December 10, 2020 By admin Off

N95 vs P95 Respirators for COVID-19: What’s the Difference?

The novel coronavirus at the start of 2020 took the whole world by storm. Almost everyone is wearing a face mask or a respirator and stores are running out. There are so many varieties of masks out there and among the chaos of the pandemic, you might be confused as to which one is actually effective.

First things first, there is a difference between masks like the type surgeons and healthcare workers use and respirators.

The masks worn by surgeons follow a simple design and are meant to block small liquid droplets (like mucus or saliva when someone sneezes). Surgical masks don’t completely cover the nose and mouth. However, coronavirus like all viruses, are airborne and technically could get through the gaps in the mask to your nose and mouth.

Respirators, on the other hand, are effective at covering your nose and mouth. They are designed to block out most tiny airborne particulates found in the air, which includes viruses. Respirators allow you to breathe air that has been filtered from all kinds of minuscule particles, ranging from bacteria to viruses found in the air.

So you should definitely go with a respirator to avoid catching a virus.

Related: Best Supplements for Boosting the Immune System

Different Types of Respirators

At first you might be a bit overwhelmed by all the different names of respirators- N95, N99, N100, R95, R99, etc. All these numbers and letters represent a particular kind of air filter, depending on the type and amount of particles they filter. These respirators are all classified and approved by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

The letters (N, R and P) define the type of particles filtered by the respirator.

Respirators labelled N filter out airborne particles but are not resistant to oil.

The ones labelled ‘R’ also filter out airborne particles, but they are also mildly resistant to oil.

If it’s labelled ‘P’, then they are fully resistant to oil particulates. Oil proof respirators are more for people who work in an industrial environment or work around various oils and chemicals. P95 respirators are the most common type.

The number in a respirator classification such as 95 or 100 represents the percentage of air particulates that it filters. So, 95 means it blocks out 95% of airborne particles, whereas 100 blocks out 100% of them.

Difference Between N95 and R95 Respirators

An R95 blocks out 95% of airborne particles and is mildly resistant to oil. An N95 mask also blocks out 95% of airborne particles, but it can’t withstand oils. An R95 is also more expensive than an N95 respirator.

So, which one’s better for coronavirus? Technically, they’re both equally effective against viruses. You only need to get an R95 if you want to avoid coronavirus AND you work in an industrial or chemical environment. Whichever one you use, the effectiveness of the respirator will depend on wearing it correctly so that it securely fits around the nose and mouth.

It’s important to note that while N95 or R95 respirators are the best at blocking airborne coronaviruses, it is still not recommended by the CDC. This is because for those that already have coronavirus symptoms such as shortness of breath, respirators could make it harder to breathe. Check here for exact guidelines on using respirators for Covid-19.

Also, many people don’t know how to wear respirators correctly, so they become useless then. The CDC states that the best way of avoiding the coronavirus is to sanitize or wash hands with soap and avoid large gatherings.


Where to Buy Face Masks

Before we start, we’ll address this issue. We’ve received multiple requests from individuals in various countries looking for a reliable source for face masks. As Amazon and other websites have been dealing with supply issues, we sought out a trusted company that provides masks at reasonable prices.


    Giving Masks is the mask provider we’ve been recommending during the pandemic for the following reasons:

  1. Fake masks and scammers are a big issue at the moment due to the mask shortage. They buy factory direct and due all the due diligence so you ensure you’re getting the real thing.
  2. They sell CDC whitelisted face masks in quantities ranging from 20-400 at fair prices and deliver within 2-4 days to your doorstep.
  3. For every order you make, they donate 5 masks to a small business in need. They also allow for donations for our healthcare heroes.


P.S. If you are searching for good quality reusable masks, they’re available from the same company here.

A Final Word From Wellness Nova

Be sure to do your research and select the best mask for your needs. If searching for a mask to protect against coronavirus, be sure to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly. Also, ensure you get tested if you suspect you have been exposed to the virus.

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