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One of the easiest ways we can help slow the spread of COVID-19 is by wearing a face mask whenever we’re in public. After months of adjusting to life during a pandemic, many of us are still searching for the mask that makes us feel most comfortable - and the most protected.
A popular trend with reusable face masks has been cloth face coverings with valves that allow for expired air to leave the mask. One such mask is the 3 pack of Cloth Face Masks with Valve by UTOTEBAG available on Amazon.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $8 (originally $26)
What is it?
Like most reusable face masks, UTOTEBAG has designed a machine washable, non-medical grade face covering that’s sold with removable mask filters. However, what separates UTOTEBAG from the pack is their unique one-way valve design that allows expired air to be filtered out of the mask through a one-way valve.
With each expired breath, hot and condensed air is passed through the silicone condenser, which closes with every inhale, ensuring you aren’t breathing in any dangerous particles. UTOTEBAG claims that their design helps improve breathability while wearing a mask, while the valve’s design (which features small vents on the bottom of the valve only) helps prevent any fogging of glasses from any condensed air.
While face masks with valves have become popular, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend they be worn. While they may protect the wearer from inhaling dangerous respiratory particles, they are not an effective device for preventing the transmission of COVID-19 to others.
What others are saying
So far, UTOTEBAG have been called “comfortable” by Amazon shoppers who have noted that price has played a factor in their decision to purchase.
While a pack of three masks with three, five-layered removable filters regularly retails for $26, they’re currently on sale for only $8 plus free shipping.
“Love it,” one Amazon shopper wrote. “It’s comfortable, not too thin or thick, easy to breath with it on and not too hot to wear.”
“Easy to breathe,” another wrote. “Replaceable filters - plenty of breathing room.”
Given the CDC’s statement regarding the effectiveness of masks with one-way valves, there does pose a risk that you could potentially spread the virus while wearing. However, if you’re finding it particularly difficult to breathe while wearing a mask, these may be a suitable option - so long as you wear a mask and continue practicing social distancing.
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.