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Face masks are fast becoming an accepted part of our everyday wear. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to escalate, government and health professionals agree that face coverings are among the best lines of defense in protection from contracting COVID-19.
While there’s a range of face coverings that offer coronavirus protection, from simple homemade cloth versions to designer interpretations in novelty patterns and prints, maximum protection is provided by wearing an N95 or KN95 mask.
According to the CDC, the N95 respirator is the most common of the seven types of particulate filtering facepiece respirators. This product filters at least 95% of large and small airborne particles but is not resistant to oil. It meets the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) N95 classification of air filtration.
N95 masks are typically reserved for health care workers, but a few suppliers like N95MaskCo have made them accessible to the public. They don’t come cheap, though. N95 Mask Co. sells its Respokare NIOSH N95 Respirator Masks in packs of 20 masks for $180 on its website, making each mask about $9 (the prices also go up from there, if you buy fewer at once).
With demand high for these masks, there are alternatives like the KN95 mask. According to AccuMed, a personal care products supplier that’s been around since 1974, KN95 masks are regulated by the Chinese government and, like the N95 version, are rated to filter 95% of particles. In April, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued guidance authorizing the use of KN95 masks as suitable NIOSH options.
Note that all FDA-cleared N95 respirators are labeled as single-use, disposable devices. These masks should be discarded when they become damaged or deformed, no longer form an effective seal to the face, become wet or visibly dirty, cause your breathing to become difficult, or are contaminated with blood, respiratory or nasal secretions.
And according to the FDA, they’re not designed for children or people with facial hair, since a proper fit cannot be achieved on these individuals and will render the mask not fully protective.
Remember, masks should never be shared, even among family members. To safely discard, place in a plastic bag and put in the trash. Wash your hands after handling the used device.
Here, FN has curated a range KN95 masks available for sale to the public. Since they’re meant to be worn short-term, make sure you have an ample supply.
ToolNut KN95 Face Masks
This disposable KN95 face mask features ear loops and an adjustable nosepiece for a secure fit and seal. It comes as a set of five individually wrapped masks. Originally $20, it’s now on sale for $8.
Well Before Honest PPE KN95 Face Mask
Honest PPE allows you to stock up on however many masks as you need with its handy individually wrapped products. Offering 95% or higher filtration capabilities, these masks include five layers of protection with two melt blown layers for added durability. The elastic straps come reinforced as well so they won’t rip or tear during use.
Nomad KN95 Masks
Complete with a four-layer filtration system, these are shaped to the user’s face for a comfortable fit with an adjustable nose bridge. They offer nearly 95% bacterial filtration efficiency to meet industry standards, however are not recommended as a replacement for an N95 mask in a medical setting. You can buy them in a pack of 10 masks.
MyMedic KN95 Masks
This medical-grade mask is made of three thick layers of needle filter cotton. It features an adjustable nose bridge and elastic ear loops for a more comfortable fit. They’re sold in packs of two.
Adorama RSAS KN95 Protective Face Masks
This design mimics butterfly wings with its snug, V-shaped fit. It’s made of five layers of protective material with soft elastic ear loops to help eliminate ear pressure. They come in a pack of 10 and right now, you can save $15 on the bundle.
Nations Best Deals KN95 Safety Face Masks
This 20-pack set of face masks filters out at least 95% of airborne particles including large and small particles. The lightweight facial respirator mask features ear loops and an adjustable nose piece for a more precise fit. Bonus: It’s now significantly discounted.
DMB Supply KN95 Protective Face Masks
Also coming in a pack of 20, DMB Supply sets you up for continuous protection with its five-layer masks. These products include a high level of filtration from particles in the air and are verified by the FDA. The nose bridge allows for a customized fit as securing straps make sure the masks stay in place without slipping. They’re also half off.
Databazaar KN95 Face Masks
This set of disposable face masks features a five-ply non-woven design with a particulate filter that’s at least 95% filtration. Available in a pack of two through 100, Databazaar’s face masks allow you to buy in bulk the amount you need. Plus all bundles are on sale too.
LexusLance KN95 Disposable Face Mask
Made with a four-ply fabric, this mask is lightweight and protective. Reviewers note that this mask runs on the larger side, so if you’re looking for a bigger face mask than your average KN95 covering, consider this pack of five available at Staples.com.
WWDoll KN95 Face Mask
These five-ply KN95 face masks come in a pack of 25 and 100. The outermost layer is made of non-woven fabric that filters large particles while the middle two layers are a melt-blown fabric that blocks more than 95% particles and the innermost layer is a softer, skin-friendly non-woven fabric. Another hot-air cotton layer effectively prevents moisture. It has an adjustable nose bridge clip and sturdy elastic ear straps.
SupplyAID KN95 Face Mask
Offered in a pack of five, these face masks also have five layers and offer 95% or higher filter efficiency.
Healthify Five-Layer KN95 Mask
Another option for shoppers to consider is a five-ply KN95 mask. The mask is equipped with five layers for maximum filtration and an adjustable nose clip for a secure fit. The non-woven polypropylene fabric mask is soft, lightweight, and breathable. They come in a pack of 10.