Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, more and more people have turned towards the use of face masks to cover their mouths and noses. These masks serve as a means of protection from the virus and can prevent carriers or infected individuals from spreading the disease to others in their surroundings.
Communities across the world have seen a sudden increase in face mask demands. Before donning a face mask, though, you must consider the company behind it. Unless you’re buying from a trusted seller, your chances of purchasing a low-grade mask are high. To make things easier for you, we have compiled a list of trusted face mask brands.
3M is one of the most well-known and reputable brands in the world. It is primarily concerned with developing products to encourage worker safety and healthcare. 3M’s masks provide maximum protection with a safety guarantee. All of their products are tested and checked for production flaws before they are stocked in general markets.
You can buy a surgical mask or an N95 respirator from 3M to help protect yourself from the coronavirus. There are also other masks made by this company, including P-series and R-series respirators. However, the most commonly used masks against the coronavirus are the N95 respirators and the green surgical masks.
Honeywell Safety is among the world’s top face mask manufacturers. It specializes in personal protection equipment (PPE) and follows through with American standards. Honeywell Safety manufactures non-disposable respirators, mask filters, cartridges, and N95 masks.
Ambu is a company based in Denmark that provides various forms of medical equipment. Their company has three primary divisions: Anesthesia, Patient Monitoring and Diagnostics, and Emergency Care. The latter deals with the production of face masks as preventative materials in emergencies; their masks can protect doctors as well as patients.
Louis M. Gerson Co., Inc. is a top medical equipment supplier; they have been producing medical tools since 1956 and have provided equipment in line with American standards. Gerson Co. provides medical face mask respirators that are NIOSH-approved. Their products are fit for use in environments that are highly contaminated with the coronavirus and other harmful particles.
Kimberly-Clark Corporation is a popular healthcare and hygiene product supplier based in the US. This company makes diapers, tissues, and paper towels along with medical supplies like surgical gowns and disposable face masks. Their products are in line with FDA regulations, which means that they are safe for use and guarantee maximum possible protection. Kimberly-Clark manufactures procedural masks, surgical masks, N95 respirators, face veils, filters, pleated masks, and children’s face coverings. Their products are stocked around the world and can also be purchased online.
BD is another brilliant company that specializes in medical technology. They are in charge of manufacturing a variety of medical supplies, including diagnostic products, lab equipment, and general supplies like face masks. Their masks aim to reduce viral transmission, control infections, and manage diseases from spreading during epidemics and pandemics. You can purchase their masks to keep yourself and those around you protected from the coronavirus.
Prestige Ameritech is known for its production of face masks; this is America’s largest domestic surgical mask manufacturer. You can buy surgical face masks and high-quality respirators from them to keep yourself safe during these troubling times. However, they only serve customers in the United States, and finding their products abroad is tricky. There are also many scams online claiming to sell their products. Per their website:
“We DO NOT sell ProGear N95 respirators through brokers, Facebook, or online retailers like Amazon or eBay, nor do we sell directly to individuals. All of our current production capacity is dedicated solely to our hospital and healthcare customers.”
Remember, if you want to buy a Prestige Ameritech mask for your hospital or medical office, purchase from the official website.
Teleflex Inc. is another one of the world’s most excellent PPE manufacturers. This company makes PPEs as well as other medical tools. They specialize in single-use hospital gear, which includes face masks. This company stocks its products across the globe and has manufacturing units in 30 countries. They have many different masks that you can choose from, depending on your personal requirements.
Dasheng Health Products is a leading face mask supplier based in Shanghai, China. Their products are available worldwide and meet ISO9001 standards. Their high-quality masks are both affordable and readily available. Their masks also pass EN149 (European standard) regulations and follow through with NIOSH demands. Their most popular products are the N95 and N99.
This is a Canadian company that produces medical-grade equipment. Their masks are used around the world and have been proven to protect wearers from harmful particles. You can purchase N95 respirators as well as medical-grade surgical masks from Alpha Pro Tech.
Alternatives to medical masks
Currently, there is a shortage of medical equipment all over the world; face masks are running exceptionally low, which is why it is important that we use them rationally.
Medical masks and respirators should be saved for those who need them most; this includes healthcare staff, essential workers, and those in direct contact with the virus. There are many great alternatives to medical-grade masks that regular people can use when going out into the community.
Again, it is vital that you purchase masks from well-reputed brands, or else you may risk buying a mask that offers little to no protection. To make things easier for you, we have compiled a list of brands for you to consider when shopping for face masks:
Custom Ink is a leading custom t-shirt design platform. They are now offering face masks, too, made from cotton-spandex fabric. You can either buy a set of 12 for $30, or a carton of 120 masks for $240.
There is also a triple-ply customizable cotton face mask option for those inclined to print their own designs. You can reuse these masks after washing them. The company is delivering globally, but in order to qualify for international deliveries, you must meet the minimum-quantity demands.
Oura is an environmentally-friendly company that creates sustainable aprons, hats, and clothes. They, too, have begun face mask production in light of the coronavirus situation. According to their own trials and third-party labs, these masks are capable of filtering out 97% of viral particles and 96% of bacteria from the air.
However, these claims have not been validated by the FDA or any leading healthcare body. Still, their products do make for quality alternatives to the traditional surgical mask or N95 respirator.
Donating face masks to hospitals
There are many people who want to be of service but don’t know how. One way of helping others, especially those in direct contact with the coronavirus, is by donating face masks. You can easily donate face masks to hospitals using the website GetUsPPE. GetUsPPE is a not-for-profit platform created by a team of healthcare professionals to help frontline workers get the protective gear they need.
To date, they have received over 1500 donation offers, and have successfully supplied face masks to healthcare workers. You can visit their website to make a donation. There are multiple options to fit your situation:
- You have a large amount of PPE products and need help with shipping/delivery.
- You have a small amount of PPE products and can handle shipping/delivery yourself.
- You have fewer than ten masks to donate.
- You are a PPE supplier.
Once on the website, you can click on an option to receive more instructions. The platform will help you get the materials you have delivered to the places that need them most.
Alternatively, you can also purchase masks online and have them delivered to hospitals. You can do so by contacting any of the medical mask suppliers listed above, paying for the products online, and listing the shipping address as the hospital you’d like them delivered to. Just make sure to give the hospital a call beforehand to let them know when to expect the masks, and confirm the delivery once they have received the PPE gear.
Here are some bulk-buying options:
You can also ask the companies stated in the first list to deliver small batches of medical-grade face masks to hospitals and healthcare workers if you pay for them in advance online.
There are also other things you can do to help, like buy from companies that donate a mask for every mask bought or follow a similar scheme, like the following:
With 170,000 masks donated already, Hedley & Bennett’s buy-one-give-one model is getting effective face masks to the public at home and the medical community on the front lines.
American clothing brand Buck Mason is now selling antimicrobial face masks. For every mask purchased from Buck Mason, the company donates one mask to healthcare frontline workers.
Los Angeles Apparel is donating part of its profits raised through face mask sales to provide masks to healthcare workers and others who may need them. You can purchase their masks in packs of three online.
Chinese face mask brands
Sadly, buying from online suppliers in China, which is the largest manufacturer of face masks, is not possible at this time. This has led to an even greater shortage of mask supplies.
In the past, you could have had hundreds or thousands of face masks shipped out of China from private companies and have these delivered to hospitals as donations. However, the Chinese government has taken steps toward nationalizing their face mask manufacturing industry. Even NIOSH-approved companies like Makrite are unable to deliver supplies. If you find a website trying to sell you genuine, NIOSH-approved Chinese face masks, it’s very likely to be a scam!
As you can see, masks are beneficial and in high demand due to the coronavirus pandemic. They are being used by millions of people around the globe, if not more, as a preventative measure.
Medically-approved masks can prevent the virus from entering your respiratory system. These masks block out the virus that can be transferred through the coughs and sneezes of sick people. If you are not a frontline healthcare worker, try to stick to cloth masks and other alternatives to medical masks. However, if you are an essential worker and are exposed to the virus, you should use a medical-grade mask, like a green surgical mask, or an N95 respirator.
Use the lists above to help make sure that the masks you are buying are genuine and in line with NIOSH, CDC, and FDA requirements. Stay safe, stay protected, and wear a mask at all times!