Personal Protective Equipment

In the present COVID-19 world, people are searching for taking every essential step that can reduce their vulnerability of getting infected with Novel Coronavirus infection.

Masks, which were once seen as only a necessity for only certain and critical situation and environment, have become a great protective gear for all. Whether you are an individual walking to the nearby store, a worker in a plant, a healthcare official, or anyone else, wearing the mask has been advised and recommended to ensure you keep yourself protected against viral infections.


09 Jul 2020, 8:44 AM (GMT)

Global Stats

12,180,832 Total Cases
552,394 Deaths
7,081,410 Recovered



Country Confirmed cases Death cases Recovered cases


KN95 and N95 Masks KN95 and N95 Masks

While there are many masks, from surgical to disposable face masks, KN95 and N95 masks have emerged as the most popular and sought after. Why these masks are becoming so popular? Simply put these masks, as termed ‘95’, are effective in filtering the air you breathe up to 95% efficiency, and this is the reason why these are called as such.

If such is the case, then are these masks same? No, they are not same. While both have similar basic design structure and up to 95% efficiency proposition, there is some difference between these two.

Difference Between KN95 Masks and N95 Masks

Talking about the masks, people who are aware know that KN95 and N95 masks are much better than what surgical masks are. In functioning both KN95 and N95 masks are graded to capture 95% of small particles (approx. 0.3 microns).

However many wonder what the difference is between these two. If you are not familiar then we detail the difference here:

  • Primarily, KN95 masks are China standard-based, while N95 masks are USA standard-based.
  • KN95 masks are required to run fit tests on humans while N95 masks are not required to run such fit tests. However, companies or organizations using N95 masks can run fit tests at their own end.
  • N95 masks have to have stricter pressure drop standards for inhaling and exhaling than the KN95 masks.

Do not hoard more than you need. Ensure that every other person, especially healthcare workers and government agencies have access to personal protective equipment.

Functional and Specification Difference Between N95 and KN95 Masks

The chart below will let you through a detailed difference on how the KN95 masks and N95 masks differ in specifications and test requirements. The certification process takes into account different aspects of mask design, use and functioning in varied environmental and its performance.

Understanding the in-depth specification differences will help you know which one suits your needs.

Certification / Class (Standard) N95 (NIOSH-42CFR84) KN95 (GB2626-2006)

Filter performance –
(must be ≥ X% efficient) Must be ≥ X% efficient

≥ 95%

≥ 95%

Test agent



Flow rate

85 L/min

85 L/min

Total inward
leakage (TIL)* –
tested on human subjects each performing exercises Tested on human subjects each performing exercises


≤ 8% leakage
(arithmetic mean)Arithmetic mean

resistance –
max pressure drop NMax pressure drop95

≤ 343 Pa

≤ 350 Pa

Flow rate



Exhalation resistance
max pressure drop Max pressure drop

≤ 245 Pa

≤ 250 Pa

Exhalation valve

Leak rate ≤ 30mL/min

Depressurization to 0 Pa ≥ 20 sec

Force applied

-245 Pa

-1180 Pa

CO2 clearance


≤ 1%

KN95 and N95 masks are both designed in the same basic structure, work usually same, are rated for 95% filtering efficiency. There are a certain differences between these two as detailed above. However, for protecting against bio-aerosols (virus), PM2.5 particulates and more pollutants and contaminants, both are quality and you can use any from these to keep yourself safe and protected as possible as you can.

Ensure that when you are opting for any of these, KN95 or N95 masks that fits tightly around your face, leaves no gaps and provide suitable breathing convenience.

Are KN95 Approved in USA?

Although KN95 are Chinese standard GB 2626-2006 masks, they are approved by US government for use. Whereas, the N95 masks are US standard NIOSH-42CFR84. As both masks perform and function similarly filtering with efficiency of 95%, reducing contamination from particles and droplets that are more than 0.43 micron in size. This is where these filtering face piece respirators have become a key personal protective equipment to keep safe by filtering bacteria, viruses and smoke.

When you are shopping for N95 masks but aren’t able to find those, you can confidently buy and use KN95 masks as these both are rated for 95% particulate filtering and function at most similarly. Both of these masks are developed to be used for same purpose. Although make sure that the KN95 masks sold by the retailers are developed by a FDA registered manufacturer. You should be wary of avoiding fake or unscrupulous sellers; for this you can also check out tools to ascertain if the product is genuine or not.

How to Spot a Mask that is NIOSH-Approved?

An NIOSH approved mask should have the design and feature as detailed below in the exterior markings of a filtering facepiece respirator:

NIOSHMaskModel Supplied
How a KN95 Mask is Created? How a KN95 Mask is Created?
To ensure the 95% filtering efficiency, the KN95 mask is designed in a multi-layer format. KN95 masks come in 4-layer design including surface layer, fabric layer, inner layer, and particle layer. The outer 2 layers are melt-blown, suitable to filter out small airborne particles. The other two layers include respirator and a layer that absorbs moisture. The respirator is the component what sets the masks specifically apart from general surgical masks.
How to Wear and Remove the Mask?How to Wear and Remove the Mask?

How you are wearing and removing the mask is very important in keeping you safe from viral and bacterial contamination. Make sure your hands are fully washed and sanitized and the mask is disinfected before you wear that. Wear by wrapping the strap around the ears and ensure that the mask covers the face from over the nose right to your chin, enabling it to fit tightly with no gaps.

Before removing the mask, wash your hands thoroughly and always remove it by pulling the bottom strap from the back through to the top strap. Do not ever touch the front of the mask as it can hold harmful germs, bacteria and viruses.


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