Best Face Shields

Updated November 2021
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Buying guide for Best face shields

Wearing a face mask, maintaining safe distances from others, and washing hands frequently are all ways to prevent the spread of illness. For individuals who seek an added layer of protection, a face shield is a solid piece of personal protective equipment (PPE).

A face shield differs from a face mask in that it is primarily designed to protect the wearer rather than the people with whom the wearer interacts. It keeps splatters from directly entering the eyes and nose or landing on the face. The best face shields fit comfortably and allow for unimpaired vision.

The three most important aspects to consider when selecting a face shield are the type, the fit, and the amount of coverage offered.

One benefit of wearing a face shield is that it makes it impossible to accidentally touch your face.

Key considerations


There are two ways a face shield can be worn: attached to glasses or attached to a headband. If you already wear glasses, you will want to be certain that your face shield can accommodate them. Most face shields are designed to be worn over corrective glasses. With a headband model, make sure the shield doesn't sit too close to your face. Otherwise, there won't be room for your glasses to fit beneath the shield.

Because shield material is so light, both types of face shields should be suitable for wear without fear of the apparatus tugging forward or falling down. However, there is a benefit to wearing a headband face shield: those models tend to curve more fully around the sides of the face to provide a little extra protection.


Face shields are almost always one-size-fits-all pieces of PPE. While that may be great in theory, it doesn't always work out in real-life situations. Think of it like those one-size-fits-all 3D glasses at the movie theater: they provide the best fit for someone with an average head size. With a headband model, the size can usually be adjusted by tightening or loosening the elastic straps or adjusting the notch, similar to the way you would tighten or loosen a baseball cap. Taking this into account, a hard plastic headband model usually provides the best fit.


In order to provide the most protection, a face shield should start roughly 1 inch over the wearer's eyebrows and come down well past the chin — but not enough so it can be knocked off simply by looking down. Ideally, it should also wrap around the sides of the wearer's head and stop just in front of the ears. A face shield that is too small will not provide adequate coverage, and one that is too large may be awkward and easily knocked off.

For Your Safety
If your face shield is cracked, warped, or deformed in any way, discard it immediately and replace it with a new one.



For most users, the thickness and rigidity of the plastic shield shouldn't be an issue. A thin, lightweight piece of plastic should be fine. If you need a model that meets certain specifications for your workplace, however, you must make sure that those are met.


The plastic on a face shield can be treated in a number of ways to enhance durability and safety. Some are coated to be scratch-resistant and/or glare-resistant. Some offer UV protection, and some are tinted. If any of this sounds desirable to you, look for a face shield with these features.


Because many face shields cost just a few dollars, they often don’t have a lot of bells and whistles. Some models may actually have no features for added comfort, so be careful when you're choosing a face shield. Usually, however, there is a small piece of foam that rests on the forehead. For the most comfort, look for a model with softer foam. If you have any sensitivities, you may need a model with hypoallergenic foam.


If you'd like to protect your eyes and face in style, consider a face shield that is attached to a visor, a baseball cap, or even a bucket hat.


If you need more than one face shield, you can purchase them in bulk. It is possible to buy face shields in multipacks with anywhere from 2 to 100 shields. When getting bulk quantities, the cost of each shield should be significantly lower than its price as a single unit.

If you want to add a little personal flair, you can decorate your face shield in areas that do not impair your vision.


Face shield prices

Lower cost: The cost of a face shield is fairly consistent. If you’re looking for a model for home use, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3 to $6 for an individual mask. If you buy in bulk, however, the price per face shield decreases.

Higher cost: If you need something more durable that is designed for heavy-duty use in a work environment, or if you want a stylish model that is attached to a hat, you may end up spending $15 to $20 per shield.

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did You Know?
While a face shield can block the initial forward movement of droplets that have been expelled during a sneeze or a cough, it does not stop them from escaping around or under the shield.


Putting on a dirty face shield creates a hazard because buildup can impair your vision. Further, if you do not disinfect your face shield, you will be placing germs in proximity to the most vulnerable parts of your immune system, possibly increasing your risk of infection. Following are a few quick tips on how to keep your face shield clean.

  • Clean your face shield after every use following the manufacturer's guidelines.
  • Wear gloves if there are potentially hazardous or infectious substances or particles on your face shield.
  • Do not use harsh or abrasive cleaners like the ones found in all-purpose household cleaners, as these could damage the surface of your shield.
  • Submerge the shield in warm, soapy water to remove all particles and grime, and gently dry the shield with a fresh, clean, soft microfiber cloth. If residue remains, wash and dry again.
  • Antibacterial wipes are not the best disinfection option because they may leave a residue or damage the shield. Instead, use 70% isopropyl alcohol or an EPA-certified disinfectant on a soft microfiber cloth.
  • Discard your gloves (if they are disposable) and wash your hands after you have finished the cleaning and disinfection process.
If your face shield is not staying in position, the fix may be as simple as tightening the bolts that hold the shield to the visor. If this is not the case and the shield keeps falling out of position, this can be a hazard. Discard the worn-out face shield and replace it with a new one.


Q. What is the purpose of a face shield?

A. A face shield is designed to protect the wearer's eyes and face from infection and other hazards. It is primarily worn by individuals in the healthcare profession, such as dental hygienists, who may be subject to splashes and splatters. A face shield may also be worn by individuals involved in tasks such as painting or cleaning to protect the eyes and face from hazardous substances.

Q. Can a face shield be worn in place of a mask to protect from COVID-19?

A. No. A face mask is designed to help reduce transmission. Speaking just one short phrase releases hundreds of infectious droplets into the air that could infect others. Wearing a mask can significantly reduce the number of droplets released. A face shield, on the other hand, is used primarily for defensive purposes: it protects the wearer from splatters. Because there is no seal around the mouth and nose, droplets can easily get around the shield no matter which direction they are traveling, in or out. Therefore, a face shield cannot be worn in place of a mask. A face shield is worn in addition to a mask.

Q. Are there any disadvantages to wearing a face shield?

A. While many find the advantages of wearing a face shield far outweigh the disadvantages, there are a few significant issues to keep in mind. Face shields are larger and bulkier than safety goggles, and some may not offer enough clearance if you need to use one over a respirator. Also, some face shields may fog or have a glare that makes it difficult to see clearly.

Q. Do reusable face shields provide greater protection than disposable face shields?

A. If all other factors, such as design and fit, are consistent, both disposable and reusable face shields provide the same level of protection if worn properly.

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