COVID-19 situation created a market for face masks. Several types of masks have been introduced as a result. Previously, only the people working in polluted environments used solutions like pollution mask. And, surgical masks were confined to surgeons and those in healthcare sector. The need to contain spread of virus through human to human proximity made the masks a product of common households.
Of various face masks available, the ones that are believed to be most effective are N95 and KN95. Let’s do N95 vs. KN95 comparison to find if there is any actual difference between the two or not.
- Country where manufactured
N95 masks are manufactured in the US while KN95’s country of manufacturing is China. On comparing N95 vs. KN95, both are at par and meet the internationally accepted standards of quality and reliability.
- Technical features
N95 and KN95 face masks have a few points where they differ in functionality. These points of difference are:
- Total inward leakage: N95 masks’ total inward leakage results have shown value as N/A, whereas, this feature in KN95 is found to be <8%. While performing physical activities, this technicality comes into display and impacts the overall effectiveness of the mask in providing shield against the pollutants.
- Inhalation figure: N95 can protect inhalation of particle size that measure less or equal to 343 Pa. KN95’s effectiveness in terms of inhalation figure is more. It stands at 350 Pa for KN95.
- Exhalation figure: The exhalation figure for N95 and KN95 stand at 245 Pa and 250 Pa respectively. Hence, breathability of N95 is better than KN95; it stands out in adherence to standards with better research put into the development process.
- Leakage rate: N95 and KN95 with exhalation valves are used as respirator masks. The leakage rate comparison of the two reveals that N95’s performance is better.
- Ease of wearing: N95 is easier to wear as it fixes on the face more effortlessly than KN95. The pressure applied by N95 is more than KN95, thus, it snuggles fit and offers the hands-free experience of better quality.
- CO2 clearance: The N95 mask’s value of CO2 clearance reads N/A. It shows better performance on this parameter as compared to KN95, which offers less than or equal to 1%.
Fabric and make-wise, both masks look similar and have equal aesthetic appeal. The users may not see any difference from the sight. But, on using, the experience delivered may be different. The N95 and KN95 can be used as pollution mask because of the technical excellence these deliver.
If we do a point-to-point comparison, the N95 variety may have better results. This variety follows stringent quality controls and is preferable where the qualities like leak-proof and better breathability are required.
N95 and KN95 masks are fully capable of providing the best shield from pollutants. These have the ability to help check the infection spread. With better features to offer and because of the ease of availability, the N95 proves to be a better alternative.