Best Training Masks Reviewed & Rated for Quality
One of the newest fads in extreme training for elite athletes who are looking for any way to get an edge on their competition and improve their personal output. Elevation masks will decrease the full amount of airflow in and out of your lungs. They offer a type of training that is, basically air-restricted training that also goes by the name “inspiratory muscle training.”
- Quick Results
- 16 Levels
This type of training, this inspiratory muscle training, is impressive in its effectiveness. Forget athletes, for those who suffer from lung disease and limitations, this type of training can offer improvements to their quality of life and overall health. For athletes, your performance depends on the total supply of oxygen in the air and your ability to utilize it efficiently. So if you train with one of these masks, what you are essentially doing is building upon the strength and capacity of your respiratory system. If you are someone who is interested in improving their breathing ability and air quality, we not only took a look at altitude training masks but also masks that filter the air you breathe. These masks are terrific for anyone with allergies or air pollutant sensitivities.
You wear these masks on your face, anything on your face can feel funny and has a high ability to be uncomfortable. Since these masks are also made to be used for training, sweat is a factor. When we reviewed the best training masks on the market, we took into consideration the masks fit, it’s ability to wick away sweat and keep a good seal, the number of resistance levels offered, and the technology that was used in the design.
10 Best Training Masks
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.
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.
Cost and Value
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 a cardiovascular activity. It becomes much more steady which 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. This is a very well made, mask with a lot of performance that everyone who uses it will find immense benefit.
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 affect the seal
Not for use with children
Not all training masks are made the same even if they have a similar appearance. You won’t find many 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. You won’t be interrupting your workout by taking your mask off to change, you can do it simply while you are still wearing the mask
The slip-resistant design will fit you just right, as it forms to your face for the most ergonomic fit. You can comfortably place this 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.
Cost and Value
You have the ability to customize how you want your altitude mask to work for you. 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. You will definitely be able to find the right level for you. This mask is a great addition to your workout routine if you want to be able to execute excellent breathing technique.
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
You can wear this mask in a variety of environments and keep the air pollutants out of your lungs while you are getting engaging in physical activity. It has active carbon filters, can keep you from breathing in 98% of dust, chemicals, partifulates, gas, pollen, smoke and fumes. We are not done there, it is also anti-vehicle exhaust. So go ahead, go hike in the woods if you have allergies, run in loose dirt, or bike in the city you will keep your lungs the healthiest they can be while keeping you free of sweat and warm.
This mask is easy to use and to care for. The nose clip is adjustable, and it has a ton of features for easier breathing. The permeability is top notch, so you can easily use this mask for all seasons. The valve opens super easy without resistance and there are a bunch of holes for extra ventilation. It is made to be easy to care for. Keep it clean with an easy washing and the valves are easily replaced on your own.
Cost and Value
This is a great mask for the outdoors and indoors to keep your neck and head warm, everyone knows that the head being warmed keeps the rest of you toasty. It helps you breathe safely and it will wick away sweat which could impact the warmth you would need when exercising in colder climates. A nice money back guarantees make it a worry-free purchase, not to mention the enticing price itself should together make you absolutely give this an option.
Lifetime warranty and money back guarantee
Carbon filters keep your air quality clean
An incredible amount of color options
Comes 2 in an order
Ideal for layering
Comes with a storage bag
Thin material is better layered in the cold weather
Not as soft on the face as it could be
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, by yourself. The adjustments make it very easy to use and have an almost universal fit for most people. The nylon sleeves offer that extra bit of flexibility which helps add to the extra comfortable and individualized fit.
Cost and Value
This mask is very easy to maintain and clean, which is what you’d want from something you are going to be using hard. Not only will you use it hard, but you will be using it often and you should be cleaning it with every use so the easier the better. You can switch through the resistance levels you want with the mask on, so no interrupting your workouts for that anymore.
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
You're wearing a mask over your face with breathing apparatus built-in. Let’s be serious, expect some amount of noise level. After all, run some hills in mid-August in Florida and you are going to be breathing heavily and making a ton of noise without a mask. This mask uses an ultra silent feature that will diminish the noise that occurs with your rapid, stressed breathing.
Easy to travel
If you are a serious athlete you are going to train no matter where you are. You are going to want the best of your equipment with you to support your goals. This mask can go anywhere with you and you can be confident it won’t be damaged. It has a hard case to pack it in which protects it. It is also very lightweight, so you aren’t going to be adding much in load when you pack it in that suitcase.
Cost and Value
Here we have a very sturdy mask with a great seal. It is comfortable to wear and the dials for adjusting the levels are designed to last. The maintenance is fairly simple, it’s not time-consuming either. You will see results within a reasonable amount of time. The packaging can’t be beaten, it will travel well and keep your gear intact.
30 day money back guarantee
Easy quick follow guide to instruct you on how to take apart and clean
Can help increase your running speed
Comes with a carrying case
Only right side flux valve comes installed
Would be helpful if more valves were included in the package with the mask
This mask uses a very exclusive design that focuses on ventilation. There are a bunch of holes and a nice amount of permeability in the materials. The valve will open for you with no resistance, and there is a double air-breathing valve for the smoothest breathing feel you can get in an altitude training mask.
One size fits most
There is an elastic strap which provides so much flexibility with a comfortable snugness so that most people can easily fit this mask to the size and shape of their heads. The area where the nose fits utilizes a fixed sheet so that you don’t have to worry about sliding. It is a light mask that anyone can appreciate. It is a dustproof mask that most allergy sufferers can appreciate.
Cost and Value
This is a multi-use mask, that is no problem to care for. A simple washing works just fine if your mask gets dirty, and well, that happens. The filters are something you can easily replace yourself, so no added expenses there. Sizing wise, it is easily adjustable for most any head type.
100% money back guarantee
Great customer support for all your questions or concerns
Highly adjustable fit
Made of diving cloth to regulate balance in cool and warm climates
Design could be redone, this mask isn’t the sharpest looking
7. Athlete Elite
If you are like many people who suffer from cardiorespiratory conditions, you are always trying to look for ways to combat your health issues and find a way to get stronger and better. You should always contact your doctor before you try any new supplement or introducing new stresses on your life. That being said, there is much talk that using training masks similar to the Ringside mask can help those who suffer from poor cardiorespiratory improvements. Those of you with allergies and asthma could see a benefit from training with this type of equipment but as mentioned earlier, check with your doctor before you make your move.
You can travel with this piece of equipment, literally anywhere. You can pack it away safely, to make sure it won’t have any damage you surely can take the time to fit it nicely back into its box. While that is probably the best way to travel with it just for the extra assurance it won't be damaged, its a durable piece of equipment. Even if you are in a rush and just throw it in your gym bag, for instance, you should rest assured the likelihood of it being impaired in some way is probably not going to be a problem.
Cost and Value
Wearing this mask will restrict your oxygen intake, there are legit four levels of restriction. This is what happens at higher elevations, so you can use this mask and train normally and be assured that in those higher elevations you will be equipped to compete or train with better ease. Not only does it help with altitude training, but it also actually will filter and block a bunch of pollen you may encounter in the warmer months, specifically in the spring. Before you train, give it a try on a less intense stage. Wear it while you walk or sitting on the couch and get used to how it feels t breathe with it on before you hit some profound workout in extreme conditions.
Fast acclimation to gaining the benefits from training with this mask
4 levels of resistance
Accessible dials for easy change of resistance
Has a great fit and is easy to put on and take off
Mask that works perfectly with high regard
Could be tight around the ears
Larger faces may have a tougher time with the seal
For any active person, hikers, yogis, swimmers, runners, boxers, martial artists, literally anyone who wants to excel in their sport can do so by training with this mask. It will surely optimize your breathing patterns, giving you the increased lung capacity you’d want. Taking in as much oxygen as possible while exerting yourself, with the least amount of work to do so, will provide you the boost of the most energy you can use to power through your workouts or advance past your competitors while you are battling for the win.
There is no doubt you can maximize on your time by increasing your workout efficiency. This mask will help you do just that. It will increase the intensity of your workouts and force you to adjust to that increase in order to get through it. If you train with it for just a week, you will notice results the next time you compete or train. You will be the tougher competitor and you will be able to cut intense workout times in half.
Cost and Value
This is such a high-quality mask. The sleek design looks really neat, but that’s not the highlight, it offers tons of functionality. You can see results within as little as a week of training with the mask. It is easy to use, it is lightweight and will stay put while you are doing any type of intense workout and or physical challenge. This is a mask that is for sure worth taking a look at.
Increase levels easily
16 levels of intensity
Easy to clean and maintain
Perfect for fitness training, can help you focus on your breathing patterns
Sizing chart is not as easy to navigate
Not customizable with skins
9. Warrior Training
The technology used in the design of this mask allows for a non-slip strap which can make the size be suitable for most anyone who wants to give it a try. A range of people who are 115-245 lbs. Is very inclusive. The anatomical design of this immensely light mask, provides exacting fit and comfort. The fabric is a breathable wicking combination that is important to have for when your exercising and sweating.
The multi-level resistance flux valve technology used in the design of this mask makes it a perfect training partner for all athletes. You can decide the amount of resistance you need or want, or how much you can handle. When you first start training your aren’t going to be able to be at the highest level, it will be too much too soon. Training with the mask over time, you can slowly increase the resistance as you gain strength. That is why is is so nice to have a system in place that is easy to use and offers a bunch of levels to choose from for each stage of your fitness progression.
Cost and Value
This is attractively priced mask that will give you the edge you are looking for to up your game or your fitness level. If you are going to be doing any type of exercise in a higher altitude than you are used to, training with this mask will most assuredly help you to assimilate to that altitude when you get there.
Comes with a nylon carrying bag
Nice modern design
Adjustable air flow
Excelerate your workout, reduce fatigue
2 lever system
Sizing is difficult to gage, try a size up
Adjustments could be improved to have a more snug fit
The active carbon filters remove about 95% of all those environmental pollutants, dusk, chemicals, fumes, etc. When it is time, you will have no problem easily replacing your filters to ensure you can use this mask for the long term. With an excellent ventilation design, you will be able to easily take in fresh, healthy oxygen to support your breathing and your health.
The materials are diving fabrics and they offer excellent permeability, alongside the double air-breathing valve you will have a smoother breathing experience. The air resistance is smaller, so you don’t have to worry about struggling with this mask when you are using it during exercise.
Cost and Value
This mask is going to do wonders for your air quality and your lung health. It’s a fashionable mask as well, there are funky designs and varying colors to choose from so you can compliment your personality as well. The fabric is soft, so it is super comfortable on your skin.
Stretchy and adjustable
Filters 95% of pollutants in the air
Replaceable filters lengthen the life of mask
Made of diving fabrics
Great look and feel
Nice color and design options
A second strap for the top of the head could improve the fit
There is one absolute, that you can expect from training with these masks, and that is that hypoxic training will be much tougher than without a mask. Your heart rate is going to be elevated, your breathing will be harder, your lactate response is going to increase as well. When your oxygen source is reduced, your body has to respond by working harder, no matter what the workload is because your body needs to fuel its ability to perform with the right amount of oxygen. While there is a debate out there as to the validity of training with these masks and if they can actually provide the results they proclaim, one thing is for sure. There are a lot of people who have used them and claim to really feel a difference in their performance and training.
Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Training Masks
These masks are made to be worn while you are working out, so they are worn during periods of high stress on your body. Everything you wear when you exercise or compete, you want to make sure that it’s fit or functionality doesn’t hinder your ability to move and perform. This is certainly, and probably even more so for these masks that you will be wearing on your face, over your mouth and nose many times.
Most masks have instruction guides and fitting guides for their brands. Many of the guides have you measure various aspects of your face and then put you into categories from those measurements. They also take into consideration your total body weight. This causes the fit sometimes to be questionable because of the distribution of weight on everybody is different. But take a look at the guides and make sure you do the measurements to ensure you are getting the right sized mask for you. If you are unsure of how to choose the correct size, contact the manufacturer and see if their customer support can provide you with more guidance.
The materials that are used are important to the ability of your mask to be comfortable and practical. When you workout you sweat, and if you sweat 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? Not likely you are going to use it too much if you’re having to waste your time messing around with it.
We looked at masks that were flexible, permeable and were sweat-wicking to ensure once you get your mask on the seal and placement will stay in the place where you want it to be. The other thing that happens is because you are breathing through it and sweating all over it, material that is easy to clean is incredibly important. You don’t want bacteria building up and making it smell and be unhealthy for you. You also don’t want to have your mask degrade. Materials that are easy to clean for many, many more future use makes your mask work the best for you.
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 in 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. Noone 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. So that is another process that we paid attention to when we reviewed these masks to ensure the process by which you replace your filters is a seamless, non-time consuming and easy one.
Other Important Factors to Consider
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. 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 is the psychological aspect of using a mask?
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.
Q: What is the best way to train at high altitudes?
This is a kind of interesting question. The best way to do this would be to live in that altitude in a very inactive sort of way to increase your red blood cell count. Then when you train, you do so at a lower altitude.
Q: How does your body respond in 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 creating more red blood cells which improve your body’s ability to carry oxygen throughout.
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