FAQs about Mask Quality
Looking to understand mask fundamentals? Good for you.
Use this FAQ as your guide.
Wearing masks should not be viewed as a replacement for staying home rather than going out to where people are as a primary strategy, physical distancing of at least 6 feet from others, frequent handwashing and avoiding crowds.
When you combine masks with those measures, they can make a big difference.
- ▼What kind of mask is best?
When choosing a mask, experts say focus on the fabric, fit and breathability. How well a mask protects is a function of what it's made of, how well it seals to your face, how comfortable it is, and how breathable it is.
If you find it difficult to wear comfortably, then you're less likely to keep it on, and lose out on the primary way we limit the spread of disease.
See our other FAQs for more specific guidance.
- ◄Are your masks made in the USA?
- Yes, we are the manufacturer, and they are made in the USA. Our facility in Arcadia, a suburb of Los Angeles CA, USA, to be specific.
- ◄I can buy masks like yours for less at a popular brand’s website. Aren’t they just as good?
Not likely. Carefully look at the product, and you will see that they had to cut corners to make them for such a cheap cost.
What details do they provide about their mask’s construction and testing? Check out our Blog pages and our other FAQs to learn what is important as taught by scientific research experts.
Most masks do not claim to do any reduction of virus spread.
If you’re wearing a mask, wouldn’t you like to pay a few extra bucks for protection?
Having a hard time financially? See the next question.
- ◄We lost our job. Can you help?
- If you have become unemployed, we empathize. Click Here for a special discount, just for you!
- ◄What should I Look for When Buying a Face Mask for protection?
In the midst of this pandemic people can be too worried and confused to make the right choice for a mask. We sincerely hope you can calmly read these FAQs to help you decide on a product that is right for you.
Obviously, not all masks on the market can do the trick of significantly reducing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).
My BFF Masks meet tight quality standards and are the perfect choice if you want a washable product that suits the purpose and lasts for a long time.
- ◄Aren’t home-made DIY masks just as good?
Maybe, but the materials that we use for efficiency in reducing the spread, comfort, breathability and safety are almost impossible to buy in small quantities for DIY masks (You usually have to buy 1000’s of yards at a time).
Do you want to know how to make a cloth face mask? You can still get decent results if you use the material from a hoodie for the underlying layer and a quilting fabric for the top layer and use the pleated pattern for sewing. But you still need to make sure you put in a nose bridge seal and have adjustable elastic straps. These are important to make sure your mask is doing its job and not being bypassed through a leak around your nose, chin, or cheeks.
Anything is better than nothing, but why take chances? The cost of making a mask at home may be low, but our reusable masks are proven to be very good through testing both in the lab and in the public, and not more than an hour’s wage for most.
(If you have become unemployed, we empathize. Click Here for a special discount on My BFF Masks, just for you!)
- ◄Do your masks pass the mask light test?
- Yes, please see the next question.
- ◄Can you tell me how to test a mask at home?
Yes, we have a series of Blogs that teach an exhaustive series of tests you can do at home.
Most people can perform these tests at home with a mask to see how well it might perform in our goal of reducing the airborne spread of disease to near zero.
What must be tested are fit, filter efficiency, breathability, and comfort. (Without comfort and breathability, the user may neglect wearing the mask when appropriate.)
Please see our blog for the instructions.
- ◄Do you have instructions on how to wear a face mask?
- Yes, of course. Here's our page on that:
- ◄Have your face masks been safety tested for ability to stop droplets from getting through the mask?
Yes, they have.
Our owner being a scientist with a laboratory, has designed and run tests to check and determine how effective the masks are, and if they are fit for the intended purpose. The intended purpose is to provide significant protection from inhaled droplet contaminants of all kinds, thereby increasing the health & Safety of the public, which includes slowing the spread of disease.
Besides the flashlight test (see question above), which only tests the fabric, we also have run tests that test the mask while in-use.
This is performed using smoke. (Smoke from smoldering natural materials just happens to have the same range of particle size as a virus, so if a mask passes the smoke test, it will do just fine for trapping bodily fluid droplets.)
- ◄What does the CDC say about what to look for in a reusable cloth mask or face covering?
- It should have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric
- It should completely cover both the nose and mouth
- It should fit snugly against the side of your face and not have gaps
- It should not have exhalation valves or vents, which allow virus particles to escape
We have you covered in all these features, and more.
- ◄I can’t breathe with my 3-layer mask. Are yours any better?
Yes, much better. It’s difficult to tell any reduction of breathability with our reusable masks.
This is because the materials we use are carefully selected for their breathability. We make masks that can be worn with comfortable breathability for all-day use.
It’s not difficult to forget you’re wearing them. It’s easy to breathe through our reusable masks.
- ◄My daughter has acne and is irritated by her mask. Will your masks help?
- Yes, of course. This is like the condition called ‘maskne’. (See the next question.)
- ◄My wife, a healthcare worker, cannot wear a mask without lots of discomfort. It causes her to break out and makes lines on her face around the edges of the mask. Can you help?
Unfortunately, this is all too common, and has caused lots of people, even non-healthcare workers, to fear wearing masks, for what it might do to them.
Here are the suggested ways to help her:
During work if allowed, she can wear our masks by themselves, or with a procedure mask or N95 mask on top. Ask them to review the information on our website and examine one of our masks so they can see if all their requirements can be satisfied.
After hours, she can simply use one of our masks by itself.
The problem has been studied and seems to present as two conditions:
- Coined ‘maskne’ a skin reaction may occur when an unnatural material rests on sensitive skin for long periods of time, especially when it is pressed tight on the skin. Masks with more than 85% cotton seems to relieve this condition.
- Masks that do not form-fit easily to a person’s face must be pulled very tight against the skin which deforms the skin and causes irritation, sometimes even blisters. These mask marks can that last for days.
What can be done:
Wearing masks with more than 85% cotton against the skin seems to relieve these conditions.
Even when the N95 style or other mask styles made with unnatural materials are mandatory, wearing a cloth mask underneath them can provide extra benefits:
- The tightness of straps or elastic bands required to pass a fit test can be reduced because the cloth material of our reusable masks help the mask to conform to the face more easily to provide a seal and pass the fit test.
- The mask provides more surface area for trapping particles to improve protection above that of the N95 by itself.
- The extra filtering layers do not decrease breathability.
- Masks can be worn for significantly longer periods of time without discomfort.