Whether it’s the haze or the onset of a globally-spreading virus, 2020 so far hasn’t been a year of easy breathing. With the pollution getting worse, caution has become the latest trend — which is where face masks enters the scene, ripe for the market in these trying times. As it gets harder to breathe freely, air-filtering accessories have interestingly become a new fashion item, with a suite of companies coming up with designs that have improved technical functionality, and, well, style.
While we deal with the pressing issue of bad air quality, it is definitely a good idea to invest in protection that is truly effective in keeping unwanted particles at bay — of course, it doesn’t hurt if said protection looks good, too. To help you figure out which filter-masks to get, we’ve rounded up the best ones that combine cutting-edge tech with a flair for fashion, so you can fend off the PM2.5 particles in style.
With sleek designs and a personalised fit for optimum comfort, this Swedish brand offers air-masks made for the city. Each one comes with five layers of protection, all of which are replaceable, and lasts up to 100 hours. The layers filter particles of varying sizes, while adjustable ear-loops, head-straps, and a nose-foam guarantee a perfectly-fitted user experience. Those who find masks suffocating needn’t worry with this one — two exhalation valves offer a ventilation system that makes the mask easier to breathe through, and prevents it from feeling warm, stuffy, and moist. What’s more is the masks are all easily washable, making them a convenient addition to your wardrobe.
Based in San Francisco, Vogmask was born from the mission of giving the world “a mask that makes you look great, while providing the protection from airborne particles”. Known for popping colours and highly efficient filters, these masks successfully protect against everything from dust and germs, to tiny PM2.5 particles and contaminants. Multiple options are available, tailoring to the needs of those with allergies or are sensitive to synthetic textiles. The masks are made using organic cotton, microfiber particles, and coconut-shell derived carbon ash bonded to textile, and can be easily maintained — simply hand-wash and hang to dry.
Reusable and elastic, the Totobobo Mask stands out from the rest through a transparent design, and highly-effective sealing. The see-through nature makes it easy to check whether or not it’s properly sealed, while a 3D design keeps the filter away from the lips for easy, comfortable breathing. Masks can also be trimmed and reshaped to properly fit smaller faces, while various elements, from the ear-loop strap to which filters are used, can be personalised.
Xiaomi Purely Anti-Pollution Air Mask
All the rage in Bangkok right now is the Xiaomi Purely Anti-Pollution Air Mask. Stylish, comfortable, and highly effective, the mask comes with a set of polymer lithium-ion batteries that powers a micro fan. This fan complements the nono-fiber filtering technology, improving ventilation and making it much easier to breathe. It even comes with three different, adjustable speeds designed to suit various lifestyle needs — a big plus, especially for those who want to be active, or even exercise, outdoors while also staying protected from airborne contaminants.
If you’re looking for something totally different from your typical face mask, but just as — if not more — effective, Ao Air’s Atmos is one to eye. Functional, fashionable, and future-forward, these designs let users breathe freely without the constraints of a seal around the mouth and nose. Instead, the Atmos comfortably releases cool, clean air around the face, creating a continuous, one-way flow that keeps the dirty air outside from entering. Not only does it protect you from unwanted particles in the air, but it also comes with a Bluetooth chip that constantly tracks your respiratory activity, to adapt the Atmos mask’s performance in a way that best suits your needs. On another note, it is also incredibly stylish, and has even made appearances on the runways in New York and Seoul.
You’ve got the stylish masks and the highly innovative masks. With the ible Airvida, you’ve got an invisible mask. Coming in the form of a trendy, wearable air purifier, Ible Airvida’s designs work by consistently generating negative ions into the air around your face, to purify the PM2.5, dust, and smoke surrounding you. Extremely lightweight, and with a variety of sleek, elegant designs, these make a great accessory that also helps to improve the air quality around you, whether you’re outdoors, on your daily commute, or even in your office.