3-4 ply disposable masks - which should you use, and why?


people wearing masks

To meet the domestic demand for masks in Australia, mask manufacturers accelerated their production rate of different masks. Among those, the n95 mask has become popular over the disposable face mask. The shared ideology has formed in the country to some extent that a respiratory n95 mask is effective and protective than any other mask. In contrast, WHO’s interim guidance shared that there is no proof that using a respiratory n95 mask over surgical or dispensable face mask will lower the risk of viral infections. 

Moreover, in the guidance WHO also suggested, a respiratory n95 mask is recommended to the health workers, including community health workers and caregivers, because their proximity to the infected patients is high.

That being said, a disposable face mask is a perfect mask for ordinary people, especially those who are not infected. A disposable face mask is designed in a way that it can give some protection to the users. Compared to the n95, disposable face mask has almost all the similar traits in terms of bacteria filtration efficiency, breathability, and, most importantly, gauged identical protective measures. Mind you, the mask won't be able to protect you unless you sanitize your hand frequently before touching your face.

Furthermore, disposable face masks are made of a certain number of plies, which means there will be layers attached with one to multiple layers. As you can tell by the name of 3ply and 4 ply mask that 3ply mask comes with 3 layers, and a 4ply disposable face mask is made of the same layers as a 3-ply mask but with an extra ply is known as the filtering layer. 

So which one should you use?

If you consider ensuring maximum resistance of your mask so that virus won't be able to penetrate, then a 4-ply mask is the best choice for you. Though both 3-4 ply masks serve the same purpose, 4-ply is extra durable, comfortable, and safe to use. It is recommended by the experts as well that filtration in a mask allows the mask to absorb the infection droplet before it reaches the users' end. 

Why should you use it?

  • Safety

4-ply mask undoubtedly one of the best disposable face mask which has the equivalent safety measure like respiratory n95 mask because both falls under the Level-3 standard suggested by ASTM. 

  • Cost-Effective

As per the WHO's safety guidelines, you must dispose of your mask once you have used it. Following the advice, if you throw away respiratory n95 (10 pack of 3m P2 respiratory n95 costs AUS$59.99), you will be trashing a lot of money behind the mask. 

A disposable face mask is a perfect choice because 4-ply 50 pieces of disposable face masks cost only AUS $ 49.99. So, if you use one a day, then 50 masks will cover more than a month. You do the calculation.  

  • Durability

Owing to the four layers in a single mask, it has the maximum durability to use it roughly for once. Other than the sheets, its earloop and nose bridge are tailored in a way so that wearing the mask all day won't hurt your ear. And the adjustable nose bridge is perfect for adjusting the mask per your preferences.