High-grade dust masks now used on NHS frontline: FFP3 face masks cost £40 for two
This pack of two FFP3 masks is the best selling product for the type of respirator on Amazon
FFP3 masks are the gold standard for preventing the spread of airborne illnesses in hospitals.
They must fit tightly to the face and have all air drawn through a filter that is embedded in the fabric and catches almost every kind of particle as the air flows through.
They are primarily used as dust masks in the construction industry.
The masks are not widely available to members of the public online.
The top listing on Amazon – made by Wrexham-based company Toolpak – has sold out both on the marketplace and the firm’s own website.
The N95 face mask being sold for £6.99 online is the US equivalent of the FFP2 mask in Europe
3M N95 masks are being sold for £25.99 for a six-pack on Amazon
Silver standard masks used by medical workers in US and UK: N95/FFP2 face mask cost £29.99 for 10
The N95 face mask is the US equivalent of the FFP2 mask in Europe and is backed by the World Health Organisation as suitable for medical use.
Its filter is not as strong as the FFP3 – it weeds out 95 per cent of particles, as the name suggests – but it is still highly rated for NHS staff.
UK health officials say FFP2 masks are second best to FFP3, and should be used if possible because they have a European seal of approval, but N95, which doesn’t have CE approval, can be used if no FFP2 masks are available.
Masks of this grade are more readily available online from sellers in China.
Medisave is selling packs of 10 of these masks for £29.99, however it has limited stock and asks for a maximum order of 10 units per customer.
These disposable face mask covers offer some protection to users against respiratory diseases
Disposable surgical masks still used in most NHS hospitals: Ten for £6.02
The best known type of medical face mask, known as a surgical mask, is still being widely used by the NHS.
Doctors, nurses and healthcare workers are now instructed to wear these types of mask as a minimum at all times when working near confirmed or suspected coronavirus patients.
They are considered effective enough for most staff outside of intensive care or who are not inserting or removing breathing equipment.
Although they don’t have built-in air filters, the masks can stop droplets of liquid, which are how the majority of the COVID-19 viruses are spread.
The best-selling product of this type under ‘masks and respirators’ on Amazon today is a ten-piece set of disposable face covers which costs £6.02.
The mask – with an average review rating of 3.5 stars – has an inner layer of cotton fabric, a middle layer of medical filter paper and an outer layer of waterproof fabric. It is sold by a company in London and delivers in early May.
These types of masks are typically not reusable and should only be used for one day at a time.
British brand MJ Services is selling custom branded masks for office staff
Custom masks featuring company logos
British brand MJ Services is selling custom branded masks for office staff, which are more environmentally friendly than disposable masks.
Its outer fabric is fashioned from woven microfibre, and the mask is constructed using OKEO-TEX approved fabrics.
The masks are fully washable and re-usable.
Currently the custom logo masks are available to buy online at protective-facemasks.co.uk with a minimum order of 1,000.
The company also sells a range of face masks – disposable and reusable – for adults and children, with prices starting from £1 per mask.
Cycling masks can also provide people with a layer of protection from airborne particles
This mask is for sale for £11.99 on Amazon
Cycling masks designed to filter out pollution but with potential to stop viruses: £7.57 for six
While cycling masks remain untested regarding coronavirus, they are intended to provide a layer of protection from airborne particles.
They are designed to stop cyclists breathing in pollution when they ride through areas with heavy traffic.
They contain an air filter for this purpose, but are not regulated to the same standard as medical face masks so provide varying levels of protection.
High quality cycling masks, such as those made by the well-known UK brand Cambridge Mask Co. cost upwards of £20 and are reusable. The company has now sold out of all stock but is taking pre-orders.
Other cycling masks are available on Amazon, with the site’s bestseller a £7.57 pack of six from a company called Diyii in China. The firm says the masks are good for those with sensitive skin allergies and can be washed repeatedly, and are also suitable for camping, running, travel and climbing.
Another top seller on the marketplace is a reusable mask sold by the Chinese firm KZKR-EU which costs £8.89 per mask.
The most highly rated mask currently available on Amazon costs £17.99
The dramatic option: Respirator gas mask costing £29.99 for one
Perhaps the most dramatic-looking option of all masks is the gas mask respirator.
These are generally used by people spraying paint or other chemicals which it would be dangerous to inhale, or working in hazardous environments.
Another option with quicker delivery (around a week) is a TPE Silicone Gas Mask retailing at £29.99
The masks have built-in valves fitted with filters which may be able to keep out droplets carrying the coronavirus.
The most highly rated mask currently available on Amazon costs £17.99 and includes removable filters which can be replaced with filters and cartridges.
However it’s shipped from a Chinese company so wouldn’t arrive in the UK until early June.
Another option with quicker delivery (around a week) is a TPE Silicone Gas Mask retailing at £29.99.