There are so many mask patterns circulating right now that it's hard to figure out which ones you should be making. And honestly, there is no right answer for this since it really depends on your lifestyle. There are some absolutes with making masks like they need to be made from quilting cotton that is tightly woven. But there are some other things that aren't quite so absolute.
The best masks have at least 2 layers of fabric. I've seen some go up to 4 layers but I think that this may be excessive since people still need to be able to breathe while wearing them. Another feature to explore including is making a pocket so that a filter can go between the first and second layers.
I'm pretty sure that elastic might be the hardest notion to find right now. This is naturally because people have been using elastic as one way to secure the masks to the wearers face. Another option is twill tape which gives the masks a secure fit on the face since it can be customized. Bias tape is also an option and I've been seeing people make t-shirts into ties.
There are 2 main mask styles: the accordion/surgical style & N95 cover. The accordion/surgical styles WILL cover the N95 masks if you have them. They fan out covering from nose to below your chin in a fitted style. The N95 cover has a concave shape similar to that of the N95 mask. If using for personal use, either of the mask styles will work. If donating the masks to a hospital, it's best to confirm what styles they're looking accepting.
Now for the best part... What mask patterns are the best of the best out there?
I think that The Deaconess mask has the most popular mask out there. In every mask-making group, her pattern is referenced. It's the accordion/surgical style mask. She includes a video shown here as well as instructions on how to make this mask with both elastic and ties.
N95 Style Masks
The directions from Phoebe Health are so easy to follow and have everything you need to make them. These have such a clean finish and are pretty fast to make.
If you're mass producing masks, time isn't on your side. These 5-Minute masks from The Needle and The Belle will help you to knock out orders. These are double layered and include a pocket for a filter.
Whatever mask that you decide to make, remember that these do not replace social distancing and staying home.
Which style is your favorite mask?