Differences Between Coronavirus Face Masks Explained

What is the difference between face masks, N95, KN95, KF94, FFP2 respiratory face masks & face mask shields?

A lot of our subscribers are asking what is the difference between normal face masks, N95, KN95, KF94, FFP2 respiratory face masks and face mask shields? It can be confusing, we explain the difference between the codes and masks below.

In summary, they are basically all the same. They stop 95% of particles >0.3 microns in size. The N95 is the USA Code, KN95 is China code, KF94 is Korea code and FFP2 is the EU code, this includes the UK.

KN95, KF94 and FFP2 face masks are N95 face mask alternatives & N95 equivalents. They are all the same.

Can wearing a normal medical face mask protect you from Corona Virus?

A regular loose fitting face mask can help you stop spreading sneezes, coughs and fluids to other people. This is how the corona virus spreads. People wearing face masks should disposed of them after every use.

Can a respiratory face mask stop the corona virus?

Yes, respiratory face masks (they fit tightly around your nose and mouth), commonly known as N95 face masks can protect against the virus if you wear and use them correctly. You need to fit them correctly so they are tight to face.

These masks are thicker than a normal medical mask. However, they need to be fitted properly, and they are not designed to be used for a long period. 30 minutes is an average time to wear. Dispose of the face mask when it gets wet or dirty. A typical respiratory face mask will last over 1 week. Wear when you are near to other people, for example, in an office or when travelling on public transport.

Some users will have trouble breathing. You can't wear N95, KN95 and FFP2 masks if you have a beard or stubble.

Can a Virus Face Mask Shield stop the Corona Virus?

Yes, they will stop fluids and splashes going in your eyes, nose and mouth from coughs, sneezes and other fluids.

Face Mask Shields are made out of plastic and will stop respiratory droplets (coughs, sneezes and other fluids) going in your mouth, eyes and nose. This is how the corona virus spreads.

This is what corona virus testing teams and teams treating patients with the virus wear to protect themselves from catching the corona virus. 

Some people people wear a face mask and a face mask shield.

N95, KN95, KF95 and FFP2 Comparison Table

This comparison table shows China KN95, AS/NZ P2, Korea 1st Class and Japan DS FFRs as very similar to US NIOSH N95 and European FFP2 respirators for filtering non-oil-based particles such as those resulting from wildfires, PM 2.5 air pollution, volcanic eruptions, or bioaerosols (e.g viruses). 

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* Japan JMHLW-Notification 214 requires an Inward Leakage test rather than a TIL test


In summary, different countries use different codes and numbers to name their respiratory face masks. They are all very similiar.

The N95 is the USA standard

The KN95 is the China standard

The KF94 is the Korean standard

And FFP2 is the EU standard . This includes the UK.