The COVID-19 pandemic has made face masks the norm. In some places you need one to shop or go on errands, and it others you simply can’t leave the house without it. While the pandemic rages on, there have been quite a few concerns from consumers about the best face mask to wear. This has ultimately led to the question, reusable or disposable?
Reusable face masks offer quite a few advantages over their disposable counterparts. Any mask provides more protection than no mask at all, but handmade masks using double layered cotton are particularly effective in filtering micro particles. This works two-fold, it helps prevent you from contracting the virus if you’re around carriers, but it also helps prevent you from spreading the virus if you’re a carrier. It offers dependable protection to both you and your community.
But of course, the main difference between a washable face mask and a disposable face mask is their longevity. A disposable mask may be good for a few wears, but they quickly become dirty with your daily handling or deteriorate and lose all form. You either go through a lot of masks or use a mask for longer than recommended, which are terrible choices during a pandemic. The costs add up either way, it’s much more financially effective to invest in a single cloth face mask that you can wash and maintain.
A clean face mask that retains its protective form over your nose and chin, and looks good while doing so, is also much easier to wear. Their comfortable fabric isn’t abrasive to the delicate skin on your face and can be worn for hours without hindering your day. They’re more versatile as well, you can wear them on a run, wash them, and then wear them to work with no issues.
Fabric face masks aren’t as visually striking as disposable ones either. Instead of the typical glaring white, you can choose from a range of colors or patterns to ensure they blend in with your daily clothes. This also makes them more fun and appealing to children and teens. Face masks aren’t effective when kids aren’t willing to wear them, but a personal cloth face mask makes it easier for them to adopt into their wardrobe.
More importantly however, reusable face masks are better for the whole community. They don’t come from the supply that essential healthcare workers depend on, which are currently running out of stock in many places, a common phenomenon during pandemics. This means there are more masks available to those who care for the affected patients. They’re also eco friendly because they don’t contribute to the mounting medical waste that can’t be recycled.
The long-term effects of disposable masks increase rapidly, without any long-term benefits. Reusable face masks allow for extended usage. You never have to worry about suddenly running out of them and being unable to use a sufficient mask, and they can be applied to any outbreak. Even after COVID-19 subsides, a reusable face mask can be used for traveling or to prevent the seasonal flu, you always have it at hand. Reusable face masks are simply more practically, financially, and ecologically efficient.
Affordable and reusable cotton face masks can be found at Stay Safe, an Australian based company.