Gondola masks come in 6 sizes: XL, Large, Medium, Small, XS/Tween, and Child. To find out which one is best for you, compare your face against the following dimensions of the mask (width x panel height, both explained below).
- XL: 12″ x 3 ¼” (30.5 cm x 8.5 cm)
- Large: 11″ x 3″ (28 cm x 7.5 cm)
- Medium: 10″ x 2 ¾” (25.5 cm x 7 cm)
- Small: 9″ x 2 ½” (23 cm x 6.5 cm)
- XS/Tween: 8 ¼” x 2 ¼” (21 cm x 5.5 cm)
- Child: 7 ½” x 2″ (19 cm x 5 cm)
All measurements are approximate, since each fabric handles and gives a bit differently. All numbers are rounded to the nearest ¼” or 0.5 cm.
A lot of adult women prefer a size Medium, but many prefer size Large if they want lots of room, or size Small if they have smaller-than-average faces.
Average adult men will fit a size Large, though those with smaller faces may prefer size Medium and those with larger faces (or who like a roomier fit) will be more comfortable in size XL.
Older children (8-ish to early teens, depending on the child) usually fall in either a size Small or XS/Tween. The Child size is intended for younger children who fully understand all the rules of safe mask use, and are in no danger of choking or chewing on a mask or touching it with dirty hands. You should never put a mask on any child who you don’t trust to be able to tell you at once if they experience any problems. All children should be supervised when wearing a mask.
The Width Measurement
This is exactly what it says on the tin — how wide the mask measures from edge to edge, side to side.
The photo shows the mask folded in half. So the width measurement is double the width measured where indicated by the “Width” line.
Gondola masks will be sent to you with the elastics threaded in their casings but NOT tied into a loop, which makes the fit across the width of your face somewhat adjustable. You’ll need to knot the ear loops longer or shorter to suit your own comfort level. You want the mask to sit firmly without shifting, but the elastics should not put noticeable pressure on your ears.
The mask should measure two to three inches wider than the actual measurement of your face taken side to side, passing over the point of your nose, covering roughly the horizontal distance you want the mask to cover. The extra is to account for the height of the dome above your nose and mouth (if you didn’t include the spare width, the mask would actually rest on your nose, which is not what you want!). For an idea of approximately where to measure, refer to these highly technical illustrations:
If you don’t want to or can’t take width measurements, don’t stress too much. The width is largely a matter of personal preference, as long as the domed portion contains your nose and mouth completely. Just go by the “In general” guidelines above.
This is the height of the domed panel portion of the mask (not including the nose or chin plate), as shown by the vertical line labelled “Height” back in Figure 1.
On your face, the panel height should be at least half an inch, probably more like an inch, taller than the vertical distance between the tip of your nose and the dip under your lower lip (where your mouth ends and your chin starts).
If you hold a ruler perpendicular to the ground from a point about half an inch above the tip of your nose and measure downward to a point somewhere before the tip of your chin, you’ll get the approximate panel height you need. Measure to a lower point if you want more coverage, or higher up if you want less, so long as you’re in no danger of hitting your mouth or going past your chin. Refer to this artistic masterpiece:
As a general rule, err on the side of a taller panel height if you’re in doubt. If you can’t be arsed to measure, just go by the “In general” guidelines above.
If you have a longer face or larger chin, or you just want more chin coverage, go for a taller panel height. If you have a shorter face or small chin, or just prefer less chin coverage, go for a shorter panel height.
If you’re really unsure of your size
Keep in mind that some people want lots of room, while others prefer a more fitted mask. It’s largely personal preference, within reason. As long as your nostrils and your mouth are both contained within the domed portion without touching any fabric, you won’t go far wrong. For instance, Felix falls closest to a size Medium by measurement, but he prefers the roomier feel of a Large — so that’s what he wears.
Also, it’s not unusual to wear more than one size for different situations. Kitty usually prefers the look and feel of the Medium size, so will wear that for short hops to the grocery store. But she’ll wear the Large if she’s going for a hike where she might want some extra space for deeper breaths and more coverage against the wind.
If you’re really unsure, consider getting one of each size you may fall into. You can always sanitize and gift the one/s you reject to family or friends. Also, your local shelter always appreciates mask donations (that’s where all the dozens of masks I made for size testing went!).
If you feel like you need a special size (say you want an XS width but an XL height, because you have an uber-narrow, super-long face), just email us, and we can make one customized just for you. Same goes if you need a mask that’s bigger or smaller than the standard size range.
If you need a unique feature, like a beard cover or clear panel for deaf lip readers, or even just a special colour scheme, contact us for a consultation.