Many countries are now slowly lifting lockdowns that were previously enforced due to COVID-19. The virus that first surfaced in China in 2019 has become a pandemic that has disrupted most people’s daily lives.
Almost every country, including the USA, announced lockdowns to stop the spread of the disease. And now that restrictions during lockdowns are eased, you’re probably wondering if we are safe. The simple truth is that there may not be a complete resolution until someone invents a vaccine.
In the meantime, the only thing you can do is minimize transmission. And that’s possible only by social distancing. Not to mention wearing face masks, of course.
More and more people around the world are getting used to wearing face masks every day, whether it’s at home due to possible infection or outside in the community. It’s important to remember that wearing face masks alone won’t make you invincible. You’ll still need to maintain social distancing, but a face mask will help prevent the transmission of the deadly virus.
But, will any face mask do? Anything that prevents transmission? Yes and no. For instance, a mask made of cloth will work to an extent, but if it’s too thin and allows droplets to get inside easily, it won’t do you much good.
So, how do you select something ideal? Well, that’s what this article is all about. From giving you information about where to buy a face mask online to quick delivery, you’ll find out how to choose the best masks for you.
How to choose a good face mask online
There are many ways to purchase a good face mask online, but here are a few things you should consider:
1. Reusable masks
Masks that are intended to be disposable are not safe to wear repeatedly, especially without a strict regimen of care and maintenance. For this reason, reusable masks are the most practical choice for many people outside the medical industry. If you purchase around four or five reusable ones and wash them as soon as you get home after use, there should be plenty to rotate.
There are some great options online for reusable face masks that are made in the USA. Try to get one with two layers and make sure it meets CDC standards. The only con with these is that most come in a single size, which may not work for every face shape.
If the size is an issue, check out these face masks from Rendall Co. called Ace masks. The loops that go around your ears are made of elastic, to offer a little more flexibility in the fit.
2. Look for the right fit
Have you seen people wearing masks so big that they dangle from their faces? These loose masks may make breathing easier, but they are far less effective than a well-fitting mask.
There should be no gap between your face and the mask, which could allow droplets to enter from outside or escape from within. If the mask is too tight, however, that’s not good either. Not only should it fit well and stay in place, but it should allow you to breathe, too.
Some people also feel claustrophobic when wearing a face covering. If you’re struggling with this issue and want something that is reusable and allows you to breathe freely, you should check out a mask with a breathing valve.
Keep in mind that a valve may make it easier for you to breathe through the mask, but it may allow you to infect others through the unfiltered air you exhale…even if you aren’t actively experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
3. Look for the right material
Certain fabrics do a better job of absorbing moisture than others. Face masks trap warm air against your face, and you may begin to sweat after extended wear. Wearing a sweaty mask is not only messy but dangerous as well.
Once the mask becomes damp, it’s time to remove it. So, if you purchase a mask that becomes damp quickly, you won’t get the same use out of it you’d get from a more practical choice. If you are attached to polyester, at least look for masks containing a combination of spandex and cotton.
But a mask made of just polyester? That’s a big no! Why? Because polyester is resistant to water and doesn’t absorb sweat at all. You’ll be left with a mask that traps all the sweat, making you feel irritated and sweaty all day long. Therefore, look for cotton masks. Or anything that absorbs all the sweat without becoming overly damp in a short amount of time.
4. Try disposable masks if reusable ones aren’t cutting it
Let’s face it. Not everyone can wash their masks every day. While some people are experiencing reduction in workload, others have more work than usual, and washing a pile of face masks – on top of other commitments – is the last thing they feel like doing.
Or, imagine you’re working somewhere that requires you to meet people constantly. Obviously, you need something that protects you at all costs. In that case, think medical masks. Again, remember that masks alone won’t prevent the disease, but can reduce transmission to a degree.
Disposable masks may seem expensive upfront, but a bulk order works out to be cheaper per mask. You could also buy a few face masks online for your friends and family if you don’t need too many. For instance, masks from Pegasos cost only $1.50 per mask at Walmart, if you buy a 50-pack bundle. They’re cheaper than reusable ones and the non-woven fabric material is comfortable and lets you breathe easier. The ear loops are elastic and fit different sizes.
5. Watch out for raw ears
The most common complaint about mask-wearing concerns the chafing they sometimes cause around the ears. Most masks have elastic ear loops, which allow them to stretch and (theoretically) fit any size. However, the loops can sometimes rub uncomfortably, leaving tender areas of skin.
There are many adaptations you can make to your mask that will help with ear loops that are too loose or too tight, or you can select the actual mask accordingly. For example, these amazingly simple cloth masks from Custom Ink have cutouts (machine-made) that simply fit your ears. With nothing elastic, the loops won’t rub, and you can continue as usual while wearing the masks. These masks are incredibly snug because they are made of a combination of cotton and spandex. It feels like a protective t-shirt around your ears and face!
6. Bring some color back into your life
COVID-19 has paused our lives. That meeting with a friend? It will have to be postponed. That bar you wanted to visit? On lockdown. During a time when everything feels just a little bit gloomy, nobody will blame you for introducing a bit of color.
Most face masks do the job they are supposed to do, but they don’t exactly make a fashion statement. So, if you want something that protects you while making you seem a tad brighter, go for fashionable masks from Sanctuary (which stay in place thanks to a handy nose wire), Onzie, or MaskClub. They not only look pretty, but the material used to make the masks are organic. Not sure why that matters? Read our guide to organic face masks.
If you want to take it a step further and make people smile around you, get face masks online from Alice + Olivia. Not only are these masks cute and comfy, but the company also donates to the needy whenever you make a purchase! An amazing way to contribute to someone else while getting something that’s become so imperative!
7. Keep an eye on the price
It’s not surprising that some sellers are pricing a little on the high side during the pandemic. If prices have you raising an eyebrow, shop around before making your final purchase. Although it’s an unfortunate reality that you may have to pay more for a face mask right now than you normally would, there’s no reason you can’t find an affordable option that fits your needs.