Different Masks for Different Occasions


The three mask reviewed, from left to right: Debrief Me cloth mask, Disposable mask, MasQd cloth mask. Each one has qualities that fit different occasions.

Benjie Thimangu, Radical Reviewer

Wearing a facemask has become the norm for people when in public during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention masking is one of the most effective methods for reducing risk of COVID transmission.

Studies have shown that when wearing a mask, a carrier of the disease has a much lower risk of transmitting. One such study backed by the World Health Organization found that masks reduce risk by over 85%.

However, there are many options for masks that can leave consumers confused about which to choose. Three of the most common facemasks include the disposable face mask, the cloth face mask, and the sports face mask. Comfort, effectiveness, appearance, cost, and ability to do physical activities are all things to consider when choosing a mask.

The first mask I use is the disposable face mask, which is the most common and has many benefits but also some shortcomings.

The best part of disposable masks is the fact that they are disposable. That makes life a lot easier because you don’t need to worry about losing them as much as you do with multi-use masks. They are inexpensive and people can keep a few in their glovebox, in case they forget their mask at home when they go out. They are definitely convenient for many people.

Unfortunately, using disposable products is harmful to the environment, and contributes to litter. I often see used masks thrown in the street or in public places.

In terms of comfort, I would rank these masks very low. Out of the three that I regularly wear, these masks feel the worst on my face. Even though they have a flexible piece at the bridge of the nose to fit to your face, they don’t sit well.

On top of that, the straps that go around your ear feel too large. The mask often sags down under my nose, so I find myself pulling it up frequently.

Even though there are issues with disposable masks, these masks are my favorite for doing anything that leaves me breathing hard like playing basketball and skateboarding. Because they are thin, they are much easier to breath in than cloth masks. When I go out and skate with my friends, I usually choose these because even when I am running or skating hard, I don’t find it too difficult to breath through.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend these masks for daily use, but for anything physical, they are excellent. They are also a cheaper, more convenient alternative to cloth masks: a box with 50 masks can be found for $15 online and at many retailers.

The second mask I use regularly is a cloth mask by Debrief Me. Mine is plain black, but it comes in many color options.

The first thing that I noticed when putting it on was how comfortable it is compared to the disposable masks. The mask is extremely thick, with multiple layers as well as a filter.

Possibly the most important factor is how protective a mask is. The largest issue with measuring this is how many different brands there are. On Amazon alone, you can find dozens of sellers. The best way to find which are the most protective is to look for masks approved for medical use by the FDA. Unfortunately, most are not FDA approved.

Somehow, the thickness of the cloth masks compared to the disposable masks makes me feel more confident in their ability to protect even if that is not the case. It also has a filter which increases my confidence.

The cloth mask also fits well on my face. The nose clip is tough and is easily adjusted, so the mask goes all the way down to my chin and doesn’t slip. The ear straps are adjustable, so it is very easy to shorten the cords to assure a snug fit.

The plain black design is very simple, so it goes very well with most outfits. It doesn’t stand out too much and is very practical.

The worst part of this mask is how it handles during physical activity. When I skate, this mask gets extremely hot and sweaty, and it becomes very hard to breathe in. It is the worst mask I have used for sports, and I never use it when skating or hooping unless it is my only option.

This cloth mask is my favorite for going out, whether it is at the grocery store or spending a day hanging out with friends. However, I would not recommend it for sports or working out because it is so thick, making it hard to breath.

The final mask I use is the Masqd sports mask. It has risen to popularity after receiving endorsements from Jennifer Lopez.

The first thing that I noticed is the price tag. This mask sells for $20, which is more expensive than 50 disposable masks and the Debrief Me cloth mask.

The inside layer is soft, and it is a great one size fits all. My main issue with comfort stemmed from the nose bridge, which is a lot more stiff than the other masks. It makes it much harder to find a good fit.

Like the cloth mask, it comes with a removable filter. It is not as thick as the Debrief Me mask, however. It also doesn’t reach the bottom of my chin.

During physical activity, it doesn’t live up to its title as a sports mask because of the inside layer of a felt-like material. It gets very damp from your breath as well as sweat. Despite that, it is still more breathable than the Debrief Me mask.

This mask is a median between the disposable masks and the Debrief Me. Where each of the other masks perform, it is consistently decent, and where they fall short it is still good.

The Debrief Me mask is a good every day mask, and the disposable masks are good for physical activity and to have as a backup. The Masqd is a decent mask, but not worth the $20 price tag.

That being said, if you only want one mask instead of bouncing between the two, the MasQd is the best bet because it functions well as an all around mask.