These 7 affordable face mask options will help to protect yourself and others

Image: iStock/Ivan Pantic

In recent months, 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 chances of spreading it.

If you’re living in the Greater Sydney area of New South Wales, you are currently required to wear a face covering when in an indoor setting. These mandatory mask locations include retail, supermarkets and shopping centres, public/shared transport, indoor entertainment, places of worship, hair and beauty premises, and when visiting an aged care facility.

Recommended face masks features:

  • 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.

Browse recommended mask options below:

TINAWELLS 50 PCS Disposable Mask, $23.99

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.

Slumbies! Cloth Face Mask, $9.50

Image: Amazon

This stylish mask is comprised of three layers of cloth fabric and can be washed for reuse. It comes packaged with four replaceable PM 2.5 filters, that can be easily inserted into the filter pocket. Its elastic ear loops are also adjustable, and fits snug under the chin. It’s also available in various other designs, giving you options that extend past the standard black mask design.

Spring Season Cotton Dust Mask, $13.99

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.

Cotton Face Mask, $6

Image: Amazon

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

Amazer Tec Reusable Dust Mask With Valves, $18.99

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 ear loops 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.

Weddingstar Cotton Dust Mask, $5.98

Image: Amazon

This soft cotton mask is reusable, and feature 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.

Face Guard Mesh Mask, $11.95

Image: Amazon

This 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.

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