When the government formally recommended that the public wear face coverings on Monday 11th May, the demand for these products experienced a huge spike. This is demonstrated perfectly using Google Trends, the tech giants’ tool for showing the popularity of terms that searches are carrying out on its search engine:
In the large, the conversation around face coverings has focussed on fabric face masks that cover the nose and mouth. However, some respected medical professionals and public health experts have come out to suggest that plastic face shields could be a better solution during the coronavirus pandemic.
As a company that can offer both products to our business and consumer customers alike, here we take a look at the benefits of each option to help you make the best decision for your requirements.
Benefits of Face Masks
1. They are reusable
Fabric face masks that the general public are being recommended to purchase are washable, meaning that they can be reused on a daily basis. These are different from the N95 masks that healthcare workers use which are disposable and should not be purchased by the vast majority of the population. The ability to wash and reuse these masks make them a solution which many people can afford to purchase.
2. They are convenient
One of the advantages of fabric face masks is that they are small and foldable. This means that they are convenient to store in pockets, drawers, bags, and many other places when not being worn. You should however try to store your mask in places that are as clean as possible, ideally not putting it back on again once taken off and stored until it has been washed.
3. They can be personalised
There is an infinite number of design possibilities with fabric masks thanks to companies such as ourselves who offer custom printing. By creating your own artwork, you can personalise your masks to be completely unique – either with your brand logo or with a design that reflects your personality. Some people choose to add a humorous design that will brighten the day of people who they meet, whereas others opt to theme their masks on films, bands, or sports teams that they a fan of.
Benefits of Face Shields
1. They offer more protection
While face masks only cover the nose and mouth, face shields also provide coverage for the eyes against airborne droplets and liquids. What is more, while fabric face masks are recommended to stop the wearer from transmitting the virus to others, some plastic face shields help to protect the wearer themselves. Our CE marked face shields have been tested by the BSI and as ‘PPE for Healthcare Professionals’ and meet EU Commission Recommendation (EU) 2020/403 for PPE.
Because of their full-face coverage, they also help to prevent users from touching their face which for so many years has been a part of everyday life and a difficult habit to break.
2. They encourage better communication
There are two main ways in which face shields allow for more effective communication. Firstly, speech will be less muffled due to the mouth not being tightly covered, and as a result will avoid people needing to repeat themselves when talking with others.
Secondly, as the whole face can be seen, it allows the person you are talking with to view your facial expressions. The same sentence said with a smile, a frown or a look of indifference can take on a completely different interpretation.
3. They are more inclusive
Being able to see expressions and the mouth itself is also of particular use to people who are deaf or who have experienced hearing loss. Charity Action on Hearing Loss, formerly the Royal National Institute for Deaf People, expressed their concern that the inability to see lip movement and facial expressions will marginalise people with hearing loss who rely on lip-reading and British Sign Language to communicate.
As you will have read, both face masks and face shields have different advantages that should be considered before placing an order. One is not necessarily better than the other – they both have unique qualities that will suit different people. They are also often purchased together to combine the benefits of both. If you need any more information about the products that we are producing, please do not hesitate to get in touch.