Scientists Tested 14 Types of Masks: to know which Mask Provides the Best Protection

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At Duke University, Carolina, USA, Scientists investigated different types of masks to find out which masks can provide the maximum protection from COVID-19 virus. They are revealed which masks can prove to be dangerous.


In countries around the world, COVID-19 is spreading rapidly, and people are being advised to wear masks. As per a report published in Sky News, all types of masks do not provide equal protection against infectious viruses. Investigations found that N95 masks with no valves provide the best protection. Then, a three-layer surgical mask and homemade cotton masks also good options.


However, using a handkerchief as a mask is not a good option. Knitted masks also do not provide necessary protection against the virus. The study also suggests that neck fleeces may be worse for virus protection. Scientists say that neck fleeces convert large droplets into smaller droplets, which increases the risk of infection.


The study published in the Science Advances Journal included these masks in the investigation –

  1. Three-layer surgical mask
  2. N95 mask with exhalation valve (not safe)
  3. Hand knitted mask (not safe)
  4. Two-layer polypropylene apron mask
  5. Cotton-polypropylene mask
  6. One layer Maxima AT Mask
  7. Two-layer cotton, pleated style mask
  8. 2-layer cotton, Olson style mask
  9. Two-layer cotton pleated style mask
  10. One layer of cotton pleated style mask
  11. Gaiter type neck fleece (not safe)
  12. Double-layer bandana (not safe)
  13. Two-layer cotton, pleated style mask
  14. N95 mask, no exhalation valve, fitted

A study suggests that even though knitted masks and masks made using handkerchiefs look fashionable, but their performance in providing protection against the virus is quite poor. But, neck fleeces are the worse.


According to Dr Martin Fisher, co-author of the study, “We were shocked to find that the number of particles measured with the fleece exceeded the number of particles measured without wearing any mask.” It means that neck fleeces masks increase the risk of infection.

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