It’s confusing to see so many people wearing what appear to be N95 masks. After all, aren’t we supposed to avoid using those types of masks so that first responders and frontline healthcare workers have access to them?
Confusion around masks is understandable. The general public has only been wearing them for about a year. Dealing with COVID-19 has been a hard and fast crash-course in mask safety, mask effectiveness, and virus transmissibility. We’re all doing our best to get it right.
To set the record straight, the masks you likely see people wearing aren’t actually N95 masks, but rather KN95 masks. They look similar, and work similarly, but they aren’t the same. As such, it’s okay to wear KN95 masks, because healthcare workers do not need them.
KN95 masks are the Chinese equivalent to N95 masks. These masks filter 95% of aerosol particulates, so they offer a very high level of filtration, more than cloth masks or disposable non-medical masks.
Not familiar with a KN95 mask? That’s okay. We’ll talk about what makes a KN95 beneficial and what you need to look for to make sure the KN95 you buy is actually safe for use and not a counterfeit product (yes, they exist).
Why Should I Use a KN95 Mask?
There are several reasons why you might want to consider using a KN95.
- Superior filtration. KN95 masks filter more than a standard cloth mask or non-medical disposable mask. As such, it may be a better option for people who want a higher level of filtration or would feel more comfortable with a higher level of filtration.
- Comfort. KN95 masks sit away from the face, allowing you to talk without having the mask move up and down on your face. This may be preferable to some. Additionally, you may find it more comfortable as the mask doesn’t press against your nose or mouth.
- N95 alternative. Wearing a KN95 is a good alternative to wearing an N95 mask, which shouldn’t be worn by the general public. If you’d like a mask that works similarly to an N95, the KN95 is the best option.
Red Flags in a KN95 Mask
The KN95 mask is extremely effective and safe for use, but unfortunately, there are “fake” KN95 masks on the market, which means it is extremely important to make sure the ones you buy are actually true KN95 masks.
Fake KN95 masks, and even fake N95 masks, have become such a problem that the CDC has offered guidelines to help you determine which masks are fake.
- No markings of any kind on the actual mask. Approved KN95 masks will almost always have an embossed “KN95” on the side of the mask.
- An FDA logo on the packaging. The FDA doesn’t allow its logo to be placed on respirator packaging, so if you have a package of KN95 masks that have the FDA logo on them, it is extremely likely they are counterfeit.
Language that the mask is “approved” by the FDA. The FDA doesn’t approve N95 masks or KN95 masks, rather it registers masks that are FDA “cleared.” This simply means the FDA has cleared the mask for personal use, not that they approve it.
Some manufacturers will attempt to provide an FDA registration certificate as proof of “approval,” which is a giant red flag.
There’s a big difference between cleared and approved. If the FDA approves something, it usually means they’ve determined that the benefit of the item outweighs any purported risks.
If an item has simply been cleared, it means that the manufacturer of the item has proven to the FDA that the item for which they are seeking clearance is equivalent to a device or item that already has FDA clearance and/or approval.
Such is the case with KN95 masks. Manufacturers who offer these masks but obtain FDA clearance before they can be sold in the U.S.
Loose ear loops. Because KN95 masks attach to a user’s face with ear loops instead of a wrap around headband, it is important that the ear loops are tight enough for the wearer to get a proper seal.
On counterfeit KN95 masks, the ear loops are extremely loose. Some KN95 masks feature a headband style strap, but they don’t have to. Ear loops are acceptable, they just need to fit snugly.
The 2 Best KN95 Masks
Hope Health Supply offers two styles of KN95 masks. Our masks are available and conveniently shipped right to your door. We also only import masks from reputable suppliers. Both of our masks are FDA registered. That registration can be found by clicking here.
In addition to our KN95 mask registration, we also offer transparent access to our business’s FDA registration. You can find it here.
Our goal is to provide a superior level of personal protective equipment that helps keep you and your loved ones safe and protected. We offer our products at reasonable, never gouged, prices, and strive to keep our supplies in stock, so you never have to worry about running out of the items you need.
Here are the details of our two KN95 masks:
White KN95 masks. Our FDA-registered KN95 masks are perfect for daily use whether at home, at work, or anywhere else you need to wear a mask.
You can enjoy 95% filtration efficiency of non-oily suspended particles of 0.3-micron levels with our 5-ply, foldable KN95 masks.
Our KN95 masks are great for pandemic protection, but also offer protection against other airborne irritants like pollen or allergens. The 5 layer filtration barrier helps protect your respiratory system when you are in crowds, or even when you are mowing the lawn.
Black KN95 Mask. Our FDA registered KN95 masks are also available in black. These masks are great for those who prefer a darker color. Crafted in the same manner as our white KN95 masks, these masks feature a soft, flexible nose bridge that is adjustable to ensure a close, snug fit across your cheekbones and nose.
Our masks feature double ear loop straps which stretch to fit every size to ensure a secure fit.
Hope Health Supply’s KN95 masks are lightweight, breathable, and won’t shift or move while wearing.
Our KN95 masks, like all KN95 masks, are designed for a single use by a single person. It is completely up to you if you choose to wear your KN95 mask more than once.
KN95 masks are great options for users who would prefer more filtration than is offered by a cloth mask or non-medical disposable mask. It’s important to make sure that the KN95 mask you select is not a counterfeit, and you can spot a counterfeit by looking for some specific indicators.
Hope Health Supply offers two different kinds of KN95 masks that are FDA registered and safe for use. Take the guesswork out of it and shop with a KN95 mask supplier you can trust.