Hi, I'm new here. Has anyone found a ... - British Lung Foun...

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Hi, I'm new here. Has anyone found a decent face mask- one that lets them breathe more or less normally?


If I wear one for long I'm gasping.

69 Replies

I feel the same Alberta. I have now ordered some off the Internet to try. Like you I hope somebody on here can recommend some masks that are a bit easier to wear.

I wear a two layer cotton mask. I bought my first from Etsy and got a couple more from Amazon. They are the beak type, so they don’t sit against my mouth. I also pull them down a bit. They still cover my mouth and nose, but it creates a space either side of my nose that lets the air in.

Now, I do realise that this does not offer much protection and it relies heavily on others wearing masks, but it does allow me to comply with instructions.

I also bought some of those plastic vent thing-a-me-jiggies from Amazon so that I could put them in the cotton masks should I need to.

Not much help I know, but it might save you a little bit of expense. ( I have bought and tried lots of different ones before settling on these.)

Oh, and one last thing - I think I might be wearing them upside down. ( Well, I am new to this and they don’t come with instructions😁)

I say this because the last one I bought has a bit of wire stitched in that is supposed to go across your nose. I find I can breathe more easily when it is under my chin.

Alberta56 in reply to Troilus

Thank you , Troilus, for that helpful advice.

Don-1931 in reply to Troilus

Strange isn't it no instructions. Being lockeddown for so long I had no need of masks until recently . When I finally tried them my first attempt was inside-out and upside down and I couldn't find instructions anywhere. It made me aware that I'm a lot thicker than I thought I was! 🙄

Me too.

Oh good! 😁x

Ergendl in reply to Don-1931

And me.

Alberta56 in reply to Don-1931

Thanks ,Don, for cheering me up. Alberta

I thought I’d never be able to find a mask I can breathe in, but having tried every style and fabric that all have the loops that go over your ears, I tried one by chance that has two elastic straps or whatever you’d call them, that go around the head. I still struggle but can actually breathe though do have to take breaks from wearing it. It’s also much more comfortable than having loops tugging on your ears.

Need to try those as the ear ones have made the back of my ears sore in just a week of my new job which means have to wear mask most of the 9hrs am there Ouch

Karenanne61 in reply to shouty

You can get straps with buttons on that you attach the ear loops to. I've seen them knitted or in fabric. I know they were being made locally for our key workers.

shouty in reply to Karenanne61

thank you !

Alberta56 in reply to shouty

Ouch, ouch. poor you.

Hi, Hufflepuff, Masks are a pain. It sounds as if, like me , you try to wear one, but have to take it off to gasp when it gets too much. Some kind people have come up with some interesting ideas in response to my post. I'll have to try some, or all, of them.

Hello Alberta56.

I like others don’t like my mouth and nose being covered.

My Son bought me a white cloth mask with elastic bands for the ears.

I tried it and had steamed up glasses.

I got a long silk scarf out of a drawer folded it down and slid it into my mask. My glasses can have the top of the outer mask just slightly under the bottom of glasses if required.

I go out and I can breathe with the silk.

When no one is near me I slide the mask down into a chin hammock

Just under my lower lip, then pull it up when someone is nearby.

I can’t stitch it in as I can’t see a needle hole any more to sew with cotton. I am still not shopping and I want to now as I am fed up. I also carry alcohol gel in my pocket when out and I wear leather gloves gloves. Which can be gelled whilst wearing them.

I hope this helps and Good luck to you and everyone on this forum.

Alberta56 in reply to Daisy47

Thank you, Daisy 47. It seems very luxurious to use silk- I have a bit somewhere I was going to make into a blouse- that would make a posh liner.

I have tried many and after a short while wearing I find all difficult to breathe through with the exception of the chiffon mask which offers little protection. I am finding I don't stay in places very long where the mask is required. Even the face shield I have found difficult if wearing for more than 5 minutes.

I have just bought a nose and mouth cage to fit inside the mask which helps give a bit more breathing space, just helps make it more tolerable for a little longer than 5 mins.

Alberta56 in reply to Bkin

Hi Bkin. I didn't know there were such things as nose and mouth cages. Thanks for the tip.


Hi Alberta I got my both mask off Amazon, still struggle a little bit but it's so much better than the others I have tried. By the way welcome to our site it's a great place to chat and also have fun. Have a wonderful day and take care 😊 Bernadette and Jack 🐕 xxxx

Alberta56 in reply to Damon1864

Thanks for your kind wishes, Damon.

I get my masks from Tesco. They are a loose fit and are usually OK for a walk around Tesco. However, when my chest is tighter, I take some time to recover from wearing a mask, so I wear a scarf wrapped loosely across my face, in a sort of Lawrence of Arabia style, which is more breathable.

I am hoping to start my singing group up again in October and have bought a face shield and a washable singers mask to wear so that I don't infect the other members and they don't infect me. Running the sessions by Zoom was a non-starter as most of the members are not that IT literate.

Alberta56 in reply to Ergendl

Good luck with the singing. It will be great to restart our normal activities (fingers crossed).

I wonder if Lawrence of Arabia ever sang.

Ergendl in reply to Alberta56

He would have had to sing Jerusalem and the school song in his youth. Probably grateful to be able to give them up in the desert.

Yes, this one, and it's brilliant!


Alberta56 in reply to frose

That looks good- they have done their homework, making it OK for spectacle wearers as well as everyone else. I wonder if it really is- steamed up spectacles are a pain. Thanks, Alberta

frose in reply to Alberta56

I bought one and was also sceptical about it not fogging up, but it really doesn't! I also wear glasses and it fits just fine over the top. It wasn't cheap but I'm really pleased with mine as it's the only face cover I can wear and still keep breathing - always a plus!

Hi, I have several masks also, it is a bit of trial and error, expensive too. I use Etsy site also. Double Mulberry Silk mask from this site cost me £15 postage free. I found this to be best so far. Vented masks with nose band also good. Prices for some of these masks are appalling. So best to take some time checking them out. What I have found is that when condition / breathing is worse than normal I can’t wear anything, On one of my better days I can use mask but for short time period only. If you wear glasses, sit them on top of mask, slightly helps with the fogging

I am shocked that no one has came up with a mask for folk with breathing difficulties.

Ps one of my masks has only one vent , I think 2 vents would prove to be best option.

Good luck, I hope you find something suitable x

Alberta56 in reply to saramacg

Cor! A silk mask sounds sounds really cool and easier for a lazy person (polite word) than making one . I will certainly have a look at Etsi. Love, Alberta.

My mother makes mine from any leftover bits of material she finds ,double layered . a few very comfortable to wear ,I have my favourites now . lol Although some may not offer much protection , they comply with the rules.see the video below , so easy that even I who cannot sew a button can make them Alberta.

well the video I just posted does not appear to work on this site , maybe this link will .



Alberta56 in reply to Elpojohn

Thanks, Elpojohn. My daughter and I made masks while we were shielding and couldn't get them any other way. I find it very hard to breathe in mine- hence the plea for help. daughter would love your tip- she likes DIY masks.

The 2nd video works until the posters stick a nasty ad in front of it, which I'm too computer illiterate to get rid of.

My husband has severe bronchiectasis. I make all the family’s masks and use this pattern.


It is the beak type, has 3 layers with the filter layer made of non woven interface material And you can either attach ear loops, round the head loops or ties. I use round soft elastic, which if made into ear loops can be knotted to personal fit. The mask has a nose wire, I use double wire coffee ties from Amazon (after experimentation), and glasses fit over the top so there is no fogging. They have been very successful and my children and grandchildren’s friends have also requested them. I am no dressmaker, but they are easy to make. I used a video from The Fabric Patch to help. It explains how to take the measurements. It is called the Jesse Mask and has been mentioned by the CDC in the States as one of the best designs.

Hope this helps.

Alberta56 in reply to Valsha

Thank you Valsha. I have downloaded the pattern for my daughter who has been keen to make a beaky mask for some time. I'm rather off sewing myself, because the sewing machine played up when I tried to make a jersey one, but the beaked pattern certainly looks easier to breathe in.

Valsha in reply to Alberta56

The measurements are taken from the bridge of the nose and the Fabric Patch videos are very useful.


Alberta56 in reply to Valsha

Thanks again. Alberta

embroy in reply to Alberta56

I made some cotton masks, and you can breathe in them. They are comfortable to wear.

Alberta56 in reply to embroy

Thanks for the advice. I made 2cotton masks, but reckon I need to modify them. The jersey one clings; the pure cotton one I made with ties- elastic would be better- easier to put on and off.

WMid in reply to Alberta56

This is similar to the type I make and wear and are the most comfortable.

Alberta56 in reply to WMid

Hi. Thanks for the advice.

I use the surgical mask with a 3d cage type thing underneath and it is very good. I saw a very good tip from a nurse who tied the earloops in a knot near the mask end to make a tighter fit. Valsha gives a really good link to a pattern if you are inclined to make your own.

Alberta56 in reply to Patsy164

I'll get my daughter to make one.

I wear a visor that is attached to a glasses frame, as I can’t wear a mask, like you I can’t breath, I also have my hidden disability lanyard on

People like us don't actually have to wear a mask, but I would rather not risk an aggressive confrontation with some ignorant person. I hope your visor keeps them at bay.

I also have a visor-type mask which comes with glasses-type frame. It was £3.99 from ebay. Keep safe xxx

Alberta56 in reply to Kimlu

Sounds a brilliant bargain. xxx

I bought a couple of visors but some of my family have said that they won’t give much protection. I also wonder if they’re acceptable to use instead of a mask?

I don’t know where you live. In Scotland the government website had been saying visors are an acceptable alternative. Indeed I’d seen staff in airports wearing them. Now the Scottish government website says visors on their own are no longer accepted but can be worn as well as a mask. However, I’d have thought a visor was better than nothing in the case of those who are exempt from wearing a face mask.

I live in England and all the shop staff are wearing visors here so I can only assume it’s still ok at the moment. I think it would kill me if I had to wear both! I know that we’re exempt but I feel safer if gasping with something on.

Alberta56 in reply to Chocksaway

I don't know, but visors look impressive. They must give more protection to the wearer than a cloth mask.

Chocksaway in reply to Alberta56

I would have thought so if someone coughed at you directly, but then my son started talking about the aerosol droplets in the atmosphere and I don’t know anymore

Alberta56 in reply to Chocksaway

Oh dear. It's all thoroughly confusing.

I've ordered visors that clip onto the arms of your glasses, someone on here recommended them - I will post when they arrive

Alberta56 in reply to LittlePaws

Waiting to see what you make of them.

I have a bandana type with ear loops.got off Amazon. Think it was around £7.99 look under face coverings. I brought 2 very quick and easy to wash and dry. I find it easier to breath.as can only wear normal mask for short time.

Hope this helps.

Take care and stay safex



Me again. I did post a pic of Ted! With face covering on. Don't post very often .Can't remember how I sent pic. Senior moment!

🤔perhaps you will come across it

Alberta56 in reply to Shelt16

I did indeed, and answered somewhere among your posts. Regards to Ted. Alberta

I have tried the normal blue paper ones and the silk beak type which are soft but the bottom line is, I can wear them if I’m sitting down doing nothing but not if I am talking or walking.

I feel it’s important to try and cooperate and to be seen To be doing so but if I get uncomfortable I simply make sure that my lanyard is on show. I intend making a card saying I am exempt which I will attach to the lanyard.

However, if anyone criticises you or Challenges you they are breaking the Law of discrimination. Hopefully most people will accept that you cannot wear one.

Alberta56 in reply to Jeanrita

Telling someone they are breaking the law might be politer than giving them an earful, as I sometimes fantasise about doing. Haven't done it yet, but you never know. Would it be mask rage?

Chocksaway in reply to Alberta56


Rubydoo1311 in reply to Jeanrita

I was refused entry into a gym last week even though I had a visor on, the guy was so obnoxious I’m taking it further, he totally ruined my day and made me feel like I shouldn’t be allowed access to the said gym, my solicitor is on the case

That is shocking. Good luck in pursuing your case. The guy couldn't help being stupid and ignorant (being charitable here), but to be obnoxious with it is totally out of order.

I'm being charitable; you don't have to be- indeed shouldn't be.

They think they can speak to you like a piece of muck on their shoe. Best thing was as I was leaving I heard him say I don’t even know the company policy regarding this sort of scenario 😡. I was so angry 😡😡

if the Company got to know of this, he could be in deep do-do. It would be bad for their public image.

Have managed to get Ted wearing face covering on my profile pic😊

I am end stage emphysema and I find that if I have a mask on it is more tolerable for quite a while if I use one of my small battery operated fans. I just place it just under my nose. its magic . Give it a try - kep well - Jan

Alberta56 in reply to Jancon

Thanks for the hint, Jan.

Ihave found the scarf types easier to breath with you can get them on Amazon and ebay

Alberta56 in reply to nottowell

I could pinch one off my daughter. I think I would feel like Jesse James.

I have made cotton masks, as you get used to them you can breathe, made some masks for a friends, husband and my son, a couple for me as well.

Alberta56 in reply to embroy

I made a couple of cotton ones. Unfortunately I can't wear them for long. The one made of a pillow case is better for me than the one made from a T- shirt. It's good that your friends and family can wear reusable ones- much better for the planet.