What are the factors behind the comfort of Totobobo mask?

“Comfort” is an intuitive and subjective feeling. Achieving it involve tackling a complex mix of hardware and human needs. It is clear that many users commented Totobobo mask is more comfortable compared to other masks they had tried before. What is the secret behind this special level of comfort?

First and the most important, the designer is the user himself.

Here is a list of features contributes to the unique comfort of Totobobo mask:

1) Extremely soft straps. Both our head strap for the classic mask or earloop strap of the earloop mask are substantially  softer and more elastic than other masks available in the market. Many users thought that the strap may break easily because they are so soft, but after many uses, they discovered this is one of the secret that makes Totobobo mask more comfortable than other reusable masks.

2) Light weight: tipping the scale at 20 grams, Totobobo mask is the lightest reusable mask in the world. A light mask requires less force to hold it on your face, and allows the use of softer straps.

3) Stand up design: keep the filter away from touching your nose or mouth. The filter won’t soak in your own saliva like a surgical mask or cloth mask will.

4) TotoSoft material: it is our propitiatory plastic material. Soft and comfortable to touch and it does not trigger any allergic reaction. It does not contain any latex, silicone or rubber.

5) Heat moulding: fine tune the shape so that it follows the user’s face closely. Therefore it requires minimum tension from the strap to fit the mask on user’s face. Less tension = more comfortable.

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.

How did they find us?

Visitors from India keep coming in, there is no sign of slowing down. How do they come to us? A significant proportion of them is coming from the search engines (Google, Yahoo or Bing).
The search terms reflect what they are looking for. Quite a number of visitors are searching for a reusable N95 mask.
For example:
– How to keep N95 mask clean
– N95 mask washable
– is N95 mask reusable or not
– for how long N95 mask be used
– N95 washable mask

Clearly, there is a market looking for a reusable N95 mask, unfortunately, such a product does not exist. In fact, a 3 months study in 2006 concluded that it is not possible to decontaminate used N95 mask and allows it to be reused safely.

On the contrary Totobobo mask is easily clean and reusable. The anti-virus property makes reuse safer. There are two types of filters available: 94% and 96%. The high quality reusable mask combine with economic replaceable filter refill is probably the most advanced protection you can get now. Thanks to Google/ Yahoo and Bing for doing a good job in guiding our visitors.

Snap shot of the search terms of the visitors
Snap shot of the search terms of the visitors

How to wash TOTOBOBO mask?

After some time of use, any face mask will get dirty. TOTOBOBO mask is praised by many woodturner users as light-weight, easy to clean. Here is a simple step-by-step illustration to show how you can do the cleaning under a tap.

After some time of use, any face mask will get dirty. TOTOBOBO mask is praised by many users as light-weight, easy to clean.
Here is a simple step-by-step instruction about how you can do the cleaning under a tap. Make sure you clean your hands before you start cleaning the mask.

1. release the filter cap and remove the filters.

2. apply soap – Apply soap thoroughly inside and outside of the mask.

3. rinse – Rinse the mask, inside and out thoroughly.

5. drying the mask with a clean tissue paper
If you are in a hurry, dry the mask with a clean tissue paper.

6. leave it in clean and dry air for a while
If you have time, simply leave the mask to dry in a clean environment.

7. insert new filters
Now hinge on the filter cap, insert a new filter pair, and you are ready to go again.

More advanced features of TOTOBOBO mask