The global scarcity of N95 face mask means that getting a disposable respirator can be difficult and expensive. Fortunately, there’s a second option in reusable cloth masks. Not only can you make these washable face masks at home, but you can also buy them more easily.
The different types of face coverings all offer varying levels of protection. So, how effective are these reusable cloth masks compared to the other options? Are they better than N95 and KN95 masks, and what benefits do they offer?
It’s no secret that N95 respirators are the most effective covering at stopping COVID-19 transmission. But did you know that your cloth mask could be a close second? The secret to such effectiveness is your cloth material.
Cloth masks that use PTFE membranes like Teflex washable face mask material are second to only N95 respirators in performance. Indeed, the sheer number of available materials means that only your material type limits the mask’s protection level.
The idea is to use only materials that are not too difficult to breathe in and have small enough pores. Research shows that professional cloths like Teflex washable face mask material and household ones like canvas and cotton work best.
KN95 and Surgical respirators are hostile to environmental health if not disposed of properly. The masks contribute significantly to landfill waste since they’re from a mostly plastic material. Cloth face coverings don’t have such a weakness. You may also need fewer of them because they’re reusable, and some fabrics are even biodegradable.
The most significant advantage cloth masks have over N95 respirators is reusability. Cotton may last for three or four days while other materials like Teflex washable face mask material may last 20 days. This advantage means that you have to buy fewer face coverings than if you were using disposable ones.
Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the price of N95 and KN95 masks have soared through the roof. Thankfully, reusable coverings are the protection you can make at home with only a needle, thread, and old clothes. All these materials cost very little compared to the dollars you’ll have to shell out for a surgical respirator.
Indeed, you can even get professional designs from eCommerce stores that meet COVID-19 requirements. Most of these designs feature medical-grade fabrics that offer the most protection.
Secures the Life of Medical Personnel
Every single cloth mask you buy is another couple of N95-grade respirators that become available for health workers. The global demand for medical-grade face coverings has never been higher, which is causing shortfalls in supply to hospitals.
Fortunately, cloth masks are relatively effective as protection and are a brilliant alternative for the public. By not buying up these medical respirators, you leave more of them for hospitals and research laboratories to buy.
The key isn’t buying reusable face masks; it’s buying or making reusable face masks with the right fabric. Teflex washable face mask material and other professional cloth meet the suggested reusability and pore size requirements. So, while N95 respirators offer the best protection, cloth respirators with the right fabrics can come a close second.