Let's talk about what it takes for a face mask to be effective. Is it the material? Is it the fit? Is it the construction?
The answer is yes, yes, and yes.
But what material and how should it fit and how should it be constructed? In this post, we're going to explain these three features that make a reusable face mask effective in protecting those around you and yourself.
Three features that make a reusable cloth mask effective
Before we go any further, we're going to be covering reusable cloth masks intended for everyday use. The CDC recommends purchasing a cloth mask to save N95 masks supply for medical personnel battling COVID-19.
For the rest of us civilians, wearing a quality cloth mask (as defined by the following details) is the ideal way to protect those you come in contact with as well as yourself.
These guidelines should be considered when purchasing a mask for kids and adults.
The reusable face mask material
The first thing you need to consider when shopping for a reusable cloth face mask is the material.
The Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago tested a variety of common materials to find which was the best at stopping the coronavirus.
Their research covered common fabrics including cotton, silk, chiffon, flannel, various synthetics, and their combinations.
The researchers found that multiple layers of mixed fabric was the best way to filter the virus particles. "Overall, we find that combinations of various commonly available fabrics used in cloth masks can potentially provide significant protection against the transmission of aerosol particles."
Take away: Buy a mask that's made with high thread count cotton and spandex.
The reusable face mask fit
The next feature you need to consider is the fit of your face mask.
An ill-fitting face mask or one that's worn improperly is almost useless. Researchers testing the effectiveness of face masks poked holes in the fabrics they were experimenting with to mimic a mask with gaps.
They discovered that gaps (as caused by an improper fit of the mask) can result in over a 60 percent decrease in the filtration efficiency.
Take away: Make sure your mask fits well and that you wear it properly.
The reusable face mask construction
You might be thinking, "Isn't it enough if the mask stays on my face?" Well, not quite.
Cloth masks should fit comfortably and be constructed with multiple layers of high thread count fabric.
If you find that your mask is uncomfortable, you're less likely to wear it properly. By now you've probably seen someone who feels the need to constantly be pulling on or readjusting their mask. In doing so, it's causing it to be much less effective.
In addition to comfort, the multiple layers are an essential component of a mask's efficacy. The previously mentioned research indicated that masks made with more than one layer of a combination of natural and synthetic fibers proved to be best at preventing germs from getting through.
Take away: Buy a mask that's comfortable and made of multiple layers of high thread count cotton and spandex.
Need a reusable cloth face mask?
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They cover each of the three features we've discussed for a mask to be an effective solution for protecting you against illness: two outer layers made of 95% cotton and 5% spandex and a middle layer made of antibacterial cotton – the right material, the right fit, and the right construction.
They're the perfect solution if you're wondering what face mask you should buy! Click here to grab your reusable cloth face masks today.