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How to wear double mask correctly to protect against COVID-19

How to wear double mask correctly to protect against COVID-19
LifeScience3 min read
  • Using face masks is an important tool in the fight against COVID-19.
  • Now, new studies have determined that double masks offer up to 95% protection against the spread of this disease.
  • The US CDC recommends using surgical masks in combination with cloth masks.
  • Find out the best way to wear double masks.
(Disclaimer: This should not be considered medical advice. Please check with your doctor on medical procedures.)

Double masks to prevent COVID-19 is another protective measure that you can make use of, to reduce your chances of getting infected. Double masks refer to the practice of wearing two masks, helping create a stronger barrier against COVID-19.

Studies done by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that double masking can reduce your exposure to the COVID-19 virus by up to 95%.

Before we get started, there are two important things for you to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your mask fits snugly against your face. This is important because a mask that does not fit properly can leak respiratory droplets in and out, making it ineffective.
  • A mask with layers offers better protection, as it creates a stronger barrier for respiratory droplets.
How to wear double masks properly

According to multiple studies conducted by the US CDC, double masks can prove to be very effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, this is only applicable when you wear the double mask properly.

There are two ways of wearing double masks properly.

1. Using a surgical mask with a cloth mask

Cloth masks alone are not recommended, but pairing them with a surgical mask drastically increases the effectiveness.

Doing this is very simple, too. First, wear the surgical mask and then the cloth mask on top of it.

CDC suggests that the cloth mask should push the edges of the surgical mask against your face. In simple words, the cloth mask should offer a tight, snug fit.

2. Knotting the ear loops of a 3-ply surgical mask

The second method is to knot the ear loops of a 3-ply surgical mask. Watch the video below for a step-by-step guide on how to do this:

Pick a mask with nose wires

Another important aspect to consider while choosing a face mask is that it should have a nose wire.

Good quality surgical masks come with an embedded nose wire on one side. When you wear the mask, push the nose wire so it closes any gaps that may be present.

Some other masks come with a metal wire, which offers an even more snug fit.

Double masks – Don’ts

The US CDC says that you should not:

  1. Combine two surgical masks as they are not designed to fit tightly.
  2. Combine a N95 mask with any other mask.
N95 masks offer 95% effectiveness already, along with a snug fit, so you should not combine them with other masks.


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