Air pollution masks not only reduce the amount of air pollution we inhale, but they also protect us from other airborne particulates. The Philippines has gone through natural hazards in recent years, and it's always a good idea to have a good air pollution mask in handy should the situation call for it.
When it comes to air pollution masks, there may be a shortage of correct information out there—worry no more! We will list down all the things you need to look for when making your purchase. We will also give you 10 of our recommended products to help you narrow down your options!
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
Table of Contents
Here are some key points to consider:
There are different types of face masks available in the market today. You must know the various degrees of protection they provide and when and where they are used. The following are some of the most commonly used by people.
A face mask or a surgical mask provides a physical barrier that blocks large-particle droplets or splashes from reaching the nose and the mouth. It is not recommended for protection against smaller particles, so if you only have a surgical mask, you may double it up for more protection.
A high-quality reusable mask lessens the need to buy a new one regularly and reduces waste. It is cost-effective and longer-lasting compared to disposable masks. However, ensure that you follow proper care and maintenance to know when it has passed the maximum usage.
They are usually made with cloth, and some have inner pockets so you can place a filter for protection. If not, you can double it up with a surgical mask. Though this may already be a good defense, it is not 100% guaranteed that you will not inhale particles because of its looser fit. Particles can still pass through minuscule holes in between the cloth.
A respirator has a tight fit, leaving no gaps for particles to go through. There are three types of respirator filters: "N," which is not oil resistant and could only filter out solid and water-based particulates, while "R" is somewhat resistant to oil. Last is "P," which is strongly resistant to oil.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) evaluates, tests, and approves these filter ratings to guarantee the safety and level of performance of masks. Though respirators are highly effective, they are not advisable to use for long periods, especially for people with difficulty in breathing and respiratory ailments.
There are three number labels - 95, 99, and 100 referring to the filter's effectiveness. For example, an N95 mask can filter 95% of tiny particles. This can be used to combat infection from germs and viruses and to prevent yourself from inhaling particulate matter with a size of 2.5 micrometers (PM 2.5).
KF94 masks are popular as they stand for "Korean filter 94", meaning they can filter 94 percent of the air the user will inhale. This is also the South Korean version of N95 masks. They are made out of a combination of cloth to easily follow the facial shape of the user for maximum comfort.
The higher the number, the higher the filter efficiency it has. However, note that as the number increases, it gets more expensive. Do not be intimidated by its price because spending more on high-grade masks is better to prevent yourself from ingesting and inhaling harmful air particles.
No matter how high quality your mask is, if it does not fit you correctly, it is no help. A mask that is too small for your face may give you breathing difficulties. For a mask that is too large, there is a high chance of particles infiltrating the spaces or gaps around the mask, enabling you to inhale it.
The packaging usually indicates the size of the mask. If you are unsure of your size, it is always helpful and reliable to read the sizing guide first. Do not buy masks in bulk so that they will not be wasted in case you get the wrong size.
Some brands also offer a standard size but have adjustable straps. Make sure that you read fitting instructions or watch available instruction videos online to know how to get the correct size. Note that people with thick facial hair would not achieve a proper fit and may not get complete protection from a mask.
For comfort, a mask with a valve is recommended when doing physical activities and rigorous exercises for air to flow faster and for moisture to not accumulate inside the mask. However, if you are just doing simple and light activities, a valve is not necessary.
Masks with valves are also recommended for those wearing eyeglasses and those exposed to construction work or fumes from volcano eruptions. Valves prevent misting of eyeglasses, which can be a nuisance because it obstructs your view.
The number of masks to buy will depend on the type of masks and the situation that you are in. Surgical facemasks are disposable, so it is best to purchase them in packs or boxes.
Reusable masks and respirators are bought per piece since they are considered investments. Not only are they more expensive, but they are also less likely to be changed regularly, so one per user is enough.
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6200 Respirator Chemical Gas Mask w/ 2091 P100 Filter
Comes With a High-Grade Twin Filter for Easier Breathing
Cambridge Mask Co
N99 Washable Reusable With Air Valve Face Mask｜Churchill
A Minimalist Design That Offers Comfort, Protection, and Style
VFlex™ Particulate Respirator 9105
Lightweight Non-bulky Mask With V-shaped Pleats for Space and Comfort
Particulate Respirator 8210
Tried and Tested N95 Mask That Uses Electrostatic Media to Help You Breathe
Protect 3D KF94 Face Mask
A Comfortable Mask That Provides 360-Degree Protection
Lite Face Mask
Hypoallergenic Mask With an All-Natural Filter Perfect for Preventing Allergies
Hyper Purifying Breathing Nano Mask
A Reusable Mask for Up to 10 Times
Activated Carbon Mask
5-Layer Activated Carbon Mask for Outdoor and Cycling Enthusiasts
Smartmi Anti-Pollution Air Sport Face Mask
Soft, Reusable Thermoplastic Mask That's Ideal for Commuters
Disposable 3-ply Face Mask
A Basic Face Mask for Your Entire Household
For the best protection against particulates and other airborne particles, this is the best one you can find! It is a bit of an investment with its price, but it's reusable—you only need to get new filters instead of buying another mask.
While this mask is useful as protection from pollution and natural hazards like volcanic ash, you can also use it for other situations like construction, welding, sanding, grinding, painting, or when you think you'll be exposed to harmful chemicals. This mask might be a bit bulky, but its P100 filter makes it strongly resistant to oil and can filter almost 100% of airborne particles.
Unlike typical masks, Cambridge Mask Co offers different designs that users can choose from. It uses a military-grade filter technology that provides 99% particulate matter filtration. Just make sure to record the time you wear it since it needs to be disposed of after 340 hours of usage.
This mask is very easy to maintain, for it can withstand regular washing without damaging its filters, and the valve makes the inside of the mask relatively cool. However, the straps of this mask are quite thick, so some reviewers say that wearing glasses with this may be uncomfortable.
Other cup-shaped N95 masks may make it difficult to breathe. Bid adieu to that problem with this mask! It has a foldable design, which provides more comfort without compromising its quality and efficiency. It also has adjustable straps to help you get the right fit.
This standard-sized mask uses advanced electrostatic media that significantly enhances the capture of airborne particles and makes breathing easier and cooler. This mask uses a two-strap design, nose foam cushion, and adjustable nose clip to provide a secure and custom fit.
As long as this mask is not damaged or soiled, you can keep reusing it. However, this series only offers its masks in one size, so it might not be a perfect fit for everybody. The rubber bands may also feel uncomfortable and leave marks on the face if they don't fit correctly.
Kleenex offers a mask that filters out 99% of airborne particles with its PM 0.2 particle filtration efficiency. It has functional nose support that follows your nose shape for maximized tightness and comfortability. This feature is helpful, especially if you dislike the discomfort of the moisture building up in your glasses while you talk and wear a mask.
Its soft inner cover makes it comfortable on the face making it perfect for various activities. Its shape and design will give you ample space to breathe properly. Get yours now and do your errands with comfort and protection.
This mask is not only fashionable, but it is also very effective in blocking out even the tiniest particles. Its filter prevents 99.8% PM 0.1 particles from being inhaled. The filter is also made from premium material using wool from bred sheep from New Zealand.
It features adjustable ear loops and a noseband so you can find the right fit. Lastly, this is a good option for those who suffer from allergies, asthma, rhinitis, or hay fever because of its Helix™ filter that protects from dust and allergens.
If you're leaning into getting a reusable but affordable mask, Soomlab's got you! This mask is made with nano filters to provide a high level of protection against airborne particles—up to 99%! It also has an anti-droplet function, so you're sure that it will stay soft and dry throughout the day, no matter the temperature or humidity!
This mask is made from Beyondtex, a nanofiber material that makes a mask reusable for up to 10 times, given that it is soaked using 75% ethanol and hung to dry before reusing. With this material, you get to have a mask that gives you protection and can withstand sweat and moisture.
If you're on the hunt for a mask that can protect you from inhaling pollution, dust, or dirt as you cycle on the road or up the mountains, then this might be the one for you! It is made with thick and durable neoprene and activated carbon material, specially designed for cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts.
One reviewer said that this mask was able to withstand heavy dust, even during a sandstorm! Depending on the shape and size of your nose, it may feel a little snug. Its shape and lining along the nose bridge allow the user to wear an eye shield for extra protection.
If you're looking for an affordable and stylish mask with a valve, this mask from Xiaomi is for you. This mask comes in three sizes, but if you want a tighter fit, the package comes with a hook to tie the straps together, which is helpful when you do physical activities.
With its skin-friendly, soft memory, and thermoplastic material, this mask is lightweight enough for outdoor use. You can go for long runs, jogs, and commute, without worrying about inhaling pollution from car exhausts. Despite its low price, it has enough protection against particulate matters or PM 2.5.
Surgical masks are the cheapest option among all that's on the market. This is one of your go-to options since it provides 99% filtration for a lower price. It has a 3-ply system that filters moisture and particles, which can catch harmful viruses in the air.
Indosplas masks are made from pleated cloth that stretches to fit the shape of your face. This provides a way for you to cover the entirety of your mouth and nose for a perfect fit. However, these masks are not intended to be used more than once. If you see it damaged and soiled, you should replace it with a new one.
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by the mybest team.
The effectiveness of air pollution masks depends on their filtration efficiency. Masks are expected to be able to filter at least 95% of airborne particles to pass internationally recognized standards.
There are a lot of options out there for face masks! For one, you can look at our list—the top product we recommend is highly effective in filtering out pollution and dust particles. However, if you have budget constraints or if it doesn't suit your preferences, you can check out the rest of our recommendations and the comparison table to find the face mask that will suit you and your needs.
Air pollution's harmful effects may include coughing and difficulty in breathing. However, when exposed to air pollution too much, it may lead to serious complications like respiratory and heart diseases.
The air directly affects our wellness, so it is vital that the air we breathe is clean and not contaminated by harmful particles. Check out the following links, and we'll take you to some products that may give you an idea of what to get in the future to keep your surroundings sanitized.
Author: Issa Honda
Re-editor: Rian Pilarca
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
No. 1: 3M｜6200 Respirator Chemical Gas Mask w/ 2091 P100 Filter
No. 2: Cambridge Mask Co｜N99 Washable Reusable With Air Valve Face Mask｜Churchill
No. 3: 3M｜VFlex™ Particulate Respirator 9105
No. 4: 3M｜Particulate Respirator 8210
No. 5: Kleenex｜Protect 3D KF94 Face Mask
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When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.
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