Frequently Asked Questions
The world of face masks can seem complicated, but the Cradle team is here to help you make an informed decision on which mask is best for you.
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Q. What is the difference between the masks in the Cradle range?
KN95 Respirator mask
Offers maximum protection for anyone unable to maintain a healthy social distance from others. Its unique 3D design covers the nose and mouth with an adjustable over-the-nose malleable aluminium contouring strip to ensure a tight seal with no leakage or mask slippage, offering maximum protection for you and those around you.
Unlike single use surgical masks, KN95 masks are suitable for limited reuse up to a recommended maximum total of 16 hours, providing the mask is kept clean and is well aired between uses. These masks are not washable.
With four layers of a super fine, bio-degradable, hypo-allergenic mesh textile this mask is constructed with the latest ultrasonic welding techniques which filter out over 95% of particles as small as 0.3 microns, including virus-laden air borne moisture and saliva. (Just to give an idea of how small 0.3 microns is - you can get over 6,400 million of these into 1 square inch, so the microporous filters are incredibly fine.) The KN95 is splash resistant and non-clogging.
Sold in packs of 5 for £18.45 here. 20% discount available when buying 5 packs.
FFP2 Clinical mask
Offers enhanced levels of protection for clinicians or the general public who are unable to maintain healthy social distancing. This mask is certified for medical use as it has been designed to limit the transmission of infective agents from clinical staff to patients during surgical procedures in medical settings. In order to meet this requirement this mask been rigorously tested to the certification requirements of EN14683 Type IIR (BEF +98% Filtration).
With three layers of a fine-filtering mesh textile which filter out over 98% of particles, this mask is fluid resistant and protects the wearer against large droplets and virus-laden air borne moisture and saliva.
Sold in packs of 10 for £9.50 here. Single use only.
FFP2 Protective mask
Offers enhanced levels of protection for anyone unable to meet healthy social distancing guidelines. This mask is for general public use and is not certified for medical use - we like to call this one the 'street mask' as it's perfect for short shopping trips.
With three layers of a fine-filtering mesh textile which filter out 94% of particles, this mask is fluid resistant and protects the wearer against large droplets and virus-laden air borne moisture and saliva.
Sold in packs of 10 for £6.12 here, with a 20% discount when buying 5 packs. Single use only.
Children’s FFP2 Protective mask
Cradle’s FFP2 Protective mask is also available in a smaller size for children who are unable to meet healthy social distancing guidelines and need increased protection. The government has advised that children under 11 do not need to wear a mask. The child’s mask fits children up to early teenage.
Sold in packs of 10 for £6.12 here, with a 20% discount when buying 5 packs. Single use only.
For a very detailed product comparison chart, click here.
Q. What tests and standards have these masks undergone?
Our KN95 respirator masks have been certified and approved to meet both the European Regulatory Standard EN149: 2001 + A1:2009 FFP2 as well as the requirements of KN95 which ensure ability to fully seal around the face, filter out over 95% filtration of matter as small as 0.3 microns and meet a high requirement level of breathability.
Our Clinical masks have been tested to conform to EN14683 Type IIR, BEF over 98%: for Medical and General Public Use and meet 0969-2013.
Our FFP2 Protective masks have been tested to conform to EN149 : 2001 + A1:2009 and with all testing being undertaken to the requirements under PPE Regulation EU2016/425.
Q. Why should I buy the more expensive KN95 Respirator mask rather than the Surgical or Protective Mask?
It is all about the fit and sealing of the mask to your face. The near perfect sealing of the contoured 3D fit of the Cradle KN95 Respirator mask really does protect the wearer. The Surgical and Protective masks offer excellent protection to those around you but do not offer anything like the same level of optimum protection to the wearer as the close sealing KN95.
Q. What does FFP stand for?
- FFP stands for Filtering Face Piece
- FFP2 is the level recommended by the World Health Organisation for health workers which is for a minimum level of 94% filtration.
Q. What does the 95 mean?
It is named the Cradle KN95 because it filters out in excess of 95% of particles as small as 0.3 microns for maximum protection against air-borne pathogens. Our Cradle masks when tested actually had a filtration level in excess of 97%!
Q. What is the difference between the KN95, the N95, the FFP2 and the KF94?
They are all versions of the same thing. N95 is the US version, the FFP is the EU version and the KF94 is the Korean version. The KN95 is the Chinese equivalent. All offer a very similar level of protection – stopping 95% of particles as small as 0.3 microns in size; with the FFP2 masks filtering over 94%.
Q. What level of protection does the KN95 provide?
The KN95 mask is effective at stopping a minimum of 95% of particles in the air, protecting you against allergens, pollen bacteria and viral pathogens.
Q. I have heard that the Covid-19 virus is smaller than 0.3 microns so how does wearing a Cradle mask protect me?
It is correct that the Covid-19 virus is slightly smaller than the 0.3 micron in the filtering layers that are in all the Cradle masks. There are three key reasons how the Cradle twin layer filtration system catches the Covid virus and other viruses and bacteria which may be present in the air you breathe:
1. Almost 100% of the viruses will be attached to larger particles - such as water droplets or protein molecules which are invariably larger than 0.3 microns - so are trapped together with the host carrier in the filter. The pathogens of the virus simply don't travel unattached.
2. Particles less than about 1 micron in size never travel in a straight line. Their motion is random and this phenomenon is known as the 'Brownian Study'. These very small particles are continually bumping in to surrounding small particles creating a random zig zag travel pattern. This motion within the filter system improves the entrapment process.
3. The 0.3 micron filtering twin layer filters comprise a very fine fibrous film which effectively catches and contains the virus pathogens within the fine filter fibres.
Q. Where do your masks come from?
Our masks are produced solely for Cradle in China by a small number of specialist mask manufacturers who have been white list approved by the Chinese government's new strict regulations that now only approve and list manufacturing companies with the correct EU approvals and who have met full ISO 9001 quality status. The factories that Cradle use are regularly checked and monitored by our full time Chinese inspector who has worked with our founder for over 15 years. In addition every shipment is checked at final inspection and prior to shipment by our inspector.
Q. Does buying from Cradle take away supplies from the NHS and frontline workers?
No. Our supply line is not one that is used by the NHS or the medical community. Our masks are commissioned by us for public use and do not detract from any other manufacturers or suppliers.
Q. What is your delivery time?
Our masks are put in first class post if you order before 3pm on a weekday.
Signed for next day delivery is an option at the payment point on the website.
Q. Who are Cradle?
The team behind the Cradle masks is expert in fabric technology and manufacturing and reinvests profits in to R&D to improve products and performance.
The company continually monitors the market to ensure it offers the best value, comfort, performance and practicality.
Cradle aims to simplify the market by assembling a selection of the best quality, high-performance anti-viral face masks at a range of price points, relative to their performance and protection levels.
See more here.
CARE and WEARING
Q. Are Cradle masks resusable?
KN95 Respirator mask:
Can be used for 8 hours for a single continuous use. However, for intermittent use it can be worn for up to about 16 hours in total, providing each use is for no longer than 2 hours, the mask does not become excessively damp and it is dried completely between each usage.
The mask must always be checked between each usage to ensure it is intact, undamaged and can be securely held in place, and that the over-nose contouring strip can maintain a good seal over the nose bridge and fully around the perimeter of the mask.
FFP2 Clinical mask and FFP2 Protective mask:
These masks are single-use and can be used for 8 hours continuous use.
Q. How should I store my KN95 mask in between uses?
Your mask must have completely dried from the previous use. We recommend hanging it in a dry, well ventilated area or on a radiator in winter/cold weather. Then put it in to a clean resealable plastic bag when dry for storage in between uses.
Q. Can I wash my KN95 mask?
No. Our masks must not be washed or cleaned with liquid or spray antiseptic cleaners.
Q. How do I put on/take off the KN95?
For maximum protection it is very important to wear and remove your Cradle KN95 mask correctly.
Wash your hands in hot water and soap or hand sanitiser before removing the mask from its packaging. Hold the mask to your face, and move it to a comfortable position that seals and holds your jawbone. Then adjust the contouring strip to fit snugly over the bridge of your nose. Finally, ensure the elastic loops are securely and comfortably secured around your ears.
To remove, always stand at least two metres away from others, and always remove by the straps. Store the mask in a small self-sealing plastic bag for re-use. Then wash your hands again or clean with hand sanitiser.
Q. Can I share my KN95 mask with my family members?
No, don’t share your mask with anyone.
GENERAL MASK USE
Q. I don’t want to wear a mask, they make me feel like I can’t breathe, and I feel self-conscious.
We understand that no one wants to be wearing a mask. But doing so is the most effective way to slow the transmission of the disease, so getting us back to normal as quickly as we can. The 3D design of the KN95 forms a space in front of the mouth, which eliminates that claustrophobic feeling of not being able to breathe. In the same way, the extendable design of the Protective and Clinical masks does not fit tight over the nose and mouth and allows you to breathe quite freely. All masks have a super fine mesh textile which also helps with ease of breathing.
We know that wearing a face mask feels alien to most people in the UK - but this is no time to worry about looking a bit silly. If you want to get out of the house and start reliving your life then you need to be wearing a face mask.
Q. Wearing a mask irritates my skin, what should I do?
Our masks are hypo-allergenic and all material used is antimicrobial treated. However, the build up of heat and moisture when wearing a mask can cause the skin pores to open up and allow any moisturiser or make up to penetrate the skin’s layers, which is what causes an allergic reaction. When wearing masks we advise everyone to wear hypo-allergenic, natural, unperfumed creams, moisturisers and makeup to avoid a reaction.
Q. I have a breathing condition. Should I be wearing a mask?
Unfortunately those with lung conditions probably need the mask more than the average person, but we understand it can feel challenging to breathe in one. The government has advised that people with respiratory conditions don’t need to wear face coverings. However, the type of mask you wear can make a big difference. A tight, non-breathable mask on your face can make anyone have trouble breathing, but Cradle masks have a super fine mesh textile which allows you to breathe easily. The best of our range for those with breathing difficulties is the KN95 Respirator mask with its 3D design which allows a sense of freedom and space within the mask and the easiest breathing experience.
The Cradle KN95 mask has one of the most efficient twin layer filtering systems available that will almost totally remove pollen, fine dust, bacteria and viral pathogens that will actually be causing the breathing and respiratory problems in the first place.
Q: I wear glasses, will these masks make them steam up?
No. All Cradle masks are equipped with a malleable over-the-nose strip that prevents glasses from misting up.
THE ROLE OF MASKS
Q. How do masks protect from COVID-19 transmission?
Wearing a protective face mask reduces the spread of the Covid-19 virus in two ways:
- It protects you from breathing in any virus-laden respiratory droplets.
- It protects the people around you by cutting your air-borne emissions. This is the key “barrier method” for stopping the spread of Covid-19, which is often transmitted by infected people who have no symptoms.
So wearing masks while we’re out in public, even if we feel perfectly well, is not only protecting you, the wearer, but is also the key to slowing the spread and getting out of lockdown. Research is showing that this Coronavirus is most infectious just before or at the time symptoms first appear, which is often in such a mild form that people are not aware they are even ill - in fact, in systematic tests, about half the total number of those who test positive for Covid-19 are asymptomatic. Evidence suggests that around 40% of cases of transmission come from people without symptoms. The virus is spread not only through coughs and sneezes, but also through normal speech and breathing, all of which can be blocked with a mask.
We should all be wearing masks whenever we are out among other people, whether we feel ill or not.
Q. Do you have evidence of the effectiveness of mask wearing?
Very little empirical evidence exists, for the reason that it would be unethical to conduct a randomised trial, which would mean deliberately exposing people with and without masks to the Covid-19 virus, and then seeing what happens. What we do know is that ‘natural’ trials show that wearing masks significantly impacts on the transmission of the virus. In Asian countries such as South Korea and Hong Kong, where masks are commonly worn, infection rates have remained low. To date, Hong Kong, where 98% of its residents wear masks, has recorded only four Covid-19 related deaths in a densely packed population of 7.4 million. The German city of Jena introduced mandatory mask-wearing on 31 March and subsequently saw no new infections, while the cities around it continued to see rising numbers. See details here.
Q. Does wearing a mask lead to people becoming lazy about other precautionary measures, such as social distancing and washing hands?
This is a concern that was likely behind the government’s reticence to recommend face masks early on in the pandemic. Interestingly, this was also a common response when seatbelts were made law - opponents feared they would encourage reckless driving through a false sense of security. Cradle believes mask wearing is part of our armour against the disease and encourages all mask wearers to maintain the two metre social distancing rule wherever possible and to continue to wash their hands according to guidelines.
Q. Are you profiteering from a miserable situation?
Cradle is driven to reduce the transmission of the Covid-19 virus. Our CEO has built a career in fabric technology in China and through his connections and knowledge is in the privileged position of being able to make a difference. We pay ourselves a salary and re-invest much of our profit back in to R&D to improve product performance.
Q. I hear that discarded PPE is rapidly contributing to ocean pollution. Do your masks contain plastic?
There is no plastic in our masks. The only parts that are not fully biodegradable are the malleable nose bars. We encourage all our customers to dispose of their masks responsibly by cutting out the nose strips for recycling.
Q. The government has told us that homemade or fabric masks are enough. Why would we buy from Cradle?
It is likely that the government is advising cloth masks to avoid creating a shortage of clinical masks at the frontline. However, clinical masks like ours offer significantly more protection that homemade versions. Their layered filtering system is far more effective. They are fully tested to ensure that are hypoallergenic and antimicrobial and will trap at least 94% of particles down to 0.3 microns. They are also more comfortable, lightweight and allow the flow of air. We do not think that cloth masks are fit for purpose as they don't protect the wearer, and would encourage the government to amend regulations. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended that everyone over 60 wears a medical or surgical style mask such as ours.