The Best N95 Carbon Filter Mask


What are the best N95 carbon filter masks?

When environmental contaminants enter your lungs, they can cause damage. A proper respirator mask can filter out these unwanted elements and help ensure that you are breathing clean air.

To be most effective, a mask should have different types of filter materials. An N95 carbon filter mask not only filters extremely small particles, but it can also remove certain gases and odors from the air. 3M Aura 9205 Particulate Respirator is a highly desirable mask as it can block up to 95% of particles as small as 0.3 microns in diameter, and it has been designed to accommodate safety goggles.

What to know before buying an N95 carbon filter mask

What does N95 mean?

The N95 the designation indicates two ratings. The N means the mask is designed for use with non-oil based particles. In short, they are dust particles bound to materials such as coal, flour, metal, wood and pollen. In comparison, oil-based particles come from products such as solvents or pesticides. The 95 means the mask is able to block 95% of these non-oil based particles which are as small as 0.3 microns.

What is a carbon filter used for?

A carbon filter traps gases and odors by adsorption. Unlike absorption, where particles are absorbed into a material, with adsorption the molecules attach themselves to the outer surface, much like a magnet will attract and hold iron filings. Typically, a carbon filter works with the gases present in smoke or those given off by the drying of paint or cleaning products.

What to Look for in a Quality N95 Carbon Filter Mask

Adjustable elastic straps

The best N95 carbon filter mask will have adjustable elastic straps that allow the wearer to secure the mask securely and comfortably over the face and head. If the mask is not secure, it will allow air to seep around the edges of the mask instead of through the filter material.

Soft, metallic nosepiece

You will want a mask that has a soft metal nose that can be gently molded (not bent) around the nose. This helps ensure a better fit, leaving no gaps around the edge of the mask as it crosses the bridge of your nose.

Fresh air filter

Some of the best N95 carbon filter masks have a small one-way valve that allows you to keep the mask away from the warm, moist air you exhale. This feature helps prevent heat and moisture from building up inside the mask and allows it to be worn for longer periods in hotter, more humid environments.

How much you can expect to spend on an N95 carbon filter mask

N95 carbon filter masks are often sold in packs of five or more, with the price per mask ranging from $1 to $5 each.

N95 Carbon Filter Mask FAQ

What is the difference between an N95 mask and a KN95 mask?

A. They are very similar. An N95 mask must meet the standards set in the United States, while the KN95 mask must meet the standards set in China. Both are designed to capture 95% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. However, Chinese standards require fit testing on humans, while US standards do not. On the other hand, N95 masks have higher standards for breathability. Note that according to Centers for Disaster Control and Preventionapproximately 60% of KN95 respirators sold in the United States are counterfeit.

What is NIOSH?

A. NIOSH stands for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. It is the US agency that is responsible for conducting research and providing testing, approvals and certifications that ensure respirators used in the workplace perform to standards.

What is the best N95 carbon filter mask to buy?

Top N95 Carbon Filter Mask

3M Aura 9205 Particulate Respirator

What do you want to know: If you’re looking for an N95 mask that can provide the perfect fit for a wide range of faces, this is the one you’ll want to get.

What you will love: With its curved low profile, this goggle was designed to prevent your glasses from fogging up.

What you should consider: Some users report that the mask itself smells like burnt rubber.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Best N95 Carbon Filter Mask for the Money

KN95 masks with 6 layers of activated carbon

KN95 masks with 6 layers of activated carbon

What do you want to know: This KN95 mask offers the wearer six layers of protection to ensure your safety.

What you will love: The six layers of this affordable face mask help keep unwanted particles out of your respiratory system. This mask features latex-free straps and an adjustable nose pad with a pad to provide a better fit. Built-in breathing vent helps improve airflow.

What you should consider: Breathing while wearing this mask may be slightly more restrictive compared to wearing an N95 mask.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

3M Particulate Respirator 8576 with Nuisance Level Acid Gas Relief

3M Particulate Respirator 8576 with Nuisance Level Acid Gas Relief

What do you want to know: This N95 mask features a carbon filter designed to help relieve harmful levels of acid gas.

What you will love: This mask’s cold-flow exhalation valve makes it suitable for use in hot or humid environments or for long periods of wear. The highly charged microfibers in this mask help improve its ability to capture airborne particles. It is best used when grinding, sanding, sweeping or bagging.

What you should consider: This respirator may be a little big for people with smaller face.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

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