We can never be totally sure if the masks we buy are good, but scientists have found the best materials to make a mask at home. Although people are divided on how much masks actually help reduce the risks of Covid-19, more and more countries are requiring their citizens to wear them in public areas.
Many people are turning to making their own cloth masks for one reason or another. But when it comes to cloth masks, do you know the exact material to go for? Some researchers have tested which materials are ideal by considering their electrostatic and mechanical properties.
Whether chiffon, silk, flannel, cotton, or any other cloth material, these fabrics can give you protection against any virus if appropriately used. Up next we’re going to give you a breakdown of the best materials for making masks at home.
The Best Material For Making A DIY Mask
Research done by the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) measured the percentage of bacteria various materials captured. They compared that measurement to traditional surgical masks.
Vacuum cleaner bags were among the top performers with 95%, dishcloths or kitchen towels scored 83%, cotton blend shirt fabrics scored 74%, and pure cotton material shirts scored 69%.
Which Mask Materials Are Breathable?
The most crucial factor is a mask’s breathability. The easier it is to breathe through your mask, the more comfortable it becomes. Forget the notion that comfortability is in how sleek a mask is, it all lies in its breathability.
Researchers also compared pressure drops on different fabrics. This is what shows how easy it is for one to breathe through these materials. As a benchmark, researchers compared the breathability of each DIY mask material compared to the traditional surgical mask.
Although the vacuum bag and dishcloth were the best at stopping particles, they also came out as the hardest to breathe through. On the other hand, the
t-shirt, pillowcase, linen, and scarves
were the easiest to breathe through compared to a surgical mask.
Top Pick For The DIY Mask
Based on breathability and particle capture, researchers concluded that cotton pillowcases and cotton t-shirts were the best when it comes to DIY homemade masks. The indicated that these materials were able to filter up to 50% of 0.2-micron particles, which is the same size as the coronavirus.
They are breathable, and comfortable meaning you can wear them several hours a day. You might have other materials you want to use, it’s essential to consider the health hazards and even comfort levels of those materials.
The Bottom Line
According to the research, the best material for DIY homemade masks are cotton materials because they provide breathability while blocking particles. Keep in mind that doubling the material layers reduces its filtration effectiveness and also makes breathing though it is quite tricky.