March 2021 marked the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 shutdown here in the United States, but it felt more like the 10th anniversary to us. And while mass vaccination is giving many of us reason to feel optimistic again, this is a terrible time to let down your guard. Anecdotally, the SPY team knows a number of people who have contracted COVID-19 recently in New York, California, New Jersey and elsewhere. The latest COVID-19 variant, Omicron, is sweeping through major cities like wildfire right now, and as a result, it’s becoming harder and harder to find N95 face masks for sale online.
Fortunately, we’re here to connect you with the best places to buy N95 masks online, including the best face masks for the Omicron variant, which is highly contagious. While you can find N95 masks for sale on Amazon and other big box retailers, we usually recommend buying N95 masks (and KN95 masks) from PPE companies such as Blue Bear Protection and WellBefore. As The New York Times and other outlets have documented, counterfeit masks are a growing problem.
As the holiday travel season approaches, we know that a lot of our readers are making plans to visit family and other loved ones, and face masks are a vital tool to preventing the spread of COVID-19 and the highly contagious Omicron variant.
Remember: masks are as much about protecting other people from the asymptomatic spread of the virus as they are for self-protection. Fortunately, thanks to a herculean effort to increase production, it’s easy to find deals on N95 masks online, and it’s never been easier to mask up to protect yourself and those around you. You can even find KN95 face masks sized for children.
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N95 NIOSH Masks (20-Pack)
KN95 Face Masks (20-Pack)
N95 respirators are the most critical type of PPE for protecting yourself and those around you from the coronavirus. The best N95 masks were in short supply across the country early in the pandemic, but supplies have since rebounded and are now widely available to the general public. (Yes, there is a difference between KN95 masks and N95 masks, which you can read about in a separate piece.) In this article, we’re tackling all things N95 and KN95, as well as where to buy N95 face masks online.
A Note About Counterfeit Masks: Use Caution When Buying N95 Masks Online
As the demand for N95 masks outside of healthcare settings has increased the market for fake or counterfeit N95s has become larger and more sophisticated, and therefore deciphering which masks are real and which are fake more difficult. We recently spoke to experts about identifying fake face masks, and we highly recommend learning to spot common signs of counterfeit N95 masks.
It’s crucial to make sure the mask you’re purchasing has NIOSH-approved written on the mask and package it comes in. This means the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has approved it for use and ensured it protects in the way it promises to. There should also be an approval number written on the mask that’s easy to read.
Blue Bear Protection 9500-N95 Masks
We’ve carefully selected each mask featured below, ensuring that they’re all NIOSH-approved. If you want to buy N95 masks online for COVID-19 prevention, we’re confident in all of the options below. We wanted to offer a variety of options in case one goes out of stock, and we’ll try to keep this list updated as often as possible, as items like this tend to sell out quickly amidst the pandemic. If you aren’t sure about a particular brand or supplier when purchasing PPE, check the CDC website for the official list of approved N95 face masks.
If you’re shopping for KN95 masks or N95 masks on Amazon, then we recommend sticking with brands such as Kimberly Clark, 3M or HUHETA, the latter of which is owned by Amazon. Unfortunately, some of the KN95 face masks sold on Amazon have been the subject of complaints for sub-standard quality.
1. ALG Soft Shell N95 Face Masks
This is another clamshell N95 mask that’s multi-layered and equipped with an inner filtration layer that removes 95% of airborne particles that aren’t oil-based. These masks from ALG are lightweight and made to be disposable, easier to wear and therefore more protective due to increased use. They have a two-strap design and each of the straps are latex-free. These masks are also glue-free, odorless and used by healthcare professionals around the country. For both medical professionals and civilians who want to buy N95 masks online, this is a fantastic option.
ALG Soft Shell N95 Masks (20-Pack)
2. Makrite 9500-N95 Face Masks from Blue Bear Protection
Blue Bear Protection is one of the many companies created during the COVID-19 pandemic to help connect consumers with PPE such as face masks, hand sanitizer and thermometers, which were often in short supply. Today, it’s one of our favorite places to buy N95 masks online, and the company offers multiple styles of N95 masks, including these Makrite N95 masks. Like all of the best genuine N95 masks, these masks are approved by both the FDA and the NIOSH for use as personal protective equipment. Each box contains 20 Makrite N95 masks with dual ear straps and a secure cup shape that covers the mouth and nose.
N95 NIOSH Masks (20-Pack)
3. Blue Bear Protection KN95 Masks
KN95 masks don’t go through as strict a testing process as genuine N95 masks, but they still offer serious protection against airborne diseases like COVID-19 and are used by many frontline workers. This 100-pack of KN95 masks comes in both black and white and offers a great value. If you want to stock up on masks for your household, then this is a convenient option. (We don’t want to jinx it, but this might be the last pack of face masks you have to buy.) In addition, if you’re a business owner searching for the best places to buy N95 masks for employees, Blue Bear Protection is a good brand to know. Blue Bear Protection offers a wide variety of PPE and KN95 face masks for sale.
KN95 Face Masks (100-Pack)
4. WellBefore Individually Wrapped KN95 Face Masks
When SPY editors need to restock our personal supplies of personal protective equipment, we head to sites like Wellbefore and Blue Bear Protection. If you need masks ASAP, then we recommend heading to WellBefore, which promises to ship masks within at least 48 hours. Wellbefore also makes it easy to choose the exact quantity and features that you’re looking for, and the company also has options for bulk purchases if you’re buying face masks for your employees.
These KN95 masks come individually wrapped to minimize contamination, and unlike most of the N95 and KN95 masks in stock right now, you can choose between standard ear loops, adjustable ear straps, or behind-the-head straps. These masks can also be ordered in large quantities for just $1.49/each, one of the lowest prices on KN95 masks we’ve been able to find. If you prefer KN95 masks with adjustable ear loops, Wellbefore has options starting at just $1.99/mask.
Wellbefore KN95 Face Masks
Wellbefore N95 Face Masks
5. HUHETA KN95 Face Masks
There have been reports that some popular KN95 face masks for sale on Amazon are actually counterfeit, and we recommend using common sense and caution when buying from unfamiliar brands on sites like Amazon, which hosts many third-party sellers. We know that you probably aren’t familiar with the HUHETA brand; however, it’s actually one of Amazon’s house brands, so we think you can trust these highly rated KN95 face masks, which have a 5-layer design, affordable prices and adjustable nose bridges.
HUHETA KN95 Face Masks (20-Pack)
HUHETA KN95 Face Masks (30-Pack)
6. Kimberly Clark N95 Pouch-Style Respirators
Kimberly-Clark is one of the leading manufacturers of paper products here in the United States, and the company makes the N95 face masks pictured below, which are currently for sale and in stock via Amazon Prime. In addition, these masks are sold directly via Amazon itself rather than through a third-party Amazon seller. The pouch-style respirators don’t sit as close to your skin as other masks, which can be a benefit if you’re worried about maskne. An adjustable nosepiece ensures a proper fit and seal.
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Kimberly Clark N95 Pouch Respirator (50-Pack)
7. San Huei 3500-N95 Masks
Looking for the lowest prices on N95 masks? Blue Bear Protection is currently selling a 20-pack of San Huei 3500-N95 Masks for just $1/mask, which is the best price we’ve been able to find from a PPE company we trust. These masks are individually wrapped and feature an adjustable nose guard as well as adjustable over-the-head straps.
San Huei 3500-N95
8. FGCCJP KN95 Face Mask
Unfortunately, unscrupulous individuals are trying to take advantage of COVID-19 by selling counterfeit KN95 masks. This can be a problem when buying face masks online from sites like Amazon or Walmart, which allow third-party sellers to create product listings. Amazon has a resource page about KN95 face masks we recommend checking out. To be safe, you can also purchase masks from brands owned and operated by Amazon itself, such as FGCCJP, which makes these affordable KN95 respirators.
FGCCJP KN95 Face Mask (30-Pack)
9. Kids KN95 Masks by Blue Bear Protection
The CDC advises that children ages 3+ wear face masks in public. If you find the idea of a three-year-old child properly wearing a mask for hours at a time completely ridiculous, then you’re in very good company. However, various schools and airlines do require children to wear masks in certain situations, and so it’s important to have an adequate supply of face masks for kids. Blue Bear Protection’s Kids KN95 Face Masks feature three layers and include an interior carbon filter for added protection.
Kids KN95 Face Masks by Blue Bear Protection
10. RespoKare N95 Surgical Respirator Mask
These RespoKate N95 respirators are available for sale via WellBefore, one of our favorite places to buy N95 masks and PPE. We recently spoke with Shaz Amin, founder of WellBefore, when creating our guide to N95 masks and wildfire smoke. Amin told us that “N95 and even KN95 masks are effective in filtering our airborne articles when it comes to pollution and wildfires…However, it is key that the mask properly fits your face. Finding the right size of mask is important which is why we offer multiple sizes as well as adjustable straps for a tighter, more comfortable fit.” WellBefore is one of our favorite places to buy N95 masks online because they offer a variety of styles and options, which makes it easier to find masks that fit your face.
RespoKare N95 Surgical Respirator Mask
11. ALG Hard Cup Shell N95 Mask — 25 Pack
This is the same mask and company from option #5 but in a cup shell design that lifts the mask off of the face for more breathing room and has a nose clip for sealing off a secure fit. This pack also contains 25 masks as opposed to 20 and has 99.7% filter efficiency according to third-party laboratory testing. The straps are latex-free and designed for a close fit and seal.
ALG Hard Cup Shell N95 Masks (25-Pack)
12. Respokare N95 Respirator Masks
This mask is a patented design by Innonix, a PPE company that’s been around for 19 years that blocks 95% of 0.3-micron particles in the air and inactivates up to 99.9% of particles within a few minutes while wearing it. The inner layers are designed for comfort while the outer layers are water-resistant. There’s a filter layer as well as an antiviral layer — both of which work to combat viruses and pathogens in the air. These masks block 18 common seasonal and pandemic viruses including coronaviruses, influenza, measles, tuberculosis and common allergens. The mask is pricey, at $50 for a 5-pack, but the level of protection is worth it.
Respokare N95 Respirator Mask 5-Pack
13. 3M N95 Face Masks 10-Pack
3M is one of the verified sellers of PPE and N95 masks on the CDC website, and 3M N95 masks have been hard to find online since the earliest days of the pandemic. As supply chains have adapted, it’s become much easier to buy 3M N95 face masks online, and this affordable 20 pack is available via Amazon. The masks are a cup shape and have a head and neckband for a secure fit. They also have the NIOSH-approved number on every mask. They’re made for use during woodworking including sanding, sawing and other dusty jobs, but they work just as well at filtering out viral pathogens in the air.
3M N95 Mask 20-Pack
14. Cup Style N95 Respirator Mask — 40 Pack
This N95 mask design is different from the one above in its shape. It cups the face rather than resting on top of it, but both designs are NIOSH-approved with the proper fitting. This mask is able to filter out 95% of non-oily particles in the air down to 0.3 micron levels, and has head and neck loops attached for keeping it secure. The design is also ideal for storage since the cup masks can all stack on top of each other easily. If you want to stock up and buy N95 masks online, then this mask pack is a great albeit expensive option.
Cup-Style Respirator Mask 40-Pack
15. PHG N95 Particulate Respirator Masks — 50-Pack
This N95 mask from PHG has a softly molded shell design with a metal nosepiece, like the one above, for creating a tight seal on the face. The nose also has foam on it and the cloth head straps help keep the mask in place during use. This mask is NIOSH-approved for filtering out 95% of particles in the air. If you’re looking specifically for N95 face masks made in the USA, this is the best option for you.
PHG N95 Particulate Respirator Masks (50)
16. Makrite SEKURA N95 Face Mask — Individual
This is an individually-sold N95 mask, so if you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to buy a larger pack for hundreds of dollars this is a good option to go with. Makrite SEKURA’s masks and soft and comfortable to wear as well as flexible around the edges. They’re made to adapt to the user’s face and form a tight seal. They also have a vertical fold that enables them to lay flat when not in use, and they’re NIOSH-approved for 95% filtration.
Makrite SEKURA N95 Mask
*This piece was last updated on January 17, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. EST.
Frequently Asked Questions About N95 Masks
N95 respirators are face masks designed to filter out 95% of very small (0.3 microns) airborne particles, including the respiratory droplets that can cause COVID-19. The masks are tight-fitting and usually have straps that go over the head, rather than ear loops like regular face masks.
N95 masks are made of thick material that prevents leakage on all sides when fitted correctly, so your breath is sealed from others and your air is filtered as you breathe in. They're designed to form a tight seal around the face that other masks don't provide. N95 masks must be NIOSH-approved in order to provide this protection, so it's important to ensure yours is real and not counterfeit (more on this below).
Yes, some N95 masks have exhalation valves that make it easier to breathe, less hot inside and decrease moisture build-up. N95 masks with the valve are just as protective for the user as ones without a valve. However, the valve doesn't filter your breath as you breathe out the way other masks do — so these masks aren't effective at preventing COVID-19 spread from the user. For this reason, we recommend purchasing N95 masks without a valve. If you have no other choice, you should wear another cloth or surgical mask over the N95 for added protection.
Yes, the CDC recommends wearing KN95 masks to protect yourself from COVID-19 and the Delta Variant. Both N95 masks and KN95 masks filter out 95% of particles 0.3 microns in size. However, N95 masks are NIOSH certified, whereas KN95 masks are certified to Chinese standards. For this reason, only N95 masks are used in medical settings here in the United States, and they are preferred by some consumers for this reason. However, the CDC states that both types of masks provide protection from COVID-19.
There are some N95 masks and KN95 masks for sale on Amazon, but we recommend buying them only if they are sold directly by Amazon and not a third-party Amazon store. On the product page, search for the words: "Ships from Amazon.com" and "Sold by Amazon.com" to ensure the products are sold via Amazon directly.
As of November 16, 2021, our e-commerce editors were able to find a variety of N95 masks for sale online. KN95 masks are slightly easier to find at the moment, and we recommend either type of mask if you're worried about COVID-19, the Delta Variant or wildfire smoke. You can find N95 masks in stock at PPE companies such as WellBefore, Blue Bear Protection and DMB Supply. In addition, you can find Kimberly-Clark N95 Masks for sale via Amazon Prime.