What is the Best Type of Face Mask and How to Choose One

In recent months, the COVID-19 outbreak has dramatically changed how people live and work. An expanding number of people are aware of the importance of self-protection. Face masks are the best option for most people. However, there are numerous face masks on the market, such as cotton face masks, disposable surgical face masks, FFP2, KN95, etc. Disparate face masks with various thickness for different uses are also changed in the protection. So people may have a question that what is the best type of face mask and how to choose a suitable one.

The best type of face mask and suggestions for choosing one

A clinical study, which was published by The International Journal of Infectious Diseases in 2008, concluded that when face masks were both chosen and used correctly, the spread of the virus can be prevented effectively. Besides, it pointed out that children with flu are eighty percent less likely to be diagnosed with the virus if face masks are chosen and used accurately. Therefore, choosing the best type of face mask is of great necessity.

The cotton face mask

The cotton face mask has the function of the windshield, heat preservation, dust isolation, and so on. It also can be reused after cleaning. The structure of typical cotton face masks is simple. They are made of different fibers. However, the cotton face mask has limited protection. It can only filter large particles, such as soot, powder. In order to keep warm and prevent cold air from directly stimulating the respiratory tract, the cotton face mask is the best type of face mask.

The disposable surgical face mask

The disposable surgical face mask mainly protects against droplets and aerosols, body fluids, colds, flu, coughs, and sneezes. A standard disposable surgical face mask has three layers: an outer layer that prevents liquids from splashing in, a middle layer that filters out up to more than five micron particles, and an inner layer that absorbs liquids and moisture released by the wearer. Without the protection of these layers, the disposable surgical mask would be soaked easily, and the virus’s entrance could be much easier. In order to have essential protection for medical or related personnel, the disposable surgical mask is the best type of face mask.

It is acknowledged that disparate countries and regions have various requirements for the disposable surgical face mask. For example, ASTM F2100 is adopted in American Standard for medical surgical masks. This standard classifies surgical masks into three levels, low protection in level 1, medium protection in level 2, and high protection in level 3. level 3 masks are known as disposable surgical masks used by medical staff. The higher the risk of exposure to the virus, the higher level should be chosen.

On the other hand, YY 0469-2011 is adopted as the Chinese standard for disposable surgical face masks. It is rigorously tested by the core indicators, including bacterial filtration efficiency, particle filtration efficiency, synthetic blood penetration resistance, and ventilation resistance. Masks manufactured under this standard must be obviously marked as medical surgical masks on the outer package.



The FFP2 face mask is made to meet the standards of the European (CEEN 149:2001). Testing of FFP2 face masks, regardless of European or American standard, is subject to a TSI-8130 Automated Filter Testers instrument, USA. The instrument can automatically produce salt particles with an average diameter of 0.2μm. After passing through the sample at a certain flow rate, the instrument can automatically print the flow rate, resistance, and transmittance. According to the FFP2 standard, the dust collection rate of the mask is greater than or equal to 94%. However, the gas flow rate per minute is different when testing. The European standard is 95L/min, and the American standard is 85L/min.

The FFP2 face mask prevents the inhalation of harmful aerosols, including dust, smoke, fog droplets, poisonous gases, and poisonous vapors. Most of these masks are made of two layers of non-woven cloth inside and outside and one layer of the filter cloth in the middle (melt-blown cloth). The melt-blown cloth in the middle can filter most of the dust because it has the characteristics of static electricity to absorb particles of minimal volume. In order to choose the best type of face mask, the FFP2 face mask is the most suitable one to use in a polluted environment for a short time.


KN95 is a type of face mask produced under the standard of China. It is a kind of mask with particle filtering efficiency in China. The number behind KN refers to the protection capacity. The larger the number is, the greater the protection level. Quite a few people believe that KN95 is the best type of face mask because it can filter out more than ninety-five percent of non-oily particles. But it is not suitable for children or men with the mustache. It is because when they wear the KN95, they cannot achieve a tight fit. 

Besides, KN95 protects against airborne respiratory infections, blocking microscopic particles of about 0.3 microns. It is only for personal use and should be discarded if damaged or distorted. Thus, for medical or related personnel, KN 95 is the best type of face mask.


A multitude of face masks are displayed in the market, and it is tough to define which is the best type of face mask. Choosing the most suitable one rather than following the trend to purchase the best type of face mask is of great consequence for people to hamper the COVID-19 or other occasions.


ZHENG KANG, a disposable surgical face mask manufacturer, is constantly dedicated to the fabrication of medical protective production. The disposable surgical mask is used for the elemental protection of medical staff or related personnel to prevent the spread of blood, body fluids, and liquid splashes during operations.

ZHENG KANG follows the medical equipment standard issues by the government and foreign countries’ standards rigorously to safeguard users’ health. With KN95 Mask attestation certificate of machinery directive, disparate kinds of Civil Mask SGS Certificate, and other proficient certifications, ZHENG KANG is a capable face mask manufacturer who provides customers with the best service and products.


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