Now that we have to wear masks in shops and other public places, plenty of start-ups are popping up offering their own take on the mask idea. You could just wear an ugly set simple surgical mask (which is designed to be used just once and then disposed of) or you could up your game and pick one of these far more stylish or interesting options.
PURME – A Gas mask you can wear every day
This mask from China is “an all-new type of mask”. It features a crystal-clear, modular design that is lightweight and comfortable. Their IndieGoGo page says “by wearing it, you are protected against all sorts of harmful particles such as PM2.5 and allergen, both as airborne or droplets”.
We think: It looks comfortable and the filters are a nice addition but we worry the shape may not fit all faces all that well.
Perks start at $40. Click here to go to their IndieGoGo page
AusAir: Next Gen Filtration Mask With Botanicals
This Australian designed mask was created by two brothers Elias Honor and Isaac Honor, and their lifelong friend Jack Graham. When travelling overseas, they experienced unhealthy air pollution first hand. To protect themselves, they looked for a stylish, breathable and functional mask but couldn’t find any.
After years of looking into the problems with current masks, testing new designs and prototyping, AusAir was born. According to their IndieGoGo Page “The result is a mask which offers unparalleled breathability, filtration and style”.
We think: This is probably the most stylish on our list. It seems to be made with great materials and has testing to back up its claims. We can see this being quite comfortable to wear on a regular basis.
Perks start from £39. Click here for their IndieGoGo page.
CIVILITY – Next Gen Transparent Mask
This is the only fully see-through mask on our list. Designed in France, the CIVILITY aims to protect you without disguising you. Offered in a range of colours for adults and kids with a premium model that includes two mini electric silent fans increasing the breathability inside the mask. It also has a carrying case for when you’re not using it.
“I struggled to find the perfect mask to protect my child, the ones I found kept me from feeling my daughter’s emotions and smiles. I really wanted to work on a technology that would enable all of us to fully communicate again with safety.” – Pierre Blondon – Founder
We think: One of the biggest problems with wearing mask is that you cannot see other people’s full range of emotion. This aims to improve that. We also like the overhead straps that will make it more usable for things like sport and activities.
Perks start at £32. Click here for their IndieGoGo page.
O2 Nano Mask: Premium Reusable Nanofiltration Mas
This mask from the United States is possible the more simple one on out list. It utilises locally-based materials, science engineering and sustainable manufacturing. The mask is machine washable and tumble dry safe. It’s intricately constructed to be worn time and time again.
They also include a ‘Buy One Give One’ Guarantee.
Their model is simple: for every mask purchased, one is donated to a local essential service worker in need. “We developed the Good Mask Philosophy to play our part in supporting our community.”
We think: We like the simplicity of this mask and like the AusAir, it looks comfortable too. The idea of donating a surgical mask for every mask purchased is another great idea. So many people have to wear these masks day after day and they don’t last.
Perks start at $40 (but only ships in the US as far as we can see). Click here for their IndieGoGo page.
The Airhead Mask: Reinvented Pollution Protection
Designed in the UK with the help of Brunel University, this mask was not envisioned for the current epidemic but in fact for the modern city cyclist. “91% of the global population are exposed to air pollution. As keen cyclists in London, we’re certainly familiar with pollution, and, despite a lot of searching, we never found a mask that met our needs. So we set out to create one.”
Its filters efficiently block 99% of PM2.5 particulate matter and can remove particles that are as small as 0.3 microns in size. The activated carbon layer removes harmful gases, including nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide and ozone. They also remove unwanted smells and vapours from organic compounds. It provides effective filtration of natural pollutants such as fine particulate matter from smoke and dust. The mask can effectively block pollen particles – don’t let your seasonal allergies prevent you from exercising outdoors!
We think: This might just be our favourite on the list. Not just because it’s designed here in the UK but because it was made with exercise in mind. It seems to have some real development behind it and will continue to be useful long after the current epidemic is behind us.
Perks start at £59. Click here for their IndieGoGo page.
And if you’re unsure about whether you should be wearing a mask or not. Jonathan Pie has a few choice words for you…