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Where to buy face masks online in South Africa

Need to get your hands on a face mask? These are the online retailers that can deliver one straight to your door.

Due to recent events, many stores are experiencing a shortage of certain products. Be aware that many retailers may currently be out of stock, have longer shipping times than usual or be charging above-average prices. Remember that stockpiling items isn’t actually necessary right now and that over-buying can leave others vulnerable.

Face masks are a great option to limit exposure to outside particles, but be aware that wearing a face mask isn’t a guarantee you won’t get infected. That said, it is still important for everyone to limit their exposure when outside, so please don’t stockpile.

The World Health Organization recommends that masks should be worn in public where social distancing is not possible to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Here are the online retailers that will deliver face masks straight to your door.

Top sites to buy face masks

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1. Amazon

With a huge range of sellers offering up wares, Amazon is guaranteed to have a wide selection of different masks available.

  • Sign up to Amazon Prime and get free shipping and returns on millions of items
  • It’s unlikely the sellers will ever run out of stock there
  • Trusted online marketplace
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2. eBay

There’s an array of sellers on eBay, so you can find exactly what you need. You may have to wait longer for delivery than from other retailers, but it’s worth checking out if you can’t find what you need in stock elsewhere.

  • Huge selection available
  • Free delivery on some items with eBay Plus membership
  • Different colours and designs available

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3. AliExpress

AliExpress is a massive online retailer made up of thousands of smaller retailers. These stock a big variety of masks, including surgical masks, KN95/P2 masks and cloth masks.

  • Huge selection of smaller retailers means there’s always stock
  • Easily compare prices
  • Constant sales make it easy to find the best deals
Go to AliExpress

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4. Bid or Buy

You can find amazing deals by bidding low and keeping a close eye on your bids, though most face masks have fixed prices. You can find a good assortment of masks on this eCommerce store with fast delivery.

  • Quickly see what’s hot, what’s new and what people are buying right now
  • Can add items to a watch list to keep track of price changes/new offers
  • See customer ratings before purchasing
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5. Loot

Loot has been a South African mainstay for a few years now and sells a whole range of different products, including a variety of face masks.

  • Easily switch to only seeing items that are on special
  • Ships to anywhere in South Africa
  • See customer reviews to compare items
Go to Loot

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6. Takealot

As one of South Africa’s leading online retailers, Takealot stocks a good selection of surgical face masks and cloth masks.

  • Big warehouses mean supplies are less likely of running out
  • Regular sales and discounts
  • Avoid human contact by using pick-up points

Which of these retailers offer free delivery?

  • Amazon: Free on eligible items with Amazon Prime membership
  • eBay: Free on eligible items with eBay Plus membership
  • AliExpress: Delivery via the post office is free, but will take longer
  • Loot: Free delivery on orders over R350
  • Takealot: Free delivery on orders over R450

South Africa face mask statistics

90% of South African adults – the equivalent of 34,803,508 people – say that they currently own either a cloth, surgical, homemade, medical grade or fashionable face mask or a face shield, according to Finder data.

The Google Survey of 1,507 South African adults reveals that cloth face masks are the most popular, with 53% saying they currently own one. The next most popular face mask type is the blue surgical mask (21%), followed by homemade face masks (18%).

Most popular face mask types in South Africa

RankingMask typeOwnership
1Cloth mask53%
2Blue surgical mask21%
3Homemade mask18%
4A fashionable or branded mask12%
5Face shield12%
6Medical grade mask (N95, KN95 etc)10%

The data reveals that women are more likely to have a specified face mask than men (93% compared to 87%) and that among age groups, the 55-64-year-old age bracket has the highest rate of mask ownership (94%) and the 25-34-year-olds have the least (87%).

Compared to 14 other countries, South Africa ranks 2nd for face mask ownership, behind only the UK (97%) and ahead of countries like the Philippines (87%), France (82%), the US (78%), Singapore (76%) and Australia (58%).

All countries bar the Philippines favour either a cloth face mask or blue surgical face mask. Cloth face masks are most prevalent in the US, Ireland, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Canada and the UK, while the blue surgical face mask is most prevalent in Singapore, Hong Kong, France, Italy, Spain, New Zealand and Australia. Meanwhile, Filipinos are most likely to own a face shield.

While around one in five South Africans report owning a blue surgical mask (21%), this is below ownership rates in all other countries included in the study, bar Brazil. For example, over half of Brits and French adults reported owning a blue surgical mask (51%), and more than two in five adults in Hong Kong, Italy and Singapore said the same.

Those in the United Kingdom are most likely to own a fashionable or branded face mask (25%), followed by the United States and South Africa (12% each), Canada (11%) and Ireland (9%).

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