Totobobo is one of the most requested mask reviews that I have had. It was a mask that I had never heard of before, but after looking into it, it was a mask that I quickly became interested in.
The first thing that stands out about this mask is the very unique look – it’s transparent with the exception of the filters. Some people love this look as it is more natural, however, there are also those who prefer the more traditional mask look.
No mask is effective if it doesn’t fit properly. Not only is mask that leaks only partially (or not at all) protecting you, but it can even be detrimental in the sense of security that it provides.
This is where Totobobo shines. It is a mask that is made for the common user, someone who can’t get professionally fitted masks and doesn’t have training. It’s a mask that lets you perform your own fit testing.
In this full review of the Totobobo mask I will cover everything from the filtration specifications to the unique fitting aspects that Totobobo offers. If you read this review and have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
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F94 filters and Totobobo with Pro99 filter.
Totobobo masks have been laboratory tested and they offer the certifications for public viewing on their homepage. The mask has been tested by Nelson Labs (the standard for most respirators you will find), Centre Testing International, and the Prince of Wales Hospital.
The testing by CTI is done to check the safety of materials used in the mask. For filtration, results, these certificates can be overlooked. The testing done by the Prince of Wales Hospital found that while Totobobo (as with any mask) performs better with fit testing, and that fit testing is recommended, also found that the Totobobo masks provided an adequate fit on a far larger number of test subjects (than an N95 respirator).
I will discuss more on the fit of the mask later, as it is a vital aspect of wearing any mask or respirator. The filtration efficacy of a mask is greatly impacted by fit, and an incorrectly fitted or leaking respirator will allow unfiltered air to pass through.
Totobobo is the only mask that I have come across that allows for self fit-testing. Where it’s often difficult to tell if another mask has a seal and if it’s filtering the air, Totobobo allows you to be certain.
F94 filters (left), Pro99 filter (right).
As of the time of writing there are four different filter types available for your Totobobo mask. These filters can all be purchased separately and they all meet different filtration specifications and are priced differently.
The filters available are the F92, F94, F96 and Pro99. For typical use, the F filters are the best choice. The Pro99 filter is aimed more at users who require more air – therefore, these filters are aimed at people looking for a mask to use while doing sports or exercise.
|Filtration Efficacy||Particle Filtration (0.1μm)||Viral (2.9μm)||Bacterial (2.9μm)|
Filtration efficacy of Totobobo filters. Data from Totobobo Nelson Lab results.
The table above shows the filtration efficacy of the four different filter types. Some of the data is missing, and this due to a lack of testing of the specified filter with the particle type mentioned.
As can be seen, all filters provide ≥99.6% filtration of particulate matter at 0.1μm. To put this in perspective, the most commonly referred to types of pollution are PM1, PM2.5 and PM10. 0.1μm is 10x smaller than PM1, 25x smaller than PM2.5 and 100x smaller than PM10.
The F94 and F96 filters also provide ≥99.9% bacterial and viral filtration on particles at 2.9μm in size. While the Pro99 and F92 don’t have viral and bacterial filtration results at the time of writing, they would likely perform similarly. However, if you require these types of protection, stay with the proven F94 and F96 filters.
Nelson Labs F96 filter results. Source.
For the majority of users, the F92 – F96 filters will be the better option. While the Pro filters offer more ease of breathing, they are also far large and significantly more expensive.
Finally, it’s always vital to remember that masks and respirators are only effective while they maintain a seal. Only air that goes through the filter will be filtered to the above specifications, and it is always important to fit-test your mask following the instructions in the manual and on the website.
Fit & Seal
One of the most unique aspects of the Totobobo mask is that it offers ways for the user to reshape the mask to fit their face. They also offer a printable template that you can print and fit before purchasing a mask. This seems like such a simple idea in theory, but it’s something that I have never seen before. It’s extremely useful.
There are two different types of mask models currently offered. Both models are identical except that one offers the addition of a nose-clip. This nose-clip isn’t essential, but it will allow you to seal the mask more easily around the bridge of your nose.
Learn more about mask filtration & MPPS.
Masks for children are also offered by Totobobo.
It is important to note that for any mask to be totally effective, professional fit testing is required. However, that isn’t accessible for the majority of people. Totobobo luckily offers a user fit-test that can be carried out by anyone.
To fit test the mask, first wet your face around where the seal will be created. This means your chin, cheeks, and nose. Once your face is damp, don the mask. Make sure that every point where the mask touches your face is damp.
Due to the transparent nature of the mask, you should be able to see where the mask is tight. The areas where the mask is sealed will turn more transparent, whereas the areas with a weaker seal (or no seal) will be more opaque.
If you notice a leak, try to adjust the mask until it is gone. Make sure that other leaks don’t occur while you do this. If you can’t remove all leaks, you may need to adjust the mask – something that I will cover in the next section.
MeoAir Mask review – mask made in New Zealand.
Adjusting the Mask
Totobobo masks offer three unique methods of adjustment. Namely, you can cut the mask down to size (if you require a smaller mask) without sacrificing filtration capability, you can adjust the plastic mold shape, and you can change the straps to fit.
If you find the mask too big, the manual recommends cutting it down to size. This can be done with any pair of scissors, and allows you to customise the fit of the plastic. If you want to resizing the mask before making commitments on your own mask, you can print a paper mask template on the Totobobo website.
Secondly, the mask can actually be re-fitted using either hot water or a hair dryer at 70 degrees celsius. The plastic will then become more malleable and allow you to reshape the mask as needed. When you are done, place it in cooler water to fix the shape.
When doing this, make sure to exaggerate the changes that you want. I found that the mask would usually loosen a bit when cooling, and I needed a few attempts to get the mask in the right shape.
Finally, more minor than the other adjustments, Totobobo also offers on more adjustment option that is useful. That is the ability to change the straps to either be ear-straps or head-straps. While many masks include optional headbands, it’s nice to have this feature included by default.
Although I do prefer the head-band option, the ear-bands are also quite comfortable. I found that the straps could be left relatively loose compared to other masks while not compromising on fit. The ear straps are comfortable enough to wear for a morning or afternoon without pain.
The design of Totobobo masks is one of the most unusual parts of the mask. Some people love the transparent look, while others aren’t so fond of it. However, there is no denying that the transparency offers some benefits.
Most other reusable respirators such as Vogmask and Cambridge Mask are made from cloth and make it impossible to see the wearers face. Totobobo follows a different design philosophy and the masks are made with transparent plastic.
This plastic allows for easy adaptability and allows the wearer to easily fit-test and seal-check the mask. On top of this, the design also allows for easy filter changing and strap adjustments.
A further benefit that many people may not realise initially is that having housing the filters externally allows the wearer to easily see when they need changing. Over time, the filters will be exposed to pollution and will gradually change from white to grey and then black.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of the plastic design though is that it allows for easy washing. While many reusable respirators can be washed, they often take hours to dry. Further, each wash comprises the quality of the filter, and eventually they must be replaced.
Totobobo allows you to remove the filters while you wash the mask. This means that you don’t need to worry about damaging them. On top of this, since the exterior is plastic, it can easily be dried with a paper towel. If you do wash your mask, make sure to use proven disinfection methods.
Another area in which I found the Totobobo mask to perform well is comfort. This is because the mask is both very light, and covers a lot less facial area than traditional masks.
In colder weather, a cloth mask is probably going to be more comfortable. However, I found that the Totobobo mask is ideal in summer due to the lighter material it is made out of and the smaller face area that it covers.
The ability to use head-straps rather than ear-straps also help make the mask more comfortable. While some people prefer ear-bands, I always find that over time they cut into my ears and cause a lot of pain and even headaches.
The only complaint that I have about the mask in regards to comfort is that it can feel a bit sharp at times. I found that after wearing the mask for a few hours it would hurt my face around the nose area. However, I haven’t found a single mask that doesn’t cause some pain and discomfort after hours of wear.
I do think that Totobobo is one of the more comfortable masks that I have tested and this is especially true during the summer (and warmer) months. In these times, cloth masks often become very uncomfortable.
Conclusion – Is Totobobo a Good Mask?
From my experience I can confidently state that Totobobo is one of the best fitting masks that I have ever used. Even before adjusting the mask, it created an almost perfect seal on my face. After some adjustments, I was able to remove almost all leakage.
Everyone will have different experiences, but my experiences with the mask were positive. Not only does it provide great filtration, but it is indefinitely reusable and even the straps are replaceable.
Compared to more traditional masks with fabric layers, such as Vogmask, Idontcare or the Purely KN95 mask, I felt a lot more confident wearing this mask. With the self fit-testing and strong seal that it created I felt like it was filtering the air that I was inhaling.
Compared to other reusable respirators I would recommend the Totobobo mask. If possible, I would specifically recommend the model with a nose-piece due to the increased fit.
I am always open to hearing more thoughts and opinions on the products that I review. If you have tried this mask, what were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments. Further, if you have any questions, please feel free to let me know. I will reply as soon as I can.
If you want to purchase a Totobobo mask, you can do so here.
Learn everything that you need to know about respirator ratings. N95, KF94, KN95 and more!
What Rating does Totobobo Have?
Totobobo does not hold an NIOSH or equivalent rating. However, it has been tested by Nelson Labs and has been found to provide over 99% filtration (for particulate matter at 0.1μm) on all filter types.
What Alternatives Are There to Totobobo?
How Long Does A Totobobo Mask Last?
The mask itself lasts indefinitely due to its plastic build. The filters are replaceable and can be purchased in large packs. The filters should be replaced every 2 weeks or when the filter becomes grey.
Is Totobobo Officially Tested?
Yes, Totobobo has been officially tested by Nelson Labs. The full results can be found on the Totobobo website.