For reasons that everyone knows, 2020 saw the emergence of a massive cottage mask industry. With N95s all but impossible to find and surgical masks in scarce supply, demand for alternatives grew rapidly. As a result, just about everyone has gotten in on the cotton mask game, from individual Etsy sellers to big-box stores.
While surgical masks — and things that kind of look like surgical masks — are popular, cotton has become one of the most common options, since it 1) offers decent protection from disease transmission and 2) is washable and easily reusable. Aldi has previously sold unbranded child face masks, but in more recent times it has also started selling actual branded face masks under Aldi’s Crane label.
Crane Face Masks (Product Code 804806) are Aldi Finds, which means they’re only in stores for a limited time. At the time of this post, they cost $3.99 for a 3-pack. They come in several sizes, including extra small (children’s), medium (ladies), and large (adult men). We picked up the extra small and large.
The masks are listed as being certified “Standard 100” by OEKO-TEK, which tests for harmful substances in textiles. Both the shell and the lining are 100% cotton, and the masks are made in Bangladesh. The washing instructions say to wash once before wear, machine wash hot, no bleach. To dry, tumble dry low, medium iron. These should not be dry cleaned.
The extra small children’s face mask measures about 8 inches wide and 6 inches tall, while the adult face masks measure about 10 inches wide and about 6.5 inches tall. They are both significantly larger than the other adult and child face masks we have around the house, and it shows: the adult is bigger and more loose than I would prefer in an adult mask, and the same goes for when my child wears the child mask. Ironically enough, as a full-grown adult I actually preferred wearing the child mask myself, which, while a little short for an adult, has a good width. The ladies (medium) might have fit me better, although I wasn’t really much for those styles.
Another observation about these masks is that they feel thin. Our family owns a number of masks from different places, and these are, I think, the thinnest masks I own. They claim to be double-layered, and they are, but the interior fabric is so thin light gets through easily, and the shell isn’t much better. From a protective standpoint, I’m less sure about these than I am some of my other cotton masks.
Despite the low cost and Aldi label, I’m not a fan of these masks. They’re oversized and thin, making them less than ideal for protection. With so many good options out there, I’d pass on these.