The largest selection of NIOSH-approved respirator masks listed on our website, including the 3M N95 Mask. Be warned, CDC’s N95 Mask List is extremely hard to navigate for most consumers, and there are usually no links where you can purchase a particular NIOSH-approved N95 mask. We have dug deep into the CDC’s list of NIOSH-approved N95 respirator masks (which are reviewed and updated by NIOSH on a weekly basis) in order to find NIOSH-approved N95 respirator masks that are easily accessible.
The biggest thing to look for with N95 masks in particular is whether or not the respirator has been tested and certified by NIOSH.
You may also want to refer to the manufacturer’s approval numbers on your NIOSH N95 Foldable Mask to make sure they are listed in the list of NIOSH-certified equipment. The CDC recommends that you do not use N95 respirators that have the word surgical in their name because health care workers need to obtain these masks first.
N95 masks should meet guidelines established by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and wrap around the head to ensure a tight fit. The biggest difference between N95 and a KN95 or KF94 (Korea) mask is that NIOSH requires that the respirator be strapped to the head, whereas respirators in other countries may use an ear tether. Because of this major difference, only N95 masks are approved for healthcare use in this country, although KN95 masks share many of the same protection properties.
KN95 masks are manufactured in China, so they have to meet different certificate requirements than those made in the U.S.
KN95 meets Chinese standards and is their equivalent to the NIOSH N95 Foldable Mask, whereas the KF94 face mask is made from a material that is similar to N95 and is manufactured in South Korea. While the N95 or KN95 masks are available for purchase from large retailers and online distributors, there are many counterfeits, particularly regarding the popular KN95 mask.
Unfortunately, however, the now-ubiquitous availability of these disposable masks does not make finding a good fit easier, particularly when it comes to the KN95 (the Chinese equivalent to the N95 mask). Either way, the N95 and KN95 options are much more effective than the cloth, surgical-grade ones, and they are definitely better than not wearing masks at all. While NIOSH tests and certifies N95 masks, it does not endorse KN95 masks, KF94 masks, or any other respiratory products that might get international certification.
NIOSH N95 Foldable Mask