Skip to content
Connect
Stories

N95 or bandana? Which masks are the most popular?

People in this story

Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

N95? Gaiter? Bandana, or blue surgical mask? Which one do you wear? Pandemic researchers, looking to shed light on current masking behaviors of U.S. residents, found that cloth masks, scarves, bandanas, and gaiters remain the masks of choice for 64% of the population, according to a study by the Covid States Project, a collaborative research effort by Northeastern, Harvard, Northwestern, and Rutgers. The next most popular were surgical masks, worn by 38% of respondents, followed by just 21% who wore higher-quality respirators such as the N95. Nine percent said they didn’t wear a mask at all.

The findings suggest that people should be more choosy and opt for the N95s because of their superior filtering capacity, says Northeastern’s David Lazer, university distinguished professor of political science and computer science, and one of the study’s authors. “With an N95, if it’s fitted properly and you go to the supermarket, it’s very unlikely you’re going to get infected,” he says. “A cloth mask is better than not wearing any mask, but you can still get infected.” Many people were already aware of the N95’s advantages, which could explain why more than half of respondents in the national study were under the impression that they were backed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They aren’t.

Continue reading at News@Northeastern.

More Stories

ADVANCE FOR MONDAY AUG. 22 - In this Aug. 5, 2016 photo, Movie reels and old films left over from the Old Texas Theater's years as a movie house sit on display in a cabinet within the Ballinger venue in Ballinger, Texas. Things have been up and down for the Old Texas Theater over the years. Now, the venue is coming back once again.

Northeastern professor uncovers oldest Japanese American film

09.28.2022
Britain's King Charles III leaves after attending the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, at the Westminster Abbey in London Monday, Sept. 19, 2022.

Why the UK needs the realms and the Commonwealth much more than they need the UK

09.23.2022
Rally in Lisbon in rejection of Masha Amini's death - 23 Sept 2022

Protests raging across Iran show ‘solidarity’ and anger against regime, Northeastern experts say

09.28.22
News@Northeastern