Learn About Masks with Project N95
Project N95 is the trusted nonprofit source for safe and authentic N95, KN95, KF94, high-filtration, and 3-ply surgical masks. Take advantage of our expertise in this article on different masks and learn about our work.
What to Know About Masks
With so much information about masking, we know it can be confusing to understand what's really important and which masks will best help protect you and others. Project N95 is here to help—let's talk about the common mask types and how they compare.
The N95 is that mask that started it all and, of course, gave Project N95 its name. We have been working to get genuine N95 respirators into the hands of healthcare and other frontline workers since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
An N95 is a standardized face covering that must filter at least 95% of airborne particles. It is considered the baseline for respiratory protection in both the healthcare and industrial fields. Respirators can also be designed to filter oil particles with limited use (R95 or higher) or extended use (P95 or higher) or with higher efficiency (99% or 100%).
Any N95 or other respirator sold in the United States must meet rigorous standards for filtration, fit, manufacturing, chain of custody, and labeling set by NIOSH—the CDC’s National Institutes for Occupational Safety and Health.
Who should use an N95 respirator?
N95 respirators are best for medical professionals or people with a high level of concern about exposure to COVID-19 or other airborne particles.
N95 masks are made to maintain a very tight seal with the face, which means they are an excellent, affordable option for healthcare personnel, first responders, frontline workers in high-transmission areas, immunocompromised individuals, people with severe asthma or allergies, or anyone looking for a reliable high-filtration mask.
Typically, healthcare workers would only use surgical N95s: those that provide fluid resistance in addition to filtration. During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the Food and Drug Administration has issued an Emergency Use Authorization that allows medical personnel to use non-surgical N95s in case surgical versions aren’t available.
How can I find an N95 Respirator?
The proliferation of counterfeit N95 masks since March 2020 has resulted in Project N95’s thorough vetting process that is designed to ensure that every N95 respirator in our marketplace is safe and authentic. We review supplier documentation not only to guarantee that all N95s we carry are approved by NIOSH but also that they are sourced from authorized manufacturers or wholesalers. Project N95 is the trusted nonprofit source for legitimate N95 masks.
Thanks in large part to a surge in domestic manufacturing—including several partners who work directly with Project N95—the supply of N95 masks is now more than sufficient for both healthcare professionals and the general public.
See our extensive selection of N95 masks in the Project N95 shop: