Best Training Masks – 2021 Buyers Guide
Whether you need to increase your endurance to gain an edge in your next competition, or you just want to mimic high-altitude training, you will benefit a great deal from these masks. The best training masks will restrict airflow, which will simulate the difficult breathing conditions you encounter in higher elevations. Regardless of if you have or haven’t tried this method before, if you are looking for a challenge this is it.
Surprisingly, there are lots of choices out there, so take a look at our list of top-rated workout masks below!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 11 hrs of research
Multi-level airflow restriction
Aesthetic and sleek design
Comes with carrying case
1-year warranty with registration
Good customer service response
Top 10 Workout Masks
1. Training Mask 3.0
Multi-level airflow restriction
Aesthetic and sleek design
Comes with carrying case
1-year warranty with registration
Good customer service response
Outer sleeve is not the most durable
Inaccurate size measurements
The Training Mask 3.0 is the newest installation in a line of masks from the company that has paved the way for this type of gear. This is a sleek follow up to the Training Mask 2.0 and is one of the best masks on the market.Read more
Unfortunately, it is not adjustable, but there are several different sizes to choose from so you don’t have to worry about the issues that come with “one size fits all” designs.
The composite rubber mask covers a generous area so as not to be constricting while also not being overbearing or bulky. An outer sleeve keeps the mask piece snug and is breathable and soft, definitely preferable to other systems that use excessive elastic straps.
This mask offers an easy to control dial and several different levels of airflow restriction to allow you to slowly decrease the level of oxygen you’ll be using while training. It’s a great option for beginners as well as those familiar with using workout masks. The rubber molded mask creates an airtight seal and works well with the shroud plate that regulates your airflow.
Not only is this mask super functional in its construction, but it also looks fantastic. It has a strong aesthetic without being ultra bulky or obtrusive and is branded with the modern, sleek Training Mask logo.
The 3.0 is more expensive than other options on our list, but is currently discounted and is definitely worth the initial investment. This is one of the best masks you could hope to find.
24 intensity levels
Strong rubber smell
What we liked most about this design from FITGAME is that it boasts a comfortable fit, and allows you to adjust the resistance levels to tweak your workouts as you see fit. It is composed of quality materials that hug your face without digging into your skin when out on long runs.Read more
The very first thing that we wanted to discuss is that it is built with 24 resistance levels, which allows users to slowly turn up the intensity. When first starting out, you can set it at the lowest setting to get used to working your lungs harder. As you get used to this device, you are able to adjust the intensity to the right setting for your needs.
It boasts a universal size that is perfect for both men and women. Instead of using stiff materials for the band, it is made from comfortable stretchy materials that also work to wick away sweat. It also has reinforced stitching that resists tearing over the years of continued use.
If you are on the market for something that is composed of strong and durable materials, this design from FITGAME is a great choice. We love that users can adjust the intensity levels to fit their specific fitness needs, and boasts a fit that accommodates all sizes and shapes of faces.
Easy to clean
Stay in place
Headband gets hot
If you are worried about hard and stiff materials digging into your face, this design from 2 VEOXLINE is made from soft and comfortable materials that stay put as you train. We love that it boasts various resistance levels so you can slowly build up to higher difficulties. Users love that this design fits comfortably on both men and women, and doesn’t shift around as you jump around.Read more
The most notable feature of this design is that it boasts a design that stays put no matter how much you move around. It has a comfortable bad that fits on the crown of your head as well as the base of your neck to fit securely. It is made from soft materials as well that won’t dig into your skin.
We also like that this design offers up an impressive 16 resistance levels. This allows users to start out slowly and build up to harder difficulties as their lungs get stronger. It also has a headband that is able to be removed for quick and easy cleaning when it starts to smell a little ripe.
This design from VEOXLINE is a great option if you plan on doing a lot of moving. It is a great choice for running, cross-training, climbing, cycling, or playing sports. Plus, it comes in at a slightly affordable price point that makes it worth checking out.
16 resistance levels
Can switch resistance during your workouts
Great for all levels
Not compatible with anyone that weighs less than 155 pounds
This is a great mask for runners and any type of HIIT workout. While it is not ideal for contact sports, if you don't partake in those that won't matter much, will it?Read more
This training mask is designed for individuals between 155 pounds and 220 pounds and can be used for many sports and athletic activities--although some users have experienced some issues when they use it in contact sports.
This mask is made of flexible, lightweight, and breathable material. It is durable and designed to last, thanks to the use of high-quality materials--so you can definitely count on this mask.
It offers a total of 16 resistance levels--yes, 16! It is perfect for anyone just starting out that wants to work their way up as well as for more experienced users who want to more flexibility when dictating the intensity of their resistance levels. This mask allows you to change the resistance level mid workout--so you can adjust as you go!
This is a really versatile mask. While some users have had some issues with contact sports, it is typically because they have smaller faces or did not securely attach them so their sparring partners were able to move it or knock it around. Overall, it is a great pick, at a great price!
5. Training Mask 2.0
Great tool to strengthen diaphragm
Includes a head strap
Multiple resistance levels
All your valves are included
Easy to follow, detailed user guide included
Sweat can sometimes effect the seal
Not for the use with kids
The Training Mask 2.0 is the one-size-fits-all mask of choice that can accommodate the widest amount of individuals who are interested in improving their fitness and endurance. This mask in the 2.0 edition has been redesigned to encompass the most practical, comfortable and progressive altitude workout mask on the market. You have the ability to set your training levels in increments of 3000, 6000, 9000, 12000, 15000 and 18000 feet. You are getting a ton of versatility and performance with this mask.Read more
Its secure fit allows for steady breathing, which is important to train yourself to breathe more efficiently and deeply when you aren’t using the aid of your mask. You can easily train your body to workout in the best possible way so that when you exercising, you will still see the benefits without using the mask.
A common question is how long will it take to train with this mask to notice an improvement? It is different for everyone, as each person’s body has varying abilities to adapt and strengthen. Don’t be surprised, however, if you are training consistently with it and in as little as two weeks see an impressive improvement in your abilities.
This mask will get the job done by improving your efficiency while also doing its job efficiently. A double positive. You will be able to improve your breathing when you are engaging in cardiovascular activity.
You don’t have to be training for a race in the Rockies to benefit from using this mask. Your regular walker to extreme racer will benefit from an overall dramatic improvement in their health and fitness. For elite athletes whose focus is to improve their productivity and efficiency. Imagine getting the same benefits you’d get from a 60-minute workout in 20 minutes. Pretty amazing.
16 resistance levels
100% satisfaction guarantee
Includes a storage bag
Great for men or women
Lightweight, 2.8 oz
Only comes with two replacement pieces for breathing chambers
Lever to adjust resistance is thin
Vikingstrength provides you with an altitude training mask that is specifically for the ultimate athlete. This mask is no joke and is all about performance, productivity and skill refining. When you are ready to take your training to the next level and develop yourself as an elite athlete, this is the mask you use.Read more
This is a super light mask so it’s not going to way any athlete down during the most intense workouts. It will also not be an annoying distraction from focusing on your workout, by moving around and feeling awkward on your face. The medical silicone will hold up to heavy workouts and keep you healthy with repetitive use.
The material is awesome, it is breathable and lightweight, and it has such a great feel on the face. Velcro straps are the tops for any easy adjustments you want to make.
This mask is very easy to maintain and clean, which is what you’d want from something you are going to be using hard. You can switch through the resistance levels you want with the mask on, so no interrupting your workouts for that anymore.
Hard carrying case included
Stay put while working out
This design from NextGen costs a little bit more, but it also comes with additional tools to help you get the most out of your mask! This kit includes a durable mask, a hard shell carrying case for easy travel, and a cleaning spray with a cloth to keep it smelling fresh (as well as extend its life span). The design of this option is perfect not only for running, but any activity where you run and jump a lot.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this option is that it has a wide headband that really sticks to your head without shifting around. The band hugs the side of your face and runs along the top of your crown and the base of your neck for a super-secure fit. We also like that it comes with a cleaning solution to give it a quick cleaning as needed.
This design also includes a hardcover case that makes it easy to take with you on the go. Some like to pack it into their suitcase, or you can even clip it onto a backpack while out on the go for easy access. By including a hard case, it reduces the risk that it will become smashed when traveling.
For workouts that require a lot of movement, this is a great option that stays put while you workout. Users love that it comes with a few accessories to keep it clean and pack it away for your next adventure. Plus, it is incredibly easy to wash when needed.
Easy to adjust
Various sizes available
Fewer levels of resistance
Looking for something that boasts a few different styles? This option from FDBRO comes in a few different designs that are sure to generate a few jealous looks while out on the trails. We also love that it comes in a variety of sizes so you can be sure to get the fit that fits your face perfectly.Read more
Unlike some of the other options that we have seen, this design from FDBRO only offers six levels of resistance. However, previous users have found that changing the resistance is quick and easy, and can be accomplished without even taking off the device. The lowest level is for beginners, and the higher levels are for veteran runners.
We also like that this design also fits your head comfortably, and doesn’t shift around too much. It is offered in sizes that include small, medium, and large. Be sure to reference the sizing chart so you can pick a style that fits your head like a glove!
If you are in the market for something that boasts a sleek style that is bound to generate quite a few compliments, this option is a great choice. Not only is it easy to use and effective, but it also clocks in at a price point that won’t break the bank.
3 sizes to choose from
Quick flip airflow valves
16 breathing levels
Watch sizing, it fits a bit large
Could use more adjustable features for smaller faces
16 breathing levels to push your workouts and your body to the extreme, a sleek design and a pleasing feel with their ergonomic fit, Sparthos is a top-level training mask.Read more
The slip-resistant design will fit you just right, as it forms to your face for the most ergonomic fit. You can comfortably place it over your face and get into a solid workout without worrying your sweat will displace this mask while you are wearing it. The straps alone were specifically designed to hold on with a snug feel that is anything but awkward, especially when you are hitting high speeds.
Made with high quality and durable materials. it is built to last and will hold up in the long run. You won’t find many masks on the market that provide you the option of advancement through a whopping 16 levels of breathability. Don’t be scared off by these extra levels of intensity, all it takes is one easy click to change between levels.
With so many options in levels of breathing, you can be overcoming a recovery block just as easy as you can train to improve your health.
Stay in place
Difficult to adjust
If you are looking for something that is a little more affordable, this design from VO2MAX is worth checking out. We love that it is made from quality materials that hold up well over time, and is made to fit comfortably on your face. Plus, it offers an impressive 32 levels of resistance, making it a great design for newbies and veterans.Read more
What we like about this design is that it boasts a super comfortable and breathable headband that stays in place as you train. It is a cinch to take off and throw into the washing machine when it starts to smell a little ripe as well. The wide straps help to distribute the pressure to avoid it digging into your skin during long training sessions.
It also boasts a grip in the front as well that prevents it from slipping down your nose like some of the other designs out there on the market. Users find that it is easy to adjust the oxygen flow of this design without even taking off the mask.
This is a great design for not only for runners but for activities such as cross-training and sports as well. It has a few backup features to ensure that this device stays in place, no matter how hard you train. Plus, it comes in at an affordable price point that makes it worth checking out.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Since you’ll be using a training mask like the ones above while you’re working out, you’ll be wearing it during periods of high stress on your body.
You want to make sure that everything you wear when you exercise or compete is functional and fits well so as to not hinder your ability to move and perform. You may have to do some measuring so that you can use the fitting guides that many brands will provide. Always check the instructions provided on how to measure and select the best fit for your body type and shape.
It’s also a good idea to check other real customer reviews to see if there are common fitting issues or frequent defects that people had problems with. This is exactly what we did while composing our own list of the best workout masks, so you can take note of any major or common fit issues while browsing our selection.
The materials that are used in a training mask are very important, sometimes making the difference between a great piece of training gear and an impractical tool you wish you hadn’t bought in the first place.
For example, when you workout you sweat, and if your mask is made of materials that don’t help to wick moisture or keep a snug fit you could lose the seal that keeps your mask properly adjusted to your face. Not only will this be counterproductive to why you are wearing your mask because it limits the ability of the mask to work properly, but it is also annoying.
Can you imagine having to fiddle with your mask multiple times throughout your workouts to ensure it is fitting and sealing properly? It’s not likely you are going to keep using it if you’re having to waste your time messing around with it.
We looked at masks that were flexible, permeable and had great moisture-wicking properties to ensure once you get your mask on the seal and placement will stay in the place where you want it to be. We also looked for masks that were made of materials that are antimicrobial and easy to clean.
Materials that are easy to clean for many, many more future use makes your mask work the best for you and keeps bacteria away from sensitive areas like your face and mouth.
If you aren’t already adjusted to efficiently working out in the thinner air of high altitude environments, then it will take some time to build up that assimilation.
You can physically take yourself to such environments to train in a real-world situation. For most people, this is not a feasible option. Training masks claim that using their technologies you can simulate training at high altitudes and help you to be more efficient and effective.
Just like training in the Rockies, your body will need time to transition to be able to function properly with the added stress on your respiratory system. The multiples levels allow you to slowly progress at your own personal rate in a safe amount of time that is customized to you. You can also customize the amount of resistance you use depending on what type of activity you are doing, which is helpful because the body changes how it works and functions within different activities.
This also changes your breathing patterns, so the flexibility to adjust your mask with your natural breathing adjustment is a much-needed feature. Dial up or down the intensity based on what your requirement may be.
The ease of which you are able to change resistance levels is worth paying attention to because if you have to take off your mask every time you want to change it will not just be annoying but it is really not practical.
We were looking for masks that had systems designed so they can be easily changed while you workout.
You will be washing your mask, so that is a feature that is important in the design. For some masks you will have to take them apart and put back together to do so, it was important that the masks we reviewed made that process easy. No one wants to waste their time on frustrating construction projects.
Many of the masks use filters and valves. These will require replacing the filters from time to time.
Some athletes can also get other benefits from using a workout mask, depending on their sport.
Many MMA fighters will tell you that they like to wear the masks when they are training because it helps them experience and react to what it feels like to have your opponent restrict your airflow and ability to breathe. That is not a bad thing to simulate considering that is something that can really throw anyone off.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
These types of masks differ from other face masks meant to filter the air you’re breathing that have become popular for cyclists and outdoors enthusiasts. Make sure there is a correct fit because it does restrict air.
While there is quite a bit of debate out there as to the legitimacy of these masks and whether or not they actually do what they say, one thing is for sure: there are a number of athletes who have used them and claim to really feel a difference in their performance.
Other Factors to Consider
Training masks can have a large effect on the way your respiratory system works depending on what kind of exercises you’ll be doing. It’s probably not a good idea to wear these types of masks while doing things like weight training and anaerobic exercises. For the most benefit, use training masks while doing cardio workouts.
Make sure to thoroughly research the mask you are considering to ensure you are getting something that will work for you. If you have never used one of these masks you will need to ensure that it offers settings that will go easy on you. Some of these masks can be adjusted during your workouts, which is a great option to consider if you want to get the most out of your mask.
If you are specifically training because you are going to be exercising or competing at a high altitude, you don’t want to only rely on using a training mask alone to help condition your body for that change in altitude. Training masks only limit your airflow and don’t simulate all of the other changes hypoxic (low oxygen) and high-altitude environments can have on your body.
You should prepare yourself and work your schedule so that you can arrive early enough, roughly two weeks before to grant your body partial acclimatization ability. Then you can get some training in and see how you are able to perform in the actual environment. This will help you better figure out how to regulate your physical activity and intensity with your surroundings.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What are some of the benefits of wearing a training mask?
The reason that you breathe heavily when you run is that your body is trying to meet the sudden oxygen demand created when working your muscles. When you wear a mask, your heart and lungs need to work harder to pump oxygen to your body and in turn, helps to strengthen these systems. When you take your mask off for race day, you will find that you don’t have to fight so hard for oxygen.
It is similar to wearing ankle weights around your legs as you train each day. These weights make your stride more labored, but also work to make your muscles stronger. When you go for a run without the weights, each step seems effortless like you are running on the moon!
q: Will using a training mask help with weight loss?
While some studies are exploring how high altitudes might contribute to weight loss, there is no solid scientific evidence to suggest that hypoxic workouts are inherently better for weight loss specifically. The strengthening of respiratory systems and the exercise itself are the most likely to be helpful in losing weight, but using a training mask isn’t any more effective beyond the tried and true method of healthy eating and frequent exercise.
q: How does your body respond to higher altitudes?
Air is much thinner when you reach higher altitudes. So your body needs to be more efficient at bringing in the right amount of oxygen. The way it does this is by producing more red blood cells which improve your body’s ability to carry oxygen throughout. Wearing a training mask doesn’t completely simulate the effect of high altitudes because it doesn’t affect the way your blood reacts to the hypoxic environment.
q: What is the right amount of resistance levels for me?
The masks on our list provide various amounts of resistance levels--most range from 4-16 different levels. If you want a really versatile mask that allows you to adjust it according to your needs on any given day--or if you are a beginner who wants to slowly build your way up--you will want to choose one with the most levels available. If you have had some experience with these masks, you can go with fewer resistance levels--or if you can handle jumping up the intensity with no room in between, those with lower resistance levels options are also effective.
q: Do I have to stick to the weight limit?
Yes, you need to stick to the weight limit stated by the manufacturer. This is important because the mask is designed for individuals who fit the weight prescribed, and unintended injury can occur if you don't abide by the suggested weight.
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