December 8, 2020 By danny.carvalho@ymail.com Off

5 Best Face Masks for Viruses

Coronavirus came like a global earthquake, and no one knows when the world will stop quaking. The seismic wave of this pandemic has shaken up our lives in too many ways to count. COVID-19, the most recent strain of coronavirus we’re contending with, has caused numerous illnesses, and unfortunately deaths, worldwide. Enter the face mask. Differing and flip-flopping views of face masks have resulted in confusion and skepticism. 

We’re here to give you the facts.

 

Anti Virus Masks: Are They Recommended?

Initally, the CDC and The World Heath Organization both advised the general public against wearing face masks; they suggested that the only people who needed to wear masks were those caring for the infected; those in high-risk groups; and those with COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms. However, as we continue to learn more about coronavirus, expert opinions have shifted. Both the CDC and WHO are now recommending face masks  to help prevent the transmission of coronavirus.

 

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

On April 3, 2020, The CDC recommended the use of cloth face masks for the general public. On May 26, the CDC released an updated statement recommending that “everyone wear face coverings when leaving their homes, regardless of whether they have fever or symptoms of COVID-19.” Their recommendation followed the observation that “people with COVID-19 can spread the disease, even when they don’t have any symptoms.” 

 

World Heath Organization

On June 5, 2020, WHO began recommending the use of cloth face masks in “areas of widespread transmission, with limited capacity for implementing control measures,” stating that “masks should be used as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress transmission and save lives.

 What Are The Best Face Masks?

Many of us are under government order to wear cloth masks in public, so the question changes from “Should I wear a face mask for virus protection?” to “What is a good face mask?”.  Not all masks are created equal, and levels of protection are varied. It is important to look at several factors to help you find the best anti virus mask. There are two main things to consider when determining the effectiveness of any anti-viral mask: the filtration level and the fit.

  • Filtration: The filtration level defines the percentage of microscopic particles and droplets that are prevented from passing through the mask. The higher the filtration level, the less likely it is for virus-causing particles to permeate the mask, making viruses less likely to spread.
  • Fit: A more fitted mask helps to stop virus-causing particles from seeping out of or into the mask through open spaces on the top, bottom, and sides of the mask. Additionally, even though face masks are often referred to as mouth masks, it is important to note that masks must fit over both the mouth and nose to be effective.

 

Anti virus masks are primarily classified as either medical masks or non-medical cloth masks. Every option has its pros and cons when it comes comfort, fit, and protection against viruses in general. Let’s start by looking at cloth face masks.

How to Choose The Best Cloth Face Masks

Cloth anti-viral  masks vary greatly in efficiency depending on various factors. In fact, A recent study from Wake Forest Baptist Health showed that the filtration levels of cloth masks varied from as low as 1% to anywhere up to 79%, which is higher than surgical masks.

Cloth masks have the advantage of being in ready supply and being reusable, which makes them a great option for the general public. A cloth face mask can create an efficient barrier for virus protection if it meets the right criteria. Whatever you choose to do, there are few questions you need to ask yourself to ensure you have a good face mask:

 How many layers of fabric are in the mask?

Masks should have at least 2 layers of fabric to be effective. Studies have shown masks with only one layer of fabric have significantly less filtration than those with two layers. Dr. Scott Siegel, who recently led a study at Wake Forest Baptist Health to test the filtration level of different fabrics, suggests using a mask that is thick enough to block light when held in front of the sun.

 What is the mask made of?

Fabric and construction make a huge difference when determining the effectiveness of a cloth face mask. According to the CDC and some recent studies, tightly woven fabric is ideal for cloth face masks. The best face masks have built-in filtration by way of tightly woven cotton, linen, silk, or polyester. 

 Can I breathe through the mask?

The ideal cloth mask creates a balance between filtration and breathability. A mask may provide excellent filtration, but that doesn’t mean much if you can’t breathe through it. If the mask is not breathable, more air will escape through the gaps on the sides and top, making it less effective. Make sure the mask is breathable. 

 Is this mask comfortable? 

Is the mask smooth and soft against the skin or is rough and scratchy? The mask may be on all day, so it is important that it feels good against the delicate skin on the face.

 How does this mask fit?

Cloth masks are more effective if they are well fitted with minimal gaps around the face. Try to make or purchase a mask with a good fit to better block virus-causing particles.

 Is this mask washable?

Masks must be sanitized after each wear to be effective. The easiest way to sanitize a mask is to put it in the washer at 140 degrees fahrenheit.  Masks that are not washable, such as masks with a metal piece that cannot be removed, will have to washed by hand, which is more difficult.

 Can a filter be inserted in this mask?

Filters make masks more effective, so it is important that the mask has a place where a filter can be inserted, such as an interior pocket. Any filter helps here, even a simple coffee filter.Keep reading to learn more about the best filters.

Is there a water resistant layer?

Ideally, a mask will have a water resistant layer to help block droplets more effectively.

Top High Quality Face Masks

We recommend purchasing a high quality face mask for the best level of virus protection. Our top choice is a  Cardani fitted mask because these masks meet all the critera above. There are multiple options for men, women and children. Some features we like include:

  • 3 Layers of Fabric: They are made with an interior and exterior layer of fabric with an inner tightly woven poly-layer that has been treated with a water-resistant finish grade 4, which minimizes moisture penetrating the mask.The inner an outer layer are made of high quality, high thread-count organic cotton or bamboo viscose which are both very soft.
  • Structure: This inner poly-layer also adds structure to this mask, making it easier to breathe.
  • Fitted: This mask is well fitted around the mouth and nose, and has adjustable ear straps to get a better fit on the face and keep your ear comfortable.
  • Washable: They are washable and reusable.
  • Filter Pocket: They have a  pocket for a filter to be inserted.

 

Shop these masks here.

Watch the video below to learn more about these masks. 

Cloth Face Masks: Finding a Good Fit

 

Selecting the best mask fit for you:

Face masks are available in two basic fits: accordion and fitted. Take a look below to learn more about these two types of face masks.

 

  • Includes surgical masks and certain cloth face masks.
  • Made with various pleats that unfold over the face to cover the nose and mouth, and wrap around chin.
  • This style typically covers more of the face than a fitted style mask. 
  • These masks often have a metal or moldable plastic piece at the bridge of the nose to create a custom fit.

  • Includes N95 respirators and certain cloth face masks.
  • This style is designed to contour to the face and create a seal. 
  • Fitted masks cover the mouth and nose but do not always wrap underneath the chin.
  • These masks sometimes have a metal or moldable plastic piece at the bridge of the nose, but the contoured fit already makes this mask stay put on the face.

 

 

Getting used to wearing a face mask can be difficult, and it’s not always easy to know if it fits. Here’s what to look for when determining whether or not your face masks fits:

  • Masks should be snug to the face to create a better seal, but should not be tight enough to severly restrict breathing. Because masks cover your mouth and nose, note that all face and mouth masks will restrict breathing to some degree; this adjustment may take some getting used to
  • The fit should be tight enough on the bridge of the nose to ensure the mask stays positioned on the face comfortably. 
  • The ear bands must be tight enough to ensure the mask stays in place.
  • A face mask must cover both the mouth and nose to be effective.
  • Face masks do not need to cover the chin, however, if your mask covers your chin it will create a more complete seal around the face.
  • It is OK if there are gaps around the edges of the mask.

 

 

How to Make a Face Mask

If you are planning on making a face mask, we recommend creating it with thick, tightly woven cotton fabric, which performed very well in a recent test conducted by Wake Forest Baptist Health. Batik and woodblock cotton headscarves and face bandanas are a fantastic option here. If you don’t know how to sew, watch our quick tutorials below to learn how to make a face mask using just a scarf or bandana and elastic hair ties, or our T-shirt face mask tutorial. All of our tutorials feature at least 2 layers of fabric, and a pocket to insert a filter.

1. How to Make a Bandana Face Mask for Coronavirus | DIY and No-Sew

Watch the video below to learn how to construct a no-sew, DIY face mask from a bandana. Shop bandanas here.

2. How to Make a Scarf Face Mask for Coronavirus | DIY and No-Sew

Watch the video below to learn how to quickly and easily turn a scarf into a face mask for coronavirus. Shop cotton scarves here.

3. How to Make a T-Shirt Face Mask for Coronavirus | DIY and No-Sew

Watch the video below to learn how to make a face mask with a t-shirt and scissors for coronavirus. A filter can also be added for additional protection.