide additional protection to eyes, nose, and mouth. Face shields also restrict touching your face with your hands. For multiple uses, we recommend the 20 mil. thick Protective Face Shield that can be cleaned, sanitized, and reused. It features dual elastic bands and a foam forehead pad for a comfortable fit to be worn for hours. For one-time use, see the face shield made with fog resistant PETE. Both face shields are proudly made in the USA.

Face Mask Ear Savers

face mask ear saver

Say goodbye to sore ears. Ear savers can make wearing masks more comfortable, especially for industries whose employees must wear masks for long hours such as healthcare, retail, delivery and more. The ear savers can be imprinted with your organization’s logo or message. They are made of soft, flexible material and go behind the mask-wearers head allowing the elastic bands of the face mask to be comfortably hooked together. They also feature notches that allow for adjustability and are a great way to keep masks tightly fitted for better form around the face. Your employees and customers will be thanking you for these handy accessories.

Browse our full and current selection of face masks, face coverings and bandanas. We are adding new choices all the time, so be sure to check back often. As face covers become a societal norm, wearers will want more varied, fun, and fashionable options. We will make it easy for you to keep up with those trends by expanding our product line. To create a look with a unique design, we recommend options that feature high quality, vibrant printing like our full-color polyester face masks or tubular bandanas. The 20" Dye Sublimated Head and Neck Sleeve comes in 16 different stock prints including cupcakes, monsters and flamingos that can be combined with your logo, or you can use your own art for a completely custom product.

fully custom neck sleeve

Don’t miss out on more opportunities to help promote health and wellness while promoting your brand.

Hand sanitizers will continue to be a top giveaway for years to come. When washing hands with soap and water isn’t available, the CDC recommends using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. We have a variety of options including sanitizer bottles, packets, sprays, and more. We also offer many other PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) options to help protect you and your business such as thermometers, floor decals, acrylic counter shields, antimicrobial products, UV light sterilizers, and many more great options. Thermometers are available at all price points from the strip thermometer, to the digital thermometer, to the increasingly popular contactless thermometer. Floor decals are offered in a variety of shapes such as circles and squares and encourage customers and employees to keep 6 feet apart. Counter shields, or also called sneeze guards act as a protective barrier to public spaces to reduce the amount of physical contact between employees and customers. Floor decals and acrylic shields are particularly great for retail, grocery stores, banks, and offices.

With masks, PPE and sanitizers in such high demand, inventory and availability will fluctuate. Call us today at 1-866-488-4975 to discuss which options are best for how your business can promote health and wellness.

Note : These masks/devices cannot stop the coronavirus. These masks/devices are not guaranteed to limit spreading sneezes, coughs, and fluids to other people. They are not approved for any medical purpose.

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