How Face Masks Should Fit

The best tool each of us has in the fight against COVID-19 is wearing the right mask, consistently, and correctly

The right mask, worn the wrong way, won’t protect you or your loved ones. 

In this brief article, we share how a mask should fit in order to protect you properly. 

This article talks you through the following: 

  • How your face mask should fit
  • Respirator face masks
  • 3-Ply medical face masks
  • Cloth face masks
  • The importance of wearing a mask that fits

How Your Face Mask Should Fit

The goal of face masks is to filter the air you breathe in, to protect you from viral particles that could be floating around in the air, and also to filter out any particles you might emit. 

So the single most important thing for properly fitting a face mask is that it’s sealed tightly around the nose and mouth. 

You want every single breath in and out to be filtered through the masks materials. 

For some masks, this is easier than others, and that corresponds to how much protection each mask provides you and those around you. 

Respirator Face Masks 

Good Mask Co. KN95 respirator

Respirator face masks such as 95, KN95, FFP1, FFp2, and FFP3 masks are tight fitting masks. 

When respirators are properly fitted to the wearer, there should be minimal leakage around the edges of the mask upon inhalation. 

The respirator mask is the only face mask that provides two-way protection for both the wearer, and those around them, making it the safest choice. They often have a nose wire which can be secured snugly around the bridge of the nose. 

3-Ply Medical Face Masks 

3-ply face mask

3-Ply medical face masks, also known as surgical masks, are much more loose fitting than respirator masks. 

The masks should fit snugly around the chin in order to seal the mouth, and often comes with a nose wire which can be secured comfortably around the bridge of the nose. As it is a looser fitting face mask, small gaps are normal and often unavoidable. 

Though the smaller they are and the fewer there are, the better.

Cloth Face Masks 

cloth face mask

Cloth face masks come in a variety of fabrics and styles. None of them have been tested to filter viruses effectively and none provides a tight seal around the nose and mouth. 

If you must wear a cloth face mask, find one that seals around your nose and mouth as best as possible. 

The Importance of Wearing a Mask That Fits

When face masks such as respirators and 3-ply face masks are fitted correctly, they assist in reducing the spread of viruses such as COVID-19, due to their ability to contain.

Until the day that a COVID-19 vaccine is readily available around the world, all human beings will be susceptible to the virus. This is the reason that face masks should be worn correctly in order to protect yourself and others. Face masks stop the spread. 

For more information on wearing a mask in conjunction with glasses, read our previous blog post: Tips For Face Masks and Glasses Wearers. 

Cover photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels.