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Valved vs Unvalved: The Face Mask Showdown

Valved vs Unvalved: The Face Mask Showdown

Posted by K on 12th May 2023

Valved VS Unvalved: The difference between valved and unvalved 

With so many options available to us now adays, how do you know which one to choose from? 

Below we'll explore the difference between valved and unvalved. Helping you decide which to choose based on your specific needs. 


- Valved Face Masks 

Valved Face Masks are designed with a built-in one-way valve. 

A valve allows air to flow out when you exhale, which makes it easier to breathe and reduces the build up of heat & moisture inside the mask. 

- Unvalved Face Masks 

Unvalved Face Masks do not have the added feature. As a result of this, they feel warmer and restrictive when breathing. 

However they provide a more comprehensive barrier against external particles.


Valved = Easy Breezy Choice 

Valved face masks make it easier to breathe due to a one way valve. This makes it a popular choice for prolonged wear. 

The valve reduces heat and moisture, leading to less fogging of glasses and more comfortable fit. 

Unvalved = The Snug, All-Round Protection 

Although unvalved masks may feel a little bit more restrictive, they provide a better seal around the mouth and nose, which can be beneficial in certain situations. 

They are generally more affordable and widely available compared to valved. 


Valved: A One-Way Street 

The valve is designed to make it easier for the air flow when exhaling. This means that while it offers protection to the wearer, it does not specifically offer protection to those around due to it not filtering exhaled air. 

Unvalved: A Two Way Barrier

The design of an unvalved mask provides an increased barrier against particles that are inhaled and exhaled, which improves protection to both the wearer and those around them.



Mask Material:

The choice of material has an impact on the masks breathability, comfort and effectiveness. 

When choosing a mask, consider the materials they are constructed from. 

Both valved and unvalved can be made from an assortment of materials, such as cotton, polyester also synthetic blends. 

Fit And Adjustability:

 A well fitting mask is always an effective way of protection. 

Make sure the mask chosen fits snug around your nose and mouth without any gaps. 

Most masks actually come with adjustable ear loops or straps to help improve fit. 

Reusability & Care: 

Which do you prefer? Reusable or Disposable. 

Both Valved & Unvalved are accessible in either reusable or disposable form. 

Reusable masks can be cost-effective and environmentally friendly, however require the proper care to maintain the effectiveness. 

Although disposable can be more convenient, disposable masks may also lead to waste. 



When making a decision between valved & unvalved it actually depends on your specific needs, environment, circumstances and level of protection required. 

Valved masks offer an increased comfort and breathability but may not offer comprehensive protection. 

Unvalved masks provide a better all-round protection but may also cause discomfort for extended wear.