Face masks are an unfortunate but increasing necessity in today’s modern world. There are some areas of the world where air pollution is so thick that everyone wears masks. In addition, wildfires can waft smoke over hundreds of miles, blanketing cities and their populations in smog.
People with healthy lungs might be able to withstand this. But the level of chemicals and pollutants in the air can take a toll on your lung tissue and respiratory system. That’s without even considering individuals who have respiratory illnesses like asthma, or individuals who have a compromised immune system and can’t afford to get sick.
The best face mask is one that fits you properly, is comfortable, and filters out a majority of the pollutants in the air. Face masks in China and Korea must adhere to N95 testing standards, meaning that they filter out at least 95 percent of air particles. In the United States, the standard goes up to N99, or ninety-nine percent particle filtration.
There are other reasons you might use a face mask as well. Maybe you need protection when you’re working with wood, sawdust, or any other endeavor that involves a lot of airborne particles.
The Best Air Filter Face Masks
|Feature||Protection Rating||Colors||Number of Sizes|
Our Best Pick
|N95||Noir, newfly, noir logo V, pink panda, quantum, rainbows||5|
|N99||Blue, gray, camo, pink striped||4|
#1. MountainAir Air Pollution Cotton Face Mask
This is the most affordable option on the list, and it’s a good choice if you need an effective mask in a pinch. The material and design have an N95 protection rating, meaning that they filter out 95 percent of the particles in the air. You do sacrifice some customization for affordability, though. The mask is available only in black and is one-size-fits-all.
The unisex design is created to be comfortable and soft against the skin. The loops don’t cause irritating friction when you work or run. This mask works to block air pollution, germs, and smog alike. It also helps warm your face in the cold. Thanks to an adjustable nose wire, you can make sure that the mask fits securely on your face no matter its shape.
The manufacturers have created the mask to be used in a variety of places and circumstances. During winter weather, you can wear it out to minimize your exposure to bacteria, viruses, and SARS. You can also wear it in hospital settings to prevent the spread of infection and disease. For people with asthma, the filtration system can be a hugely important preventative tool in stopping flareups from occurring.
Every one of the masks has a respirator valve fitted into the cloth. The valve lets you breathe in air while keeping moisture outside. There’s also the option to fit a carbon filter inside the mask, though you’ll need to purchase one separately. An additional carbon filter gives further protection against germs and harmful particles. A half mask is ideal for dust-filled areas, woodworking, and any environment with potentially hazardous materials in the air.
The dust mask is reusable. One of the biggest drawbacks of many air purifying masks is that they only come in disposable options, which can be expensive to replace. You can reduce your carbon footprint and the strain on your wallet by purchasing this washable mask instead. You won’t need to change the filters very often, but when you do, there are replacements available for separate purchase.
#2. Vogmask VMCV Large
This mask is a little more expensive than the MountainAir one. It purifies just as efficiently as the MountainAir mask, but it has more customization options. In addition, the construction may be a little sturdier, allowing the mask to last longer before needing to be replaced.
Six colors are available. There are two “noir” designs and four patterned designs that use different prints and colors. Since there’s a variety in the appearance, this is a great choice if you’re looking for a more fashion-forward model that can suit your unique aesthetic.
The N95 protection filters out 95 percent of particles. The mask is designed with an exhalation valve, which allows moisture and CO2 to exit on each exhale rather than clinging to the inside of the mask. The ear loops and trim are crafted from non-latex spandex material, so you don’t have to worry about allergens, and the mask can easily conform to fit a number of face shapes.
If you’re concerned about the mask fitting properly, Vogmask does have an adjustable head strap available for separate purchase. When attached to the mask, you can secure the fit perfectly regardless of the shape of your head. You should also make sure to get the right size, since there are five different sizes available. Vogmask has published a guide showing you how to calculate your size. The majority of adults use Large.
Every Vogmask product comes with a 30 day money back guarantee. Should you be unsatisfied with the mask, or should anything be wrong with your purchase, notify Vogmask within 30 days to receive a full refund.
The 95 percent particle filter is fortified by the four carbon filters sewn into the mask. The design protects against particles that can be as small as 0.3 microns including smoke, shavings, pollen, dust, dander, and air pollutants. You’re also protected from airborne organisms like viruses and bacteria. The filters are created out of permeable material that makes breathing easy.
Compared to disposable masks, this is a much more economical and environmentally-friendly option. Every Vogmask can be reused for anywhere from three to six months. Individuals in poorer air quality conditions will need to replace them sooner. To extend the mask’s lifespan, you should hand wash the filters only.
#3. Cambridge Mask Co N99 Military Grade Respirator
This mask is around the same price point as the previous option, but it doesn’t have the same level of customization available. Still, there are four colors available including a black, gray, camo print, and bright pink striped print. You can probably find one that suits your personal taste.
Four sizes are available. Rather than being based on facial measurements, the sizes are indicated based on a person’s weight. Small is for children, while medium, large, and extra-large are for adults.
If you want the best of the best in terms of quality, this mask is what you’re looking for. It uses the same air filtration technology that the British military employs. As such, the filtration system removes nearly 100 percent of microscopic particles from the air, including gases, viruses, bacteria, and pollutants.
The heavy-duty construction makes a big difference if you’re an individual who needs the mask for health reasons. People with asthma are significantly less likely to have an asthma attack if 99 percent of particles are filtered out rather than just 95. This is also an ideal choice for anyone who is traveling to or living in an area with high smoke and pollution levels.
The mask comes in a compact slimline tin that allows for easy storage when it’s not in use. You can tuck it easily into your bag or luggage when you travel. When you’re relaxing at home without it, it’s easy to store the case on your counter top or in a cupboard.
If you want a good and standard option that will suit the majority of wearers, the MountainAir design is a solid option. It’s significantly more affordable than one of the more highly customized options on the market. Because of this, it’s the best choice for people who need a face mask in a pinch but can’t break the bank.
If you want a mask that has more stylish color options and a wider size range, the Vogmask is one of the first places you should look. The VMCV mask line comes with six colors that range from brightly patterned to pink to black and neutral tones. There’s something to suit anyone’s particular fashion sense. Like the MountainAir design, the Vogmask can filter out 95 percent of particles in the air.
For the most effective option on the market, you’ll want to consider the Cambridge mask. It uses filtration technology pioneered by the British military, and it has been laboratory tested and proven to filter out nearly 100 percent of particles. Unlike the other two options, which filter out only 95 percent of particulates, the Cambridge mask manages more than 99 percent. It’s the best choice for individuals who have a high risk of respiratory disease or infection, such as those with asthma or those with compromised immune systems.