N95 VS KN95 masks -what is the difference between them?
The N95 and KN95 masks are among the most effective masks to wear when protecting
ourselves against COVID-19 and other potentially harmful viruses in the air.
When most of us are out buying masks, what we care more about is how well these masks can
filter out things such as viruses, bacteria and other really tiny particles.
The good news is that both N95s and KN95s filter out the same amount of particles. Both masks
are designed to filter out and capture 95% of tiny 0.3 micron particles in the air (hence the “95”
in their names).
In fact, the KN95 is practically equivalent to N95 in every aspect. Both masks are made from
multiple layers of synthetic material (typically a polypropylene plastic polymer) and are
designed to be worn over the mouth and nose.
The main difference is how the masks are certified. KN95 masks work similarly to N95 masks, but
they aren't regulated by the same organizations. N95 masks are the standard for respirator
masks in the United States; while KN95 masks are the Chinese standard.
According to Health Canada:"The N95 respirator is the U.S./NIOSH standard for respirators and
KN95 is the Chinese standard. Commercial-grade (non-medical) and medical-grade N95 and
KN95 respirators are similar with respect to design, filtration, performance and material
standards. In Canada, it is the labeling, indications for use and claims that contribute to the
classification of a product as a medical device."
Among minor differences, only KN95 masks are required to pass fit tests, whereas N95 masks
have slightly stronger breathability standards. Neither of the two standards is actually superior
to the other, as companies can manufacture masks for both standards.
TLDR; for the average individual, N95 masks and KN95 masks have negligible differences. Unless
you're a healthcare professional, either should do an excellent job to protect yourself and
others every day!