With a worse flu season than usual and worries about the global coronavirus, many people are wondering what masks and respirators they can purchase to protect themselves.
This is a selection of ten different designs that can suit a variety of purposes.
The Top 10 Best N95 Masks and Respirators
|Product||Number in Pack||Filter||Material|
|#1. FFP2 (5-piece)|
|#2. 3M 8511|
|#4. 3M 8233|
|#5. SAS 8617|
|#6. FFP2 (12-piece)|
|#7. Reusable Dust Mask|
|#8. Full Facepiece|
|#9. Half Facepiece|
|#10. Full Face Cartridge|
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#1. 5 Pack of FFP2 Respirator Masks
This is a pack of five respirators with higher filtration grades than a standard N95 mask. N95 masks have been rated to filter out 95 percent of particles.
These masks can filter 98 percent of airborne particles. In addition to protecting against viruses like the flu, the masks also protect against bacteria, aerosols, allergens, pollution, smoke, and dust.
In addition to the normal filtration system, this mask also has an activated carbon filtration system that helps to get rid of smelly odors.
A multi-pack of the respirator can be dispensed among family members or friends. You can wear the mask during your commute, at work, or in your day-to-day life to breathe safe and clean air.
The mask has also been designed with cooling technology. The built-in ventilator can be opened to get rid of your carbon dioxide, helping to avoid buildup of moisture and heat.
This allows the interior to stay cool and dry while continuing to protect you from the buildup.
#2. 3M 8511 Respirator with Niosh Approval
This pack of face masks has received NIOSH approval and been certified as capable of filtering at least 95 percent of non-oil particles from the air.
The design includes a cool flow valve that allows for fresh airflow and prevents heat from building up in the respirator.
This is a disposable respirator design that’s made to be used once and then set aside. The advanced electrostatic media design helps to enhance the mask’s ability to capture airborne particles, leading to easier overall breathing.
On top of this, the mask comes with an adjustable noseclip that you can fit perfectly to the bridge of your nose. This helps to seal in the mask and keep germs from flowing in or out.
The dual headbands are braided and hook over the ears, minimizing the pulling of hair and making it simple to wear protective eye gear.
These respirators are most often used by construction workers and other individuals who need them for areas where the air quality is poor.
But they can also double as medical masks to help protect you from illness during the flu season.
There are a few potential drawbacks to note about this design. One is that the nose piece can be a little tight, especially if the bridge of your nose is wide.
Another is that the sizing tends to be on the smaller side, so it may not be good for those with broad faces. The metal staples are also sometimes uncomfortable against the cheekbones.
#3. DroAir N95 Respirator Mask
The DroAir mask is an anti-pollution respirator mask that can be purchased in a variety of different quantities.
One of the most popular is a pack of six, but you can also purchase the mask in packs of one, three, four, twenty, or even sixty if you’re outfitting a large group.
Purchasing one of the masks with standard shipping will allow it to arrive in around fifteen working days. With expedited shipping, the mask will arrive within five to seven working days.
The mask can be used to filter out both dust and allergens, so you can wear it around the workplace or in any area with a crowd that you don’t want to get sick.
The mask comes with elastic bands that hook around the ears, which are designed to be soft enough to eliminate uncomfortable pressure and friction.
Meanwhile, the inside layer of the mask is crafted from softened facial tissue that’s made to be gentle against the skin.
In addition to being dust-proof and protecting from allergens, the mask is also anti-fog. It fits closely to the face and prevents polluted air from entering your nose and mouth.
The filter material is made from electrostatic components.
#4. 3M 8233 Particulate Respirator
This 3M particulate respirator has been NIOSH approved to function better than a typical N95 mask. In fact, lab testing showed that this mask is capable of filtering at least 99.97 percent of non-oil particles.
For those who are concerned about microscopic allergens and virus particles, the extra level of filtration is a big deal.
One of the positive aspects of this respirator is that it’s compatible with multiple types of hearing protection and protective eyewear.
That means that if you work at jobsites or frequent other areas that require protection, you don’t have to worry that the mask will interfere with your eye and ear protection.
There’s also an adjustable noseclip that allows the mask to conform more fully to your face. That helps to reduce the chances that your eyewear will fog up when you exhale, ideal for anyone who needs to wear goggles or glasses.
As with many other 3M respirators, this design incorporates an exhalation valve that keeps heat from building up inside the mask.
The filtration system uses advanced electrostatic engineering to make breathing easier. It’s a lead particulate respirator, which means that it can protect you from potentially toxic chemical particles in the air as well as viruses.
This is the highest NIOSH rated filtration system, but the respirator doesn’t require any maintenance like other similarly effective filtration systems.
According to the manufacturer, some of the recommended applications of this mask are in welding, mineral processing, chemical manufacturing, grinding, and foundry operations.
The most common industries that can benefit from the mask are transportation, gas, oil, mining, construction, and general manufacturing.
The respirator also protects against specific substances outlined in OSHA requirements including cadmium, arsenic, MDA, and lead.
One important note is that it’s not guaranteed to filter out all asbestos particles. The product is available to people in the United States, but it’s not available to be shipped internationally.
Thanks to the portability, this mask can be easily tucked into a briefcase or handbag when you’re traveling on your daily commute.
It should be noted that it doesn’t have a carbon filter to get rid of odors, and it also doesn’t have the same tight sealing mechanisms as with larger and more reusable respirators.
#5. SAS NIOSH Approved N95 Mask
This package of ten face masks is ideal for virus protection, having NIOSH approval to filter out at least 95 percent of particles. The respirator mask can protect against insulating particles, allergens, dust, and viruses.
Like some other masks on the list, this design uses electrostatic microfiber filter material that’s designed to make breathing easy.
The filter doesn’t constrict your breathing or make it difficult to exhale. In addition to protecting against dust, the masks can also protect against granular pesticides and mold.
The mask is made to be comfortable, including an adjustable nose seal that can be molded to the unique shape of your nose.
This allows the mask to seal securely to your face. In addition, the nosepiece has cushioned foam to make it more comfortable than with some other designs.
Every mask in the pack is individually sealed. It goes through a sterilization process using ethylene oxide gas and advanced sealing technology to ensure that there’s no cross-contamination between different masks.
One thing to note is that the strap configuration of this design is a little difficult to adjust. The disposable mask can also feel a little flimsy, even though it does provide NIOSH-certified protection.
#6. Pack of 12 FFP2 Anti Pollution N95 Masks
This is a pack of twelve disposable masks that can be used to protect against viruses and a host of other particles.
The dustproof mask also includes an activated carbon filtration system that protects against odors and gases.
It can be used for indoor protection against viruses, for outdoor protection against exhaust and other chemicals in the air, and for jobsite protection for construction or chemical workers.
The mask is created using N95 certified filter particulates along with a non-woven fabric material.
The top layer has been tested and proven to filter out nearly 98 percent of airborne particles including car exhaust, ash, pollutants, smoke, seasonal allergens, mold, pollen, dust, and virus particles.
In addition to protecting against viruses and pollutants, the mask is designed to help mitigate hayfever symptoms in people with allergies to pollen and mold.
In the spring, these particles tend to be more concentrated in the air. The mask can be used in all types of weather throughout the year, helping to protect against smog, fog, odors, and humidity.
If you live in a particularly humid area, the mask can help keep the thick moisture out of your lungs.
The mask is designed with fabric that’s meant to be comfortable against your skin and the bridge of your nose.
In addition, the elastic straps are comfortable and able to suit a variety of different face shapes so that the mask can be worn without irritation.
Since the mask conforms to the face, it shouldn’t irritate the skin or interfere with your makeup.
It’s a disposable mask that’s suitable for people of all ages and facial shapes. The manufacturer recommends using the mask for motorcycle riding, running, bicycling, exercising, sports, woodworking, and general traveling.
Another good point of this mask is that the purchase is risk-free. The manufacturer says that they’ll do their best to solve any issues that consumers have with the masks.
Each of the masks is only good for a single use, so it should not be stored or reused following use.
One of the potential drawbacks is that the side staples of the mask might be slightly uncomfortable against the skin. In addition, some people have found that the ear straps are a little too long to provide a secure fit.
The mask also isn’t as breathable as some of the other options because it doesn’t use an electrostatic filtration system to keep from impeding breathing.
#7. Base Camp N99 Activated Carbon Dustproof Mask
This is a reusable mask that’s a good one-time purchase if you want a mask that can filter out 99 percent of particles and continue working for a long period of time.
It includes replacement filters for when your original filter gets too caked with particles and pollutants to continue providing good protection.
The mask has an activated carbon filtration system that takes care of chemical odors. It also comes with six extra filters.
Purchasing additional filters tends to be less expensive than continuing to buy disposable masks, so this is a good choice if you’re planning to use a respirator for more than a week or two.
There’s also a 30 day money back guarantee should you be dissatisfied with the purchase.
The non-woven cotton fabric and advanced filtration system can filter out 99 percent of fumes, particles, chemicals, viruses, dust, smoke, pollen, and vehicle exhaust.
According to the manufacturer, the mask can be used for nearly any occupation or situation.
It can be worn during outdoor activities like skiing, hiking, biking, running, cycling, lawn mowing, and woodworking.
The filtration system is woven from mesh nylon fabric. This is permeable enough to make breathing easy while still keeping out particulates.
In addition, the design is lightweight, comfortable, and frictionless against the skin. The mask can be hand-washed and is suitable to wear in any season.
The mask is easy to put on and take off. It has an adjustable nose clip that allows the top of the mask to conform to your face.
There are also earloops that hook around your ears and help the mask to have a more secure fit. The strap around the back of the head is adjustable velcro to suit a variety of different head shapes.
The mask itself and the valve can be hand-washed and reused. Meanwhile, the cotton filters can be easily switched out between uses.
The one-way filtration system makes it easy to get rid of carbon dioxide and heat as well, so the inside of the mask doesn’t heat up or gather moisture.
One important note is that the masks tend to be fairly small, so they might not be good for people with broader or larger faces.
The ear straps might also cause some uncomfortable friction since they’re shorter than some other designs.
However, the shortness of the straps also means that you’re virtually guaranteed to get a tight and protective fit.
#8. Organic Vapor Respirator with Activated Carbon Air Filter
This is a more heavy-duty respirator that uses plastic materials instead of cloth. It’s also a reusable model that’s ideal for people who need a respirator for jobsites or for more than a week or two.
The respirator can be used both for work safety and for health protection.
It has NIOSH approval and a voice device that makes it easy to communicate clearly.
The main respirator material is high quality silicone. The visor, meanwhile, is made out of plastic polycarbonate materials.
The design is equipped with anti-fogging technology and a lightweight construction that minimizes friction against the face.
This is a full-face respirator that includes eye protection. Unlike many of the lenses on the market, the eyepiece has a three-dimensional field of view that increases your vision.
You don’t have to sacrifice your peripheral vision for better facial protection.
In addition to protecting against virus particles, dust, and allergens, the respirator is capable of filtering 1,000 types of vapors, methyl chloride, methyl bromide, chloropicrin, chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, carbon dioxide, anilines, alcohols, acetone, chlorine benzene, and organic vapors.
Incorporated into the mask is a dual filtration system providing reduced breathing resistance. The manufacturer recommends being careful about which ink cartridge you choose if you’re in a work environment that often has exposure to toxic chemicals.
If any odors come through the mask, the cartridges should be replaced.
Some of the situations in which this mask is employed include mining, petroleum, metallurgy, polish, paint, healthcare, epidemic prevention, disaster relief, and environment-related technology.
Additional filters can be purchased from the manufacturer as well.
The respirator is manufactured and distributed by Holulo, which is a Honolulu-based company. The technologies are designed to protect people from the kind of volcanic ash that frequently ends up in the air around the Hawaiian islands.
The brand has around ten years of experience in designing and manufacturing safety equipment.
One note is that the filters cannot be cleaned by hand, so you’ll need to replace them when they get worn out.
It’s also important to note that the respirator is not sized for children, and it might be a little difficult to get the straps adjusted enough for a tight seal.
#9. Professional Respirator Mask and Safety Goggles
This is a respirator package that includes a pair of goggles for vision protection, making it good for those who need ongoing protection in a variety of different working environments.
There’s also advanced airflow technology to make breathing easier, along with a dual filtration system capable of blocking more than 96 percent of the airborne particulates and vapors around you.
The mask itself is a half-facepiece option that’s crafted from food-grade silicone. As such, it’s rated for use in food service and food packaging environments.
The elastic silicone material is comfortable against the skin while also being stable and durable.
You can adjust the straps to get the ideal seal. When you’re wearing the mask, it eliminates chemical fumes, vapors, and other odors in your environment. It also provides protection against viruses.
The dual filtration system includes a cooling valve that allows you to get rid of carbon dioxide and moisture without fogging up the inside.
This prevents the mask from getting too hot. In addition, the included safety goggles protect you against shock, wind, and dust. The head straps secure the mask to your head while being flexible enough for comfort.
The respirator is designed for use in professional environments. It can filter out the mists and organic vapors that occur around glass, spray paint, agricultural industries, metal, pesticides, deck tinting materials, or hardwood floor sealing procedures.
The package comes with the dust mask, the pair of protective glasses, two replaceable filter cartridges, eight cotton filters for particulates, and two caps.
The manufacturer also offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee including a 60 day money back guarantee should you have any issue with the product.
Some of the potential drawbacks are that it may be a little difficult to get a full seal. The plastic filters also sometimes break easily if you don’t handle them carefully.
In addition, the goggles are prone to fogging.
#10. Mira Safety M Full Face Respirator
This is one of the most heavy-duty mask options on the list, a full-face respirator that has virus and chemical protection.
Like other heavy-duty options, it’s best for people who want a reusable respirator that provides full facial protection on a long-term basis.
The respirator protects your lungs, respiratory system, face, and eyes from aerosols and gases in working zones.
It’s ideal for any work environment that involves chemicals or polluted air, including paint application, manufacturing, other industrial applications, woodworking, chiseling, mining, and work in any areas with toxic vapors.
The large lens allows a wide field of view to help keep from restricting your peripheral vision. There’s also a suction cup to prevent the glass from fogging and reduce the carbon dioxide content in the air you inhale.
The mask is secured to the face with a five-point harness that allows for the best customized fit without pulling on the hair or causing uncomfortable friction to the ears.
The high-strength construction materials are made to resist adverse temperatures and harmful substances.
There’s an automatic manufacturer warranty of one year with the option to purchase an extended five-year warranty. You do need to purchase the respirator filters alongside the respirator itself.
The right respirator depends on what kind of filtration protection you want. A permanent respirator is best for situations involving ongoing exposure to chemicals.
For basic short-term virus protection, though, disposable masks should serve you fine.