We're two years into the pandemic now and there are so many different face masks on the market. I’ve been writing features on non-medical face coverings during all that time, and I thought I’d seen it all – how wrong I was.
What about a mask that cleans itself and you don’t have to wash it daily? Sounds too good to be true? Well it’s real - face mask company är offer a face covering which is self-cleaning, and sterilises itself every two hours.
Big logo white face mask with valve and replaceable nanofilter (other colours available), £26.44, är
Unlike the majority of reusable face coverings – which benefit others more than the wearer – the är face mask adds an extra level of protection for the wearer. It reduces 99% of viruses on the surface of the mask within two hours thanks to a revolutionary self-cleaning function which was developed in Sweden and has been scientifically tested and verified.
Each adjustable mask comes with a replaceable nanofilter, which are sold separately in packs. The brand recommends that you replace them every two weeks as long as you live in an area where pollution is not an issue and you’ve not been in a potentially viral environment.
Nanofilters 3 pack, £10.53, är
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.
The masks are fully adjustable and come in a range of sizes – including a children’s size. The design is black with the firm’s logo in a variety of different colours to choose from. They’re also one of the few masks to feature an exhalation valve which lets you breathe out more easily.
However, the brand also produces a range of masks without valves, if you prefer the more traditional face-covering design.
Big logo pink face mask without valve with replaceable nanofilter (other colours available), was £26.44 now £12.86, är
The brand also offer what they've dubbed "the world's first FFP2 designer mask". It's made with the same antiviral, self-cleaning technology. it contains a nano membrane which blocks up to 99.9% of viruses, bacteria, dust and other airborne pollutants and it can be worn for up to 2 weeks or 40 hours cumulate use.
Self-cleaning FFP2 respirator mask, from £6.88, är
The viral technology meanwhile means that the material of the mask reduces 99% or viruses – it literally cleans itself. And unlike regular disposable FFP2 masks it’s stylish and comfortable – it has an anatomical shape and nose clip for a perfect fit – making this a good one for glasses wearers too.
What is an FFP2 mask?
An FFP2 mask is one that contains a filter. FFP stands for Filtering Face Piece. FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3 masks are the three grades of masks classified under the EN 149 European standard of testing and marking requirements for masks which filter the air.
An FFP1 filters at least 80% of airborne particles, and FFP2 filters 94% and with an FFP3, that number rises to 99%. An FFP2 mask has a similar performance requirement to the N95 masks worn in the US and the FFP3 has similar performance requirements to the American N99 masks – though there are some differences in test requirements.
Antiviral gloves, were £19.95, now £8.95 är
They've also launched a range of self-cleaning antiviral gloves that are made with the same technology and reduce the presence of viruses by 99%. Just like the masks, they've self-cleaning, available plain black and grey and with the brand's logo in a variety of colours and the best thing is they're touch screen sensitive so you can use them with all your devices. The sizes are small, medium and large - see the brand's website for the size guide.
So back to mask, the burning question – do you really not need to wash it? "It is not necessary to wash the mask very often as it reduces 99% of viruses on its own within two hours thanks to its self-cleaning technology;" says the brand. "The mask practically sterilises itself in two hours. For best performance and sustainability, wash less and only when needed." Sign me up!
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