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The Valencian Government has decreed that face masks must be worn at all times by everyone over the age of 6 in public areas, both open and closed, irrespective of social distancing and also recommends that they should be worn in private gatherings if the attendees don't live together. The efficiency of these face masks are improved by the correct use combined with the wearer observing the correct hygiene protocols such as proper hand hygiene, a basic measure in the fight against the COVID-19 virus.

There are many types of masks available but the regional health authority has declared that simple hygienic or surgical masks should be worn, many of which can be purchased at supermarkets across the town. The Organización de Consumidores y Usuarios (OCU) has done the legwork to analyse their efficiency and rank the different products as a guide. The top 11 are ranked below.

1] MERCADONA: Deliplus non-reusable hygienic masks
The OCU study has declared that the Deliplus non-reusable hygienic masks (UNE 0064 standard) sold in Mercadona represent the best value-for-money, awarded 87 points in the overall analysis with a 99% rating for filtration efficiency and a high rating for breathability. The recommended price for a pack of 10 is 6 euros which, together with their superior quality, make them what the OCU has called "a premier purchase".

2] DÍA: Mask4U three-layer medical masks
Also considered a "premier purchase", the Mask4U medical masks (EN 14683 standard) awarded 85 points in the analysis and standing out for the quality of the labelling and instructions of use along with a 98% rating for filtration efficiency and a high rating for breathability. It also has a recommended price of 6 euros for a pack of ten.

3] LIDL: Jiangsu Excellence Type II Disposable Surgical Mask
The mask from Lidl, certified to EN 14683 standard, scored just one point less than the medical mask from Lidl and has been ranked third in terms of quality. Its labelling and instructions of use received maximum score 100% which the filtration efficiency rating was 99%. However it scored lower in visual inspection and adjustment, just 70%. The recommended price for a pack of 10 is 5,99 euros.

4] EROSKI: Teachealth Disposable Mask
Ranked fourth is the three-layer disposable masks, scoring 82% and considered to be of "very good quality", standing out for the filtration efficiency (92%). The recommended price is 29,90 euros for a pack of 50 which represents a unit price of 0,60 euros.

5=] ALCAMPO: Inca Market Disposable Hygienic Masks / ALDI: Jocca Pharma Disposable Surgical Masks
Tied for fifth place in the OCU ranking are the masks from Alcampo and Aldi, both awarded 81% for being " very good quality" masks. The Inca Market masks sell at a recommended price of 2,95 euros for a pack of five, whilst the a pack of 10 Jocca Pharma masks in Aldi are available for 5,99 euros.

7] EL CORTE INGLÉS: Suzhou Xiang Li Masks
The OCU rated the masks sold in El Corte Inglés as "good quality" with an overall score of 72%. Its best quality was breathability with 82% followed but filtration efficiency of 82%. A pack of 50 has a recommended sale price of 39,95 euros, a unit price of 0,80 euros.

8] CARREFOUR: Hebei Shi'An KI 8501-2 Hygienic Face Masks
The masks were scored at 71% with their best aspect being filtration efficiency (80%). Sold in packs of 25, the recommended sale price is 14,90 euros, a unit price of 0,60 euros.

9] CONSUM: Belpa Multi-Layer Reusable Hygienic Masks
These masks, certified to UNE 0065 standard, are considered "good quality" by the OCU and made as a "premier purchase" despite scoring just 65%. Its filtration efficiency is good, rated at 85% and it offers good breathability with a decent value-for-money ranking The recommended sale price is 9,95 euros for a pack of 10.

10] LIDL: Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada Reusable Mask
The OCU ranks these masks as "medium quality" with an overall rating of 61%. The recommended price is 3,99 euros for a pack of two masks.

11] CARREFOUR: Lyocell-Textil Santaneria Reusable Hygienic Masks
Considered to be "medium quality" by the OCU, they received an overall rating of 54% with their best quality being their strong harness. The recommended price for a pack of two is 7 euros.

Source: OCU
Date: Sunday 19th July 2020





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