Posted by Fred Koenig on Jan 20th 2022

Covid-19: Masks and latest guidance

With the Omicron variant spiking up COVID rates everywhere, there has been a lot of news around what kind of masks work best. We all know that protecting yourself and others using a face covering is important, but what kind should you be using? There has been a lot of emerging research coming out around how to protect yourself and others against the Omicron variant and the most effective face masks to help accomplish that.

What are the differences in face masks currently available?

There are many mask options currently available, and it’s often challenging to figure out which one works best and the key differences between the ones available. However, the N95 respirators and KN95 masks have been the most common type of face mask used and are still considered one of the most effective masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The key similarity between the N95 and KN95 is that they are constructed from layers of synthetic material. When covering the face and nose, they effectively filter out at least 95% of the tiny particles in the air. Many of the masks can filter even higher particle levels, but 95% is the minimum.

The N95 and the KN95 are made from materials such as electrostatic non-woven polypropylene fiber that are effective at filtering out the particles as well as cotton and other materials. 

There are also other mask options, such as the 3-layer surgical face mask, which have also been seen as effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Another popular option has become reusable masks, with many manufacturers using materials such as cotton to create masks that can be washed and reused.

However, the main difference that arises between the N95 and KN95 is that they fit much closer to the face and offer more respiratory protection. The unique filtering qualities and the way the masks are constructed are why they have become an industry standard.

Should I use an N95, KN95, or a cloth mask?

Lately, there has been a lot of research that suggests that N95 and KN95 masks are more effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 versus cloth masks. As a result, many countries have taken the step to effectively dissuade the public against using homemade or cloth masks while trying to stem the spread of COVID, and many others following suit even in early as 2021.

And we as come into 2022, much of the guidance will remain the same. The CDC has confirmed that cloth masks are not as effective as medical-grade masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19

Because the fibers are loosely woven, the risk of particles entering becomes higher and could lead to a higher chance of getting infected. With fabric, research has shown 10% protection against Omicron since they are single layers and not as tightly woven. N95 and KN95 masks have shown the most protection against new and existing variants.

The N95 mask and KN95 mask are currently the best options and an alternative to cloth masks.

The Demetech N95 Respirator Mask Fold is made in the USA and includes five protection layers. These N95 respirator masks are made from the highest quality materials and provide 99% filtration of airborne particles and bacteria. In addition, the Double Welded head straps provide a strong fit and seal against the wearer’s face, ensuring maximum protection.

If you’re looking for more options for N95 masks, we have a wide selection available such as the N95 Mask, with 98% bacterial filtration and is best suited for medical use in environments like doctor's offices, laboratories, hospitals, healthcare, clinics, patient care, nurses, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and other similar settings.

If you are looking for KN95 masks, a suitable option is the Powecom KN95 Respirator Mask For Medical Use, which offers 95% filtration and is FDA-authorized.

As an additional note, please be extra careful as there are currently many fake N95 and KN95 masks being sold. Always verify authenticity before making any purchases.

Romi Medical is a woman-owned business that provides the best face mask options and protective equipment for your needs. If you would like to learn more about our options and pricing, you can request a custom quote here for face masks.

Romi Medical is a part of the New York Microscope Company. So if you’re looking for additional medical equipment such as high-quality microscopes, we can help! You can find a large selection of microscopes here at the New York Microscope Company.