While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present new challenges, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that anyone over the age of 2 who is unvaccinated should wear a facial covering indoors or when in crowded outdoor spaces; fully vaccinated individuals should wear a mask indoors if they are in high transmission areas. In terms of what type of covering is best, the CDC recommends a breathable cloth covering with at least two layers — and for gaiters, it should either have two layers or be able to fold over to create an additional layer. Ahead, you’ll find the best neck gaiters on Amazon.
Fabric & Fit
The best facial covering is an N95 full stop, but those are generally reserved for healthcare workers. For non-medical-grade options, certain materials are better than others; a synthetic fabric blend isn't as effective as cotton. However, if you're set on wearing a gaiter, finding a close-fitting cotton one is near impossible. It’s also important to take into account that how you wear your face covering matters considerably. The CDC recommends that any face covering should fit snugly over your nose and mouth without slipping down until you’re ready to take it off. That’s why you’ll find that most gaiters are made of polyester or a polyester/spandex blend since it's stretchier, allowing for a closer fit. To make a gaiter a more effective option, look for one of the following: a double-layer design, one with an included filter, or an extra-long gaiter that can be folded over for additional coverage.
Since masks and gaiters worn for this purpose should be laundered after each use, choose one with care instructions that work for you. If you don’t have an accessible washing machine, the CDC recommends using laundry detergent or soap and washing by hand. And if you doubt you’ll wash your gaiter after every use, consider stocking up on a multipack so you’re not tempted to skimp.
To help you stay safe whether you're headed to the grocery store or out on a bigger adventure, here are six of the best neck gaiters (sometimes advertised as a buff).