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As the Omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to infect people around the world, figuring out the proper masks to keep you and your family safe has become more and more difficult. From N95, KN95, and now KF94, it can sometimes feel hard to decipher which one provides the best protection. That said, you may want to learn the differences between these preventative face coverings as you shop.
Last year, we highlighted the difference between the best N95 and KN95 masks, so this article will focus squarely on the similarities and differences between KN95 and KF94 masks. Read on to learn more.
KN95 Masks vs. KF94 Masks: Similarities and Differences
Much like N95s, both KN95 and KF94 masks feature high levels of filtration, helping to keep unwanted viruses and particles from entering your nose and mouth. In short, KN95 masks are the Chinese equivalent of N95 masks and KF94 masks are the South Korean equivalent. The difference between them is simply in how they’re certified.
The “KF” in KF94 actually stands for “Korean filter,” while the “94” indicates a 94 percent filtration efficacy, making it closely similar to the KN95 mask, which offers 95 percent filtration efficacy. Although the KN95 provides one additional percentage of coverage, when sealed properly against the face, both the KN95 and KF94 are very efficient at preventing particles from entering your nose and mouth with a study from the NIH suggesting KF94s are just as effective at protecting against COVID. KF94s are also typically made with four layers as opposed to three, providing an added layer of protection over the mouth and nose.
In terms of overall design, most KF94s come with side flaps, which mold to the contour of your face, and a nose bridge that adjusts to fit snugly. This gives it a fit that is both breathable and protective, making it a viable option when compared to KN95 and N95 masks.
No matter which type of mask you choose, you’ll want to be sure you’re purchasing your face covering from a reputable company. Throughout the pandemic, news outlets such as The New York Times have cited counterfeit masks as a growing concern. When interviewed by NPR Sonali Advani, an assistant professor of medicine at Duke University shared, “Not all KF94 masks are made in Korea — many are manufactured in China — [but] KF94s manufactured in Korea may be less prone to counterfeiting.”
Given that, we’ve been careful to source products made in Korea with reputable reviews and recommendations. Take a look at some of the best KF94 and KN95 masks you can purchase online.
Best KF94 Masks
GoodDay KF94 Masks, 20-Pack
Crafted with a 3D design these KF94 masks are breathable and effective. Sold in a pack of 20, each of these masks filters at least 94% of airborne particles. There’s an adjustable nose bridge to ensure a secure fit and comfortable ear loops for easy wear.
CleanTech KF94 Certified Kids Face Mask, 10 Pack
Looking for a viable KF94 option for kids? These CleanTech masks are exactly what you need. They’re great for smaller faces and offer 94% filtration with comfortable wear, thanks to the breathable 3D design. These masks are made in Korea and come individually sealed to avoid contamination.
Flax Store Protective KF94 Masks, 10-Pack
Delicate against the skin, these KF94 masks protect against airborne particles, dust, smoke, and more. They come with four-layer protection, comfortable ear loops, and an adjustable nose bridge for a customized and secure fit. They’re made in Korea and feature English packaging for easy reading.
Best KN95 Masks
Honeywell Safety DF300 N95 Mask, Box of 50
These Honeywell N95 faces protect against COVID while feeling comfortable against the face. They feature multilayers of protection and come with comfortable stretch straps for a secure fit. The adjustable nose clip additionally offers a soft cushion with the moisture-resistant filter repels particles, dust, moisture, and more.
Huheta KN95 Face Mask
Looking to add a little color to your life? This option is a perfect choice. This Amazon-branded face mask features a protective 5-layer design and comes with an adjustable nose bridge for comfort and added safety.
FGCCJP KN95 Face Mask
Another Amazon-branded option, FGCCJP effectively filters out 95% of particles 0.3 microns in size and above to protect against COVID-19. These 30 individually wrapped masks are designed with five different layers: two layers of non-woven cloth, two layers of melt-blown fabric, and one layer of hot air cotton to ensure efficacy.