With mask mandates and constantly changing information, here are the best masks to protect against COVID-19 and where to find them.
Some health experts have advised against the use of cloth masks, despite the CDC still including cloth masks on their list of mask recommendations.
With the increasing confusion surrounding the efficacy of masks, here are the best masks to wear according to health professionals and CDC officials.
Best Disposable Masks (In order of effectiveness):
- N95 - these face coverings are regulated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) agency. They are the most effective face coverings when it comes to preventing viral infection. These masks are often referred to as respirators.
- KN95 and KF94 - a comfier, and still effective option. KN95 masks are regulated by China-specific standards and are often easier to find online. KF94 masks are regulated by standards set by Korean health officials. These masks are also sometimes referred to as respirators.
- Surgical Masks (3-ply) - not as effective as the face coverings mentioned above. However, surgical masks with a good fit (snug to your face) will provide adequate protection in less risky situations.
- Cloth Masks - the least effective option. If you do not have access to any of the previously mentioned face coverings, it is still worth wearing a cloth mask. However, these masks are likely much less effective, depending on their material makeup.
Additional info on masks:
It is extremely important, no matter the type of mask, that you find a face covering that fits snug to your face. Cloth and surgical masks suffer in effectiveness because there are often gaps between the mask and face. Masks that fit snugly to one's face will provide the most protection.
Where to find a good mask:
- Amston N95 masks on Amazon (20 count)
- DemeTECH N95 masks on Amazon (20 count)
- Kimberly-Clark N95 masks on Amazon (50 count)
- 3M Aura N95 masks on Amazon (10 count)
- OPECTICID KN95 masks on Amazon (60 count)
- WWDOLL multicolor KN95 masks on Amazon (50 count)
- HALIDODO KN95 masks on Amazon (60 count)
Can't find a mask?
Supply for masks is constantly fluctuating, so check the above links and other sources constantly. Try putting in your zip code when available to find masks availability in your area. You can also go to the non-profit organization Project N95, a company that connects people and organizations with personal protection equipment including masks.
The above masks are all available for sale. Do you think, given the severity of the pandemic that masks should be free? Do you know of any resources offering free masks to Morristown residents? Share your experiences below and help your neighbors find the right mask.