Keep yourself and others protected with these 6 affordable face masks

face masks
Image: iStock/KEHAN CHEN

Over the past two years, face masks and face coverings have been playing increasingly vital roles when it comes to protecting yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19.

Wearing a mask won’t make you totally immune to catching the virus, but it will help to significantly reduce the transmission of viral infections. Although, the degree of protection depends on the type of mask you’re wearing. If you are an asymptomatic carrier, routinely wearing a mask while out in public will help to decrease the likelihood of you spreading the virus.

If you don’t have access to medical-grade surgical masks or N95 respirators, it’s still recommended that all people wear some sort of cloth face covering when in public – whether it be a mask, a scarf, or a bandana. A cloth mask won’t completely protect you from contracting coronavirus, but it can reduce the chances of spreading it.

Depending on where you live in Australia, a mask mandate may currently be enforced. In both New South Wales and Victoria, you’re required to wear a mask in all indoor settings that aren’t your place of residence and while on public transport.

  • A snug fit, so that the mask sits comfortably against your face.
  • Ties or ear loops that keep it secure.
  • Multiple layers of fabric, to help filter particles.
  • It doesn’t restrict your breathing.
  • The ability to be washed without permanently damaging or changing the shape of the mask.

According to a study, using a mask with a filter will give the wearer an extra layer of protection, while also helping to protect those around you.

Your filter will become less effective over time, so you’re best to change your filter and wash your mask every single day.

When shopping for masks, keep an eye on the estimated delivery time. Due to the high demand for these products, some may not be delivered for a month or two.

TINAWELLS 50 PCS Disposable Mask, $15.99

face masks
Image: Amazon

These disposable masks are a simple option, especially if you don’t have time to regularly wash your mask. The outside surface has a waterproof coating, while the inside layer is designed to absorb exhaled heat, lowering skin irritation. It uses a three-layer filtration system made from polypropylene non-woven fabric and polypropylene spun-bonded fabric. These masks will fit most face shapes with their one-size-fits-all elastic ear loops.

Buy TINAWELLS 50 PCS Disposable Masks here.

Spring Season Cotton Dust Mask, $9.34

face masks
Image: Amazon

A cotton face mask that uses filter inserts. Its elastic earloops and nose clip will allow the wearer to adjust it to fit snuggly on their face. This mask is available in different patterns, allowing for day-to-day variation.

Buy a Spring Season Cotton Dust Mask here.

Cotton Face Mask, $3.79

Image: Amazon

A simple cotton mask that will filter out dust, pollen, and other fine particles. The mask will sit comfortably on the wearer’s face with little irritation and can be easily washed for reuse.

Buy a Cotton Face Mask here.

Amazer Tec Reusable Face Mask With Valves, $14.95

face masks
Image: Amazon

This mask is made from a lightweight, nylon mesh. It’s comfortable and breathable, with dual vents designed to reduce a build-up of heat while you’re wearing it. To make sure the mask will stay firmly on your face, it uses a combination of an adjustable strap and earloops to minimise slippage. The five-layer filter uses activated carbon and will help filter out 99% of dust, chemicals, and other non-oil-based particles.

Buy an Amazer Tec Reusable Face Mask With Valves here.

Weddingstar Cotton Dust Mask, $9.99

Image: Amazon

This soft cotton face mask is reusable and features a pocket that will let you easily replace your PM 2.5 filter. Its adjustable, elastic ear loops and flexible nose bridge will help make sure that the mask is snuggly fitted to your face.

Buy a Weddingstar Cotton Dust Mask here and a three-pack set here.

Face Guard Mesh Mask, $12.95

Image: Amazon

This reusable face mask is made from a lightweight, mesh material, allowing for a comfortable fit that won’t irritate your skin. Its one-way air valves help to prevent air contraflow, and the internal filter can be easily replaced. The adjustable back strap and hanging ear loops will help it fit with most head sizes, and is easy to get on and off.

Buy a Face Guard Mesh Mask here.

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