See what are the main types of masks that exist and which one is ideal for your day to day.
The daily doubt during the coronavirus pandemic about “which is the best mask against Covid” is a question that is renewed every day. The new variants, the different recommendations, the fake news videos and so much different information give the feeling that it has become even more difficult to know the real answer.
There are different types, designs, fabrics, sizes, colors and prints to choose from. But what really matters when defining is to know which of these has the best protection for your health. There are 3 specific types that stand out among which we will talk in more detail below.
So stay tuned and write down the information of each one to ensure a successful purchase:
In this post you will see:
- What is the ideal mask to prevent COVID-19?
- And what is the best mask to protect against the Omicron variant?
- Mask Types
- fabric mask
- Surgical mask
- N95/PFF2 mask
- How to choose the mask?
- How to properly fit the mask?
- When to use a homemade mask?
- Why should we wear masks?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is the ideal mask to prevent COVID-19?
Most physicians and subject matter experts recommend the use of PFF2 masks, also known as N95 in North American nomenclature. These masks have greater filtration capacity than the others. However, this does not disqualify the use of other models, such as the surgical or fabric mask.
It is important to remember that the use of the mask is a fundamental item in the fight against the transmission of Sars-CoV-2, also known as coronavirus or Covid-19. It serves as a particle filter, making it difficult for the virus to transmit through the air.
And what is the best mask to protect against the Omicron variant?
At the beginning of the pandemic, in 2020, PFF2 masks were not highly recommended to the population due to the risk of shortages of this product for health professionals who worked on the front line in the fight against Covid-19.
However, due to the rapid contagion of the new Ômicron variant and the increase in production of these masks in 2021 and 2022, health authorities have been updating their information on which is the most effective mask and encouraging the purchase of PFF2 / N95.
There are 3 predominant types of masks sold throughout Brazil: the popular fabric mask, the surgical mask, used among doctors and dentists, and the N95 mask, which is the most effective among them.
All are effective and recommended to the population, but each has a different particularity. Below you can see the details and prices of each one:
Fabric masks are handmade with knitted, cotton, polyester or polypropylene materials. They are reusable and therefore can and should be washed regularly with soap and water. It is the most common model seen on the streets, having different styles and colors, with more affordable prices.
Its effectiveness depends on community use, as it cannot filter out small particles. Thus, it is recommended for environments where everyone is wearing masks, where the risk of contagion is lower.
A good tip to reinforce the level of personal protection in closed environments, such as buses and planes, is to prioritize masks that are produced with 3 layers of fabric. Or even use the fabric mask over a disposable surgical mask.
Check out where to buy this model of mask.
Surgical masks are industrially produced with 3 layers of disposable materials that filter the smallest particles from the air, increasing protection against the virus compared to fabric. Some models also include a small wire for adjusting the mask on the nose and face.
They are commonly used by health professionals in surgeries, offices and procedures in the area. This type of mask should be worn for a few hours and then thrown away. They cannot be washed or reused. As a result, its cost ends up being a little more expensive.
Check out where to buy this model of mask.
Industrially produced, PFF2 or N95 masks, also known as “filtering mask respirators” or “disposable respirators”, are made to retain the small aerosol particles transmitted by the virus. They are produced in different sizes to better accommodate different types of face.
Health professionals have been using this model of mask since the beginning of the pandemic due to its high degree of protection, about 90 to 95%. It is one of the safest masks, with five layers of insulating materials that cover the individual's nose, cheek and chin. For that reason, it is also the most expensive on this list.
The mask is to be used only once and then discarded. However, due to the rapid contagion of the new variant and the protection effectiveness of this model, it has been recommended that, after use, the mask should remain hanging in a cool environment for up to 3 days. Only then can it be reused. However, if the mask happens to be wet or dirty, it needs to be thrown away.
Check out where to buy this model of mask.
How to choose the mask?
To choose a mask suitable for your face, you need to be aware of the following recommendations:
- Does the model have at least 3 layers of protection? If so, it may be a good choice, depending on the next evaluations:
- Does the mask completely cover your nose, mouth and chin? If not, it means the model is not doing its job on your face and needs to be changed.
- Are there slits on the sides of the cheek, allowing unfiltered air in and out? If yes, then the model is inappropriate.
- Does this mask have the Inmetro seal? If not, it means it has not been properly evaluated and is not approved for use.
Another tip that is worth considering when choosing the best mask against Covid is to choose models that tie behind the head instead of elastic behind the ear. In this way, the mask is more adjusted to the shape of the face.
How to properly fit the mask?
A well-fitting mask should cover the mouth, chin and nose completely, leaving no gaps in the cheeks. Thus, the air can only enter and exit when passing through the protective filter of the mask, preventing the spread of the virus. That's why the mask protects both those who wear it and those around them.
As we mentioned above, a good tip to ensure that your mask is close to your face is to opt for models that tie on your head and not just hang by an elastic band over your ears.
When to use a homemade mask?
The homemade mask should be used every time an individual leaves the house, whether to go outside in an open environment or to access some means of transport, or whatever. The use of the mask is still indispensable, regardless of the location.
The homemade model, although the most popular and the most affordable, is also the mask with the lowest rate of protection against the virus. For this reason, it is recommended that when using a homemade mask, give preference to models that contain 3 layers of fabric. Or wear it over a disposable surgical mask.
The main thing to keep in mind is that even though homemade mask is the least effective, any type of mask is always better than none at all. For even if it is a minor protection compared to the other models, it is a barrier against the coronavirus.
Why should we wear masks?
The use of masks during the pandemic aims to prevent people from being put at risk of accelerated transmission, in order to protect the population against the spread of Covid-19.
Other methods of preventing the disease include practicing social distancing and hand hygiene with hand sanitizer.
Oh, and for those who are going to travel, hiring a coronavirus travel insurance plan is one of the best tips. With it, you have a guarantee of assistance if you receive a diagnosis of covid-19 during your trip.
Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat is the best mask against Covid?
Most doctors and experts recommend using PFF2 (N95) masks. These masks have greater filtration capacity than the others. However, this does not disqualify the use of other models, such as the surgical or fabric mask. Better understand what the best mask against covid.What types of masks are there to protect against the Coronavirus?
There are 3 main models of masks sold on the Spain: the popular fabric mask, the surgical mask, used among doctors and dentists, and the N95 mask, which is the most effective among them. Know more about the subject.How much does an N95 or PFF2 mask against Covid cost?
A 2M brand PFF95 / N3 mask, for example, costs an average of R$10 to 15 per unit. See more details about PFF2.What can I do to protect myself and prevent the spread of COVID-19?
The best way to protect yourself against Covid-19 is the use of masks and gel alcohol, in addition to the practice of social distance, especially in closed environments. Find out what the best mask against covid.