I would like a good mask please
May 21, 2020 5:30 PM   Subscribe

I want a mask with pleats or multiple layers of effective cloth that has a filter pocket and elastic straps for behind the head to make it fit snugly, also a metal bendable form-fitting nose piece. I would like effective filters to go in this mask. Got any leads?

I have read the other askme posts about finding a mask. I do not sew so whatever I get will need to be bought. Do you know of, or do you use a mask that: 1) is made of the correct tightwoven materials I've seen recommended (I think it was tightly woven high thread count cotton and polyester inside for comfort, but not completely sure) 2) is thick or pleated not just two flat layers, 3) has elastic bands, not ties, that go around the back of the head (two, like the n95 has) 4) has a metal soft bendable nose piece to form fit it over the bridge of my nose 5) has a filter pocket for removable filters so I can swap them out and also wash the mask. In addition I'd like it to come with or have available for purchase the filters that go with it that are good filters, not coffee filters (wtf?) but possibly hepa or meltwoven filters in multiple layers. I understand the mask is mostly for others but I want some actual protection too, because stupid thoughtless people are gonna do their thing even in a pandemic. Thank you.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Etsy or your local neighborhood group on Facebook is likely your best bet.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 5:42 PM on May 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

A combination of silk and tightly-woven cotton works well (polyester not so much), but I don't have a specific recommendation of one made like this, sorry!
posted by pinochiette at 5:42 PM on May 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

If it were a matter of just searching I would have found it by now. When I search on Etsy I see masks with ear loops. I see masks that fit poorly, or are made from random fabrics or don't have a nose piece or filter pockets. Some masks have one or two of my requirements but not all of them. Does anyone know of a mask that fits all my criteria.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 6:12 PM on May 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

I was very impressed with the thought and attention to detail this local maker has put into her masks. In a NextDoor article I can't find, she cited the research behind her material choices and mask design. She even offers different ear loop / elastic / ribbon options.

I haven't purchased from her (I've been very happy with my Canadian O2 mask, despite the fact that it looks like an athletic cup has attacked my face), but my husband's O2 order made last month still hasn't arrived, so I hesitate to recommend them strongly until their production line catches up. I agree, it's been hard finding trustworthy masks!
posted by Jaqi at 6:20 PM on May 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Could you reach out to the Etsy shops selling masks that meet some of your criteria, and request a custom order with the rest of your desired features?
posted by Drosera at 6:59 PM on May 21, 2020 [3 favorites]

I got a mask from this seller on Etsy, who fits your criteria (two layers of cotton fabric, metal nose piece, elastic around the back of the head, and a filter pocket - she sent along one filter for free with mine, though I don't see them for sale in her shop.

It took me a bit of hunting to find, but searching masks and then opening tabs for whatever ones looked vaguely promising from the photos got me started.
posted by jenettsilver at 7:00 PM on May 21, 2020

They claim to be shipping these in June.

These supposedly ship in a week or two but don't have the nose-bend thing.

Both have earloops but both can work with a "hair clip" that goes behind your head for the loops to go to instead of your ears. The latter ones ship with the clip as explained in this video. That said -- this company is getting a lot of flack for delivery delays. I haven't received my own, which I was told would ship in 2 weeks when I bought it 7 weeks ago. They do seem sincere, but beyond their depth, shipping-wise.
posted by dobbs at 7:01 PM on May 21, 2020

I am making masks with cotton and chiffon because of the research saying that combining the two is the best way to make an effective mask. I am also inserting a nose piece. The masks follow the CDC recommended pattern and, if you make sure to pull down on the fabric so it is away from your ears, they are snug without yanking your ears out to the side. I was making masks with an opening to insert a filter, but the chiffon is just as effective if not (significantly) more effective so I am doing this instead.

I have not found masks like this for sale anywhere. Do you know anyone who can custom make you a mask? You are asking for a very specific kind of mask that is going to be very difficult to find online. Your best bet is to purchase the necessary items, if possible, then ask someone to make it for you. They are not hard to make but material is hard to come by. Are you definitely unable to sew? I didn't sew either but now I do.

My point is you're likely going to need to be creative, given that you want a specific kind of mask at a time when they are in very high demand.

Good luck.
posted by Amy93 at 7:32 PM on May 21, 2020 [4 favorites]

I actually bought a couple of the Gir ones that dobbs talks about. They were extremely disappointing, to put it charitably. First of all, the mask is huge on me, and I have a big head; the silicone has large gaps on the sides and on the chin when the mask is on. I used the clip and it was better, but it still has gaps even with the clip, and the clip makes it too tight across the tip of my nose even while it’s still loose everywhere else. And the whole thing feels incredibly flimsy — much more so than any of the cloth ones I’ve bought. I would definitely not recommend them.

And yeah, they took around two full months to ship. They sent a kind of embarrassing, groveling email apologizing for the delays, which really just made me feel sorry for them. They actually do make very good kitchen equipment, which is their usual gig. I’ll continue to buy that from them, but as I said, I would not recommend their masks even slightly.
posted by holborne at 7:35 PM on May 21, 2020

Thanks for that review, holborne. Much appreciated. I hope the AusAir one is not as disappointing.
posted by dobbs at 7:48 PM on May 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Thanks so much folks, this is the kind of much more valuable information that I needed. I think I'm going to try the seller Jaqi mentioned, because it occurs to me that in order to "sterilize" the mask all I have to do is dry it out and wait, so maybe I don't need that reusable filter pocket. Thank you!!!!!
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 7:56 PM on May 21, 2020

We purchased these masks from Etsy and are very pleased. She included a simple pattern for filters which we cut out from an old re-usable shopping bag.
posted by mefireader at 7:58 PM on May 21, 2020

The Ministry of Supply masks don't seem to have the metal nosepiece, but the replaceable filters are reassuring.

I'm waiting for mine to arrive. Read about them in Fast Company.
posted by ziggly at 9:27 PM on May 21, 2020

I have ordered masks from Equal Entrance, a woman-owned business. These come with a filter that can be replaced, have adjustable ear loops, and are double-layer. (I was less than impressed with the basic pleated cloth masks made by a family member which lost their shape and their wires in the wash.) She sells some really nice scarves as well!
posted by Otter_Handler at 4:59 AM on May 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Check your memail.
posted by athenasbanquet at 11:20 AM on May 22, 2020

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