Face Mask Size Guide & FAQ


Important - please note:

Fabric face masks are not a substitute for medical masks, or for N95 or P2 respirator masks. 

Always follow your doctor's advice about what type of mask is recommended for you, especially if you are more vulnerable, for example because you have a chronic health condition.

The New Zealand Goverment's most updated advice about face masks and how to wear them safely is available here on the Unite Against Covid-19 website. 


Improving mask use to reduce COVID-19 transmission:

useful summary is this rapid evidence brief published by Koi Tū, University of Auckland, in September 2021.

How are Sew Cathy Sew fabric face masks made?

Fabric face masks should be made of at least 3 layers - all Sew Cathy Sew face masks have 3 layers: 

The most important thing about any mask is how snugly it fits! 

  • Sew Cathy Sew masks come with a single continuous tie that's stretchy, comfortable and soft.
  • This type of tie achieves the best fit, is more comfortable if you need to wear a mask for long periods, and is really good for hearing aid wearers.
  • It's very easy to cut the tie and change it to two ear loops if you prefer.
  • You can also easily replace the tie/ear loops in a Sew Cathy Sew fabric face mask if the need arises.

What size Sew Cathy Sew fabric face mask will fit you?

  • It depends on the size of your/your child's face - face sizes vary quite a lot, even in people of the same height.
  • The Adult Medium size fits most teenagers and adults with average sized faces.
  • For example, in my whānau, the Adult Medium size fits five of the six adults, ranging in height from 152cm tall (that's me!) to 182cm tall (one of my sons-in-law). The Adult Large size fits my other son-in-law who is 178cm tall. 
  • The Adult Large size fits teenagers and adults with larger sized faces.
  • The Adult Small size fits most children aged 11-12 years, and teenagers and adults with small faces. 
  • If you're unsure, the safest way to know which size to buy is to take some measurements.
  • If you don't have a flexible tape measure (i.e. a dressmaking type of tape measure), use a piece of string to take the two measurements described below, and then measure the string on a ruler.
  • Also see below the dimensions of the 5 face mask sizes (Child 2-5 years, Child 6-10 years, Adult Small, Adult Medium and Adult Large).

Measurements you can take to check your size:

If you're unsure what size to buy, there are two measurements you can take to check your/your child's face mask size:

  • Measure from about 2cm in front of your ear, across the bridge of your nose, to about 2cm in front of your other ear (i.e. where the top of a face mask would sit). Keep the tape measure close to your skin all along the way to get a more accurate measurement. This will be approximately the measurement of the top edge of the face mask.
  • Measure from the bridge of your nose, down the middle of your nose and over your mouth to about 2-3cm under your chin.  This will be approximately the measurement of the centre curved seam of the face mask.

Face mask dimensions: