This 1-minute hack will make your too-big face mask fit snugly

Viral Tik-Tok trick is a game-changer for smaller faces

face mask hack
(Image credit: Anna Shvets from Pexels)

Like it or not, face masks are a part of our lives now. The best face masks will fit snugly around your chin and nose, ensuring no exhaled air escapes through the gaps around the side of your face. However, if you've got a smaller face shape, you might find standard masks a little breezy... which it not only annoying, but it also means it's working less effectively. 

One Montreal-based dentist has come to the rescue with a 60-second hack that'll have your mask fitting better in no time. Olivia Cuid MD's trick has gone viral on Instagram, which suggests there are a lot of people with flappy masks on right now. It's super simple, and designed for use with surgical masks – although we think it'd work on some reusable pleated mask designs too.

Wearing a face mask is a key step in slowing the spread of COVID-19, and especially in preventing unwitting carriers of the virus from accidentally infecting other people (the highest amount of viral transmission happens early on in the course of the disease, so infected people may be contagious before they start showing symptoms). But for your mask to work as it's supposed to, it needs to fit well around your face – and that's where this trick comes in. 

The steps are as follows:

1. Wash your hands!
An all-important step with any coronavirus-prevention measures. Not sure how to do it properly? These are the correct hand washing steps

2. Fold your mask in half
Fold the mask over width-ways, so you have a shorter, wider rectangle.

3. Tie a knot in the ear loops
Take hold of the ear loop on one side of the mask, and tie a knot as close to the corner of the mask as possible. Repeat on the other side.

4. Tuck in the openings
When you open your mask out again you'll see a gap near each of the knots you've just tied. Tuck this in so the excess fabric is on the inside of your mask. 

5. You're done!
Enjoy your new, snug fitting face mask. 

Watch the full demo below, or head to TikTok to check out the original.


Highly requested 60s version of my viral mask hack ##fyp ##doctorsoftiktok ##masktutorial ##covid19 ##viral ##maskhack ##learnontiktok

♬ original sound - oliviacuidmd

While the official rules vary from country to country, masks are required or encouraged in enclosed spaces and situations where it's difficult to social distance effectively, such as while on public transport and in shops. For a long-term solution, you'll want to purchase a reusable face mask that fits well – not only is this simpler to fit into your daily routine, it's also kinder for the environment. We think the best option comes from Vistaprint.

Face mask | £17 from Vistaprint / $18 at Vistaprint

Face mask | £17 from Vistaprint / $18 at Vistaprint
Vistaprint masks are cut to fit around the face snugly, with soft elastic ear loops and a sewn-in nose wire you can adjust. They're also available in a range of adults' and kids' sizes, so you can find the perfect one for your face. For more options, head to our guide to where to buy the best face masks.

Ruth Hamilton

Ruth is a lifestyle journalist specialising in sleep and wellbeing. She has tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle and will talk at length about them to anyone who shows even a passing interest, and has had to implement a one-in-one-out pillow policy for fear of getting smothered in the night. As well as following all the industry trends and advancements in the mattress and bedding world, she regularly speaks to certified experts to delve into the science behind a great night's sleep, and offer you advice to help you get there. She's currently Sleep Editor on Tom's Guide and TechRadar, and prior to that ran the Outdoors and Wellness channels on T3 (now covered by Matt Kollat and Beth Girdler-Maslen respectively).