I first heard about Happy Masks at an outdoor gymnastics class this summer. My daughter’s cloth mask kept falling off her face, and I noticed that the other kids had fitted masks that stayed put, even during cartwheels. A parent told me I should check out the Happy Masks brand, and others agreed. Their enthusiasm sold me. As did the stats on the Happy Masks website: “99% bacterial and viral filtration.” Wirecutter dubbed Happy Masks Pro Series masks “Most Robust Filtration” and Wired named them “Best Kids Mask.”
Whether you’re biding your time on the Happy Masks waitlist or you spring for another brand, KN95 and Nanofilter masks provide peace of mind for another Covid school year. Hopefully, it’ll be the last.
Why Parents Want Happy MasksThe graph on the Happy Masks site shows no-filter cloth masks’ filtration at a measly 0-30%. This alarmed me a little because we’d been using primarily cloth masks. I wanted the Happy Masks’ nanofiber filter and its 99% filtration against viral and bacterial particles. There’s a word-of-mouth aspect to Happy Masks’ popularity because it seemed like I started seeing and hearing about these masks everywhere. Other parents would tell me they were comfortable and secure, and overall the best masks.
My Happy Mask Order Cost Me $100
I ordered the Pro Series masks for each of my kids, plus one for me just to try. At $24 per mask, my total was close to $100 after taxes and shipping, a steep price after a pandemic of cheap cloth masks from Target and Old Navy. But my kids are too young to be vaccinated, and they were headed back to elementary school with the Delta variant raging. I paid the hundred bucks.
Happy Masks: Tried and Tested But I Needed More
It turns out that Happy Masks are indeed comfortable and lightweight, and everyone in my household loved them. The more structured shape pokes out in front, keeping material off the face (which is great for kids who are prone to sucking on their masks). I feel better about sending my kids to school knowing they have better protection: Happy Masks have five layers, including multiple filter layers.
At first, I was hesitant about the instructions to hand wash, but it turns out that’s really easy. After each wear, I soak the masks in a bowl of water with a bit of soap and give them a gentle scrub. Hang to dry and they’re good to go. I found excellent and effective masks and was ready to order more. But sadly they were sold out when I went online. So I followed the company on Instagram for updates and set an alarm for the next restock. By the time I clicked purchase, just one minute after the site restock, they were sold out again. And again on the next restock. So I signed up for the waitlist, and I’m currently number 14,426. I needed some more masks in the meantime.
Happy Mask Alternatives That Work Just As Well
Kids’ size KN95 Masks: Only $1.50 each and five layers just like Happy MasksWWDOLL KN95 masks on Amazon are an easy and affordable choice for Prime fans. Their availability is hit or miss, but they come in a pack of 50 multicolored, kids’ size KN95s. The disposable masks boast five layers and WWDOLL claims a 99% filtration rate, just like Happy Masks. Due to the nature of Amazon, the pricing for this 50-pack can range from $47 to upwards of $90. A friend of mine recently paid $77, which makes each mask only about $1.50.
Kaze: $4 Each
Since my kids needed more than one effective mask for school I started looking into Happy Mask alternatives. I went in on a package of Kaze KN95s with a friend to save on shipping. Technically, they’re disposable masks, but each mask runs about $4 (depending on the quantity purchased) so I like to get at least a few uses out of them. After my kids wear them to school, I dunk them in soapy water like I would a Happy Mask or spray with alcohol and dry in the sun. My kids and I love how lightweight and breathable they are, and the nose adjustment features a foam pad for extra comfort. The ear loops are also adjustable, making sizing a breeze. They only have one kids’ size, but it accommodates a range. My son lost a Kaze mask at school, but at $4 a pop I can handle the occasional loss. (I don’t know that I’d be so casual about a $24 mask.) I recently stocked up with the Junior Variety Bundle (for ages 2-12), a pack of 30 masks in various colors for $112, making them $3.73 each. Shipping is free over $99.
HALOmask: $18.75 EachAnother brand recommended by parent friends, HALOmasks are also reusable. There are only a few style options and a kids’ mask will run you about $25 (they’re currently on sale from $29.95). Right now they have a promo: buy three masks and get one free with the code SUMMERSAVINGS. (After the code and sale combined, you’d pay $18.75 each mask.) Good for ages three to 12, HALOmasks feature replaceable Nanofilters that are good for 200+ hours. The moisture-wicking liner is a bonus, especially for active kids.
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Vogmask: $24.75 EachVogmask masks are popular too, and the brand came up quite a bit when discussing Happy Masks alternatives in my parent group. Vogmask also makes a filtered, reusable mask that needs to be hand-washed. But they’re a bit heavier than Happy Masks, and the thicker cotton ear loops might annoy some kids (they’re less comfy than the thinner Happy Masks and Kaze adjustable ear loops). At $33 each, they’re even pricier than Happy Masks, but they often have sales, including one right now through September 30th for 25% off with the code is BTS25. (Each mask is $24.75 after the sale code.)
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