At the outset, I answer that linen masks + various cottons (waffle cotton or poplin) is the first choice to make. Why? Because this mask offers a good balance between filtration and breathability. It is a mask worn for others, not as personal protection. It also allows you to tame the wearing of the mask, which can be traumatic for some. Indeed, for people like me who are a little claustrophobic, the mask is difficult to bear. Just a few minutes and my brain is a little panicky. This is how it goes for me, then I pull myself together and can tolerate it. Wearing a mask is also a question of adaptation. The best way to adapt is to go gradually with the degree of filtration.
What is the degree of filtration? The fabrics used to make the masks do not all have the same characteristics depending on the way they are woven. Some, such as cotton muslin, has a loose weave. Cotton muslin would be of no use in the case of sanitary masks. It would not effectively retain particles and droplets.
The waffle cotton in a blend of cotton (85%) and polyester (15%) (the striped fabric used in making the natural linen and cotton mask, or the gray linen and striped cotton mask) that we use has a tight weave that is very suitable for sanitary masks. We always mention the composition of the second layer of our masks in the description of our product. This cotton offers a good balance between degree of filtration and breathability. It is the first choice if you want to adapt to wearing a mask.
Cotton poplin is also used as the second layer in our masks. The new olive and ocean blue linen masks are lined with cotton poplin. The poplin has the same characteristics as the waffle cotton mentioned above.
Cotton percale 200 thread count offers a high degree of filtration, but breathability is reduced. Although the percale is very thin, made of pure cotton in the case of the one we use, it does not let anything pass. You can count on this mask when you are also looking for protection for yourself. So in some situations, cotton percale for the second layer is the best choice.
As for the three-layers mask, made of linen-percale-linen according to the recommendations of Dr. Richard Bruno, it turns out to be the device that will protect you and protect others in the most effective way possible. The linen-percale-linen composite is effective because of the qualities of linen, absorbent, hypoallergenic and the least irritating of fibers, and the density of cotton percale which has a high degree of filtration. However, a three-layers mask of this type will require that you get into the habit of wearing a mask because the breathability will be reduced.
As in all other areas of life, there is never a universal answer that would solve all problems and dilemmas, like a magic wand.
Choosing the right mask for you depends on your tolerance for breathing less easily, because this is the case when we breathe in a mask, breathing is less free than we do without constraint. The right choice for you also depends on the situation you are exposed to, your age, the state of your immune system, the state of contagion of the environment in which you are, etc.
We could summarize as follows: the greater the filtration capacity, the more the mask also protects us ourselves, but the breathability is reduced.
Linen + Everyday offers you a choice of filtration to better meet everyone’s needs, depending on many various situations.