Note: All Airinum masks are currently sold out but there’s an online waiting list for July/August. I recommend following up with a customer service email because sometimes customers cancel their orders.
Below, Medium developed a handy illustration based on the values in a 2007 peer-reviewed study on hand-made face masks (though with fewer participants than one would like for a study).
See the stark contrast between home-made masks versus an N-95.
From the figure you can see that wearing any mask will protect you from being infected by others; if you cough or sneeze particles are still released into the air.
The best case scenario is both parties wearing masks, especially N95 or above masks.
Before mask-mania descended upon us, I bought an Airnum Urban Air Mask 2.0 for professional protection. Mid-grey — other colors come in pink or black — in size small.
I purchased it in September 2019 (8 months ago) because:
- My city in California smells like a freeway.
- We have constant fires.
- I’m germaphobic.
- I travel to polluted places and
- Am sensitive to smell.
Technologically the Airinum filter can filter out particles down to 0.3 microns. It protects against pollution, bacteria, wildfires, pollen particles, and smog.
“The Urban Air Mask is KN95 certified and filters out more than 95% of particles”, according to the Airinum website.
I’ve eyed the product for a year plus and took the plunge, buying the Urban Air Mask 2.0 for $69. Plus filters at extra cost.
Since then it’s protected me on various occasions.
Airplane flights. Cigarette smoke in London and Paris.
Germs circulating in the tube.
Two fires. Sick students.
The outside air quality is easily distinguishable from the cleaner air inhaled in the mask. The mask has an active carbon layer that filters out smoke.
So what’s the wearability?
The mask has a comfortable nose clip that secures the mask to your face.
You can adjust the elastic straps on the side to fit your ears and reduce slippage.
I’ve successfully washed the mask skin several times in the laundry; i’ve also air and tumble-dried it.
Replacing the filters are easy. Each filter lasts about 100 hours.
Airinum’s customer service (pre-Covid 19) was consistent. They’re still responsive now, though they admit, less prompt due to covid-19.
Minor complaints would include the funny odor inside the mask, since you’re smelling your own breath, I suppose.
I still dislike any discreet branding, which there is on the mask front.
The mask is pleasant to wear in the cold, but has proven more difficult to breathe in during hot weather.
Otherwise i’m satisfied.
The mask looks smart and has given me broad protection beyond the pandemic.
The Airinum Urban Air Mask 2.0 now sells for $75. As mentioned above, with a waiting list.
Notes: I’m slightly discouraged by menswear guys selling basic cloth masks.
These masks often don’t offer advanced filters and give wearers false security. But makeshift masks are better than no masks, of course.