How To Choose Your COVID Mask: The Difference Between A Level 1, 2, And 3 Mask.

How To Choose Your COVID Mask: The Difference Between A Level 1, 2, And 3 Mask.

May 20th 2021

With the pandemic around us, you want to make sure that you have the best protection so you don’t get covid.

And one of the most important aspects of protecting yourself is making sure that you have the right face masks.

With the rise of the pandemic, there are so many masks and different types of masks and sometimes you won’t know which ones are effective or not.

That’s why in this guide we are going to go over the different types of face masks so you know which ones are best for you and your situation.

So let’s get started.

Cloth Masks

These are the ones you see most frequently as they usually have colorful designs and (in my personal opinion) just feels better on my skin.

The downside though is that cloth masks aren’t regulated which means that some cloth masks may be able to prevent covid better than other cloth masks.

That’s why you want to make sure when looking for a cloth mask that:

  1. It’s breathable and you can talk easily with it on…
  2. It has at least three layers to give yourself more protection.

Pros

  • Easy to pick up in local stores...
  • They feel nicer on the skin…
  • They can be customizable...

Cons

  • They don’t offer the best protection...
  • You have to take time to wash them...
  • If you are using an ear loop can over time become loose...

ASTM Level 1 Face Mask

When choosing your face masks you want to make sure on its label that it has this label as there are many masks that look similar that don’t offer the same protection.

The ASTM is an organization that helps create standards for masks (mainly for hospitals) and created guidelines such as how much it protects, how much things are filtered, and (yes) even flammability.

The main consideration between the different levels of the mask is the pressure of liquid splattering on your mask.

It was designed for working with things like surgery, bacteria, and any other things that protect you from liquid going into your face.

The level 1 face mask is able to filter 95% of bacteria and air particles and is frankly a lot better (in terms of protection) than the cloth mask.

Compared to the level 2 and 3 masks, it offers a ton of protection while being a lot easier to breathe through and is perfect if your area isn’t at high risk for covid for groceries or chores.

Pros:

  • 95% protection and great for everyday needs
  • Pretty easy to breathe through
  • Usually disposable and comes in a pack

Cons:

  • Doesn’t offer the best protection

ASTM Level 2 Face Mask

The Level 2 mask is able to filter 98% of bacteria and air particles and offers better protection compared to the first face mask.

This is where it’s able to handle medium amounts of liquid pressure and is definitely a nice balance between being able to breathe from it while keeping you safe from covid.

Pros:

  • 98% protection
  • Creates a nice balance between protection and breathability
  • Disposable

Cons:

  • More expensive than level 1 masks
  • It may be out of stock with high demand currently with hospitals needing them

ASTM Level 3 Face Masks

The Level 3 mask is also able to filter 98% of bacteria and air particles but the main difference is that it is able to handle high liquid pressure squirting onto your mask.

You can also use this for COVID but the downside is that it’s harder to breathe through it making it more uncomfortable especially if you have to wear it the entire day.

Pros:

  • 98% protection
  • Disposable

Cons:

  • Much more expensive than level 2 and 3 masks
  • High demand for hospitals (especially surgeries…)
  • Harder to breathe from

Frequently Asked Questions?

Who should wear a mask?

We think everyone should wear a mask to have the best chance of protecting themselves and the people around you even if you have the COVID vaccine.

Because even though it’s definitely harder to contract covid with the vaccine, there is still a chance for it to transmit to other people.

This is especially important if you go to a public setting like a school, restaurant, or grocery store.

How To Wear A Mask Properly?

When you’re wearing a mask you want to make sure that it covers both your mouth and nose and sealing to the best of your ability so that the air filtrates through the mask.

There is usually a metal clip to form it across your face and you want to make sure your mask isn’t too tight or too loose so that you are able to wear it throughout the whole day comfortably.

Conclusion

In this guide, we talked about the difference between a level 1, 2, and 3 masks and which one to wear for different scenarios.

In other words, we recommend a face mask 2 for the most protection and breathability for COVID.

Let us know if you have any questions or concerns with your face mask below!

Band Broadening in HPLC: A Simple Overview

Band Broadening in HPLC: A Simple Overview

May 6th 2022

I’m sure in the lab when you are analyzing your result you probably have gotten something like this before… Ahh yep, the good ‘ol HPLC band broadening problem – when your results aren’ …
How to Prep a qPCR Plate

How to Prep a qPCR Plate

Dec 23rd 2021

Today we are going to talk about setting up a plate for qPCR.For a 96 well plate the first thing you want to do is to make some master mix.Each vendor has a master mix formula you want to follow.This …
How to Clean an HPLC Column

How to Clean an HPLC Column

Dec 15th 2021

In this video, we are going to teach you how to clean your HPLC column.This is especially important to do if you want to add buffers or additives to your mobile phase. For instance, most people use a …
How to Set up and Use a Balance

How to Set up and Use a Balance

Dec 13th 2021

In this video we are going to learn how to properly set up and use a balance when you’re in the lab.Before you start using the balance, you want to make sure that it’s properly calibrated to ensure th …