3rd Party Reviews on Totobobo Mask

It is important to study a product carefully before buying it, one of the most important things to take note of are the comments made by other consumers who have purchased the same product. To save you the trouble, we have done up a compilation of the different reviews we have gotten over the years from external sources, therefore they are trustworthy and not made up by us!

(Tips: click on the images below to jump to the sources)

Via News

Totobobo mask on Wall Street Journal

Debra Bruno, a freelance journalist and a jogger in Beijing explains her choice of Totobobo mask to the Wall Street Journal during an interview

“This filter was white when I started and it got this nasty grey after only 10km.” Chas Pope – Marathon runner

“The filters show up an astonishing amount of dirt after just a few cycles, which really hits home how dirty the air we breathe in is. It’s easy to attach and I can move my face when wearing it – a bonus.”

“Tipping the scales at 20g, Totobobo is the lightest reusable respiratory mask on the market. “

“The white filter pads make it easy – and incredibly satisfying – to monitor the particulates that have been caught  “



“There was a visible change in the colour of the filters, and I was more aware of the visible dust being kicked up by trucks and was grateful I wasn’t inhaling this. I suffer from hay fever and could imagine the mask would be a huge benefit in reducing the symptoms. “Chris Lima, a member of IoD Oxfordshire

via avid traveller:

“We have started using our Totobobo masks, and changed the filters for the first time after 7 days of usage in Malaysia, plagued by the haze coming from Indonesia. So far we are satisfied, it works well and the filters are getting grey as expected!” Davide Vadalà and Oti from Nomad Travellers

“it is a well-designed, super lightweight mask that allows me to freely breathe as I wheel around town.” Sahn

via cyclist:

“Totobobo mask has a good feature where you can customize the mask (and the ear loop) by reshaping it with hot water / hair dryer. This is a very crucial feature, a mask that do not fit your face is not an effective mask at all.”

“Given how dirty the pads get, I can only assume this mask is blocking out plenty of pollution. The mask itself is soft and doesn’t rub, even when sweaty.”

via Runner:


“Totobobo mask is also comfortable to wear and easy to breathe with. So it is commonly used by cyclists, motorcyclists and artists when navigating around in polluted environments.” Pris Chew, runner blogger

via artist:

via health sites:

“Aside from an amazing name, this mask is interesting for its design – it gets moulded to your face (using warm water) for a good fit, and when worn, is transparent where it’s in contact with your skin, and translucent otherwise. This means that you can just stand in front of the mirror and ensure that you’ve gotten a good seal on the mask.”

Clean Living Blog

“In other masks, there is no way to find out if it is tightly fitted on the face. Totobobo has solved this problem using an innovative ‘water-mark’ technique in which the frosted surface of the mask becomes transparent where there is good skin contact and remains translucent where there is a leakage.”

“the mask itself is more environmentally friendly. You only throw the filters away – not the entire mask. “

“This is the only mask I’ve been able to get used to. “

“As soon as I take it off, I’m aware of how much pastel is on and around me by just breathing (it’s scary to think I was breathing all that dust before!)”

More related links:

SuperCool respirator review by product design student

Erika Hansen, an Industrial design student from New Zealand, researched the use of respirators for cycling and running. Throughout her research Erika concluded the key challenge of respiratory protection design is to create a mask that people want to wear. She also listed a few additional challenges:

  • Drinking and communicating with the mask on.
  • A comfortable seal for a large demographic of users.
  • Does not reduce performance.
  • We invited Erika to take a look of our SuperCool and see how far it match her ideal design of a respirator mask.

    After trying the SuperCool mask, following is what she has to say.

    Industrial design student Erika test SuperCool mask at Oriental Parade, Wellington, New Zealand on the 17th of August - Photo by Bayden Filleul

    Industrial design student Erika test SuperCool mask at Oriental Parade, Wellington, New Zealand on the 17th of August - Photo by Bayden Filleul

    “I have to say, the SuperCool looks neat! It’s petite, slim and foldable for easy transportation. The transparency has a friendly feel but its only once you put it on that you realise how unobtrusive the SuperCool really is, to look at and wear.

    Being a petite woman, the Supercool was a little long for me, which put pressure under the nose and excess material under the chin however it can be simply trimmed down with scissors. The instruction booklet enclosed with the mask could be improved if it clarified this attribute with a series of diagrams. The embossed website address confuses which way up the mask should be worn. My interpretation was that you would wear the mask with the text upright so it was readable, positioned under the chin. However the form of the mask suggests that it is designed to be worn up the other way, with the text under the nose. A clear visual in the instruction booklet could demonstrate this and save users from trimming the ends only to find that it’s upside down. However the ability for the user to create a custom fit, simply with a pair of scissors is great.

    At first the SuperCool can take a bit of effort to put on but, unlike other masks I’ve experienced, you can whip it off with ease, without feeling like your being strangled by the tangled mess of straps.

    On testing the super cool I have to say I was rather impressed! With personal design experience in the area of respiratory masks I can appreciate how challenging it is to design a mask that users not only feel comfortable enough to be seen wearing but actually enjoy wearing! The SuperCool will definitely benefit users who feel at all claustrophobic in half face masks that cover the nose.

    I do have questions about the performance of the mask when it doesn’t cover the nose. For exercising it could be a good solution as most people tend to breathe through the mouth however this wouldn’t necessarily be the case for other users such as allergy sufferers. There is potentially a compromise in the performance of the Supercool as there is no seal around the filters however users can easily remove the covers and replace the filters themselves when required.

    The SuperCool is surprisingly comfortable. I could happily wear it for a few hours at a time and occasionally become unaware of it. After half an hour of use I was left with light indents on the face but I view this as assurance of a tight seal rather than a down side.

    It’s great to see that the SuperCool is latex free, a huge plus for latex allergy sufferers! The SuperCool appears to be a great mask for those wanting personal protection from particles and due to the size it would make a great travel companion should unexpected situations arise where you would benefit from low level respiratory protection against particles.”

    Erika Hansen
    Industrial Design
    Massey University
    New Zealand
    Editor note:
    Thanks to Erika’s feedback, we’ve improved the instruction of the SuperCool mask and made the possibility to trim the mask more clear.
    Regarding the orientation of the mask, some users achieved a better face-seal while wearing the mask in the upright orientation. Others find the upside down orientation is better. This has also been expained in the instruction sheet.
    Related posts:
    SuperCool, the coolest cycling mask
    Philippines: Cool picture of SuperCool
    SuperCool respirator review by product design student
    What Ross say about the Totobobo SuperCool?
    Mike Mc Carthy and his experience with SuperCool mask
    Protect your lungs when riding in the city

    More advanced features of TOTOBOBO mask
    How to customize TOTOBOBO mask to fit your face?

    12 useful features for cyclist
    How to clean TOTOBOBO mask for reuse?
    Buy TOTOBOBO mask
    How long does the filter last?

    Testing Totobobo mask against N95 mask

    Totobobo mask is the most comfortable and advanced respirator in the non-certified respirator market. In many respects the patented design is revolutionary. The original design cater to the needs of common users, who do not have access to professional fit-test facility and yet need the assurance of a well fitted respirator.

    preparing Totobobo mask for test

    Preparing Totobobo masks for test

    A different approach
    To provide assurance of good fit, we made the reusable mask with transparent plastic, so that users can see through it and check the face-seal. We make the mask customizable, so that users can trim it to fit their face. The thin and flexible plastic is highly adaptive and easily follows the contour of the face, require very little force to hold on to the face. The strap is exceptionally flexible and comfortable to use. There is silver ion anti-virus additive in the mask to make reuse more safe. all these sounds great on paper, but how does it perform in real life?

    testing Totobobo mask

    Testing Totobobo mask

    Testing the masks
    To validate the protection of Totobobo, we sent the masks to the Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong to test the effectiveness by professional fit-test facilities.
    A randomized controlled cross over study was carreid out to compare the efficacy of Totobobo with fitted tested N95 masks (1860 or 1860s or 1862, 3M). The test was conducted in 22 healthy volunteers. The key findings are:

    – The pass rate (filtration factor >100) of Totobobo mask was over 73%, while majority of (N95) masks fitting less than 40% of the test population
    – The average filtration factor of fitted tested N95 masks is higher (193) then Totobobo mask (135).
    – In terms of comfort, 65% subjects preferred Totobobo mask over their fitted tested N95 masks

    Quote from the report:

    “..Using the Totobobo mask in the panel of masks to be tested may reduce the number of masks that need to be tested before an adequate fit is found. This potential advantage, however, will need to be balanced against the time taken to trim the Totobobo mask to size. Furthermore, in situations where there is insufficient time to carry out fit testing use of the Totobobo mask may be a useful stopgap measure. In addition to this, the fact that the Totobobo mask is designed to be reusable may provide significant advantage. This would minimize the problems associated with the need to stockpile disposable masks and the difficulty of obtaining supplies in an epidemic. However, prior to concluding the mask is re-usable it is necessary to test the effect of sterilization processes on the mask. It is conceivable that such processes may make the mask less pliable and the fit less good. Moreover it is important to ensure that the process of changing the HEPA filters does not contaminate the user with infectious particles.

    In terms of comfort 65% of subjects preferred the Totobobo mask over the N95 mask (1860, 1860s 3M). While the confidence interval straddles 50% this may be due to our small sample size. Comfort is an important issue when masks need to be worn for long periods of time. Greater comfort may translate into greater compliance with proper use of the mask and hence greater protection in clinical use. The experience of our ICU during SARS suggests that compliance is an important factor in determining the risk of occupational infection.”

    The bottom line
    If your have access to fit-test facility and have time to conduct fit test, the best option is fit-tested N95 mask. Otherwise, Totobobo mask provides reasonable good protection even if you don’t have access to fit-test facility or there is no time for fit test.

    fit-test result from one of the subject

    fit-test result from one of the subject

    A randomized controlled pilot study to compare filtration factor of a novel non fit tested HEPA filtering facemask with a fit-tested N95 mask.
    by Dr Sylvia S.W. Au, Dr Charles D. Gomersall, Patricia Leung and Dr Peggy T.Y. Li.
    Dept of Anaesthesia & Intensive Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong.

    A list of How To’s

    Here is a compilation of our How To’s for the Totobobo Mask, if what you’re looking for cannot be found, do not hesitate to drop us an enquiry at totobobomask @ gmail.com


    How to ReShape your Totobobo Mask for a perfect fit?

    How to perform a seal check with the “Water Mark” Method?

    How to wash the Totobobo Mask?

    How to customize the Totobobo Small Mask?

    How to customize the Totobobo Large Mask?

    How to adjust the earloop strap?

    How do I know if Totobobo will fit?

    Side by side: Totobobo mask and simulator

    Side by side: Totobobo mask and simulator

    Face mask fitting is a personal issue. Even a certain mask fit many people, it doesn’t mean that it will fit you. Just like buying a pair of shoes, you can’t really tell until you actually put it on and try.

    But unlike buying a pair of shoes, no one will let you try a new mask unless you have bought it. Once you open the pack, you can not return the product because of obvious hygiene reason.

    Some company make a business out of this problem and sell a set of “sampler masks” which contains a number of different models so that you can try them. The idea is the mask samples allow you to try them one by one and identify the most suitable so that you only need to order that model in the future. But whether you found one or not, you will have to fork out the money and pay for the set of “samplers”.

    We decided to do it differently. We create a downloadable paper dummy which we call it “Totobobo simulator”. The simulator is a full size dummy of the actual Totobobo mask, very easy to put together. Although it does not have filter and does not work as a filtering mask. It is possible to use this simulator to test if the actual product will fit your face size or not.

    Even more, you can trim the simulator, just as cutting the actual mask to check how it can fit better for smaller faces. It is especially useful for people who do not want to damage their mask unnecessary.

    This is a concern we heard some times: “How do I know it will fit better after cutting the mask smaller?” You are worried that cutting too much, the mask can never go back to the original size.

    No need to worry any more,??just download the “Totobobo mask simulator“, print as many copies as you need, experiment different sizes and see which one fits the best.

    Here is a few step by step illustration:

    1st step: cut it out

    1st step: cut it out

    2nd step: fold it

    2nd step: fold it

    3rd step: join the edge

    3rd step: join the edge

    After three simple steps, you have your very own simulator!

    Now is the time to have fun testing the fit. If it is too big, just cut it smaller. ?If you cut it too small, just make another one!

    The position of the lines are comparable to the real thing, you can follow the lines to get M,S or XS sizes, or even any size in between.

    However, a simulator is not the real thing. Especially around the nose bridge area, the paper simulator is flat and the real Totobobo mask has a 3D curved profile which fit human face better.

    Testing the size

    Testing the size

    Simulators cut to different sizes for test

    Simulators cut to different sizes for test



    Download the file: http://totobobo.com/download/Totobobo-mask-simulator.pdf

    Get the real mask:

    Buy Totobobo mask

    Totobobo mask for air traveller

    Recently we travel to Taiwan and Hong Kong. To be on the safe side we all put on our Totobobo mask on the plane and in the airport. Who knows the one sitting next to you can be coming from a H1N1 flu infected country? This was the “acid test” to see if the mask really work in the context of air travel.

    I’ve customized the masks for the two boys and Sharon in advance. So that part is not an issue. Putting it on was easy for Sharon and the younger boy, but it was confusing for the elder one. It turn out that the strap of his mask got entangled a bit and he couldn’t slide the strap along easily. I help him to remove the rubber band and disentangle the strap. He mange to put it on afterward.

    A point to note about customization, it is not always true that smaller face need smaller mask. If it fit and seal well, a larger Totobobo mask is usually more comfortable to wear. So if you find the mask too big, start by trimming it a step, never jump to the smallest size immediately. You may find an intermediate size that seal very well and is comfortable to wear even for a long time.

    Wearing the mask for an hour or so is not uncomfortable. In fact we pretty much forgot about it because it didn’t interfere with what we do. We all wear glasses, sometimes we read magazine, sometimes we watch TV and sometimes I was busy taking photos 😉

    using Totobobo mask for air travel

    We had to remove our masks when the food came. We just remove the top strap, pull the mask down such that the contracted top strap now keeps the mask closed, and we just let the mask hang around our neck while eating. We put the mask back after the meal. The elder son fall asleep and the younger one kept watching TV.

    I noticed many passenger used surgical masks. One family of three used N95 cup-shaped mask. But the huge N95 mask was not fitting the child and clearly he was not getting much more protection than those wearing surgical mask.

    air-steward ask about totobobo mask

    Some curious passenger ask where we got the mask from and even the stewards are interested in it. The surgical mask they wear is not giving them the protection they really need. It’s a pity that they have to face so many people from all over the world during the trip but not getting the protection they deserved. Anyone with friends working as air steward? Perhaps you should let them know about Totobobo.

    Leaving the plane, we took off our mask when we were shopping in the airport shops, there seems to be more space between people and none of the staff or customers looked sick. Keeping it hanging around the neck was most appropriate because we needed to put on the mask again when we go through the next risk spot- the crowded custom.

    Totobobo in Business Week

    Put on a brave face

    The Totobobo is the world’s first customisable respiratory mask. By Cheah Ui-Hoon

    Totobobo featured in Business Times

    Totobobo featured in Business Times

    Business Times- May 2, 2009

    The swine flu that’s sweeping North America and Europe might have you rifling through your cupboards for the face masks you bought six years ago. While most of us simply chucked them into some cabinet or drawer after the Sars outbreak, one man was motivated by the fact that A: The N95 plastic masks are uncomfortable, and B: children could only wear surgical masks and these didn’t filter out airborne viruses.

    Totobobo is made with a special blended plastic which is soft enough to comply comfortably to the contours of the face, but not too soft that it touches the mouth.
    Product designer Francis Chu put on his thinking cap, after encountering these problems in 2003. ‘As a father of two young children, I was really concerned about this. The challenge that presented itself was clear – to come up with a mask that would fit not just adults but children, and at the same time feel comfortable,’ he explains.

    Being a product designer, he was therefore sensitive to user issues and ergonomic requirements. ‘Although I don’t have medical training, I have been involved in designing for disabled children,’ he says. ‘I studied the principle for respiratory protection in different fields, including the medical. I also asked advice from my friends working in the hospitals,’ he adds.

    To fund this project, Mr Chu sold his car, trading it in for a bicycle for transport. He started creating hundreds of prototypes using paper first, to find a shape that would best fit various face sizes.

    It took six months before he came up with a final design, and he filed an initial patent for it in 2004. That was the genesis of Totobobo (Mandarin for transparent (toto) and protection (bobo)). From then on, it was a matter of getting it to the market, which Mr Chu did – and in no better time as well – earlier this year.

    Totobobo is now the world’s first customisable respiratory mask, designed to fit all face shapes, which is also child-friendly.

    Having a snug fit is important, he stresses, because if it doesn’t fit, it means you’re not fully protected from contaminated air. This defeats the purpose of wearing a mask, he points out.

    ‘Current respirator solutions require fit-tests to ensure that the mask fits the individual’s face, which isn’t a realistic requirement for most people,’ explains Mr Chu. In terms of fit, Totobobo is made with a special blended plastic which is soft enough to comply comfortably to the contours of the face, but not too soft that it touches the mouth. The mask doesn’t contain silicon or latex, but can be washable.

    On both sides are filtering material imported from Germany, which is able to block 94 per cent of very fine particles including bacteria and germs. ‘If a higher level of protection is needed, you can put two layers of filters together and that will bring the filtration efficiency up to 99 per cent, comparable to N99 masks,’ says Mr Chu.

    The good thing is that putting on the mask won’t make you look like a SWAT team member. ‘My intention was to design a mask for normal people and I wanted to create something that would not look too odd when worn in public places, such as a crowded bus during the flu season,’ he explains.

    The current swine flu scare is certainly going to see sales of Totobobo go up, but even before this scare, Singapore-based Dream Lab One (the company that Hong Kong-born Mr Chu and his wife, Sharon Li, started) had been selling the mask online, and it has been bought by consumers from over 20 countries.

    Among the target audience are cyclists and asthma sufferers, as well as travellers who need to block out both polluted air and other various irritants.

    If you’re checking through your mask supplies, it’s time to get up to date with a Totobobo mask. Most likely, the surgical masks from the 2003 Sars days would be unusable, as the straps would have disintegrated into pieces. I should know since I unearthed mine this week.

    How to customize TOTOBOBO mask to fit small face?

    TOTOBOBO mask can be cut to size

    TOTOBOBO mask can be cut to size

    The TOTOBOBO mask is the worlds first customizable respirator. Other products are only available in a particular size that only fits a particular age range and facial structure. For everyone else, there is little else that can be done.
    TOTOBOBO, on the other hand, is capable of being trimmed to fit a wide range of facial sizes for optimal comfort and filtering. The mask fits most adults and can be modified to fit children as young as 5 years old. TOTOBOBO is the most versatile protective mask on the market. Adjusting the masks size is simple, just follow these steps:

    Note: Use a pair of clean and sharp scissors. Wash your hands before starting.

    You first need to determine how small you want to trim the mask. You can make a quick estimate by covering the mask on the users face, or better yet, get a TOTOBOBO dummy mask set. If you are not sure about the accurate size, I suggest you to trim the mask one ring at a time. The mask should form a snug fit to the face, but not so tight as to be uncomfortable. Take this into account when trimming the mask. Remember: measure twice, cut once.
    You then carefully cut the material of the mask starting from the bottom. Inserting the scissors, follow the curvature of the mask along one of the ridges as you cut and make a complete loop. Trim any excess for comfort and test size as necessary. The excess material can be disposed of, and the mask is ready for use.

    Once the mask is cut to fit the desired size, it is ready for repeated, long term protection.

    Step 1 - start the cut from the bottom of the mask

    1 - start the cut from the bottom of the mask

    Step 2 - insert the scissors into one size of the opening

    2 - insert the scissors into one side of the opening

    Step 4 - turning around to the other side

    6 - almost done

    4 - make a loop to the starting point

    7 - see! you've got your small mask now

    5 - see! you've got your small mask now


    Test the cut with a Totobobo mask simulator

    Buy Totobobo mask

    The best pollution mask fits children

    Totobobo mask perfect for children

    Totobobo mask perfect for children

    Worlds first fitting mask for children

    World’s first fitting mask for children

    “Totobobo mask is far superior to any other mask on the market. Period!”


    Kayla, with her Totobobo mask on

    7 years girl Kayla, fighting Leukemia with the support from her mother Debbie

    “Your mask is the ONLY mask that fits the way a mask should. It is also the most economical product on the market. The other masks are hot, poorly fitted and have to be replaced repeatedly. I love your product and keep one of the masks in my purse, in case it is needed for Kayla. I am never without it.”

    Debbie Witter,USA Free help for cancer

    World’s first fitting mask for children

    TOTOBOBO is the first fitting mask designed with the need of children in mind. It can be cut to fit children aged 5 and above. It may fit younger kids depends on individual face size. The reusable mask is made of a special anti-virus and softy plastic material.

    L. P. – Ontario, Canada
    I have tried the TOTOBOBO mask a few times and I like it very very much, it compare well or better than my previous North half mask. The only thing I might change about it is to make the strap a bit wider as it kind of cuts into my face a bit. I love the flexability of being able to use it for my children. It’s difficult to find anything in a smaller size and with cold and flu season upon us it is a useful tool when someone is sick here! Thanks and I am considering ordering more!

    Thomas Eric Johnson Ph.D – Thailand, Bangkok
    My son and I cough and suffer from pollution in Bangkok. Other parents at his school think he is sick all the time, but when he comes home and is in a clean room, he stops coughing. We received the masks and my wife trim it to fit our son. You know what, the mask did fit! I used a 3M mask before but the TOTOBOBO is more flexible and it fits children as well. I could not find any other mask that would fit him. The TOTOBOBO works fine. Our son wares it regularly when the weather is dry and dust and pollution increases.

    Joe Flynn – San Diego, USA
    “The TOTOBOBO masks fits my small child well. I requested them after the wildfires here in San Diego – I could find adult masks here in the US, but none to fit a child.

    Read more about TOTOBOBO mask for children :

    Buy Totobobo mask

    Say no to pollution in school buses

    time for a better mask for children

    protect children from incense smoke

    How to’s

    How to customize TOTOBOBO mask for your children?

    How to wash TOTOBOBO mask for reuse?

    How to check the mask-to-face-seal without fit-test equipment?

    Download Totobobo mask simulator to check if it fit your kids

    Buy TOTOBOBO mask for children