How to select a good face mask for your football helmet?

Are you switching positions or do you need a new facemask that is best for you position? This guide will help you to understand better what to look for when finding a facemask best for your postion.

When you are looking to buy a face mask for a football helmet, selecting the right facemask for your position is key when playing. Always make sure that the facemask you have selected will fit your football helmet.

A face mask is the only item standing in between your opponent and your face. It is a piece of metal that protects your face from the action you walk right into on the field.

Choosing the face mask that has the most bars is a quick solution but unfortunately that doesn’t always work out quite well.


So what are you actually looking for in a face mask?


Let’s kick things off with the material. There are three options that are very common regarding the materials. There is titanium, carbon steel and stainless steel.

The face mask you’ll see the most on the field are made out of carbon steel. This is also the option which is the most affordable. It is a very durable material but also the heaviest one.

The stainless steel facemasks provide great protection while being a lighter option. It is also a more expensive option.

The third material is titanium. It is the lightest and most durable material but also the most expensive one. The titanium facemask combines a lightweight construction for speed with great durability and strength.

It doesn’t really matter which material you go for. The model you need depends on your position on the field and your responsibilities.

Full Cage

A full cage is also called a closed cage. This is a type of face mask that fulfills your expectations. This full cage maximizes the protection of your face without obstructing your field of view.

Full cage facemasks include numerous horizontal bars on the bottom half of the facemask. It is often used by players who are constantly battling the opposition and need maximum protection for their face. The full cage face mask is often used by Linemen, Linebackers and Fullbacks.

The more bars the facemask has, the more protection and durability it provides. But more bars also lower the visibility and the field of vision during the game.

Open cage

Some positions require a more open field of view during the game. The face mask has horizontal bars at nose level and below, but it has a more open space around the eye area to provide maximum visibility.

These open cages are designed for the skilled positions, which require more field of vision. The skilled positions are Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, Defensive Backs and Running Backs. These positions need to be able to see the ball at all times. As a Kicker, you could also use this type of cage. A Kicker needs the extra visibility to aim.

A few of the models are designed with an open field of view and still give extra protection. The extra protection that these models provide are in the form of an extra vertical bar. This bar is often placed in the middle of the facemask or parallel to the jawlines. This provides more protection to the oral and eye area.

A face mask with an open cage gives great balance between protection and vision. This is ideal for players who have a lot of ball possession and want to step up their protection. When you need more protection without sacrificing your field of vision during the game, try a football visor. This is an easy option that you clip to your face mask. Easy to attach, easy to use.

Football visors

Most of the leagues don’t require a visor to be used. Visors are getting really popular in the youth leagues as well with pro players. The reason behind this is that visors provide more protection for the eyes. Visors can also take out glare from the sun and could possibly make it harder for the opposition to read your eyes during the play.

Visors are made out of polycarbonate and contain an anti-fog layer to keep your vision clear during the most tense moments. A visor that has a little bit of a tint has more advanced benefits, this protects you from the glazing sunlight and keeps your eyes a bit more hidden from your opponents. Be sure to always check your league’s guidelines if the visors with a tinted color are allowed.

Most of the brands create facemasks which are specifically designed to fit only on their brand of helmet and even only on selected models. For example, Riddell SpeedFlex face masks only fit on the Riddell SpeedFlex helmets.The visors come in adult and youth sizes.


To give you facemask a personal touch it's possible to change the mounting clips of the masks. These clips are standard transparant. By using clips with a colour you can really set the tone of you helmet. This is also possible with the mounting clips of a visor. 

The right face mask on your helmet for your position can make a big difference during scrimmages and plays on the field. So make sure what to look for before kicking off the season. Also check other important gear like a helmet and shoulder pad. Always be prepared.