Antimicrobial Technology: The Future of VR Hygiene

Paul Willocks
Marketing Manager (Addmaster)
Antimicrobial Technology: The Future of VR Hygiene

Virtual Reality (VR) technology has rapidly evolved from a niche hobby to a widespread tool with applications in personal entertainment, education, training, and much more. As VR headsets become increasingly prevalent, especially in shared and professional environments, the importance of maintaining their hygiene has come to the forefront.

The Covid-19 pandemic significantly raised awareness of hygiene in relation to VR technology.[1] The intimate nature of VR headsets, which come into direct contact with the user's face, head and hands (when controllers are used), raises significant hygiene concerns, necessitating robust cleaning protocols and innovative solutions. Previous research suggests that VR headsets that are subjected to extended use by several people, leads to high levels of bacterial contamination that equals or exceeds that of computer keyboards in similar settings.[2]

The Growing Use of VR Headsets

VR headsets are no longer confined to gaming enthusiasts. They are now integral in various industries:

  • Healthcare: VR is revolutionising patient treatment, medical training, and therapy. Surgeons use VR for simulation training, while mental health professionals employ it for exposure therapy, treating conditions like PTSD, anxiety, and phobias.
  • Education: VR creates immersive learning experiences, from historical tours to complex scientific simulations. Students can explore the cosmos, dive into the ocean, or visit ancient civilisations, enhancing their learning experiences.
  • Industrial Training: Companies use VR to train employees in a risk-free environment, simulating real-life scenarios. This includes training for high-risk jobs, like firefighting, operating heavy machinery, and emergency response, without the associated dangers.
    Entertainment and Personal Use: With games, virtual travel, and social VR platforms, the personal use of VR headsets continues to grow, bringing unique experiences into homes worldwide.

However, with this increased use comes the challenge of maintaining the hygiene of these devices, especially when shared among multiple users.

Current Hygiene Protocols for VR Headsets

The standard practice for maintaining VR headset hygiene typically includes:

  • Alcohol Wipes: Disinfecting the headset with alcohol wipes after each use is a common practice. Alcohol wipes are effective at killing many types of bacteria and viruses, but they must be used correctly and consistently.
  • UV-C Light Sanitisation: Using UV-C light to kill bacteria and viruses on the headset surfaces. UV-C light sanitisation is an effective method, but it requires specialised equipment and a certain amount of time to be effective.
  • Replaceable Face Pads: Utilising disposable or easily replaceable face pads to prevent direct contact with the headset. This method reduces direct contact with the headset’s surfaces but generates waste and requires a continuous supply of replacement pads.
  • Regular Cleaning Schedules: Implementing regular stringent cleaning schedules, particularly in high-use environments like hospitals and schools help to maintain hygiene.

While these methods are effective to a degree, they rely heavily on consistent human effort and may not always eliminate all microbial threats, especially in the harder to reach areas of the device.

Innovative Solutions: Antimicrobial Additives

To enhance hygiene and provide a more reliable solution, incorporating antimicrobial additives during the manufacturing process of VR headsets is the way forward. These additives can be integrated into the various materials that make up the headset and controllers, offering continuous product protection against microbial growth.

Biomaster: Leading the Way in Antimicrobial Protection

At Addmaster, we specialise in providing antimicrobial solutions to various industries. Our most recognised product, Biomaster, is particularly suited for integration into VR headsets and controllers.

How Biomaster Works

Biomaster is an antimicrobial additive that can be incorporated into plastics, coatings, and textiles during manufacturing. It provides long-lasting protection by inhibiting the growth of harmful microbes on treated surfaces. The active ingredient in Biomaster, silver ion technology, disrupts the biological functions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi, rendering them inactive.

Benefits of Biomaster in VR Headsets

  • Continuous Protection: Unlike surface cleaning, Biomaster works 24/7 to prevent microbial growth. This continuous action helps to maintain a high level of hygiene even between manual cleaning sessions, which are still important.
  • Reduction of Surface Contamination: In environments like hospitals where multiple users are sharing devices, Biomaster will reduce surface contamination. This is crucial in healthcare settings where the use of antimicrobial technology and its ability to compliment infection control procedures is paramount.
  • Enhanced User Confidence: Knowing that the device offers an additional layer of product protection can make users feel more secure. This confidence can be particularly important in shared environments such as schools and public VR arcades.

Application in VR Headsets and Controllers

Integrating Biomaster into the materials of VR headsets and controllers can be done during the manufacturing process. This inclusion does not affect the performance or the aesthetics of the device but significantly enhances its hygiene levels. For instance, the foam padding, plastic casings, and even the straps of the headsets can be treated with Biomaster.

Practical Implementation

  • Foam Padding: An area of the device that can lead to skin infections and irritation, the foam padding which makes direct contact with the user's face, is a prime candidate for antimicrobial treatment. By incorporating Biomaster, the padding can inhibit microbial growth.
  • Plastic Casings: The hard plastic surfaces of the headset and controllers can harbour bacteria and viruses. Treated with Biomaster, these surfaces can inhibit microbial growth, providing continuous product protection.
  • Straps and Textiles: The straps that hold the headset in place can also be treated with Biomaster, ensuring that every part of the headset remains hygienic.

Supporting Research

A recent study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) (NCBI Study) underscores the importance of maintaining the hygiene of shared VR headsets. The study highlights how inadequate cleaning can lead to the transmission of various pathogens, posing health risks to users. This research supports the need for continuous antimicrobial product protection as an effective measure to enhance the hygiene of VR headsets.[3]


As VR technology continues to permeate various sectors, the importance of maintaining the hygiene of VR headsets cannot be overstated. While current cleaning protocols are essential, the integration of antimicrobial additives like Biomaster offers a proactive and reliable solution to enhance them. By incorporating such advanced methods, manufacturers can provide VR users with a more hygienic experience, fostering greater adoption and trust in this innovative technology.

You can find out more about Biomaster Antimicrobial Technology HERE


[1] Aarlborg University Denmark / A Survey of Virtual Reality Hygiene Practices -

[2] Creel, B., Rinz-Jones, C. J., Jones, A., & Jackson, C. (2020). Bacterial Load of Virtual Reality Headsets (In Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology, VRST. Association for Computing Machinery) -

[3] National Library of Medicine / Disinfection of Virtual Reality Devices in Health Care Settings: In Vitro Assessment and Survey Study -

← Back to blog