Soap literally dissolves it away and makes it disintegrate,” said Hana Akselrod, an infectious disease physician at George Washington University. For longer-term wear, you may want a mask with ties or headbands, which put less pressure on your ears. A pocket for an additional middle layer, or filter, can be useful for higher-risk situations. Consider the mask’s shape. They each made notes on the pliability of the nose-bridge wire, the sturdiness and breathability of the cloth, the mask’s ability to stay put, the ease of adjustability, and the mask’s general comfort. Generous cut: This is the rare feature that enhances both breathability and filtration. Include a mix of fasteners. Staying home or staying at least 6 feet apart from others is the best way to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Even a bandana tied around your head is better than nothing. When in doubt, ask customer service for detailed dimensions. (That’s especially if you get yourself a tie-dye design to match your tie-dye outfit.) The Meghan Markle-approved label has released a set of five cotton masks, each tie-dyed in a different pastel hue like yellow, orange and pink. If you consistently break out in a rash or acne when you wear a cloth face mask, look to the layer of the mask that lies closest to your face. When you’re considering the delicate balance between comfort and protection, keep in mind that for children, comfort tends to win out. The separately sold filters don’t span the entire mask’s shape exactly, so they don’t optimize the filter’s potential for protection. (An increasing number of states and businesses are mandating exactly that.). An easy-to-access pocket means you’re more likely to add a filter in higher-risk situations, such as a semi-crowded grocery-store run. After hearing raves about the Vistaprint RFS Mask, we gave that model a try, too, but we found its chin coverage quite narrow, with a tendency to ride up. For instance, even if a face shield isn’t as effective as cloth face masks, wearing one is better than wearing nothing at all. Wirecutter is reader-supported. “You want the mask to go over your nostrils and your mouth in such a way that it doesn’t slip off,” said Robin Patel, past president of the American Society for Microbiology. The modern man’s answer to all things accessory, the Chicago-based brand The Tie Bar has recently expanded from ties and pocket squares into shirts and … Photo: Sarah Kobos, The Herschel Supply Co. Classic Fitted Face Mask in white. Tie Breakers Sports Bar and Grill: No masks no social distancing. The inner layer is the same fabric as the outer layer, so people with sensitive skin may prefer the Kitsbow or Graf Lantz mask; both of those have softer cotton inner layers. As the aforementioned April 2020 study suggests, thread count (the number of vertical and horizontal threads in a square inch) matters. For an up-close view of how cloth-mask fibers catch droplets of various sizes, check out this New York Times rendering. Ear loops tend to be easy to put on and take off, which is ideal for running impromptu errands and dining outside. “I do not have exact data,” he said, “but my feeling is that the wearer will be tired of using a particular mask faster than the mask becoming unusable.”. All Neckties. The adjustable fasteners, also cotton, were gentle on the ears but could be prone to slipping. (Every mask we recommend can tolerate laundering in a washing machine.) The 5-packs come in multiple colors, so you can find one that's sure to match your most-worn looks. To bolster a mask made with loosely woven fabric, add more layers in the filter pocket so as to block more of the light coming through (but not so much that the mask feels suffocating). We tried the Figs Fionx Protective Face Mask only in size M/L because the S/M size was sold out at the time; the larger size turned out to be quite large (we confirmed that it could fit over an N95 respirator) albeit pleasingly soft, and the ear-loop elastics were relatively thick and difficult to adjust by knotting. The nose-bridge wire keeps its shape, the chin coverage is better than most, and the cinched sides of this mask allow the fabric to tent up higher off the face, providing more breathing room. We found that the small size fit panelists who described themselves as having small faces. (Of course, you can also leave it empty.). Tie bars are the perfect finishing touch to your professional look by neatly attaching your tie to your shirt. Elastic ear loops with cord stops (like those on the Banana Republic and Herschel Supply Co. masks we like) allow for a customizable fit. Photo: Sarah Kobos, The Proper Cloth Everyday Mask in olive (left) and navy linen (right). The best face masks for civilians to wear are made of cloth. If the mask is too big: If its ear loops are thin enough, tie knots near the ends or add an appropriately sized cord-lock toggle. If it’s too tall, the edges can block your vision, poke your eyes, or hang too loose around your chin, said Jun. The company also makes an ear loop version, which we haven’t tried. The masks that we dismissed outright at the time included models from many popular brands, such as Target’s Adult Fabric Face Mask (no nose-bridge wire), Everlane’s 100% Human Face Mask (no filter pocket or nose-bridge wire), and the beloved, inexpensive Old Navy pleated masks (no filter pocket or nose-bridge wire), as well as Madewell’s Face Mask (no filter pocket, no wire, not machine washable) and the early versions of pleated masks from Gap and Athleta (no filter pocket or nose-bridge wire). You can also thread a strap of Velcro through the two ear loops so the mask attaches at the back of your head. 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