So much has been discussed regarding the year-old accessory that we’ve all associated to our new normal. Maybe you are a mask wearer, maybe you’re not, either way it’s important that you are understood on why there are so many different styles and which is best for you.
Elastic can stretch out or wear quickly. Go for Adjustable Laces that allow you to tighten and fit more appropriately.
Find a fitted mask; the idea is that you can mold the nose wire to your face, creating the highest level of comfort.
This is the most breathable and carries the least weight on the face. However, unless it is a tightly woven Batik fabric or you are wearing a N95-type of mask underneath, it is also the least protective when considering how much of the viral droplets are able to escape the mask. Outdoor exercise while social distancing has seen this as the best to utilize. A Single Layer Face Mask with Nose Wire has breathing room and will keep your glasses from fogging up.
The choice of fabric will make a huge difference in this style. Polyester is a viable option as long as the fitting of it gives you good breathing ability. Be prepared to wash this style more often as it is going to be the same layer that is a barrier to the world that is rubbing against your face.
By far, the most popular face mask amongst us is the 2-Layer. The level of protection is higher, the wearability is more significant and it can be more comfortable on the face. The design of this mask can be important to decide on because the extra fabric could hinder your breathing if not well designed. Consider the 3-D, Origami or Anti-Fog Face Masks when going for your 2-Layer.
The addition of the filter pocket is what gives this mask the ultimate ability to provide the highest level of protection. Not every 2-Layer Mask is designed with a filter pocket, but having one gives you the option to insert a filter when you feel it’s necessary, creating the 3-Layer Face Mask. So, to clarify, a 3-Layer Mask is one that is designed as a 2-Layer Mask with the addition of the filter.
Look for filters that are washable and be sure to always allow to dry before inserting in mask. Having a washable mask and filters will allow you to remain responsible while not contributing to the disposable mask landfill or continued expenses in this economic crisis.
This is the least effective mask and the most likely to irritate sensitive skin. The convenience of the gaiter is the largest reason it saw it’s popularity, however the way in which it holds moisture and gathers at the neck while going back and forth to your mouth is a costly and ineffective way of staying protected and protecting others.
If this is your determined choice, have multiple available and change them out through the day, washing them all daily. Use sanitizing wipes on and around your neck often to keep the area clean and pull them up by using the sides and not the front of the Gaiter, keeping your hands from crossing your mouth and nose.
Be comfortable. None of this matters if it’s so uncomfortable that you either don’t wear it or are always adjusting it. I’ve found that the 3-D Face Masks are appreciated for their breathable design and a high quality Anti Fog Face Mask is popular because it keeps any fog from your glasses and gives great breathability as well.
Vaccines are coming, let’s make sure that we do everything we can in this final stretch.
Written by Adrian Long