Face masks have become part of our everyday lives to help stop the spread of coronavirus. But did you know there are face masks with filters that can provide a little extra protection?
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The current government advice states that medical-grade masks should continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace, such as health and care workers, and those in industrial settings, like those exposed to dust hazards.
N95 masks fall under this category and you really don’t need one unless you are coming into regular close contact with people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
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What is a face mask filter?
Face mask filters are used as an extra layer of protection to filter out particulate in the air. They usually sit in between the two outer layers of the mask. Several types of face mask filters exist, from basic cloth pieces to carbon filters and HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters.
How often should I change my face mask filter?
There are several great reusable, washable non-medical face coverings on the market that come with removable filters. You should replace the filter regularly – ideally after each use – and wash your mask daily, waiting until it is completely dry before you put it on again.
For filters to work effectively, the mask should fit snugly to your face, with no gaps where air can escape.
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A word of caution, however. If you do invest in a mask with filter, do remember that wearing one does not replace the need for social distancing and frequent hand washing to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Read on for the best selection of masks with filters that you can buy online today.
Which are the best masks with filters you can buy online in the UK?
Nanofilter mask grey logo plus replaceable nanofilter, £27.08, är
The är face masks are unique in that they are self-cleaning because they feature a Swedish pioneered ViralOff surface treatment that reduces 99% of viruses and bacteria on the surface of the mask. The masks also have replaceable nano filters that have been shown to block 99.8% of viruses tested by global microbiology testers Nelson Labs. The mask comes with a replaceable nanofilter.
What is a nanofilter?
Nanotechnology filters block up to 99.8% or viruses, bacteria, dust and other airborne pollutants and contaminants. Each filter comprises of three layers and the nanofibers within the filter are 1,000 times thinner than a human hair.
Reusable cloth mask with filter, £12, Casetify
Casetify's washable face mask is available in four colours. They have a nice snug fit and are made of five layers (WHO advice states masks should have at least three) including space for a filter. They come with two PM 2.5 carbon filters.
What is a PM 2.5 carbon filter?
PM stands for particulate matter - i.e. air pollution and – and PM2.5 is the size of common carbon particulates. So a PM2.5 filter will stop these minuscule particles from getting through. Every purchase of a Casetify mask also includes the cost of donating a medical-grade mask to frontline health workers
Vistaprint advanced protection integrated filter mask, from £13, Vistaprint
Vistaprint masks feature nose wire and adjustable straps, which ensures a snug fit to the face. They have an inner layer of cotton and an inbuilt permanent filter. There are children’s sizes available too, and for every mask sold, Vistaprint gives 6% of proceeds to the Prince's Trust Young People Relief fund to support young people impacted by the pandemic.
Linen cotton mask with filter pocket, £20, Wolf & Badger
Wolf & Badger’s offering is a four-layer face mask with a pocket to add your own filter (not included) The nose wire and adjustable straps mean you can get a great fit. This is a seriously comfy mask thanks to the inner layer of 100% delicate cotton.
Pink mask, £8, Aftermask
All Aftermask masks come with one disposable filter and there's a handy pocket for you to place another filter in after use. The masks themselves are cotton and the filters are non-woven with 80% filtration efficiency. Plus, there is a huge range of pretty prints to choose from!
Colourful adult face mask with filter (20 different designs), £10, Not On The High Street
Choose between 20 different designs - including this pretty Japanese flowers-inspired mask - and each mask comes with two PM2.5 replaceable filters. Free UK delivery.
Animal print face mask with filter, £15.99, Prezzybox
If you’re looking for something a bit wilder that gives you extra protection at the same time, Prezzybox does a range of masks with filters in eye-catching animal prints. These CE certified masks come with a filter pocket and two filters.
Replacement face mask filters
Replacement PM2.5 Filters, £6.99 Amazon
Experts – including John Hopkins Medicine – recommend you clean your face mask and use a new filter after each wearing. You can buy replacement PM2.5 carbon filters in packs of 10 from Amazon. Vitrue Code’s filters are one of the shopping portal’s top-rated.
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