Nowadays, many countries, such as the U.K and the United States, are in the thick of fighting COVID-19. It’s an infectious disease that can be transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an individual talks, sneezes, and coughs. When a person contracts the virus, they’ll start to suffer from mild to severe respiratory illness, which can lead to death.
To prevent the quick transmission of COVID-19 in the UK and other parts of the world, it’s highly recommended to wear masks in public places. These can provide people with a better level of protection against the virus. Fortunately, there are many masks to choose from, and one of them is the cloth face masks. Like other options, cloth face masks can be used to slow down and prevent the spread of the virus when you’re in public settings.
Thus, if you’re looking for the best cloth face masks, here are some valuable tips to help you check for their quality.
Factor In The Fabric Itself
When choosing cloth face masks, it’s important to take a closer look at the tightness of the weave of the fabric. To know how tight the weave is, hold the mask to alight. When you can easily notice the outline of the individual fibres, then, it can be a sign that your cloth face mask can’t effectively filter and protect you against the virus and other harmful particles.
Typically, if you want to ensure the quality of your mask, you better pick one that’s made from tight-weave 100% cotton. Compared to synthetic fibres, the natural fibres found in cotton comes with a 3D structure that can stop particles from coming in. So, always check the fabric of your mask before finalizing your purchase. That way, you can get good value for your money and be more protected from harmful elements.
Check How Well The Mask Clings To Your Face
Aside from the fabric, it’s also crucial to consider the cloth face mask’s shape or its ability to cling to your face. With an array of options in the market, you tend not to mind the shape when choosing one for yourself, which prevents you from purchasing a high-quality face mask.
For example, cloth face masks with folds or pleats can be a good option because these allow you to breathe without restriction while covering the majority of your face. When you wear the mask, the folds will begin to expand to ensure air can flow through the fabric. On the other hand, cloth face masks with a flat design might be less effective than those with pleats.
Look For Multiple Layers Of Fabric
Typically, a good-quality cloth face mask is made up of multiple layers. A mask with several layers is more effective in preventing small particles, such as respiratory droplets, from coming in.
For instance, in the guidelines provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), a minimum of three layers is the recommended number of layers needed for added protection and uncompromised breathability.
Exhalation Valves Are A No-No
Some cloth face masks are equipped with exhalation valves in the front area. However, if you’re looking for high-quality masks, you should avoid those that come with these valves. Although exhalation valves can make it easier for you to breathe out, these are capable of releasing unfiltered air, failing to protect other people if you’re infected with a virus.
After all, you should keep in mind that protecting yourself and others is one of the reasons why you wear a mask in public settings.
Check Whether The Mask Is Washable Without Damage
Unlike other types of face masks, the cloth ones should be washable without damage. It can be an important factor in determining the quality of a cloth face mask. When the mask can be easily damaged when you wash it, you ought to start looking for better options.
Thus, if you want to get the full benefit of your money, you should always buy a cloth face mask that can be washed using hot water and soap or detergent.
Be sure it’s completely dry before you reuse it. Besides, using a wet mask can compromise your safety against viruses and other harmful particles.
Tips For Wearing Your Mask Correctly
As mentioned, face masks can be one of your first lines of defence against the transmission of COVID-19. Having said that, wearing one should be done properly to keep yourself and others safe while you’re outside of your house.
To ensure you’re wearing your masks properly, check out these tips:
- Wash your hands thoroughly before wearing the mask.
- Check whether your mask is secure with ear loops or ties. Once you’re done, place it over your mouth and nose, and have it secured under your chin. This is to make sure the mask protects the majority of your face.
- Fit the mask properly against the sides of your face. Make sure you’re comfortable wearing it so you can prevent yourself from touching it over and over again.
- Check whether you can breathe easily while wearing the mask.
- When taking off your mask, wash your hands first before you stretch the ear loops or ties. Then, fold the outside corners together to remove the mask from your face. Avoid touching any part of your face to avoid exposure to viruses and other harmful elements.
Wearing a face mask, along with social distancing and other health protocols, is critical in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Without a mask, you might expose yourself to harmful elements. This is especially true if you have a weaker immune system.
Therefore, to avoid the potential health complications brought by the coronavirus, you should find the right type of mask that will work best for your health needs. If you consider using the cloth type, be sure to follow the tips mentioned above to check and determine the quality of the product. That way, you can be sure that the mask you buy is worth your money and can effectively protect you and others from viruses and other harmful elements.
Jean Phillips has been blogging for more than ten years. Jean has gained countless readers online because of her high-quality articles discussing topics on health and wellness, pregnancy and parenthood.