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There are all kinds of tools out there designed to help you have the best mask-wearing experience possible. But there’s one in particular you probably haven’t heard of before—and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending it.
It’s called a mask fitter—sometimes referred to as a mask brace—and it’s designed to help you get a perfectly snug fit with your face mask. You wear the mask fitter over your mask, either securing it behind your ears or tying it behind your head. The CDC specifically called these out in its just-released guidance on how to get the most efficient mask possible.
The reason for the recommendation: The CDC is stressing the importance of fit when it comes to masks, in order to help offer the maximum amount of protection possible. CDC researchers conducted a study found that, when used properly over a surgical mask, a mask fitter can offer more than 90 percent protection for the wearer. That’s nearly as much protection as an N95 mask!
The CDC also included mask fitters in its list of “dos” for masking, writing, “Use a mask fitter or brace over a disposable mask or a cloth mask to prevent air from leaking around the edges of the mask.”
And, while the CDC doesn’t mention this, plenty of people swear online that mask fitters can help prevent the dreaded glasses fog.
So...how can you get one of these? Not surprisingly, they’re a little tough to find right. Here are a few options to snatch up while you can.
This mask fitter is made with soft silicone to fit closely to your face with a comfy feel. The brace silhouettes your face with minimal pressure, while adjustable neck strap with extra grip lets you get that perfect fit. The whole thing is reusable and easy to clean. Just wash it with soap and water, pat it dry, and it's ready to go again.
Shop it: Eteernvity Essential Mask Brace, 2 Pieces, $16, amazon.com
After the CDC’s announcement, this mask fitter became an immediate best-seller on Etsy. It’s made of rubber-coated nose wire and plastic tubing, with a sliding silicone cord lock to allow you to get a secure fit.
This fitter offers two different options: securing it behind your head or your ears. The top piece is a waterproof foam-covered flexible wire, while the sides are made from clear PVC tubing. A cord lock in the back is easily adjustable for a just-right fit.
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