When face coverings were first recommended, the few retailers that did sell masks quickly were out of stock and many of us turned to DIY methods to make face coverings out of what we already had. Some people broke out their sewing machines and made masks out of old t-shirts from the bottom drawer, while others were digging out their hiking gear or novelty bandanas for breathable protection. But are those bandanas really effective at keeping you healthy?
In this article, we’ll compare the effectiveness of bananas to reusable face masks. Of course, we understand that there is more to personal protection than simply covering our faces. There is also a correct way to wear masks, and we now know that choosing the right mask will protect the wearer as much as it will protect others from our expelled breath.
Bandana vs. Mask vs. Neck Gaiter
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of wearing a bandana as a face covering versus other mask options and the best choices for the health and safety of you and your loved ones.
When worn correctly, bandanas cover both the face and mouth offering two layers of protection and a seal around the nose. But are bandanas really protecting us the way we think?
Unfortunately, the pros of bandana face coverings stop there. Bandanas only provide a seal around the nose, not the mouth, and the space at the bottom of the bandana is too loose for the wearer’s protection and those around them. It’s also worth noting that the loose weave of cotton and polyester often used to manufacture bandanas won’t ward off moisture and infected droplets the way many other forms of face protection filters do.
Though they are convenient and better than nothing, if you’re still using a bandana as your primary face covering, it might be time to look into safer alternatives. Next, we’ll explore how neck gaiters and face masks might be better options for you.
Luckily, for those who feel bandanas are more comfortable than face masks, there is a safer alternative. Neck gaiters are a go-to for adventurers and outdoor lovers who need protection from dust, bugs, smoke, wind, sun, and other environmental factors such as the coronavirus. When worn correctly, neck gaiters have enough elastic to keep the seal around the top of the nose and along the cheeks tight. They are also long enough to fall along the collar bone, preventing air from escaping.
When choosing neck gaiters, there are also more options in materials and protective technology than bandanas can offer. Some are available with soft, lightweight material that will wick and disperse water droplets, while others, like Boomer Naturals Reusable Neck Gaiters, are made with nano-silver technology that provides added microbial and anti-bacterial protection. When considered together, the benefits of neck gaiters make them a valuable alternative to bandanas.
Reusable Face Masks
Similar to bandanas and neck gaiters, face masks only offer protection when worn correctly and should provide a tight seal over the bridge of the nose and under the chin. Face masks should also have adjustable ear straps so the wearer can make sure the mask is tight enough to provide a seal, but loose enough to allow them to talk without the mask falling under their nose or leaving gaps along their cheeks.
In addition, those who choose high-quality masks will have added protection. For example, masks should have three layers: the outer layer should be a material that will repel water, helping to keep it from penetrating the mask's layers; the middle layer should be a tightly woven filter; and the inner layer should be a material that will wick moisture away from the face to maintain comfort and minimize the possibility of bacterial deposits.
Finally, reusable face masks can offer additional protection, such as a nose wire, to help keep the mask in place. Some wearer’s may choose masks, like those made by Boomer Naturals, with Nano-Silver Technology that fight bacteria and help protect their immune systems. Independent laboratory tests performed at a FDA registered laboratory on the Boomer Reusable Nano-Silver Face Masks confirm >99.9% antimicrobial activity even after a 24-hour contact period. This exceptional protection can’t be found in a home-made mask or bandana. Many face masks are also made with a little extra room sewn into the front to help facilitate mouth movement when talking, without displacing the mask.
When the health of the wearer and those around them are a concern during the coronavirus pandemic, choosing the best possible means of protection is vital. Boomer Naturals has designed masks and neck gaiters for adults and children to maximize comfort, fit, and wearable safety from COVID-19. We’ve brought together the best features and other necessities to ensure every high-quality mask provides the best possible odds of a long and healthy life for every wearer by adding nanotechnology to take personal protection to the next level.