Frame to keep mask from sucking into mouth?
June 24, 2020 12:36 PM   Subscribe

When I wear a cloth face mask the material starts to pull in/stick to my face a bit around my nose and mouth as I breathe in. I know that means I'm getting a good fit, but it annoys the shit out of me, especially on longer walks where my mask gets humid. Does anyone make a frame that I can put over/under my cloth mask to keep it farther away from my face? I'm picturing like a little plastic cage that goes under my mask and gives me some breathing room within it, sort of short-dog-snout shaped.

I have googled but only found that frame "the Navy is now using" that holds a mask to your face, which doesn't serve my purpose. This happens to me with every mask except actual N95s and the cloth ones that are more stiff and thus don't really contain my breath so much as send it up towards my eyes.
posted by c'mon sea legs to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
My good masks with nose wires are using pipe cleaners fed through the top seam. You could probably use them to do what you are asking, either feeding them through the layers of the mask or, in a pinch, taping/stapling/tack-stitching them to the inside of your mask.

Any moldable wire should work, if you happen to have spooled twist-tie or similar material, but the pipe cleaner fuzzy coating helps keep them a bit softer where they touch the face.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:55 PM on June 24, 2020

I've been eyeing these masks that I saw on Instagram - they seem like the design is stiff/flat enough in front, but also has the seal around the nose to keep your breath from going up (and in my case fogging my glasses).

I've also made some homemade ones using this tutorial with a somewhat similar "box" design and they do stay a bit farther out from my face without gapping at the sides.
posted by misskaz at 1:01 PM on June 24, 2020 [2 favorites]

I have been having the exact same problem, and have been trying different mask designs to mitigate the problem. Do you sew, or do you know anyone else who sews? If so, you might try something along the lines of this pattern, which is constructed in such a way that it stays a bit further out from your nose and mouth. In my case, I actually modified the pattern a little bit in two ways:

- I made the "snout" section a little longer, which keeps the fabric even further from my face
- I adapted it for use with regular quilting cotton -- so instead of topstiching with wrong sides facing, the two layers get sewn together right sides facing, turned inside out, and then topstiched to make a durable finished edge all around.

It's been awesome -- it's extremely comfortable and has quickly become my favorite mask. If you or someone you know can make one, I'd recommend giving it a try!
posted by ourobouros at 1:30 PM on June 24, 2020

Another "duckbill" style mask you can make yourself is the Rag mask - easy to make and solves the problem you describe. I made them out of 2 layers of quilting cotton with a polypropylene layer in the middle.
posted by entropyiswinning at 2:15 PM on June 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

Full disclosure - I know the person who makes these masks, but they are great for solving the problem you mention. They are also comparatively comfortable.
posted by doggod at 2:39 PM on June 24, 2020

I make the UF Health Services mask that ourobouros linked to above. My modification is sandwiching a very stiff layer of non-woven interfacing between two layers of cotton. This interfacing is bonded with fusible interfacing to the inner layer of cotton which makes that layer stiff enough not to flex. I serge or zig zag stitch around the perimeter (like the orig instructions) because it is now too stiff to turn inside out.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 3:29 PM on June 24, 2020

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