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The differences between N95, KN95 and KF94

N95, KN95 and KF94 Masks. What's the difference?

Ever since we have been mandated to wear masks in the COVID-19 space, the varieties of masks available in all shapes and sizes has become a confusing task for the general population. Usability, safety and affordability became  the primary topic of conversation in the early days of the pandemic, causing a certain element of confusion. Is N95 the best and most effective mask to use? What about the KN95 and KF94 masks? What is the meaning and difference of these acronyms?

Here's putting your mind to rest – Stay tuned and know the salient differences.

What does N95 mean? “N95” is a certification provided by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), an agency within the Centre for Disease Control (CDC). According to the CDC, the N95 masks are “the most common of the seven types of particulate filtering facepiece respirators.” The “95” refers to the fact that they filter out 95% of airborne particles.

The N95 masks started off in popularity and were quickly snapped up by the medical professionals. These masks require an elaborate “fit test,” and a bit difficult to use but acclaimed as the “the most protective mask.” Because of the short supply of the N95 masks, more and more people turned to two other popular mask types, the KN95 and the KF94, since they both come very close to the level of filtration found in an N95 mask. But what’s the difference between the two? And which one is better?

What do KN95 and KF94 mean?
The KN95 masks are the Chinese equivalent to N95 masks, and are made of the same synthetic material and they filter out and capture 95 percent of particles in the air.

The KF94 stands for “Korean filter” and the “94” indicates a 94 percent filtration efficacy. It is the South Korean equivalent to the N95 mask, with a few differences.

Ultimately what matters most is that any mask is better than no mask. It`s important to ensure how tightly each mask fits your face shape and size and the critical factor for these masks is the face seal. Without a good seal, they are almost all the same, since air will just go out (and come in) through the open spaces on the sides of the mask.

N95 KN95  KF94
US China Korea
5 layers 5 layers 4 layers


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