Does the Candle Test Work?
Should you be able to blow out a candle through your mask? You may have seen videos on social media comparing masks by showing that some allow you to blow out a candle and others do not. However, this test only speaks to breathability—how much airflow the mask will allow to go through. It does not measure filtration efficiency.
A Breathable Mask with High Filtration Efficiency
It IS possible to have a mask with high breathability (allows you to blow out the candle) AND high filtration efficiency. The difference is in the type and quality of material in the filtration layer of the mask. A high-quality meltblown polypropylene filtration layer supports both breathability and high filtration efficiency.
How Masks Protect Against Pathogens and Particulates
Some mask materials only provide protection through direct filtration. Meltblown polypropylene has special characteristics that attract and capture tiny particles, including bacteria and viruses. This property allows masks with a high-quality meltblown layer to maintain high capture efficiency without sacrificing breathability.