FAce mask mandates may be eased across the US, but when it comes to travel, it’s still an essential item to bring with you. The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has extended its mask mandate for planes and airports until at least April 18, Lyft and Uber continue to require passengers, and some individual companies are asking recipients to wear them despite city or state enclosed spaces. Hide states are being lifted.
Even if the TSA and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decide to lift the federal transportation mask mandate on April 18, there will still be plenty of travelers who will feel more comfortable continuing to wear a mask for the foreseeable future.
And when it comes to ‘one-way concealment’ – that is, passengers or crew who wear a mask for added protection even if (or because of it) it is not required and those around them don’t wear a mask – having a quality mask is even more important.
Whether you need a face mask for travel due to a requirement or due to a personal public health concern, we’ve rounded up the best for you.
What types of face masks are allowed on planes?
As of press time, passengers on all departing flights in the US, domestic and international, are required to wear face masks. Although the rules vary slightly, the majority of domestic US airlines do not allow bandanas, scarves, valved face masks, or a face shield in place of a face mask. (Face shields are allowed if you also wear a mask.) Cloth masks (ideally with two or three layers), surgical masks, KN95 and N95 masks are accepted on All major domestic airlinesIncluding Alaska, Elegant, America, Delta, Frontier, Hawaii, Jet Blue, Southwest, Spirit, and United.
While some international airlines have started dropping the mask requirement, there are also international airlines that continue to require face masks and some of them will not technically allow cloth masks. Passengers on these flights are required to wear surgical masks or FFP1, FFP2 or FFP3 face masks (the higher the number, the higher the quality), which are the European equivalent of quality N95 masks (also N95s pass muster). Make sure you are aware of the latest masking requirements of the domestic or international airline you are flying with.
The most protective face masks
Of course, wearing a face mask isn’t just about complying with the rules – it’s also about providing you and your fellow passengers with the greatest protection. In this regard, the N95s . is still considered The best types of face masks that can be worn on flights by health experts.
Loose woven fabric products provide the least amount of protection, microwoven products with layers provide more protection, well-disposable KN95 surgical masks provide more protection, and NIOSH certified respirators (including N95s) the highest level of protection, states the CDC in its latest release guiding mask. (NIOSH stands for National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.)
While KN95 and N95 masks (or respirators as they are sometimes called) can provide a similar level of protection, N95s are considered a higher grade due to the NIOSH approval that ensures they are well manufactured. The CDC found that about 60 percent of the KN95 respirators evaluated by NIOSH during the pandemic were of low quality, so it is important to research and purchase high-quality KN95s, which are usually made, from reputable sellers.
Although N95 masks have become the gold standard for protection, they have one drawback – they are not washable, which means they are less reusable than cloth masks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “the data indicate that the number of reuses is limited to no more than five total uses (five total donations)” of respirators. What ultimately matters is that the fit remains close to the face and that the mask case remains sufficient to provide adequate protection. Once any of those fall by the wayside, it’s probably time to replace a new mask.
The best face masks to buy for travel
No matter what type of (approved) mask you wear, it’s important to make sure it creates a snug fit on your face without gaps and is comfortable enough to wear for the duration of your flight. Here are some of the best face masks available for flights, as well as other forms of travel:
WellBefore N95 Medical Breathing Mask
Buy now: From $16 for a bundle of 10 (with a subscription), wellbefore.com
These N95 face masks are available from medical supplier WellBefore, pre-approved by NIOSH. Sold in packs of 10 masks, you can get these masks for as little as $1.59 each if you set up a subscription that you can cancel at any time.
Kimberly Clark N95 Breathing Bag
Buy now: From $46 for 50 packages, amazon.com
Yes, these “duck bill” masks may seem a bit comical, but if you’re snoozing away on an hours-long flight, style isn’t exactly a top priority. Where NIOSH-certified respirators excel in comfort and breathability, thanks to adjustable straps around the head and large breathing room – just what you want at that long distance. to Australia.
Powecom KN95 Face Masks
Buy now: From $12 for 10 packs, bonafidemasks.com
A filtration efficiency of 98.8 percent was found by Center for Disease ControlThe Bocome KN95 face masks are a powerful and straightforward choice of face masks. However, one unique feature is that each batch of masks can be run through the anti-counterfeit checker – just enter the serial number in Online portal at powecom.comSo customers can be sure they get a legitimate (and effective) Powecom mask.
KN95 face masks evolve together
Buy now: $15 for five packs, evolvetogether.com
If you’re looking for a more elegant alternative to basic white or black KN95s, Evolvetogether makes them in several different colors with a sleek flat profile. These masks feature soft ear loops, an adjustable nose bridge for a secure fit, and six layers, including a waterproof outer layer, two melt-blown central layers, an activated charcoal layer, and two water-absorbent inner layers. In addition to the green shown here, these masks also come in navy blue, khaki, gray, and hot pink. If you’re looking for surgical masks, Evolvetogether still makes them too grown ups And Young very.
Maskc KN95 Face Masks
Buy now: From $36 for 10 packs, shopmaskc.com
worn by the likes Rihanna and JLoMaskc makes surgical masks from KN95s and three layers in rainbow colors as well as a variety of patterns, including embossed floral and pastel. The brand’s KN95 is built with a five-layer design and an adjustable nose bridge for a snug yet comfortable fit.
Kaze Original KN95 Face Masks
Buy now: From $40 for 10 packs, kazeorigins-us.com
While these are some of the more expensive KN95s we’ve seen, the bright candy colors and printwork patterns are great for when you want to make a statement or match your PPE with special occasion clothing. This isn’t just about form over function, either. Kaze Original KN95 masks are made with a five-ply design and come with an adjustable nose bridge – and ear straps – for a comfortable custom fit.
Jesse Beck and Lindsey Matthews contributed to this article.
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