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N95 vs. KN95 Mask: What Is The Difference?

By KN95 Masks, Coronavirus, COVID-19, PPE No Comments

If you had asked me a year ago what would be one of the most widely searched questions in 2020, it certainly wouldn’t have been how KN95 masks compare to the N95 models, but here we are.  With many types of KN95 masks for sale online and the mandatory wearing of masks in public spaces probably not going away very soon, more people are wondering if one mask is better than the other, as they simply wanna make sure that they purchase the one that’s both effective and easy to wear.

I’ll be comparing the KN95 with the N95 based on a number of crucial factors.  I’ve tested both of them and hope to help make your decision between the two easier so that you can buy the right mask for your day-to-day needs.

KN95 Mask Vs. N95 Mask Quality

First, let’s discuss the difference in quality between the two types of masks.  It’s natural that people would assume that the N95 is higher in quality than the KN95 to a profound degree, but actually, this isn’t the case.  Yes, the N95 feels more durable, but that doesn’t mean that the KN95 feels flimsy and unreliable by comparison.  Both of these masks are high in quality, as they should be, because they are held to similar standards during the manufacturing process.  Both have good stitching, strong materials and secure straps that don’t feel like they’re going to snap, or that they’re going to become overstretched quickly.

KN95 Material

I have to admit that in terms of the materials between KN95 and N95 masks, there isn’t much of a difference.  Both of them are made with layers of different nonwoven fabrics that act as filters for various particles, including airborne droplets.  The exact materials used matter less than how durable they are, and of course, how effective they are.  When handled, the masks feel extremely similar in terms of thickness, weight, and porousness.  So, if you care about the material being capable of providing real protection, either mask will do just fine.

KN95 Mask Fit

One difference between the two masks has to do with their fit.  The KN95 is perhaps a bit more difficult to fit tightly than the N95.  That doesn’t mean that the KN95 doesn’t provide a secure and accurate fit – it just fits slightly less tight to your face, and a bit of adjustment to get it right after putting it on.  The KN95 mask seems to be a little more adaptable, which is why people tend to prefer its fit right off the bat.  Bear in mind that part of the reason why the N95 seems to not necessarily fit perfectly right away is because of the materials used, which may in fact ultimately demonstrate its superiority in effectiveness by its less pliable nature.

Also, both masks fit securely, without leaving gaps that make the wearer more vulnerable.

KN95 Mask Comfort

Similarly, the KN95 mask is known for being more comfortable, which I can attest to.  After trying both, it was obvious that the KN95 was more pleasant to wear for a long period of time.  It seems a little more breathable, which is important, and it fit snugly on my face, which meant that I didn’t have to repeatedly touch it to get it right.  I don’t think that the N95 is uncomfortable by any means, however.  It just takes a little more getting used to. 

KN95 Mask Price

As it stands, KN95 masks are more affordable than N95 masks.  However, that change in price may have to do with current demand rather than actual value.  N95 masks are considered the gold standard and are used by actual medical practitioners.  The public knows this, and so there is a lot of price gouging going on as a result. 

Final Thoughts

While the N95 is considered the gold standard when it comes to protective masks, I have to say that the KN95 is more than capable of doing the job, especially if you’re someone who doesn’t work in the medical field, and is maintaining other social distancing practices.  While the N95 is still the superior option, you shouldn’t feel as though you’re sacrificing protection by opting for the KN95.  Now, you can use this information to buy a high-quality, protective, and legitimate mask.