Does your face mask need a filter?

In our last blog post, we discussed the various types of facial coverings, and how when used in conjunction with social distancing practices, can help slow the spread of COVID-19. However, not all masks are created equally, and some offer more protection than others. In this blog post, we are answering the growing questions regarding filters in face masks. As you may have noticed, several masks have a small slot to place a filter for extra protection. By adding a filter in between the layers of your face mask, you can help block airborne particles that might sneak through the fabric. The main goal of a face mask filter is to block airborne contaminants, and this one gets the job done without trapping moisture. Simply slip it in and replace it after each use. Wondering how long they last? According to Dr. David M. Aronoff, director of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Division of Infectious Diseases, “Filters last until they are wet from breath or other liquids. They should be changed when soiled or wet and not used more than once.” (TodayShow, 2020)

When looking for a face mask filter you want to understand the term MERV, which stands for “Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value”. The higher the MERV value, the more efficient the filter will be in trapping airborne particles. A higher rated MERV filter is probably most useful for people who will be having sustained or frequent close contact with other people, particularly people who are not themselves wearing any type of mask. Some filters are also made with activated carbon (also known as activated charcoal) filters, which is said to block up to 95% of airborne particles, including everything from germs and dust to chemicals and pollen. (TodayShow, 2020)

Luckily, you don’t have to spend a fortune on face mask filters, as there are several budget-friendly options available online. To help you get started, Shop TODAY consulted a few health experts to learn more about these face mask filters and where you can buy them online. To learn more and shop the filters that best suit your needs visit


TodayShow. (2020, July 02). Does your face mask need a filter? We asked medical experts what to look for. Retrieved July 15, 2020, from

Privacy Preference Center