Comparison of KN95, N95 and FFP2 Face Mask and other face mask

Introduction Face Mask

Filtering face piece respirators (FFP) or face mask, which are sometimes called disposable respirators, are subject to various regulatory standards around the world. These standards specify certain required physical properties and performance characteristics in order for respirators to claim compliance with the particular standard. During pandemic or emergency situations, health authorities often reference these standards when making respirator recommendations, stating, for example, that certain populations should use an “KN95, N95, FFP2, or equivalent” respirator.

This article will help clarify some key similarities between such references, specifically to the following FFP performance standards and what it means for you as a user of the various face mask.

In short, KN95 masks are the Chinese standards for masks; N95 masks are the US standards for respirator masks. Despite the long list of differences, the two masks are equivalent or nearly equivalent on the features that most people care about. There is also the FFP2 which is the European standard.

For now we will focus on the similarities and difference between KN95 and N95.

Similarities KN95 vs N95

Lots of users care most about what percentage of particles the masks capture. On this metric, N95 and KN95 respirator masks are the same. Both masks are rated to capture 95% of tiny particles (0.3 micron particles, to be exact). The 95 in the standard stands for 95% filtration of particles. These masks are very effective in filtering out particles.

Differences KN95 vs N95

Both ratings require masks to be tested for filtration efficiency at capturing salt particles (NaCl). Both are tested at a flow rate of 85 L/minute. However, there are some differences between N95 and KN95 in the table below.

KN95 vs N95 Chart Comparison -

Most of these differences are small and would be uninteresting to the average mask user. However, here are the key differences:

  • To be certified as a KN95 mask, the Chinese government requires the manufacturer to run mask fit tested on real humans with ≤ 8% leakage. The N95 mask standard does not require manufacturers to run fit tests.
  • N95 masks have slightly stricter requirements for pressure drop while inhaling. That means they’re required to be slightly more breathable than KN95 masks. This does not affect the filtration quality.
  • N95s also have slightly stricter requirements for pressure drop while exhalingwhich should help with breathability

N95s and KN95s are both rated to capture 95% of particles, although only KN95 masks are required to pass fit tests. N95 masks have slightly stronger requirements for breathability.

Other face mask paper mask, cotton mask, pitta mask, surgical mask

Other mask should not be confused or compared to KN95, N95 or FFP2 face mask. These mask are specialized and made with strict requirements

Paper mask, cotton mask and pitta mask are still useful and better than nothing. It is legal requirement to wear a face mask in South Africa in public spaces. Below is chart to clearly indicate that these mask are not similar in any way to surgical mask or KN95 when comes to filtration

Comparison between KN95 and other mask


The N95 and KN95 are both excellent face mask and which ever one you can get easily and quickly should be your choice.

We offer the KN95's and ensure that we get high quality KN95's to our customers and ship nation wide via express couriers. Your safety is our top priority. Click here to view our face mask

Breathe safe, stay safe. COVID-19 South Africa

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