Article updated 2023-04-26
Are you in search of the best personal protective equipment for your workplace? Look no further than the top N95 mask models. In this article, we’ll break down a comparison of these masks to help you make an informed decision.
Our 3M respirator selection guide will provide you with everything you need to know to select the right N95 mask for your needs.
What is an N95 Mask?
An N95 is a particulate-filtering facepiece respirator that meets the NIOSH classification of filtering out at least 95% of airborne particulates. Of course, this makes N95s important for environments that require masking, including healthcare and some industrial settings. 3M is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of N95s, and they currently offer several different models.
The Top 3M N95 Masks Compared:
1. 3M™ Aura™ Health Care Particulate Respirator and Surgical Mask 1870+, N95
One of the best 3M filters, the Aura™ is considered a premium mask for healthcare professionals. It has a high degree of comfort, including an embossed top panel which helps prevent fogging in glasses. It also has nose foam for comfort.
This is an N95 mask, but it also offers 99% Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE). Unlike the other masks on this list, it has some degree of fluid resistance. It is also Class 1 Flammability Rated, providing more protection.
It is a flat fold style mask, but it is not available in smaller sizes, as are some of the masks on this list. Overall, this is a premium choice that makes sense in some healthcare situations.
2. 3M™ VFlex™ Healthcare Particulate Respirator and Surgical Mask, 1804, N95
This is considered to be the value option of the N95 masks on this list. The VFLEX™ offers medium comfort but lacks some of the more advanced features offered by the other two masks. Like the 3M option we discuss below, it has advanced electrostatic media and offers N95 protection. It has a stapled strap attachment, is a flat fold style mask, and is also available in small sizes.
Overall, this is a budget-friendly option that makes sense in some healthcare scenarios.
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3. 3M™ Particulate Healthcare Respirator, 1860, N95
This is the teal mask that you have likely seen many healthcare professionals wearing in different contexts. One of the largest advantages of this mask is that it has a braided comfort strap, unlike the other two N95 masks on this list. It also has nose foam for comfort and no natural rubber latex components. It has gas and vapour protection from particulates.
Not only is this an N95 mask, but it also offers 99% Bacterial Filtration Efficiency and meets Canadian guidelines for Mycobacterium tuberculosis exposure control. Unlike the other masks on this list, this mask can be used in more settings than just healthcare, including agriculture, manufacturing, sanding, chemical handling and everyday use.
Due to high comfort and effectiveness, this is a market-leading mask and often the choice for healthcare professionals in a variety of circumstances, along with the everyday consumer.
Get Professional Advice on Your Masking
If you have questions about the types of medical face masks, if there are 3M dust mask types, or if you have other questions, you should reach out to the team at CanGard today. We can help you make your best mask choice.