As the nation continues to adapt to a world where COVID-19 is still a serious threat, more people are looking for ways to protect themselves against the risk of infection.  

With current government guidance stating that it's mandatory to wear a face covering in most indoor and public settings, it’s no wonder that there is a high demand for face protection.  

But which face mask will best protect you against COVID-19? In this article, we’ve answered questions on which type of mask to wear and which can increase your chance of infection.  

Does it matter which sort of mask you wear?

Yes. Different types of masks will all offer differing levels of protection against COVID-19. Surgical grade N95 respirators offer the highest level of protection against coronavirus, closely followed by surgical grade masks

These types of masks are generally reserved for health care workers, hospital staff and those at particularly high risk of contracting COVID-19. 

Will any face covering protect you?

Not necessarily. In fact, in a recent study, scientists tested 14 different types of masks and found that one of them actually increased the risk of infection.  

The least effective face covering in the test was a neck fleece, which was found to increase the risk of infection due to it having a “droplet transmission fraction” of 110%.  

Bandana’s also performed poorly but did not increase the risk of infection. Knitted face coverings were positioned in third worst. 

As expected, the most effective face covering in the study was a N95 respirator mask, which had a droplet transmission fraction of just 0.1% - much lower than a neck fleece.  

Here’s the list of how each mask type performed in the study: 

  1. N95 mask 
  2. Surgical mask 
  3. Cotton-polypropylene-cotton mask 
  4. Two-layer polypropylene apron mask 
  5. Two-layer cotton, pleated style mask 
  6. Two-layer cotton, pleated style mask (2) 
  7. N95 mask with exhalation valve 
  8. Two-layer cotton, Olston style mask 
  9. One-layer Maxima AT mask 
  10. One-layer cotton, pleated style mask 
  11. Two-layer cotton, pleated style mask 
  12. Knitted mask 
  13. Bandana 
  14. Gaiter type neck fleece


How do you properly wear a face mask?

Your mask should cover your face from the bridge of your nose to right underneath your chin. It should be loose enough that you can still breathe, but secure enough that it does not slip. Your mask should be comfortable enough that you are not tempted to touch it or move it around. 

How does a face mask prevent coronavirus from spreading?

It’s common knowledge now that face masks do help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Because some of the population are asymptomatic when it comes to coronavirus, it’s safer to wear a face covering even if you believe you are healthy. You’ll be protecting yourself as well as keeping those around you safe.  

A mask helps contain small droplets that come out of your mouth and nose when you talk, sneeze or cough. If you do have COVID-19, but you’re not showing symptoms, wearing a face mask reduces your chance of infecting others. Masks also protect you from larger droplets from other people too. 

SANIQUE face masks

At SANIQUE, we stock a wide range of PPE and face masks, perfect for use in healthcare settings and for general virus protection. If you’re looking to purchase face masks for yourself or for your business, please browse our face mask solutions or speak to one of our experts today. We’d be happy to help.

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