Neck Gaiters/face prote ctors. Good?

Frankly, they look more comfortable & easier to use.
Gpood prtection or no.
An example–
example 1

example 2

I remember hearing something on NPR that certain kinds of neck gaiters may not be as effective as other types of masks. I was wearing one a lot at the time and I liked the convenience of being able to easily slip it on and off one-handed. Ultimately it stretched out a bit and the work I was doing at the time caused it to constantly slip down off my face.

I’ve seen some that have loops for your ears… maybe those stay on better.

These days I use a typical cloth mask that I wash from time to time.

Duke University rated many of the different types of masks that are available.

Best are N95 masks. Three-ply surgical masks (which are now readily available) were second-best. (Not ranked were KN95 masks, which are made of similar materials [nonwoven meltblown polypropylene], so although they were not ranked, they should be comparable to these.)

Cloth masks were lower-rated. At the very bottom of the list were neck gaiters.

strike the gaiters

I use a neck gaiter over a surgical or cloth mask to keep it down tight and in place.

We bought neck gaiters with cat faces on them. More decorative than anything else. We wear real masks under the gaiters for real protection (*).

(* We call them Gaiter Aids.)

Every gaiter is different. It depends on what the fabric is, how many layers it’s constructed with, etc. The trouble is, since we have no way of judging, it’s impossible to tell how each one compares to an N-95 or surgical mask.

I also have several cat face neck gaiters but wearing them over masks was hot and hard to breath. Solution was purchasing some face mask brackets which gave me more breathing room and a snout. It looks amazing!

When I’m going to spend the day in a mask I wear this gaiter. Its dual layer and wool. From what I read it is primarily the single layer gaiters that are a problem since they stretch and atomize the molecules.

It is much more comfortable and doesn’t tend to fog up my glasses as much as a my short term three layer cotton mask.

I bought a couple of gaiters to wear when I take walks and expect to only run into a few people. When I received them, I realized that single layer probably wasn’t going to be ideal, but since all they are is long tubes of stretchy cloth, it was easy to take the top and fold it around and into the inside until the top was level with the bottom. That gave me a tube of half the height but with two layers. It still covers my entire face and down my neck, so it works fine for walks.

Thin and stretchy gaiters provide minimal filtration and are only reasonable to use when the infection risk and potential environmental viral load is very low. So if you are outdoors on a walk, a gaiter is likely fine since you won’t encounter many viral particles. But a gaiter would be insufficient in a place where airflow is limited or there are many people, like stores, restaurants, offices, public transportation, etc. If environmental viral load is high, the thin gaiter material will allow a relatively high amount of viral particles to be inhaled and your risk of infection will be proportionally higher.

Bear in mind that the Duke study only looked narrowly at how effective the masks are as physical barriers. Overall, it’s important to consider whether people keep the mask on consistently, and how frequently people are touching their face.

Considering all factors, it’s probably best to wear whatever mask is the best physical barrier that is also comfortable enough that you are not frequently taking it on and off or touching your face. And this may vary according to what you’re doing.