They're especially handy for kids and anyone with a small face. Now all our masks fit better and stay put.

By Lisa Valente, M.S., R.D.
November 09, 2020
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I’ve learned a lot about face masks in the past few months. My first mask was a bandana folded and tied with hair ties and I’ve come a long way since then. Still, it can be tricky to order them online, since they’re non-refundable, you just have to hope for the best and that they’ll fit. 

I recently found my favorite masks. The Everyday Non Medical Face Masks from Athleta, $30 for a 5-pack, are breathable and fit well. Plus, I like the colors. One of the reasons they’re so great is they have adjustable straps to help get the perfect fit. 

So, while I had a mask that fit my face, I was having trouble finding a face mask that fit my two-year old son. His face is still too small for most kid-size masks and many of the ones that have fun characters, like these Mickey Mouse masks, $12 for a 3-pack from Gap, don’t come with adjustable straps. The masks that are adjustable also tend to cost more money. 

I was staring down at my Athleta mask and it dawned on me that I could probably take off the adjusters (it’s just a small attachment) and use them for my son’s mask instead. It’s such a simple swap, and it helped so much with getting his mask to fit. 

I was going to sacrifice another one of my masks when I realized I could probably buy just the adjusters. A quick google search landed me with plenty of super-affordable options. 

These Tube Silicone Adjuster for Face Masks, start at $2 for 24 on Etsy.com, and come in a variety of colors. You can also get a pack of 60 for $5.99 on Amazon.com, with free Prime shipping. Both products have videos to show you how easy they are to attach with a bobby pin or threader (I attached mine with just my fingers and lots of determination, but the boppy pin makes it much faster. Just loop the mask strap onto the boppy pin and slide the adjuster over the pin and onto the mask). 

Now, not only can I make sure that our masks better fit my toddler, I can go back and add them on older masks we have that didn’t come with adjusters. We have some homemade ones from my Mom, and the adjusters help give them a much better fit. Plus, if you’ve found that your elastic stretched out a bit after washing and multiple wears, the adjusters can still help you get a good fit around your ears. 

I realize it’s weird to wax poetic about mask adjusters, but it’s 2020 and there are plenty of weirder conversations I’ve had this year. This purchase has been a game-changer for me and our family as we head into colder months and will likely be doing more inside while wearing masks. These would not only make a great purchase for anyone with kids, but if you have a smaller face, masks that aren’t currently adjustable or you’re making homemade masks. Some come in large packs, so they would be great to split with a friend or two.  

This story originally appeared on eatingwell.com

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