Reusable face masks have ‘alarming flaws’ – best and worst face coverings


Neena Bhati, head of campaigns at consumer group Which?, revealed which face masks are worth buying, and which ones to avoid – all of which can be bought from pharmacies, high street stores, supermarkets and online retailers. “Our scientists tested masks for how well they filtered particles, how breathable they were, and how they fared after multiple washes,” explained Bhati on Sky News. There was a “wide range of effectiveness”, all the way from being able to block 99 percent of potentially harmful bacteria to only blocking a third of particles.

“What was worrying for us was that there were high filtration claims made on the packaging of these masks and yet they didn’t live up to tests,” said Bhati.

Bhati also said that there were “poor packaging instructions across a range of these masks” that may further inhibit their effectiveness.

People may mistakenly believe they are highly protected from catching Covid if wearing face masks, but these results suggest that simply isn’t true.

The face mask that caused concern

The worst performing mask, according to scientific researchers at Which?, was the Adidas face covering.

READ MORE: ‘How do we hug cautiously?!’ Sophy Ridge grills professor on advice

Bhati emphasised that there is a “development of standards” for non-medical face coverings.

“We all know we have to use face masks,” she said. “And really what this shows is there needs to be more oversight to ensure that the basic standards and requirements of these non-medical face coverings are met.”

The face mask that offered the best protection

The Airpop Pocket Mask had “up to 99 percent filtration effectiveness”, making it the best performing face mask in the research.

Bhati highlighted the “wide disparity” in the effectiveness of face masks you can buy. have also gone to Boots for further comment and are currently waiting a reply.

Face masks worst to best

  • Adidas face mask
  • Boots face mask
  • The Airpop Pocket Mask

Which?’s full findings can be found here

People should be aware that wearing a mask – no matter which one – is better protection than not wearing a mask at all.

To help keep you and others safe, it’s still required to wear face masks in enclosed spaces such as shopping centres.



Leave a comment