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With more than 20 U.S. states officially requiring face masks in public, we’ve collectively come to terms with the fact that we will most likely be sporting face masks for a while.
From KN95 and more, a plethora of different types of face masks have flooded the market in recent months. Consistently ranked a No. 1 best seller on Amazon, the Seamless Face Cover Neck Gaiter is crafted from 100 percent microfiber polyester, and features a lightweight and breathable four-way stretch fabric. While the $12 Amazon best-selling gaiter, with over 7,000 customer reviews, has become a favorite amongst Amazon customers, reports and studies have questioned the effectiveness of gaiter-style masks.
According to researchers at Duke University, “bandanas, handkerchiefs, fleece balaclavas (cold-weather gear that covers the entire face except for the eyes) and neck gaiters (tubes of performance fabric typically used for running outdoors), offered very little protection, while N95 respirators, surgical masks and even homemade cloth masks performed better.”
However, earlier this week The New York Times published an article titled “Save the Gaiters!,” which tried to debunk the initial studies.
“A small study prompted fears that neck gaiters could spread more virus droplets than they stop,” the article reads. “But new research shows that those face coverings can protect just as well as other cloth masks.”
The article continues, “Mask testing has consistently shown that any face covering will block at least a small percentage of droplets generated when we speak or cough. The notion that a fabric gaiter will instead create more particles by splicing big droplets into smaller droplets is unlikely, experts say.”
One 5-star customer reviewed the best-selling Amazon gaiter saying, “If you’re searching for something to wear over your mouth and nose while in public places like grocery stores, this might be it. The bandanas and homemade masks I tried kept riding up or down and needing adjustment, i.e. touching my face. This is just tight enough to stay in place while walking around.”
With all of the different types of masks available and the numerous of studies hitting the internet, it is still crucial to do your research on the masks. But gaiters may not be so bad after all.
If you found this story helpful, In The Know also covered six elements your fabric face masks should include, according to the CDC.
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