Improve How Your Mask Protects You

Content From: Centers for Disease Control and PreventionPublished: February 16, 20211 min read


Cross-posted from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Image of Lady wearing mask

Correct and consistent mask use is a critical step everyone can take to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19. Masks work best when everyone wears them, but not all masks provide the same protection. When choosing a mask, look at how well it fits, how well it filters the air, and how many layers it has.

Two Important Ways to Make Sure Your Mask Works the Best It Can

  1. Make sure your mask fits snugly against your face. Gaps can let air with respiratory droplets leak in and out around the edges of the mask
  2. Pick a mask with layers to keep your respiratory droplets in and others’ out. A mask with layers will stop more respiratory droplets getting inside your mask or escaping from your mask if you are sick.

Read CDC’s latest Dos and Don’ts for choosing and using a mask that protects.

For information on science behind improving how your mask protects you, see CDC’s Improve the Fit and Filtration of Your Mask to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19.

Note: To learn about COVID-19 and HIV, visit’s COVID-19 and People with HIV page.