N95 Respirators – Filter fluid, airborne particles and viruses like COVID-19

Surgical masks – Medical masks with liquid barrier protection

Non-surgical face masks – Medical masks with no liquid barrier protection

Non-medical masks  – Masks like homemade cloth face coverings that are for general public use

All face masks are not created equal?

Both masks and respirators are coverings for the nose and mouth. But the level and type of protection they offer differ in several critical areas.

Masks fit loosely to the face and so don't offer full protection from viruses and other airborne pathogens.

Surgical masks are fluid-resistant. They are disposable, loose-fitting, and create a physical barrier between an individual's mouth and nose and his or her immediate environment. They are for use in surgical settings and provide protection from fluids, But, it must be noted that they do not give you full protection from viruses and other inhaled airborne pathogens.

Non-n-surgical masks, on the other hand, do not provide protection from fluids, filter particles, or protect you against viruses and pathogens. They are not for surgical use and so are not considered personal protective equipment (PPE).

N95 Respirators are personal protective equipment.  They designed to provide more security from viruses and airborne pathogens. When properly used, they ensure a sealed, snug fit. are resistant to fluids and filter airborne particles. In this way, they safeguard health care and essential workers, construction workers, and other wearers, who need protection. This CDC infographic compares surgical masks and N95 respirators.

Non-medical masks like "cloth face covering may not protect the wearer, but it may keep the wearer from spreading the virus to others... To reduce the spread of COVID-19, CDC recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain".

*NOTE: The information provided is to the best of our ability and is not a substitute for medical advice. We cannot answer medical questions. Consult your doctor about the use of face masks if you have further questions, have trouble breathing, or experiencing symptoms