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High-Performance Masks

Example high-performance mask
High-Performance Mask

High-performance masks are made to a specification that significantly exceeds the filtration efficiency of industry standard N95 masks. They deliver twice the filtration efficiency, and on particles down to 10 nanometers, which exceeds NIOSH N95 requirements by a factor of ten. All masks are equipped with a robust non-springy nose wire that can be shaped to seal to your face and nose.

If you want a reusable mask that looks nice and outperforms industry standard masks, you have found it here. They look the same as the standard masks but weigh slightly more because they contain three layers.

How do these masks work? In April of 2020, six researchers decided to collect samples of numerous fabrics used to make reusable masks and measure their filtration efficiency with the same equipment used to test industry standard masks like the N95. Since the topic here is viruses, the researchers enhanced the testing setup with a particle generator producing particles down to just 10 nanometers in size, making the test exceptionally demanding. (A Covid-19 virus ranges from 80 to 100 nanometers in size.)

Cotton, flannel, silk, and other materials were tested at 1, 2, and 4 layers, and then in various combinations. The researchers expected a cotton/silk combination to perform the best because of the electrostatic interaction between the two materials. Cotton/silk showed 92 percent efficiency. Howver, the researchers discovered that cotton plus 90/10 chiffon performed even better, reaching 97 to 98 percent efficiency.

This work appears in a peer reviewed scientific paper published by the American Chemical Society here:


High-performance masks are made with an outer layer of high thread count cotton, an inner layer of 90/10 chiffon, and a comfortable inner layer of cotton muslin like the standard masks.

NOTE: August 2, 2023 I stopped making masks because demand dropped off. If or when another epidemic appears I will resume producing them.


  1. Jan

    Mine are still going strong, they work well and are comfortable.

    • Phil

      I’m glad to hear it. Thank you for the feedback. Sales have dropped way down, though. People aren’t buying masks anymore, probably because disposable masks have come back down in price.

      I wear mine working in a restaurant and whenever I’m out. So far, no failures or problems of any kind. I hand wash them properly, but don’t give them any other special treatment. If they’re going to fail, I want them to fail for me. So far, they’re just chugging along. I stuff them in my pocket, stuff them in my backpack.

      The only failure of any kind I know of is one of my first prototypes that I gave to a friend had a problem with the nose wire after they ran it through the clothes dryer. This did not surprise me. The masks shouldn’t be run through a clothes dryer to begin with, and this one had a bare uncoated wire and none of the improvements I made early on. I offered a new one but they wanted to keep the original, so I upgraded the nosewire and its been fine ever since.

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