The Best Face Mask For You!

The Right Mask to Use

When considering the best face mask to use, you should carefully consider the different types of masks as well as how to wear a mask correctly.

N95 respirators are made of special material that removes at least 95% of even the small droplets. They’re also manufactured to fit with a tight seal around the nose and mouth so air and viral particles can’t get around the side of the respirator.

Some N95s (not intended for medical use) have valves in them that vent exhaled breath without any filtration. These vented respirators will not provide protection for nearby individuals in the event that the wearer has COVID-19. These masks are not recommended during the COVID-19 pandemic. If only vented N95 respirators are available, gluing the vent shut will help protect people around you.

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Should I wear a face covering or face mask when I go out in public

best face mask n95

N95 mask

N95 respirators are made of special material that removes at least 95% of even the small droplets. They’re also manufactured to fit with a tight seal around the nose and mouth so air and viral particles can’t get around the side of the respirator. This is often considered the best face mask to use.

Some N95s (not intended for medical use) have valves in them that vent exhaled breath without any filtration. These vented respirators will not provide protection for nearby individuals in the event that the wearer has COVID-19. These masks are not recommended during the COVID-19 pandemic. If only vented N95 respirators are available, gluing the vent shut will help protect people around you.
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(source: The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health)

best face mask surgical masks

Surgical masks

A surgical mask is a loose-fitting, disposable device that creates a physical barrier between the mouth and nose of the wearer and potential contaminants in the immediate environment. Surgical masks are regulated under 21 CFR 878.4040. Surgical masks are not to be shared and may be labeled as surgical, isolation, dental, or medical procedure masks. They may come with or without a face shield. These are often referred to as face masks, although not all face masks are regulated as surgical masks.

Surgical masks are made in different thicknesses and with different ability to protect you from contact with liquids. These properties may also affect how easily you can breathe through the face mask and how well the surgical mask protects you.

If worn properly, a surgical mask is meant to help block large-particle droplets, splashes, sprays, or splatter that may contain germs (viruses and bacteria), keeping it from reaching your mouth and nose. Surgical masks may also help reduce exposure of your saliva and respiratory secretions to others.

Buy Procedure & Isolation 3 ply Mask (50/box)

home made mask

Homemade masks

Homemade cloth masks remove some large droplets but provide little protection against aerosols. They cannot provide a seal around the nose and mouth, and their effectiveness is unlikely to be improved by face shields. If surgical masks are not available, cloth masks worn by infected people may reduce the spread of droplets. It is strongly advised to use cloth face masks with proven inserts to increase the blocking of aerosols.

best face masks for children

Children's masks

Everyone in your household should wear a mask (if 2 years of age or older) when in public and when around people who don’t live in your household. Ensure your child wears their masks correctly and safely.

The best face mask means ensuring proper mask size and fit and providing children with frequent reminders and education on the importance and proper wear of masks may help address these issues.
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face shield

Face Shields

Face shields are plastic barriers worn as eye protection in medical settings. They are intended to protect against splashes and direct coughs or sneezes. They have large openings around the side of the face and provide minimal protection against small droplets. They are more comfortable to wear than cloth masks, but should not be considered a substitute for the best face mask.

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face mask disposal

When should masks and respirators be discarded?

Discard a mask or N95 respirator when it is contaminated with blood or bodily fluids, when you can no longer obtain a good seal at the nose or around the mouth, or when it is visibly damaged or dirty or hard to breathe through.

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