A good reusable cloth mask has to have more than just a pleasing design.
It should have the following traits:
1) At least two layers of fabric and a slot for you to insert the PM2.5 filter sheet.
2) Adjustable ear or head straps (here’s what to do if you got one that’s too small or too big).
3) A moldable metal strip at the nose bridge, or a design that covers the nose without slipping off.
4) It shouldn’t be flimsy – it would be most ideal if it came in a tightly woven material and a firm-enough structure that doesn’t change its shape too much after wash.
If you’re in the market for a good, reusable cloth mask but don’t want to pay an arm and a leg in crazy, international shipping fees, here are some local brands that offer masks with great fit, design and value.
At.titude by award-winning gown designer Ann Teoh offers semi-formal, ready-to-wear outfits for women. In this line, you’ll also find a range of reusable face masks in a variety of fabrics and designs. For daily wear, you can opt for the Alex mask that is made with cotton viscose and lined in silk blend. If you’re off to a more extravagant event, check out the masks with lace applique or silk patchwork. Each mask comes with a pocket for the filter sheet and elastic straps with loop locks, and a matching pouch to store your mask when not in use.
What do you do when you can’t find a reusable fabric mask that you like? Make your own, of course. Founded by former art director Shan, Bloom Diary’s reusable cloth masks have a distinct graphic element. Its designs range from modern abstract shapes, traditional patterns like the seigaiha as well as adorable illustrations that both kids and adults would love.
Available in two sizes, you’ll find the smaller one suitable for small children, and the bigger one, just perfect for adults. Unlike most cloth masks that come in a curved design that somewhat covers the chin, Bloom Diary’s masks feature a separate sewn-on piece that covers the chin snugly, so the chin never slips out.
It also helps that these masks come with an anti-rust nosepiece and adjustable elastic bands for a comfortable fit. Spectacle wearers will be relieved to know that you don’t get the foggy effect on your glasses. Bloom Diary also carries matching pins to go with each mask design. Priced at $14.90 for the kid’s mask and $16.90 for the adult size. Each mask purchase comes with two pieces of PM 2.5 filter sheets in a sealed pack and a ziplock bag for mask storage.
Shirtmaker CYC Tailor offers two ranges of reusable cloth masks ($20 each). The Corporate series feature Egyptian Cotton reusable masks made from unused, excess world-class shirting fabrics. The other range of masks is made from Liberty London’s Cotton Tana Lawn, an ultra-fine cotton fabric that is said to behave like silk and is cooling and machine-washable.
You would love the CYC X Liberty London masks as they come in a wide variety of intricate patterns, prints and colours, as well as in three sizes for kids, women and men. Each mask also features a nose-bridge wire and strap loops for a snug fit. (Do note that older designs don’t come with adjustable straps, so do check before making your purchase.) What’s more, you also get a water-repellent hydrophobic filter sheet with each mask purchase.
The award-winning luxury leather goods company, Myura, offers reusable fabric masks crafted using premium materials. A 3D software is used to create the shape of the mask, so it sits perfectly against your face contours. It features soft French and Italian leather trims, high-quality fabrics, Fil Au Chinois gloving waxed cotton thread for durable wear, and elastic ear cords with adjustable stoppers. Designed to go perfectly with corporate wear, the brand offers two mask collections.
Myura’s Reusable Filter Mask ($95) features Korean cotton on the exterior, a 100 per cent sustainable cotton and is available in two sizes. The Smart Face Mask ($125), in three sizes, is lighter and feels softer against the skin (it’s one of the lightest masks in this feature). It uses a wool fabric from Biella, Italy, on its exterior. Japanese Cuprammonium rayon, which feels as light and cool as silk, is used on the interior. Plus, this eco-friendly material will naturally decompose in the soil. To top it off, you can pick your preferred colour for the leather trimmings, and get your initials hot-stamped too.
Onlewo, a local gift and fabric design studio, carries cotton masks that feature designs inspired by Singaporean culture and heritage. These prints are designed by founder Mike Tay, and you would find familiar patterns that resemble Peranakan motifs, HDB flats, the iconic dragon playground and floral tiles. These patterned cotton masks are printed in the US and sewn locally to support tailors who are facing hard times during this pandemic.
Unlike most cloth masks that come with two fabric layers, each Onlewo mask comes with three layers: the external layer uses American cotton, the middle is a non-woven synthetic filter and the inner lining is of a cotton mix. On top of that, there’s a pocket for you to insert your PM2.5 filter sheet and slots for the nose-bridge wire. The elastic straps are not sewn into the mask, and you can easily adjust them to fit your face. To avoid wastage and reduce the impact on our environment, you need to pre-order to get your Onlewo masks. Each mask takes about three to four weeks to be delivered. Price: $20 each.
Like a statement accessory that elevates whatever you wear, reusable cloth masks by top local fashion house, Sabrina Goh, are super chic and wearable. It features four mask designs: The Shield, The Origami, The Hybrid and The Artistry. Each mask features a pocket for a disposable filter sheet, a moldable nose piece and adjustable straps for optimum fit.
The free-size Shield mask comes in three designs: the plain, one-colour design uses an eco-friendly, plant-derived polyester material known as Solotex; the Dots design uses Japanese cotton; while the Polka design features Tencel on the external. These three variants come with a 100 per cent viscose lining and behind-the-ear elastic bands allow for comfortable all-day wear.
The Origami mask, in its second edition, features a drawstring-lanyard design to secure the mask and a foldable mask design that allows you to wear the mask like a necklace when not in use (i.e. during mealtimes.) The first version only comes in cotton and one size, while the newly launched V0.2 comes in two sizes and a thicker strap, uses the lighter Solotex material, and is enhanced as a whole for a better fit.
Sabrina Goh’s Hybrid mask is a cross between The Shield and The Origami. You get the defined nose bridge seal design and lanyard fastening from The Origami, and a curved structure over the chin.
The Artistry mask provides a finer fit and a less bulky silhouette as compared to The Shield. It features hand-woven Thai Silk sourced from the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles, where each weaved piece is unique and non-duplicable. It is also lined in viscose for comfort and comes with behind-the-ear, adjustable elastic bands for a secure fit.
Order on-demand only. Prices: From $18.90 to $35.90. (Bundle deals available too)
You’ll love how the neutral hues and minimalist designs at Suo can easily match any outfits. The chic mask feels soft and sturdy. And it fits snugly, covering the nose and chin sufficiently. The reusable fabric masks are made from a cotton-polyester blend for the outer layer, a non-woven meltblown material in the middle and a cotton-polyester sheer drift fabric for the inner lining that doubles up as a filter slot. According to Alicia Dusadidecho, the founder and face of Suo, these materials are picked based on the recommendations of fabric mask guidelines by the WHO. (We love how the sewing is done in a neat and tidy manner and that the well-made mask doesn’t get wrinkly after wash.)
Suo offers three types of straps: adjustable ear loops, a lanyard version that can hang around your neck when you’re eating and a head-loop design that’s suitable for tudong wearers. And the masks come in three sizes: The smallest one suitable for kids from 5 years old, and two sizes for adults. The newer designs feature a metal nosepiece, too. At the moment, Suo upcycles the leftover fabric from its core tailor business, so each design is available from 15 to 50 pieces. If you are looking for a particular print that is no longer available on the Suo website, you can drop Alicia a message and she can check if there’s enough material left to make you a mask. You can also try out their Instagram filters to try on the mask digitally before purchase.
From $14.50 to $20.50, depending on the size, design, and mask type.
Surgical masks and regular cotton masks may not fit the look of a black-tie event. And that’s where luxe-looking masks from Style Lease come into play. The evening wear and gown rental boutique, which carries designer labels like Badgley Mischka and Halston Heritage, offers reusable satin and silk masks. In five shades, the Satin Crepe range ($25 each) features two layers of accordion-like pleats that drape beautifully over your face contours.
Great for all-day wear, the Silk Charmeuse range ($29 each) features masks that are lighter and softer on the skin compared to the satin masks. The 100 per cent silk masks come in six colours. Both the satin and silk masks are made with two layers of fabric and come with a pocket for the PM2.5 filter sheet or surgical mask, nose-bridge wires and elastic straps with adjustable stoppers. Since the mask comes in a soft material, the filter sheet doesn’t quite hold up, so it might be better to slip in a piece of surgical mask. The dress boutique has recently launched reusable masks in a more structured shape for men and kids, and we heard the new shape will be launching in women’s size soon.
The Sutajio offers one-size reusable cloth masks in stylish designs using premium Japanese cotton fabrics on the exterior and on the interior, Tencel, which is gentle on the skin and known for its efficient moisture absorption abilities. Founded by product designer Juliana Yeow, these cloth masks come in a high coverage design that clings onto your nose without the need of a nose-bridge wire piece and covers half your face. By far, it’s one of the larger mask designs on the market.
Each mask is handmade, comes with adjustable ear loops and features a pocket slot that fits a PM 2.5 filter sheet or a surgical mask. The Sutajio offers two ranges: the Core Collection with drift fabric lining ($22), and the Handcrafted Collection ($29). And it also carries accessories like filter sheets, mask straps and ear protectors.
If you like silk masks but want them to have a bit more structure, check out the ones by White Trousseau. Made of mulberry silk, these are designed in a way that allows the PM 2.5 filter sheet to stay in one place as much as possible. If your skin is more reactive, you’d be glad to know that this fabric is hypoallergenic (good for sensitive skin), and OEK-TEX certified, which means it is free from chemicals and toxins.
We also like that the silk masks come with adjustable elastic ear loops, a nose wire for a better fit. Best of all, the material is certified to protect you from the sun’s UV rays. The material has a UPF50+ with 99.5% UV protection. You can also opt to get your masks personalised with your name or initials; note that this means your mask will take a slightly longer time to arrive.
The brand also carries mask chain necklaces, PM2.5 filter sheets and face shields, so you can do all your shopping at one place.