Frequently asked mask questions

Why did you start selling masks?

We saw early on in the COVID-19 crisis that there was a shortage of masks in general, and high quality masks in particular. We wanted to do our part to offer ethically and sustainably made high quality masks at a fair price, and create a donation program to get masks to those in need. We're in this together. 

What is an N95 mask? Are you saying that your mask is better than an N95 mask?

We do not make any claims or comparisons between our mask and an N95 mask. In fact, we’re not really even in the same category!

N95 refers to an official designation provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). There are actually several other respirator designations beyond N95. To learn more about all of them, please visit the CDC website, which provides a full list of NIOSH-approved particulate filtering facepiece respirators:

The N95 and other designated masks shown on the CDC page above go through extensive testing to validate their efficacy, reliability, and procedures. This is so that workers in high risk situations can have a reliable respirator to keep them safe.

Our wayre masks are in a different category. Our masks are targeted towards the everyday person who is looking for a highly filtering, reusable, and comfortable mask. If you’re choosing between our mask and other non-regulated masks such as many of the cloth and carbon masks on the market these days, it’s highly likely that the wayre mask is the best option.

Why do you mention PM2.5 if your mask can filter so well beyond that?

We mention PM2.5 in our materials because it is such a common benchmark, frequently used by agencies and governments when reporting on air quality. Our masks do go far beyond PM2.5 protection (See comparison chart above).

What makes your masks so effective and highly filtering?

The first thing to mention is what’s in the mask. The mask contains 5 layers, including 3 filter layers. Two of the filter layers are PP filters. The 3rd filter layer in the middle of the mask is an n-PTFE nano-microporous film which ultimately makes the mask so highly filtering. The n-PTFE membrane stops virus and bacteria from passing through the mask.

Beyond the mask materials, the mask also provides great coverage for a wide variety of faces with the expanding pleats. The customizable ear ties and flexible iron nose bar allow for a snug, but comfortable fit. And the mask is very breathable.

All of these things combined to make a mask that’s highly effective and comfortable!

Have your wayre masks been tested? If so, by who?

Our masks have been tested. Our masks were developed in Taiwan. Three sets of tests were done by the Taiwan Textile Research Institute, which showed that our masks were 99%+ filtering of 0.075µm NaCl, CMD, at 0, 10, and 20 washes.

The wayre mask has also been tested by the ASTM F2101-19 A specified test method for evaluating the bacterial filtration of face masks. The test results showed the wayre mask to be 99%+ filtering over the course of 5 different tests. 

Is your mask really five layers? It feels like two at best.

Our masks are indeed five layers! By hand feel, you're probably only going to notice the two outer fabric layers. However, there are 3 additional filter layers inside. A PP filter layer is adhered to the inside of each fabric layer. The 5th and middle layer is the highly filtering n-PTFE film.

What about the light test? I think I can sort of see a light bulb through your mask.

We're not sure how the "light test" gained so much traction, but transparency has no relation to filtration. For example, if you were to hold up our n-PTFE filter layer on its own (without the other 4 layers in the mask), you would see that it is fairly transparent. But, it's 99%+ filtering of virus-sized particles! If you're interested in a better (and more entertaining) test for filtration, we'd suggest the candle test.

How does your mask do with the candle test?

We encourage you to perform the candle test with the wayre mask and our competitors and send us the video! We're @shopwayre on Instagram :)

What is the nano-microporous film pore size?

The n-PTFE membrane pore size in our mask is about 30-70 nanometers.

For comparison, many viruses such as COVID-19, SARS, and H1N1 are about 100 nanometers or more in size, meaning they cannot pass through the membrane.

Should I still follow other guidelines even if I’m wearing your mask?

Absolutely. Please adhere to the most strict guidelines coming from local, state, and federal officials.

Also, learn how to get tested for COVID-19, especially if you've been around other people. Testing is becoming more widely available. Learn more by contacting your healthcare provider, contacting local health officials, and staying up to date on the CDC website:

Are you secretly an evil empire? Are you taking advantage of all of us during a pandemic? Do you dislike dogs and cats?

Wow! Didn’t see that coming! We’re actually just a small apparel business offering an affordable, high quality mask. We work with some amazing ethical partners who made this mask possible. Our hope is that we can help everyone feel more confident and comfortable in their masks and maybe save a life or two. And how dare you question our love of dogs and cats… we love all fur babies.

Can I ask other questions?

Definitely. We'd love to hear from you. Drop us a line at

Please Note: These masks are not a direct substitute for N95, surgical, or procedural masks. This is a personal use item and cannot be returned or exchanged. 

Questions or interested in purchasing in larger quantities? email us: