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Tips for All-Day Mask Wearing

Woman walking and wearing a mask.

NOTE: This COVID-19 post is over a year old and may contain outdated information. It has been left up for archival purposes only. For the most up-to-date information on masking, vaccines, and more, visit the CDC’s website.

As more people are returning to the office, the thought of wearing a mask for eight or more hours a day can be daunting. However, there are several ways to make mask wearing easier and more comfortable. Follow the tips outlined below to make wearing a mask one less thing to worry about.

Start Small

Don’t try to go from never wearing a mask to wearing one all day. Start by wearing a mask for smaller increments of time. Wear your mask to get the mail or go grocery shopping, and gradually extend the time spent wearing it. Let your body get used to what it’s like to wear a mask before you spend all day in one.

Keep Glasses Clear

If you wear glasses, check out these tips for staying fog-free while wearing a mask.

Freshen Up

Tired of smelling your own stinky breath? A quick fix is to pop in a mint. However, for longer lasting freshness, try dabbing essential oils onto your mask (but not too much — you don’t want your mask to get damp or smell too strong).

Check the Fit

Make sure your mask fits properly, both for comfort and for effectiveness. If your mask is too loose, consider using one that has ties rather than loops so that you can tighten it.

Stay Cool

There are several ways to stay cool, even with extra fabric on your face. First, choose a mask made of a breathable material like cotton. Next, keep it dry — not only will it be more comfortable, masks need to be dry to be effective. Bring an extra mask and switch it out if you start to sweat through it. 

Save the Ears

If your ears are irritated by the straps of your mask, there are several solutions. One way to solve the problem is to switch from ear loops to a mask that ties behind your head. You can also make or buy an “ear saver”, which is a piece of fabric with buttons to attach your mask to.

It can take time to get used to wearing a mask, and we know it may still be a little uncomfortable. However, a small amount of discomfort is worth it when you’re keeping others safe from COVID-19.