I’ve been wearing cloth and 3 ply face masks since the beginning of Covid.
It was announced recently that these types of masks are not suitable for protecting you from the latest Covid variant, Omicron.
So what are the alternatives?
N95 and FFP2 masks are now recommended. These types of masks provide a tight seal all around your mouth. Only problem is there aren’t many on sale in the UK.
3M make cheap FFP2 masks, but they’re disposable (I was looking for an eco friendly mask).
The next alternative are Cambridge Mask Company who make washable FFP2 masks with changeable filters.
Masks come in two varieties, with a value and without. According to the WHO, masks with valves allow unfiltered breath to escape the mask. The CDA in the US against the wearing of valved masks on airplanes.
They are more expensive than disposable masks at £22. At the time of my research, their masks were largely out of stock.
My search led me to Masuku. It ticks all the boxes of a washable cloth and degradable filters. But at double the price of Cambridge Mask Company…
I reasoned these features and the lack of alternatives meant I should take the plunge and order a Masuku mask – are they worth £30 (I originally bought the mask at £50)?!
I think it’s important to state Masuku suggest their masks are “optimised to a similar level of FFP2 standard, meaning it has a filtration efficiency of over 94%”.
An NHS doctor has also recommended Masuku masks, so I feel fairly confident about the filtration aspects of the mask.
Inside the Masuku mask
The most important feature of the Masuku mask is is the fit around the mouth.
I can definitely tell the difference Vs my old masks.
The inside of the Masuku mask features a thin layer of fabric 2cm deep which sits closely to the skin. When I breath, I can hardly feel any air escape most of the time. I say most of the time because my glasses steam up now and again when the mask moves from talking and I have to adjust.
Talking is definitely not as big of a problem as it is with cloth masks, which can get sucked into your mouth or move from under your chin.
The mask features a plastic structure . This means the mask keeps its “3D structure”, keeping the mask from touching your mouth. You can see how much the mask protrudes out in the above photo.
But it also means I feel a little apprehensive to bend and put it in my pocket, so it’s not the smallest or most portable of masks to carry around.
In fact, Masuku suggest avoiding folding the mask as it will put a strain on the plastic frame and will cause damage. So fitting the mask in your jeans pocket is probably best avoided, but jacket pockets are fine.
Condensation also tends to build up and form on the plastic, which is a little off putting when you take the mask off. At least plastic is easy to wipe and disinfect.
You might be interested in… I went to Disneyland Paris and was surprised by their Covid policy
Outside the Masuku mask
The straps are adjustable and you may have to fiddle around until you find a comfortable solution.
The straps are thin, flat and stretchy, so my glasses sit nicely against them, rather than on top like traditional masks with round straps.
All parts and fabrics inside and out are interchangable, so if something breaks or wears out, you don’t have to replace the whole mask which I think is a great feature.
The outer cloth is made from 100% recycled polyester, guard 100% polyester and the earloops are made from 79% recycled polyester, 21% recycled elastane
Aside from the mask being £30, 10 filters cost £10. The filters are biodegradable however and can be disposed of as compostable waste which most mask filters can’t be.
Would I buy the Masuku One mask again?
Absolutely. I originally bought the mask at £50, so would recommend it now it’s £30. Yes, it is more expensive than the average mask, but it feels well made, will last me a while (hopefully) and is eco friendly. I just need to make sure I don’t lose it!