Covid-19 has had a huge impact this year. A number of the world’s most powerful nations are still battling the virus, using social distancing measures and PPE to fight its transmission and bring down its reproduction rate.
One of the key ways of stopping the spread of COVID-19 is by wearing a face covering, which is why face masks are now in widespread use in many countries. But with so many different types of mask to choose from, it can be tricky to determine which style of face covering would give the best level of protection.
From fabric face masks and surgical masks to more specialized versions like the KN95 mask, there are plenty of options available. Take a look at the pros and cons of some of the most effective masks to find out more about how these masks help to reduce transmission, and which face covering would best suit your needs.
The Fabric Face Covering
Fabric face coverings are one of the world’s most popular options, and that’s largely down to how comfortable and readily available they are. They’re also reusable, which is perfect for those who are now getting into the habit of wearing a face covering frequently.
Cloth masks come in a variety of different styles, fabrics and thicknesses, so some will offer a greater level of protection against viruses than others. They are not regulated, however, so it’s suggested that these masks are only used in conjunction with other protective measures, such as social distancing and the regular sanitizing of hands and surfaces.
Well suited to daily errands like visiting supermarkets and traveling on public transport, fabric face coverings have been recommended for use in the US, UK, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Chile, The Bahamas and many other countries.
The Surgical Mask
Surgical masks are disposable, so they cannot be washed and worn again like a fabric face covering. When comparing a surgical mask vs cloth mask, this simple fact can make all the difference. However, surgical masks do offer a better level of protection against viruses, thanks to their unique layered design.
Surgical masks are made with three layers, each of which has its own purpose to fulfil. The outer layer will repel liquid substances, giving the wearer protection from the droplets that are known to spread COVID-19. The middle layer is designed to stop airborne particles, while the inner layer keeps the wearer comfortable, wicking sweat away from the skin so that the mask can be worn for lengthy periods of time.
The KN95 Mask
KN95 masks have been widely recommended for use this year. They’re another great option for those looking for robust protection from the COVID-19. These masks are officially certified and will stop 95% of airborne particles, hence their name.
The respirator-style design of the KN95 mask offers a great level of filtration, meaning the masks are brilliantly effective in stopping droplets from entering a wearer’s mouth or nose. They also stop an infected wearer from transmitting the disease to others around them.
Face Masks with Valves
Some face coverings and masks include a valve. These valves are designed to improve comfort for the wearer, by helping them to breathe out through the mask.
Unfortunately, the valves only work one-way. So they will protect the wearer from any harmful viruses around them, but they won’t stop an infected wearer from transmitting the virus to others. For this reason, face masks with valves are not widely recommended for public use in the fight against COVID.
These masks are far better suited to protecting wearers from the damaging effects of pollution, dust and pollen.
Face masks offer a good level of protection against harmful viruses like the COVID-19. However, some styles of masks are more effective than others, so it’s well worth doing your research before investing in a new style of face covering.
Looking for the best mask for COVID-19? Well, the answer to your question will depend on what you intend to use it for. Bear in mind the activities that you plan on doing, and the places you plan to visit, before deciding what level of protection would be suitable.