A Face Mask Bracket Can Make Breathing More Comfortable — and Protect Your Makeup

The useful inserts prop your face mask away from your mouth..

Woman wearing face mask
Photo: mladenbalinovac/Getty Images

Remember the days when face masks were hard to come by? Now you have your pick of solid, sequin, tie-dye, or even a mask that matches your dog's bandana.

Not only that, but face mask accessories have emerged — you've got your face mask chains, your charms, and your adjustable bands. But one accessory is less about styling your mask and more about solving a major pain point. Enter: Face mask "brackets," inserts that you can wear inside your face mask that are designed to make any mask more comfortable. (

The brackets are rounded frames that you can attach to the inside of your face covering. They prop your face mask up off of your mouth but still allow for a seal around the edges of the mask for protection. Plus, face mask brackets are typically made of silicone which means you can wash, disinfect, and reuse them.

Masks that have an interior structure can help prevent the mask from collapsing on the nose and mouth, allowing for more comfortable breathing, Christa van Rensburg, M.D., Ph.D., sport and exercise physician, rheumatologist, and head of sports medicine at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, previously told Shape. Problem is, the vast majority of face masks don't have that. With a bracket, you can add structure to any mask you already own. (

If you use a face mask bracket, you want to make sure that your mask fits properly so that it's still effective. "When worn properly, these brackets may offer a more comfortable experience but we need to make sure the seal around the edges is intact — without gaps or open areas — and make sure the adjoining mask offers quality protection," says Kathleen Jordan, M.D., internal medicine doctor, infectious disease specialist, and senior vice president of medical affairs at Tia. "Remember that the bracket itself is offering no protection, so the quality of the adjoining mask, including the filtrations and fit, is what is driving the efficacy." It's key to find a bracket that aligns with the size of your mask, so that you can maintain that seal, stresses Dr. Jordan. "I worry, too, that the rigidity of the masks will cause discomfort or erosions and reduce the wearability and consistency that it is worn," she says. "Comfort is key because if you won't wear the mask consistently, then there is zero protection." (

Assuming you're able to find a mask bracket that fits properly and feels flexible enough, you can benefit from added comfort *and* wear lipstick under a mask without veering into The Joker territory. A face mask bracket might even help prevent a common issue that can make masks less effective. "Wet or moist masks offer an opportunity to aerosolize secretions and viruses (through the mask), so masks should be changed once they get moist — either disposed of or laundered if reusable," says Dr. Jordan. "These brackets may in fact improve the time to having the mask get moist — which may add value as long as the fit and comfort are also optimized."

If that all has you ready to give mask brackets a try, here are a few options to consider.

OceanTree 3D Mask Bracket

Oceantree 3D Mask Bracket

A best-selling option on Amazon, OceanTree 3D Mask Bracket has tabs on each side that can fasten to a surgical mask or other mask with folds. It's offered in a set of five, which works out to under $2 per bracket.

Buy It: Oceantree 3D Mask Bracket, $8, amazon.com

Enro Aerolite

Enro Aerolite

Designed to stand up to workouts or everyday tasks, Enro Aerolite promises a lightweight barrier. It's sold as a pack of three brackets, accommodates most adults, and was designed to fit perfectly under any of Enro's masks.

Buy It: Enro Aerolite, $12, enro.com

AYGXU 3D Mask Bracket

AYGXU 3D Mask Bracket

This mask bracket is made to be extra flexible and easy to fold up. It features loops on each side that you can slide a mask's ear loops through in order to keep your face covering securely in place.

Buy It: AYGXU 3D Mask Bracket, $7, amazon.com

KDRose 3D Face Inner Bracket

KD Rose 3D Face Inner Bracket

KDRose 3D Face Inner Bracket is another fan favorite on Amazon, where it's earned a 4-star rating from more than 20,000 reviewers. You can choose between clear or light blue versions, and both come in packs of five or 10.

Buy It: KDRose 3D Face Inner Bracket, $6, amazon.com

The information in this story is accurate as of press time. As updates about coronavirus COVID-19 continue to evolve, it's possible that some information and recommendations in this story have changed since initial publication. We encourage you to check in regularly with resources such as the CDC, the WHO, and your local public health department for the most up-to-date data and recommendations.

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