Lets talk about masks. In this world we live in it’s the thing to have to do our everyday things. Businesses have switched gears to make and sell masks. Companies from Beanie Babies to Vista Print to Shamwow all have gotten on the bandwagon of making masks.
So how do you choose? Where do you go? What about custom masks? So lets go through some key things to choose your masks and review the masks I have purchased so far.
For the purpose of this article when I say masks I am referring to non-medical face coverings. For us this means we are following the recommendations made by our local government. Please make sure you are following the guidelines for your area. Whether you are making one or buying one, below are some recommendations for optimizing the quality of your reusable mask.
- High Thread count and multiple layers – this helps reduce the amount of particles that will pass through the masks. It is recommended to use cotton along with spun bond polyproplylene materials.
- Washable – check to see if the product needs to be washed by hand or by machine. If you are making your own choose material that can be laundered frequently. Ideally a washable mask should be able to withstand being laundered in hot water.
- Avoid single layers of polyester, spandex or cotton. Like when using neck gaiters or bandanas. These are great for when we are in the outdoors especially when hiking and running. But they are meant to be breathable and allow particles to disperse through them.
- Clear Breathing – Though you don’t want water particles to go through your mask, it is important to be able to breath in them.
Now lets talk about the masks we have.
I ordered my Redbubble masks when they first introduced them, this review is based on the initial roll out. Since then they have added different sizes. The masks we have are the 2 Layer Flat Masks. These masks are made of poly spandex fabric.
I like these if you are quickly going into a place or walking to your mailbox. They are soft and not too tight around the face. They are great in a pinch as a replacement to a disposable mask. And you get to show your creative side with so many designs by artists from around the world. You can wash them in hot water and they can go in the dryer.
Depending on your size the masks can fit a little too loose. They fit perfectly for my husband’s face but for mine I have to adjust it constantly. For long term use in the day I am not a big fan of the 2 layers. I am only comfortable wearing them for an hour or less.
We were excited when we saw these. We love the ties from Cheap-neckties.com. We have bought them for weddings and more day to day use. We like the price and the variety. Back to the masks – the price was right and since we liked the quality of the ties we thought we wanted to try out the masks. These masks come in 3 layers. The designs vary from geckos to floral to tartan. They also have a nose ridge you can adjust. The Brand is BYOM.
I like the price, the layers, the fit, and the breathability. When you wear them they don’t sit right against your mouth and that makes a world of difference for me. The middle layer is also a nano fibre. The ones we got from here have become our favorite to wear. They can go in the washing machine and the dryer. They have adjustable straps around the ears.
These masks can only be washed with warm water and it has to be low heat for the dryer. Otherwise the only other recommendation for improvement would be to have an opening for a carbon filter.
As most retailors sell masks, I found some at Ricki’s. I like Ricki’s, especially for professional wear. When I was working as an admin, the clothes here were good quality and lasted long. So when I discovered they too had masks I thought I would try them out. The selling point for me though was these masks went around the neck and head instead of hooking on the ears. I see a lot of these type of masks on workers that deal with the public. (ie. Retailors and customer service representatives). Ricki’s had a number of different patterns as well. These masks are 2 layers and are made to go in the washer and dryer.
I cannot emphasize enough how much I like masks around the neck and head instead around the ear. This style makes it easier if you are in a situation where you need to take your mask off (eg. a day of errands, in and out of your car, taking a sip of water). They work great if your hair is in a bun or ponytail. These masks are machine washable in hot water.
I find they fit tight right on the face. Which in the winter if I am outside it wouldn’t be too bad but indoors for long period of time I find it a bit stuffy. With my particular masks I found that they are starting to get fabric pills after only a few washes and I cannot tell if which side is the outside or if its supposed to be a reversible style.
Yes that company that sells microfibers clothes and less chemicals cleaning products are selling masks too. I know a few that use this company. And I have wanted to try some of their products I just find them expensive for my budget. When they came out with their masks I thought it would be a good place to start. I have 2 masks from them. The first one was their initial roll out and was a very good price. Since then they have updated their product and came out with a new line which went up in price, which is my second one. Their masks are 1 layer but are made with the microfiber that helps filter a lot out when breathing in and out. Washing should be at warm temperatures and air dry only in dryer.
They fit nice and are breathable, especially since the mask doesn’t sit right against my mouth. My newer one fits better around the ears.
Price, though I understand the material is expensive, it is a deterrent if you are on a budget. They also recommend using their own wash products which again is expensive.
In Review: So far my favourite masks are from Cheap-neckties.com and Norwex. I like my other masks too because they have a purpose and place depending on the circumstances. I think that is the key, find what you need that fits your lifestyle. And it doesn’t hurt to have different kinds of masks for different circumstances.
Have a mask you want me to review? Contact me through here.