Answer:

Just as face masks are now commonly worn in public to protect from exposure to the virus known as SARS-CoV-2 (which causes COVID-19), face shields (clear plastic shields that cover the face) are starting to be worn outside of medical settings, and for good reason. At a distance of just 18 inches from a coughing individual, face shields (worn without a mask) have been shown to reduce immediate viral exposure by 96%, according to a study using influenza virus. However, the same study showed that face shields were much less effective in reducing the inhalation of smaller aerosols that can remain suspended in the air longer than larger droplets. During the 1 to 30 minutes after a cough, during which the aerosol had dispersed throughout the room and larger particles had settled, the face shield reduced aerosol inhalation by only 23% (Lindsley, J Occup Environ Hyg 2014). Keep in mind, however, that face shields should always be worn in addition to a mask, not as a replacement for a mask.

Face shields also provide some protection for the eyes. A review of studies of coronavirus transmission found that the use of eye protection (face shields, visors or goggles) found that the use of eye protection was associated with 78% less infection than with no eye protection, with the researchers noting that "Eye protection is typically underconsidered and can be effective in community settings." (Chu, Lancet 2020).

In fact, even eyeglasses may provide some benefit: A study of COVID-19 patients in a hospital in China found that only 16 of 276 patients (or 5.8%) wore glasses (i.e., at least 8 hours per day for near-sightedness) compared to an estimated 31.5% of the general population, suggesting that wearers of eyeglasses may be less susceptible to COVID-19. The eyes are considered an important channel for SARS-CoV-2 to enter the body (Zeng, JAMA Opthal 2020). Keep in mind, however, eyeglasses are not as protective as safety glasses that have side panels to prevent lateral exposure, and, according to the CDC, even greater eye protection is provided by indirectly-vented, anti-fog goggles fit snugly "particularly from the corners of the eye across the brow," as this prevents entry from all sides and angles. Goggles that can fit prescription eyeglasses within them are available. Of course, goggles will not provide protection to other areas of the face as a face shield will. As noted in an article from Hackensack Meridian Health, "If you're in an area where you come into contact with a large number of people like a restaurant or grocery store, work indoors for long periods of time or have to work closely with others — wearing some form of goggles or face shield will likely provide greater protection from COVID-19."

As discussed in an article in JAMA (Perencevich, et al, April 29, 2020), the Infectious Disease Society of America has included societal use of face shields as well as face masks in its recommendations as restrictions are eased on extreme social distancing. Face shields address two key means of preventing coronavirus transmission: They provide a barrier to respiratory droplets (which, according to the CDC, can occur when a person coughs, sneezes, or talks) and help wearers avoid touching their face. In addition, they cover the eyes as well as the mouth and nose, and can be easily cleaned (with just soap and water or household disinfectants) for reuse.

Worn without a mask, face shields can also expose others to the aerosols released after coughing or sneezing. As shown in this video demonstration by researchers at Florida Atlantic University, aerosols from coughing can disperse from the gaps around the edges and bottom of face shields, potentially putting the people around you at risk. The researchers showed that, when wearing a face shield without a mask, larger droplets tend to quickly fall to the ground, but smaller, aerosol-sized droplets but stay suspended beneath the bottom opening of the shield and then rise — dispersing to the front and the sides of the mask by a distance of at least 3 feet (Verma, Phys Fluids 2020).

When to Use a Face Shield

Note that face shields are only necessary when in close proximity to an infectious person. As determined in a study using influenza virus (noted above), at six feet away they reduced inhaled virus by 92%, which was no better than with distancing alone – demonstrating the importance of social distancing.

As noted by the CDC, "some people may choose to use a face shield when sustained close contact with other people is expected."

Wearing a face shield on an airplane, in addition to a mask but not instead of one, may provide additional protection as you may be in close proximity to others who are infectious. We are aware of only one airline, Qatar Airlines, that requires passengers to wear both a face mask and face shield, and even provides face shields for all passengers. American Airlines, Jet Blue, United Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic require face masks or face coverings but do not mention face shields as a requirement, nor do they indicate that you cannot wear one. Delta Airlines states on its website that "Plastic face shields may be used in addition to a mask but are not approved mask replacements."

What to Look for in a Face Shield

For optimal protection, a face shield should extend below the chin, reach to the ears, and have no exposed gap between the forehead and the shield (a gap typically filled by a foam cushion). Several brands of face shields are sold online and most are relatively inexpensive – costing roughly $3 to $7 per unit when two or more are ordered.

How to Make a Face Shield

If you would like to try making a face shield at home, a video tutorial using easily accessed materials has been published on YouTube by MINT Nursing, a channel for medical workers. This do-it-yourself shield extends below the chin and to the ears, and uses a foam cushion to prevent a gap between the forehead and shield.

Face Shield Product Reviews:

ConsumerLab ordered face shields from four different companies, three of which were sold on Amazon and one was sold directly from the supplier in the U.S. Sign in for our ratings and reviews of face shields from Homasen, Hrgccase, Ringkle, and SafeProtec, and our opinion on one from Zverse.

If you already use a face shield, feel free to share you experience, mentioning the brand you use, in the Comments section further below.

Join today to unlock all member benefits including full access to all CL Answers and over 1,300 reviews.

Join Now

Join now at www.consumerlab.com/join/

39 Comments

Join the conversation

ConsumerLab.com
September 21, 2020

We have added information above about what to look for in a pair of goggles, although we have not tested and reviewed goggles at this point.

ConsumerLab.com
September 18, 2020

Although there is likely some incremental benefit of having a face shield extend all the way to the ears rather than to within about an inch ears, we do not know how much of a difference that makes. The guidelines we published are based on the cited article in JAMA.

michael20931
September 14, 2020

Your criteria for an adequate shield includes reaching around to the ears. I am an average size male at 6 feet and 160 pounds. The Safeprotec shield I purchased is 1.3 inches short of my ears on both sides. Since the shield is 12 3/8 inches wide, it would take a 15 inch shield to reach my ears. None of the shields you evaluated are near that width. I contacted the manufacturer and they stated that they make the shield to hospital specifications and sell to a number of hospitals. There must be many men health care workers using these masks. How important is it for the mask to reach the ears?

ConsumerLab.com
September 18, 2020

Although there is likely some incremental benefit of having a face shield extend all the way to the ears rather than to within about an inch ears, we do not know how much of a difference that makes. The guidelines we published are based on the cited article in JAMA.

michael20875
September 6, 2020

I thought I should add the dimensions of my safeprotec shield to my first post so you can compare to your tested model. The shield measures 9 inches vertically (top to bottom) and 12 3/8 inches horizontally (side to side)..

john20787
August 23, 2020

how about safety glasses, as available at home repair stores, to protect against covid19?

Carole20604
August 16, 2020

Just for clarification - face shields are NOT RECOMMENDED to be used by themselves, ONLY with a face mask? Thank you for clearing this point up!

ConsumerLab.com
August 17, 2020

Yes, as noted in the answer above, face shields should be worn with a mask.

Dean20586
August 16, 2020

I purchased an Oakridge Face Shield on Amazon and have been much happier with it then the first one I got because the plastic is better quality with less visual distortion. It has an adjustable head band rather than having elastic pressure on your head when wearing it for a long time. It stays in place. The elastic ones seem to slip around. It does not have a gap on the top and is solid plastic with just a thin cushion strip so it can be more easily disinfected compared to foam. Made in the United States.

Elliot20562
August 12, 2020

Face shields seem to be quite invasive for every day use. Can you please address the use of eye glasses while in public. Perhaps that will reduce the incidence of droplets from getting into the eyes to enough of a degree.

ConsumerLab.com
August 17, 2020

We have not found any research regarding the level of protection against the coronavirus from eye glasses. It would seem that they offer protection against a "direct hit" from a droplet from another person, but because of the open space above, around the sides, and below normal glasses, they would not provide the level of protection of a proper face shield or goggles.

Kathleen20511
August 5, 2020

I bought face shields from Xtreme Defense for me and my family that are made in the USA (both manufacture and assembly.) The company is in NC. They cost about $10 each plus shipping, though shipping is free for greater quantities. I was pleased with the quality, they arrived within a few days, they are comfortable, do not interfere with our glasses, and do not fog up. We volunteer with the elderly and they can hear us so much better when they can see our mouths when speaking.

Wendy L 20540
August 9, 2020

With the elderly you should wear both mask & shield when possible

Barbara20399
July 15, 2020

Would wearing a face shield and a mask be a good idea while in an airplane? Is it allowed on planes? I am scheduled to fly in September and want to be extra safe.

ConsumerLab.com
July 17, 2020

We've added information about the use of face shields when flying to our answer above.

Dixie20379
July 13, 2020

I purchased from https://mifaceshields.com/
These do have the gap, But I had questions about getting foam strips clean between uses, the frame on these is plastic. I wonder if the gap could be covered with a hanky or small bandana.
These are adjustable and comfortable, and seem fairly sturdy. About $10 each.

ConsumerLab.com
July 14, 2020

It is probably fine to fill in any gap at the top of the face shield with a bandana.

Sheryl20371
July 12, 2020

I believe people should only wear face shields in addition to a face mask, not instead of a face mask. At the food co-op where I shop, one of the cashiers wears a face shield and no mask. From my perspective, the allows droplets to be directed downward from her nose and mouth, onto the food she is scanning and placing on the conveyor belt.

Anna20278
July 1, 2020

I bought this thinking I could wear it on a visor in the summer in socially distanced community settings. I couldn’t, and I didn’t have a classic baseball cap, so I couldn’t position it correctly. The brim needs to be the right size and thickness and bent to conform to the curve on the shield. It also seemed like it would be hot/lacking in airflow. And it is, of course, too short.

While it was a fail for me, it has gotten uniformly positive reviews and might be a good solution for someone who needs to work in hot conditions where wearing a mask all day is difficult, etc. interestingly, the brim makes it a closed top shield. It is a hard plastic, which I prefer. There is also a child’s version.
Etsy: American PPE

Dean20635
August 18, 2020

As noted above, you still need to wear a mask while wearing a face shield. So it wouldn't really resolve the issue of being hot.

Anna20104
June 3, 2020

Pt 2
My second shield came from a vendor on ETSY, 180 Shield in Colorado - It has an open top, flips up and is longer and wider. I wear it mostly outdoors, in low risk situations, sometimes with a mask if it is crowded, sometimes not, It is very comfortable and durable. You look relatively normal, $39 with shipping. https://180shield.com/

I bought a couple of cheap... contraptions... on Amazon - one a cap with soft plastic shield, one a soft plastic curtain that is to be popped over a brimmed hat. I bought the cap, $8, for a friend whose job involves limited customer contact, to wear in addition to her mask. I suggested it to friends who go for fast walks and have problems breathing in masks. Otherwise, the cap is OK to wear to the laundry room or to get the mail. I added a couple of pairs of small magnets to weight the plastic. The other thing, 5 for $18, i gave to my postman, and to a friend who does fast walks. I don't think much of it.

I then ordered the SafeProtec, to wear on the subway or bus in hot weather. I am not impressed. I find the soft flexible hold folds and isn't as clear as the hard shields, even with the coating removed. I am looking at another option on Etsy.

I recommend ETSY as a MUCH better source than Amazon. Many ETSY vendors stay up to date with the latest studies and make higher quality products. You can ask questions and have reasonable shipping times if you filter on American vendors. I also find things to be much higher quality than most of what Amazon sells.

Anna20276
July 1, 2020

Now that things are reopening, I find that having a hinged shield lets me sip a cold drink through a straw with the shield mostly in place and eat pizza or hamburgers, with it open a bit more. So it gives me some protection while dining with others. Again, it isn’t perfect, but it is the best compromise I can find and, I think, offsets the shortcomings of an open top when use appropriately in a community setting.

Kathryn F.20433
July 22, 2020

Well Etsy, charged my credit card for a mask order and 8 weeks went by with no mask after being charged.....had to demand a refund....in my opinion Etsy shouldn't be charging you until the item ships....I won't be ordering any PPE from Etsy in the future!

Anna20103
June 3, 2020

I started wearing a shield In community settings in late March, before the current crop was available. My goal then was to prevent infection through my eyes. I have immersed myself in the shield and mask literature since then. Here are my thoughts.
- you can touch your face easily with any of these shields.
- the notion of risk assessment and management needs to be added to discussions of PPE for non-healthcare workers. What I wear for a walk on an empty street is very different than what I need for a ride on a crowded subway or bus,
- In addition to risk, wearability needs to be considered. When it is 95 degrees with crushing humidity it isn't possible to wear perfect PPE, unless you have to.

As a result, I am recommending to friends variable layers of protection which range from shields alone all the way up to goggles with P100 respirators (for flights and, yes, even the subway for high risk people). We need to find optimal solutions that we can live with, not ideal ones we can't. So a shield with, gasp, a linen face mask, with an effective filter in the filter pocket might be the best you can manage on a summer street. A linen mask provides little protection but would keep you from touching your nose and mouth under a shield in low risk situations.

My initial shield is a SAS safety shield, either the 5140 or 5142. It is heavier than current shields but comfortable to wear. A friend with a small head said she couldn't get hers to fit properly, despite two adjustable straps, one across the top. It has a closed top but isn't as long as shields made for healthcare settings. I have bought them for a few friends. If you don't mind looking like a Lego head, I recommend it. It is very durable. The clear part is replaceable. About $16, plus shipping.
https://sassafety.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/SAS_Face_Shields.pdf

See pt.2

ConsumerLab.com
June 3, 2020

Thank you for sharing your extensive experience, Anna. One small point regarding P100 respirators: Be aware that some have exhalation vents or valves that allow your breath out, unfiltered. While that can keep heat down in mask (and, perhaps, CO2 build up), it won't protect others around you and may not qualify as a "mask" in places where a mask is required.

Anna20146
June 9, 2020

Thanks! I can tape over such vents.
The sad reality is that masks with vents are worn by a significant number of people with no awareness of the issues with them - and there has been very little consciousness raising about that. As we know, airlines could care less whether anyone wears anything, and the average store security guard is only looking for a mask.

Earl20039
May 26, 2020

Perhaps you could review this one:
https://project-manus.mit.edu/fs

ConsumerLab.com
May 27, 2020

It seems to meet all the safety criteria. Hard to say how comfortable it is or if there is a fogging issue -- other masks may be better on those fronts. It is only sold in bulk (125 pieces), not for individual purchase. However, it is a creative idea for those who want to make a shield at home from a single sheet of plastic. They provide all the instructions on the website.

Kar20029
May 25, 2020

KARC SAFETY FACE SHIELD
5 pack $7.89 Amazon
Ordered Apr 13, Arrived May 20, 2020
sold by Bajie8

The headband is adjustable in that it is elastic and can expand to fit many if not all head sizes. The foam along the top ensures that there is no gap between the front of the forehead and the shield. The foam does not, however, wrap across the entire width of the shield, so there is a small gap where the 7”-long foam ends. (Perhaps a tapering design would have been an improvement.)

The Karc Safety Face Shield almost reaches to the ears on a small adult head but does not cover the ears. Therefore, it could be rated as INADEQUATE for certain purposes. (The material is 12 1/2” wide. Keep in mind that the 1”wide x 7” long foam strip sets it off the face, which is a good thing.) The clear part of the shield below the foam strip is 7” long.

The shield has not been used in various climate conditions, so no comment can be made regarding fogging up.

Each shield has a plastic film that must be removed before using them. They arrived with dents and bends because the item was sent in an envelope, not a box. However, if high-definition visibility is not an issue, it is acceptable. Overall, due to the short length of the foam strip and the somewhat narrow width of the shield itself, I would NOT recommend it for optimal protection against COVID-19.

ConsumerLab.com
May 25, 2020

Thank you for sharing your very comprehensive review of the face shield you purchased, Karen!

Christopher20025
May 24, 2020

In searching for face shields, I came across McMaster-Carr, a company that specializes in industrial-quality equipment and supplies, including safety face shields. I've ordered two (for me and my wife) of a model that includes a chin guard. Compared with the shields offered on Amazon, these look far superior in quality. The model I ordered is also pricier than Amazon's (and can be reused and repurposed for, say, a home workshop), but McMaster-Carr also has less-expensive disposable shields. Just search for "safety face shield" on the website. Although not reviewed here, the company's face shields might be worth a look if you're uncertain about Amazon's. (I do not have any connection with McMaster-Carr other than as a customer who has placed one order based on viewing face shields on the company's website and comparing its products with those on Amazon.)

CHRISTOPHER20020
May 24, 2020

Why not any type of air-tight Goggles to protect the eyes? Swimming Goggles, Bike Riding Goggles, any type without vents (hopefully won't fog and have anti-fog coatings)....
Of course, before removing, I'd wash my face thoroughly....just in case. 100% protection of eye's.

Tod20434
July 22, 2020

agree.... seems like improved protection

G.20791
August 23, 2020

I would appreciate a ConsumerLab review of goggles suitable for protection against COVID-19.

ELONA J.20889
September 6, 2020

I too would find a goggles review here quite helpful in my thought process. I've been staying off public transportation, which is my main way to get around, and am considering goggles of some sort in addition to mask, as I need to mobilize but feel too vulnerable in my crowded urban transportation system of buses and subway.

ConsumerLab.com
September 21, 2020

We have added information above about what to look for in a pair of goggles, although we have not tested and reviewed goggles at this point.

Lisa20011
May 24, 2020

Great Info. I'm thinking of combining a face shield with a cloth mask if I ever have to get back on an airplane. I wear eyeglasses and have been able to curtail the fogging with a tissue and washing the glasses before I go outside. Not sure whether the shield will cause additional fogging.

Anna20098
June 3, 2020

Consider a P100 half face respirator and goggles for a flight - much more protection than a cloth mask. Or get a PK95 mask and wear it under a shield.

Loretta G 20008
May 24, 2020

I purchased the Safeprotec shields and received great customer assistance and prompt delivery within a few days. Love the shield - it is light and comfortable to wear and clear to see through.

Anna20099
June 3, 2020

I bought the same shield and dislike the fact that it is not a hard plastic. It never seems to lie flat.

William19996
May 21, 2020

Thank you for such great information on face shields. Your article had a link to a Journal of American Medical Association article on the benefits of face shields (JAMA). Regarding the virus’ smaller aerosol drops, the article’s author misinterpreted the study cited in your description (Lindsley, J Occup Environ Hyg 2014). The JAMA article stated, “Even after 30 minutes, the protective effect exceeded 80% and face shields blocked 68% of small particle aerosols,10 which are not thought to be a dominant mode of transmission of SARS-CoV-2.” Here is information from the study: Face shields “are less effective against smaller particles, which can remain airborne for extended periods and can easily flow around a face shield to be inhaled.” In the tests, face shields blocked 68% of smaller cough aerosols, but “in the period from 1 to 30 minutes after a cough, during which the aerosol had dispersed throughout the room and larger particles had settled, the face shield reduced aerosol inhalation by only 23%.”

ConsumerLab.com
May 22, 2020

Yes, the point is that face shields do a good job protecting against a "direct hit" from respiratory droplets,but are not very effective at protecting against aerosolized particles (i.e., very small particles that are airborne), which can easily get around the shield. Masks are more useful for aerosolized particles, which is why face shields are not intended to be used alone, but in combination with a mask or respirator.

Deborah19875
May 11, 2020

The face shield selected is too wide at the base and allows people to reach under it and scratch their noses-I have seen it happen too often. The FDA approved face shields snug the face and quickly change behavior which is the real benefit

renee 19854
May 10, 2020

Be careful ordering face shields from Amazon. I bought a package because they looked (and sounded) good but they aren't "clear" so I can't see through them very well, sigh. Hopefully, any reviews on these will say whether they are really clear and easy to see through. :)

ConsumerLab.com
May 11, 2020

Be aware that face shields made of hard but flexible plastic often come with a protective film that needs to be removed (similar to the protective films on new television or computer screens). It may be on one side or both. If not removed, the shield will appear cloudy. Unfortunately, some shields do not provide instructions about this.

Marianne19944
May 19, 2020

You have to remove the protective film.

Star19853
May 10, 2020

As of May 10, 2020, the Homasen - Safety Face Shield 2-pack is $17.99 at the Amazon link in the article, a 50% increase in price.

ConsumerLab.com
May 11, 2020

Thank you for noting this. We have added that information in our Review above.

Susan19838
May 10, 2020

I just received this one from Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B086DTVKVL/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

made by Plastifab Inc. AZ

I will give it poor rating because it's very thick plastic, not pliable, and hardly reaches past the chin, which is not adequate. There's not room to comfortably fit an N95 respirator mask underneath, the plastic fogs up and if you wear eyeglasses, those also fog up. Overall, a poor mask that should not be on sale to the public. This Plastifab company is honing in on the face shield market, aside from their general plastic fabrications, and their face shield is not up to speed.

Betty19832
May 10, 2020

I wonder if there is a way to add a soft cloth (chiffon?) drape to the bottom of the shield and around the back to decrease the particle issue. Would really like to see some labs experimenting with variations of the face shield as it makes so much more sense in so many ways. It would certainly be a better option for teachers and older students if they can make one that deals with the particle spread.

ConsumerLab.com
May 11, 2020

Keep in mind that the shields should be worn with a mask, which should help reduce exposure to airborne particles.

pj20009
May 24, 2020

A company in Juno Alaska makes a mask like this.
Rapid response PPE
For hearing impaired.

Fae19827
May 9, 2020

While I share the enthusiasm for face shields, the research linked above makes it clear that most of the protective effect is from the first burst and larger droplets of a cough or sneeze, and is inadequate for less local, small-droplet infectious air. "Face shields can substantially reduce the short-term exposure of health care workers to large infectious aerosol particles, but smaller particles can remain airborne longer and flow around the face shield more easily to be inhaled. Thus, face shields provide a useful adjunct to respiratory protection for workers caring for patients with respiratory infections. However, they cannot be used as a substitute for respiratory protection when it is needed."

ConsumerLab.com
May 9, 2020

Yes, as noted in our Answer above, face shields are intended to be used with respirators or masks, not alone.

Greg19826
May 8, 2020

I got a Face Shield the other day after waiting 6 weeks . It is labeled NB1282. When I have gone into grocery stores with Air Conditioning, the shield Fogs Up. The closer to the Dairy case or Frozen Foods, then it really Fogs Up. I wear it with a N95 mask. But, all in all, I like it.

Mary19808
May 6, 2020

I would like to see Consumer Labs' take on which masks are the best to purchase, also. Thanks for doing a roundup on face shields, also.

Ellen19797
May 4, 2020

I bought a face shield years ago from Harbor Freight for doing metalwork. It’s a bit larger and heavier than the current medical-type shields, but it does the job.

d19790
May 4, 2020

ordinary masks (as opposed to N95) don't protect an uninfected wearer from getting infected; they prevent an infected wearer from transmitting the virus to others through the air. There is no seal around flimsy ordinary masks, so air has an easy pathway to the nose/mouth around the edges of the masks. Since masks constrict breathing, the wearer has to inhale harder; the extra suction means that more air will be sucked in via the path of lower resistance --- around the edges, rather than through the "protective" barrier that the cloth supposedly provides. Since face shields don't constrict breathing, they don't cause the counterproductive effect of creating higher airflow around the barrier. In this aspect, shields offer better protection to the wearer.

Drucilla20308
July 5, 2020

You may need to update your research. There are currently studies demonstrating the relative effectiveness of cloth face masks, although arguably there is not consensus on fine aerosolized particles. ConsumerLab has cited to some of these studies in their articles. Check this recent one out from the journal Physics of Fluids:
https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/5.0016018

Dolores J19784
May 3, 2020

I want to say that joining Consumer Lab after hearing about it on People's Pharmacy, a few years ago, is one of the best things I've done. I always check here first before making purchases of things you cover. I am always recommending it to others. It is worth every penny of the subscription fee. I commend you for the service you provide, especially at a time like this.
Thank you.

ConsumerLab.com
May 4, 2020

Thank you for your kind words Dolores. We are glad to hear ConsumerLab.com has been helpful for you.

Bach19879
May 12, 2020

I heartily agree with this posting. Subscribing to Consumerlab has educated me to help my family make good decisions regarding their health.

Daisy 19967
May 20, 2020

I’d like to add my appreciation too. You’re a trusted resource in our family.

ConsumerLab.com
May 20, 2020

Thanks for letting us know!

Linda20016
May 24, 2020

Definitely agree w this. I'm retired and on very limited income but this is one thing i keep my subscription for. definitely worth it.

Charles20019
May 24, 2020

I too want to add my thanks. I rarely subscribe to websites but this one is a trusted resource and unfailingly objective and meticulous. Thank you.

ConsumerLab.com
May 26, 2020

Thank you for your kind words!

Kathleen20085
May 31, 2020

I agree. I love the information about supplements and medical equipment that I read about on Consumer Lab that helps me make informed decisions about my health. A really good investment!

ConsumerLab.com
June 3, 2020

Thank you. We are glad you are finding it helpful.

Carol19782
May 3, 2020

After speaking with management at a big box store (Lowes), I have just learned that face shields are permitted IN LIEU OF traditional face masks in the state of Maryland, one of the few (9 or so) states where face coverings are mandated inside retail establishments. This is important in particular for people who are claustrophobic.

ConsumerLab.com
May 3, 2020

Yes. Thanks for pointing that out. In Maryland, one must have a face covering, which means that your nose and mouth must be covered, so a face shield is acceptable.

Howard19781
May 3, 2020

Bought one with attached baseball-style cap from LightInTheBox. A good idea. Only thing is it fogs up with breath moisture pretty easily.

Margaret19778
May 3, 2020

I use a SafeProtec polyurethane faceshield (www.safeprotec.com). It is super comfortable and only weighs 1.5 oz. Also it has a "self-healing" surface, so scratches disappear when the mask is rinsed with hot tap water. I can wear this all day and forget that I have it on. It has Velcro closures on the back to adjust the size and get a perfect fit.

Anna19777
May 3, 2020

The SAS shield is model 5145

Anna19776
May 3, 2020

An issue you did not discuss with face shields is that they prevent infection through the eyes, which masks do not. And, while social distancing is desirable, it is difficult to maintain outdoors in crowded cities - subways, anyone - and city parks - and a significant percentage of the population doesn’t even try. How do you spell "jogger"?

I am a fit, active 71 year old with high blood pressure and have been wearing an SAS Safety Corp Deluxe Face Shield face shield $15, since mid March. It is made for woodworkers, etc. I have a large head and was able to adjust it easily to fit. It is comfortable to wear and makes me feel very safe. Several of my extremely anxious friends have ordered them.

I have been experimenting with other shields, to advise friends who are reluctant to wear one or who are having problems with masks. The endlessly inventive Chinese are producing cotton caps with soft plastic face shields that snap on to the sides, $8 on Amazon and Etsy. The caps are adjustable, mild heat straightens out the plastic. While they don’t cover as well, they are perfect for, e.g., people out for a brisk walk in a city park. I added two small magnets to the bottom of mine, to weight the plastic down. It might be a more comfortable option for warm weather. I gave one to a cap-wearing friend who works in a pharmacy and who probably wouldn’t wear a big shield.

I just ordered some 5 for $18 replacement soft plastic face shields from Amazon, designed to fit over a hat, with probably the same coverage as the one in the cap. Thinking of NYC’s hot and humid summers, I am hoping that I can wear it over a visor with an open top when I don’t need full protection, e.g, just going for a walk. I would also give one to my postman. It, too, would probably benefit from magnets. I won’t get it until mid-June.

I hope this helps.

Marion19791
May 4, 2020

How do you attach a replacement shield to a hat?

ConsumerLab.com
June 3, 2020

We've added information about eye protection in the answer above.

Marion20180
June 14, 2020

6.14

Anne
Can you give us the model number or stylee number for the masks that you bought?
Sometimes it is hard to get info on Amazon.

Thank you,
Mara
NYC

Betty19775
May 3, 2020

As far as face shields go, my nephew is a mechanical engineer and he made a very high quality, easily constructed face shield to be used at the rural hospital his father is the Materials Manager for. The total cost was under $2. The nurses report that it is equal to any they had before the virus. Of course it hasn't been tested systematically and I am not promoting him per se, just saying that there are easy options out there if face shields become the next item we are all trying to get our hands on. He put the design and instructions on youtube for anyone to use in the hopes it will help others but I know you don't want links in these comments.

Personally I think face shields are a much better option than masks. First of all, I constantly see people fussing with their masks, pulling them up and down over their noses which just smears any virus all over their noses and faces. Also, they are breathable, you can see a person's face and mouth when they talk. Constructing hats with shielding attached would be simple for younger kids to wear. I'm all in on face shields!

Marion19792
May 4, 2020

What material. Is used for the high quality face shield?

ConsumerLab.com
May 4, 2020

There is no specific requirement but these tend to be made from materials such as PET (polyethylene terephthalate), PETG (polyethylene terephthalate glycol), polycarbonate, or acetate plastic.

nancy19845
May 10, 2020

As far as disinfecting a face mask N95 (respirator) and plain N95 to clean it, I washed the two in the washer in a small lingerie bag. I added soap and a few drops of Pine Sol (disinfectant)
and then I air dried them. They came out great. Do they lose any chemicals in the mask by washing them? I will only do this once for each mask.
I don't know if the mask material has any disinfectant chemical properties. I have several masks from years ago so I wanted to do a test.

Thank you.

Nancy

ConsumerLab.com
May 11, 2020

This is not recommended, as it may remove the electrostatic charge on N-95 respirators that aid in filtration. For more about this, see our answer about disinfection here: https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/heat-to-kill-coronavirus/heat-coronavirus/

MARY19942
May 18, 2020

I, too, made my own face shield using a baseball cap and a clear shower curtain from the dollar store. I cut the shower curtain and glued it to the outer edge of the cap visor with a hot glue gun. The plastic encircles about 3/4 of the diameter around the hat (so it covers my ears) and hangs down to just above my belly button. I also added some fun ribbon trim over the glue seam on top and pom-pom fringe on the bottom. Now all my friends want one!

Leanna19947
May 20, 2020

Nancy, do not rely on the masks you washed for protection. They may look the same but the function is not the same.

Anne20021
May 24, 2020

Cooking one's mask:

As per Consumer Lab's video on sterilizing N95 face masks in the oven on a tray with another tray of water below to keep the elastic from drying out ............ well, it worked great and my Halyard mask was not damaged in the process. It even got rid of that "inside the mask smell" we all seem to experience with overuse. (P.S. - Having a drippy nose from occasional allergies and wearing the mask is an insufferable experience, but I do it anyway.)

Thank you Consumer Lab for presenting this method of sanitation!

ConsumerLab.com
May 26, 2020

Thank you for sharing this. We're glad it was helpful!

Drucilla20309
July 5, 2020

The problem that I see with face shields is that while they may do a fair job of protecting your from the virus, it seems they would do little to protect those around you, as your exhalations will exit from around the shield, except for at the top if you have the top of snugged against your forehead. In addition to protecting ourselves, we should all want to protect those around us - thus using a mask with the shield, although somewhat uncomfortable, is the better choice.

Join today to unlock all member benefits including full access to CL Answers

Join Now

Join now at www.consumerlab.com/join/