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Who could have imagined a year ago how much we would be talking and thinking about face masks? Now they’re the most visible thing about us—and a constant source of either comfort or worry.
Style aside, all the angst and worry can be easily put to rest. There’s one clear answer for safety right now: KN95 masks. According to the CDC, these masks are the best pick for most people—the gold-standard N95 masks should be reserved for medical personnel, per the Food and Drug Administration.
“KN95s are the Chinese version of N95s,” Dr. John Sellick, an infectious disease expert and professor of medicine at the University at Buffalo/SUNY, tells Yahoo Life. “They look and fit like the U.S. N95 masks” and they can also offer similar levels of protection. But, since KN95 masks aren’t normally made and sold in the U.S., they need an “emergency-use authorization” (EUA) to be sold here—which has been granted.
The tricky part is that there are a lot of KN95 masks on the market, and not all of them have EUAs or have been tested to verify that they do what they claim to do. Some KN95 masks perform as well as N95 masks. And the key is to purchase KN95s in this category.
One such mask is the Guangzhou Nan Qi Xing KN95, which has both an EUA and filters out more than 99 percent of airborne particles in testing conducted by the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL). A subdivision of the CDC, the NPPTL is a department that’s testing personal protective equipment for effectiveness.
In a test of Guangzhou Nan Qi Xing KN95 masks, the NPPTL analyzed a sample size of 30 masks from the brand, for minimum and maximum filtration efficiency. It concluded that Guangzhou Nan Qi Xing KN95 masks filter out between 95.26 percent and 99.91 percent of particles. For the record, that range is extremely impressive—better even than the range of most N95 masks.
Shop it: Guangzhou Nan Qi Xing KN95 Face Masks, 10 pack, $18, amazon.com
Lucky for everyone, a 10-pack of the masks is currently available on Amazon for just $18. These masks have five layers to protect you from airborne particles, a 3-D structure to make breathing easy, and a nose strip for the perfect fit.
Reviewers say the fit is a big perk of these masks. “This mask from Nan Qi Xing seems to have the best overall ‘fit’ and it is the one I keep in my car so I have it available when I'm out,” a five-star reviewer wrote. Another called them “breathable” and “comfortable,” noting that they also prevent the dreaded glasses fog.
In times like these, you may want to grab a few extra packs for loved ones. They’ll be grateful. Good KN95 masks don’t stay in stock for long. So don’t hesitate. Scoop this up now.
Shop it: Nan Qi Xing KN95 Face Masks, 10 pack, $18, amazon.com
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