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After receiving an email from a friend in Germany about how they now need to wear N95 masks in stores and public transportation and then learning that Lufthansa is going to start requiring passengers to wear N95 masks starting February 1st, I alerted readers yesterday that I think it would be smart to buy some N95 masks before the panic shopping sets in again.

Just a few minutes after I sent the tip out, I started getting all kinds of questions from readers via email and tweets. The feedback ranged from questions about which mask to buy to criticism about recommending N95 masks since they’re needed by healthcare workers. I appreciate all feedback and the questions prompted me to reach out to an expert for more information.

I asked Dr. Jonathan Reiner (who just so happens to follow me on Twitter and, more importantly, is Professor of Medicine and Surgery at The George Washington School of Medicine & Health Sciences and a CNN Medical Analyst) 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
3M N95 Masks on Amazon

Aiden Health: N95 Mask
Aiden Health 3M 9501+: KN95 (EUA approved)
Aiden Health PPE

Then lo and behold, a few hours later, more stories started popping up on TV after the news from Germany hit our shores. Below is a clip from Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN that answers lots of questions you probably have.

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.

It does sound like the new mutated virus from the UK is more dangerous, which is why it appears the USA will probably start making more N95 masks and could possibly require them like they do in other countries.

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

The Face Mask Tech Guru Leo Laporte Wears

Johnny Jet
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13 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
      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/

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