As COVID-19 has spread worldwide over the last few months, scientists have been learning more about how the virus circulates. So far, we have learned that much like the 2003 outbreak of SARS, this coronavirus spreads through respiratory droplets. It also appears that the majority of carriers may show no symptoms.
It is because of this that the CDC has recently changed its stance on public use of face masks. The CDC now suggests that a nonsurgical cloth face covering should be used to help prevent the spread of the virus.
But what makes the best face mask? Keep reading to find out.
Best Face Mask Materials
A study has been conducted by scientists on the best materials for cloth face masks. Dr. Scott Segal has said, "if light can easily pass through, and the fibers are easily seen, this is not a good material.”
Thin materials and woven fabrics have larger holes between them allowing more pathogens through. The higher the thread count and thicker the material the better.
Here are the three best materials that can be used for face masks.
If you're making your own mask or purchasing one, cotton is the preferred material. The CDC has recommended 120 thread count or "quilters cotton”. This is a very dense material that prevents the majority of little particles to pass through.
The CDC has also said that flannel is thick enough to effectively help control the spread of the virus. When choosing materials this can be used in a pinch. It can also be used as a filter fabric in a cotton mask to give an extra layer of protection.
But it's not advised for prolonged exposure. So if you're considered an essential worker you would be better off buying a professional mask for your shifts.
3. At Home Materials
The CDC has released a number of tutorials to make your own face masks in a serious pinch. It has been suggested that you can use scarves to cover your face with and it will help from spreading but offers little protection for you.
Bandanas can also be used to make a mask with no sewing involved. This can be done by folding into thirds and using a filter fabric in the middle. This also is effective for preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Again, this is also not advised for prolonged exposure.
Food For Thought
It's important to remember that wearing a mask is not a substitute for social distancing. You should still wash your hands frequently and maintain a six-foot distance from other people. You should also try to stay home as much as possible.
It is also important to mention that wearing a mask will not necessarily protect you from contracting the virus. But it will help keep you from spreading it to others that may be at risk.
Where to Find the Best Face Mask
While making your own mask can be a good alternative if you have no other options, a professionally made mask is your best bet. A professionally manufactured mask offers you more protection than a homemade mask. They can also be more effective in preventing the spread of germs to others.
We offer a face mask that fits better than most. And, for every mask that we sell, we will donate two surgical masks to healthcare workers with our Mask4Mask program.
Sign up now to shop for our products and read more on our blog.