Safety – Just about every mask compared claimed to have the highest level of protection; however, only a few had the evidence to back-up the claim. We picked through the competition with a fine-tooth comb to ensure that the masks chosen would provide the optimum level of protection. We tested each mask against wood dust, metal particles, chemical fumes, airborne allergens, and more. We also checked to see which masks were certified by health and/or safety experts for the extra mile of assurance.
Comfort – How safe the mask is doesn’t matter if it is too uncomfortable to wear. So we tried out each contender over both long and short periods of time to find the sweet spot. We noticed the quality of the bands that held the mask on didn’t have as much to do with the comfort level as the way it rested against the bridge of your nose and stretched around the ears. The tightness vs. the secure feel was also taken into account when trying on different masks, as well as how long the mask could be worn before you noticed it was there.
Breathability -The masks were also measured on how well they blocked out odors and allowed for easy breathing, as well as the percentage of particles filtered out. The best choices were able to keep out the moisture and heat buildup from normal breathing so the mask stayed dry and fresh.
Affordability – Last, but definitely not the least, is the economic value and quality for the cost of the product. This included factors like upkeep, materials, reusability, and how long the mask can be used before needed to be changed.