Are KN95 Masks More Effective Than Surgical Masks?

As COVID-19 continues to mutate and produce new, highly-transmissible variants, masking continues to reduce the risks of exposure to the virus.

Yet, certain masks offer greater protection against transmission than others.

Surgical masks and KN95 masks are more successful against the new variants, while cloth masks are largely ineffective. Still, even surgical masks have their limitations.

Below we’ll explain the reasons why KN95 masks are a better choice for personal safety and infection prevention than surgical masks.

Surgical Masks vs KN95 Masks

Illustration showing KN95 mask and surgical mask

The best way to explain why KN95 masks are more effective than surgical masks is to take a closer look at how they’re similar and different.

Similarities Between Surgical Masks And KN95 Masks

Surgical masks and KN95 masks share two common goals:

  • Protect the wearer from harmful bacteria and viruses
  • Protect other people from the wearer’s own respiratory emissions

By attaching the surgical mask or KN95 masks via the ear loops and covering the nose and mouth, a wearer prevents particles and liquids from coming in contact with their face. Both masks also help the wearer reduce the risk of contaminating others with their own saliva or respiratory discharges.

However, it’s the differences between these two masks that make one more effective than the other.

Differences Between Surgical Masks And KN95 Masks

KN95 masks and surgical masks differ greatly in their design and purpose.

Surgical masks are incredibly fluid resistant. That means they’re extremely effective at protecting the wearer from large particles, splashes and sprays from bodily fluids. Yet surgical masks are less successful in preventing exposure to small particle aerosols, which are the tiny particles emitted by coughs and sneezes.

Why? Surgical masks are deficient in both filtration and fit.

#1. Filtration

Surgical masks were intended to offer protection during surgical, medical and dental procedures, so they are designed to be highly breathable and disposable. Although they are available in different thicknesses, surgical masks do not offer the same level of filtration as respirator masks like the KN95, making it easier for the wearer to inhale particle aerosols.

Compared to the sheer design of surgical masks, KN95 masks offer greater filtration via their five layers of non-woven melt-blown fabric. This design not only meets the CDC’s recommendations for mask construction, it’s also effective at filtering 95% of harmful particles. This level of filtration helps significantly reduce virus transmission.

Illustration showing 5 different filtration layers of KN95 masks

#2. Fit

Surgical masks are also extremely loose fitting. This is evident when the wearer inhales and exhales. During normal breathing, the edges of the surgical mask pull away from the wearer’s face. This creates an opening that allows germs and particles to bypass the barrier and infect the wearer.

Due to their loose fit and inability to filter small particles, surgical masks should only be worn once and discarded immediately.

KN95 masks provide a much tighter fit. Instead of pulling away from the face when breathing, KN95 respirator masks offer a tighter seal between the wearer’s face and the mask edges. Plus, the aluminum nose bridge can be easily adjusted to provide a more comfortable and effective fit. This tighter fit greatly reduces the wearer’s exposure to small airborne particles emitted by coughs and sneezes.

To get the most personal protection from a KN95 mask, don’t settle for the standard mask size sold by most retailers. Vital Supply Store offers KN95 masks in multiple sizes, ranging from Extra Small for petite faces to Large and XL for big heads or those with beards. Choosing a KN95 mask in just the right size will allow you to feel more comfortable and get the best seal around your face to stay safer longer.

Closeup of face with snugly fit medium size KN95 mask

Unsure which size to choose? Order an affordable sample pack with multiple sizes of KN95 masks and test the right fit for your face.

KN95 Masks Offer Greater Protection Than Surgical Masks

Any mask is better than no mask when it comes to reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and its variants. However, the KN95 offers superior protection thanks to a design that provides enhanced filtration, a tighter fit and the ability to reuse the mask. KN95 masks are designed to offer the protection you need from potentially hazardous particles for longer periods of time.

However, KN95 masks are only effective if they’re authentic. Unfortunately, there are many counterfeit KN95 masks on the market, so you should only purchase from a reputable retailer like Vital Supply Store. All of our KN95 masks are:

  • manufactured by an FDA-registered supplier,
  • stamped with the code GB2626-2019 (which confirms that it was manufactured according to respirator mask standards),
  • sealed in tamper-resistant packaging,
  • and include an expiration date.

Enjoy increased protection from COVID-19 with KN95 masks from Vital Supply Store!

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