How does the N95 mask compare to the other facial masks

How does the N95 mask compare to the other facial masks

You must have noticed an extensive variant of masks being worn by people in a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. These masks have different designs, and their capabilities also vary to a certain extent. While it's essential to note that the main reason why you're making use of a mask is to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, some types of masks offer additional capabilities.

There are various types of masks; ranging from N-95 masks to surgical masks and clothe masks. This article highlights some noticeable differences between these mask types as well as their capabilities.

Shape and fit

The N95 mask has a distinct difference from the other mask types in this category. N95 respirators have a round or oval shape that fits snugly to the wearer's face. The N95 respirator covers the nose and mouth area of the wearer's face in a way that there are no loose ends. Surgical masks and cloth masks have a flat rectangular design that's usually loose-fitted on the wearer's face.

Protection level

There's a noticeable difference in the filtering mechanism of the three facial mask types. N95 respirators are designed to filter both the inflow and outflow air of the wearer. It's also essential to point out that N95 masks provide up to 95% efficiency in filtering out air-based particles, the only exception to this efficiency level being oil-based particles. Surgical masks, on the other hand, proves handy in retaining the expelled body fluid of the wearer. What all of these implies is that surgical masks are more applicable in situations where the wearer is trying to protect others. Cloth masks are designed to prevent unintended transmission of the coronavirus as they do not offer as much protection as the other types of masks.

Maintenance and Reuse

This section usually proves quite essential to so many persons who are looking to get a face mask. In terms of cleaning, cloth masks and N95 masks are easier to clean due to the materials used in their production. Surgical masks are not suitable for reuse as they are meant to be disposed of after use.

Purpose of use

The intended use for each mask varies, but the sudden outbreak of coronavirus has made all of the masks channeled towards facial protection. The N95 masks are quite suitable for protecting the wearer in polluted areas against chemical and gas attacks. In contrast, surgical masks are usually worn by medical personnel during surgical procedures to prevent sneeze or cough droplets from reaching their patients. Cloths masks are however peculiar to the prevention of dust particles entering the wearer's nostrils or mouth.

Final thoughts

Although there's a large variant of mask types being used in curbing the spread of the coronavirus, much isn't known about the qualities of each kind of mask. This article points out some of those qualities that set N-95 masks apart from the rest of the pack.