Ultimate Guide to the Best Reusable Face Masks in Singapore (Free Temasek Foundation Masks November 2020 Update)
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.
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, 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.
Do note that these masks are not medical masks.
TL;DR: Best Reusable Face Masks in Singapore From Local Companies to Get
To make the best out of the situation, here are some of the best reusable face masks in Singapore to get.
Company Price per piece Design Theme
Temasek Foundation $4/$5
(FREE for Singapore residents)
Forever Family From $4 Varied
Ans Ein $7 Minimalist with pastel colours
Danovel $8 Floral prints
Makerly Singapore $9 Batik prints
CYC Made to Measure $20 Corporate & Technicolour
We will also be breaking down how to wear your mask properly and how to care for your mask.
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.
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.
1. Temasek Free Masks November 2020 (Free/$6 per mask)
Temasek Foundation (Stay Prepared), the Singapore based non-profit philanthropic arm of Temasek announced on Thursday (26 November) that it will be giving out reusable masks for the third time this year.
This was also announced earlier on by Temasek CEO Ho Ching in a Facebook post on Thursday (28 November).
All Singaporean residents with Singapore Government-issued identification will be given one FREE mask kit consisting of two black coloured masks and three filters which can be slotted into the mask.
Temasek Free Masks November 2020 Details
Temasek CEO Ho Ching shared that this time around, the masks that will be given out will be breathable antimicrobial 3D masks made by local company ProShield.
These masks have three layers:
- Internal layer to absorb saliva
- A filter liner layer
- Anti-bacterial water-repellant outer layer to repel droplets and dust particles.
These new 3D masks are shaped to fit the face and are similar shape-wise to the lion head masks that were given out in the National Day pack.
If you manage to get one with a good fit, the mask will rest nicely on the nose, wrap under your chin and give you enough space to breathe without the mask slipping down your nose.
The mask will also have a filter pocket and three filters which can be inserted into the mask’s filter pocket for extra protection.
And according to Temasek Foundation, ‘the mask has a Viral Filtration Efficiency of more than 98 per cent’ when used with the filter.
As for the masks itself, they are black in colour, antibacterial and highly breathable; making it suitable for exercise without the filter.
They can also be washed and reused at least 50 times. However, after 50 washes, the anti-microbial performance will be reduced.
Temasek Free Masks November 2020 Size
The new black 3D shaped masks come in four sizes:
- Small (S) – 100mm or smaller
- Medium (M) – 100mm – 120mm
- Large (L) – 110mm – 130mm
- Extra Large (XL) – 125mm or bigger.
However, do note that the small-sized mask kit is suited more for children under the age of eight and can only be collected in these locations:
- Community Centres
- Temasek Shophouse
- Plaza Singapura.
Here is a quick mask sizing guide to picking the best mask for you:
Temasek Free Masks November 2020 Collection Date
The collection will start on Monday, 30 November 2020 from 10am and end on Sunday, 13 December 2020 11:59pm.
How to Collect Free Temasek Masks November 2020
These masks can be collected from the 1,200 vending machines scattered across 800 locations around Singapore.
You can find the vending machines at bus interchanges, community centres/clubs and residents’ committee centres around Singapore as well as Temasek Shophouse and Plaza Singapura.
Do remember to bring your NRIC, FIN, driving license or any government-issued identification (with barcode) to redeem the masks. Each identity barcode is entitled a mask kit which has two masks and three filters.
You can also collect the kits on behalf of others by bringing along their NRIC, FIN, driving license or any government-issued identification.
Pre-Order Temasek Masks November 2020
Additionally, you can pre-order more mask kits online from the Stay Prepared website or via DBS PayLah! from 10am next Monday (30 November) until Saturday (12 December).
But, you are advised to try out the free mask kit (two masks and three filters) and find the correct fit first before pre-ordering more mask kits.
There is also a purchase limitation.
For the S and M sized mask kit, each individual can only buy five kits each.
For the L and XL-sized mask kit, each individual can only buy 10 kits each.
2. Forever Family Masks – NDP Masks (From $4 per mask)
Like the masks that were given out for free in the NDP fun pack?
The company that produced those masks in selling them too.
According to Forever Family a company under the Ramatax Group, the masks have three layers:
- A fluid-repellant outer layer.
- A reinforced filtration layer that blocks off >95% of fluid droplets bigger than 3 microns in size.
- An inner layer that is hypoallergenic, quick to dray and absorbs exhaled droplets.
From my personal experience, the mask is also very breathable and quite comfortable to wear.
You can get the masks in a myriad of colours. Last I checked there are about 75 different colours to choose from!
How to Buy Forever Family Mask
The National Day Edition masks come in bundles of three that cost $12. This translates to just $4 per mask.
For the other colours and designs seen above, those masks come in bundles of three that cost $20.40. This translates to $6.80 per mask.
Also, delivery via Singpost normal mail is free and the masks get cheaper the more you buy.
You can get the masks from the Forever Family site.
3. Ans Ein — EVERYDAY HEROES Reusable Masks ($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
The EVERYDAY HEROES Reusable Mask retails for $7 while the Vanda reusable mask for kids retails for $5.
4. Danovel Masks ($8 per mask)
Next up with have Danovel, a local furniture company that focuses on custom upholstery.
When COVID-19 broke out in Singapore, Danovel was one of the local companies that answered the Government’s call to manufacture more masks locally.
Danovel pivoted to making quality 3-ply masks that help limit the spread of respiratory droplets when one sneezes or coughs.
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.
5. 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.
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.
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Also, if you are so inclined, here is a quick guide on how to use face masks safely and care for them.
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).