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Are Two Masks Better Than One?

Are Two Masks Better Than One?

A new trend is sweeping the nation: layers. Like a Fall fashion statement, people everywhere are layering up – but we’re not talking about scarves and jackets.

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, officials including the CDC are encouraging the use of two face masks instead of one. But with half of U.S. adults still struggling to wear a single mask, it’s natural to wonder if double masking is really going to help.

The answer is complicated.

Wearing two masks has already been proven more effective than wearing one. So, yes, in theory and practice, double masking can help significantly compared to wearing one mask. At the same time, we’re talking about this from the wrong perspective. There are larger problems at hand – and better solutions.

As the U.S. continues its 100 Days of Masks challenge and governments around the world continue urging the use of masks, it’s important to educate people about what masks are most effective. When it comes to double masking, officials recommend wearing a cloth/fabric mask over a surgical mask, with the second layer pushing the edges of the inner mask snugly against the face. They do not recommend layering up with KN95 masks, and they ask that non-healthcare workers refrain from wearing N95 masks at all, which continue to be in short supply.

If you insist on wearing or layering up with disposable masks, it’s also critical to understand the ecological impact. Currently, disposable masks are contributing to an environmental problem that could last for generations. The planet is already fiercely under attack by human pollution and littering, and if we consistently rely on disposable masks, we’re adding to the problem in significant ways.

Instead, there’s a better solution: OCTO® Respirator Mask (ORM). Long before COVID-19 existed, we were developing ORM as a new kind of respirator mask – one that endures after many uses. With ORM, there’s no need for extensive or ongoing mask purchases, and you don’t even have to pay for replacement parts like extra filters. ORM is a singular device, which can be easily sterilized (just boil it in water!) and used over and over. With a 10-year shelf life and a full year of active use, ORM is far more sustainable than endlessly buying disposable masks. Moreover, ORM is more effective than other masks – even if you double up.

Wearing a tightly fitted respirator mask like ORM is better than double masking for numerous reasons:

  • ORM creates a perfect seal. This means no more breathing contaminated air, and no more foggy glasses.
  • ORM offers bi-directional protection, protecting yourself and those around you simultaneously.
  • ORM is antimicrobial and starts killing viruses on contact.
  • ORM is a greener mask option. It’s truly reusable and not disposable, and ORM can be easily stockpiled for future needs.
  • ORM is comfortable to wear for a quick trip to the store or during an 8-12 hour work shift. The medical-grade silicone seamlessly fits against your skin, offering impeccable breathability.

Ultimately, if you follow CDC’s guidelines for wearing two masks, it will indeed offer more protection than wearing one mask. But why continuously spend money to wear two less effective masks when you can invest in wearing a single, tightly fitted, reusable, more comfortable respirator mask like ORM?

Unlike Fall fashion trends, ORM was built to be worn year-round. Whether you’re in hot or cold climates, wildfire zones, earthquake territories, near construction sites, in a hospital, at work, or wherever you need to be – ORM will keep you protected.

The conversation shouldn’t be about wearing two masks. It should be about getting one higher quality and more durable mask, like ORM, in the hands of as many people as possible. 

For professional use, please find technical information here.

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