What’s the difference between KN95 and N95?

A question we face very often is: “What is the difference between a KN95 respirator and a N95 respirator? Are they the same?”

Are KN95 and N95 masks the same?

No, they aren’t the same, but they are indeed very similar. So similar, that e.g. the well-known mask-producer 3M states in its Technical Bulletin, that

it is reasonable to consider China KN95, AS/NZ P2, Korea 1st Class, and Japan DS2 FFRs as “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)

Of course, one should consult one’s local guidelines and regulations before settling down for a respirator type.

If one is only interested in particle filtration, both types are the same, as they both filter ≥95% of particles of 0.3 microns.

What is the difference then?

So, where do KN95 masks and N95 masks actually differ, if they are so similar? Well, reading the specifications of both types, both have their respective pro’s and con’s. E.g. KN95 shall be fitment-tested on a real human face, also measuring its filtering performance, N95 in the meantime has ever-so-slightly higher requirements for breathability (in and out). However, we are talking here about a difference of 7 Pa (≤ 343 Pa vs. ≤ 350 Pa) inhalation resistance requirement and 5 Pa (≤245 Pa vs. ≤ 250 Pa) exhalation resistance requirement. So, not really a concern.

So, when you are searching for a N95 (NIOSH-42 CFR84) mask, could you actually take a KN95 (GB2626-2006) mask? – Yes, but please check your regulations beforehand. But in these hard times, many of them should have been updated to broaden supply bandwidth.

Take a look at our masks

If you are looking for a very reasonably priced KN95 respirator, look at our offer. We also offer bulk pricing for hospitals, schools, companies or vendors.