With the rise of airborne viruses resulting in stubborn illness, it’s best to wear a mask in public. If you’ve caught a cold, it’s necessary to contain its spread by wearing a mask. Because of this, wearing face masks has become the new normal for everyone. 

You may find it hard to choose a mask that is suitable for your needs. When choosing one, it’s essential to understand how they’re designed, their characteristics, and their differences. Each type of mask has unique qualities that may be best for you. To help you decide on the right face mask for you, here are key factors you can look into. 

1. Consider The Type Of Mask

There are several types of face masks in the market. They can be broadly classified into surgical and respiratory masks based on their functions and objectives.  You can easily tell them apart by how they look. Although face masks are generally useful in protecting against specific elements, such as droplets and contaminated air, they still differ in some usage and functions. Some of the common types of face masks include:

  • Surgical masks: These are commonly worn by health workers. They protect them against splashes and large droplets of body fluids. During surgery, there can be splashes if they cut into an artery, hence the need to wear such protective masks. They are designed to be disposed of after use. They can also provide protection against dust and viruses.
  • N95 masks: It’s one of the respiratory masks that can filter out harmful particles from the air. Their snug design makes them fit perfectly on your nose and mouth. They have special filters to clean the air. They are colored white to spot dust or dirt easily. They are designed to be reused after cleaning properly. These are commonly worn on construction sites or by anyone working in a dusty environment. 
  • Cloth masks: As the name suggests, they’re made from cloth and are helpful in protecting against pollution. These can be easily made at home. You can use them more than once if you clean them properly. 

As pointed out, masks have specific differences. It’d be best to consider all their features and functions before choosing one. This way, you make an informed decision on the suitable mask for you. 

2. Comfort

When choosing a mask, you should also consider comfort. Masks are available in various sizes. The size impacts how tight and how loose they are on your face. Some masks are also fitted with exhalation valves to make breathing easier. 

Additionally, a perfectly fitting mask protects you better than loose ones. Although it doesn’t have to be tight, it should cover your nose and mouth well. You can go for full-face cover masks or full-face respirators if you need eye protection. 

You can choose masks with adjustable ear loops. They’re more convenient than the tie-back face masks. You can easily adjust them if you feel they’re too tight or loose. You can use elastic looped face masks if operating in a crowded place. They’re safer and will hardly leave any space for contaminants to enter. They are the best since you don’t need to adjust them frequently. 

3. Breathing Ability

As indicated earlier, face masks are fitted with breathing aids for ease of use. Covering your nose and mouth limits your access to air. It’s essential to choose a mask that doesn’t make breathing difficult. If you can’t breathe in your masks, you’ll quickly run out of air, and you can faint. Thus, make sure you can comfortably breathe in a mask before choosing it.  

4.  Material Used

The type of fabric used to make your face mask is another feature to consider when choosing one. Face masks can be made from various materials, including plastic. When selecting a mask, check if the material facilitates ease of breathing and comfort.  A layered fabric mask performs better than one with a single fabric. Experts recommend three-ply face masks as they are great at filtering out germs and dust. These three layers contain filtration properties which come in handy in cleaning the air. They are practical and comfortable to be worn throughout the day because you can easily breathe in them. However, most three-ply face masks aren’t reusable. So, you should dispose of them after use. If you wash them, you’ll tamper with the tightness of the material hence making them less effective. 

Unlike using plastic face shields as protection against contaminants, masks made from different types of fabric are found to be more effective. You still need to wear a face mask underneath the plastic face shield, which significantly compromises your comfort. 

Additionally, the fabric can also facilitate design and style. In that case, go for cloth fabric masks, as they can have prints and stripes to match your fashion sense. Thus, consider the fabric and material of the face mask when choosing one. 

5. Reusability

Depending on the material used to make the mask, it can be reused or disposed of immediately after use. In attempts to save the planet, reusable face masks come in handy. You can also save money if you reuse masks. However, it is best to look into their filtration ability if you will reuse them. Filtration may lose efficacy if you reuse the mask several times.

Even if you’ve taken your vaccines, you are still at risk of getting the viruses if you don’t take preventive measures. Thus, choosing masks with long-lasting filters is necessary. These filters help in cleaning the air, therefore ensuring you breathe clean air. The level of filtration depends on how close the mask is to your nose. 

For instance, N95 masks should be properly fitted to clean the air effectively. If it’s not well-fitted, it can’t serve its function perfectly. Given that this filtration property loses its efficacy over time, check for its useful life if you wish to use a reusable mask. Occasionally empty it out when it gets full or during cleaning so you can directly clean the filter.

how To Choose The Right Face Mask


Now you know some factors to consider when choosing the right face mask. Going for the most effective face masks is essential as they protect you from germs and viruses. While at it, consider selecting reusable masks to save the environment and save money. It’s best to consider the key functions that make a mask outstanding and unique instead of choosing a mask for its aesthetic appeal. You can find a mask that matches your fashion sense and works effectively.