As we’ve continued to adapt to life with face masks, we’ve found ourselves asking all sorts of questions. When do we need to wear masks? Should we be wearing cloth masks or surgical masks? And now, should we be wearing two masks rather than one? The two face mask trend made headlines after the presidential inauguration. Suddenly, many of us wondered if we too needed to double up. After all, the attendees managed to make it look stylish by pairing their outer face mask to their outfit. But what does the science have to say?
It turns out, there’s data that backs up what we like about this fashionable trend. However, there are good and bad ways to double mask. Let’s cover all the details you need to know about wearing two face masks so you can breathe a little easier.
Double masking is the term used for wearing more than one face mask at a time. Some use this technique to cover their surgical masks or disposable face masks with a more colorful printed mask, and others double mask for the added layer of protection.
Not all mask doubling is made equal. According to the CDC, the ideal combination for double masking is to wear a medical or disposable mask covered by a fabric mask. The CDC recommends against wearing a second mask over N95 or KN95 face pieces since these are considered respirators that already provide a tight fit to the face. As usual with face masks, the main considerations for wearing two masks come down to fabric and fit.
It’s important to wear a disposable face mask with an adjustable nose clip. The CDC suggests creating an even better fit by tying the ear straps into knots at the side of the mask. This cinches the top and bottom corners of the mask together and creates less space for air to seep in or out.
We recommend using:
Box of 50 Disposable 3-Layer Non-Surgical Face Masks
These disposable face masks are the perfect inner mask. They feature three layers of protection, an adjustable metal nose clip that adheres securely to the face, and the elastic ear loops can be knotted according to the CDC’s suggested fit.
When you double mask with a second layer, you’ll want to go with a fabric mask, like those made of cotton, polyester, or silk. These have the benefit of adding both protection and style. One thing to avoid when wearing two masks is using a fabric mask with a vent filter. These vents can be an access point for particles. Instead, stick with plain, well-fitting cloth masks that cover the nose, mouth, and chin. The main advantage this second layer provides is that it will hold the inner mask tighter to your face, preventing you from spreading or inhaling viruses through the gaps.
We recommend using:
This mask is made to create a flush fit against the face. The 3D construction includes a built-in nose piece that adjusts to your face, ear loops that can be tightened, a pocket for filter inserts, and an inner layer of cotton with an outer layer of polyester fabric. And while all that makes this two-layer face mask ideal for safety, it’s the fully customizable design makes it a perfect top mask. Choose from our free design templates or create your own custom artwork to feature on these masks.
Cotton is said to be an ideal fabric for face masks because natural materials have kinks in the threads that are well-suited to catching particles. This reusable cotton mask is made with two layers of cotton to enhance protection. And the beauty of wearing two masks is that you can select this mask in your favorite color and use it to highlight your company’s logo in full color.
This woven cotton face mask features two layers of cotton that have been treated with an antimicrobial additive for additional safety. The fit is secured with adjustable ear loops, and a 3D construction that brings the fabric closer to the face.
Looking for more ways to get twice the protection? Create your own two face mask combination by picking your favorites from our wide ranging face mask selection.
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