Personal air purifier masks have become very popular around the pandemic. There are so many models available on the market! Each with its advantages and disadvantages, which makes buying your first one an intimidating task.
If you’ve never used a personal air purifier before, you might be sceptical about its effectiveness in the first place. In case you’re wondering if an air purifier mask is worth buying at all, this article is for you.
What Is an Air Purifier?
Air purifiers come in many shapes and sizes, but the main idea is the same, to purify the air. This is usually done by forcing air through a series of filters. Each of those filters can capture and remove different types of contaminants from the air.
Some are focused on hard particles, while others specifically target microorganisms and similar biological contaminants. The latter group often utilizes UV purification to sterilize the air. Some models also use ionization to make contaminating particles heavy and force them to fall out of the air.
Those different approaches to air purification are sometimes combined in a single device. People can purchase air purifiers that target a wide variety of contaminants in one package! This eliminates the trouble of having to search for different models for different purposes.
How Do Air Purifier Masks Work?
Looking at the rapid growth of demand for air purification devices, it is no surprise that personal air purifiers have become such a hit. They take the same idea and wrap it in a more accessible, compact package that the user wears around their neck. Some air purification masks feature a very small body and aren’t larger than a regular air mask.
Other models are larger and bulkier and may cover more than the user’s mouth. In some cases, the purifier mask might wrap around the whole neck of the wearer, creating a ring. These models usually feature more advanced purification methods, combining several filtration modes to improve their effectiveness.
Some air purifier masks include fans and other mechanisms to promote air circulation. This allows them to more effectively filter the air the wearer is breathing without the person straining too much. These masks are perfect for people with respiratory problems who can reap the full benefits of filtering their air.
Are Air Purifier Masks Really Effective?
Air purifiers in general are very effective. Models that utilize several filters are particularly good at removing contaminants from the air. If your model utilizes a HEPA filter, this makes it especially useful for most types of contaminants like small particles.
It’s important to understand that there are many different models on the market, and some are much more effective than others. Some simple designs don’t utilize any heavy filtration and may only run the air through a set of basic filters. While those will remove a good deal of contaminants from the air, they are not as good as models that utilize a larger array of filters.
On the other hand, more filters can make the mask heavier and less comfortable to wear. This is not a problem with household models which are designed to be placed in a specific spot and used throughout the day. But it can quickly become problematic with a wearable filter, especially in elderly users without much upper body strength.
Buying Your First Air Purifier Mask? Here’s What You Should Keep in Mind
If you’re looking to get an air purifier mask for yourself, the variety of models on the market can make your choice difficult and downright confusing. Even if you’ve bought a regular household air purifier before, choosing a wearable one is a different story.
Above all, pay attention to the filtration performance of any mask you’re considering. Examine the filters used in the design and compare that setup to household purifiers to see if any popular models on the market use a similar configuration.
Don’t expect to get all the bells and whistles of non-wearable models either. UV purification is great for killing microorganisms, but it’s not exactly easy to implement in a wearable model. Ionization is also a rare feature, though you are going to find some models that offer it.
Take note of how often the filters need to be exchanged as well. This will help you estimate the long-term price of the air purifier mask you’re considering. Sometimes the upfront price tag might be misleadingly low, as the model ends up very expensive in the long run when you factor in all the filter costs.
And since you’ll be wearing this around your neck, another point to pay attention to is what materials the mask is made out of. It’s a good idea to spend a little extra money on a more expensive model made from quality materials if you have the option. Cheaper ones can cause skin irritation and other problems, especially in wearers with more sensitive skin.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Air Purifier Mask
Once you’ve bought your mask, you should familiarize yourself with properly fitting it on your face before starting to use it in your everyday life. Some models have specific fitting requirements that might not be immediately obvious from the start, and not following those instructions could result in decreased filtration effectiveness.
Pay special attention to how often you need to replace your mask’s filters as well! Some models require a much more frequent replacement than others and may not notify you when it’s time for a new filter. Using an expired filter can not only decrease the effectiveness of the mask, but it can also be dangerous with certain types of filters.
Investing in more than one air purification mask may not be a bad idea either in some circumstances. Some models are much more lightweight and portable than others, making them ideal for situations where a heavier mask would be too cumbersome. The high cost of some of the better models on the market can make it prohibitively expensive to purchase too many different models, however.