How do I choose a good face mask?

How do I choose a good face mask?

With so many different mask products on the market today, it's becoming harder for the everyday person to pick the right one for them. Taiwan Masks weighs in on the various options.


The most popular disposable masks are definitely 3-ply, and 99% of them are made to the same size specifications. These masks will fit most adults and are pleated so the height of the masks are adjustable depending on the wearer. Kids' and baby sizes are also available and are downsized for comfort.

The 3D, foldable masks from TWM are a better fit for women and kids since they feature a unique shape that contours to the wearer's nose and mouth. If you wear makeup or lipstick under the masks, they are a great alternative to 3-ply masks.

Disposable or not?

While we do not recommend cloth masks as they are not nearly as efficient in filtering out particles and viruses (read here), we do recognize that they are somewhat more ecologically friendly than disposable masks.

The main thing to consider here is how much protection you want and whether washing potentially infected masks is acceptable. If you must choose a cloth or reusable face mask, we would highly recommend one that comes with a removable meltblown filter to get better PFE/BFE filtration.

Are all 3-ply masks the same?

Not quite. 3-ply masks have varying ASTM levels and PFE/BFE/VFE specifications and there's a large difference between medical and surgical masks. In general, you should look for disposable face masks that have at least 95% filtration efficiency on particulate, bacterial, and viral levels.

In recent months, there's also been a lot of face masks that entered the United States but do not meet specifications. Make sure the products you buy are at least FDA registered and listed to ensure quality.