Best Masks for Working Out – Breathable, Comfortable, and Protective

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The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything we have seen in the 21st century. As a result of the virus, masks are now required in a majority of gyms across America. Although progress on the vaccine is being made, face coverings may be required in gyms for months to come. I think everyone can agree that working out in a mask is annoying, but having the right type of mask can fix this. We’ve got your back. The remainder of this article covers the best masks for working out so that you can stay fit and healthy.

If you’re looking to get straight to the point, the option below is your best bet. You want to get yourself some KN95 masks and preferably some disposable ones. Purism is one brand, in particular, that makes some great face coverings, and luckily they sell their products in bulk. 

purism kn95 mask
Purism KN95
  • Breathable
  • Comfortable
  • Disposable
  • 98% Particle Protection

Why KN95 Masks Are Ideal

KN95 masks will keep you safe in the gym, but it’s worth knowing why they are so effective compared to cloth masks. To start, KN95s are essentially the same thing as N95 masks used by surgeons. The only difference between the two types of face coverings in the country of certification. For a mask to be considered KN95, it must pass Chinese safety standards, but N95 masks are certified only in the U.S. 

So if N95 masks are the gold standard, then why can’t we just buy some of those? Well you can if you have access to them, but otherwise you’ll have to settle for the next best option. As of late 2020, the majority of NIOSH approved N95 masks are reserved for medical professionals, but luckily there are several equivalent options. 

Regardless of whether you choose an N95 or KN95 mask, they serve the same purpose. These are some of the best masks for working out because they provide minimum 95% particle protection (hence the 95 in the name). Most KN95 masks offer five layers of protection against tiny particles, and the same cannot be said about cloth or basic disposable masks. 

It’s important to note that KN95 masks are cheaper and also a lot easier to find compared to medical-grade respirators. They can be worn with the same level of confidence, and can easily be discarded after your workout if you buy in bulk. 

Highest Quality Option - N95 Respirators

As I mentioned above, a majority of the NIOSH-approved masks are reserved for medical professionals, but some are still available. If you want to be as safe as possible, I highly recommend paying the extra money to buy an NIOSH inspected mask. These masks are considered top of the line because they are made in the U.S and thoroughly analyzed for your protection. 

Options are limited right now, but the two N95 varieties below can be purchased at any time. Despite these masks being pricier and sometimes not as aesthetic as other face coverings, they are the best for your safety. 

Halyard Fluidshield 3 Particulate Respirator

halyard fluidshield 3 respirator

The Halyard Fluidshield 3 is a NIOSH approved N95 mask. These masks are great because they’re disposable and offer a lot of breathing room. They are particularly good for the gym because of the duckbill style and level 3 splash protection. 

Halyard masks are unique because they offer more breathing room than a majority of other brands. This extra breathing room makes them ideal for a gym setting, especially if you’re working out intensely. You can be sure that you’re getting a quality product because 100% of Halyard masks are considered medical devices by the FDA. In addition to this, all of their products are made in the Americas. 

If you’re looking for quality and quantity, Halyard is the way to go. These masks are arguably less aesthetic than basic cloth masks, however, they are safe, comfortable, and offer a TON of breathing room. 

Powecom KN95 Face Mask

powecom kn95 mask

I’m a big fan of Powecom masks because they are simple and effective. Although these are not N95, they have a look and feel that is almost identical. Powecom makes some of the best masks for working out because they are aesthetic, comfortable, and have a 99.2% filter efficiency. 

  •  Listed by the FDA for emergency use. 
  • These face coverings can be reused several times, but it’s up to you to make that decision.
  • Great for the gym, traveling, work, and the outdoors. 
  • Powecom masks protect against pollen, dust, PM2.5 smog, and viral infections. 
  • Relatively inexpensive compared to similar masks.

My favorite thing about Powecom is the comfort their masks provide. They use fabric that is soft and skin-friendly. There are a total of 5 layers of protection when you wear these masks, and they’re mostly composed of cotton and non-woven cloth. Overall, I’d recommend these masks for the gym because they’re comfortable, protective, and inexpensive. 

Budget Face Coverings For The Gym

Let’s talk about some budget options – there are plenty of them. If you can’t afford to buy bulk KN95 masks, the next best option is a basic disposable or cloth mask. You can luckily get both of these options in bulk, and for a fraction of the price of premium PPE. 

Doset makes some of the best cloth masks for the gym. You might opt for a cloth mask if you don’t mind washing and reusing them after wearing them. A total of 6 face coverings come in a package, and they come in a variety of different colors. 

Keep in mind that cloth masks are comfortable, but they are not as safe as KN95 or N95 respirators. They still do their protective duty, but it’s worth noting that these are not FDA approved by any means. Despite this, these masks are great for the gym because they are aesthetic, breathable, and washable. 

best masks for the gym - cloth
  • Arguably more aesthetic than all other market options. 
  • You can customize your look due to the various colorways. 
  • Top-notch comfort and breathability.
  • These masks are perfect for the gym because you can wash them after each use. 
  • You will save money because they’re reusable and they come in a pack of 6. 

The best budget option is going to be a box of disposable masks. Most come with a quantity of 50, so when you do the math, you’re not paying much at all for a single face covering. Disposables are some of the best masks for the gym because you can simply throw them away after your workout. 

disposable masks for the gym

A lot of disposables are considered off-brand, but the option above by ZTANPS is a bargain. With over 6000 reviews on Amazon, it’s clear that these masks do their job and for a good price. It’s also nice that they will last you almost two months and they come in a variety of colors. 


You need to be prepared if your gym is still requiring masks. Any of the options mentioned in this article are great to make sure you stay fit and healthy. I highly recommend getting yourself some KN95 or N95 respirators if possible, but truly anything will work. The current state of the world is challenging, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise what you love. Wear a mask, make informed decisions, and continue to workout so we can all become the best versions of ourselves. 

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