[Consumer study] How do people feel about wearing a mask in public?

As mask mandates are being lifted, we wondered: How do consumers currently feel about wearing a mask in public? So we asked them in this consumer study.

"Knowing that we've false started our recovery multiple times, I think we owe it to ourselves just to be a little more cautious this time and just go a little slower. I'm fine with wearing a mask. It doesn't bother me at all."

The methodology

We completed the entire study of 100 respondents through Voxpopme’s Influence market research online community (MROC) of on-demand consumers in less than five hours.

In the platform, we combined quantitative and qualitative questions in the study, and the platform neatly packaged the results in one dashboard.

wearing a mask consumer study

wearing a mask consumer study 2

On the quantitative side, we asked:

  • When you are in public places, do you prefer to wear a mask?
    • Yes
    • No
  • Should people be required to wear masks in public spaces?
    • Yes
    • No

On the qualitative side, we asked:

  • Please tell us why or why not people should still wear masks in public places like restaurants, hotels, and airplanes.

Read next: Not sure what to ask? Check out Voxpopme’s tried and tested open-ended questions for video research.

The results

Here’s a quick highlight reel of reactions:

The quant results

In the study, most respondents – 61 percent – said they prefer to wear a mask when in public.

Are you wearing a mask in public

Thirty-nine percent said people should be required to wear a mask in public spaces, 33 percent said others should not be required, and the remaining 28 percent said it depends on the public space whether masks mandates should be ongoing or not.

should people be required to wearing a mask in public


The qual results

Respondents recorded a quick video message for the qual questions – selfie-style, directly from their phones.

In all, the automatic sentiment analysis showed that 42 percent of all statements were on the negative side, with 32 percent being neutral and 26 percent being positive.

consumer sentiment wearing a mask

This sentiment analysis pulls from what respondents said in their video responses, unlike the quant questions.

The automatic theme explorer and Word Cloud gave me an idea of some of the most mentioned topics.

At times, I also use the Theme Builder and my knowledge of the subject to build and group themes for topics that I consider related.

wearing a mask wordcloud study

The analysis

I like to review the theme explorer first to get an idea of what trends I’m seeing. The Word Cloud is my next step. Then I like to skim through the automatic transcripts and each response. Here’s a summary of what respondents said.

Reasons given for requiring the wearing of masks include:

  • Other people’s health issues
  • Being in tight spaces like restaurants or airplanes together makes it safer.
  • Because many are not vaccinated
  • The pandemic is not over
  • Wearing a mask is effective
  • To give others around you comfort

Reasons given for not requiring the wearing of masks include:

  • Hard to breathe
  • Masks that work are too expensive
  • Rules are not consistent to begin with
  • People shouldn’t breathe or sneeze on others anyway
  • It’s just too difficult to eat and drink with a mask
  • It should be a personal decision
  • Virus has weakened
  • People should be able to make their own decisions


"I do not feel that people should still be wearing masks. If people are doing what they're supposed to be doing, they shouldn't be concerned about it. I've always been a germophobe so I pay attention to what people are doing."

Where to next?

Our study was done nationally in the United States. Therefore, opinions may vary by state and even locality.

That’s an opportunity for follow-up in your local area. Ask consumers their thoughts and preferences and use the insights gathered in your business decisions.

Read next: How you can use video surveys for your next project!



What’s a question you’d like to ask consumers?