How to test if your face mask is effective using 2 surefire techniques

My new thought process before I leave nowadays is, “Keys? Yup. Wallet? Check….Face Mask? Almost forgot!” Wearing masks has just become a way of life the past few months, and it’s most likely here to stay for a while. With coronavirus still running rampant across the globe, masks are required nearly everywhere you go.

The purpose of a mask is to protect yourself and others – so obviously, you want to buy something of quality. But how can you tell which mask is the most effective?

Here are the top two techniques you should be aware of when purchasing a mask. They may be a bit weird, but these tests are designed to show whether or not your mask will actually protect you, as well as the people next to you.

Try to blow out a candle

Sounds strange but think about it: the purpose of a mask is to not spread germs when we exhale. If you attempt to blow out the candle wearing a mask, theoretically, the candle shouldn’t go out. Bill Nye was the original creator of this experiment as he attempted to prove the point that a mask will, in face, protect you – but some are more effective than others. 

This experiment can be tried with different types of coverings, such as N95, cloth and surgical masks. The mask with the best barrier can be determined by which flame barely moves or doesn’t go out when blown.


I know not everyone vapes but finding someone who does to test out a mask is also an effective trick. In previous experiments, people who exhaled the vapor while wearing a mask displayed how they change the direction that breath and germs escape. People who exhaled the vapor typically had it travel over the top of their head, down onto their chest and then behind them, which obviously is different than if you weren’t wearing any covering. Normally, the breath would go directly in front of you and disperse.

Test out different masks to see where the vapor escapes from. This can help you alter your design and choose the best prototype to prevent the spread of COVID germs.

These two simple tests can help with figuring out which mask is right for you. However, you can also look into the different types of face coverings to see all of the different options out there.