14 Good N95, KF94, and KN95 Face Masks to Buy Right Now (2024)

It's incredibly important to get a mask that fits your face. A big part of the reason cloth or even surgical masks can be less effective is due to the gaps between the mask and the face. These areas can allow unfiltered air to get through and enter your nose and mouth. N95 masks are generally designed to fit snugly, which is why they're safer. However, the CDC advises those with heart or lung problems to talk to their doctor before using an N95 since wearing these masks can make it harder to breathe.

What Are Workplace Performance Masks?

Most of the CDC and Food and Drug Administration's mask guidance and standards were initially designed with medical settings like doctors' offices and hospitals in mind. However, the pandemic has made it much more common and necessary for people to wear masks in nonmedical contexts. To help with this, the ASTM International standard makes it easier to classify masks for everyday work.

Under this standard, masks can be labeled as either Workplace Performance or Workplace Performance Plus. The NIOSH recommends using these masks in a workplace environment but, crucially, does not recommend them as a replacement for N95 or other respirators. If you or someone you interact with regularly is a high-risk individual, or if you work in a medical setting, you should stick with N95s.

This standard rates masks based on filtration, breathability, and an optional leakage ratio. The CDC has a list of masks here, and it tells which masks pass enough of these criteria to qualify for either of the Workplace Performance labels (as of writing, there are only three that earned the label), but this is all based on data reported by suppliers and manufacturers. If you can't find N95 masks but don't work in a high-risk setting, these are also decent masks to pick up.

Also, note that ASTM refers to the agency that classifies standards, but this workplace standard is not the only ASTM standard that governs masks. This standard is technically ASTM F3502-21, which only has the two Workplace Performance levels mentioned above. You may also see other masks that use labels like “ASTM Level 3,” which refer to different ASTM standards for medical masks. For our purposes, all of this means that if you're looking for low-risk masks for the office, look for the Workplace Performance labels.

N95 Respirator Face Masks

The CDC has a giant list of approved N95 masks. Unfortunately, the supply of many brands is constantly fluctuating, so you may need to check back regularly to see which are in stock. Many stores also have regional stock based on in-store supply, so be sure to check your local zip code at different sites where applicable.

Kimberly-Clark N95 Respirator Mask.

Photograph: Kimberly Clark

If you need a large number of N95s on the cheap, this pack from Kimberly-Clark is one of your best bets. While these are NIOSH-approved N95 respirators, they're not intended for medical use. If that's not an issue for you, then the horizontal-fold pouch and bendable nosepiece should provide a solid seal on your face, while still costing less than a dollar per mask.

This fold-style mask uses two over-the-head straps to keep the mask snug on your face, while still allowing a fair amount of breathing room in front of your mouth and nose. These are among the pricier masks on our list, but members of our team have used these and found them comfortable and sturdy.

3M Aura N95 Respirator Mask.

Photograph: 3M

3M's N95 respirators are individually wrapped and have two horizontal folds that create a decent-sized cup in front of your nose and mouth. The masks come with two straps that go over your head and neck to keep a tight seal. This is one of the smaller packs on our list, but you may have an easier time finding it in stock at some stores.

Honeywell Safety DF300 N95 Mask.

Photograph: Honeywell

The DF300 N95 from Honeywell is a more affordable option on this list. With this mask, you'll get multilayer absorption (including a humidity- and moisture-resistant filter), a soft inner lining, and latex-free head straps. The nose clip is also adjustable and hidden underneath the mask. It comes complete with a soft foam nose cushion as well, which should make it more comfortable to wear for longer periods of time.

KF94 Masks

Vida Adult KF94 Mask.

Photograph: VIDA

Vida's KF94 mask is both protective and stylish. It's FDA-listed, CE-certified (and manufactured in South Korea), and offers a 94 percent filtration efficiency. The four-layer mask comes in adorable pastel colors including light green, light pink, and light blue. It's also available in a variety of pack sizes from 10 all the way up to 1,000.

BOTN KF94 Mask.

Photograph: Amazon

The BOTN KF94 masks only come in large and extra-large for adults, so those with smaller faces should look into the youth size. The mask does come with earloops and a nosepiece that are both adjustable, so it should help ensure a tight fit if you go for the bigger size. It also comes in a variety of color options including beige, dark grey, pink, and yellow.

LG Airwasher KF94 Mask.

Photograph: LG

This one dips in and out of stock. LG's Airwasher mask is a standard KF94 with a three-dimensional design, four-ply fabric, an adjustable nose clip, and rounded ear loops. If you want a slightly more elevated option, it also comes in a Black Style design that'll likely pair well with fancier outfits for more formal occasions.

KN95 Face Masks

Opectid KN95 Protective Masks.

Photograph: Sengtor Ltd

As we mentioned above, KN95 face masks aren't ideal for higher-risk individuals or medical settings, but if you need better filtration than a cloth mask for everyday, low-risk use, these are a decent way to go. On top of being less expensive per mask, they also come in a variety of colors, which should make it easier to coordinate an outfit or just mix it up once in a while.These KN95 masks come in black and are individually wrapped. They're pretty cheap compared to the N95 masks listed above, at less than a dollar per mask.

Evolvetogether Rio de Janeiro

Photograph: EvolveTogether

Evolvetogether's masks are trendy among celebrities because they're both protective and stylish. The Rio De Janeiro is made of 6-ply fabric (complete with activated charcoal to reduce odors), double filtration, and a water-resistant exterior. Each mask also has an adjustable nose bridge and gentle ear loops, making it ideal to wear for long periods of time. Of all the KN95s we've tested, this is our favorite one for smaller faces. While pricey, these masks are not only lightweight and comfortable but super durable as well.

Another pack of multicolored KN95 masks, this set from Halidodo comes in a slightly different array of colors—most notably including an eye-catching orange mask—and is similarly affordable.

Wwdoll Foldable KN95 Masks.

Photograph: WWDoll

We’ve tested this mask and found that, while comfortable and super durable, the size is best for those with smaller faces.

Bona Fide KN95 Mask.

Photograph: Bona Fide Masks

The White Powecom masks come with a multi-filtration system and an adjustable metal nosepiece. You can also choose between the standard KN95 ear loops or the N95 headband style, depending on what you find more comfortable. It comes in a fairly wide range of color options as well, from white and gray to bright pink and deep red.

Masks for Kids

Once kids are over the age of 2, you can consider putting a face mask on them. We recommend anything they'll actually wear. We have a suggestion below, and our Best Face Masks for Kids guide has more.

AirPop Kids Reusable Mask.

Photograph: AirPop

Kids' masks are a bit more difficult since health agencies don't regulate them in quite the same way, but this pack is one of our favorites. It's reusable and can be used for children 3 to 12 years old. It comes in blue, white, and pink. It has been independently tested by several international product-testing and quality-assurance companies, and it is the mask that WIRED editor Adrienne So's kids use for school. US manufacturer Armbrust also makes kids' masks, though they're probably best for kids aged 7 and up, as we noted in our Best Kids' Face Masks guide.

Dr. Puri KF94 kids' mask

Photograph: Getty Images

Our mask reviewer, Adrienne So, had her kids test these. They come in three sizes, for different ages, and should provide protection similar to a KN95—more protection than a standard surgical-style mask. There's frequently a coupon on the page you can clip to knock a few dollars off.

If You Can't Find a Mask, Try Project N95

Project N95 isn't a specific mask but rather a nonprofit devoted to connecting personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies with the people and healthcare organizations that need them. If you're not having luck finding masks in your usual spots, you can browse the organization's marketplace to find more masks and respirators as well as testing kits and other protective gear.

How Do I Avoid Counterfeit Masks?

There are a number of ways to spot counterfeit N95 masks, such as by looking for markings on the mask itself or by avoiding N95 masks marketed to children (since the NIOSH doesn't approve any type of respirators for kids). The CDC offers much more thorough guidance on how to avoid N95 counterfeits on its site.

We don't recommend buying just any mask you see on Amazon, since Amazon allows third-party sellers on its platform that may not vet products as well as those sold by Amazon.com. You should know that Walmart, Target, and other retailers may also sell third-party masks—make sure you always look at the seller. The masks on this list are legitimate, as are many masks you'll find in major retail chains, like CVS, or from US manufacturers.

14 Good N95, KF94, and KN95 Face Masks to Buy Right Now (2024)


Are KF94 masks as effective as N95? ›

1 However, people have also used KN95 masks, the Chinese equivalent of N95s, and KF94 masks, the Korean version of an N95 mask. KF94 stands for Korean filter 94, which refers to its 94% filtering efficiency. Though KF94 masks differ slightly from N95s and KN95s, they still offer the same high-level protection.

Which mask is best for COVID-19, KN95 or N95? ›

Respirators such as nonsurgical N95s give the most protection. KN95s and medical masks provide the next highest level of protection.

How long can you wear a KN95 N95 or KF94 mask before replacing it? ›

For people in high-risk settings, like healthcare facilities, it's best to toss the mask after a day. Also, each time you use a respirator—if you're reusing it—you should make sure it's still in good condition. Some key ways exist to tell if your respirator has lost its integrity: Not snug enough.

How many times can you reuse KN95 and N95 masks? ›

The recommendations in this fact sheet provide advice for when to discard or reuse a KN95/N95 mask. Paying attention to the condition of your mask—and discarding damaged or contaminated masks—can greatly reduce the risk of contact transmission. Do not reuse a mask more than five times.

How effective is KF94? ›

KF94 Mask. What is it: A KF94 is a Korean-made mask that filters at least 94% of viral particles. Benefits: Many people find that the design of the KF94 mask makes it easier to speak and breathe than other high-filtration masks because there is more space between the mask and mouth.

How can you tell if a KN95 mask is real? ›

NIOSH Approval Is Key

NIOSH-approved masks always come with an approval label on or inside the mask packaging, either on the box or in the users' instructions. The mask should also have an abbreviated approval marking beginning with "TC" and the NIOSH logo printed on the mask itself.

How many times can you wear a N95 mask? ›

N95 filtering facepiece respirators can be reused until they are dirty, damaged, or difficult to breathe through. You should inspect your N95 respirator before each time you put it on. If the straps or noseclip are broken, it's torn, dirty, or otherwise damaged, then you should dispose of it.

Which KN95 mask is made in the USA? ›

Best black KN95 mask

Along with Powecom KN95s, these black KN95's are the ones I order on repeat. They are manufactured in the United States and have five breathable layers of non-oven material, including a middle active filter layer composed of electrostatically charged melt-blown polypropylene.

What's the difference between a N95 and Niosh N95? ›

You may see some respirators on the market labeled as “N95,” but if a respirator does not contain all of the components of the required label, it is not a NIOSH-approved respirator and, therefore, cannot be relied on to provide the same level of respiratory protection.

Should I double mask if I wear a KN95? ›

Double masking should only include one disposable three-ply medical procedure mask and one cloth mask. You should not wear two disposable masks or combine an N95 or KN95 with any other mask. Disposable masks are not designed to fit tightly and wearing more than one will not improve fit.

Can you use expired N95 masks? ›

Nevertheless, despite passing a specified date, the material may remain effective for its intended purpose. With regard to N-95 respirators, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidance that expired respirators may be used and considered effective.

Should I wear a mask in the airport? ›

Wearing a high-quality mask or respirator is most beneficial when: You are in crowded or tight spaces with poor ventilation like airport jetways, airplanes when the ventilation system is off, seaports, or when in close-contact situations like on a train or bus.

Do KN95 masks expire if unopened? ›

Generally, KN95 masks have a shelf life of 3-5 years from the manufacturing date. Additionally, inspect the physical condition of the mask. Look for signs of wear and tear, such as frayed or loose straps, damaged nose clips, or deteriorating materials.

How often should you change KN95 mask if you have Covid? ›

Rotate and use a different KN95 mask every day so you do not wear the same mask more than once every 72 hours. Note: If following this rotation, KN95 masks may be reused as long as they do not become wet, visibly soiled or deformed, causing them to not fit well anymore.

Can you wash KN95 masks? ›

Please DO NOT attempt to wash your KN95. With proper care, your KN95 should be reusa- ble for an extended period of time. your mask in a safe location that other people cannot access and where it will not get wet or be subject to direct sunlight or excessive heat. KN95.

Are KF94 masks good for air pollution? ›

Respirator masks, which include FFP1, FFP2, FFP3, N95, N99, KN95, KF94, provide great protection against air pollutants filtering out at least 94% of all pollutants. But surgical masks don't fall far behind filtering out 80% of virus sized particles.

What is the difference between KF AD and KF94? ›

( * Abbr. : KF = Korea Filter / AD = Anti-Droplets). - KF-AD mask has 95 percent bacterial filtration efficiency, a measurement of a material's resistance to penetration by bacteria. - KF-94 mask blocks more than 94% of the average particle size of 0.4μm.

What is the difference between KF94 and KF99? ›

KF ratings come in three levels, KF80, KF94, and KF99. Their occupational-use counterparts are named Second Class, First Class, and Special Class, respectively. Despite the different classifications, these devices perform very similarly for the average consumer.

What is the difference between an N95 mask and a KN95 mask? ›

N95 is the United States (U.S.) standard and the KN95 is the China standard. Only N95 masks are approved for healthcare use in the U.S. KN95 masks have many of the same protective properties.

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