Simple guide to masks and respirators
Types of masks and respirators 
Types of masks and respirators

Follow these simple steps on the correct way to wearing a mask or respirator 

correct steps to wearing a mask or respirator

For more tips, you can also check out :

Simple rules on how to effectively use your mask


  • Ensure that you use and wear an appropriate mask/respirator properly and consistently according to its purpose as described on the instructions.
  • Practice proper removal of used and contaminated masks/respirators to prevent the spread of viruses to your hands, face and other contact surfaces. Touch only the straps and wash your hands after disposal.
  • Reduce the amount of talking when wearing a mask/respirator. This will lower the amount of condensation produced within and extend its effective life. Also change mask/respirator when wet or soiled to ensure effectiveness.


  • Do not reuse mask

Some things to take note of :

  • Avoid purchasing from dubious sellers or unknown websites as the quality of their products are not assured.

  • The specification of quality surgical masks and N95 respirators. 
  • In contrast to a thin single/double layered mask, a surgical mask usually consists of three layers of flat or pleated fabric. 

    Ideally, a surgical mask has the manufacturer's name printed on its packaging, bacteria infiltration efficiency of 95% or more, carries an expiry date on packaging, does not contain allergy materials and provides a good fit. Mask with manufacturer's nameMask with expiry date printed


    Ideally, when purchasing a respirator, check that it is labelled with the NIOSH certificate number and it is not expired. If it is NIOSH certified, it should have a particulate filtration efficiency of 95%, provide a good fit to your face and carry instructions on how to wear and discard it. It should not contain materials that should cause an allergy reaction.


    You can also check if the product is listed on the NIOSH website here :

  • Respirators are not designed to fit children.
  • Their faces might be too small for the respirators to fit properly hence not providing adequate protection. Wearing a surgical mask may be a better form of protection for children.


    Reference : 

    HSA. 2020. Guide To Masks And Respirators. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 22 September 2020].