ISO: happy mask filtration-levels with an origami-style mask (I think).
August 5, 2021 8:50 AM   Subscribe

Happy Masks don't work well for me. The goes in and out through the top instead of passing through the mask. Can you either 1) Point me to a product that will help me "seal" the mask better (something I can take on and off, though, so probably not a sticker/tape) 2) Point me to a mask with that quality of filtration, but a different style fit. Ideally an origami-style fit, which I've found do not give me the eye-breeze that I get with happy masks.

When I wear happy masks I literally feel wind going past my eye balls with each inhale and exhale. My sunglasses fog up more with happy masks than with any other mask I've worn. I really want them to work because their filtration appears to be better tested and stronger than most masks, but my air isn't being filtered when I wear them, so what's the point?

I have seen this question, but that person is more about duplicating the fit of HappyMask (mask held away from mouth) and less about the filtration level. (Though I note they did end up going with an origami-style mask)
posted by If only I had a penguin... to Shopping (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Many online stores offer inexpensive packs of bendable metallic adhesive nose strips to stick on any mask that doesn't already have one. After attaching it to the outside of the mask and putting the mask on, bend the metal over the bridge of your nose and against your upper cheeks.

I've personally noticed that I need two stuck on top of each other to get enough stiffness to really keep them in place once they're bent to fit, but after that it works fine and no eyeball breeze.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:22 AM on August 5, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Are you looking for cloth masks?

If you are open to "disposable" ones, most of the KF94 masks are that style. Early in the pandemic, I bought a variety from Be Healthy USA to see what fit me best. I reuse them many times over, since Dr. Advicepig was doing so at the hospital and it was working for hospital staff.
posted by advicepig at 9:28 AM on August 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I haven't tried Happy Masks but my work offers these mask fitters and I find they work great on duckbill-style surgical masks as well as cloth masks in general.
posted by teremala at 11:06 AM on August 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

I find the "boat style" KF94 masks from (or to be very comfortable and easy to adjust so that they don't leak up under my glasses. Bonus is that they are also pretty. I air them out and reuse them as long there is no sign of any wear. Since they are sold directly by the manufacturer, I am not concerned about fakes. And did I say they are also pretty?

They also got safety reviews from Aaron Collins who I consider to be a reliable source on mask quality.
posted by metahawk at 11:29 AM on August 5, 2021 [6 favorites]

I found the exact same eye breeze you are describing with Happy Masks and will be watching this closely. I have a narrow high nose bridge and found that masks with an option for tightening behind the head allow a better fit for me.
posted by oxisos at 11:32 AM on August 5, 2021

I’m currently waiting on a mask brace to arrive from Fix The Mask. It’s pretty much a bit of stretchy silicone that holds a mask snugly to your face, and loops around the back of your head to stay on. There are demo videos at their site. I hope it will help me wear cloth and surgical masks with a better seal.

I also really like KF94 masks from My husband needs to wear a mask all day at work, and he loves the BOTN black masks in size Large. They seal well around the edges, but the “origami” style means they still stand away from your mouth and nose, which is much more comfortable. They have nose wires and adjustable ear loops. Both my husband and I wear glasses, and these don’t give us the dreaded top air leakage and glasses fog. They are pricey (close to $3/mask), but can be reused many times if you let them dry in between uses.

(Note on sizing: I have a smaller face than my husband, but Large still fits me. I bought a few in size Medium to try; the major fit difference is that they don’t wrap nearly as far around the bottom of my chin, which feels less secure to me. In both M and L, I have to shorten the ear loops as far as they go, but I have to do that with all masks. My face is just too short front-to-back, I guess.)
posted by snowmentality at 4:54 AM on August 6, 2021

Best answer: I am here to report that the Badger Seal as linked above is very doable as a DIY project. It took me about 10 minutes once I had the supplies together. I made Type A (the one with the single strap) and it significantly reduces eye breeze from my Happy Mask!
posted by oxisos at 12:57 PM on August 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

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