Genuine or Fake Surgical Masks — 3 Quick Tests to Find Out! [Updated]

1) Visual Test

If it is a 3-ply mask, logically, it would need to have 3 layers. Cut open the mask and you should see a very obvious 3-layers, as shown below. The 3 layers would typically consist of a Translucent piece (top), White piece (middle), and the coloured piece (Green, Blue, or even White).

3-Ply Mask

2) Water Test

Surgical masks, not only protect others from your cough and sneeze, they also provide protection against others’. Therefore, the outer layer is designed to be waterproof!

Water Test — Make Sure the Other Side Is Not Damp

3) Fire Test

The middle layer is a filter, not a piece of paper. Therefore, if you were to light it with a flame, it WILL NOT catch fire! The following video illustrate the outcome of burning the middle layer, compared with burning a piece of tissue.

Fire Test — Filter of Masks Will Not Catch Fire

List of Doubtful Masks

The following are some list of doubtful masks as posted in Chinese Blog. I am just sharing it here for information only. It may or may not mean that they are not good; in fact, some are just indications that there are counterfeits for that brand. Anyway, to be doubly safe, always double check.


In summary, I really hate to write these. Firstly, I am not an authoritative person to do this, but I have to share my experience and knowledge with everyone since there is such an urgent need.

[Updated On 22.05.2021]

Thanks to everyone for the views, follows, and the great comments. I am deeply honoured to be of help to all.

Water Drip Test On the Inside Layer Of Mask
Water Drip Test On Both the Outer and Inner Layers of Mask



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Ximplify It

Ximplify It

Reader, Writer, Technology Professional. Sharing thoughts and perspectives in a simplified way.