As the number of COVID-19 cases keeps on rising, we adapt to a new normal by social distancing, proper handwashing, and the use of face masks. These preventive measures control, if not somehow eradicate, the spread of the virus. The Department of Health advises that whether you are a frontliner or not, you must wear face masks to protect you and others from COVID-19.
Buying reusable masks is more practical and budget-friendly than buying disposable ones. By soap washing, we can use them again. In this article, we are giving you a buying guide and recommendation of high-quality reusable face masks that you can purchase.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, wearing a face mask when going out is the new normal. Disposable masks, although they may seem cheaper, more hygienic, and more convenient than reusable ones, are not only less cost-effective but also adds up more waste to the environment.
Reusable masks offer a convenient and budget-friendly solution since you do not need to purchase new masks every now and then. These are usually wash and wear, which means they are sustainable and they can last a long time.
Depending on the brand and the materials used, reusable masks range from budget-friendly to being costly. Even in these challenging times, you can express personal style with the different colors and designs available that you can choose from.
Always keep in mind that medical-grade masks such as N95 ones must be reserved for hospital frontlinesr, infected patients, and other high-risk workers. This type of mask is made from plastic materials, which are not designed for daily use and for long periods.
Gas masks, on the other hand, are designed to use when handling harmful chemicals or in gas attacks instances, not for COVID-19. Using gas masks can cause difficulty in breathing or worse, suffocation.
With the variety of face masks emerging in the market, it is important to identify the essential factors to consider before purchasing one.
When purchasing a reusable mask, you have to know what size or dimension you will be needing. The mask must cover from the nose bridge to the bottom of your chin, and also covering your lower cheeks. The mask dimensions are usually indicated in the product description. If not, you may always ask online sellers for the measurements.
Straps or ear loops are also a major consideration because they secure the mask on the face. The point of wearing a mask is to block any potentially harmful droplets emitted by coughing or sneezing. In loose-fitting masks, the droplets might pass through and may lead to virus transmission. A good option is having adjustable ear loops or straps.
There are several types of material used in making reusable masks and they are serves different purpose and uses. Here are some examples of the most popular materials used in making reusable masks.
Cotton is the most widely-used and the most affordable material. Natural silk, flannel, and chiffon are soft fabrics too. They can catch small dust and droplets with their almost microscopic strands.
These fabrics are the most recommended because they are soft and breathable. A combination of these soft fabrics makes a formidable face mask to filter out air particles and droplets.
Make sure to buy a soft fabric face mask with a high thread count of at least 600 and a tight weave to ensure that the air is well-filtered. Multiple layers of these fabrics to form face masks are more effective protection from droplets. Soft fabric masks are easy to disinfect by just washing them with warm water and soap to remove any germs.
Linen fabrics are textured textile cloths made from large strands of wool. With their thicker strands, fluids are a lot slower to pass through the mask.
Though not waterproof, it is a level-up from cotton-based masks. One caution on using linen though, is that due to the small openings, some particles may be stuck, so make sure to wash them thoroughly.
Nylon and synthetic fiber materials are very durable and can withstand wear and tear situations because of their thermoplastic material known for flexibility and dense structure. Nylon also has a high air filtration rate at around 77%.
The problem of using a nylon-based mask is they are not biodegradable, and manufacturing them is a very harmful toxin to the air. Also, it has the lowest breathability among the three materials, so it is not recommended for children and senior citizens. Limit the use of this product to save the environment and avoid suffocation.
Several masks allow filters to be inserted in them. Filters serve as extra protection from dust and droplets in the air. While adding filters is good, you have to make sure that they would not form bulges and gaps in the mask that would create openings on the sides.
It will defeat the purpose of more protection because unfiltered air can penetrate on the sides of the mask. Also, make sure that you can still breathe properly despite having a filter on your face mask.
A good filter type is the small PM 2.5 specifically designed for masks. However, if this is not readily available, you can use coffee filters, reusable fabric grocery bags, carbon mask filters, or nylon pantyhose. Just make sure to wash both the mask and the filters frequently.
The face masks that we need now must serve as a two-way protection. The wearer protects himself from acquiring the virus and prevents the people around him from getting the virus, in case the wearer is infected. In the previous months, the experts have discouraged the use of medical-grade and gas masks.
Recent reports have also discredited reusable face masks with filtering valves. These masks help you breathe more comfortably. However, they protect only the wearers and not the people around them. Yes, they can filter the air that the wearers inhale, but not when the wearers exhale - offering one-way only protection.
With a lot of face mask sellers online, we have trimmed down the list of 10 excellent face masks. Here they are:
|Other Features||Anti-splash, Dust-proof, Breathable|
|Dimensions||Available in sized Small, Medium, and Large|
|Other Features||Padded Mask, Circular Knit|
|Dimensions||8” X 5”|
|Filter||3-ply, non-woven, removable|
|Other Features||Padded Mask, Filter Pocket|
|Dimensions||Adult Size but Exact Measurements Are Not Specified|
|Other Features||Adjustable Strap, Filter Pockets|
|Dimensions||Adult Size but Exact Measurements Are Not Specified|
|Material||Soft Cationic Composite Fabric|
|Other Features||Dustproof, Waterproof, Adjustable Nose-part, Wind-proof, Hook-Style Strap|
|Dimensions||38 cm x 15 cm|
|Other Features||Elastic Ear Band|
|Dimensions||One Size for Adult, Exact Measurement Not Specified|
|Filter||Nano Membrane Fiber|
|Other Features||Windproof, Dust-proof, Anti-fog|
|Dimensions||One Size Adult Size but Exact Measurements Are Not Specified|
|Other Features||Breathable, Dust-proof, UV Protection, Adjustable Straps and Buttons|
|Dimensions||One Size Fits All|
|Filter||5 Layer Carbon Activated Filters|
|Other Features||Breathable, Washable, Stretchable, Filter Pocket|
|Filter||Not Included But Can Accommodate Filter Pockets|
|Other Features||Breathable Valve, Detachable Eye Shield|
|Dimensions||8.6 in X 7.8 in|
Anna Sunshine Store
Pacsafe ViralOff Face Mask
Face Mask with Filter
Marshmallow Plain Neoprene Face Mask
Mask with Filter
PM2.5 Men And Women Bike Masks
Air Queen Nano Filter Mask
Protective Face Masks
UV Protection Face Cover
Reusable Face Mask with Filter Pocket
Multifunction 2 in 1 Adult Face Mask
An Innovative 2-in-1 Anti-Bacterial Face Mask
Padded Cotton with a 3-Ply Removable Filter
Adult-Size Dainty Face Masks Available in Pastel Colors
Simple Yet Dependable Breathable Face Mask
Dusk Haze Mask for Bike and Motorcycle Drivers
Lightweight, Skin-Friendly Face Mask for a Month-Long Use
An Effective Face Mask that Doubles as a Statement Piece
Breathable Dust Proof Mask with UV Protection
2 Ply with Filter Pocket Cotton Face Mask
Face Masks with See-Through Eye Shield and Mouth Cover
|Material||Not Specified||Cotton, Polyester||Cotton, Neoprene||Cotton||Soft Cationic Composite Fabric||Fiber Sheet||Fabric||Cotton||Cotton||Cotton|
|Other Features||Anti-splash, Dust-proof, Breathable||Padded Mask, Circular Knit||Padded Mask, Filter Pocket||Adjustable Strap, Filter Pockets||Dustproof, Waterproof, Adjustable Nose-part, Wind-proof, Hook-Style Strap||Elastic Ear Band||Windproof, Dust-proof, Anti-fog||Breathable, Dust-proof, UV Protection, Adjustable Straps and Buttons||Breathable, Washable, Stretchable, Filter Pocket||Breathable Valve, Detachable Eye Shield|
|Dimensions||Available in sized Small, Medium, and Large||8” X 5”||Adult Size but Exact Measurements Are Not Specified||Adult Size but Exact Measurements Are Not Specified||38 cm x 15 cm||One Size for Adult, Exact Measurement Not Specified||One Size Adult Size but Exact Measurements Are Not Specified||One Size Fits All||Standard Size||8.6 in X 7.8 in|
|Filter||PM 2.5||3-ply, non-woven, removable||Not Included||PM 2.5||PM 2.5||Nano Membrane Fiber||-||5 Layer Carbon Activated Filters||Not Included But Can Accommodate Filter Pockets||Not specified|
HuffPost Canada gives several tips in this video on cleaning reusable face masks.
Procedures and Recommendations:
Nowadays, some of us don't really go out much, or at all. So when you go out, complete your OOTD with accessories by checking out our other articles.
It is always a must to follow government instructions, such as wearing face masks and social distancing. Wearing a mask plays a crucial role in our health and safety, especially now that we are experiencing a pandemic.
We don't know when this pandemic will end but one thing is for sure, we can make it through. Let us keep safe always.
Author: Roel Pillas Malubay
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