As the number of coronavirus infections in Australia continues to rise, the government is enacting state-wide mask laws that require all people — including children — to wear a mask in public places where social distancing is impossible. Everyone should wear a mask, but not all masks offer the same level of protection.
Many retailers and businesses have shifted to manufacturing and selling fabric masks and face mask accessories to the general public in reaction to rising mask regulations. But with so much variety in today’s market, it’s vital to remember that not all face masks are created equal, and some give greater security than others. So, while shopping for a new face mask, here are seven key features to look for.
But First, Why Should You Wear a Face Mask?
While wearing a face mask will not render you immune to COVID-19, it will prevent particles emitted when coughing or sneezing from travelling too far through the air. Cloth face masks, according to specialists, do not replace the requirement for handwashing or social distancing, and they do not, by themselves, prevent the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 is usually transferred by respiratory droplets, and masks are meant to keep droplets and particles from entering your lungs and give some defence against particles ejected by others. If you’re sick, it can help minimise the risk of infecting others, but it won’t totally protect you from catching the virus from someone else.
Face masks also serve as a reminder to avoid touching your face, which according to the World Health Organization, is critical in preventing the virus from spreading from surfaces to your nose, eyes, and mouth.
- Ensure the Fabric is Medical Grade
According to a recent study, fabric quality influences how successful a cloth mask filters out particulates. The study’s most effective design was a dual-layer medical mask with a heavyweight cotton layer and a lighter cotton or silk layer.
So, pay attention to the fabric of a medical mask while buying, as filtering performance varies greatly depending on the type of cloth used, ranging from 5% to 80%.
Buyers should also make a note of the fact that some fabric face masks for sale are only for decorative or aesthetic purposes. Therefore, buyers of reusable face masks in Australia should be aware that not any material will suffice to protect against a virus.
- Masks Should Have Three Layers of Fabric – Triple Lined
If you’re sick, a mask with multiple layers will keep more respiratory droplets from getting inside or escaping from your mask. Studies have shown that single-layer and double-layer masks made of lightweight, low-thread-count cotton performs poorly compared to three-layers.
If you cannot find a fabric mask with numerous layers, you can wear a disposable mask underneath a fabric mask for double protection. The disposable mask’s edges should be pushed on your face by the fabric mask.
- Fit Snugly(But Comfortably) Against Your Face
Using a mask correctly and consistently is a vital step that everyone can take to avoid contracting and spreading COVID-19. Many studies have discovered that gaps around the borders of a mask, which might be caused by a mask that doesn’t fit properly, can result in a 60% reduction in filtering efficiency.
Make sure your face mask fits comfortably over your nose, mouth, and chin. You can ensure no air is coming out of the sides of the mask or from the region near your eyes by cupping your hands around the exterior corners of the mask, which will reveal any holes.
You will feel warm air coming through the front of the mask if it is well fitted, and you may be able to watch the mask material move in and out with each breath with proper fitting.
- Be Secured with Ties or Ear Loops and a Nose Wire
A moldable nose wire is a metal strip that runs vertically across the top of the mask to ensure that air does not leak out of the top of the mask. Bend the nose wire to fit close to your face, preventing droplets from sneaking in and out along the sides of your nose.
In the same way, ties or ear loops are an important element to a face mask to ensure the mask fits snugly on your face to ensure the least amount of air particles can escape from the user.
For better protection, you can knot and tuck the ear loops of a 3-ply mask where they join the edge of the mask. Or use masks that attach behind the neck and head with either elastic bands or ties (instead of ear loops) as this may be more comfortable for particular users.
You can also use a mask fitter or a brace to keep your mask in place and prevent air from escaping around the edges of a disposable mask or a fabric mask.
- Must Allow for Breathing Without Restriction
Shoppers of reusable face masks in Australia should seek comfortable masks. For example, a poorly fitting or uncomfortable mask might be worn incorrectly and removed often, which would reduce its intended benefits. If you can’t breathe well through it, you won’t want to wear it for very long, and because air follows the route of least resistance, it will simply bypass the material and exit through the sides.
- Must Be WashableWithout Damage or Shape Change
Shoppers of reusable face masks in Australia should also seek masks that are easy to clean, as you should not wear wet or dirty face mask materials as they are less likely to protect you. So be sure to check the product description on each mask to ensure that your chosen mask can be washed.
If you don’t have this information, the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria suggests cleaning your mask as follows:
- Handwash your mask with soap in the hottest water setting possible.
- Allow the mask to air dry fully before putting it back on.
- Before and after handling your mask, wash your hands.
- After each use, wash your mask.
- Do You Have a Beard?
Mask fitting can be challenging with some forms of facial hair, such as beards. Bearded men can engage in one or more of the following activities:
- They should shave their beards.
- Their beards should be kept short and near to their faces.
- Use a mask fitter or a brace to keep your mask in place.
Underneath a cloth mask with many layers of fabric, use one disposable mask. The borders of the inner mask should be pushed tightly against the face and beard by the second mask. Masks for persons with beards are being tested, and further information will be given as soon as it becomes available.
The Bottom Line: Where Can I Buy Reusable Face Masks Australia
The bottom line when selecting a face mask is that comfort, washability, and dual filtration are essential. Above all, no matter what sort of mask you’re wearing, continue to practise social distance, hand washing, and other measures.
While disposable masks can be convenient, reusable masks are better for both the environment and your wallet. As a leading reusable face masks Australia company, our patented medical-grade fabrics have latex-free, allergen-free, antibacterial properties to create comfortable and durable products. Our technical fabric range is also available in various sizes & colours to suit any client requirements, shop medical masks.