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6 NIOSH-Approved N95 Respirator Face Masks You Should Be Shopping Right Now

6 NIOSH Approved N95 Respirator Face Masks You Can Buy Right Now

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been 5,330,750 cases of Covid-19 in the last seven days alone. The highly contagious omicron variant has caused a huge increase in cases, consequently causing people to talk about face masks all over again and reassessing the effectiveness of your current collection. To help combat the spread of this particularly contagious variant, the CDC is considering an update to its mask guidance, according to washington post. The department may soon recommend that we all go for the KN95 and N95 versions, but nothing is set in stone yet.

While any mask is better than none, it is a well-known fact that N95 options are more ideal for protecting yourself and others against Covid-19. It may be time to ditch cloth face coverings, as they don’t provide the best defense against the virus.

You may be wondering about the difference between masks (ie cloth) and respirators (ie N95). “Masks are designed to contain respiratory droplets and particles. They also give you some protection from particles expelled by others,” according to the CDC website. Meanwhile, “respirators are designed to protect you from particles, including the virus that causes COVID-19, and in doing so, they also contain your respiratory droplets and particles so you don’t expose others.”

Getting the right type of respirator is very important. As you have probably seen and heard all over the news, with Covid-19 cases on the rise, you should opt for N95 face masks. “The N95 respirator is the most common of the seven types of particulate filtering facepiece respirators,” the CDC wrote. “This product filters at least 95% of airborne particles, but is not resistant to oil-based particles.”

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When is it used, an N95 mask must form a tight seal on your face. Make sure you don’t try to wash your N95 respirators, as they are disposable (also known as single-use). Definitely throw yours away when it has become dirty, torn, or difficult to breathe.

You’ll know you have an N95 mask when it has a cup, flat fold or duckbill shape, two straps that wrap around your head, and a flexible wire nose bridge. You should not wear an N95 mask if you have certain types of facial hair, if you bought a counterfeit mask by mistake, or if you are already wearing a mask or a second respirator.

Also, the CDC advises against the use of N95 respirators with “surgical” in the name, since healthcare personnel must obtain those masks first.

The next question is what the heck are KN95 masks and how do they differ from N95? KN95 face masks are made in China and therefore must meet different certification requirements than those made in the United States. They also buckle around the ears. On the other hand, N95 masks must meet guidelines set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and they wrap around the head for a tighter fit. The CDC has a list of NIOSH-approved N95 respirator masks published on its website, as well as a list of counterfeit respirators and how to spot counterfeits.

A quick note on KN95 face masks: “About 60% of KN95 respirators in the United States are counterfeit (fake) and do NOT meet NIOSH requirements,” wrote the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So before you pay, make sure you know for sure that the one you’re buying is real.

Either way, the N95 and KN95 options are far more effective than cloth and surgical, and certainly better than not wearing a face mask. But to make things easier for you, we’ve rounded up six NIOSH-approved N95 respirator masks you can buy right now. (For the sake of being able to compare with the CDC List of NIOSH Approved N95 Respirators, we have only included the N95 options, below).

Amazon Kimberly-Clark Professional N95 Bag Respirator

Photo: Kimberly-Clark.

Kimberly-Clark Professional N95 Bag Masks

The bag design of this mask gives you tons of breathing room and added comfort. The box of 50 masks is excellent for long-term use.

Xiantao Zhong Yi N95 Masks

Photo: Xiantao Zhong Yi.

Xiantao Zhong Yi NIOSH N95 Folding Masks

This cup-style N95 respirator mask features a collapsible design for easy storage. Stock up on this 20 pack for $20 off right now.

3M Aura N95 Particulate Respirator Foldable Masks The Home Depot

Photo: 3M.

3M Aura N95 Particulate Respirator Foldable Face Masks

These masks feature a three-panel design that allows comfortable movement. The box includes 10 folding masks.

Masks Makrite 9500-N95

Photo: Makrita.

Masks Makrite 9500-N95

The premium filter material in this mask provides low breathing resistance and full protection for at least eight hours. Now, get a set of 20 skins for a whopping $50 discount.

DemeTECH NIOSH N95 Respirator Face Masks Amazon

Photo: DemeTECH.

DemeTECH NIOSH N95 Respirator Masks

Each of the 20 skins in this pack has six layers of filtration.

Amazon Fangtian N95 Masks

Photo: Fangtian.

Fangtian N95 Masks

Is Pack of 10 masks It has all the features of a quality N95 respirator.

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