COVID-19 has reshaped our world in ways most would’ve never imagined.
As a community, we have banned together, bringing the world’s smartest minds–countless HCPs eager to help–to resiliently fight this virus. From vaccinations to the introduction of social distancing, we’ve discovered many ways to help us keep ourselves and others safe. The one that’s perhaps the most iconic of this pandemic is the mask.
Although local ordinances on the best masks for COVID often differ and are constantly being updated, the CDC has recommended that you hang onto those face coverings a little longer, vaccinated or not.
To say that there are many breathable face masks out there would be a vast understatement. In suit, picking one that’s best for you can be a challenge. Or, depending on how you look at it–given all the options out there–kind of fun. Perspective is everything! Below, we’ll run through the mask basics. We’ll also give you some ideas on the best face masks to buy for both disposable and reusable options.
How to evaluate masks
Face masks fall into three different categories: masks for the general public, masks for medical professionals and masks that are suitable for both.
Qualities you should look for in a mask
First, you’ll want a snug fit. Your mask should form a seal around the lower half of your face while gently hugging the curves of your cheeks, nose and mouth. A snug fit will protect you from breathing in contaminated air particles. And, if you happen to be sick, it will prevent you from breathing them out, as well.
For the best tight-fitting masks, look for stretchable fabric that’s gentle against the skin, ideally with adjustable ear loops. A breathable lining is also helpful, both for added protection and breathability. Whether you work in the healthcare industry or not, there’s always a chance you’ll be wearing this mask for several hours at a stretch. So comfort is a must.
To protect yourself against pathogens, steer clear of masks that you’re having to constantly readjust, as those require you to frequently touch your face and heighten your chances of spreading contaminants.
Also, you’ll want a mask that blocks as many airborne particles as possible while still maintaining high breathability. To ensure your mask has a tighter weave:
- Use a medical-grade mask
- Use a fabric mask with two to three layers
- Double up by wearing two masks at a time
Medical grade masks
As you can imagine, healthcare workers have different needs than those of the general public, as they’re often at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure. For medical-grade masks that meet CDC standards, you’ll want to upgrade from a cloth mask to something like an N95 or KN95 mask.
In dire circumstances, doubling up surgical masks, along with a face shield, can provide added protection.
Reusable vs. disposable face masks
Of course, the second significant difference that you’ll see (in addition to medical-grade masks versus those designed for the general public) is the use of reusable face masks versus disposable ones. You can use either, but it’s important to know each has its strengths and weaknesses.
These masks are best for situations where the possibility of exposure is high and you must frequently change masks. Surgical masks are the most common form of disposable face coverings, made to be “one and done.” They can include things like N95 respirators, too.
The upside to disposable masks? They’re great for both healthcare workers and the general public. They’re also comfortable, light on the face and an excellent option for people who don’t care much about the aesthetics of their face coverings.
The downside? They have a greater environmental impact, as you (and millions of others around the world) throw them out daily.
Reusable face masks
Compared to their disposable counterparts, washable face masks are often made of heavier fabric that’s woven and breathable. An ideal reusable mask will have two layers: an exterior finish and an interior lining. Some reusable masks may also have a third layer to insert a filtration slip (though these are generally less breathable). Most reusable masks have adjustable or elastic ear straps to make them fit more snugly, as well.
Keep in mind, however, reusable cloth masks are not designed for healthcare settings. It’s important to know that they will not protect you as well as a medical-grade N95.
However, medical-grade masks are hard to come by, due to demand. Reusable face masks truly thrive in more general public settings, such as your local grocery store or mall. And they’re particularly ideal if you like to color-coordinate your masks with your everyday outfits.
Best reusable face masks
If a more fashionable option is what you’re after (and an N95 isn’t mandatory for your workplace), we have the perfect suggestion for you. (Spoiler alert: They’re made by yours truly!)
Jaanuu’s reusable masks come in multiple colors in packs of five, 10, 15 and 25. You can bulk-order masks, too.
These colorful face masks pack fit, function and fashion into a holistic approach. They’re also made of our proprietary SPINryx™ knit fabric and treated with an antimicrobial finish for your added comfort and protection.
Our masks feature two layers: a knit outer layer and a mesh interior, along with comfortable ear loops to help keep everything in place. And, of course, we’ve got kids sizes for your little ones’ protection, too! Be sure to check out our mask fitting guide for more information.
How to clean Jaanuu’s face masks
One major downside to reusable masks (or the upside, depending again on that perspective of yours) is that reusable masks need frequent cleaning, which can get tiresome, especially if complicated care instructions are involved. Fortunately, Jaanuu masks are incredibly easy to wash.
Our reusable face mask fabric is a rayon, nylon and spandex blend. So on top of being effective, they’re machine-washable, super comfortable, ultra soft, breathable and fashionable.
To clean a Jaanuu mask, simply throw it in the wash with similar-colored clothes. Put the cycle on cold water, and make sure you use a non-chlorine detergent. After washing, tumble dry the mask until it’s ready for use again. You’ll be happy to learn, they don’t shrink! And that’s it. It’s really that simple.
If you’re looking for more info on our Jaanuu face coverings and how they can help keep you and others around you safe, be sure to check out our Jaanuu mask FAQ.
Mask up, mask on and mask well with America’s #1 face mask!