Fitting Your Face

The best mask for your face shape (updated November 2020).

Fitting a face mask isn’t like fitting a corset or vest — there’s really only couple of dimensions you need to worry about.  It’s really as much a matter of your personal preference as it is of your facial features.  But there are some factors which can makes certain styles work much better for you than others. 

If you’re not sure which style of mask would suit you best, you might want to refer to these blog entries for some more clues:

Other than that, here are some guidelines:

“Put On a Good Face” Contoured Masks

Try the Adult “Put on a Good Face” mask if:

  • You like the feeling of fabric resting on your skin
  • You prefer to have the mask profile to be contoured closer to your face
  • You don’t want a mask that covers more of your face than necessary

The Adult XS/Tween fit of “Put on a Good Face” mask is intended for adults with really small faces, pre-teens, or younger teenagers.

The Child fit of “Put on a Good Face” mask is for children whom you trust completely to know what a mask if for, and understands how to wear/put on/take it off safely.  They should be old enough not to accidentally chew or choke on a mask, and to tell you at once if they experience any difficulty. Read the FAQs thoroughly before you consider putting your child in a mask.  Actually, read them thoroughly anyway even if you aren’t.

Mask Styles with Wire Nose-Piece Options

Try to Gondola mask if:

  • You want the maximum possible breathability and air space
  • You need a mask that won’t get sucked up against your nostrils when you breathe deeply
  • Your nose gets runny in cold weather or with exertion
  • Your face gets sweaty, or masks tend to get damp over time on you
  • If your glasses or sunglasses tend to fog up in other mask styles
  • You need different-sized masks for the whole family

Try the Accordion mask if:

  • You have a relatively long face or chin
  • Your cheekbones are not prominent or wide, and your face is proportionately narrow
  • You have a beard that needs more coverage, or stubble that catches and pulls down masks when you talk

Try the Ziggurat mask if:

  • You have a noticeably long face or chin 
  • Your jaw moves up and down a lot when you talk, but you still need height and air space between your breathing passages and the mask
  • Your glasses (or sunglasses) tend to fog up in other mask styles
  • You have a beard that needs more coverage, or stubble that catches and pulls down masks when you talk

3D Mask Styles

For Ziggurat or Gondola mask recommendations, see above (under “Mask styles with wire nose piece option”)

Try to Sparrowhawk (coming soon!) mask if:

  • You like a lot of structure and in your mask
  • You prefer a high-peaked mask that stands well away from your nose and mouth
  • You prefer not to use a nose wire, but still want a good seal all around the edges
  • If you want your mask to make a dramatic fashion statement!

Try the Anteater mask if:

  • You like a lot of air space between you and the mask, but prefer it to take up minimum footprint on your face
  • You have a short to moderate length face without a prominent chin
  • The bridge of your nose is relatively blunt (not super-sharp, high, or aquiline)
  • You dislike pressing pleats after laundering
  • You find nose wires uncomfortable or unnecessary

For Your Reference

We’re using Felix and Kitty to illustrate some points of fit and facial structure, since their face shapes are about as opposite as it’s possible for two face shapes to be.

Here are some photos of Felix, who has a long, narrow face, a tall nose and high sharp nose bridge, and a very forward mid-face (with and without a mask).  This mask is the “Put on a good face” style, which he finds rests too close to his nose and mouth for his face shape. 

Here are some photos of Kitty for comparison, who has a short, round face with a short “button” nose, wide prominent cheekbones, flat mid-face profile, and a low blunt nose bridge.  This mask style works much better for her face structure, though it can feel clammy in hot weather and restrictive with exertion. 

For your reference, Felix finds that masks often form gaps around the top, so his glasses fog up, unless they have a bendable nose wire to force the mask fabric to conform around the sharper angle of his nose bridge.  He finds it much easier to breathe in the Gondola or Ziggurat masks, which creates a lot of extra air space over his tall nose and his mouth; also, the pleats give him the extra coverage he needs to make sure the mask doesn’t pull down due to his longer face and beard stubble. 

Ziggurat Mask

Kitty, in contrast, finds that contoured masks that rest closer to the face are fine for her under most conditions (she takes a Low fit in the “Put on a good face” mask).  A nose wire tends to be redundant on this face shape, sometimes even uncomfortable, since fabric has little trouble molding itself around the moderate curve of the nose bridge.  Also, pleats are usually not necessary for lower face coverage since there isn’t a lot of length to cover.  If it’s very hot or if she’s exerting herself and needs to take deeper breaths, the Sparrowhawk or Anteater mask is a better option than the closer-fitting “Put on a good face” mask, since the 3D shape lifts the fabric off the breathing passages and provides extra air space without needing a nose wire for structure.

While we can make generalized recommendations based on your facial structure and needs, you can’t really be sure how a face mask style will work for you until you try it.  So if you’re really not sure which you’d prefer, consider trying one of each.  You may find that one or more types work for you, perhaps for different situations, activities, temperature or weather conditions. 

Then you can donate the ones you don’t like as much to someone in need (after sanitizing, of course) and pick up a few of the kind you prefer, since you really need to launder any mask after each and every wearing.  We are matching each mask purchased with one we donate to someone in need, so you’ll be helping others while you figure out what you need.