Are Your Masks Breathable?

Are the masks breathable?  How can you tell?  I get this question a lot.  I always start with a definition.  Breathability for Masks – Breath-a-ble – defn: (of the air) fit or pleasant to breathe.

There are two main things that can impact breathability – that is the fit and the material.

First a gentle reminder - You wear a mask to protect others.  Others wear a mask to protect you.

You do want to be able to breathe when you are wearing a mask.  However, you do not want it so poorly fitted or not the best material so the mask really is not protecting anyone.

Material:

The BYOM mask uses a polypropylene filter.  This is the best fabric on the market for a mask hands down.  This type of fabric is used in medical gowns and surgical masks.   The filter is sewn into the mask inner layer with a middle seam to keep in place when you start machine washing them.  You do not need to replace them.  They are 64 gm so for public use, indoor spaces, essential workers this mask will last a long time. 

The reason DIY masks and magazines are recommending linen or cotton because no one has access to polypropylene filter in their home drawer.  If you are making them at home this is the best material you can use. You may notice your cotton ones smell after a period of time.  This is because this material holds on to moisture.  The BYOM mask works like a performance wicking shirt.  It does not hold on to the moisture.

There is also lots of press about layers.  Our BYOM mask is like having 4 layers in 2 because of the filter so it is lighter.

The Fit:

The air flow through the mask helps with breathability.  We have designed the shape of the mask to go along the bottom of the chin and curve around the nose but still allow pockets of air to flow through beside the nose and along the sides.  This is key.  Initially, if you have glasses like myself you may fog up for 1-5 minutes but once your breath regulates, pinch the nose – your glasses will clear up.

We also provide an adjustable band for those that have sensitive ears, loops are not the right fit, hearing aids, glasses – these bands help by attaching ear loops to it and it wraps around the head.  It also provides a more snug mask fit so less fussing with it.

The kids mask design we removed the trim and we also removed the ear loops.  This has made a super soft mask for sensitive skin and the band around the head we believe helps minimize fussing with the mask.