If you’re here, I assume it’s because you don’t like wearing masks, but sometimes have to. While I’m calling these “freedom masks”, I really just mean that they are mask/face covering OPTIONS other than the standard masks we see everyone wearing.
Whether or not you’re looking for freedom masks options because you want to feel like you’re fighting the tyranny of mask mandates, or because you have a disability that limits your face covering options, here are several other face covering/mask options available out there:
(While of course, you’ll have to research your own state/county/city/job/business requirements to make sure any of these qualify, for the most part, I’ve found that in the general public, as long as you have SOMETHING on your face, people won’t hassle you too much.
If you’re looking for info on how to get out of a mask completely, or how to claim a mask exemption for yourself, I’ll try to get a post up about that soon as well.)
1. “This Is Tyranny” Freedom Masks
If you’re looking for masks that simply visually demonstrate your opposition to having to wear a mask, there are many options out there. You can search “freedom masks” on Etsy and bring up many options like these:
Many of these are more outright message like this one by HappyJackClothing:
Or you can go for something slightly more subtly rebellious such as a Guy Fawkes mask (from CraftMrWood) or a Rorschach/Guy Fawkes combo neck gaiter (from Levisan):
If you’re somewhere where specific mask materials are required, this might be your best option to publicly display your resistance (and as long as you don’t have a specific uniform mask, it’s protected under the First Amendment/Free Speech).
2. Special Needs/Hard of Hearing Masks
If you’re hard of hearing and use lip reading to communicate, mask mandates have made life more difficult. While you, or those in your close contact, may choose to wear clear face shields so that you can communicate, many others in the public are devoted to their visually obstructing masks which make it impossible to communicate.
I’ve found several of these kinds of masks which specify one as hard-of-hearing:
However I do wonder if anyone else actually pays attention to them enough – or are willing to drop their fear for a moment in order to let someone else see their mouth when they talk – and how well they actually help, but they do seem to be an option.
Yes, there’s also these ‘window masks’ with little plastic cutouts like these:
But imho, unless they are completely clear like these below, they still limit the ability to see full mouth/chin movement, and I’m personally not a big fan. I’m not sure how easy these below are to breathe in (though they seem to have small holes in the plastic for breathing), but at least they LOOK so much better & you can see facial expressions with them, which is a win in my book.
3. Breathable & See Through Freedom Masks
I don’t mean face shields. I’ll get to those next. I mean actually “see-through” and/or “very thin material you can very easily breathe through”.
Because this particular post is not about the efficacy of masks or not (I’ll write another post about that) and I assume that anyone here is not as interested in super-duper-spacesuit-level virus protection anyways – these masks are the best option for when you need to appear compliant and/or otherwise don’t want to make big stink about mask wearing.
I’ll start with see-through or sheer masks.
Depending on your level of visual rebelliousness you’re wanting to show, there are many levels of “see-through”.
For those who really want to push the envelope, there’s masks like these:
One step up are masks that are still obviously see-though but still “look” like masks. Often made from cheesecloth, gauze, mesh or lace, like these:
Personally, this is my favorite face covering at the moment. I like that it’s a neck gaiter so easy to pull up/down, it’s got ear loops to stay in place, it’s also very see-through, but the printed pattern is not super obvious at first for anyone not paying attention. (if anyone objects, it’s also super easy to fold up so it’s “double layer”)
I got it from an etsy store, but it looks like they don’t have this exact mask anymore. They do however have these:
Now let’s get to “Super Breathable” Masks.
These are best for when you need to visually demonstrate your mask-wearing compliance and/or when you (understandably so) struggle to breathe in masks or you deal with anxiety from mask wearing.
Often made out of very thin material such as voile, chiffon, or very thin cotton, they are not fully see through while wearing them (unless you’re looking very closely, maybe?), but you can see through when you hold them up to light.
This etsy shop, MasksBoutique, specializes in making very breathable masks, but there’s all kinds of these masks out there too.
4. Face Shields
I adopted face shields over masks/gaiters from the very beginning because seeing facial expressions is extremely important to me. I know I can’t force everyone to wear one, but I think that having the ability to see and read faces would’ve reduced the whole political/divided aspects of mask usage as well as continued to allow humans to better communicate visually during this already divided time.
I also think that face shields are a better option for kids.
There’s several different kinds of face shields. There’s these medical looking kinds you’ve probably seen:
These that are worn like glasses (& can also be worn with glasses):
There are also these bucket hat ones (which I think are best for young kids, my 3yr old calls his his “happy hat” lol; also I refuse to put my 3yo in an actual mask).
Though I’ve come to discover that I’m not as big of a fan of the pliable plastic on some of these bucket hats though, as they tend to wrinkle (though you can glue a small wire at the bottom which make them straighter; I’ll post a DIY for this eventually). While the softer plastic seems to be best for kids, for adults, the below hats with the sturdier plastic are easier to see through. They also make baseball hat versions like this, as well as visors too:
or even ones that you can slip on to your own baseball hat:
This particular faceshield below is one I’ve used and like a lot. They slip on and off easy, the plastic is sturdier and easier to see through, they flip up, and they are comfortable and adjustable (they also adjust down to fit my 6 & 9yo):
There’s also these clear mouth shields. I just bought some on ebay and are going to try them out. So far, they seem to be the most normal looking and allow best visualization of facial expression.