And a not-yet-peer-reviewed preprint issued in October 2020 by researchers at the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reported that shields blocked only 2% of aerosols emitted by a cough simulator—worse than a drugstore-variety three-ply cloth face mask (which blocked 51%) and a single-layer polyester neck gaiter (47%). Why we like it: We normally avoid the fussiness of ties, but according to all but one of our panelists, Rendall’s design makes those on the Sentry mask arguably easy to fasten and adjust. The New York Times has a video tutorial. The solid varieties seem more tightly woven and feel heavier than most of our other cotton picks. The nose-bridge wire hits a nice balance between sturdy and pliable—making for a great seal—and a pocket accommodates a third layer (filters sold separately). As Raina MacIntyre, head of the Biosecurity Program at the University of New South Wales’s Kirby Institute, explained: “In the absence of randomized controlled studies for SARS CoV-2, you have to look at principles that have been found by clinical effectiveness and lab studies, put it all together, and make sensible recommendations.”. In the meantime, view any specific filtration claims with a healthy dose of skepticism. If you’re using filters in a mask pocket, have them at the ready, too. 2 out of 5 stars with 1 reviews. Video: Sarah Kobos, Stretchy fabrics allow some masks to fit a larger range of face sizes. If the fasteners are too thick, secure a small piece of yarn or string as close to the ends of each loop as appropriate. A Duke University study, which unintentionally sparked the ruckus, looked at one layer of a particular polyester-spandex design using a novel contraption (the actual topic of the paper). “Even a quarter-inch can make a difference,” said Jun, especially if you have a wider or thinner face, a longer chin, or a higher nose bridge. Several testers liked the two-layer Baggu Fabric Mask with ties. Why we like it: One of the more-thoughtful designs from early on in the pandemic, the Kitsbow Face Mask has a pleasingly pliable nose-bridge wire and a generous cut that resists slippage. “Viruses thrive when in wet, warm materials,” said the Kirby Institute’s Raina MacIntyre. A September 2020 Northeastern University paper (PDF) reports that a surgical mask sealed to the wearer with a band cut from a pair of nylon stockings went from blocking out 50% to 75% of small (less than 0.3 micron) particles to blocking 90%. Social Standard by Sanctuary Adult 3pk Cotton Face Mask - Black/Olive Camo. That said, wearing a mask isn’t an excuse to ignore social distancing, just as wearing a seatbelt doesn’t justify reckless driving. Specifically, spending more than a cumulative 15 minutes over the course of 24 hours with an infected person constitutes “close contact.” (Independent experts have disputed the rationale behind both the 6-feet-of-distance and 15-cumulative-minutes-of-exposure guidelines, stating that even though the new guidelines are an improvement, droplets can infect others well over 6 feet away, depending on the ventilation, and this can happen in fewer than 15 total minutes.). Unfortunately, that mask doesn’t exist. Each mask includes a machine-washable filter. As a CDC scientific brief posted in November 2020 points out, when everyone wears masks, infection rates decrease significantly. The solid-color versions of this two-ply cone mask have the substantive, tight-weave feel of cotton-canvas painter’s pants; the plaids are made of the lighter performance fabric used in the cycling apparel this company is known for. (More than 15,000 listings on Etsy alone.) If your ears get sore, the enclosed plastic fastener, with hooks at both ends, attaches the two ear loops to each other behind your head to relieve pressure. Photo: Sarah Kobos. This two-layer cotton mask offers more options than most, not only in color but also in fit, fasteners, texture, and layers. Zoocchini - Toddler/Kids 3 Pack Organic Cotton 2 Layer with Pocket for Air Filters Reusable Breathable Face Masks Set One Size: 3 years + - Shark Multi 3 years + 0 Reviews How to choose and use (and make) sprays, wipes, and a bleach-based solution to disinfect surfaces. Buy 4 pack Cotton face mask - Blue Group from Walmart Canada. “The more visible openings you see in the fabric structure, the less effective the material may be at filtering particles,” Ormond said. The nose-bridge wire is one of our favorites: It bends where you need it to and keeps its shape without feeling too stiff—which is why testers found that this mask seals off at the top better than most, reducing the potential for glasses fogging. Tha Baggu Fabric Mask (ear loops) in succulent (top left, bottom right) and daisy (top right, bottom left). Learn more about Coronavirus protective measures. Gather a range of materials and mask shapes. Fruit of the Loom Reusable Cotton Face Mask Non-Medical, 5 Pack. Just because a mask isn’t one of our picks doesn’t mean it’s no good. We love that the filter is also generously sized to span the entire mask, more so than that of any of our other picks. This triple-layer poly-cotton mask is lingerie-material light but office-appropriate sleek. Joanne Chen is Wirecutter’s senior staff writer reporting on sleep and, on occasion, other lifestyle topics. $20. FASTSHIPPINGMASK.COM. Rendall Co.'s full-coverage mask comes in four different patterns, all made from 100 percent woven cotton. The similarly cozy BeatBasic mask—an “Amazon’s Choice” offering with more than 12,000 reviews at this writing—lacked a filter pocket, and its ear loops failed to offer sufficient elasticity. Stuffing a filter into the pocket’s opening (a slit cut vertically, top to bottom, at one side) can be frustrating. More important, they keep the silhouette somewhat puffed (so there’s more breathing room) and slightly expandable (so you can open your mouth wide without slippage). The coronavirus is easily broken down with soap and water whether it’s on your hands or a mask. While the masks are listed on Walmart… The generous swath of material and pleating covers larger faces and facial hair well. A too-snug fit, one that leaves marks on your skin, may tempt you to take the mask off. But if you’re struggling to leave a mask on, play around with different materials. Makers of non-medical masks are continually introducing new designs and improving on current lines, so we’ll be updating this guide frequently. After hearing raves about the Vistaprint RFS Mask, we gave that model a try, too, but we found its chin coverage quite narrow, with a tendency to ride up. Tightening the ties also secures the sides of the mask to your cheeks for a more protective seal. Photo: Sarah Kobos, The Herschel Supply Co. Classic Fitted Face Mask in black and white. Like trusty T-shirts, the best masks are machine washable so they’re quickly cleaned and back in the rotation. But as the World Health Organization explained to us in an email, when the focus is preventing the spread of the coronavirus, such valves can be problematic because by design they can let unfiltered air escape. The relatively expensive polyester-polyurethane Under Armour Sportsmask is well constructed and available in five sizes, but if you over- or underestimate your size at the time of ordering, as some of our panelists did, it’s difficult to adjust. Learn more. The Kitsbow Face Mask in (clockwise from top left) Killington blue, dry grass, buff, and Providence grey. Our favorite grab-and-go mask, it slips on and off effortlessly and works best for short-term wear if you’re prone to overheating beneath the dense layers of fabric. With research on non-medical mask filters’ efficacy and, in some cases, long-term safety still in its infancy, we can’t recommend the “best” filter just yet, though we hope to as the science accumulates. To do so without potentially contaminating yourself, slip your hands inside at the bottom edge so that you can use the back of your hands to stretch the fabric in opposite directions and lift the garment over and off your head. Photo: Sarah Kobos, Construction: two-ply; organic cotton outer and inner layersSizes and dimensions (height by width): one size; 7.5 by 8.5 inches (expanded), 3.75 by 8.5 inches (flat)Filter: none included. Photo: Sarah Kobos, The Baggu Fabric Mask (ear loops) in Twilight. Generous cut: This is the rare feature that enhances both breathability and filtration. Arrives before Christmas. A properly fitting mask extends vertically from the bridge of the nose (just below the eye line) to about an inch under the chin, and it stretches horizontally from cheek to cheek, or even better, as close to the ears as comfortable. The plaids are much lighter and more breathable. Darts on the sides of this pre-shrunk, two-ply cotton-twill mask lend a tailored look. An easy-to-access pocket means you’re more likely to add a filter in higher-risk situations, such as a semi-crowded grocery-store run. Staying home or staying at least 6 feet apart from others is the best way to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. (Hint: Start with the mask inside-out, put the filter in place, and then flip the mask back. That feature can be great during wildfire smoke conditions. The elastic headbands stay put on hair better than most, and together with the pliable nose-bridge wire and a choice of three sizes, they allow for a nice, close fit. Unfortunately, few mask makers provide thread-count information online, and you’re left with taking their word for how “sturdy” or “tightly woven” the materials they’re using are. Adjustable Fit. The headbands, although great for extended-wear situations, are less practical than ear loops for take-on-take-off situations such as eating outdoors. Admittedly, conditions had reached a humid 90 degrees that day; even so, with the material so porous, we had expected more sweat wicking. If the mask’s bands don’t help seal off the sides, try adding a chain of three rubber bands, as this clever technique demonstrates. You can try “ear savers,” but the Velcro trick works here, too. Why we like it: With various iterations of cotton (broadcloth, chambray, oxford, and pique), linen, and cotton-linen blends, the Proper Cloth Everyday Mask collection reminds us of the kinds of crisp fabrics you might pack for a beach getaway. Its thick, sturdy construction may be too stifling for all-day wear, but it works well for short errands. But it’s hard to predict whether social distancing will be possible in any given situation. Face shields may also be useful as extra protection for those who are wearing a cloth mask in other close-range situations. Photo: Sarah Kobos, Construction: cotton duck outer layer, cotton muslin inner layer (solid colors); polyester-cotton inner and outer layers (plaids)Sizes and dimensions (height by width): 5.75 by 9.25 inches (small), 6.5 by 10 inches (medium), 7.25 by 10.75 inches (large/XL)Filter: two included; replacements available. You can also thread a strap of Velcro through the two ear loops so the mask attaches at the back of your head. 25 PACK - KIDS FACE MASK SUPER COMFORTABLE. Each dual-layer mask features a printed exterior and an inside slip … Depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, you can dry your cloth mask in the dryer or allow it to air dry. Whether it blocks smaller droplets is a point of controversy. If your measurements fall in between designated sizes, size up and adjust the fasteners as needed, or better yet, look for another mask. Women's Single Floral Fabric Face Mask - Universal Thread™ Gray S/M. Keep your masks accessible. The masks we recommend here are those we believe to have the most thoughtful and sturdy designs, as well as models that should comfortably fit most faces. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Walmart is currently selling a 5-pack of Hanes 100% cotton reusable masks in stores for just $7.50, or $1.50 each. Don’t fall for “one size fits all.” That one size might not fit you. “The more thread in a given area, the more solid the barrier, the harder it is to get through,” explained North Carolina State University textile scientist Bryan Ormond. The Outdoor Research Face Mask Kit we tried was too big for small faces, even with the ear-loop toggles (a smaller size will be introduced soon, though). “The virus is essentially genetic material wrapped up in a shell of lipids and proteins. Gifts for Girls Boys. We like the breathability and lightness of the Buff Filter Mask as well as its easily adjustable headbands (which operate similar to fanny-pack straps). Look for a nose-bridge wire. A 10-pack of the same masks is $25 on Hanes’ website, or $2.50 each, so Walmart’s deal is a better bet. We’ve found that the plaid version without the filter works nicely for a walk in an uncrowded park or a bike trip. A pocket for an additional middle layer, or filter, can be useful for higher-risk situations. The solid-color versions feel thicker than the plaids. At 3.5 inches, the opening to the filter pocket is aggravatingly small (though not as small as that of the Rendall Co. mask), so stuffing it requires some patience. If you have a mask you can’t return that doesn’t fit well or feel good to wear, you may be able to improve it with a few inexpensive accessories. The bands are also thick, and they feel more comfortable worn well above and below the ear lobes to avoid crushing them. Warm water is adequate (though for some masks, a cold wash is preferable—again, check the manufacturer’s instructions). Start with the features below—keeping in mind that no mask is guaranteed to provide complete protection. 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After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. Soap literally dissolves it away and makes it disintegrate,” said Hana Akselrod, an infectious disease physician at George Washington University. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the latest research on cloth face coverings, help you build a collection of masks that suit your various needs, and explain how prioritizing fit and comfort can lead to better protection—for others and even, possibly, for yourself. The basic tenets of a face covering are fairly straightforward. With mask wearing being the new normal, you should have a few on hand. Take it off immediately without touching the face piece and put on a new one.”. You can add a filter if you desire, and you can undo the ties but leave the mask hanging around your neck for, say, dining outdoors. 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