Traditional promotional product sales have taken a backseat to PPE this year as events have been cancelled and businesses have temporarily closed due to Coronavirus. In fact, ASI reports 71% of Promo Distributors are selling PPE and health/safety products as of May 2020. Face masks are a huge driver of those sales, with ESP searches for masks increasing 40,000% year over year.

Face Mask Effectiveness

In a recently published study, Duke University researchers evaluated the effectiveness of different types of masks by estimating how many droplets made it through the mask while speaking. People spoke a single phrase into a box both with, and without a mask. Particles that hit a lens inside the dark box made visible flashes recorded by a camera on the other end of the box.

On the chart below, the dots represent results of 10 trials for each mask type by one speaker. (1)


(Three different types of two-layer pleated masks were included in the test)

With the growing evidence that mask mandates coincide with slowdowns in daily COVID-19 growth rates, (2) end buyers are turning to their promotional Distributors for both branded and unbranded face masks. Below are some different options and benefits of popular styles, so you can help your clients find the perfect mask for any campaign.

Reusable Face Masks

Wash and wear masks are quickly growing in popularity. First, there is the consideration of disposable masks on the environment. (3) Secondly, people are looking for comfort as mask-wearing looks like it will continue for the foreseeable future.

The #41164 Reusable Face Mask is designed with a soft, jersey cotton inner and water repellant outer layer. The special sewn details allow for a comfortable fit and easy-breathing even with 3-ply construction. Six fashion color options and full color imprint capability make this an excellent choice for any brand.

Ideal for:

  • Essential employees
  • Business services
  • Everyday use

Disposable Masks

Single-use masks like the #41148 Disposable Face Mask are a basic, everyday option. This is one of the most common choices for creating a barrier between yourself and others while in public spaces due to three-layer construction that is still lightweight and comfortable.

Perfect for:

  • Grocery stores
  • Necessary errands
  • Restaurant staff

95% Filtration Disposable Masks

The #41151 Face Mask-Disposable is in high-demand for its >95% filtration efficiency. This 5-ply mask includes 2 inner layers of melt blown polypropylene while still being breathable and comfortable with elastic ear loops and an adjustable nose bridge design.

Suitable for:

  • Schools and childcare facilities
  • Health clinics and wellness centers
  • Retail environments

In the Duke University study, N95 masks with no exhalation valve proved to be the most effective. However, the CDC asks the general public to save N95 respirators for hospitals and first responders due to short supply. The #41151 Disposable Face Mask offers >95% filtration efficiency and is suitable for the general population.

Face Shields

Made to be used in addition to a face mask, face shields are made of transparent, anti-fog plastic. The wraparound design provides over-the-top, side and front face protection and is secured with a cushioned headband. It is important to remember that according to the CDC, face shields are not necessarily recommended for normal everyday activities, or as a substitute for masks.

Helpful for:

  • Caregivers
  • Sustained, close contact with others
  • The hearing impaired

Adjustable Size Masks

As masks become an essential item in daily life, people will be looking for adjustable size masks like the #41167 Full Color Face Mask because they are so easy to wear. This 3-ply polyester and foam style has multiple ear openings to help find the most comfortable fit. Plus, this item is manufactured domestically in the USA.

Perfect for:

  • Giveaways
  • Political organizations
  • Social clubs & associations

Cloth & Bandanas

Even using a simple cloth covering like a neck gaiter or the #26227 Full Color Bandana can help limit the spread of particles and droplets. (4) When it comes to brand impressions, this option offers great flexibility with a full color front-to-back imprint. The wearer can also use this versatile bandana as a beanie, wristband, head band, hair cover, head wrap – the options are endless!

Ideal for:

  • Fitness & athletics
  • Outdoor events
  • School sports

However, Warren points out that the research he co-authored wasn’t a large-scale clinical trial, so the results can’t be generalized. The outcome for the gaiter was worse because some of the most comfortable masks are usually thin and those don’t do a good job of blocking particles. 

Mask Accessories

Simple add-ons like the #41173 Silicone Mask Strap can help with common issues that come along with wearing masks for an extended period. This strap is made of soft silicone with three size levels to find a preferred fit while reducing pressure and ear fatigue. As a bonus, this strap has a snap button to conveniently transform into a bracelet.

Great for:

  • Fundraisers
  • Awareness campaigns
  • Showing team pride

Visit to shop all our Face Mask and PPE Related Items, or visit our Covid-19 Resource Center for more useful tools and shareable content.

Enjoying our content? Think your customers would enjoy it as well? Feel free to take this article and post it on social media, your blog or wherever else you market your business. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO PLEASE . . . STEAL OUR STUFF!

©2020 BIC Graphic North America, updated 2021 Koozie Group, Clearwater, FL 33760. *Not all mask styles are available in Canada. Please visit for full details.

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