We also wished that the filter pocket stretched horizontally across the mask for added filtration efficiency. är Nanofilter Masks: Based in Prague, är takes a similar approach, using a disposable EU-made three-layer nano filter insert, which blocks up to 99.8% of particulates. The only drawback is that due to the lack of an adjustable nose wire, there was a small gap around my nose, which had a tendency to fog up my glasses. To mitigate lip irritation, before donning a mask, slick petroleum jelly onto your lips—it’s better at staying put and sealing in moisture than lip balms, said Philadelphia dermatologist Carrie Kovarik. This mask was one of the softest materials out of the ones I tested, and it was comfortable to wear. Currently, we’re evaluating (or awaiting deliveries of) the Lo & Sons All Day Comfort Face Mask, the new cotton-polyester Banana Republic Face Mask with headbands, and the polyester-spandex Banana Republic Flyweight Face Mask with ear loops. I wanted to love the Iso-Chill fabric, however, while the mask felt cool against my skin after putting it on, after a few minutes, the cooling effect feeling was gone. The best a non-medical mask can do is align closely to the curves of your face, cover your nose and mouth, and feel comfortable enough that you won’t fuss with it as you go about your day. They allow you to adjust the fit around the nose and chin, but I found neither were great at helping to achieve a tight fit. No need to use hot water: Heat can shrink some natural fabrics, and it can also hasten wear and tear over time, particularly for synthetic materials. This homemade mask is sold by Etsy seller Shiitake Creek. Examine the fastener texture. Here’s what to do: If a pleated mask gapes around your cheeks: This problem is common—most people don’t have rectangular faces. How to choose and use (and make) sprays, wipes, and a bleach-based solution to disinfect surfaces. Flaws but not dealbreakers: The solid version is similar in weight to the Graf Lantz mask but doesn’t tent up as much. Masks with toggles at the ear loops are easily adjustable for a custom fit. After an assignment forced her to sleep eight hours a day for a month, she realized that she is, in fact, a smarter, nicer person when she isn’t sleep-deprived. The mask should be able to be washed and dried without resulting in any damage to the mask such as holes or tears.” To rehash, here are some guidelines for buying a face mask that will help prevent the spread of … Now, it seems almost every retailer produces and sells masks. To test the quality of the face masks, I washed them according to their care instructions and looked for any post-cleaning damage. Banana Republic’s masks come in a pack of three and include a variety of colors and patterns. 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). Reviewers like this face mask because it has a better fit. Care instructions: hand wash, lay flat to dry, Adjustable nose wire: Yes Ear loops or ties: Ear loops Filter: Built-in filter Different sizes: One size How to wash: Hand wash only. Because the layers are thicker than most masks, it is almost like wearing a blanket over your face, making it feel warmer. After all, the “best” cloth face mask is the one you will wear and not fuss with. Unlike respirator masks, surgical masks are not meant to create an airtight fit on your face. An N95 respirator mask’s fibers are electrostatic and nonwoven (haphazardly arranged), which makes it harder for particulates to penetrate. Athleta is known for its functional workout and active lifestyle clothing, so I was very curious about how their masks would perform. They ship from Canada, so you may have to pay a foreign transaction fee if you are ordering from the U.S., and both Sam and I did not receive the masks until weeks after ordering them. To bolster a mask made with loosely woven fabric, add more layers in the filter pocket so as to block more of the light coming through (but not so much that the mask feels suffocating). These face masks are a hit with CNET readers and come in a variety of styles. Protecting others is relatively easy: Almost any cloth can halt the larger-than-5-microns globules shooting from your mouth when you’re talking loudly, singing, coughing, or sneezing. “The more visible openings you see in the fabric structure, the less effective the material may be at filtering particles,” Ormond said. One of our editors, Nicole, ordered this mask for herself and also did not like it. I love apparel and don’t like to sacrifice fashion, comfort, or quality in my clothing—especially when it comes to face masks. Slipped in between two or more fabric layers, the nonwoven material complicates the existing maze a virus needs to get through before it can reach your nose and mouth—creating “a tortuous pathway,” said Mark Losego, an associate professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Tech. The nose-bridge wires also didn’t mold well. The Old Navy masks were the best value of the ones we tested. A pocket for an additional middle layer, or filter, can be useful for higher-risk situations. To offer the most protection, the material should be tightly woven and have multiple layers. Gather a range of materials and mask shapes. A too-snug fit, one that leaves marks on your skin, may tempt you to take the mask off. It does come with its own filter, though, which can help make up for the weaker material. Why we like it: Our fitness writer’s top pick to jog in (thus far), the Herschel Classic Fitted Face Mask feels like a lighter, more breathable version of the Banana Republic mask. It fit well on my face despite not having extra adjustments and has three layers of fabric which will offer more protection. It strikes a nice balance between providing protection and breathability, especially in hot and humid temperatures. We’ll throw the masks into the wash again and again and field feedback from our readers and long-term testers. I wanted to love the mask immediately because of it’s soft feel and on-trend fabric, but unfortunately the fit of the mask was loose around my nose and cheeks, leaving a large gap between the mask and my face. The Kitsbow Face Mask in (clockwise from top left) Killington blue, dry grass, buff, and Providence grey. Testers who didn’t find the latter to be a problem appreciated this mask’s generous sizing and breathability. 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