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Should I Use A Disposable Or Reusable Mask?

Making a decision about the type of mask to use for your employees is an important one; being sure it offers the right protection for your needs, in a financially sustainable way, is of great benefit.

Here we give an insight into some of the realities of costs of disposable vs. reusable.

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Should I use a disposable or reusable mask?

Being able to calculate the real cost of masks to your business, in a way that allows comparisons to be made, is an important first step. We suggest it is done so you get a ‘per person per year’ (per year) figure.

For a daily disposable mask (i.e. FFP3 NR) we can do this by multiplying the price of 1 mask by how many working days there are in a year (usually around 230).

This will result in an annual cost between £158 and a whopping £1097 per person depending upon the type of mask used:

A disposable Warrior MMR3V FFP3 NR mask

3M 4255 A2P3 R D is used for 28 days then disposed of and replaced and costs £158 per year

Warrior MMR3V FFP3 NR is a daily disposable mask and costs £270 per year

Moldex 3205 FFP3 NR D is a daily disposable mask and costs a whopping £1097 per year

As we can see from the wide range of figures produced here, calculating the true cost to your business of the mask really important!

People are often surprised to learn that opting for a fully reusable masks often results in the lowest annual mask cost for a user. In addition to this, a reusable mask can have different filters attached to them to cover a range of needs.

Reusable masks do require a documented monthly maintenance check with records kept for a minimum of 5-years.

In order to calculate the annual cost for a reusable, we have taken the price of the mask itself and added on to that sufficient replacement filters to get through a 12-month period. The reality is, once past the first year, the costs come down further!

Sundstrom SR 100 with a fresh P3R filter every 3-months and a daily pre-filter change costs £150 per year

3M 7500 series with a fresh 3M 6035 P3R filter every month costs £150 per year

A reusable Sundstrom SR 100 mask
A reusable 3M 7502 mask

We hope this representation gives a broader understanding into the costs providing masks is likely to have on your business.

What if my employees lose their masks?

Of course, it is inevitable that we’ll occasionally have to replace a lost item, masks are no different in this respect. As a guide, we’ll compare somebody using a good, inexpensive, daily disposable paper mask with a reusable mask.

We know from earlier the Warrior MMR3V FFP3 NR will cost us £270 per year. As a guide the forgetful employee, provided with a Sundstrom SR 100, could feasibly lose 4 of them in a 12-month period and cost us no more money than the person using the Warrior!

Again, the reality is often surprising when we look at the numbers methodically.

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