Help! I’m so confused…which is the best mask?


A: Check out our mask cheat sheet below, and #MaskUp!

Remember the 2 keys to mask effectiveness:


Nerdy Girl mask ranking:

1️⃣ N95
2️⃣ KF94 (Korea), FFP2 (Europe)
3️⃣ KN95s (buyer beware: manufacturer should hold a ‘NIOSH Certificate’)
4️⃣ Double-mask (cloth mask on top of surgical, OR cloth mask with filter insert)
5️⃣ Surgical mask
6️⃣ Good fitting cloth mask

Options 1-4 provide both good filtration AND fit; besides the gold standard fitted N95, differences among these will be small so use what’s available & fits you.

Option 5: good filtration but gaps

Option 6: good fit but less filtration

🏃🏽‍♀️ CONTEXT MATTERS: Choose masks based on type of activity. If you are outdoors & not near a lot of people, cloth is fine. But for indoor environments or if you are an essential worker with lots of close contact, definitely upgrade your protection to a higher ranking option.

Also remember that any mask you *use* consistently is much better than one that is uncomfortable and gets fiddled with a lot. This applies to children for whom finding something they will consistently wear is a high priority. The best mask is the one that fits, is comfortable, and is WORN. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

So…. #Maskup and deny those new variants the access to your nose and mouth that they want!

Those Nerdy Girls

Further reading:

“Do You Really Need Two Masks Now?”

“Double Masking for COVID: Are Two Face Masks Better Than One?”

“The best face mask is one that fits”

Recent DP Mask posts:

Should I double mask?

What kind of mask should I be wearing?

image credit: Linsey Marr and Jasper Marr Hester

Link to original FB post