Health care

N95 vs. KN95: Which Mask Is Right for You?

By on February 12, 2021

Did you know that the face mask market in the USA was worth USD 4581.9 million in 2020?

Masks have become an invaluable part of our lives in the COVID-19 era. However, knowing which mask you should use is still not clear for many people. Where do you stand on the n95 vs kn95 debate?

Why not read on to find out which is the best mask to protect your health.

What Are KN95 Masks?

KN95 masks are close-fitting filtration devices that the medical community has approved for use. Manufacturers say that they filter 95% of small particles, including those that can cause disease.

If you are interested in learning about the specifications and cost of KN95 masks, you can do so from this company. It is important to research providers of masks due to the large number of fake masks that have appeared on the market in recent months.

The FDA has specifically approved KN95 masks for use in US hospitals. They see them as equal in quality to the N95 masks.

What Do They Look Like?

KN95 masks are white in color and designed to flex to the contours of your face to completely mask your mouth and nose. They feature a single elastic band that is strong enough to keep your mask in place for the duration of its lifespan.

The quality of the fabric means that it can meet its claim of filtering 95% of particles. Unlike other types of masks, it has a seam down the center of the mask that allows you to fold it in half when you are not using it.

How Do You Use KN95 Masks?

KN95 masks are essentially one-time use masks. The designers created them to be thrown away after each use. However, they are showing themselves to be hardy masks.

Studies are underway to research whether users can effectively use KN95 masks several times.

Some organizations that use many masks, such as hospitals, are researching whether it is possible to clean KN95 masks. This would involve spraying them with a cleaning agent such as ethanol and then drying them in a sterile environment.

The main producers of KN95 masks are in China. Thanks to the FDA and CDC’s approval, many hospitals and medical facilities use them daily. However, how do they compare to the N95 mask?

What Are N95 Masks?

The N95 is one of the most famous masks in the world. This is the mask that most people consider the gold standard in the categories of face masks. This has led to the production of fake masks and a shortage of genuine N95 masks.

Much like the KN95 mask, the N95 mask fits snugly against the face. A single strap keeps the mask in place. These were so popular that there has been a severe shortage over the last year.

Because of this, the government did not recommend them for general use. However, this was to protect supplies rather than because of their efficacy.

What Do They Look Like?

N95 masks are made from non-woven polypropylene fiber. Some N95 masks feature a small valve or filter to allow you to breathe more easily. However, if yours does not have this do not worry, not all models do.

Because of their reputation as a high-quality mask, there has been a proliferation of fake masks. How can you spot a real from a fake?

How Can I Tell If It Is Real or Fake??

There is a six-point check that you can perform to ensure that your N95 mask is real.

  • Look for spelling mistakes or obvious areas of poor workmanship in the mask. A genuine mask is rigorously tested before leaving the factory.
  • A genuine N95 mask does not use ear loops. It will have a headband.
  • A real N95 mask will have a TC approval number on the headband.
  • If the manufacturer claims that the product is approved for children it is a fake.
  • If the mask has decorations or colors other than white, it may not be real.
  • Every genuine mask will have a manufacturing lot number on the product.

By checking out these 6 points you can be sure that your mask is genuine

How Do They Work?

N95 masks famously filter out 95% of all particles in the air. Any particles that are at least 0.3 microns in size are kept away from your mouth while you are breathing.

However, you may remember that the Coronavirus is only 0.1 micron in diameter? Does this mean that the N95 is ineffective?

Actually no. While the Coronavirus is smaller than 0.3 microns, it needs another particle to use as a vehicle to be able to travel.

These particles are usually drops of water or fluid that are larger than 0.3 microns.

Why Are N95s so Effective?

There is another factor that makes these masks so effective. Have you ever heard of “Brownian motion”?

If you have forgotten, let us refresh your memory. This law states that very small particles, essentially those that are smaller than 0.3 microns do not move in a straight line. They travel in a zig-zag motion.

This means that even a particle that is smaller than 0.3 microns will get caught up in the mask’s filtration system. Further, the masks are equipped with electrostatic absorption. Which means that the fibers in the mask will attract the particles.

Electrostatic absorption is important. As you use an N95 mask, the electrostatic properties of the mask diminish. This means that the chances of the mask stopping small particles become lower.

For this reason, it is not recommended to re-use masks even if there is no physical damage to them.

Which One Will You Choose? N95 vs KN95

While you have probably been wearing a mask for the past year, it is more important than ever to make sure that you are using the right kind. Knowing the difference between an n95 vs kn95 mask could prevent unnecessary exposure to airborne viruses.

If you want to know more about these topics why not check out our other blog articles? We write and publish articles each week that we know you will enjoy.

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