Cyber Monday! Specially designed by MIT-grad for family. Made in Taiwan. Free shipping with 3 or more (continental US).

Q&A

                                                                                                                                           
(please scroll down to see answers)      

    Why must a mask be comfortable?

    How is this mask more economical than other masks?

    How do I turn it around to wear the other side?

    What size should I get?

    How do I adjust for the right fit (mask should not slide/pull/pinch)?

    Is there a metal wire for the nose bridge?

    Should I tie the straps behind my ears or behind my head?

    How should I wash and care for my mask?

    How often should I wash my mask?

    How does this mask protect me and others?

    Why is it important that the mask not slide when you talk?

    Why cotton?

    Why Made in Taiwan?

     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Why must a mask be comfortable?

    To keep a mask on, it needs to be comfortable and allow you to breathe.  Most masks claiming high filtration properties also make them hard to breathe in (and because they don't form a tight seal, they also do not provide full respiratory protection). When people can't breathe, they stop wearing masks. SmitMask makes mask-wearing a comfort, so that users will be happy to wear one and wear it for a longer time.  (no eyeglass fogging, no skin irritation...)  The more people wear masks, the more we can help our communities stop the spread.

    How is this mask more economical than other masks?

    This mask is anti-odor and you can wash it less frequently. Eg. You wash it after 5 wearings versus after 1 wearing, it will last you 5 times longer than other cotton masks. (If the mask gets damp, dry it in-between wearings)

    If a good disposable mask costs 50c, this mask will be equivalent to 30 disposable masks.  Under normal conditions, this mask will last you more than 30 wearings (much fewer washings due to anti-odor), and will be cheaper in the long run.

    How to I turn it around to wear the other side?

    Your Smit Mask is reversible.  You get 2 color patterns for 1 mask. To wear the other side, just flip the mask around, use your fingers to push out the shape of the mask, making sure to bend the nose wire the right way, and that's it!

    What size should I get?

    If you are a smaller adult (5'1"-5'7") with an average size face, you should get M.  If your face is bigger than the average of your height or if you have a beard, get a bigger size.

    If you are a bigger adult (5'8"-6')  with an average size face, you should get L. If your face is bigger than the average of your height or if you have a beard, get a bigger size.

    If you have a longer and larger face, or you wear a beard, you should get XL.

    When in doubt, get the bigger size.  The adjustable ear/head loops will enable you to tie the mask at the right width for your face and you can still wear the mask even if it's slightly big.

    How do I adjust for the right fit (mask should not slide/pull/pinch)?

    The Smit Mask has adjustable ear loops.  You tie the knot at the position that best suits the width of your face, so that it's comfortable to wear.   If the mask pulls on your ears, or pinches your skin, or slides upwards, it is too tight.  Reposition the knots a little further.  If the mask is falling off when you wear it, it is too loose, and you should tie the knots closer to the mask.  The right fit is when the mask sits snugly on your nose and face without pulling.  

    Is there a metal wire for the nose bridge?

    Yes.

    Should I tie the straps behind my ears or behind my head?

    Most people prefer to tie behind the ears to make it easy to take on and off.  People who need to wear the mask for long periods of time might prefer to tie behind their heads.  In this case, make sure the upper straps go above your ears.

    How should I wash and care for my mask?

    You can wash your mask using detergent with regular laundry. However, cold water, gentle hand-washing with detergent, and hang-drying is preferable and will make your mask last longer.  Make sure to fully dry your mask.  Low-heat ironing is recommended for better fit and appearance.  

    Note: When ironing black fabrics in general, cover the black fabric with a teacloth to reduce "shine" caused by a hot iron. 

    If you need to transport your mask, you can use the packaging that it came in.  The cardboard will help keep your mask straight and wrinkle-free.

    How often should I wash my mask?

    You should wash your mask after wearing it for several hours. (how many hours exactly depends on each person) However, the anti-odor properties on the Smit Mask keep the mask feeling fresher longer than most masks. You can go days without washing your mask if you are not wearing it often and for long periods of time.

    How does this mask protect me and others?

    "...any mask will provide benefit. Remember, the real power of masks come from everyone wearing them” -- Joseph Allen, a professor of exposure assessment science at the T.H. Chan School (1)

    Cloth masks and surgical masks provide some protection to the wearer. Covering your nose is important because that's where most viruses go in.  Masks wrapping you tightly under the chin but leaving gaps around your nose are not ideal.  The Smit Mask's ergonomic shape covers the nose area very snugly, compared to most surgical and fabric masks.  It also covers your mouth at all times.   However, cloth masks and surgical masks are primarily intended for source control and not for respiratory protection in everyday settings. (2)

    Source control refers to the use of masks to cover a person’s mouth and nose and to help reduce the spread of large respiratory droplets to others when the person talks, sneezes, or coughs. This can help reduce virus spread by someone who is infected but might not know it. (2)

    Respiratory protection masks, like the N95, protect the wearer from very tiny particles.  Most medical workers wearing the N95 mask need to do a fit test beforehand to make sure their mask forms a tight seal, so that most of the air goes through the mask. (2) 

    Most surgical and cloth masks are not worn with tight seals and are not intended for full respiratory protection.  Air will always take the path of least resistance, and if the mask isn't tightly sealed, air will tend to go through the gaps rather than through the filtering material.  (That is why the N95 has to be test-fitted with medical workers to ensure they wear it tightly-sealed without gaps.)  A mask with high filtration properties but not worn with a tight seal will not fully protect the wearer.

    The main purpose of an everyday mask is source control --  to cover the nose and mouth to block respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the wearer coughs, sneezes, or talks.  You can choose to wear an N95 (making sure it's tightly sealed) if you really want to protect yourself, but since most people, unlike medical workers, are not exposed to high virus loads in their daily activities, authorities advice reserving the N95 for medical workers.  Furthermore, it is much more difficult to breath in an N95.  Making sure that you and everybody nearby is wearing an everyday mask or face covering, together with social distancing, hand-washing, and ventilation of enclosed spaces, are the ways most likely to reduce the spread of viruses. (2)

     

    Why is it important that the mask not slide when you talk?

    Most masks slide when you talk, exposing your nose or your chin.  Your nose is usually the main point of entry for viruses and should be covered.  If your mask slides off, it will not block droplets coming out from your nose or mouth.  When this happens, you have to constantly adjust it which is annoying, and touching your mask frequently isn't ideal either.  Furthermore, the sliding creates friction and irritates your skin.  Smit Mask stays snug on your face even when you talk, so you don't have to do that, and you don't end up exposing your nose or mouth.

    Why Cotton?

    Cotton and silk are natural fibers that don't irritate the skin, and are dense enough to block small particles.  However, silk requires cold water hand washing and ironing, and are much higher maintenance. 

    Why Made in Taiwan?

    Taiwan is one of the countries that best managed the Covid Crisis.  As of December 2020, there has been 7 deaths from Covid, in a country of 23.5 million people right next to China.

     

    (1) Boston Globe, December17, 2020, "Local experts hail report of upcoming standards for COVID-19 masks"

    (2) CDC website, posted September 8, 2020, "Respiratory Protection vs. Source Control – What’s the difference?"