When it comes to N95 respirators, there are both disposable and reusable styles. Disposable N95 masks can have a valve or be non-valved. It is important to note that valved styles allow particles from the wearer to be expelled into the air, whereas non-valved styles filter those particles from those around you.
Reusable N95 respirators are also suitable for those working directly with individuals with contagious illnesses such as Covid-19. They offer the advantage of interchangeable filters that can block nearly 100% of dangerous, disease causing particles as well as being able to be decontaminated and reused. They do not offer dual protection, which is protection for you and others, as they have exhaust valves. All N95 respirators should be fit tested to assure that they are offering full protection.
In summary, both surgical masks and N95 respirators offer the wearer and those around them varying degrees of protection from infectious diseases like Covid-19. It is important to select the best solution for your situation. Frontline medical workers should opt for N95 respirators when at all possible. To leave a healthy supply of N95 masks for the frontline workers, surgical masks are recommended for the general public’s daily wear.
We hope that this guide helps you choose the best face masks for your comfort and protection.