31 Best N95 Mask Alternatives & Respirators

n95 mask

123RF (Torwai Suebsri)

It’s a frightening time to be breathing. Although the number of diagnosed coronavirus cases nationwide had been leveling off, cases are once again spiking in more than 31 states and we’re still a long way from a vaccine. Long term ramifications of the virus are just now becoming more apparent for people of all ages. Medical and scientific experts warn of the coming flu season and a potential resurgence of the virus at the same time. That means that right now is the best time to make preparations to stay safe.

It’s recommended that people should be doing their part by continuing to socially distance. Wearing face masks whenever you need to go in public has been proven to slow the spread up to 30% as well, and protects you as well as others. If everyone wears one, the percentage is far higher. In more than half of the U.S. where numbers are rising rapidly, masks are now mandated for public safety.

Right now, N95 respirators are not available to the public as they are being prioritized for hospitals and first responders. If you’re wondering what kinds of masks and respirators you can still get to protect yourself as the nation opens back up, we’re here with some options. They all offer some level of protection, and with infections spiking in some states and flattening in others, N95 mask alternatives are a good idea for everyone. The more committed we are to wearing them, the sooner we can slow the spread, and the sooner our lives can get back to a new kind of normal.

As availability varies, we’ll cover the following:

KN95 Masks – Per 3M Safety, these masks are made in China. They offer 95% filtration but not the tight fit of respirators.
FFP2 Masks – The European mask designation for looser fitting masks that offer 94% filtration.
N99 Masks – Masks that are very tight fitting and generally have replaceable filter media, but can offer 95% filtration of particulates.
Respirators – Both full and half-face respirators are tight-fitting over the nose and mouth and rely on various filter cartridges to provide filtration from external contaminants and can be up to 95% effective at protecting against viruses.
Face Shields – Used in conjunction with face masks, these clear shields can help protect against virus transmission according to the National Institutes of Health.
Cloth Face Masks – These are recommended by the CDC to help slow the spread of viruses. Filtration levels vary depending on whether or not filter materials are added to the layers of fabric, but you need at least two layers for protection. Masks that offer space for a carbon filter are even more effective.
Face Bandanas – These offer varying levels of protection but there’s no test information to indicate just how much. The consensus from health professionals says the thicker the fabric, the better the filtration.

Many states are slowly starting to open for business, while others are pulling back due to a rapid rise in cases. It’s perhaps even more important than ever to wear some kind of face protection and to continue the rituals you’ve learned to keep your family safe. While options come and go quite quickly on Amazon, we’re doing our best to give you as many options as possible to protect yourself and others. Even though we haven’t been able to personally vet all the choices, and many have no reviews to help us make a determination, we always do our best to note for you when we’ve been unable to test the options.

When you’re worried about airborne bacteria, germs, and viruses around your home, a UV air purifier is an ideal way to keep them under control, and if waterborne pathogens are more your concern UV water purifiers are a safe solution. A UV-C sterilizer can allow you to easily sanitize your phone, keys and many of your other small items in just a few minutes.

With many parents facing the possibility of their kids returning to the classroom, you may be looking for masks for your children. Be sure to look for those that are scaled smaller and fit their face well, while making breathing relatively easy. If they’re printed in fun patterns, all the better. Also, consider plastic face shields as perhaps a more comfortable and breathable option for kids. As you’ll note, we’ve included many kid-friendly options for you to consider in our list of recommendations.

What Are the Best N95 Mask Alternatives & Respirators?

kn95 masks Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Greater than 95% filtration
  • Five layers
  • Breathable
Price: $87.83 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
kn95 masks Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Low respiratory resistance
  • Five layer micro-filtration
  • KN95 protection
Price: $95.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
ffp2 face mask Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 98% filtration
  • Comfortable fit
  • Dual headbands
Price: $95.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
kn95 masks Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Staple free ear loops
  • Adjustable nose piece
  • CE approved
Price: $1,590.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
electric smart n95 mask Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Three speed fan
  • Comfortable fit
  • Rechargeable
Price: $41.09 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
kn95 mask Amazon Customer Reviews
  • CE certified
  • KN95/FFP2 protection
  • 95% filtration of particulates
Price: $25.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
three ply face mask for kids Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Kid friendly fit
  • Comfy ear loops
  • Affordable
Price: $14.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
kn95 mask Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 95% filtration
  • Four layer protection
  • Breathable
Price: $59.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
four ply face mask Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 95% filtration
  • Adjustable nose piece
  • Dual straps
Price: $39.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
rechargeable silicone smart mask Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Three speed fan
  • Excellent fit
  • 20 extra filters
Price: $48.64 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
KN95 masks Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Five layers of protection
  • Two electrostatic filter layers
  • Greater than 95% filtration
Price: $14.73 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
three ply disposable face mask Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Three ply filtration
  • Very comfortable
  • Affordable
Price: $12.69 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Four layer filtration
  • Captures 94% of particulates
  • Unique design
Price: $29.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
kids cotton face mask Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Cute designs
  • Breathing valve
  • Washable
Price: $13.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
KN95 masks Amazon Customer Reviews
  • KN95 protection
  • Filters 95-99% of particulates
  • 3D modeling
Price: $31.27 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
washable cotton face mask Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Breathable
  • Washable
  • Buiilt-in filtration layer
Price: $14.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
kn95 mask Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 95%+ filtration
  • Meltblown filter layers
  • 3D fit
Price: $19.90 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
N99 dust mask Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Good breathability
  • Fits well to the face
  • Activated carbon filters
Price: $29.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
kf94 masks Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Four layers of filtration
  • Stereo fitted design
  • Easy to breathe
Price: $25.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
three ply face masks for kids Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Disposable
  • Meltblown filter fabric
  • Unique breathing design
Price: $13.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
clear face shields for kids Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Sized for kids
  • Anti-fogging
  • Full face coverage
Price: $20.14 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
four layer face mask Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Four layer filtration
  • Comfortable breathing
  • Adjustable nose piece
Price: $4.45 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
washable face masks Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Washable
  • Breathable
  • 20 activated carbon filters
Price: $13.90 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
balaclava face bandana Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Looks cooler than a mask
  • Flexible design options
  • Protects others
Price: $12.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
face shields Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Adds another layer of protection
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Custom adjustments
Price: $24.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
NIOSH Conforming half face mask Amazon Customer Reviews
  • NIOSH conforming
  • Comfortable
  • Half mask style
Price: $28.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
organic vapor respirator Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Meets ASTM E2952-14 standards
  • Resists fogging
  • Voice device
Price: $99.97 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
full face respirator Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Full face coverage
  • Silicone seal
  • NIOSH approved
Price: $226.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
half face respirator Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Blocks 96% of airborne vapors
  • Comes with replacement filters
  • Eye protection included
Price: $28.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
full face respirator with filters Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Comfort fit system
  • Wide visual field
  • Full face protection
Price: $139.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
half mask respirator Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Comfortable
  • Compatible with 3M filters
  • Virus protection
Price: $32.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Kingfa KN95 Mask (50 Pack)

    Pros:
    • Five layers give you greater than 95% filtration
    • Breathable and comfortable
    • Adjustable nosepiece
    • Reasonably priced for a 50 pack
    Cons:
    • Don't fit everyone's face well
    • Hard to get a tight seal
    • Not eligible for return

    When you’re looking for a full five layers of protection from particulates, the Kingfa KN95 mask is an ideal option. This mask filters out 95% of particulates without being too difficult to breathe in. It has two meltblown layers, two spun-bonded non-woven fabric layers, and a hot air non-woven cotton layer to capture airborne particles.

    The welded ear loops mean there are no staples to irritate your face and the soft elastic is gentle on the backs of your ears even after hours of wear. These masks also feature a hidden metal nosepiece that can be adjusted to create a tighter seal around your nose and minimize fogging of glasses and other eyewear.

    This big 50 pack is a good investment if you’re having to venture out to an office environment or require frequent trips away from your home.

  2. 2. NIOSH Approved KN95 Five-Layer Face Masks (50 Pack)

    Pros:
    • Five layer micro filtration-system with an added large particle filter
    • Easy to breath
    • Comfortable straps without any staples
    Cons:
    • No information available
    • No further information available
    • No further information available

    If you’ve been looking for a reliable KN95 mask option, this 50 pack of masks is NIOSH approved and has many features to talk about. Since there are no consumer reviews, we can only tell you the basic information about them, but we haven’t gotten our hands on them yet to give you a full opinion. We do see sales ramping back up, however, so we want you to have the most choices available.

    This mask features skin-friendly fabric on the inside with a robust five-layer system to protect you from particulates and viruses – the layer that touches your skin is followed with a structural layer, a meltblown capture layer, hot air cotton layer, filter sponge, and a non-woven large particle blocking outer layer. 

     

     

  3. 3. Five Layer KN95/FFP2 Mask (50 Pack)

    Pros:
    • 98% filtration of particulates up to 2.5PM
    • Unique supportive structure for better fit
    • Easier to exhale than some
    • Five layers of filtration including two meltblown layers
    Cons:
    • Expensive per piece
    • No other information available
    • No other information available

    This 50 pack of KN95/FFP2 masks has a familiar design that will be appreciated by many who want staple-free options. These masks features comfortable ear loops, and good breathability. Five filtration layers include a large particle filter, two electrostatically charged layer and two meltblown layers to capture greater than 95% of particulates up to 2.5 PM, and an antibacterial layer that helps avoid bacterial growth that can occur inside masks.

    This face mask is specially designed to fit the curves and angles of your face, with a supportive structure that doesn’t pinch or bind. While more expensive than many other KN95 masks, this mask features higher filtration efficiency than many. 

    These masks are new to Amazon so have few available consumer feedback at this time.

  4. 4. CE Approved Four Layer KN95 Face Mask (1000 Pack)

    Pros:
    • Value priced 1,000 Pack
    • 3D fit makes for better seal
    • Four layer filtration
    Cons:
    • No information available
    • No information available
    • No information available

    This 1,000 pack of KN95 face masks offers four layers of high-density filtration including two meltbown layers to protect you from non-oily particulates. It features comfortable elastic ear straps that fit most head sizes, and a hidden adjustable nosepiece to keep the mask securely fitted to your face. The soft fabric is breathable and gentle on the skin. The ear straps are attached without staples, so there’s less irritation and rubbing on your temples and cheeks and the 3D design allows for a better overall facial fit. This pack of masks offers 95% filtration. 

    While we don’t have substantial information on these masks, we do know they are CE approved.  Additionally, these come in a far larger quantity than most, so they’re good for large companies with people back in the workplace as well as for schools that are providing PPE to their teachers, students and staff.  We do think they appear comparable to some of the other face masks which only come in smaller quantities.

  5. 5. Linbing Electric Smart Mask

    Pros:
    • Neoprene fabric fits your face
    • Silicone breathing piece doesn't leak air
    • Adjustable fan speeds
    • Eight hour battery life with USB charging capabilities
    Cons:
    • Filters could last longer
    • Difficult to source replacement filters
    • Feels hot after hours of wear

    Facial fit is the biggest issue when it comes to finding an effective face mask, but this electric smart mask features an inner silicone breathing mask that allows for a snug fit without air leakage. The impressive 99.98% filtration rate (up to 0.3 microns) is thanks to a four-layer, high-efficiency composite filter. The carbon particulate layer absorbs dust, vapors and airborne particulates, but it also has an antibacterial filter for viruses, and a HEPA filter as well. 

    The mask is made of stretchy neoprene fabric so it easily fits the contours of your face. The electric fan has three speed adjustability, and you can count on up to five hours of operation, although, if you need to quickly recharge, this mask also has a USB port to make charging on the fly simple. This mask comes with five replacement filters, each of which has a 12 hour use life.

     

  6. 6. COVAFLU KN95 Disposable Fold Flat Face Mask (10 Pack)

    Pros:
    • Four polypropylene layers offer good filtration
    • Individually wrapped to stay germ-free
    • Comfortable elastic ear loops
    • CE certified and made in Britan
    Cons:
    • Material seems thinner than other masks
    • Masks have an odor when first opened
    • Allows enough air escape to fog glasses

    When you want the assurance of a face mask that’s CE certified, the COVAFLU KN95/FFP2 mask could be the one you want. This mask offers four layers of filtration, offering up to 95% particulate protection. Created by a British mask company, this mask features quality construction, comfortable elastic ear bands, and a hidden metal nose piece to ensure a safe seal on the face. 

    Each mask comes individually wrapped to ensure there’s no contamination from airborne particulates. This box of ten masks is made with 100% polypropylene material to be comfortable for wearing and breathing. The staple-free design is comfortable and durable.

  7. 7. EZ Breezy Disposable 3-Layer Face Masks for Kids (50 Pack)

    Pros:
    • Very affordable for 50 pieces
    • Pleated front is easy to adjust
    • Three layer filtration is a bit easier to breathe through
    • Fun kid-friendly designs
    Cons:
    • Only good for single use wear
    • Some strap failures reported
    • No adjustable nose piece

    If taking your kids out becomes a necessity, it’s tough to convince them to wear a face mask, but these masks for kids are designed with them in mind, sized so they fit just right. Designed for kids from ages 4 -12, these masks offer three non-woven layers of filtration, which makes them a bit easier to breathe in and somewhat less claustrophobic. 

    They feature soft elastic earloops to keep them comfy, and the pleated front makes them easy to adjust properly. These would also work for adults who are of more diminutive size and facial structure. They’re affordably priced for a box of 50 masks, but do keep in mind these are single-use pieces. 

  8. 8. COAST KN95 Face Mask (20 Pack)

    Pros:
    • Filters 95% of particulates as small as 0.3 microns
    • Four layers of filtration
    • Breathable and comfortable
    • Ordorless out of the box
    Cons:
    • May fog glasses
    • Face seal isn't particularly tight
    • They feel a little thin

    This 20 pack of KN95 masks offers four layers of filtration in a comfortable, lightweight protective fabric mask that’s easy to breathe in. They filter up to 95% of particulates up to 0.3 microns which makes them among the more efficient options as many others filter only down to 2.5 microns. The skin-friendly fabric reduces heat build-up.  They also offer breathing protection from wildfire smoke in addition to other pollutants.

    An adjustable nose piece and over the ear straps allow for a better fit than many standard dust masks. That these masks are CE certified and last up to eight hours of use per wear. Because they come in a 20 pack, they’d be suitable for offices and public spaces, and they’re quite affordable compared to many.

  9. 9. DecoPro Four Ply Face Mask (10 Pack)

    Pros:
    • 95% filtration
    • Adjustable nose piece
    • Priced right for 10 masks
    • Four layer filtration with two meltblown layers
    Cons:
    • Metal nose piece may be uncomfortable
    • Ear straps are too long for some
    • Not as breathable as many

    While our original goal here was to provide you with the best N95 masks, we also realize that they are becoming strictly available to hospitals and first responders. That’s why we’ve opted to include this four ply face mask. With four filtration layers, this face mask claims to filter 95% of airborne particles, including a high-density meltblown fabric filter material layer. The mask is made with skin-friendly materials and an adjustable nose bridge design for a more comfortable wearing experience. It does offer an adjustable nose piece, and dual elastic straps to offer a secure fit.

    The price point is approachable and for a package of 10, these masks may be a good purchase for an office environment. It is similar to other KN95 masks and FFP2 masks that filter particulates up to 2.5PM. If you’re searching for PPE for a large workplace, you can also get these masks in a 1,000 pack. 

    If you’re concerned about virus transfer to your smartphones, and other personal items, UV sterilizers for the office wouldn’t be a bad idea as well.

  10. 10. Smart Anti-Fog & Air Purification Face Mask

    Pros:
    • Silicone molding ensures good facial fit
    • Adjustable three speed fan makes breathing easy
    • Rechargeable via USB
    • Three color options
    Cons:
    • Size runs large
    • It does make noise when running the fan
    • Makes talking more difficult than other masks

    We’re about to switch up your thinking, going from paper and cloth masks to this cool silicone reusable respirator that is washable and comes with five-layer HEPA filters to give you N95-N99 protection. They offer 98% filtration of particulates up to 2.5PM. The respirator features a unique three-speed internal fan that makes breathing easier. When inhaling air is pulled through the filter media and when exhaling it escapes through the vents.

    The breathing valve and shield filter reduce by 45-50% air resistance making it easier to breathe with less heat buildup and less condensation inside the mask. An adjustable strap design keeps you comfortable and the mask stable on your face. Because of the silicone seal, it fits almost every face shape and size. It comes with twenty filter elements included. 

    Because this mask is rechargeable, you can use it for five to eight hours per charge and it is built to have a 5,000 hour fan life. The fan is easily adjustable with the button directly on the front of the mask.

  11. 11. SupplyAID RRS-KN95 Masks (5 Pack)

    Pros:
    • When worn properly these masks provide greater than 95% filtration
    • Comfortable to wear
    • CE Certified
    • Five layers of filtration with two electrostatic filtration layers
    Cons:
    • May fog your glasses
    • Takes practice to adjust well
    • Expensive price per mask

    The five pack of SupplyAID KN95 masks, when used properly, offers you greater than 95% protection from particulates up to 2.5PM in size. These five ply foldable masks have a hidden metal nose piece that allows you to custom fit the mask to your face. Comfortable ear loops are welded to avoid irritation from staples. To add to your confidence, they are CE Certified.

    These masks offer five layers of filtration including a soft non-woven layer for comfort next to your face, a cotton layer, two electrostatic absorption filter layers, and an outer layer of non-woven fabric. Ear loops can be positioned to ensure a tight seal around your face.

  12. 12. HEALTHIFY Disposable 3-ply Face Mask (50 Pack)

    Pros:
    • Three ply filtration captures particulates as small as 0.3 microns
    • Very affordable for a pack of 50
    • Ideal for families and small businesses
    Cons:
    • Ear bands tend to break easily
    • Runs smaller than some so can feel tight fitting
    • Ear bands can cause irritation

    If you’re looking for an affordable face mask option that makes breathing a bit easier and more comfortable, these HEALTHIFY three-ply daily face masks are a good option. They’re a good price for 50 masks, and with such a large quantity, you can keep your family masked in public and then dispose of them when you get home.

    With three layers, these pleated masks feature an outer isolation layer, inner meltblown layer to capture particulates as small as 0.3 microns, and a soft fabric layer against your face that traps dust. They have a flexible hem over the nose, and soft stretch elastic ear loops. These are also good for small businesses who need to outfit employees, or want to encourage patrons to wear some kind of face-covering while shopping. 

  13. 13. KF94 Four Layer Filtration Mask (20 Pack)

    Pros:
    • KF94 filtration captures 94% of airborne particulates
    • Unique nose bridge allows for better fit and reduces fogging of eyewear
    • Staple free ear loops
    Cons:
    • No information available
    • No information available
    • No information available

    The design of these KF94 face masks allows for a snug fit over the bridge of the nose making them more comfortable for those who wear glasses as they minimize fogging, a downfall of other masks. The four layer filtration system captures 94% of airborne particulates. The unique design allows for full-face coverage from the nose to below the chin.  Staple free ear loops mean less irritation on the cheeks if you’re one who needs to wear a face mask for long periods of time.

    We have not been able to test these masks for comfort and durability, but they do appear as though they’d be good for office use if you’re headed back to work. We do know that some folks are sensitive to ear loops which can irritate after long periods of time. To save you from that kind of irritation, you can always get a headband with buttons that hold the ear loops rather than putting pressure on your ears.

     

  14. 14. MakerHawk Cotton Mask with Breath Valves for Kids

    Pros:
    • Cute kid-friendly designs make them fun
    • Adjustable ear loops allow kids of many sizes to wear them comfortably
    • Washable and reusable
    • Includes carbon filters to capture particulates
    Cons:
    • Cotton can shrink and deform design
    • Breathing valve can come loose in the wash
    • Sizes run small

    With all indications that our kids will be headed back to school this fall, the MakerHawk kids’ cotton face mask is an ideal option to keep your little one safe. This three-pack of reusable masks offers fun, kid-friendly designs that make them more appealing to wear. Made with space cotton, these are lightweight and more comfortable than many other masks. 

    The 3D stereoscopic design ensures a good fit, and the adjustable elastic ear loops mean kids of many sizes can use them with ease. The masks feature a breathing valve that automatically opens and closes with your child’s inhalation and exhalation. The masks come with three reusable carbon filters that capture particulates up to 2.5PM. 

  15. 15. Feradyne KN95 Mask (10 Pack)

    Pros:
    • 3D modeling makes for a better fit to your face
    • Four layer filtration with meltblown layers
    • 95-99% filtration of patriculates up to 2.5PM
    • Breathing valve to keep heat build-up at bay
    Cons:
    • No information available
    • No information available
    • No information available

    This 10 pack of KN95 masks offers four layers of filtration, but what makes them a standout is the meltblown and smooth layers that help to filter out 95-99% of particulates up to PM2.5 including smoke, pollen, pollution, dust, and droplets. It features a soft non-woven material that is gentle on the skin, plus fine and large particle filter layers as well.

    These masks feature an adjustable nosepiece and 3D modeling that allows you to create a better fit on the face. They are breathable to keep heat buildup at a minimum, which is a huge plus. They feature non-stapled elastic ear straps for a more secure fit as well. Lightweight and breathable, these masks are more comfortable than some others which have a harder feel.

    While we don’t have these in hand, and there are no consumer reviews, they look like a good buy and we especially like the four layer filtration factor and the fact that they have been tested by the CDC for efficacy. 

  16. 16. ililily Cotton Double Layer Washable Face Mask

    Pros:
    • Hand-washable and reusable
    • More breathable and comfortable
    • Adjustable ear loops
    • Easily covers from your nose to below your chin
    Cons:
    • Non-replaceable filter layer
    • No metal nose piece to adjust fit on face
    • Expensive for a single mask

    As businesses start to open back up, guidance from the CDC still advises that we wear some kind of face covering as a way to protect ourselves and others. Since most PPE has been reserved for medical professionals and first responders, this cute double-layer cotton face mask has a few advantages worth noting. 

    First, it’s hand-washable, which means you can use it again and again. It provides the right amount of protection, but it’s far more breathable than true PPE, so you can be more comfortable while you’re out for several hours or if you’re required now to go into your office. This cotton mask also has built-in filter material to give you more filtration than the average clot mask. Did we mention it’s pretty cute?

    The ear loop is adjustable with a toggle so you can custom fit this mask to your face. This mask comes in a variety of color options as well.

  17. 17. Powecom KN95 Face Mask(10 Pack)

    Pros:
    • FDA approved
    • Meltblown layers offer 95%+ filtration
    • Adjustable nose piece
    • Comfortable ear loops
    Cons:
    • Masks run small
    • FDA verification process is cumbersome
    • Inconsistent labeling information

    If you want assurance that you’re using a quality face mask, the Powecom KN95 mask is actually on the list of FDA approved masks to use during the pandemic.  This 10-pack of masks offers is a reliable option for those days when you can’t stay sheltered at home. It features multilayer protection that offers a 95%+ filtration rate. Dual melt-blown nonwoven material of a moderate thickness for optimal particle absorption. The electrostatic filter is highly efficient at filtering particles. Their odorless low impedance filter makes breathing more comfortable. 

    These masks fold flat, and feature a visible adjustable nose piece. They’re sized right to fully cover you from the bridge of the nose to below your chin, meaning better protection from viruses and other environmental hazards. The 3D structure offers a good facial fit and the welded elastic ear loops mean no discomfort on your cheeks from stapled straps.

  18. 18. Face Mask with Active Carbon Filter Combo Kit

    Pros:
    • N99 protection with activated carbon filters
    • Easy to fit securely to face
    • Dual one-way discharge valves make breathing easy
    • Comes with six replacement filters
    Cons:
    • Masks run small
    • Tends to make your ears stick out
    • Short ear straps make them uncomfortable more quickly than others

    When you’re after a mask that offers protection from airborne particulates as small as 2.5 microns, this face mask is a good option. This mask relies on activated carbon filters secured in a lightweight mask with dual one-way discharge valves and a stretch nylon exterior material. The mask is designed to make air resistance smaller without sacrificing filtration.

    The mask loops over your ears and secures with velcro in back to ensure you get a good seal. The nose piece also helps keep the mask in close proximity to your skin, and the stretchy edge binding keeps it in place even during strenuous activity. We like that this mask comes with six replacement filters, but you can order a 10 pack of replacements which will last a long time. 

    The replaceable filters have a five-layer structure that provides professional filtration. The first layer of spun-bond filters out micron-sized dust; the second activated carbon filter layer filters benzene and automobile exhaust. The third and fourth layers filter out 0.03-0.3 microns of dust and particles. The fifth layer of spun-bond filters out various harmful substances.

  19. 19. Care On Four Ply KF94 Face Mask (10 + 1 Pack)

    Pros:
    • Four layer filtration captures particles up to 0.4PM
    • Material is easily breathable
    • Stereo fitted design adapts to most face shapes and sizes
    Cons:
    • No information available
    • No information available
    • No information available

    When you’re looking for a breathable and comfortable face mask, this four-ply face KF94 mask might be an option while things are in short supply. It doesn’t have a lot of the information you’d expect to see, so we’d suggest you purchase at your own risk. It is, however, similar to many of the approved and certified masks we’ve seen and the price is right. Over the nose, molding makes sure you have a secure fit and it’s made with layered cotton to be more comfortable. Three-dimensional cropping ensures it fits most faces well. 

    This mask promises to filter 94% of particles as small as 0.4PM, and it comes in a convenient 10 pack plus you get one additional mask at no charge. If you wonder about the designation of FFP2 versus KN95, and other masks, this breakdown from Magic Whiteboard shows the differences and levels of filtration so you can make the best decision for your needs. 

  20. 20. Disposable Three Layer Face Masks for Kids (50 Pack)

    Pros:
    • Pleated front allows them to fit most kids faces well
    • Unique design allows for increased breathability and airflow
    • Meltblown fabric and nonwoven layers capture most particulates
    • Comfortable elastic ear loops
    Cons:
    • Single use only
    • Better for small children under 10
    • Designs may be different than what is shown

    If you don’t have time to mess with washable and reusable face masks for your kids, we totally get it, but you still need a mask option like these fun disposable masks for kids. These three-layer masks come in a large 50 pack and you may want to stock up before schools start again in fall. The pleated front expands easily to fit almost every child’s face and a metal nose wire allows you to adjust for your child’s nose shape. 

    Meltblown fabric helps to reduce exposure to harmful particulates, and the unique ventilation design, with a large outlet and low air resistance, makes breathing easier for your kids. Soft elastic ear loops keep them comfortable all day long. Plus there are lots of seriously fun designs to choose from and if you let your little one pick their favorite, it will make them a bit more likely to wear them without complaint.

  21. 21. V by Vye Face Shields for Kids (10 Pack)

    Pros:
    • Padded headband and adjustable strap make fitting easy
    • Clear plastic shield is anti-fogging
    • Comfortable for all day wear
    • Easy to breathe in
    Cons:
    • Run large so better for big kids
    • Head strap is kind of flimsy
    • Some product delivery issues reported

    If you’re faced with the possibility that your kids are going to have to return to school, you likely want to offer them some form of protection like these face shields for kids. These clear plastic shields are sized right for smaller people and they offer a full-face guard against dust, droplets, and other materials. They have an anti-fog coating for clear visibility while they’re learning and thanks to easy breathability, they’re more comfortable thanface masks which can be difficult to wear all day, especially for younger kids.

    These shields have soft breathable padding along the headband to keep your kiddo comfy despite hours of wear. They have an adjustable elastic strap and flexible clear plastic covering to customize the fit.

  22. 22. JAYSE Four Layer Mask (10 Pack)

    Pros:
    • Breathable design helps to reduce heat buildup
    • Stereo fit means a better face seal
    • Very affordable compared to others
    • Four layer filtration
    Cons:
    • No information available
    • No information available
    • No information available

    If you’re concerned about heat buildup inside your face mask, it helps that this face mask features a stereo fit that is designed to well fit the face with an adjustable nose piece and metal nose bridge that helps to reduce the chance of your glasses or goggles fogging up. It promises four layers and up to 95% filtration, with particulate filtering of up to 0.3 microns in size, but so you’re up to your own research to determine if it offers the protection you need. It is not, however, FDA and CE certified, which is always a concern.

    This pack of 10 masks is a good buy if you’re looking to buy for your family. Snag a couple of packs so you’ll each have multiples, in case you’ll need to be out and about more frequently.

  23. 23. Washable Face Masks + 12 Activated Carbon Filters (6 Pack)

    Pros:
    • Soft cotton mask is breathable and has a breathing valve
    • Two pack comes with 20 activated carbon filters
    • Filtration of particulates as small as 2.5PM
    Cons:
    • Seal is not as good as traditional face masks
    • Adjustable nosepiece is not long enough
    • Still feels hot to wear

    If you’re especially sensitive to wearing a face mask, these cotton masks are a bit more breathable and have a breathing valve to make them even more comfortable. This six-pack of masks comes with 12 activated carbon filters that can be replaced easily after you’ve used them several times. The replaceable filters do a good job of filtering particulates up to 2.5PM. They easily slide into a sleeve inside the mask which is lined with soft cotton filtration fabric that’s easy on the skin and will keep you a bit less sweaty than some other styles of masks.

    The activated carbon filters offer five layers of filtration, including a meltblown layer, filter layer, and two non-woven layers in addition to the carbon layer. What’s nice is that you can wash the masks themselves – a great option for women who wear makeup or anyone who has particularly oily or sweaty skin. They feature soft elastic ear loops and should be comfortable for most outings. 

  24. 24. Omisy Breathable Face Bandana (6 Pack)

    Pros:
    • Offers 12 different folding options
    • Face covering that helps protect others from your coughs and sneezes
    • Washable and breathable
    • Six pack to share
    Cons:
    • Minimal protection from others
    • Polyester fabric can feel hot
    • Not as breathable as cotton

    Let’s be honest. You know you should be wearing some kind of face-covering when you’re out in public, but a mask just isn’t your personal style. Enter these face bandanas that can do 12 different things with a single product. These moisture-wicking face coverings can keep out dust, cold, and protect you from too much sun and wind, and while they don’t offer a specific level of filtration, they do help keep your sneezes and coughs away from others. 

    Face bandanas are stylish as well as function, and this particular style allows you to fold it into a balaclava, headband, face mask, neckerchief, foulard, and more. At the price, there are nine pieces, so you can affordably outfit your family with protection that looks cool too. 

  25. 25. Protective Face Shield (20 Pack)

    Pros:
    • Adds a layer of protection when wearing lower filtration masks
    • Very adjustable for custom fit
    • Made in the USA
    • Offers full visal aspect
    Cons:
    • Can be cumbersome
    • More likely to be effective for first responders
    • Hotter than wearing just a mask

    Perhaps you haven’t been able to source anything but standard surgical masks, which at most offer three layers of protection. If you’re an EMT, nurse, or another medical professional, or you’re an at-risk individual who simply wants more protection, these clear face shields can add yet another layer of security while not affecting your ability to breathe. 

    The flanged perimeter maximizes your protection from other people who are not wearing masks, and the surround-sight offers you no abrupt break in your field of vision. A hook and loop strap makes this face shield infinitely adjustable. The fully adjustable head harness moves up and down easily and fits comfortably with most goggles and respirators. You can even customize the length of this shield with a good old pair of scissors. 

  26. 26. Trend Stealth Air NIOSH Conforming Half Mask

    Pros:
    • Breathing comfort
    • Good for those who wear glasses
    • NIOSH conforming
    • Blocks viruses and bacteria
    Cons:
    • Filter availability is limited
    • Doesn't fit all noses well
    • Noisy when breathing

    If you’re looking for a NIOSH conforming half mask that allows you to wear safety goggles or glasses during use, the TREND half mask is a solid option. This mask filters airborne particles, mist, welds, fumes, dust, plaster, concrete, and silica dust. It features twin, easy-to-replace HEPAC pleated filters housed behind hinged grills to protect them from moisture and particles and it has a large filter surface area.

    With the capability to filter out 99.97% efficiency at 0.3 microns and above, this mask offers easy breathability for up to eight hours at a time. Filters are currently out of stock on Amazon, however, they are still available here. From personal experience, this is one of the most comfortable half face respirators I’ve tried, which makes wearing it more likely for you as well.

  27. 27. Organic Vapor Respirator with Activated Carbon Air Filter

    Pros:
    • Applicable for health and work safety
    • NIOSH approved
    • Voice device allows for clear communication in emergencies
    • Anti-fogging layer
    • Activated carbon filter
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Difficult to adjust straps to acheive a tight seal
    • Not suited for children

    Whether you’re concerned about coronavirus, the flu, or general air quality issues for travel or work, this Organic Vapor respirator is a full face mask that meets strict safety standards to keep you safe. This mask delivers professional-level protection that meets ASTM E2952-14 standards and is certified by the National Institutes for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

    Head belts keep this mask safely secured to avoid contamination from seeping in, and the anti-scratch lenses feature an anti-fog layer to make visibility safe and consistent. The airflow design inside the mask also minimizes fogging. This mask also has a voice device that allows for clear communication in emergency situations.

    This mask is applicable for many work and health safety environments and protects against organic gases and vapors, such as benzene, aniline, carbon tetrachloride, nitrobenzene, chloropicrin, chlorine, acetone, alcohol, carbon disulfide, carbon trichloride, bromomethane, nitroalkane, etc.

  28. 28. North by Honeywell NIOSH Approved Full Face Respirator

    Pros:
    • Silicone seal ensures leak free performance
    • P100 filtration capability
    • NIOSH approved
    • Hard-coated polycarbonate lens has a wide range of view
    Cons:
    • Very expensive
    • Filters and cartridges must be purchases separately
    • Not suitable for those who wear glasses

    If you’re shopping for a NIOSH approved full face respirator, you know you can count on this model from Honeywell to be among the best. The lens meets ANSI standards for high impact and penetration resistance. The hard-coated polycarbonate lens provides more than a 200 degree field-of-vision and protects your eyes and face against irritating gases, vapors, and flying particles.

    While this is the mask only, you’ll want to buy the P100 gas and vapor cartridges along with the P100 particulate filters which will give you complete safety from viruses, pollutants, and other environmental hazards. The silicone seal on the facepiece ensures a leak-free fit that’s comfortable meaning you’ll get high performance guaranteed. 

    The extensive system of head straps will ensure this mask stays where it belongs, even if you’re doing something strenuous like running from a dangerous situation. 

  29. 29. NASUM Half Face Respirator Mask with Filters

    Pros:
    • Dual filtration system blocks 96% of airborne vapors and particulates
    • Optimum airflow makes breathing easy
    • Comes with replacement particulate filters
    • Package includes high quality polycarbonate goggles
    Cons:
    • Harder than some to get a good seal
    • Plastic filters break too easily
    • Goggles fog up too easily

    An N95 mask protects you from 95% of airborne vapors, but if you want to give yourself even more protection, this half mask respirator is a good step up in safety. The respirator features a dual filtration system to effectively block 96% of organic vapors/gases, fumes, pollen, dust and other particles in the air. 

    Made of food-grade silicone, this mask fits comfortably on your face and it has two-fold elastic headbands to ensure a comfortable fit. You’ll breathe easy in this mask thanks to good air circulation. It comes with two replaceable filter cartridges which generally last up to 200 hours, two caps, and six particulate filters. Because this is a half face mask, you might be worried about eye protection. Put those worries aside.

    You can easily order goggles right now to keep your peepers protected as well. 

  30. 30. 3M 6800 Lightweight Reusable Full Face Respirator

    Pros:
    • Comfortable with easy adjustability
    • Silicone face mask seals well
    • Protects agains airborne contaminants
    Cons:
    • Fit runs a bit small
    • Straps can loosen over time
    • Nose cone can be uncomfortable

    When you opt for a full face respirator, you need to count on comfort and the 3M 6800 full face respirator features a six strap configuration that will keep you from constantly adjusting which increases contamination susceptibility. It features a unique comfort cradle that hugs your head. Cool flow valves keep you from feeling overheated, and the large silicone facepiece provides a wide range of visibility during emergency situations or for daily use in professional environments.

    This mask has a unique center adaptor that directs exhaled breaths and moisture down and out for much greater comfort. The respirator filter and cartridge attachments are simple to install as they twist on and off easily. Bonded silicone gaskets eliminate loose or lost fittings. This respirator offers easy instructions to ensure a proper and secure fit as well as comfort and protection against airborne contaminants.

    We’d recommend if you’re looking for N95 protection, you consider these 3M N95 filters, although this respirator mask comes with four included.  For even greater protection, 3M Multi Gas/Vapor Cartridges as an essential element for safety. To learn more about the NIOSH color coding system for these cartridges, this list will help.

  31. 31. Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator

    Pros:
    • Compatible with all 3M filters and cartridges for up to P100 protection
    • Comfortable silicone construction
    • Easy to breath and speak while wearing
    • Doesn't overheat
    Cons:
    • You have to buy cartridges and filters separately
    • Head straps are less comfortable than some
    • Breath condensation drips out

    If you’re looking for a more permanent option for virus protection rather than a disposable N95 mask, this half face mask respirator is ideal as well as affordable. We like that it comes with its own easy to install filter cartridges. It has an advanced headband design to ensure a proper fit which adds to your personal safety. 

    The mask itself is made from an advanced silicone material which makes it more comfortable than hard face mask options. A Cool Flow valve makes for easy breathing and speaking while the exhalation valve directs beath and moisture out for even more comfort. The dual-mode head harness adjusts easily for either standard or drop-down mode.

What's the Latest Information on the Coronavirus Outbreak?

We want to keep you up to date on all the latest information about the spread of Coronavirus. Heavy.com is keeping a running update live on our site so you can find the latest on the outbreak in the U.S. and around the world.

If you want to know whether your state or area is at risk or in the midst of an outbreak, COVIDActNow.org is loaded with current information.

Why Do I Need to Wear a Face Mask?

The U.S. has a long way to go before we're passed this pandemic. In the interim, the CDC has made specific recommendations about how to best protect yourself, including wearing a face mask when you're out in public.

As with any protective device, there's more to the effectiveness equation than just putting a cover over your face and mouth. Well fitted masks are the key, and this CDC article spells out the correct proper technique. 

If you're still questioning the need to wear a mask, or you're trying to figure out which might be most effective for you, this article about cloth masks from CNN makes it clear you'll want at least two layers of fabric for protection.

How Do Other Masks Compare to an N95 Mask or Respirator?

3M Corporation has prepared an extensive chart to help you determine the differences. While it speaks in specific terms about breathability, filtration, and other factors, the chart on page two of this document provides an excellent comparison.

What Offers the Best Filtration for Cloth Masks?

While we've read dozens of articles on cloth masks and ideas for filter media to use with them, we'd highly recommend you use care when making a decision. Many DIYers are suggesting using parts of vacuum cleaner filters and other materials. According to the medical experts at HealthLine, these can contain dangerous fiber including fiberglass.

Replaceable activated carbon filters are easy to find and a reasonably priced option. Activated carbon or charcoal filters can filter out many pollutants, adding filtration power to a cloth mask or bandana.

When it comes to particulates, size matters. Most carbon filters catch particles up to 2.5PM in size, while a true N95 mask filters particulates as small as 0.3 in size.

What Are the Best Filter Cartridges for Respirators?

There are a wide range of respirators on the market, from half face respirators used in construction and autobody work to full face models used to block fumes from paint and other chemicals. There are even CBRN respirators which are used for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear air purifying. 

All have taken on more popularity as the fight against Coronavirus continues. Each relies on filter cartridges to do the dirty work. Carbon filters, Hepa filters, and other filtration materials can render these respirators up to 99.97% effective against external pollutants.

Gas cartridges are another popular option as they have been treated to absorb a variety of gasses and vapors including extremely fine particulates.

Some masks use both gas cartridges and filters like these to minimize particulate exposure. They offer P-100 protection. If you're confused about the difference between N and P as it relates to face masks and filters, while N is filtration of non-oily particulate matter, while the P designation means you're also protected from oily particulates like paint particles and more. 

Since almost all non-cloth masks have an N, P or R designation, this CDC article helps to clarify the differences. Just scroll down the page for the chart.

We recommend you look for both respirator filters and cartridges that are NIOSH approved, which means they've been thoroughly tested by experts. 

How We Can Flatten the Curve and What That Means

For those wondering why everyone is up in arms about the COVID-19 Pandemic, you've probably heard the term "flatten the curve." That means social distancing to keep the outbreak from generating huge hot spots. This video from PBS is an excellent eight minute primer on what that means and why it's important.

The New York Times has a free daily update on COVID-19 and the effects on the U.S. from a variety of perspectives. This service is free.

How Else Can I Protect Myself During a Crisis?

Think of the basics for weeks or months when you could be quarantined at home. Should the Coronavirus impact become more critical, you'll want to plan for emergency food provisions sooner than later.

Do you have an alternate power source? Outages are often a possibility during times of crisis. These portable power stations are good for any emergency and you can always use them for camping getaways as well.

See Also:

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