Does wearing two masks provide more protection? It depends, but it’s possible that doubling up could help in some situations.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing a cloth mask made with two or more layers, and ensuring it covers your nose and mouth. The agency says it should fit snugly so there aren’t any gaps at the sides of your face.
Wearing just one mask should be enough for most situations, as long as it fits well and isn’t loose, said Dr. David Hamer, an infectious disease expert at Boston University.
“Starting out with a good mask to begin with is going to be key,” Hamer said.
Still, some people might want extra protection if they’re at risk for severe illness if infected or will be in situations where they expect to be around others for extended periods, such as on a plane.
One option in scenarios when you want extra protection is to wear a cloth mask as well as a regular surgical mask, said Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco.