Where to get masks and what makes a good DIY mask?

For those who have not collected their masks, please visit https://www.maskgowhere.gov.sg/ to find out more.

The cloth mask available at the CCs are of relatively good quality and better than what most people are capable of making on their own.

Materials: The Covering

Surgical masks confer about 65-80% of filtration. N95 masks filter up to 95% of particles. However in the absence of these, the CDC recommends two layers of cotton fabric. In this matter, if one is to make their own mask it would be good if you have old garments or bedsheets made of 100% cotton with a high thread count.

According to Dr Segal’s (Chair of Anesthesiology at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem) test findings, the best homemade masks achieved 79% filtration, comparable to surgical masks. However, some poorly made masks demonstrated as little as 1% filtration. Hence we recommend that you collect your mask distributed by the government unless you are a really good craftsman.

Materials: The Insert

In theory, adding a disposable filter layer should increase the filtration. Toilet paper is a cheap method of adding one additional filter layer. If you were one of those who hoarded a bunch of toilet rolls, seems like it was worthwhile after all. Remember that filters must be sandwiched between two layers of fabric so you don’t inhale filter materials. Although vacuum bag is in the picture, make sure you don’t use it as it is too stiff and uncomfortable.

For those who want a spare mask to use / don’t want to leave home to collect masks in fear of the spread / have nothing better to do at home, please read on.

Making your own mask: Disclaimer

All cloth masks must be washed regularly and social distancing and hand hygiene standards should still be adhered to. We are not responsible for any risk to your health or to others for the failure to follow the information on this page. We can only give you recommendations on what to do and what not to do.

Recommended DIY mask

A good mask should allow multiple layers of good quality cotton, fit most faces well with as little openings as possible. Take for example the video below.

Source: https://blog.naver.com/sewingmellow/221882628027

We chose this video because there is option to insert a filter between the fabric and the flaps make for a good face fit. You may pick other masks as long as there are multiple cloth layers and the fit and shape is good.

Child Template: Click here

Adult Template: Click here


Comfort is important. Make sure the masks is comfortable so you will not need to adjust it. as much as possible, do not touch your face.

CDC methods vs our recommendations

Some of the mask making instructions are available from CDC’s Webpage.

We do not recommend that you use the more simple methods because the freely distributed masks are much better.

What happens after I have made a mask?

We still recommend that you use the government distributed mask unless you know your science well and can create DIY masks with high filtration. If you have successfully made a mask, please send to easycare@mail.idoc.sg

We will help you give a score based on the information you provided and feature the mask on this page. For example the mask below:

CDC old-T (Not recommended)

Level of protection: 1 (Maybe Better than Nothing)

Basically CDC has some methods of making masks that provide subpar or no protection at all. For example the one below.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html