Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: Looking for Face Masks? Here’s a Breakdown of the Different Kinds

Looking for Face Masks? Here’s a Breakdown of the Different Kinds

Looking for Face Masks? Here’s a Breakdown of the Different Kinds

Gone are the days when the words “face mask” brought to mind refreshing spa treatment.

As the Covid-19 coronavirus sweeps the globe, we’ve all been asking ourselves: should I be wearing a mask? And what’s the difference between all these masks, anyway? Is an N95 the same as a KN95?

To help you out, we’ve put together an overview of the most common kinds of face masks out there. And always remember, a mask isn’t an excuse to be careless. Unless you’re a healthcare worker, your best defenses against Covid-19 are still social distancing and good hygiene.

Surgical Masks Vs. N95 Respirators

The first thing you need to understand is the difference between a simple face mask and a respirator mask. Surgical masks are the basic model: disposable, loose-fitting covers for your mouth and nose. N95 respirators are the heavy-duty option: they actually filter tiny particles (like germs) from the air.

Got it? Great. Here we go:

Surgical Masks

These masks are loose-fitting and won’t filter the air you breathe, but they’re good for a few things. First, they’ll protect you from getting any fluids splashed in your mouth or nose. They’ll keep your own germy fingers away from your face. Surgical masks are also helpful for people who are already sick. By covering those coughs and sneezes, surgical masks protect the people around sick people. Check ours here.

Certified by: FDA
Use each for 1 day

Non-Surgical, Non-Respirator Face Masks

Okay, we know people are confused, so we’ll explain: these are basic, disposable face masks that look like surgical masks, but they haven’t been certified by the FDA. They’re just masks, like the homemade ones you’re seeing all over the internet.

Certified by: No one
Use each for A few hours

Cloth Masks

The CDC is now recommending that all civilians older than two years old wear cloth face coverings when they’re out and about. A good one will be made out of several layers of fabric. It’ll also be washable, so you can sanitize and reuse it. If we all cover our nose and mouths in public, even when we’re feeling fine, we have a good chance of slowing the spread of the virus. We have some trendy ones here.

Certified by: No agency
Use each for: Until it wears out; just wash it regularly

N95 Respirator Mask

These are the gold standard of face masks. They’re molded to create a seal around your mouth and nose, and when they’re fitted properly, they can filter out at least 95% of tiny airborne particles. N95s are a hot commodity right now, and they’re desperately needed by healthcare workers, so it’s hard to get your hands on them.

N95s might not be for you if you have respiratory issues since it’s a bit harder to breathe through them, or if you’ve got a beard that could get in the way of the seal.

Certified by: NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health)
Use each for 1-2 days, or until it gets wet or dirty or doesn’t seal properly


KN95 Respirator Masks

These are basically the Chinese version of N95 respirators: close-fitting masks that protect you from tiny airborne particles. They have similar specs, but they’re tested and certified by Chinese authorities instead of the American NIOSH. The American Center for Disease Control lists the KN95 as a suitable alternative for the hard-to-find N95. See ours here.

Certified by: Chinese agencies

Use each for 1-2 days

We hope this list helps. Keep calm, be careful, and stay healthy.

As the world starts to open up we have a selection of masks available here:

Read more

Growing Up Fashionable

Growing Up Fashionable

Fun Fall Braids MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2018Originally Written: Today we are back with some more great faux hair braid bands by Madison Braids.The girls get so excited when...

Read more
Your Perfect Color Match in Three Easy Steps

Your Perfect Color Match in Three Easy Steps

Your Perfect Color Match in Three Easy Steps Madison Braids, top knots and hair extensions are made to stylishly simplify your life. They provide a high-style, on-trend look without hours of work....

Read more
Try at home before you pay
Pay $0 today
At checkout, we'll temporarily place an authorization hold on your card but won't charge you anything.
Your trial starts upon the items' arrival. Comfortably try them at home and send us back the items you don't want.
Pay for what you keep
Upon the return of your unwanted items, we will only charge you for the items you choose to keep.