Why are disposable masks blue?

We’ve bought two or three different brands since this started, and have seen lots of other people with disposable masks, and the outer side is always blue.

How come? why blue?

I’ve seen yellow, pink, green, white, and (I think) black. Not sure the black ones were really disposables. A quick Googling shows multi-color packs can be easily had.

Not sure why blue does seem to be the default, though.

It’s just customary. Yellow is usually for hospital visitors, blue and green for staff. Surgeons often use green.

Every mask I’ve ever seen at hospitals for the visitors has also been blue. I suspect that, because hospitals use masks the most (at least, pre-pandemic), most masks produced are for the hospital staff.

As for why hospitals use blue, here’s a link suggesting it’s about it being a calming color and looking clean:

You’ll notice I said “customary”, not “mandatory”. IF they choose to use different colors, they often use yellow for visitors. I still have a stack of yellows from the last time I visited.

Try this link instead.

I’ve bought both blue and white in recent months. They’re yellow at one of my medical clinics.

My dialysis clinic requires patients to wear masks and the ones they pass out are yellow.

I’ve seen pink, but it’s about 1 pink for 50 blue. So they are out there. I think there are more reusable masks than pink ones.

I still don’t know which side is supposed to face out; blue or white?

Read your packaging. My wife and I both thought ours were supposed to be white out, but after reading more carefully (and righteously judging all those people wearing them ‘wrong’) discovered the blue was supposed to be out.
We realized this after hearing that the pleats are supposed to go down on the outside and up on the inside and saw they weren’t. I think of it as making little pockets to catch my breath when I breath out my nose.
The illustration on our box incorrectly makes it look like white is supposed to be out, so I blame that.

Thanks! Ours came without directions. I was wearing those wrong for weeks. I switched to a more contoured disposable mask where the orientation is obvious.

I accidentally wore the white side out the other day - then I realized it was after Labor Day. Oh, the embarrassment

  • think just because blue and green are color related to hospitals from ancient times*

My dentist’s office uses all pink masks and other PPE. (gloves, etc.) The dentist is a woman. I suspect that’s why she decided to buy pink stuff.

The white, fluffy side side is supposed to capture the droplets you breath out, while the blue, slightly shiny and somewhat water repellant side is supposed to keep other people’s droplets out.


Blue is the color we associate with the police. And wearing masks is the law.

Someone at work has been getting black disposables to give to our field guys. I’ve been sticking with ‘classic’ blue but the black ones look kind of sharp.

Saw some black disposables at Costco today.

Saw a green one yesterday. Out of 20 people on the bus, probably 14 with blue disposables, 5 with reusables and 1 with a green disposable.