What’s a ‘Mask Fitter’ and How Do I Use It?

What’s a ‘Mask Fitter’ and How Do I Use It?
Screenshot: Lennon Rodgers, Fair Use

The fit of your mask is crucial. The CDC’s recent recommendation we start double masking was only partly about the layering. The second mask also results in improved fit, Anthony Fauci told the Today show. And there was another fit-related tip in the CDC advice: consider using a mask fitter, also known as a mask brace.

Unlike the mask brackets that go inside your mask, a mask fitter goes outside your mask, snugging the material up against your nose, cheeks, and chin. Unlike a second mask, it doesn’t provide an extra layer of filtration. You can use it to improve the fit of any mask you wear, whether disposable or cloth. And as a bonus, they’ll stop your glasses from fogging up.

Several companies make them, and there are also DIY instructions if you’d prefer to build your own.

  • Fixthemask.com sells mask fitters made of silicone, with brush-like nubs on the sides of the nose to make sure the fitter contacts your upper cheeks. They cost $19 each, and are made in multiple sizes and sold in 2-packs or 10-packs.
  • Fixthemask also “sells” (for $0) a downloadable stencil you can use to cut your own brace out of a sheet of rubber.
  • The Badger Seal is a DIY mask fitter designed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It takes a few minutes’ time and work to assemble, but materials only run $1.50 per mask. You can download the instructions here.
  • Or, log on to Etsy to look for pre-made mask fitters. (Here’s a Badger Seal for $17.)

Mask fitters typically use straps around the head, leaving your ears free for the earloops of your mask. They can also be reused, so you can have one or two mask fitters for use with your entire wardrobe of masks.

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