Complimentary N95 masks

Now that good masks are easy to get I’m thinking of putting them in my Airbnb. I’m still seeing people with cloth masks even though N95s are being recommended as an intervention to reduce omicron transmission. At my price point this is something I’ll probably only do during winter surges like the current one.

My question is this: individually wrapped or not? It seems to me that if a mask is clearly unused (still flatly folded) it wouldn’t matter. Wrapped ones are more expensive plus it’s more environmental waste, but if people aren’t going to use unwrapped ones from an Airbnb then there’s no point in buying them. I really like the newer 3M Aura masks and those are all wrapped. So if I go with those my decision is made for me.


While I cringe when I buy masks for my family and they come individually wrapped - if it’s for distribution - I’d suggest individually wrapped. I don’t know if as a guest - I would want to use a mask that was left out by I don’t know who - and handled by possibly guests and who knows what cleaners. If it’s for me to put on my face - I’d like to know it’s somewhat sterile.


I have left masks and sanitizer and wipes at my front door since September. I don’t think a single person has used anything but maybe the hand sanitizer. I think people who are going to wear masks will bring their own and the others will just ignore you.


Definitely get the individually wrapped ones. You may have a guest who unknowingly has Covid-19 who grabs the entire stack to use, and ends up returning the unused ones. Of course, it’s nice enough that you’re providing them, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

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There won’t be an “entire stack” it would be one per registered guest per stay and most of my stays are one nighters. Still, the idea that masks might be exposed to covid before they are even used is valid.

I agree. But just like people who are going to use cell phones usually bring their own charging cord, sometimes things are forgotten. And some will be taken with no intention of using, only to be thrown in the trash. But that’s no different than any other consumable offered. And if it’s political… well, jokes on them since I give minimum of 10% net to causes that would offend most anti-maskers.

Same. Not to mention the tons of rubbish that mask wearing generates. Thank goodness we determined early on it was airborne or we’d have mountains of disposable gloves as well.

I’ve decided that I’ll go with the individually wrapped 3m Auras, at least during this surge. I know they are true N95 and they have some design modifications that make them more comfortable. If I get even one guest to upgrade their mask usage it will be worth it.

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Individually wrapped. I would only use an unwrapped mask in a work situation, where they are only being accessed by people that are trained in infection control.

I’m glad you brought it up because we should upgrade the masks that we give out too. Since we re-opened at the end of July 2020, we’ve been leaving masks (individually wrapped). I estimate that about 75% of guests took them. However, it may be because they are “cute” (black with white stars), which means my plan worked :wink: But they are the surgical style and now that there’s no longer a shortage for healthcare workers, we’ll upgrade too.

I don’t know how much the 3M Aura masks cost but if you (or anyone) wants more options, we’ve been buying all of our masks from this place and can recommend them. It looks they’re out of my favorite masks right now, but they usually have a soft side (vs a cup) n95 that has little rubber rings at the end of the straps that make for easy adjustment.

They are around $2 each if purchased in boxes of 10. There’s a few options to get them cheaper here and there if you buy a larger number. The price has already come down since I first purchased them so I hope it continues to come down. And of course I’ll be deducting the cost when I do my taxes.

One thing I like about the Aura is that there a foam piece at the nose bridge that seals against the exhaled breath much better than the other two styles of 95 masks I have. For the winter this is preferable to me. In the heat I could see that it would be uncomfortable.

I had some for awhile that had a silicone piece there, it was okay, kind of got sweaty. The foam sounds better. But I think that being able to really tighten the straps gives me the best seal.

The most comfortable mask I’ve ever worn is one of those pouch styles N95s. And it has this awesome extra long and wide nose metal piece for a great seal, but I just couldn’t get past looking like a duck so I don’t wear them out of the house :joy: I do use them for cleaning the listing though, they are much more comfortable to breath in for heavy activity.

Same. I’d gotten a pack of 50 and when one of my friends had a brother with covid at the holidays I gave her half of them to take to the family. LOL.

If you get a chance at an Aura you should give it a try. It does have the straps that go on the head, not the ears though. For many people that’s not going to be ideal, like women with hairstyles. And my lanyard doesn’t work as well with that kind. But for feeling like I have the best seal, they win. Luckily I don’t have to ever wear one for hours at a time.


I don’t how anyone could get a proper seal from a mask with ear loops. They aren’t as effective. It does help to use a strap at the back though. I would say that it’s ill-advised to risk covid for a hairstyle but people risk it for less all the time anyway.

Now that I’ve used the ones with the little adjuster things, I can’t imagine not having them. Without them, I have to tie knots in the straps but I can’t take the knots out to take the mask off so I end up breaking them. And without doing either there’s enough space around my chin to eat a sandwich through. I guess I have a funny shaped face, I don’t know.

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This is a pre-requisite for me. Since I wear hearing aids, no ear loops. however, I’m still wearing my homemade ones from the beginning…

I hope you have some N95s in case you need them. In a place with a lot of compliance, maybe everyone wearing cloth masks would be sufficient. With the TX covid breathers, I want to wear 95s if I have to go out during this surge.


The term “cloth masks” doesn’t make sense, as there are huge variations in their construction and composition.

The cloth masks I made myself have an outside layer of tightly woven cotton, and an inside layer of a black-out fabric that is double woven ( so it’s really like 3 layers) and you can’t even see light through. I held the black-out fabric under running water, and it essentially holds water, filtering through very slowly. I figure they are quite protective. They do have ear elastic, but it’s quite tight, so the mask fits tight, no gaps. And I’ve already replaced some of the elastic when it starts to get stretched out.

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It made sense 2 years ago when there wasn’t enough PPE for health care workers. And still a mask at 20% is 20% greater than zero. If 95s are available people should use them but we’ve already seen how that mask thing has been subverted in the US. Anyway I’ll be keeping 95’s on hand from now until I can’t any longer. If it’s not this pandemic it’s the next one or a toxic spill or a fire or volcano or …


Unfortunately here in Mexico, fake N95s are as common as fake Levis, Rolexes and Raybans. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I trust my beefy cloth mask more than what they claim are N95s here.

From what I can tell here on the forum you don’t go anywhere and your airbnb is closed. That’s safer than 10,000 masks.

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Well, I do have to go out to go shopping and buy materials for my upholstery jobs. I might run out to the corner store for something every few days but I’m in and out in a few minutes. When I go on the shopping/materials run, that happens about every 10 days-2 weeks, I’m out all day, and I probably go into at least 10-15 places in that one day.

Not everywhere do they require masks, and lots of Mexicans still don’t get that you have to cover your nose with the mask, too. Some places I have to go are crowded, my upholstery supply place only lets one or two customers in at a time.

So I do have to go out in public a fair amount. I don’t do much socializing at all, and only with those I know who are vaxed and take precautions. And we are almost always outside, and doors and windows are open, so that lessens the risk.

There’s a gal who comes to clean for me every 2 weeks for half a day. I just stay out in my shop building working mostly when she’s here, and same thing, doors and windows are wide open. She seems pretty careful about the virus, is vaxed, only hangs with her family bubble (so she says) and has even warned me- try to stay out of town, it’s a long weekend and it’s packed with tourists.

And no, I’m not hosting yet.

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