Not all Face Masks are Created Equal: Cloth vs. Filtered Masks

As more data comes in, it’s become exceedingly clear: Face masks are a cost-effective and powerful method to protect our health and economy from Covid-19. A few recent findings researchers have released:

  • If 80% of a closed population wore masks, COVID-19 infection rates would statistically drop to approximately one twelfth the number of infections. (Source)
  • Face masks may reduce Covid-19 spread by 85% (Source)
  • Population-wide use of facemarks keeps ‘reproduction number’ under 1.0 and prevents further waves of the virus - (Source)

But not all masks are created equal.

While any mask is better than no mask at all, studies show a clear difference in the protection levels of a cloth mask compared to a mask that has filtration, such as Olivian's protective masks.

Let’s dig in to the data:

A randomized study compared the infection and illness rate among healthcare workers who used cloth masks and 3-ply protective masks. The results were strongly statistically significant: Those who used cloth masks were nearly twice as susceptible to respiratory and virus illnesses. 

(Note: Standard practice was the researcher’s control group, composed of healthcare workers where mask usage was not compulsory.)

This study also found penetration of cloth masks by particles was almost 97%, compared to 44% for 3-ply masks. The filtration levels were extremely poor (almost 0%) for cloth masks. Protective masks, like Olivian’s 3-ply masks, offer 95% filtration. 

Cloth masks must be washed after every use.

According to guidance from authorities like Mayo Clinic, cloth masks should be washed after every day of use. Protective 3-ply masks, on the other hand, are disposable and cost-effective—making it a much more practical and convenient choice for most people. 

Until recently, 3-ply masks haven’t been easily available for public use.

In the early stages of Covid-19 pandemic, masks were in severe shortage. The public was urged to preserve the supply of masks with filtration for healthcare workers. 

The good news: Manufacturers, like Olivian, have stepped up production in order to make medical-grade masks readily available for both healthcare workers and the general public. 

In fact, we’re on our way to become the largest producer of medical masks in the United States!

Our mission is to provide the highest quality protection while creating domestic jobs and supporting the community. 

Care to join us?