The virus pandemic has created substantial accessibility challenges for people who are deaf or hard of hearing as well as others with communication differences and disabilities. Although specially designed clear face masks for deaf people can help address these communication barriers, they sold out quickly and became hard to find. Therefore, there are still thousands wondering, “Where can I buy a clear face mask?”
Luckily, the answer now is “Lots of places!” Pandemic Pal is dedicated to helping people with all kinds of disabilities get the personal protective equipment they need, including the d/Deaf community and allies. We’ve put together this guide to help you buy the best clear face masks for sale now.
Quick Search: Etsy
Quick Search: Amazon
Or keep scrolling for see through mask reviews and recommendations.
Why Deaf People Need Clear Face Masks
People wearing paper or cloth face masks often sound muffled, plus you cannot see their mouth to read their lips, and facial expressions are hidden.
People who are hard of hearing or deaf use lip reading as part of their strategy to communicate with hearing people. However, lip reading alone is usually not enough to fully understand someone, as mouth movements for different syllables and words can look alike. Rather, deaf and hard of hearing people rely on a combination of lip reading, facial expressions, sounds they can hear and context to determine what someone is saying.
Facial expressions are a key element of American Sign Language (ASL). People communicating in ASL rely on mouth movements and expressions for tone and nuance. Sign language interpreters are essential workers who translate for Deaf people in hospitals, courts, workplaces, and more, so they also need see-through masks.
Others Who Need Transparent Face Masks
Clear facemasks can benefit many people within and outside the disability community. Children and adults on the autism spectrum often have difficulty understanding social cues and struggle to read facial expressions, making communicating with people wearing standard masks especially challenging. Speech-language therapists need clear window masks, as a key part of their job involves modeling mouth movements for their patients. And teachers for children with and without disabilities can connect better with students when their smiles aren’t hidden.
Can I Buy a Window Mask If I’m Not Part of These Communities?
Yes, you can. Although there was a shortage at the beginning of the pandemic, the crafting community has stepped up and numerous people with sewing machines are now making clear masks for sale to anybody who needs or wants one. There are enough to go around. Whether you have a disability or not, it’s stressful and draining to go through life unable to see people’s faces. So if a window mask would help you connect with loved ones and people around you for any reason, you can purchase one without worry.
How to Stop Your Clear Mouth Mask From Fogging Up
Sometimes the clear plastic portion of the mask will fog up as you breathe, obscuring the view of your mouth. Luckily, there are a few solutions to this problem. If you haven’t bought a mask yet, choose one of the clear face masks for sale below made with anti-fog vinyl. You can spread a thin layer of dish soap or shaving cream on the inside vinyl, then wipe the excess with a cloth. Lens wipes for eyeglasses also work!
Medical Effectiveness of Clear Face Masks for Deaf People
It’s important to note that the masks listed on this page are non-medical grade. Most of them are essentially the same as a cloth face covering, except with a piece of flexible plastic or vinyl in the center to show the mouth. In other words, they should offer about as much protection as other non-medical masks. However, if you are in a high-risk situation, interacting with someone whom you believe is infected or if you may be infected, you should not use these masks. You will need to use an N95 mask. Medical professionals who are interacting with deaf or hard of hearing contagious patients can use a PAPR respirator, as many of them have clear face shields.
Disclaimer: Pandemic Pal does not sell the products listed below, we are simply providing a service to make them easier to find. While the CDC recommends wearing face masks, we cannot guarantee the quality or effectiveness of any specific product or vendor. Therefore, we make no claims that any products listed on our site will mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose or cure any disease or health condition. This page contains affiliate links, which means if you choose to make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more.
Clear Face Masks We Recommend
These are our favorite clear face masks for sale. We have selected them based on community recommendations, positive reviews, fast shipping, reasonable pricing, and last but not least, style. We believe products made for the disability community should be fashionable as well as functional. We will be updating this list, so if you have a recommendation, let us know! If you are a disabled or chronically ill designer of pandemic safety products, we’d love to feature your products at no cost to you. Fill out our form here and we’ll be in touch!
1. Italian Smile Clear Face Mask
We’ve looked at many styles of clear face masks for deaf people, and these stand out, making them our #1 pick. Italian Smile’s unique design offers significantly more face visibility than other products, while still providing breathability. They make child and adult sizes with several cheerful trim colors. They are made with anti-fog, recycled PVC, so they’re environmentally conscious, too. We can see these taking off in popularity as they are highly fashionable! They ship from the USA within 3 business days, so you’ll get your order quickly.
2. Facemasks R’Us
These fabulous clear face masks for sale are proof that being fashionable and protecting others don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The 20 or so fabrics to choose from really pop and provide great nose coverage for breathability, but there’s also plenty of clear space to show that smile. They send free lens wipes with every purchase to help prevent the vinyl from fogging up. They’ve received numerous five-star reviews from sign language interpreters, teachers, and speech therapists, so you can shop with confidence. Plus they ship within one business day and even offer expedited shipping, which means they will arrive faster than any other mask on our list.
Buy on Etsy.
3. Masked With a Smile
These clear masks are made by a deaf person, Alexandra. She says, “This mask allows people like myself to ‘hear’ again and see everyone’s beautiful smiles and expressions.” They are available in child and adult sizes and plenty of colors. They’re made to order, so they will take longer to arrive, but if you can wait, it’s worth it to support a deaf designer!
Buy on Etsy.
4. Show My Smile
These clear face masks for deaf and hard of hearing are popular and have great reviews. They come in child and adult sizes, and reviewers say they stay in place much better than other masks they’ve tried. You can buy in bulk to get your family and friends, special education department, or therapy clinic outfitted quickly. They have recently added more colors to their range — yay! And they ship in 1 business day!
Buy on Etsy.
5. Reusable Window Masks
This communicator cloth mask features a clear window for hearing impaired people who lip read, ASL interpreters and anyone who needs their beautiful smile to be seen! It has a built-in nose wire and features 2 layers of quilter’s cotton fabric. They ship within 3 business days from the USA, so they’re perfect if you need fast delivery.
Buy on Etsy.
This face mask has a transparent section designed for enabling lip reading while staying securely in place. According to the sellers, it was designed by and is recommended for deaf people, speech therapists, speech pathologists, psychologists and other practitioners working with deaf children and adults. The border fabric is 100% cotton and comes in 49 colors and patterns to choose from, with an aluminum nose wire to ensure a snug fit. They use anti-fog vinyl for the window. They take 1-2 weeks to make and then ship from Greece, so they’re ideal if you’re shopping from Europe.
Buy on Etsy.
These clear masks for sale are well-suited for sign language interpreters and teachers. They offer great nose coverage and are low in cost. We especially like the teal with daisies pattern shown above.
Buy on Amazon.
Bonus: PAPR Respirator
At around $1000, PAPR respirators are not for the average person. They are designed for medical professionals, scientists, and people who work with hazardous substances. But if you are interacting with someone who is infected, they are the only way to be safe while preserving the visibility of your face.
Buy on Amazon.
If you are a disabled or chronically ill designer of pandemic safety products, we’d love to feature your products at no cost to you. Fill out our form here and we’ll be in touch!