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KN95 vs PM2.5 Face Masks

Face masks are indispensable items when it comes to protection from harmful particles in the air. From hospitals to other workplaces, homes to public transport, and many other places, face masks are vital in staying safe. The specifics, however, may be challenging when it comes to differentiating one mask form another. For instance, many people find it hard comparing KN95 vs PM2.5 face masks. Here is an in-depth comparison of the two masks to help in decision making.


Before diving into the differences, it is essential to define their names. KN95 is a Chinese standard of a face mask that is equivalent to N95. On the other hand, PM2.5 face masks stand for any mask that can filter out particles larger than 2.5 micrometers. Based on this definition, therefore, a KN95 qualifies as a PM2.5 mask. For this comparison, the KN95 will be pitted against regular PM2.5 masks to identify the differences.


The very first difference lies in the filtered particle size. The KN95 mask filters out 95% of particles greater than 0.3 microns in diameter. On the other hand, the PM2.5 masks filter out particles measuring 2.5 micrometers (2.5 microns) or larger. The KN95, therefore, filters out smaller particles than the other PM2.5 masks.

Types of Particles

A higher filtration capacity allows the KN95 to filter out a large number of particles, including dust, cough droplets, bacteria, pollen, plant spores, animal dander, lung-damaging dust, asbestos dust, pollutants, some smoke, and other ultrafine particles. It also includes some viruses. Now that they filter anything larger than 0.3microns, they can filter out all the PM2.5 particles too.

The PM2.5 masks are designed to filter out fine particulate matter, which is tiny particles in the air, which reduce visibility, making the air appear hazy when their levels are elevated. Their longer suspension in the air does lead to plaque deposits in the nose, throat, lungs and can even be taken up into the circulatory system. These particles are formed during the burning of fuel and other chemical reactions taking place in the atmosphere. The particles include dust, smoke, mist, pollen, and spores in the air.

Level of Health Protection

Both masks are used for the protection of the body from airborne particles. First, PM2.5 particles can cause both short term and long term health problems. Short term health issues include irritation of the throat, nose, and eyes, sneezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Long term health issues include chronic bronchitis, asthma, and heart diseases. The use of a PM2.5 mask protects one from these health problems.

A KN95 mask offers protection from the above problems, too, and even goes further. Now that it can filter out smaller particles, it is useful in preventing transmission of infectious diseases. A good example is the current use in hospitals and by regular people in combating the COVID19 pandemic. This high level of protection makes the KN95 best suited for use in the medical field and other areas where the risk of contamination is high.


Although the KN95 is technically a PM2.5 mask, it goes further to offer protection from particles that measure way lesser than the 2.5micrometer size of the other masks. The comparison of KN95 vs PM2.5 is; therefore, a question of what does more and the KN95 clearly wins.

KN95 vs KF95 Face Masks

Before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, a face mask was just a face mask with the specifics left to medical professionals. However, times have changed, and understanding types of face masks is crucial as it determines how well you are protected from the virus and other infectious particles. One of the most popular questions is the comparison of KN95 vs KF95. Here is everything you need to know about these masks.


Before comparing the two, it is essential to understand that both of the masks are alternatives to N95. They are equivalent to N95 and function as respiratory face masks where they fit tightly around the nose and mouth, protecting against infectious particles in the air. Before looking at further details, here is what their names mean:

  • N95- is the US standard
  • KN95- China standard
  • KF95- Korean standard

The 95 in the name stands for the percentage of the particles greater than 0.3microns in size filtered. That means that the mask filters 95% of particles measuring >0.3 microns in size. It prevents the passage of particles like dust, bacteria, cough droplets, pollen, plant spores, animal dander, asbestos dust, lung-damaging dust, some smoke, pollutants, and other ultrafine particles.

What about viruses? These masks can prevent transmission of the viruses because they do not exist freely in the air but are bound to droplets. For instance, the coronavirus is found on fine cough droplets and sneeze droplets. The KN95 and KF95 masks prevent the passage of droplets of bodily fluids, therefore, protecting the wearer from exposure to the virus. The wearer too, cannot transmit the virus to others.

Although theKN95 and KF95 face masks are similar in function and most other aspects, there are some minor differences.


The KN95 mask, which is the China standard, uses the same specifications as of those of the American N95. On the other hand, KF95 uses the same specification as FFP2, which is the EU standard, including the UK. That’s the reason behind the technical differences you may encounter when you focus on the fine print.

Test Agent

While the KN95 is tested by NaCl, KF95 is tested by both NaCl and paraffin oil. Okay, in case that looks a little complicated, here is a breakdown. NaCl and paraffin oil are used because they are the worst possible surrogates for the aerosols that can be encountered. The NaCl represents solid aerosols, while paraffin oil represents liquid aerosols that can be met. The statistical difference brought by the addition of paraffin oil as a testing agent in the testing of KF95 is not significant. Therefore both face masks are effective in trapping the particles from breathed air.

Flow Rate

The KF95 has a higher flow rate, which is 95L/min as compared to KN95 with 85L/min. The workload determines the flow rate. For instance, a person doing normal activities or light workload breathes at 30L/min while one doing a heavy workload breathes at the rate of 85L/min. A flow rate of an individual being higher than that of the mask will result in rebreathing, which is undesirable. Both masks have a flow rate equal or above the maximum flow rate and are therefore safe.


Pitting KN95 vs KF95 boils down to a couple of differences in their specifications. However, they are functionally similar. Although the KF95 tends to have technical advantages, they are both effective face masks for use in a variety of conditions. They can be used in a hospital, at home, outdoors, workplace, and even polluted environments.

kn95 mask, can they be reused?

THE KN95 mask is personal mask equipment meant to protect an individual from the airborne disease. Structurally, it is built carefully to fit the face from the nose area to the chin. The KN95 mask is made out of hydrophobic polypropylene, a material made out of polymers that dissolve quickly on the water without interfering with the chemical composition of the material and due to this, it is very efficient in filtering out dust, virus, bacteria, and smoke compared to the other mask types. Its name KN95 is derived from blockage ability to these substances, which, after being tested from a laboratory, turned out 95%. Despite it being safer than other masks, still, it does not filter the virus and bacteria completely; hence there are still risks of infection to death in the case of a disease.


The manufacturers of KN95 recommend the mask to be used one time only, after which it is carefully taken off and put in a plastic bag for disposal. However, in case of shortages of these masks, the mask can be re-used under the below-listed conditions; Check Hoy Como Ayer for KN95 masks for sale.

If the structural and component performance; it is recommended that the user always read the user seal manual before wearing the mask to be in knowledge of the fundamental recommendation and checklist of the mask. If the mask is still in a perfect condition, it is still reusable and will ensure the air inhaled is healthy still.

The duration of wearing the mask; The KN95 mask should be worn for a span of up to eight hours after it is disposed of carefully followed by a hygienic hand wash. This is due to the inefficiency of this mask filtering off the unwanted substances completely and environmental exposure.

cleaning method;

It is recommended that an individual owns up to five KN95 masks for them to re-use them as clinically proven. This should not involve any use of soap water, alcohol, and disinfectants, bleach, acids, boiling, or microwave heating, which can cause fire due to the power setting on the device. To properly clean, one has to dry heat strictly on a 70oC, which in turn kills the virus, and the filter components are preserved for re-usage. After this, you can use the mask to up to two times, and no negative health effect will be experienced. Moist humidity can also be used to clean these masks at 600C to 700C.

Storage of the mask;

After cleaning, the KN95 mask should be stored hygienically, making sure that the masks are not in contact with each other and that they are fully dry. This is to ensure that no fluids transferred from the mask to each other. In the case of the recent COVID-19 epidemic, these viruses lose their effectiveness after 72 hours; hence if the masks are carefully separated, the risk of contraction is low. There should be less soiling of the mask to avoid virus contamination, and so it is advised that a face shield should be worn on top of the KN95 mask to decrease soiling. The masks are to be put in a clean, breathable bag after they dry up.

Strictly though, it is clinically advised that this mask should not be shared with any person. A formal test should be done every time an individual acquires a new KN95 mask to assess the material of the mask, user manual, and facial fitness of the mask.

KN95 Mask With Valve vs. Without Valve

The KN95 respirators, popularized by a spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), are still misconstrued when it comes to their true functionality. KN95 work to block particles. For example, suppose a virus is like coffee grounds, and KN95 is like a coffee filter. When you use a coffee filter, grounds don’t get in a coffee mug below (your lungs). Only liquid (the clean, quality air) can get through.

N95 respirators, also known as the N95 masks are filters for air that are secured on the head and face to halt the passing of virus’ as well as other pollution particles before they can pass into the lung tissue. The success rate of N95 masks is varying, but both arguments are accurately presented below.

Regular KN95 Mask

N95 is a rating scale from the nationwide rating scale or health occupation and safety which equates to the mask removing 95% of particles. In order to filter negative things out of air, the breathe actually has to come through the respirator (meaning the seal of the mask needs to be good). The best way to test this is with a fit test.

KN95 With Valve

Thomas Talhelm, head of behavioral sciences at University of Chicago, performed an experiment to test just how many foreign particles get through the layers of the regular KN95 versus the KN95s with a valve. His results are as follows:

  • There’s no clear difference between the two options with and without valves.
  • Some more well-known, highest performing options have valves.
  • The top three performing ones all had valves. Following them, the next three didn’t have valves.

Thomas also stated that the mask did work for a long while, but he used the mask every day two times a day. The seal eventually wore down, and the strap broke. Other than that, however, the mask still worked as intended and no other issues were discovered by the experiment. Still, it is important to note that these masks are intended to be disposed of after use.

What ‘s the Bottom Line?

The real issue isn’t necessarily a matter of the fit of a mask, but an amalgamation of the fit combined with just how coarse the fragments are, and how well a mask fit is preventing flow in through the layers.

Vented ones are needed for comfortability, and non-vented counterparts are only minorly cheaper. A vent is a one-way valve that allows your air to leave without pressing on the inside of the mask or heating up your spectacles. Even if it doesn’t make the mask any better at controlling what comes in and out of it when you breathe, the comfort with the vent is significantly better.

Buy non-vented options if you are using it to keep your sickness to yourself. While masks aren’t designed to catch stuff leaving out of your body, they will still clean any breath that goes through their layers. With a vent installed most of the air passing out of your mouth does not go through a filter.

Bottom line: Valved KN95 have no clear downside in effectiveness, and they are more comfortable. Valved options are a clear winner (although they do tend to be a bit more expensive than their non-valved counterparts).

Is KN95 mask Safe?

Are you worried about contracting airborne conditions, including Covid-19? Indeed, you cannot afford to compromise your health by not taking the necessary precautions. It is in this light that we take a look at the KN95 masks. One of the biggest questions people will ask is about their safety. How safe is the KN95? Is it worth your money? Let’s find out.

The basics

The KN95 masks are Chinese products, which could be a source of concern for many people. However, studies indicate that they are safe. According to manufacturer 3M, these masks are similar to America’s N95 ones. You could also liken them to Europe’s FFP2 and Japan’s DS.

Usually, the KN95 masks will comfortably at least 95% of particles that are 0.3 microns or even larger. With this rate, you will be confident of keeping the coronavirus novel at bay.

Did you know that CDC enlisted KN95 as a suitable alternative to the N95? These two options pride themselves in very small, as well as uninteresting differences. Their similarities are more than you can imagine.

The KN95 comes with a filter performance that is reasonably akin to that of the latter. Well, you could attribute this to the remarkable flow rates that the mask features. In most cases, it will assure you of an inhalation resistance flow rate of between 40 and 160L/min. On the other hand, the exhalation resistance rate ranges from approximately 30 to 95L/min.

Further, this mask prides itself on an average leakage of less than 8%. While at it, its carbon dioxide clearance requirement is less than 1%. Its maximum pressure drop is below 250Pa, which is remarkable.

How do you know that it is safe

More than often, approval by the necessary regulatory bodies, including CDC and the FDA, will give you insights into how reliable the masks are. For that reason, you will have to verify whether they have the right certification or not. It would be valuable to trust certified ones only.

Additionally, it will be necessary for you to consider testing the air inside the mask. You will also need to confirm whether there are any defects with the mask. One of the best ways to test the reliability of this mask will be by using a lighter. Once you put on the mask, hold the lighter at least six inches away and try to extinguish it by blowing. As long as you cannot put it out, you will be confident of its safety.

You will also need to confirm whether the mask fits. Here, you will carry out both the negative and positive pressure check. During a negative pressure check, you will place your hands over the mask and inhale deeply. If there are any air leaks around your eyes or face, it would be ideal for you to adjust the straps. For a positive pressure check, you will have to repeat the process, only that you will be exhaling.

Indeed, your health matters a lot, and taking all the necessary precautions is valuable. By confirming and observing the insights above, you will be good to go.