NEWS RELEASE                                                                                     October 2020

World Face Mask Market Growth could be Huge or Just Robust

The world mask market has soared and will reach between $30 billion and $40 billion this year.  This includes the range from bandannas to powered  N95 respirators. Loose fitting inefficient masks comprise the majority of the market. Despite agreement that masks are the best investment to battle COVID, only $5 or less per person will be invested in masks.

Because of the importance of masks, revenues could soar to $675 billion by 2022. A classification of masks labeled CATE (Comfortable, attractive, tight fitting, efficient) generated less than $100 million in revenue in 2019.  Because CATE masks are by far the best choice to battle COVID  revenues could soar to $600 billion by 2022 ($77/person).


The total market could peak in 2024 at $700 billion or could shrink by 2026 to just $30 billion of which most would just be inefficient cloth masks.

The low CATE estimate assumes that with a COVID vaccine most of the demand will disappear.  Even with this most pessimistic scenario the 2026 CATE mask market would be five times greater than the 2019 market.

The high McIlvaine forecast for 2022 has three billion people wearing masks costing from $50 to $500 per year resulting in total yearly purchases of $675 billion.


The CATE and other mask market could be larger than the sports footwear market. It could be  30 times larger than the market for hoodies and considerably larger than the rest of the filtration market. The combined mask and filter market could be as large as $750 billion/yr.


The 500 million people who could spend $500 per year each in 2022 will be wearing masks in low virus load situations where the attractiveness factor equals that for comfort, and tight fit/ efficiency.


The CATE mask market will be so much greater than the industrial or medical respirator market because the potential purchasers are measured in the billions and not millions.

The uncertainty as to whether the CATE market could be $650 billion or just $400 million six years from now makes it very difficult for suppliers to formulate the best strategy.  However this uncertainty can be reduced with insights provided by McIlvaine. They include continuing forecasts based on the assessments of

  • initiatives to make sure governments and individuals are aware of the advantages of CATE masks
  • the future impact of wildfires, air pollution, allergens, indoor pollutants, influenza, and reoccurring COVID
  • the potential in each country and each income group
  • the potential in each application
    • industrial - from meat packing to wood working
    • medical - from nursing homes to ICUs
    • leisure - from sports to musical festivals
    • mobile - from airplanes to subways
    • buildings - from restaurants to grocery stores
    • Others
  • Competition
    • by region
    • by mask type
      • disposable
      • reusable
        • washable
        • filter inserts
      • Technology Developments

For more information on High Efficiency Mask Market and Supplier Program  Click here to view a video description or Click here for the power point display.