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12 top-rated face masks for exercising that actually let you breathe

Exercise face masks being worn
A good face mask for exercising will allow you to breath easily, even as it makes a tight and secure fit around your face and mouth. Under Armour/Airpop

Breathability is key when it comes to a face mask for exercising. The best face masks for exercising don't cling to your nose and mouth, keep sweat away and don't fall off. But not all sports face masks are made equal. 

If you're looking for an exercise mask to wear to the gym, you'll want one that meets all of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidances. The right mask should completely cover your nose and mouth, fit snugly against the sides of your face without gaps, and feature a nose wire for a perfect fit around the bridge of the nose. Look for masks that have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric. When it comes to gaiters, the CDC recommends wearing one with two layers, or folding a single-layer gaiter to make a second layer.

Some vented face masks, sometimes called elevation training masks, are advertised for working out. But these masks are designed to train you for optimized breathing, and not for protection against COVID-19 -- they allow virus particles to escape.

Below, you'll find 12 top-rated face masks for exercising -- masks that you can actually breathe in -- from Asics, Athleta, Under Armour and more. These masks come in a range of prices and colors.

Borgasets breathable sport face masks

Borgasets Breathable Sport Face Mask

These affordable, 4.3-star sports face masks available on Amazon come in a variety of colors. Pick from a two-pack, three-pack or five-pack. They're made of a quick-drying fabric and have adjustable ear loops. They also come in kids' sizes.

Borgasets breathable sport face mask (2 pack), $13

Borgasets breathable sport face mask (5 pack), $21

Reebok face covers (3 pack)

Reebok Face Covers

These 4.3-star Reebok face masks are made of breathable fabric, comfortably stretch around your ears and are washable. Find them in two sizes: XS/S or M/L. Their black hue won't clash with anything you're wearing. These masks are currently available as part of a 3 for $30 deal with code COVERUP.

Reebok face covers (3 pack), XS/S, $20

Reebok face covers (3 pack), M/L, $20

Nike Dri-Fit Wrap gaiter

Nike Dri-Fit neck gaiter

If you're looking for an alternative to the typical face mask, try Nike's breathable Dri-Fit Wrap gaiter. It's designed to wick away sweat, plus the reflective Nike swoosh will help you stay visible during low-light outdoor runs.

Nike Dri-Fit face gaiter, $25

Asics Runners mask

Asics runners mask

This well-reviewed athletic face mask by Asics wraps around the back of your head so it won't budge while you run. It's made of a quick-dry fabric and doesn't get too close to your face, making it easier to breathe. It has an adjustable fit and water-repellent exterior. 

Asics Runners mask, $40

Athleta Activate face mask (2 pack)

Athleta Activate Face Mask

The reviewer-loved Athleta Activate reusable face mask two-packs come in a variety of colors. They mold around the nose and cheeks and have adjustable ear loops. They're made of a breathable fabric that's quick-drying.

Athleta Activate face mask (2 pack), $15

Blue Bear Protection sports mask

Blue Bear Protection Sports Mask

This cotton face mask has adjustable earloops and a design that reduces trapped air from exhalations, making it great for working out. It's made with a technology that keeps your mask smelling fresh. Find it in five colors on Amazon. 

"I love that it's adjustable, washable and reusable," reviewer Jennifer says. "Other masks didn't fit well and gave me skin irritation, resulting in 'maskne' (acne from masks). This mask does not irritate and bother my face like the other masks."

Blue Bear Protection sports mask, $8.99

Outdoor Research Adrenaline sports face mask kit

Outdoor Research Adrenaline Sports Face Mask Kit

This 4-star wraparound face mask from Outdoor Research has adjustable ear loops and a nose wire. It comes in black or gray and has a moisture-wicking lining that has a cooling effect. Its mesh material lifts the mask off the face and nose for better breathing. It also has replaceable filters. Its material is microbe- and germ-resistant.

You can find the mask on Amazon for $20, but it's available through the Outdoor Research site for just $15.

Outdoor Research Adrenaline sports face mask kit, $15 (reduced from $29)

Under Armour Sportsmask

Under Armour Sportsmask

This Under Armour face mask has a bendable nose piece and stretch ear loops. Its material prevents moisture build-up and has an anti-microbial treatment. This water-resistant mask, available in three sizes, offers room between it and your face for easier breathing during workouts. 

Under Armour Sportsmask

OUT OF STOCK: Under Armour Sportsmask fleece gaiter

Under Armour Sportsmask fleece gaiter

An excellent choice for colder winter months, the anti-microbial Under Armour Sportsmask fleece gaiter offers a more protective take on traditional gaiters. Like the mask version, it's designed to stay off your mouth and nose. The fabric is designed to keep the inside of the mask feeling cool, while keeping the rest of you feeling warm in chilly temperatures.

Under Armour Sportsmask fleece gaiter

The North Face Nano mask

The North Face Nano Mask
The North Face

These top-rated The North Face masks have adjustable ear loops and a nose strip. They're super breathable. 

The North Face Nano mask, $23 (reduced from $30)

AirPop active reusable face mask

AirPop Active Reusable Face Mask

This AirPop face mask seals to the contours of your face but stays off your nose and mouth for better breathability. It provides 99.3% particle filtration and 99.9% bacterial filtration. It has a replaceable filter insert and adjustable ear loops.

AirPop active reusable face mask, $60

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