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Back in January, I wrote a post about why it would be smart to buy some N95 masks before the panic shopping sets in again.

Unfortunately, it looks like I could just change the date of that post to today’s since it seems like we’re headed back down that dark path again. At least this time around, it appears that those who are vaccinated are in much better shape unless they have an underlying condition or are pregnant.

Last year, there were a lot of difficulties and confusion about getting N95 masks since they were needed first and foremost by frontline workers. Fortunately, there’s been plenty of time for companies to ramp up production so there’s no longer a dire shortage and the masks are now much cheaper.

I realize that most people don’t want to wear a mask, especially on an airplane. But the mask mandate isn’t going away until at least September 13 and I’m guessing that it will be extended yet again, thanks to new COVID-19 variants and flu season starting up around that time.

I’m actually happy about it because one of my biggest pet peeves about flying before the pandemic was passengers not covering their mouths when they coughed or sneezed. FYI: Here are my other air travel pet peeves.

I live in Los Angeles and just yesterday, our county reimposed the mask mandate while indoors. I don’t think it’s a big deal since many stores kept requiring it anyway and most customers still wore their masks even though they no longer had to.

Now, with these new, more contagious variants, it’s smart to think about upgrading your mask and to do it while they’re readily available and cheap.

What prompted this article is that one of the health experts I follow, and who has been pretty much spot-on for the past year, just tweeted a CBS News article in which he was quoted. Scott Gottlieb, the Former FDA Chief, said, “to protect against the variant, it’s important for people to invest in high-quality face coverings, such as N95 masks.”

Gottlieb went on to say: “Quality of mask is going to make a difference with a variant that spreads more aggressively like Delta does, where people are more contagious and exude more virus.”

“Trying to get N95 masks into the hands of vulnerable individuals in places where this is really epidemic I think is going to be important, even in cases where they’re vaccinated, if they want to add another layer of protection.”

I wouldn’t have even thought of wearing an N95 face mask until I watched his interview and heard from a friend that three of her friends who were fully vaccinated with Moderna (which is what I had) caught COVID-19 and one of them had it really bad.

Another medical expert I follow is Dr. Jonathan Reiner (Professor of Medicine and Surgery at The George Washington School of Medicine & Health Sciences and a CNN Medical Analyst). Back in January, I asked him whether the general public should wear an N95 or a KN95 face mask and he tweeted back: “I would absolutely recommend an N-95 or KN-95 mask.”  FYI: Some experts even go so far as to say that N95 masks are the way to end the pandemic.

To answer another reader’s question, I followed up with: “Where do you recommend getting them? Amazon? Particular brand? Thanks again!” Dr. Reiner replied, “I don’t have a go to source. If you can find genuine 3M masks, that would be ideal.”


Where to Buy N95 and KN95 Face Masks

Buy N95 and KN95 face masks on Amazon.com
KN95 masks for kids
N95 Mask
N95
To summarize:
-If you can’t get an N95 mask, then wear a KN95 mask, which is almost as good.
-If you get the N95 with a valve, wear a surgical mask over it so you don’t pollute the air with your germs.
-It’s important to wear both masks properly, which is not easy. If worn properly, it’s almost impossible to get the virus. Here’s how to properly put them on and take them off.

What’s the difference between N95 and KN95?
While people tend to refer to N95s and KN95s as face masks, technically, they are respirators that completely seal to your skin and require proper fitting, while cloth face masks act as a barrier to keep particles and droplets away. The difference between N95s and KN95s s largely comes down to regulatory standards. N95s are regulated by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the U.S. whereas KN95s are typically regulated by the Chinese government. According to Men’s Health, N95 and KN95 respirators “filter out 95 percent of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger in diameter, explains Dr. Michael Schivo, a pulmonologist and an associate professor of internal medicine at UC Davis Health. “That’s important because most bacteria are larger than 0.3 microns,” he says. “Many virus particles are small, and some are smaller than 0.3 microns, but they’re suspended in water droplets that make them effectively bigger. So these masks filter out 95 percent of those small particles.” Read the whole article here.

RELATED READING:
8 Accessories to Make Wearing Face Masks More Comfortable, More Hygienic and More Pleasant to Wear

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15 Comments On "Where To Buy N95 and KN95 Face Masks"
  1. Marlin Yoder|

    I do purchasing for a company that is a 3M distributor, we have had N95 masks on order since April, they won’t ship them to us.

  2. Donna A. Kinney|

    What do you think of the Bio-th Face Mask? Still tauted as 95% effective. Easier to get than the N95.

  3. Michael|
  4. Tina Bernstein|

    Just bought a 20 pack thru your Amazon link, thanks Johnny!

    Dr. Monica Ghandi at UCSF has been on SF television interviews saying another way is to double up – wear a cloth mask first layer, then a disposable surgical mask over it. Wash your cloth mask every 2-3 days, and the disposable surgical mask on top stays clean and lasts about 5 days before the elastic wears out. That’s what I’m doing for grocery shopping or anything indoors. I wear my cloth mask outside then add the surgical one going inside. Please note, I’m not a nurse or doctor, just a civilian trying to make sense of all this stuff. Best wishes and love to all.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Thanks!

  5. Mr O Lamyman|

    We have KN95 masks for sale here in Spain but everytime we tried to Advertise them on Facebook we have been blocked.
    Please feel free to email us with your requirement.

  6. Anonymous|

    Is the pr-95-u001 a good mask?

  7. Anonymous|

    I would suggest trashing the disposal surgical mask daily considering that is where the particles are hitting.

  8. Matt Sterner|

    http://www.intouchmedical.com

    N95 and KN95’s in stock for reasonable pricing.

  9. Clown Car|

    Since it is still very plain to see how most people wear their surgical masks why do you continue to believe these same people will wear their own N-95 or K-95. or KN-95 Masks? Wasn’t the main reason for avoiding wearing all N-95s is to avoid wasting them by most people that are both untrained and non-complaint in wearing them correctly? Test this out with a visit to any Wal-Mart or local conscience stores. Either they are not worn correctly or the mere suggestion of changing how the masks are worn is met with unbelief, refusal or less than a correct fit & seal on most people. Even though these same Nits can be disinfected via an oven or a microwave most won’t but toss after a few uses.

  10. Kristen Montag|

    I’d beware about buying these on Amazon without fully checking out where they’re coming from. The link above says they’re manufactured by “Angpo” and that company, apparently in China, sells mostly pencil cases. They could very well have purchased 3M masks and are reselling but buyer beware. Also, these are meant for sanding and are not necessarily meant for virus protection, though they’re probably better than a cloth mask if they are 3M product. If you’re unsure, 3M corporate has fraud hotlines and web info:
    Thank you for reaching out to us. If you need help validating your product or ensuring products are from 3M authorized distributors, please call our anti-fraud hotline at 1-800-426-8688 8a.m. – 4:30p.m. CT M-F. Also, we have launched a website that provides resources to help people avoid inflated prices, detect fraud, and identify counterfeit products. Please visit https://s.3m.com/9hugb to learn more.
    Additionally, if you have any concerns about potentially fraudulent activity, price gouging, or counterfeit 3M products, you may report them at https://s.3m.com/9fu2n.

  11. Joy Ekw|

    Since the second surge, we have been a strong advocates of N95 mask use for high risk patients and in occupations that have to work in close proximity to other people (grocery store workers, hairdressers etc). We have them available on our website at https://www.novaxishealth.com/store

  12. Jeff|

    N95 Respirators have had significant supply issues since the start of the pandemic. However, I found some at a leading 3M distributor and got a ten pack at a reasonable price with fast shipping.
    https://harmonycr.com/safety-gear/respiratory-protection/disposable-respirators/

  13. Edith|

    I ordered “10 masks” from the link that you sent last time and received ONE mask after months of waiting. It was a big fraud and I never did get my money back. Won’t be trusting your links again!

    1. Johnny Jet|

      I’m extremely sorry to hear this. Which company did you buy them from? I will email you now so you can send me your email receipt and I will go after them.

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