For long-wearing masks that don’t hurt your ears
What are Ear Rescue straps?
Ear Rescue straps are basically soft flat fabric bands which can be fastened behind your head at any height that works best for you, depending on the shape of your head and your personal preferences. The top of the mask uses these, and the bottom half uses a soft flat underwear-grade elastic designed to go right against skin. Nothing ever hooks around or rests on the top of your ears, so your ears stay completely comfortable and pain-free, even at the end of a long day.
The two-strap system, part 1: the adjustable upper strap
The upper straps fasten with a generous length of hook-and-loop tape (aka Velcro). This means they 1) are easy to do up, even for people with joint and/or dexterity issues, 2) are size-adjustable, and 3) don’t lose tension or slip over long wear. You can do up the straps at the height that feels best and most secure on your head.
These adjustable Velcro-closed top straps do most of the work of holding the mask in place. Once you fasten them at the right height for you (you may need to experiment to find the sweet spot on yourself), they stay in place very well.
The soft fabric straps can either sit high and clear of your ears, or pass over the flat plane of your ears. Just make sure the strap isn’t hooking over the top of your ears like standard ear loops! As long as you do this, your ears should remain perfectly pain-free even after a full day’s wear.
The two-strap system, part 2: the one-piece elastic lower strap
The lower part of the mask has a one-piece elastic strap that can either rest on or under your hair, roughly at the base of your head or nape of your neck. We use very soft underwear/lingerie-grade elastic which is designed for direct skin contact.
We don’t use a second strap with Velcro here for a couple of reasons. First, the back of the neck is a high-mobility area on your body, and having a non-stretch strap on it feels pretty restrictive. This can result in digging-in, neck and shoulder tension, or even headaches.
Second, Velcro can feel quite scratchy on sensitive skin for people who have short or no hair, or who prefer to have the lower strap under their hair.
An adjustable strap is not at all necessary to hold the lower part of the mask in place — in fact, you hardly need anything at all. The customized fit of the upper strap holds the mask so securely that the lower elastic is just there as back-up.
How to get Ear Rescue straps on your mask
You can upgrade your masks to have Ear Rescue straps (instead of the standard elastic ear loops or ties) by selecting the “Upgrade to Ear Rescue straps” <OR whatever we end up calling this option on the website!> option when you order your masks.
You should be able to add this option on to the “Put on a good Face,” Ziggurat, Anteater, Gondola, and Sparrowhawk mask styles. We’re not currently offering it for Accordion masks, because the straight-across-the-top cut of this mask style doesn’t play nicely with the angle at which the upper straps need to be attached.
What to do if you need extra-long or extra-short straps
We use enough Velcro so you can adjust the fit by a couple of inches, which is a lot in terms of head sizes. But if you feel like you have an unusually small or large head, you can always contact us, and we’ll walk you through the custom measurement process.