Top 5 Things To Look For In A Face Mask
The COVID-19 pandemic has been happening for a few months now, so health and safety professionals are getting a better idea of how to combat this virus as well as how to communicate the best ways for everyone to work together in helping to slow the spread of coronavirus. Please, if you may have any health concerns regarding COVID-19, contact your doctor and seek local medical guidance and care immediately. Also, practice social distancing and follow CDC health considerations and best practices. This article seeks to discuss cloth or fabric masks made for the general public, since N95 respirators, surgical masks and other certified PPE should be dedicated for health professionals.
A quick look on the internet will show you that face masks are all over: in the headlines, in pop culture, and available for sale from many different kinds of businesses. From printing companies to high-end fashion designers.
How does anyone know what to look for? Where to buy? What is the best? More importantly, what is the best option for me compared to someone else?
N95, Kn95, surgical masks, face shields, copper masks (also a $4,000 gold face mask 😮), cloth masks, silk, pleated, elastic, masks with ties, etc. Masks are now a phenomenon.
All masks are not created equal and just like Facebook and Google is enforcing stricter rules for advertising masks due to malicious businesses out there scamming customers, it’s wise to learn as much as you can. Do plenty of research on a company before clicking an ad on a website or on Facebook.
Important Things To Look For In A Face Mask:
Multiple Layers of Fabric for Cloth Face Masks.
For a majority of the general public, cloth masks have gained popularity since the pandemic began spreading across the US. And with good reason, since the CDC recommends that cloth face coverings(specifically cotton) be worn while in public settings and while practicing social distancing. They have been widely made since people were encouraged to sew their own masks at home with fabrics they might already have or are able to purchase online. However, due to the availability of needed materials such as elastic, not being available in bulk, and potential quality control issues, it might be a concern to purchase home-made masks. Our pleated fabric design incorporates multiple layers of fabric that expands to form a breathable covering around the nose and mouth. What’s important, is that respiratory droplets that may carry the virus stay INSIDE the wearer’s mask.
Like any other piece of clothing you wear, great fit matters. The tricky thing with any disposable off-the-shelf face mask, other than they have been in short supply, is they are designed and manufactured as one size – they are not one size fits all. The material in those masks is not very comfortable against the skin, especially when worn for long periods of time. When we began designing and developing our masks, we always had the person wearing in mind. We understand that not everyone has the same head size and shape, so we wanted to have multiple options available. From elastic ear loops to masks with ties, or our fully adjustable mask, we know people are working, or playing, in certain situations that require certain fitment solutions. Such as: active movements, prolonged use, sensory issues, or to accompany hearing devices.
Cotton fabrics are best for a breathable, soft, irritation-free mask. We also sew in a flexible and moldable nose piece that enhances the mask’s shape to fit around the nose for maximum coverage.
Washable and Reusable.
We should all be thinking of ways to reduce environmental waste. The cotton fabrics that we’ve chosen for our masks have a few things in mind: comfortable and breathable fabric, but another excellent benefit, is that they can be washed and reused. This makes an incredible effort to help reduce waste by limiting the need to buy and quickly throw away disposable masks. Always gently wash and dry your cloth masks before wearing for the first time and wash frequently! It’s a best practice to have at least two cloth masks per person to be able to wear one while the other is in the laundry at the end of every day. When not in use, always handle masks with clean hands and store any clean masks in a sanitary zip-style or Ziploc storage bag. You may even iron some masks, depending on the design, since the steam can provide extra sterilization. Do not place masks in the microwave since there might be metal components (such as our flexible nose piece) that can become a fire hazard.
Price is a worth while factor to consider. Since the pandemic, many masks have been donated by sewing hobbyists around the country which has been a great service to support communities in need. Another thing to remember is the valuable service of all the employees who have been able to continue working and making masks on a large scale to serve many other essential services who have needed a lot of masks for employees when masks became unavailable. Each one of our masks is made right here in our USA workroom, by professional staff operating commercial sewing machines, they are made well and ship fast. We take pride in the quality work we do and at the same time, can produce thousands of masks per day to provide them in bulk, plus provide discounts at higher quantities. While doing so, we can charge a minimal price to be able to cover our manufacturing cost and have them be most accessible. When ordering any masks online, also pay attention to availability and dates when actual shipping takes place. It’s important to note that the cheapest mask is not always the best option – but, it’s probably also not necessary to spend a lot of money on masks. We’ve seen cloth masks for sale online for $35 to $55 each or more. Some of those options of course have name brands associated with them.
Although not the most important thing to look for in a face mask, we still cannot forget about looking good in what we choose to wear in public! Masks have lately become part of daily life and who knows for how long. Why not make them a focal point of self-expression. There are so many different patterns out there and designs of masks, but if you recognize the important things to look for, you'll be set.