The Difference Between N95 Masks and KN95 Masks

The sudden surge of coronavirus cases around the world has resulted in an even greater surge of demands for face masks. Governments around the world have advised their citizens to wear face masks when going outside, while some countries have even made it mandatory. Wearing face masks are said to be an effective solution to control COVID-19. Even though there are many kinds of face masks that you can choose from, from light masks, surgical masks, trendy cloth masks, and medical grade N95 masks. N95 masks are also known as N95 respirators, which are touted by a new report as being the most efficient mask when it comes to protecting against COVID-19. You can shop for KN95 face masks here.

N95 masks should not be mistaken for KN95 masks. Although both N95 masks and KN95 masks have an (almost) identical label, they are held to completely distinct specifications. In this article, we will discuss the difference between N95 and KN95 masks. Without further ado, let’s start first with the similarities.

Similarities of N95 and KN95 masks

Both of these masks are manufactured from several layers of artificial fabric, generally a polypropylene plastic polymer. Both N95 and KN95 masks are created to be donned within the mouth and nose area. Both of these masks make use of ear straps to keep the mask in position. Both of these masks have the ability to filter 95 % of small 0.3 micron airborne contaminants.

N95 masks provide defense against contaminants no more than 0.3 microns. Although the virus carrying COVID-19 is sized at 0.1 microns, it’s generally attached to a larger particle, like droplets from breathing or talking. Because of the multiple tiers of non-woven cloth as well as melt blown material within N95 masks, they are able to effectively prevent airborne contaminants from getting into your body through the mouth or nose.

The difference between N95 and KN95 masks

The major distinction between N95 and KN95 masks is the way the masks are certified. N95 is the standard used in the United States, while KN95 is the standard used in China. For this reason, N95 masks are the only approved mask for health workers in the United States, despite the fact that N95 masks are very similar.

N95 masks need to pass a thorough examination and accreditation procedure from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). On the other hand, businesses that manufacture KN95 masks can try to get authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is an emergency certification which requires that KN95 masks should filter contaminants with 95% effectivity, same with N95 masks. Additionally, the companies producing KN95 masks should be able to produce documents proving that the masks use authentic materials.

KN95 masks also need to pass a “fit test”, which determines how well the mask fits on the face of the wearer. N95 masks are not required to go through that test. Having said that, N95 masks are still more comfortable when it comes to breathability.