Airinum on Manila Bulletin

Posted by Nina Ricci on

Airinum on Manila Bulletin

Is this Swedish brand the Ferrari of air masks?

Five-layer filter, anyone?

It’s come close to a year since we started wearing masks that it has truly become part of our everyday lives. In this day and age when there are countless masks in the market, how does one choose?

Brand Una Ricci has found the best mask in terms of protection, comfort, and sleek design. Sweden’s Airinum has been manufacturing masks since 2015, long before the pandemic started. It was initially made for anyone who simply wanted to avoid air pollution, but it has now become a necessity, and will stay that way even post-Covid-19.

The brand originated from the co-founder and CEO Alexander Hjertstrom’s search for a means to protect himself and found that wearing an anti-pollution breathing mask was the most effective way. To his surprise, however, most of the masks on the market were very basic and far from perfect in their construction— not something you would want to wear every day.

Coming back from Asia, Alexander discussed this problem with his friend Fredrik Kempe. Living in Sweden, clean air was something they both took for granted. Realizing that everyone couldn’t breathe clean and healthy air they decided to do something about it, and Airinum was born.

These premium Airinum’s Urban Air Masks are equipped with five-layer filters, giving you high-level protection. The filters are replaceable and should be changed about every 100 hours of usage. Each air filter media layer has different properties to filter particles of different sizes. There’s the outside PP layer with outside filter wrapping in a durable finish. There’s the Active Carbon Layer, which reduces gases and odors. There’s the first Electro Charged Layer, which filters larger pm10 pollution, pollen, and other allergens, followed by the second Electro Charged Layer, which filters smaller pm2.5 pollution, dust, and bacteria. Finally, there is the Inside PP Layer with ultra-smooth and skin-friendly finish.

IN THE KIT The Urban Air Mask is characterized by its simplicity, minimalism, and functionality

The Airinum mask is KN95 certified (similar to the American N95) and has 98 percent filtering efficiency against particles down to 0.3μm in size. These masks are designed to last. Every mask skin is washable and reusable. The mask skin is also treated with Polygiene, a textile treatment that stops the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

The Urban Air Mask 2.0 is designed with two exhalation valves acting as a ventilation system, making the air pollution mask comfortable to wear. When exhaling, the two valves allow warm, moist, and carbon dioxide filled air to be ventilated out of the space between the face and the mask. This would otherwise build up inside the face mask, causing discomfort. When inhaling, the valves are blocked, making sure all inhaled air travels through the mask filter.

The Airinum exhalation valves are specially designed to not spread exhaled air horizontally outward, like when you are normally exhaling. The valve cap pushes the exhaled air to the sides of the valves. This reduces the spread of exhaled air. This is a similar logic to a surgical mask that doctors or dentists wear, which do not completely seal but direct the airflow away from the patient.

The Exhalation Valve Stoppers are optional to use and can replace the Valve Caps. They should be used when you want to plug the ventilation function of the mask. These have been tested at RISE R&D Center in Sweden with evidence showing that it will block 99 percent of the exhaled air, diminishing the risk of respiratory droplets escaping into the ambient air. It is beneficial for those who suffer from allergic rhinitis, sneezing, and coughing, especially in public places.

SWEDISH PROTECTION Urban Air Mask 2.0 in onyx black

To offer a personal and comfortable fit, Airinum’s Urban Air Mask 2.0 is designed with adjustable ear loops. The skin-friendly and elastic material of the ear loops together with the easily adjustable length allows the user to create a tight sealing, without the need of putting too much pressure on the ears. Because all people have unique facial shapes, a four-sizing system will not fit all people perfectly, but with the adjustable functions, the Urban Air Mask 2.0 can be adjusted to a personal fit for everyone. The Airinum Urban Air Mask 2.0 has two exhalation valves which act as ventilation systems for the mask— removing moisture, heat, and carbon dioxide to make the mask easier to breathe through. When you breathe, the valves are transporting out the exhaled air to prevent the mask from becoming warm and moisty. Moreover, the Airinum Urban Air Mask 2.0 is lightweight. There is no tugging on the ears or moist on those who wear eyeglasses. There is ample space for your mouth to move and your voice does not become muffled. It forms on your nose and your chin is fully covered as well. It is also celebrated in the style and aesthetics front. The brand has done collaborations with MoMA, Woolrich, Bally, and just recently, Japanese streetwear brand Human Made. It is also the brand of choice of Gwyneth PaltrowConan O’BrienMatt DamonMarc Jacobs, and Oprah.

At PhP4,000 for a set of one mask, two filters, two valve caps, and two valve stoppers—additional filters come in a box of three for PhP1,200 (PhP400 a piece) for 100 hours of usage each—it could seem like the Ferrari of masks, but there’s more value for money.