I have masks very similar to this one enter image description here It doesn't have the adjuster, like the one in the white mask or the one in the last picture. As a replacement for the silver adjuster, I've thought in using duck tape around the mask, however I doubt that could stick well on my skin. My question is, what could I use as a replacement for such adjuster?

Any help is appreciated

enter image description here enter image description here

  • @Stan The masks that I have don't have the adjusting piece, it's just the blue piece of material Jun 1, 2020 at 18:09
  • 1
    Have you noticed the stiffener sewn into the hem? I have some basic and cheap disposable masks and at first I did not notice that adjustable stiffener. If it really doesn't then you should remove the picture of the blue one that does have it, because "very similar to this one" is not true, in the context of the question Jun 1, 2020 at 19:56
  • @WeatherVane Sadly mines doesn't have it. I'll edit the picture. Jun 1, 2020 at 20:55

7 Answers 7


If there is sufficient space where the metal piece normally sits, slide a flexible piece of any kind of wire such as a straightened paper clip between the layers of the mask.

UPDATE: When there is no convenient tube, fold the top edge of the mask over a pipe-cleaner to form a "hem." Use a thin strip of tape to close the seam. The fuzzy pipe cleaner will hold its position.
You may wish/need to "double-over" the pipe cleaner to stiffen the bend to hold its shape over the bridge of your nose.

After it is in place use it in the same way as the flat strip.

Good luck

  • 1
    Thank you so much for you help, the pipe cleaner sure would work and I am thinking that won't be uncomfortable as the paper clip or any kind of wire. Jun 2, 2020 at 1:18
  • I am also thinking that perhaps I can use glue at the top edge of the mask and paste the pipe cleaner. Or inside the mask, so it doesn't looks weird Jun 2, 2020 at 1:21
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    @América You're making this for temporary use. You'll see what is best for your circumstances. You may find holding glued cloth together time consuming or even too aromatic when it's on.
    – Stan
    Jun 2, 2020 at 1:26

If you don't have pipe cleaners, glue on a twist tie. People making makeshift masks at the beginning of the pandemic were frequently requesting them.

Pro level - hot glue a dab on the ends so they don't poke through the mask.


The hack answer – when the main issue is the safety of yourself and others – is

Throw those masks away and buy ones that are fit for purpose.

  • If were only that easy :) The last time that I went to the pharmacies (3), they told me that there was none. No N95, no any other N's, not even the simplest mask, like the ones that I currently have. Jun 1, 2020 at 20:54
  • Like questions about tyre safety on SE Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair (where it is specifically off-topic), few people will advise you how to bodge a mask. My advice remains. Jun 1, 2020 at 20:56

A slight variation of Stan’s suggestion:

Use the flexible metal strip from a binder (the thin part in the photo), they are pliable enough to mold well and stable enough to keep their shape well. Don’t bother with poking holes or folding for a hem. Place the metal in parallel to the top border on the outside of the mask and affix it to the mask with a strip of tape. Masking or even duct tape is more stable, washi tape easier to remove and can be quite stylish.

Remove the metal strip before discarding the mask and reuse as necessary.

  • Thank you so much for your help. Definitely an ingenious idea, precisely hours ago I was thinking on alternatives to the pipe cleaner; the flexible metal strip from a binder! right. Jun 3, 2020 at 15:51

I'm new to this site, but, I myself had the very same situation. I bought a pack of adhesive strip adjustable metal clips. i bought a pack of 100 for $3.99 on Amazon. The pack shows how to place them with the adhesive and says how to “sew/stitch” them to material as well. [Aluminum Strip Antifog Nose Wire]

enter image description here


Try adding a piece of styrofoam on top of your nose (or around it) or something like that. This will create pressure, holding the mask to our face, essentially make your nose BIGGER, which in that case the mask will grip. You don’t necessarily have to make the mask nose part smaller to match your nose, try working in the opposite direction and think of things you can add to your nose to match the masks requirements...XD hope this helped, if not I hope I got you thinking in the right direction. XD


Here is a link to a very simple way to upgrade a basic blue disposable face mask to near N95 performance.

One suggestion based on personal experience: choose rubber bands that are medium thickness. This will give you enough flex to adjust properly without being too loose. Thick bands exert too much tension and are thus quite uncomfortable.

A quick & easy way to increase your confidence in the mask's efficacy. Good luck!

  • Thank you. Although performance of those blue disposable face masks can possibly be somewhat increased, my understanding is that they will never approach N95 filtering levels due to physical differences in the filtering media. Mar 19, 2021 at 1:59

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