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In this article we’ll discuss Vogmask face masks and their appearance, construction, and performance over a period of time. I’ll share my Vogmask review for allergies and pollution in an effort to help other people who many have the same questions I had.
If you’re contemplating a Vogmask purchase, this review should provide unbiased information to make your decision easier.
I’ve used many different types of face masks so I’m excited to share about Vogmask. I’ve followed the company for a while and appreciate the commitment to creating something that performs, but just as important, their masks look great. Let’s get started.
Why I’m Wearing Allergy Masks (And Masks I’ve Used)
For the past several years my sensitivity to pollutions and allergens has increased. I’ve taken antihistamines, visited allergists to be allergy tested, changed my exercise routine, and worn allergy masks.
I was unaware of my allergies for a long time. I had the symptoms of allergy but it didn’t affect my life as much as it does today. I was an athlete and I was active.
After being tested for allergies I understood that I was allergic to substances indoors and outdoors. This meant dust mites, pollen, pets, mold, and yeasts (I still don’t understand the yeast allergy).
I also learned that pollution, though not an allergy per se, was a major irritant for my allergy symptoms. The World Health Organization recently labeled pollution as a carcinogen and I support their claims. I can feel how pollution affects my lungs when I’m in a high pollution area.
Rather quickly I began to examine my activities and the air where I lived. I downloaded an air quality map that I now use everyday.
For others who live in cities across the world, I can’t recommend AirVisual App enough. It’s a free phone app that shares air quality all over the world.
I began exercising at times in the day when the air was cleaner, such as after rains and not on windy days.
I had never considered wearing an allergy mask until I read an article about a long distance runner who wore one while he ran. I thought to myself “that must be uncomfortable”, however I learned that good quality masks could allow me to exercise safely and comfortably.
And I didn’t just wear an allergy mask while exercising. I wore an allergy face mask walking to work and on public transportation. Although allergy masks are still uncommon in the U.S., they’re everywhere in Asia and worn by people with asthma, allergies, sensitivities, and by people who just want clean filtered air.
In recent years I’ve travelled all over the world for work. When I’m in a busy city I always wear a mask. Most recently I’ve been living in Bangkok, Thailand.
Bangkok isn’t unlike other large cities. The city is massive with a population around 15 million people. There’s good public transportation, restaurants, and nightlife. I really enjoy living in the city but I often struggle with the air pollution.
During the rains, air quality in Bangkok is great but it’s another story during the dry season. Without rain to wash away pollution a haze hovers over the city. I’m told that pollution blows over from China (I’m not sure if that’s true or not).
Early on in Bangkok I’d walk a short distance from my apartment to the train and I could feel my lungs burn. I began waking up with a sore throat and knew it was time to start wearing an allergy face mask.
The first face mask I tried was a basic white mask similar to what you’d see in a medical office. There were small gaps on the side of the mask and it didn’t filter the smallest particulate matter (PM 2.5).
The surgical masks are basically worthless for sensitive individuals yet many people wear these. At the time I didn’t know there was a difference and wore it because I thought it helped. It didn’t.
The second mask I purchased was a carbon filter, however, it was the same style as the medical mask. It cost roughly 50 cents, was extremely thin, made no claims for protection, and the edges didn’t seal around my face. Even though it was thin, I noticed the mask became hot when wearing it while walking.
I kept looking for a better face mask and wanted a few specific things:
1) Protection against PM 2.5
2) A mask with a good seal against my face
3) An exhale valve
There are a number of masks that meet this criteria, but few actually put forth the effort to make their masks look nice. While searching the internet I found Vogmask. I immediately liked their designs which looked perfect for wearing in the city.
The Vogmask Company
Before we jump into the Vogmask review let’s take a closer look at the company.
Vogmask is an American company, born in Nevada and realized in California. It all started while at Burning Man in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. It was hot and dusty and the only masks available were those cheap surgical masks that do little to protect your airways.
The founders of Vogmask noticed that face masks always make people look “sad or sick”. That observation spurred the creation of a Vogue Mask (Vogmask) which became the world’s first high fashion, high filtration face mask.
Since their early days Vogmask has grown by leaps and bounds. The company now sells allergy and pollution masks in over 41 countries and use a microfiber fabric that filters out 99 percent of particulate matter. They also sew into the fabric a carbon filter that captures chemicals and oil-based pollutants from the air (perfect for city pollution).
Can you guess their number one country of business? Yep, it’s China. If a face mask is selling well in China, a place with the most polluted air on Earth, then you can bet it performs.
These days, Vogmask can be found all over the world. If you see a stylish allergy face mask then chances are it’s Vogmask!
In this Vogmask review we’ll take a look at
- Vogmask appearance
- Ease or difficulty of breathing
- Durability / length of use
- Recommended uses
- Optional strap accessory
As a user myself, I hope my commentary provides you with enough information to make an educated buying decision.
Vogmask Appearance (design options)
An important note is that the most important aspect of an allergy mask is how it works. If it doesn’t do its job then the appearance doesn’t matter.
With that said, the appearance of an allergy face mask is important. If you’re using a mask in the yard, the look of a mask won’t be a deal-breaker. If you’re using in the house it won’t be a big deal either.
However if you’re like me and wear the face mask while walking to work or to the train, the appearance will matter. The last thing you want is to look like a character from Batman, or like a criminal who’s trying to hide their face. A colorful, stylish mask can help “normalize” your appearance or bring a smile to passers by.
A number of times I’ve received comments on my mask asking “that’s a cool mask, where did you get it”. I’ve also had strange looks when wearing the dark colored masks (yes, I think people were skeptical of me).
Thankfully Vogmask comes in several styles. There are plenty of options for men, women, and children. They even have organic options for people who want their mask made with the environment in mind.
Vogmask gets an A for appearance!
Vogmask Construction (weight, material)
So far I’ve used 3 Vogmasks. 2 are single valve and 1 was double valve.
The Vogmask Organic N99CV2 (2 valve) mask was slightly heavier than the single valve Vogmasks. I believe the difference in weight is due to the material used (Organic mask seemed like a thicker fabric). I haven’t noticed a big difference in performance.
There are 2 ear straps that go around the ears. I find them to be comfortable although I’ve read other reviews stating the ear straps can be too tight or too loose. In my opinion this could be due to improper sizing by the buyer.
I’m a tall guy, however I have a smaller size face. The large mask fits me well but the medium might be a better fit and more snug. I like that the mask is constructed so there is space between the mouth and fabric which allows me to talk if needed (space between my face and the fabric).
When I first purchased my Vogmask I thought I’d be able to feel the air exit the valve, however the valve doesn’t seem to open with every breathe. Rather than fully opening and closing with each breath I believe the valves are made to allow air to seep out of the mask.
If I’m breathing hard (exercising) I can feel air exiting the mask. With this said, the mask does NOT get hot compared to other masks I’ve used without a valve. The Vogmask valves work, but they work differently (more passive) than I originally expected – I think this is the same for most masks with valves.
Vogmask N99 (what does N99 mean)
If you’re wondering what N99 means you’re not alone. Labeling on face masks can be confusing.
N99 is the mask’s efficiency level. Pay close attention to the number 99. On a face mask marked 99 it will filter 99% of particulates 2.5 in the air. Particulate matter 2.5 are particles that measure 2.5 micrometers and are a mixture of solid and liquid droplets floating in the air (they are invisible to our eyes).
Particulate matter creates the haze we often see in the sky and the particles are so small the can be inhaled deep into our lungs. The strongest efficiency levels are usually 99% and 95% for allergy masks.
An N99 mask won’t protect against oil based pollutants, however Vogmask also uses a carbon filter in their masks that trap chemicals and oil based pollutions. Think of the mask as a dual filter.
If you use a surgical mask you likely won’t be getting the PM 2.5 protection or the carbon filter. A Vogmask will protect from PM 2.5 and comes with a carbon filter too!
Breathing and Sizing Of Vogmask
As I mentioned earlier, I was using a simple surgical face mask prior to Vogmask. I believed the simple mask was working, however I didn’t really feel a difference. I still woke up with a sore throat but I thought it was worse when I didn’t wear the mask.
When I began wearing the organic Vogmask N99CV2 outdoors I immediately felt a difference. I slept better at night and experienced less congestion. I no longer woke up with a sore throat. While in Bangkok it was clear to me how effective the Vogmask was, especially if I compared it to other masks I had used in the past.
Unfortunately I lost that mask on a bus from the airport and had to use the simple masks until I purchased another Vogmask. I’m now using the Vogmask Noir N99CV.
The Vogmask Quantum has a design right out of the Matrix movie and has subtle style that won’t attract attention, but at the same time it looks nice. The Vogmask Noir is an elegant black has a light shine in the sun.
I’m not a flashy guy so I can appreciate a mask that looks good but doesn’t stand out too much.
Both of the masks feature 1 valve and have a comfortable fit. One thing I noticed is that the Organic Vogmask I purchased was a bit heavier and fit better against my face than the Quantum and Noir. I’d advise you pay close attention to the sizing.
Sizing from Vogmask:
**Measure from bridge of nose to bottom of chin**
Small 3.5-4 inches (9+cm), Medium 4-4.75 inches (10+cm), and Large 4.75+ inches (12+cm).
The sizing is important because you want to ensure that air passes through the allergy mask, not around the sides. I’ve read a few reviews that commented about mask flexion when breathing.
In my opinion the “flexion” in the mask is a positive sign that air is passing through the mask. If there’s no flexion while breathing then air might be entering and escaping on the sides.
The nose piece is easily adjusted with a squeeze and the mask can be folded to fit in a pocket. Initially I was worried about adjusting the nose because I didn’t want the nose piece to break in half after repetitive use (similar to a paper clip breaking after continuous bending). However the nose piece was sturdy and worked great the first day and into the second month of using.
If you’re concerned about buying the right size, I’d recommend buying the head strap accessory (seen in picture above). The head strap is a one-time purchase that can help keep the mask tight against the face. I’m using the head strap and it ensures a good fit with my large size mask.
How Long Will Vogmask Last (plus warranty)
Vogmask offers a 30 day money back guarantee. This is plenty of time for anyone who purchases the mask to try it and make sure it works for them. It’s nice they stand by their product.
The box includes a manufacturing date and the mask can be used up to 3 years after the date. This doesn’t mean it should be used for 3 years, rather it will tolerate about 3-4 months of continuous use until it needs to be replaced.
I used my first Vogmask for 2 months before I lost it, however I would have used it for 2 more months otherwise. I expect to use my new Vogmasks for several months before starting fresh. If you only wear your Vogmask once or twice a week it may last much longer – just take good care of it.
Recommended Use (where and when)
Vogmask can be worn for many occasions. It was developed as a active mask to be worn at festivals, however the brand has evolved into a mask perfect for commuting, traveling, and exercise. Whether it’s a walk, flight, or bike ride, Vogmask can accommodate your needs.
I think it’s perfect for commuting to work and traveling. I wear mine on long flights to and from the U.S. Wearing during strenuous exercise might be pushing it as all masks are tough to wear while breathing hard.
If you plan to exercise with Vogmask, I’d go with the 2 valve option that will help the mask remove exhaled air. I’d also consider getting the optional strap accessory (below) which will help keep the face mask in place.
Vogmask can work great in polluted cities, walks during high pollen seasons, and while cleaning indoors. Remember, the carbon filter will protect your lungs from harsh chemicals.
Should I Get The Optional Strap Accessory
The head strap is a valuable accessory for people who want a better fit, who exercise, or for people who have faces that measure between sizes.
When I first started using Vogmask, I was worried about the ears stretching out after a few weeks. I had this happen with other masks.
After 1 month, the Vogmask ear straps were still strong and working well – I had no problems – maybe because I took good care of the mask.
If you tend to stretch out the mask or just want a tighter fit, the head strap works great. I don’t always wear mine, but I’ve tried it and it helps the mask work better.
The head strap would helpful for active kids and adults. It can be attached and removed from any mask so you only need one.
I’ve read a few reviews that said the head strap bothered the back of the head. I did not experience this – it felt snug and comfortable.
Other Helpful Vogmask Reviews
In this article I shared my full Vogmask review. I’ve used their allergy and pollution face masks for a few months and I noticed a difference immediately after switching from simple medical masks.
As someone who suffers from allergies and is sensitive to pollution, I appreciate that Vogmask designs good looking masks that work. If the pollution masks didn’t work then it wouldn’t matter how great they looked.
From the many design options to various sizes for kids and adults, Vogmask has an option for everyone in cities, on planes, mowing the lawn, and walking to work.
Pay close attention to sizing and if you’re concerned you might have the wrong size, make sure you get the head strap accessory to create a snug fit against your face.
Thanks for reading my Vogmask review. Be sure to check our blog for more helpful articles about dust mite allergy and solutions to improve your quality of life.