Ultimate Guide to the Best Reusable Face Masks in Singapore From Local Businesses
Just the other day I was walking out of my house to grab some food when I realised something.
I forgot my mask.
I’m sure you are tired of the tropes that this is the ‘new normal’ but it looks like we will need to wear a mask for a long time — at least until the COVID-19 vaccine is developed.
Since 15 April 2020, it is now mandatory that all persons in Singapore wear a mask while leaving their homes.
But when it comes to masks we still have a few options.
Although surgical N95 respirators and surgical masks offer up more protection from COVID-19, these masks are expensive, their supply is limited, they contribute more to Singapore’s mounting trash problem and can get very uncomfortable when wearing it for extended periods of time.
Not to mention the healthcare workers and front-liners who need them more.
The next best thing is to wear a reusable cloth mask, as studies have suggested that these masks provide at least 50% – 60% filtration efficiency and provide basic protection where safe distancing and good personal hygiene can be observed.
What Are Face Masks For?
More importantly, the masks protect other people as COVID-19 is asymptomatic. People who have the virus might not know it and go around spreading it to others.
When you cough or sneeze, the mask acts as a barrier to contain the respiratory droplets so they don’t land on other people or surfaces.
TL;DR: Best Reusable Face Masks in Singapore From Local Businesses to Get
To make the best out of the situation, here are some of the best reusable face masks in Singapore from local businesses to get.
Company Price per piece Design Theme
Temasek Foundation $4 (Free for Singapore residents) Minimalist
Ans Ein $7 Minimalist with pastel colours
Danovel $8 Floral prints
Makerly Singapore $9 Batik prints
LOVE SG Masks $9.90 Singapore
CYC Made to Measure $20 Corporate & Technicolour
We will also be breaking down how to wear your mask properly, how to care for your mask, and a list of the best reusable face masks you can get.
Reusable Face Mask How to Use?
Although it may seem kind of obvious, there are guidelines on how to use masks properly to maximise their effectiveness.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there is a safer way to wear reusable masks.
Some key things to take note of.
Before you put on the mask, remember to wash your hands properly with soap and water or disinfect your hands with hand sanitiser if soap and water are not available.
When putting on the mask, hold it by the earloops and ensure that your hand does not come into contact with the front of the reusable mask, as you want to keep the area clean to maximise protection.
Also, you will need to ensure that the mask is worn snugly and fits your face well.
The same applies when you remove the mask. Avoid contact with the front of the mask and remove it from the back or using the earloops. Once you have removed your mask, wash your hands immediately.
Reusable Face Mask Care
Although reusable masks are reusable, they can only be used a limited amount of times until they lose their effectiveness.
For example, the Ultra Masks that was distributed to all Singaporeans can only withstand 30 washes.
But you might be asking, how often do I need to wash it?
Dr Daniel Griffin, an infectious diseases expert at Columbia University has the answer.
In an interview with National Public Radio (NPR), Griffin remarked that you should treat reusable masks like how you treat your underwear — wash it daily.
Here is how to do so.
How to Wash Reusable Masks
1. Rinse both sides of the mask with room temperature water.
2. Apply soap to both sides and scrub the mask gently.
3. Rinse off the soap and hang it up to dry.
4. After the mask dries, store it back in the ziplock bag.
Do note that you should not be twisting or squeezing the mask to dry it. You should also not use bleach, softener, or any detergent that contains fluorescent whitening agents (FWAs).
Where to Buy Face Mask in Singapore?
You can get reusable face masks online and offline in Singapore. The masks in this list are mostly available online, given that we should be staying at home as much as possible.
1. Temasek Foundation — MaskSafe DET30™ (Free/$4 per mask)
What a timely announcement.
Singapore based non-profit, Temasek Foundation is giving out more of the reusable masks to every Singapore resident.
Each Singapore resident is entitled to two free reusable masks which can be redeemed from 29 Jun to 12 Jul daily from 10am to 11.59pm.
These masks can be collected from the 1,200 vending machines located at bus interchanges, community centres/clubs and residents’ committee centres around Singapore.
Do remember to bring your NRIC or any government-issued identification to redeem the masks. Each identity barcode is entitled a mask kit which has two masks.
You can also collect the kits on behalf of others by bringing along their identifications.
Although the masks are free’ they actually look pretty legit.
According to the Temasek Foundation, the MaskSafe DET30™ mask is a comfortable and breathable three-layer cotton mask made with antimicrobial treated fabric.
It has been tested against various bacteria and viruses, with 94% effectiveness against Influenza A virus, an enveloped virus.
There is also a front-pleat design that extends to cover your nose and chin with a nose wire to create a close fit.
How to Get
Although you can get two masks for free, you can also pre-order up to five additional mask kits, at $8 per mask kit (2 masks) from 25 Jun, 11.00am, all the way to 11 July 2020, 11.59pm.
This works out to $4 per mask.
The masks are available for pre-order on their site and can be at redeemed at the vending machines via a QR code sent to your phone.
2. Ans Ein — EVERYDAY HEROES Reusable Mask ($7 per mask)
Want to do more than clap for the essential workers?
You can buy masks from womenswear label Ans.Ein. The company is helmed by Singapore based Indonesian designer Anseina Eliza, who started a campaign to donate reusable masks to essential workers in Singapore.
According to Ans.Ein, each mask purchase will go towards their effort to provide masks essential service workers including cleaners and security guards.
The company has already donated 1,500 masks to essential service workers with more on the way.
As for the masks, they are three-ply masks that are breathable, comfortable to wear and offer adequate protection
There are two layers of breathable cotton that absorb moisture, while the outer layer is made up of a waterproof fabric that blocks out respiratory droplets.
They even have a version for kids which retails for $5 per mask. Do note that the purchase of these kids masks does not contribute to the Essential Workers campaign.
How to Buy Ans Ein Mask
Although the majority of the masks are not made for profit and distributed to the needy people in Singapore like the migrant workers, you can still buy masks from Danovel.
How to Buy Danovel Masks
The masks are available for $8 on Danovel’s Carousell account.
4. Makerly Singapore Batik Masks ($9 per mask)
Are you a fan of Batik?
Check out the reusable masks from Makerly Singapore, a homegrown clothing label that makes beautiful Batik masks.
Their handmade masks are adorned with beautiful batik prints.
The two-layer are masks are made with cotton, provide wide coverage for your face as well as a removable twist-tie nose wire for snug fit.
Although the masks are two-ply and offer less protection, you can add a surgical mask with the built-in slot to make up for it.
How to Buy Makerly Singapore Masks
The masks are available for $9 on their site.
Smaller sized masks for kids from 7 – 12 years old are also available for the same price.
5. LOVE SG Masks ($9.90 per mask)
If you like your masks tinged with a bit of Singapore spirit, the LOVE SG masks are for you.
The 3-ply masks that they make are water repellant, are made from 100% cotton coated with an antimicrobial coating which can be reused for up to 50 washes.
There is even a slot to insert a surgical mask for extra protection.
Personally, I find the SG United logos a bit too on the nose. But, these are great masks nonetheless.
In addition, for every mask you purchase, LOVE SG will donate a mask to Masks Sewn with Love or the Migrant Workers’ Centre community projects.
They also sell other designs for adults, a version for kids, as well as a customised face mask which will cost more,
How to Buy LOVE SG Masks
The masks are available for $9.90 on their site.
6. CYC Made to Measure Masks ($20 per mask)
Last but not least we have homegrown heritage tailors CYC and their Eygptian Cotton face masks.
The range of masks that they make are one-ply but they come with an inner pocket to hold a filter insert.
Each mask comes with a 3-ply non-woven hydrophobic filter insert (water-repellent filter) which is made from similar fabric used in N95 masks.
CYC also sent their filters for testing at the Singapore A*star labs. According to CYC, these filters retained a filter efficiency of 95.5% – 99.8% BFE after 15 washes. This means they retain their effectiveness well after repeated washes.
The masks come in three sizes, large, small, and for kids. In addition, a portion of the sales from their masks helps support their Masks for Migrants initiative.
How to Buy CYC Masks
You can get their reusable face masks at $20 apiece on their site. The mask filter refills can be bought at $6.25 for 25 pieces.