What’s the difference between face masks, face coverings, respirators, surgical masks and 3-ply masks?

These terms tend to be used interchangeably, which can be quite confusing. At Good Mask Co. we advocate the use of respirators. When you see us use the term face mask, we mean respirators. The reason we’re such big fans of respirators is because they are the highest level of protection you can get with face masks. They filter at least 95% of all air particulates, and protect both the wearer and those around the wearer from spreading or contracting a virus.

Surgical masks (also known as medical masks or 3-ply masks) are designed for use by surgeons to protect patients in surgery from being exposed to the surgeons’ respiratory droplets. They don’t protect the wearer from inhaling respiratory droplets that could contain viruses. At Good Mask Co. we refer to any of these masks that don’t protect the wearer as face coverings. Cloth masks also fall in this bracket. 

What type of mask do I need?

The best mask to protect both you and the people around you is a mask that’s certified to have a Particle Filtration Efficiency (PFE) of above 95%. Like we said above, that means that they filter at least 95% of all air particulates, and protect both the wearer and those around the wearer. 

These masks are designed specifically to filter out viruses and are the highest performing masks against viruses like COVID-19.

Other masks (like surgical masks and cloth masks) may protect your respiratory droplets from spreading, but they’re not nearly as effective as masks tested to have a 95% Particle Filtration Efficiency (PFE).

All of our Good Masks meet or exceed 95% PFE and have been third-party verified,so you have the highest level of safety for both you and those around you.

No matter your job, age, or health status; you deserve the best mask available to protect you and those around you.

What does Particle Filtration Efficiency (PFE) mean? How is it tested?

Particle Filtration Efficiency, or PFE, measures how well material filters out small particles in the air, including everything from viruses and bacteria, to smoke, ash, and dust.

The test that determines PFE measures particles at the sub-micron level—meaning it’s measuring things shorter or smaller than one-millionth of a meter. One example of a submicron is a particle put into the air from an aerosol can.

This is incredibly important when testing face masks because there’s a big size difference in bacteria versus viruses. Bacteria are giants compared to viruses.

Here’s the size of an average bacteria versus the estimated size of the COVID-19 virus.

So when you’re looking for a mask, keep an eye out for those that rate the Particle Filtration Efficiency (rather than Bacterial Filtration Efficiency or BFE). 

PFE is tested by securing the face mask down, blowing particles through it, then measuring how many particles transmit through. 

Here’s a quick video of a KN95 mask being tested. 

You’ll see from the video that tests depend on having a good seal around the nose and mouth area. Cloth masks and 3-ply masks don’t provide a seal around the face, making them ineffective at stopping viruses from being transmitted.

How are your manufacturers vetted?

Our team only works with vetted manufacturers that have a long history and an excellent reputation.

Our team visits and inspects each and every factory we work with, and verifies all certifications and test reports. We don’t take any risks. 

Having hygienic, vetted, and reputable manufacturers is the best and only way to produce a Good Mask.

What’s the difference between a KN95 and an N95?

In terms of performance and protection, there is no difference between an N95 mask and a KN95 mask. Both have the same Particulate Filtering Efficiency (PFE) of above 95%.

The only difference between these two face masks is that the U.S. requires their government agency called NIOSH to certify any masks that claim “N95”. Every other country in the world has their own regulatory bodies that certify these face masks. 

Our Good KN95 masks have been tested by the CDC and a third party testing facility in the USA to confirm that they meet or exceed the same effectiveness as a NIOSH approved N95 mask.

Because our Good KN95 masks don’t have the same red tape requirements of the U.S. government, they’re available at almost a third of the price of N95s and are the single best way to protect the largest number of people, which is what our goal is.

How do you guarantee the quality of your masks?

We only sell the best face masks for a reason: we want to do the most good for the largest number of people possible. That’s why we’re only advocates of face masks that protect both the wearer and those around them. 

It’s also why we have the highest standard of testing for each of our products.

If you’re unsatisfied in any way, let us know within 30 days and we’ll issue you a refund or replacement.

To see each of our products’ specific certifications, view our product pages.

How many masks should I order?

We suggest purchasing one KN95 or N95 mask per person, for every four to six hours of use. This means one full-time employee would require two masks per day.

We recommend keeping a two-month stock on hand so there’s never a gap in case of future outbreaks or potential supply shocks.

Can an N95 or a KN95 be reused?

Under normal circumstances, the CDC and general health guidelines recommend that you immediately dispose of N95s and KN95s after one use.

While we’re able to get enough N95s and KN95s to anyone who needs them, and can produce more than 100 million masks a month—there may be circumstances where wearing a face mask more than once is necessary.

If that’s the case for you or your office, here are the current best practice guidelines for face mask re-use during a workday:

  • Bring multiple face masks with you in a clean plastic bag.
  • Bring a backup ziplock bag with you, marked ‘used’.
  • Each time your face mask is removed, or touched, place it in the ‘used’ bag, and put on a clean mask.
  • At the end of the day, while still wearing a face mask, place your used masks in direct sunlight (the dashboard of a car is a popular spot).
  • Leave them in direct sunlight for three days, and place them back into a clean plastic bag for reuse afterward.
  • If any part of the face mask becomes damaged at any point (an ear loop falls off, the nose piece breaks, there’s visible dirt or makeup inside or outside of the mask) dispose

of it.

What about shortages for frontline and healthcare workers; should I wait to order PPE?

There’s no need to wait. Not only do we have plenty of supply, but wearing the proper protection will keep frontline workers from being overwhelmed because rates of infection would be positively impacted. 

We can work with any agency, company or business seeking KN95s and N95s. 

We’re also partnering with organizations to make sure people who need PPE are getting it.

How are you able to offer such affordable prices?

Through 10+ years of established relationships, buying in large order quantities, and selling directly to businesses and consumers in the U.S., we’re able to provide the lowest prices on high quality, highly vetted PPE.

Much like the model of large warehouse retailers, we buy the best in large quantities to pass savings on. It’s part of our mission to keep the highest quality protection affordable for everyone who needs it. 

Do you ship internationally?

Our mission is to be a source of protection for anyone who needs it, so, while our focus is currently within the USA, we can work with you to ship certain quantities internationally. Contact us to organise a shipment.

What is the minimum order quantity?

Our minimum order quantity is just one box.

Will I receive an order confirmation?

Yes, you will receive order confirmation immediately after purchase.

Can I cancel my order?

We cannot accept cancellations once your order has been placed. 

How long will it take for my order to arrive?

Your order should arrive within 2-10 working days depending on the shipping method you choose at checkout.

What are the delivery costs for orders?

Delivery costs are calculated at checkout and are based on weight. The weight of your order is influenced by the volume of masks you order.

Can I track and trace my order?

You will receive a tracking number via email, which will enable you to trace the status of your order.

How can I pay for my order?

Payment can be made via credit/debit card, wire transfer, PayPal or over the phone.

Can I return my order?

No, medical equipment such as PPE cannot be returned.

Got more questions?

Contact us