Since the outbreak, Malaysia continues its fight against Covid-19. With the Movement Control Order (MCO) still in place and even tighten in some areas such as Sungai Petani and Lahad Datu, it is important for Malaysians to do their duties. One of the ways to help the spread of Covid-19 is by wearing a face mask. The Malaysian government has enforced that everyone must wear a mask in public places. But how does a face mask protect you from the virus? Does it provide you with enough protection?

Why do you need a face mask?

The main reason to wear a mask is to prevent particles from one’s respiratory system from getting into the air, which could be transmitted into another person’s respiratory system. Thus, it lowers the spread of Covid-19, especially in places where social distancing is difficult to maintain. Let’s breakdown the type of face mask and its effectiveness

Best Covid-19 Protection Mask Malaysia

1. KN95 ★★★★★

  • Protection: Excellent protection
  • Price: Expensive

KN95 offers the best protection as it can filter out large and small particles when the wearer inhales. With 5-layer protection, it filters 95% of all particles contained in germs, virus, or fine dust. KN95 and N95 are often confused, but the difference is that N95 can capture smaller particles. In comparison, KN95 can capture all particles greater than 0.3 µm in diameter. KN95 is considered as quite expensive as it intended for single use only.

2. Medical Face Mask ★★★★☆

  • Protection: Good
  • Price: Affordable

Medical face mask or sometimes known as surgical mask is a disposable mask made from thin layers of nonwoven fabric. It prevents large particles from getting into the air as well as reduces the exposure to saliva and respiratory secretion. Large particles can be filtered out and protect the wearer’s nose and mouth from droplets that could contain germs. This mask is affordable and intended for single use only.

3. Cloth Face Mask ★★★☆☆

  • Protection: Average
  • Price: Affordable

More people are starting to wear cloth masks as it is cheaper and eco-friendly. For it to be effective, make sure the cloth used is hydrophilic (water absorbent), breathable, and has at least two layers. This type of masks traps droplets from being transmitted into the air when the wearer sneezes, coughs, or talks. Cloth masks need to be washed daily, stored properly, and should not be shared.

4. Face Mask with Valves ★★☆☆☆

  • Protection: Average
  • Price: Expensive

Some masks include a one-way valve on the front to make it easier for the wearer to breathe. This one-way valve closes when the wearer breathes in and opens when the wearer breathes out. Either cloth mask or KN95, valve-type mask is not effective according to CDC as it spreads the wearer’s droplets and virus particles into the air which defeats the purpose of wearing a mask. Therefore, it is not recommended to wear a mask with valves.

5. Scarf ★☆☆☆☆

  • Protection: Poor
  • Price: Cheap

Using a simple scarf or bandana is not protective enough against covid-19. This is because a scarf or bandana does not cover all necessary areas as guided by KKM which are nose, mouth, and chin. Particles from one’s respiratory system can be transmitted into the air or another person through the openings such as under the chin. Besides, using a scarf is also unproven to protect against covid-19.


Masks come in different styles and sizes. The bottom line is to find the best fitting face mask that covers your nose, mouth, and chin as well as comfortable enough for you to breathe. Store and dispose of your face mask properly. For reusable face masks,  it is essential to know how to wash, disinfect and handle the face mask properly.

Which face masks is the best in Malaysia to protect from Covid-19?

RankingProduct NameProtectionPrice
2Medical Face MaskGoodAffordable
3Cloth Face MaskAverageAffordable
4Face Mask with ValvesAverageExpensive