neck gaiters snoods best

The best neck gaiters you can buy now as an alternative to face masks

Find out if neck gaiters prevent the spread of coronavirus, and where to shop the best ones

Karen Silas

Now that wearing face masks are set to be a normal part of our daily public lives, it’s time to think about which type of face covering works for you. Many are opting for alternatives to traditional fabric masks, including neck gaiters. But are neck gaiters – also called snoods or neck warmers – safe? And what are the best ones to buy? Find the answers to all of your questions and we'll tell you where to shop a variety of neck gaiters, whether sporty, floral, designer or at a bargain for under £10. 

RELATED: 9 sporty face masks to work out in

What is a neck gaiter?

A neck gaiter is a tube-shaped fabric scarf that slips over your head and then covers your neck, mouth and nose. Neck gaiters have in the past been most commonly used in winter, for sports, running or riding motorcycles, and are often made of fleece, wool or synthetic materials. Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, lightweight neck gaiters have been used as an alternative face covering to a standard face mask.

tropical print etsy gaiter

Tropical print neck gaiter, £15.80, Etsy

SHOP NOW

Why do people choose to wear a neck gaiter as a face covering?

As more people find themselves having to wear a face mask for the first time, some have found that the standard mask is uncomfortable or they have problems staying cool underneath so prefer a neck gaiter because of breathability. Others may simply like how a neck gaiter looks – and as a result, like silk or muslin scarves, neck gaiters have become a popular option when it comes to face coverings.

RELATED: Face masks for men, from XXL sizes to masks for beards

Are neck gaiters effective to prevent the spread of coronavirus?

The general rule is that any face covering is better than no covering. 

Any fabric which filters nose and mouth droplets that could potentially carry the virus is helpful, although effectiveness at preventing the spread ranges quite widely. For example, wearing a silk bandana provides a minimum of protection, versus a cloth face mask with a filter which is a much more efficient barrier. A gaiter falls somewhere in between. 

According to the University of California at Berkeley, fabrics used for neck gaiters or snoods are often thinner than materials used for standard cloth face masks. This means you will have improved breathability but a decreased ability to contain droplets that may spread the virus. 

bamboo snood neck tube 2

Luxe Bamboo Neck Tube, £18, Bamboo Clothing

SHOP NOW

It is recommended that if you wear a gaiter, you layer the fabric, or wear a standard protective face mask underneath.

Of course, face masks offering the highest protection are N95 masks, which should be reserved for medical personnel or those who come in direct contact with people who are showing symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19.

RELATED: Face masks for eyeglasses wearers: Tips and tricks

Shop neck gaiters for £15 and under

accessorize snood antibacterial face covering gaiter

A soft snood with ear holes to keep it comfortably in place

Anti-bacterial snood face covering, also in grey, £15, Accessorize

SHOP NOW

neck gaiter snood coronavirus amazon

Amazon's #1 bestseller

Multifunctional neck gaiter, available in 17 colours, £3.99 each, Amazon

SHOP NOW

bandana neck gaiter

ARKIM Unisex Bandana Face Mask, £7.99, Amazon

SHOP NOW

cooling and breathable neck gaiter

Guffo cooling and breathable neck gaiter, £8.99, Amazon

SHOP NOW

asos soft pink snood neck gaiter

ASOS DESIGN jersey funnel snood in pink, £10, ASOS

SHOP NOW

millets-gaiter

Peter Storm gaiter, £6, Millets

SHOP NOW

Shop floral neck gaiters

floral neck gaiters snood

Floral print neck gaiters, set of 4, £11.50, Amazon

SHOP NOW

floral neck gaiter

Handmade Floral Neck Gaiter, £16, Etsy

SHOP NOW

Shop sporty neck gaiters

nike cream snood neck gaiter

Nike VaporKnit Strike Snood, £26.95, Nike

SHOP NOW

HH neck snood gaiter pink

HH lightweight neck gaiter, £30, Helly Hansen

SHOP NOW

Shop luxury designer neck gaiters

acne studio designer neck gaiter snood

Acne Studios snood, £140, Acne Studios

SHOP NOW

luxury silk snood neck gaiter

Takahishi The Soloist silk snood, £1022, Farfetch

SHOP NOW

HELLO!'s selection is editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items our editors love and approve of. HELLO! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. To find out more visit our FAQ page.