The Different Types of Disposable Face Masks to Keep You Safe During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Posted January 19, 2021 by in Health + Fitness

Since Covid-19 was first declared a pandemic in March 2020, a variety of face masks have flooded the market. Face masks have come in different styles and colors to fit wearers’ personalities. And, we even see groups and associations having customized face masks: this includes football clubs, companies, and even politicians.

However, as cool as fashion can appear, it should not be the only thing consumers consider when choosing face masks.

Face masks come in two different major categories:

  1. Disposable face masks
  2. Reusable face masks

And just in case you’re asking, disposable face masks have been proved to be the best face masks in the fight against coronavirus. Although they may not be as sustainable as reusable cloth masks, disposable face masks are still a better option. You can find more information on the different types of disposable face masks below:

Woman with face mask grocery shopping during the covid-19 pandemic.

  1. N95 Face Mask

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approve the N95 as the best disposable face masks because of their capacity to filter 95% of airborne particles. But to ensure that there’s enough supply for healthcare workers, the CDC advises that the public should not purchase N95 masks.

  1. Disposable Surgical Masks

Also, there are disposable surgical masks worn by doctors as well as other professional healthcare workers and have been approved for use by the FDA. Just like the N95, the disposable surgical masks are also off the table for the public and cannot be purchased.

The only other options are non-medical and reusable masks.

  1. KN95 mask

Another of the more popular disposable options is the KN95 mask which is imported and considered to the Chinese-made versions of the N95. An expert research specialist explained, “While the certification process of N95 and KN95 are strongly similar, the majority of the KN95 masks out there are counterfeit.”

How to Know the Difference Between an N95 Mask and a KN95 Mask

While you may not be able to tell the difference between an authentic disposable face mask and a fake one, some features still make them distinct. Unlike N95 which filters out N95 of air particles, the KN95 can only filter 75% to 80% of air particles. However, recent research has resulted in the creation of KN95 masks which have the same filtration efficiency as the N95 face masks.

Why You Should Wear A Face Mask—any Face Mask

In this study, it was revealed that the quality of mask materials determine their eventual efficiency. However, while this may sound discouraging, it would be good to know that wearing any mask helps more than wearing none at all. Over time, data has shown that face masks are pretty much of more advantage to the wearers. 

A family medicine specialist in New York said, “Even when people wearing masks contract COVID, they take in less viral load than people who wore no mask and contracted the virus.

A lesser viral load in the system of the host will result in fewer symptoms. Generally, we back here know that the more the viral load you take in, the greater the impact of this disease.”

Best Disposable Masks for Adults

For any disposable masks to be considered usable for adults who are the most vulnerable hosts, it must contain the following features:

  1. Fitness and Snugability 

More often than not, adults do not like the stress of adjusting the clothes they wear. Hence, their nose mask must also be fitted enough. Masks for adults must be able to cover the required parts of the face with no need for constant adjustment. And just in case, you have really big disposable masks, you can adjust them with loops and twists before you wear them. You can as well use straps and accessories if you’re not so great with twists and knots.

  1. Filterability

By default, this should be the top feature that any face mask should have. Tests have shown that ways to test the porosity of a face mask. One test is to hold it up to the sun or a light bulb to see how much light would go through it. Another porosity test is by blowing air through the face mask into a candle flame.

Despite their simplicity, these methods are very profound. For instance, if you blew out a flame easily, it shows that your mask is not filtering the air you’re breathing enough. Also, if the mask allows so much light to stream through it, this could be a sign that the face mask is not designed enough to filter air appropriately.

Another one of the very popular face masks is the trendy one you see on social media. From Ariana Grande to Kanye West to Kaia Gerber, and Justin Bieber (oh yeah, Justin Bieber), this disposable face mask is the rave of the moment. One good thing about this mask is that as long as it is the perfect fit for you, you can also use it for non-medical causes. Its 3 layers which are made up of melt-blown fabric and non-woven polypropylene will be effective in reducing the spread of COVID- 19.

Woman grocery shopping while wearing a disposable face mask to protect herself from the covid-19 virus.

Whatever Mask You Got, Use It!

As long as you have one, use one! Using a face mask remains one of the best-known ways to stop the spread of COVID- 19. So, have one, use one, and save everyone!