Where to buy the coolest face masks with a rock and metal twist

Face masks are compulsory in UK shops from Friday – these are the rock’n’roll face coverings we’ll be wearing
(Image credit: EMP/Vistaprint)

It might have seemed a bit strange at first, but we’re all getting a bit more used to wearing face masks while out and about.

Face coverings are mandatory while visiting shops in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and recommended in Wales, with more and more of us going further and wearing one every time we leave the house to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

It means that if you want to keep supporting your local independent record store or stock up on supplies for a summer weekend, you’re going to need one – and we think we’ve found some of the coolest out there with a rock and metal twist.

Where to buy face masks online:

What we don’t know about music you could write on the back of a stamp. But when it comes to the coronavirus, we’re just as in the dark as you. That’s why we’re following all official UK government coronavirus advice (opens in new tab), and have spoken to the Health Editor of one of our sister websites to give us the low-down on face masks.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states (opens in new tab) that COVID-19 mainly spreads from person-to-person through respiratory droplets when a person coughs, sneezes or talks,” says Claire Davies, Health Editor of Top Ten Reviews (opens in new tab).

“As a doctor recently explained (opens in new tab), face masks ‘are worn for the benefit of others, in that they catch our coughs and sneezes and stop the viral-laden droplets within them being passed onto surfaces or other people.’ That’s because some of us might be asymptomatic – we’re infected with COVID-19 but don’t display symptoms – or pre-symptomatic, so wearing a mask helps protect those around us, especially the vulnerable.”

The most rock'n'roll face masks online right now

Slipknot Face Mask | £14.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Slipknot Face Mask | £14.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
There are seven different Slipknot colours to choose from - and we think they’re all pretty neat. Washable and reusable, they also have adjustable ear loops. They’re stretchy, too, so are comfortable to wear.

Pink Floyd Face Mask | £12.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Pink Floyd Face Mask | £12.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
This mask won’t feel as soft as the cotton job above, but surely it’s a must for Floyd fans? It also boasts a dedicated filter pocket, and has adjustable ear loops to achieve a better fit. Even better, it has a nose clip for a secure fit. It'll need washing regularly, so best draft in a couple to have on rotation.

Black Sabbath Face Mask | £7.98 at Etsy (opens in new tab)

Black Sabbath Face Mask | £7.98 at Etsy (opens in new tab)
Available in adults and kids sizes, and crafted from two layers of breathable cotton fabric. You’ll need to add your own filter material with this face mask. Take note of the shipping time on this one – a couple of weeks, so you may want to grab an alternative face mask in the meantime.

Trivium Face Mask | £6.99 from EMP (opens in new tab)

Trivium Face Mask | £6.99 from EMP (opens in new tab)
Show off your love of Trivium with this ‘Florida Metal’ face mask. Presented in black, white and green, it features the band’s logo and is made from 100% cotton. 

Vampire Fangs Face Mask With Filter Pocket | £11.97 at Etsy (opens in new tab)

Vampire Fangs Face Mask With Filter Pocket | £11.97 at Etsy (opens in new tab)
This reusable fabric face mask with ear loops has that all-important filter pocket, into which you can place a disposable filter material of your own or a pre-made filter – you can buy face mask filters at Amazon (opens in new tab) and Vistaprint (opens in new tab), among other retailers. You can throw this mask in with your normal laundry on a hot wash setting. 

Lightning Bolt Kids Face Mask | £13 at Vistaprint (opens in new tab)

Lightning Bolt Kids Face Mask | £13 at Vistaprint (opens in new tab)
Some of us at Louder are already wearing the adult face masks sold at Vistaprint and can confirm they’re breathable and comfy as hell. Yes, we said that about a face mask. This lightning bolt print is for the kids only (goddamn it), but there plenty of other cool adult face masks (opens in new tab) on offer. They have a moldable nose bridge, filter pocket and adjustable ear loops. And yeah, they’re super-soft.

Gojira Face Mask | £6.99 at EMP (opens in new tab)

Gojira Face Mask | £6.99 at EMP (opens in new tab)
We can’t tell if this face mask has a dedicated filter pocket or not, so if you buy it, you may have to layer a filter inside of the mask and position it against your skin. Other than that, it’s made of soft cotton with elasticated straps, and is safe for washing. Don’t fancy the skull? We also like this twin-pack of plain black fabric face masks (opens in new tab), made with two layers of high-thread count cotton. 

Leopard Print Face Mask | £18 at Not On The High Street (opens in new tab)

Leopard Print Face Mask | £18 at Not On The High Street (opens in new tab)
Washable face masks needn’t be boring, as this rockabilly cotton face mask proves. The face covering is fitted around the nose and chin, with an expandable pleat design for a more comfy fit. Suitable for machine washing, and ideally you'll let it dry in direct sunlight.

What to look for in a face mask

Not all face masks are created equal. In fact, some offer about as much protection as that 20-year-old condom languishing in the bottom of your dad’s wallet. 

“According to the CDC, face masks should use multiple layers of breathable fabric,” says Davies. “In a recent face mask materials study (opens in new tab) at Northeastern University, Loretta Fernandez, an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, explained that,  ‘Any sort of filtering that people can use in their masks could be highly protective. The idea is to create an efficient series of layers with bends within the fabric that make it harder for the virus to have a straight shot at a person’s nose.’”

And no, we’re not talking cigarette filters. “You can buy ready-made PM2.5 face mask filters,” explains Davies, “though in that same study, researchers found that toilet paper and coffee filters were effective, as long as the material is safe to breathe. 

“If you’re using fabric face masks with a filter pocket, dispose of the filter after each use before washing your mask. And remember, it’s safe to wash fabric masks with your regular laundry as long as you use a hot wash setting.”

When shopping for face masks online, look for ones that:

  • Fit snugly against the face without impeding breathing
  • Have moldable nose bridges to achieve a better fit
  • Use multiple layers of breathable fabric
  • Can be washed without losing their shape
  • With fabric face masks, choose ones with a filter pocket

If you or someone in your household is displaying symptoms indicative of the coronavirus, follow the latest NHS coronavirus advice (opens in new tab) for self-care and to understand when medical assistance might be needed.