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Ability Superstore Blog

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Face Masks – What To Choose and How To Use

Posted by Andrew Chapman on December 6, 2021

An image of a manequin with a blue surgical mask over its mouth, with 3 floral, hand made masks in front of it

Love Them, Or Hate Them, Face Masks Are Back!

Mandatory face mask wearing has returned to shops and public transport in England, as the Government take action to tackle the Omicron coronavirus variant that recently arrived in the UK. The rules surrounding face masks were relaxed in the UK back in July.

This most recent change was announced during a Downing Street press conference after Omicron cases were confirmed in Nottinghamshire and Essex.

So, with disposable, surgical, medical and the fabric mask making their return, let's take a quick overview…

Reusable Face Masks, Or Surgical Face Masks?

Cloth Masks

"Cloth masks do a great job removing most of the droplets that people generate from talking, breathing, coughing, or sneezing", says Yang Wang, an assistant professor at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, who runs the Particle Measurement & Technology Laboratory, as long as your reusable cloth face mask fits properly.

The World Health Organisation also agree that cloth masks are very useful.

Some of the benefits of a cloth face mask are:

  • Comfort – there's no nose wire
  • Latex free head straps reduce any latex related allergy
  • Protection from most 'droplets' carrying viruses and bacteria
  • Fit most people
  • Can be re-used and put in with your regular washing.

Two of the best reasons to buy a cloth face mask are that (1) they can be re-used, as you can put them in a normal wash and sprayed with an antiviral spray. This provides a more cost effective measure than disposable masks and (2) this is also better for the environment, due to reduced plastics and litter.

group of cloth masks from ability superstore

We have a huge range of reusable face masks, and our Christmas Face Masks have been reduced in price!

Disposable Surgical Masks

Now moving on to our blue friends, the ever popular, disposable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) surgical mask. Wearing these masks does provide a slightly higher level of protection and reduction of risk than a cloth face mask.

surgical face mask from ability superstore

Due to the non-woven plastic material called polypropylene, surgical masks are capable of holding an electric charge which can attract, intercept and remove foreign particles that might slip through the cracks of a cloth counterpart, helping to reduce the spread of harmful germs.

Surgical face masks are well known to most UK residents, and for good reason…

  • Three layers help protect from airborne germ contact
  • Secure nose fit, due to a wire bridge
  • Secure fit over everywhere, including the mouth
  • Consistent factory made quality
  • Highest level of protection at price point
  • Easy to wear and use.

Tips For Wearing Masks Again

For a short while, we got used to not wearing masks. With the latest news that masks are back, we thought it would be handy to go over some tips on making sure you're wearing them correctly and to make sure you're as comfortable as possible.

couple holding hands wearing face masks in a busy market

Image by Gabriella Clare Marino from Unsplash

The key points to remember when wearing a mask are:

  • The mask needs to cover both your mouth and nose
  • Don't move the mask down, or away from your face when you are wearing it, as you can still talk through it
  • If you're using one of our reusable masks, ensure it is washed after each use
  • Wash your hands, or sanitise before you put your mask on, as this will keep your hands clean, and also stop cross contamination.

If you're struggling to find sanitiser these days, we have a huge range of hand sanitisers to choose from.

 Some advice for glasses when wearing a mask: 

  • Wash your glasses with washing up liquid – this helps to prevent misting
  • Close the gap at the top of the mask, on the pre shaped nose bridge
  • Use a special anti-fog material, such as those used for paintball goggles


Coronavirus spreads through droplets, these are passed every time someone speaks, breathe, cough, or sneezes. To create an effective barrier between yourself and other people, a mask is essential.

Of course, other protection can be in place, such as disposable gloves and hand sanitiser, but the most proven and effective method for protection against airborne pathogens is a mask.

If In Doubt, Get In Touch With Us

Hopefully, this guide on our different range of masks helps, but if you're still wondering what solution is best for yourself, then please do get in contact with us. Our team of experts will be able to guide and talk you through the different options we have to offer.

Don't forget, we have a resident occupational therapist who can offer advice with any mobility aid, or walking aid we have in stock. From destroying viruses to treatment for disabilities, Ability Superstore is the home of easier living.