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Table of Contents
STYLESEAL offers four styles of masks:
Before comparing the masks, getting some terminology correct is important.
Masks are categorized based on the different ways they perform as follows:
- Masks with replaceable filters
- Disposable masks
- Reusable face coverings
Masks with replaceable filters
Both our original AIR and new PRO masks as well as the Penumbra and Umbra UV sunshield models and SPORT utilize replaceable filters.
That means the exterior mask can be laundered and reused and the filters replaced. This is the best choice for you AND far better for our environment.
Our EZ mask is an example of a disposable filter like a surgical mask or respirator. The disposable mask is a filter and should be discarded after each use like a surgical mask, whether that be in a few hours or a day.
Reusable face coverings
Our BASIC mask is a reusable face covering. There is no separate filter, only the mask fabric, so the mask can be laundered and reused. Filters should not be washed since static electricity aids in the filtration process. Fabric has very limited filtering properties so with cloth-only face coverings the level of protection for the user is limited.
That is because static electricity built into most filters aids in the filtration process. The static makes the particles cling tightly to the filter like how dust sticks to a ceiling fan blade.
That is why filters cannot be washed or gotten wet since the water neutralizes the static electricity. The Basic mask and other reusable face coverings do not have filters and function predominantly in reducing the spread of infection from the user to others by muffling droplets from the user’s mouth and nose. They offer the lowest level of protection.
To help compare our products, we have prepared comparison charts below to help you select the mask and filters that best meet your needs.
What makes the AIR mask popular?
Our original AIR mask was released in 2017, long before Covid-19, and has been a very popular model with many of our customers. The reasons include:
- It is COMFORTABLE to wear
- FASHIONABLE, with many styles for men, women, and children
- REPLACEABLE FILTERS save money AND the planet
- MULTIPLE SIZES and adjustable ear loops provide a good fit, seal, and comfort.
- They are CUSTOMIZABLE for schools and businesses
- They offer a STRONGER NOSE PIECE than most masks for a tight seal
- An optional EXHALATION VALVE is available for improved comfort and health
- And offer MULTIPLE FILTER OPTIONS to meet your varying hazards and comfort requirements.
What is different about the PRO mask?
The PRO provides all the features of the AIR, but the PRO offers higher filtration performance by passing higher standard KN95 tests. In addition to the same benefits found in the AIR mask, the PRO also offers these additional benefits.
- The filters in the PRO are significantly LARGER than those in the AIR masks. The PRO filters are 206cm2 compared to 33cm2 for the two AIR filters combined. That allows the PRO mask to pass the higher KN95 standard tests.
- The larger filters make the PRO mask slightly larger than the AIR mask which INCREASES THE AIR SPACE INSIDE THE MASK. This reduces condensation, feels cooler, and makes speaking less muffled. The added room also keeps the filter from touching your face, extending the life of the filters.
- Dual NOSEPIECES (Image) help provide a tighter seal on the nose. This is great for people with glasses. If you prefer only one nosepiece, the 2nd nosepiece can be easily removed.
- The filter is held in place by a SOFT INNER FOAM liner. The foam liner keeps the filter from touching your face, extends the life of the filter, AND reduces the risk of mask acne (Image), assuming you adequately wash the PRO mask. The soft foam is also more comfortable, especially when the mask is worn for extended periods.
What is the EZ mask?
Like the PRO, the EZ also passes KN95 standards and can be customized, but the similarities stop there.
The EZ is a mask and filter in one, so it should be disposed of after a few hours or a day of use, depending on where it is used. Dirt and bacteria will gather in any disposable mask over time since they cannot be laundered. They should be disposed of sooner than later to prevent mask acne and improve filtration.
For a simple inexpensive disposable mask select the EZ, but we believe that replaceable filters are best for the customer AND far better for our planet.
What is the BASIC mask?
We released the BASIC mask during Covid when governments were promoting face coverings rather than the use of filtering masks. Governments did this to protect the supplies of PPE filtering masks for medical staff. In our opinion, if you are going to the cost and effort to wear a mask, wear one that protects YOU first, while at the same time protecting others. If you are not concerned about protecting yourself and just want an inexpensive reusable face covering, then the BASIC is for you.
Which STYLESEAL mask should you choose?
Here are a few suggestions:
If you are looking for a short-term single-use solution, then the EZ is probably a good choice. They are not expensive and offer a high level of protection.
If you are looking for a longer-term solution for general use, then either the AIR or the PRO is the best choice. The replaceable filters will be less expensive over time than the disposable EZ or other disposable options.
If you are concerned about the environment, then either the AIR or the PRO is the best choice. Replaceable filters are MUCH better for the environment than disposable filters of any kind.
You should select the PRO if you are in a higher-risk category of Covid-19 such as:
- The elderly
- Pregnant women
- Or have underlying diseases such as:
- High blood pressure, Cancer
- Diabetes, Kidney disease
- Coronary artery disease
- Asthma or others
If you are selecting a mask to protect against pollution or allergies, then either the AIR or the PRO could be good choices depending on:
- The pollution level in your area
- Your susceptibility to pollution and allergens.
If you are more susceptible to pollution or particulate levels are high, select the PRO.
If you are in a work setting with either hazardous air quality or frequent proximity to others, then either the AIR or the PRO could be good choices. If the risks are high, then select the PRO.
There are tradeoffs for everything. Selecting between the AIR and PRO requires making some tradeoffs. Here are a few tradeoffs to consider:
- The PRO is slightly more expensive but offers higher-grade filter options.
- The larger filters in the PRO make for a larger mask and some people may find the smaller profile of the AIR more attractive.
- As filtration goes up, breathability goes down. The higher performance filters in the PRO such as the PRO-SAFE and PRO-FLOW may be slightly more difficult to breathe, but the PRO-COOL filters offer higher breathability as an alternative.
The good news is that in both the AIR and the PRO we offer multiple filter choices so you can adjust to higher filtration or greater comfort by simply selecting a different filter.
We use masks for many varied purposes and fluctuations in our local air quality. As a result, you may need a few of each type of mask or filter to meet those varying needs. That makes selecting the correct one much easier.