Actually a type of respirator, an N95 mask offers more protection than a surgical mask does because it can filter out both large and small particles when the wearer inhales the air.
As the name indicates, the mask is designed to block 95% of very small particles. Some N95 masks have valves that make them easier to breathe through.
With this type of mask, unfiltered air is released when the wearer exhales. Click here to know more about the best face masks.
Health care providers must be trained and pass a fit test to confirm a proper seal before using an N95 respirator in the workplace. Like surgical masks, N95 masks are intended to be disposable.
However, researchers are testing ways to disinfect N95 masks so they can be reused. Some N95 masks, and even some cloth masks, have one-way valves that make them easier to breathe through.
The valve releases unfiltered air when the wearer breathes out, this type of mask doesn’t prevent the wearer from spreading the virus. For this reason, some places have banned them.