What Does KN95 Mean? Mask Specifications & More

What Does KN95 Means_

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there are standard guidelines and requirements for wearing masks in some areas.  The masks that are often considered to be the most effective are anything with ‘N95’ in the name. However, it is essential to know that not all of these masks are the same. Many people are confused between N95 and KN95 masks. Is there a difference? Before learning more about what a KN95 mask is, it is essential to know what N95 masks are. 

Defining N95

When looking into masks, you might come across N95 masks. These are respiratory masks that have a filtering facepiece. They are also known as FFRs. These respirators are disposable. Some of the other things that you need to know about the N95 masks include the following:

  • They meet the performance and physical characteristics for masks set out by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), and the NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health). 
  • There is an increased demand for FFRs, particularly the N95 masks, during pandemics and various emergencies.
  • These masks are very useful in blocking out harmful particles. 
  • The first part of the mask name stands for the letter class rating of the respirator. The N means non-oil. If there aren’t oil-based particles present, the mask can be used in working environments. 
  • The 95 means the mask filter is 95% efficient. 
  • The N95 masks block out fumes, mists, dust, and other contaminants (a minimum of .3 microns can’t pass through the mask).
  • The filter material is made of electrostatic polypropylene non-woven fibre.
  • N95 is the standard performance requirement for the United States.

This information tells you that N95 masks can be quite useful. They are used in many workplace environments. 

Addressing Needs

With this being said, there is often a vast supply and demand issue with N95 masks during pandemics. With the shortage, it is recommended that only those who genuinely need these masks use them. This usually includes the following: 

  • Healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses, and other medical staff (usually only those who are going to be involved in the care of symptomatic or COVID-19 patients should use these masks)
  • Correctional facility officers (those that deal with prisoners or inmates who are symptomatic or who have COVID-19)

It is important to remember that everyone isn’t able to use a respirator. This is especially true if they have specific health problems that are worsened when using the respiratory. Some workers must have a medical exam done to ensure they can safely wear an N95 mask. 

Now that you know more about the n95 mask, you can learn about the kn95 mask. This way, you can understand the differences between the two masks and which is best for you. 

KN95 Mask Anatomy

The KN95 mask anatomy is quite similar to that of an N95 mask. It includes the following:

  • Non-woven fabric
  • Nano membrane filter
  • Skin-friendly layer
  • Electrostatic cotton filter

What sets it apart is that the KN95 mask is the standard Chinese facepiece filtering respirator. It is nearly the same regarding performance standards as the N95 mask. However, the KN95 mask isn’t regulated through the NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health). With that being said, the KN95 masks do have the same filter performance efficiency as the N95 masks (blocking out particles that are a minimum of .3 microns). This means they are 95% efficient. 

Differences in the N95 Masks and the KN95 Masks 

There are some stricter requirements regarding pressure drop when inhaling for the N95 masks. This means that the kn95 mask isn’t as breathable as the N95 mask. The N95 mask also has stricter requirements for the pressure drop when exhaling. This increases breathability for the N95 masks, as well. 

Top Choice: N95 of KN95 Mask 

When it comes to performance, the N95 and KN95 masks are very similar. However, since N95 masks are in higher demand and used by medical professionals and correctional officers, they are a bit pricier. The KN95 masks are a bit more affordable than the N95 masks. You can find both of these types of masks here at CanGardCare

Alternatives to KN95 Masks 

You might be wondering if you are allowed or if you should use alternatives to the KN95 masks. There are certainly other types of masks that could serve as personal protective equipment. These include different disposable and surgical masks. If you aren’t going to be in direct contact with someone who has COVID-19, surgical masks and other disposable masks could work. 

The surgical masks aren’t as efficient as the kn95 mask or N95 mask. However, they do block out larger droplets, sprays, and splashes of hazardous or bodily fluids. It should be noted that surgical masks shouldn’t replace the kn95 or n95 masks for those who need them. If you are inhaling smaller particles, you need increased protection, which can be received from the KN95 or N95 masks. If you need to get a kn95 or N95 mask, be sure to order one from us here at CanGardCare today. 


The COVID-19 pandemic has many people worried. However, if you do your best to follow all the CDC and other professional health organizations’ recommendations, you can keep yourself and your family safer. One of the things that offer the best protection and safety during this pandemic is the KN95 mask or N95 mask. There are also surgical masks and other disposable masks for those who aren’t going to contact someone who is symptomatic or has COVID-19. You can order personal protective equipment, including a KN95 mask, from CanGard today.

Article Updated 2023-10-18
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