Mask Use and Reusability

How long can I use your masks and filters for?

We recommend that our masks and filters are used until they become worn, dirty, damaged, or breathing becomes difficult. After this point, the product should be disposed of safely.

Depending on the conditions in which the products are used (e.g. higher-risk crowded indoor environments vs. lower-risk outdoors) you may choose to change your mask or filters more frequently.

How many times should the Waire P2 respirator be reused?

For covid protection, the latest CDC recommendation for respirators suggest no greater than 5 uses per respirator. We recommend having several respirators to rotate through, keeping each respirator dry and safely kept in a bag with a couple of days between uses.

Are your masks and filters washable?

Our masks and filters are not designed to be washed. Washing compromises the filtration performance of the filter so washing is not recommended for covid applications.

Respirator and Filter Performance

What is the AS/NZS 1716 P2 performance level and how does this compare to N95 / KN95 / FFP2 / KF94?

The AS/NZS 1716 standard is the equivalent respirator performance level for both Australia and New Zealand as NIOSH’s N95, the Chinese KN95, European FFP2, and Korean KF94 standard.

In terms of protection, the Waire P2 product will provide the same level of protection as any other certified respirator that is marked N95 / KN95 / FFP2 / KF94.

How important is it to have a mask that fits?

Protection is a combination of three key factors: filtration efficiency (the ability of the mask to capture particles), fit (the ability of the mask to seal against your face), and breathability (how easy it is to breathe through).  

It is important that the mask acts as a good filter, but if the mask does not seal snugly against the face, then the inhaled air will just bypass the mask and leak through the sides of the face, compromising the protection of the mask.

How do I make sure my mask fits?
  • When the mask is donned, ensure that the nose piece is pressed snugly against the nose bridge to achieve a seal. The nose is a common path for air to leak through the mask, as well as the chin.
  • Perform what’s called a “seal check”. Use your hands to cover as much of the mask as possible, then inhale and exhale. If there are obvious leaks around the mask, then it is likely to be noticeable when you perform the seal check. If you notice that there are leaks, then you can readjust the mask to improve its seal.

Helix.iso Filters

Do I need to purchase HELIX.iso filters for your mask range?

No, our Brezy Masks, AirCare Masks and Waire P2 Respirators all have filters built-in. The HELIX.iso drop-in filters are designed for sewn cloth masks that have pockets to hold a replaceable filter.

If you would like to buy a cloth mask that accommodates HELIX.iso filters, see the list of our sewing partners we have worked with: https://lanaco.co.nz/filters/

Which way do I insert the HELIX.iso filter into my cloth mask?

We recommend inserting the HELIX.iso filter into the pocket of your cloth mask so the fluffier side is away from the face.

Mask Materials and Sizes

Are your masks and filters biodegradable/compostable?

While all of our products use wool fibre, they are not fully biodegradable or compostable. However, this is something we are working on as a research goal in the near future!

Will the wool cause allergic reactions?

So far, we have not received any complaints about allergies. Most wool “allergies” are sensitivities with the skin, which only (sometimes) happen when there is direct contact between the ends of the wool fibres with the pores on the skin, causing slight irritation. As there is no next-to-skin contact on any of our products, this should not be a problem. For more information, click here.

Do you offer different mask sizes?

Yes, some of our masks have a Medium/Large size and a Small/Medium size. The M/L size is designed to fit most adults. The S/M size is designed to fit kids over 8, teenagers and petite adults.

Specific Use Cases

What do you recommend for international air travel?

We recommend a combination of our Brezy Mask and Waire P2 Respirator.

Both of these have options to use head straps so the mask is held more snugly against the face, giving the best possible level of protection for you. The Brezy is more breathable so we recommend using them for lower-risk areas (e.g. mixed indoor/outdoors, fewer people, inside the plane cabin). The Waire P2 offers higher protection so we recommend using them for higher risk-areas (e.g. amongst crowds, tight indoor spaces with little ventilation).

This is the same advice and product combination that we supplied to the NZ Olympic Team when they went over to Japan for Tokyo 2020.

It is difficult to bring the lower strap over my head. How do I put the mask on?

If you find there is too much strain on the elastic when putting on our masks, try using this alternative fitting instruction. Watch the video below.