Mask, masks and more masks! The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced the world in its entirety to a multitude of face masks each with various looks and protection levels.
Masks have become the newest fashion trend and are often worn to make a statement as well as to offer a funky and fashionable look for all who wear them.
But with so many to choose from, it is hard to ascertain which mask would best suit every individuals needs and tastes. In this article we will discuss the various types of face masks and respirators that are available and how they can benefit you in the fight against the pandemic.
Masks vs Respirators
In reality there are actually various technical differences between masks and respirators:
- Masks are loose fitting and cover the nose and mouth.
- They are ideally designed for one-way protection.
- They capture bodily fluid leaving the wearer.
- Masks are actually designed to fully protect the wearer.
- Most masks do not have safety ratings assigned to them.
- These are tight fitting masks that are designed to create a facial seal.
- Non-valve respirators provide two-way protection.
- They filter both the inflow and outflow of air.
- Respirators are designed protect the wearer.
- You can get respirators in disposable, half face or full-face forms.
Valve or Non-Valve?
Valve respirators make it easier to exhale air, making them more comfortable to wear. The valves ensure less moisture build-up inside the respirator and are ideal for activities such as construction work. The only disadvantage of valve respirators is the fact that they do not filter the wearer’s exhalation, only the inhale.
This one-way protection puts people in close contact with the wearer at risk, especially in a situation like Covid-19.
Face Mask Protection Table
It is important that you have a good understanding of the type of protection that is offered when wearing different types of face coverings during the pandemic.
Type of Covering Percentage of Protection
|A Surgical Mask||80%|
|A Cycling Mask||82-84%|
|3M 8812 Mask||96.6%|
That being said, let’s take a closer look into the world of masks. Here is a list of the top 10 masks and protective covering being used during the pandemic.
The gaming company Razer has made what they claim is world’s smartest face mask. This mask come with a built-in microphone and the company claims that it can be used to amplify the users’ voices so as to prevent muffled speech.
This amazing design includes active a and is classified as an N95 surgical mask. The mask is a relatively new concept for now and is not going on sale at this time but be sure to be on the lookout as it could be arriving soon. The mask itself is made of transparent plastic, making it easier for people to lip read and pick up on facial cues.
This transparent face mask was designed to make reading lips easier as well as to allow your facial expressions to shine through. It is light weight and anti-fog with rubber ear bands and active ventilation. This face mask is also easy to clean and reusable.
This is a healthcare respirator designed to help provide respiratory protection for the user. It is intended to reduce exposure to certain airborne particles and meets CDC guidelines for Mycobacterium tuberculosis exposure control. These are one of the best masks on the market but can be quite expensive.
The Skywalker Mask is made of triple layer filtration with breathable water-resistant material with an Ultra-Premium one size fits all design. This mask is available in black, yellow, pink, blue and camo.
These 3 ply face masks cover the nose and mouth and are also known as theatre or surgical masks. These masks are mainly used to protect the person wearing the mask. The standard white 3 ply mask offers protection for years. These ear loop face masks have nose bridge strips that make the masks comfortable and easy to use.
Manufacturers decided to go a step further and upgrade these masks by adding scented masks to the mix. These masks are available in strawberry, apple, peach or pineapple scents. They have also been further upgraded to a stylish premium black mask.
# 6 The KN95 Mask
This is a respiratory protective mask that has been designed to achieve a very close facial fit with efficient filtration of any airborne particles. These are available with a valve or without a valve.
This Protective Face Mask will stop 95% of all airborne particles from entering your lungs.
Dual respiration valves provide comfortable breathing by reducing heat and moisture build-up within the mask. The valves close on inhale, and open during exhale so air only enters through the filter.
The adjustable nose clip allows you to shape the mask to your individual face. This clip you can make sure the mask sits snugly without causing any discomfort. It also sports Velcro buckles that make it simple and easy to adjust the sizing of the mask.
You are able to wear the mask while running, biking, cycling, etc. and you won’t have to adjust it all day.
If this Protective Face Mask is worn daily a filter will last about 4 weeks. It is recommended that you clean so it will last as long as 8 weeks. Once the filter is uniformly light brown, it is recommend that you switch with a new one.
- Suitable for most kinds of outdoor activities
- Activated carbon dust-proof mask
- Made of neoprene fabric
- Lightweight and quick drying
- Breathable and comfortable
- Filters can be replaced
- Adjustable strap
- Rapid exhalation valves with a plurality of holes
- Double air breathing valve
- Ergonomic design
- Internal material: non-woven fabric, polyester wadding, flannel
The mask has a dual valve exhaust that provides one-way easy breathing, expels moisture and optimizes temperature giving the user the ability to breathe easy.
Available in the following attractive colours: Black, grey, yellow, blue, pink, blue camo and brown camo.
These are custom designed reusable face masks with a triple layer break design. They come with elasticated straps and a one size fits all design and are one of the most cost-effective face masks on the market.
This is one of the most stylish face masks with a lot of street appeal. This super stretch, reusable mask serves as a barrier from airborne dust, pollution, ash and oral liquids to the mouth and nose.
This Buff is a fantastic way to add to your ensemble and can be worn as a hairband, headband, beanie, bandanna or balaclava. This versatile accessory is perfect for biking, hiking and cycling, but do not offer the best protection against COVID-19.
These buffs unfortunately only offer 28% protection against the virus and are therefore not recommended for use during the pandemic.