Pros And Cons Of Various Mask Styles

The ongoing pandemic has forced the entire world into wearing face masks. There are different types of mask style options available right now, and everyone has different things to say about each of them. In this article, we sum up all the pros and cons of each mask according to the researches and surveys.

N95 Respirator Mask

Woman wearing a N95 mask style
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Unsplash

The N95 is protective respiratory equipment that fits and seals the nose and mouth against any airborne particles and pollutants.


  • Comfortable To Use:

This mask style fetures three straps to fit on the face. Hence it makes it simple to use.

  • Cool Flow Mask:

It comes with a cool flow feature that doesn’t let heat build-up in the mask, making it more comfortable.

  • Respiratory Filter:

The N95 mask has a respiratory filter that efficiently filters the airborne particles, fumes, smoke, and chemicals.


  • Washing Is Not Suitable:

The only problem with this mask is that it you cannot wash or clean them for re-use.

Surgical Face Mask Style

Individual wearing surgical face mask style
Photo by H Shaw on Unsplash

This mask is disposable and creates an effective barrier between the external environment and the nose and mouth.


  • Protection against Fluids:

It is entirely appropriate for use by people who don’t have to deal with crowds frequently. Being a simpler design, it protects the exchange of particles through fluids only, i.e., that might come with someone’s sneeze or cough. It also prevents infections that might transfer through blood or some other body fluid.


  • Loose Fitting:

It is not sealed across the mouth and nose. Hence, there is a chance of the entry of fluid or infectious particles, either through the spaces around the mouth, or the bridge of the nose.

  • Doesn’t filter airborne particles:

Surgical face masks don’t prevent the entry of small airborne particles. Therefore, these particles can pass through this type of mask easily which can lead to infections.

Cotton Mask Style

Young man wearing a cotton mask style
Photo by Samuele Giglio on Unsplash

These masks feature tightly woven 100% cotton fabric. Their material and fine finishing make them a very formal choice. Overall, this particular mask style is a good option.


  • Filter installation:

You can install a filter in a simple cotton mask to make it more protective, and multiply its safety-levels by several folds. 

  • Warm:

It keeps the face warm and protected in case of severe weather conditions. 

  • Reusable:

Highly cost-effective because you can re-use this mask as many times you want by washing and cleaning it.

  • Filtering effect:

It can maintain the filtering power of the mask by changing the filter as per your choice.


  • Difficult breathing:

Because of the fabric, it makes free-breathing very difficult sometimes.

  • Vulnerable:

If you use the mask lot of times without proper cleaning, it can be a cause of various infections.

Fashionable Masks or DIY Mask Style

DIY Fabric
Photo by Bára Buri on Unsplash

These masks feature customized fabric, embellished with motifs, and their only purpose is to provide “good-looking protective equipment.”


  • Warm:

It is warm because of the fabric-based structure.

  • Good looking and personalized:

You can adjust it according to your personal needs. In fact, you can experiment with different styles by using embroidery, colors, and prints.


  • Lack of protection:

It is not very reliable and may let pollutants through easily.

  • Harmful chemicals:

The fabric might contain harmful printing and dyeing chemicals and, therefore, is not suitable for use for longer durations.

  • Infections Prone:

They may cause bacterial infections if used several times without proper care and cleaning.

Active Carbon Mask Style

Woman in a red shirt
Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Activate carbon mask style is basically based on 4-layered masks. The fabric is not woven, but it has a layer of activated charcoal inside it. 


  • Best filter effects:

It provides the best protection against pollens, dust, and airborne germs.

  • Washable:

Most of them are washable, and even the carbon filters inside the mask layers can be changed as you wish. 


  • Low air permeability:

It provides less air permeability i.e. it allows less amount of air to pass through it.