This DIY mask test kit finds that your neck fleece isn’t really helping

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Scientists developing a tool to help mask manufacturers make sure their cloth masks actually work found some masks work better than others, and one kind works particularly badly. If you buy a cloth mask online—whether from Amazon or Etsy or a large manufacturer such as Adidas—you’ll see a warning reminding you that what you’re buying isn’t medical grade. And while the evidence continues to mount that cloth face masks work, it’s also true that every mask isn’t equally effective, and many companies now making masks are doing it for the first time. In the absence of regulation for cloth masks, as shortages of more proven N95 masks continue, how can consumers or the manufacturers making masks know how much protection they offer? Read Full Story

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Mask loose? This simple fix can make it fit

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The device fits over your mask to create a tighter seal, better protecting yourself and others. Months into the pandemic, many hospitals are still facing shortages of N95 masks. For the rest of us, the masks that are available—especially the surgical masks that are most effective at preventing the spread of the virus—often don’t quite fit. But a simple new add-on could help correct that. Read Full Story

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These transparent face masks could make our interactions a little less awkward

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Face masks will be here for a while. One company is trying to make them more humane. If you’re looking for a face mask, options abound. But whether it’s leopard print, splashed with your team’s logo, or the standard blue medical variety, all of these opaque masks have one problem in common: they cover half of your facial expressions. They’re challenging for the deaf community , not great for babies’ development , and can be dehumanizing. Read Full Story

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Making a new mask? Some fabrics might filter as well as N95 masks (and you probably have them at home)

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Here’s a new study about the best mask material to add to your pile of mask studies. Do you have silk or flannel or chiffon lying around? Maybe you’ve hacked together a DIY mask from an old T-shirt or pillowcase over the last few weeks. That’s probably good enough for most uses, but if you want to get precise about it, a new study suggests that a combination of two materials could do even more to protect you from spreading or getting the coronavirus. A mask made from a layer of high-thread-count cotton plus two layers of chiffon or silk performs nearly as well as an N95 mask—and does better than an N95 mask at capturing the smallest particles the scientists shot at it. Read Full Story

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This hoodie comes with a built-in mask

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You don’t need to carry your mask with you, you can just zip the hood—made of filtering material—up tight around your face. If you’re tired of wearing a DIY mask, a new hoodie offers another option: a built-in mask, made from a material that can (theoretically) filter out more germs than an N95 mask, zips up into the hood—which is itself a filter. The hoodie , which is available for preorder now, is the latest design from G95 , a company that also makes scarves that double as air filters. Read Full Story

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Do kids need face masks? Yes, and here are the 8 best options we found

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These masks are comfortable, washable, and come in adorable prints your kids might actually want to wear Masks are an incredibly easy way to help prevent the spread of disease (namely, COVID-19)—but it’s not always easy to get everyone in your household to wear one. We’re looking at you, kiddos. The CDC advises that children over the age of 2 wear a mask when they cannot maintain adequate distance from another person—because even if your child isn’t ill, they can still transmit viruses. That’s why we’ve found eight different (fun) face masks made specifically for kids that make it just that much easier to get them on board with face coverings. Each of these kids masks is reusable, well-fitting, and perfectly printed and colored to your kids’ liking. Read Full Story

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Not all masks are created equal: Cloth offers little protection against coronavirus

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Brands are pivoting to make cloth masks, but if they don’t have HEPA filters inside them, they can’t keep virus particles out of your mouth. There’s a global shortage of face masks, which is forcing medical professionals to enter scenarios where they are at high risk of being exposed to the coronavirus without the proper protective gear. The private sector is stepping up to fill the gap. But as amateur sewers and apparel companies create new masks, it’s important to note that not all masks are created equal. Read Full Story

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