This post was originally published on August 31st, 2020, and last updated on Feb 17th, 2021 to reflect new CDC guidelines.
Wondering what face masks you should buy to protect yourself, your family and friends, and your community from the threat of COVID-19? There’s a lot of information to sort through, and it can be hard to know exactly what advice to follow.
The CDC recommends facial coverings in all public settings where social distancing measures aren’t strictly followed, and most states have mandated their use. But what features should you look for in a mask? Keep reading to learn the differences between reusable masks with insertable filters and disposable, single-use masks.
The Benefits of Reusable Masks
There’s no doubt that face masks, in general, can help slow the spread of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID-19. They can also help protect against other viral illnesses.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, before reusable masks were being widely manufactured, disposable masks were a convenient and easy-to-obtain option. Research has since demonstrated, however, that even homemade cloth face coverings tend to offer superior protection compared to disposable (“surgical”) masks.
Reusable masks, especially those with effective filters included, are generally the best option for people who don’t work in the healthcare field. They’re better for the environment, tend to be more comfortable, come in a variety of styles, and offer good protection and filtration, especially with filters included.
There are some key features to look for in a reusable mask to ensure adequate protection, durability, and comfort. Here are a few of the most important ones:
- High-performance filters
- Soft, machine-washable fabric
- Elastic ear bands to ensure comfort
- Added UV protection
The Benefits of Disposable Masks
Reusable cloth masks are the ideal choice for regular people in everyday situations. They’re affordable, effective, eco-friendly, and convenient. But that doesn’t mean disposable masks aren’t also a good option.
When you think of disposable masks, you likely think of a medical or surgical mask, which is a loose-fitting disposable mask that covers your nose and mouth and protects you from droplets, sprays, splashes, and large particles in the air. They’re a cheap, easy-to-wear face covering, and they also work to protect the people around you.
The best way to truly protect yourself, especially if you work in the healthcare field or in another at-risk industry, is with an N95 or KN95 mask. A disposable N95 or KN95 mask offers a superior level of all-around protection. That’s because it’s designed with multiple layers of protection to filter out particles of varying sizes when you inhale, including about 95% of very small particles.
The Importance of High-Quality Filters
One of the primary benefits of reusable masks is that they can be manufactured with pockets to allow for the use of filters.
The right fabric can offer some protection against viruses. But if you’re looking to truly protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community, reusable masks that include effective insertable filters are your best bet. In addition to offering superior protection against viruses, some insertable filters, such as those included with the Airflow CoolMesh™ face masks by Cestus, can also help guard against UV rays, bacteria, and poor air quality.
Insertable filters provide added protection that’s convenient and effective. They’re easy to use and don’t require you to sacrifice comfort.
In addition to the extra protection offered by the insertable bamboo and hanji filters, the reusable masks from Cestus are:
- Machine-washable — Durable fabric can be washed and re-worn for extended use.
- Designed for comfort — Elasticity ensures that the mask fits your face comfortably.
- Cool mesh — Quick-drying fabric keeps your face dry and cool.
- 99% UV Protection — Fabric is processed to protect against the harmful effects of UV rays.
- Antiviral — Testing has shown a microorganism reduction rate of 99.9% from viruses such as H1N1, Staphylococcus Aureus, and Pneumococcus when used with CoolMesh™ filters.
- Safe for children — Masks have been tested and approved as safe for all ages.
Get Your Eco-Friendly, Reusable Mask with Quality Filters from Cestus
If you’re looking for high-quality, environmentally friendly face masks to protect yourself and help slow the spread of COVID-19, Cestus has developed effective, comfortable, and affordable solutions. We’re dedicated to your safety and doing our part to help our communities during these difficult times.