KN95 vs 3 ply Mask – What’s the Difference?

Airborne pathogens have been existence for a long time. Currently, the world is battling a new kind of highly infectious strain of the corona family of viruses commonly referred to as Covid-19. The pandemic has seen an unprecedented global increase in the use of face masks. Governments all over the world are trying to contain its spread by recommending social distancing in public spaces as well as a mandatory use of face masks. Normally, face masks are only common among health practitioners and people who work in the health-care sector. Before corona virus became a concern to everyone across the globe, face masks were a requirement only to healthcare providers who needed them to protect themselves and their patients.

Today, however, we all need to wear a face mask in public to minimize our chances of contracting the virus. With a wide variety of face masks available in the market, most people do not know the type of face mask to buy. being 3 ply masks and k95 masks. We have compiled this comparison of Kn95 vs 3 ply masks in order to help users choose the appropriate mask they should use to stay safe from corona virus.

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KN95 Mask
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An evaluation of the design of Kn95 vs 3 ply masks brings out a clear distinction between the two. The Kn95 mask is designed as a respirator mask that covers the nose, mouth, and chin with a cup-like fit and two flexible strings to hold it in place. The 3-ply mask, on the other hand, has a flat rectangular surface with two elastic loops at either ends that fit over the ears to hold it in place. This means that it leave gaps on the sides when worn.

Moreover, the 3ply mask is made up of three layers of non-woven material, while the K95 mask has four layers for extra safety. The innermost lining on the Kn95 is removable and can be replaced, thus making the mask reusable.

Filtering ability

Matching the filtering capability of the Kn95 vs 3 ply masks, we can observe that the Kn95 is designed to keep out more pathogens as compared to the 3 ply mask. Details posted on Smart air Filters have it that Kn95 masks are able to keep out 95% of dust, particles, viruses, and other harmful pathogens. It is able to filter out toxins up to 0.3 microns in size.

On the other hand, 3 ply masks only protect users from dust and large particles up to 3.0 microns in size. When you add this fact to the ill-fitting design of the 3 ply mask where gaps are left on the sides, you can conclusively say that a 3 ply mask does not offer guaranteed protection.


cheap KN95 Mask
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Demand for masks due to the covid-19 pandemic has risen so fast that manufacturing companies cannot keep up with it. A work-around to ensure that the population stays protected has been the development and use of masks that can be used multiple times. A comparison of the capability of reuse of Kn95 vs 3 ply mask leads us to the result that Kn95 mask can be used severally, while the 3 ply one is made to be disposed of. The inner lining of the Kn95 mask can be removed and replaced with another lining. Experts advise that you should always disinfect the lining to ensure you remain protected.

3ply masks collect moisture after being worn for a few hours as listed on Mountainside medical. As a result, it should not be shared or reused.


Tough economic times have forced us to make budget cuts and limit our spending to only essential items. Face masks are an essential item for everyone in this epidemic. People, therefore, are keen on buying masks that they can afford. By comparing Kn95 vs 3 ply masks in terms of price, it is clear that 3 ply masks are more affordable and available to the public.

Places for use

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3 ply face masks are widely available to the public. If you are seeking to protect yourself from large particles and dust, the 3 ply mask is your go-to mask. You, however, should be careful when using this mask not to reuse it because its design only allows it to function for a short while. Moreover, ensure that you take proper measures when disposing of the 3 ply mask since the material it is made of is not biodegradable.

On the other hand, the kn95 mask is cleared for all outdoor as well as indoor use. In fact, even the medical doctors and surgeons can use these masks to cover their faces to protect themselves when they are performing procedures.

Pros for kn95

  • Offer more protection including against pathogens
  • Are comparatively durable
  • Can be used multiple times

Cons for k95

  • Are costly
  • Not readily available

Pros for 3ply masks

  • Are affordable
  • They are readily available
  • Easy to manufacture
  • Offer protection against dust and large particles

Cons for 3ply masks

  • Don’t filter pathogens
  • Limited to single-use
  • Don’t cover the nose and mouth effectively
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All face masks offer some level of protection. The appropriate mask for you, therefore, changes depending on the place of use and the level of protection that you require. It is essential to note that K95 mask, which offers better protection, is costlier as compare to the 3ply mask.

As such, most people will go for the cheaper 3ply mask because it is affordable. The mask manufacturer, however, recommends that you can only use it once.

With that, we are confident that you are now better equipped with the knowledge that you need to purchase your next face mask.

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