Masks ~ Cloth vs 3-Ply Medical Mask

In the spring of 2020, many of us were dramatically caught up in the panic of finding face coverings to help protect ourselves and to prevent the spread of Covid-19 to others. Government health officials advised face coverings were a good precaution but pleaded for the public to avoid the use of medical-grade single-use masks to ensure supplies for front line health care & essential workers. This left the general public with scarce access to high-quality single-use, medical-grade masks. Quickly addressing the shortage, industrious DIY’ers and other businesses began the supply of re-usable material masks.

Close up portrait of Puzzled woman shrugging shoulders wearing medical mask holding hands in air in confusion with the facial expression I do not know standing in a city. Protection from coronavirus.

Today, due to stable supply levels of single-use medical masks and the publics avoidance of medical-grade N95 style masks, we find there is an abundance of both single-use masks and material re-usable masks. Now we have the ability to make a personal & educated choice of the mask style that best works for you.

Deciding the best mask for your non-medical use needs is purely a personal choice and depends on your priorities and values. Essentially, the decision comes to these considerations and how you prioritize them:

  • Cost: Price for regular supply of masks

  • Comfort: How easy is it to wear? Factors: weight, moisture in mask, feel against face, pressure on ears, ability for it to not fall down on face, breathability, smells in mask

  • Convenience: How easy it is to source, keep on hand and use

  • Environmental impact: The impact the product has on the environment

  • Regional Product Loyalty: How you choose to support products made in your region, continent or country of choice.

  • Safety: Ability of material to help blocking out small particles to .1 micron (Corona Virus Size)

  Mask Choice Considerations: Single-Use Mask Re-usable Mask  
  Safety: Small Particle Filtration XXXXX X  
  Safety: Sanitary Cleanliness XXXXX X  
  Safety: Sanitary Cleanliness XXXXX X  
  Comfort: Moisture Protection on Face XXXXX X  
  Comfort & Lightweight XXXXX X  
  Comfort: Breathability in Mask XXXXX X  
  Convenience: Care, Washing & Handling XXXXX X  
  Regional Loyalty: “Made in..” XXXXX XXXXX  
  Cost for Supply XXX XXXXX  
  Design Varaiety XXX XXXXX  
  Environmental Impact XXX XXXX  
  *Best XXXXX / Worst X      


November 14,2020: CBC

Marketplace tested over 20 different masks. Here’s what will best protect you and others during the pandemic




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