It’s no secret that reusable face masks have become our global society’s new normal. Between COVID-19 and wildfires season, mask-wearing is being recommended by experts, becoming a part of our daily lives. But with reports of counterfeit or substandard masks on the market, how do you know if you’re wearing a high quality reusable mask?
What do I look for in a cloth non-medical face mask?
Cloth masks are non-medical, meaning they are not surgical, but there are some on the market today that provide high quality protection.
First, check how many layers the mask has. Three layers is always best, and more than three layers is even better. A water-resistant or moisture-wicking layer can also provide more protection. Some features of the mask to look for include ones that consist of fine weave, high thread count. The mask should feel sturdy and dense, not flimsy. Avoid buying thin, see-through masks that have gaps in the material, because this won’t stop droplets, particles and aerosols from passing through.
The best material for a reusable face mask isn’t as straightforward, but the general consensus from experts is that it’s the quality of the fabric that matters. Higher quality fabrics have a tighter weave and thicker thread. Spun-bound, high-efficiency filter cloth with activated carbon is a good option.
Choose a breathable, lab-tested face mask
You should be able to comfortably breathe through your mask, but it’s also highly critical that its fabric still blocks droplets and particles. Knowing whether your mask does this requires proper lab testing, and we recommend buying lab-tested reusable face masks for this reason.
When shopping for lab-tested face masks, look for ones that provide legitimate certification by an independent laboratory. Testing should include Bacterial & Viral Filtration Efficiency (BFE/VFE) and Particle Filtration (PFE).
A note of caution: many lab testing companies are reporting falsified and modified test reports to mislead consumers. When you’re shopping for a lab-tested face mask and want to ensure authenticity, request a complete report from the seller. Any report with missing or modified sponsor, sample or test information is not authentic.
What face mask style should I buy?
Fit matters when it comes to face masks of all types. The most effective, high quality face masks should cover both your nose and mouth, forming a snug seal at the edges. There should not be any gaps around the edges of your mask, as this means you can breathe in unfiltered air.
Look for masks that have an adjustable nose bridge to help mould the mask
around your face. Adjustable ear loops are also a great feature, and help seal the mask around your face even further.
For COVID-19, masks that have exhalation vents are not recommended – these types of masks actually don’t slow the spread of the virus, because the valves allow air to leave the mask without filtering it. With COVID, the purpose of the mask is to block your respiratory particles from getting out, versus blocking particles from getting in.
Shop high quality, legit and safe non-medical masks
Trusting that your mask is doing an adequate job of protecting you is becoming a huge factor when shopping around for face masks today, especially with the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 thriving and wildfires rampant. DebriefMe® face masks were designed taking the highest level of safety and protection standards in mind, providing full transparency and optimal lab tested results.
Check out our X95 washable reusable face masks today, and start protecting yourself with high quality masks that are safe, protecting you and your health.