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Which mask is right for me?

Please remember that masks are only effective when fitted and worn correctly.

3 Ply Mask

Face mask made of three layers, appropriate for general wear. It provides effective protection against pollutants in the air.

Designed with a nose bar that should be gently folded above the nose and positioned by elastic ear loops.

The outer layer is the protection barrier, the middle layer is a filter and the inner layer absorbs moisture and provides breath ability. Generally the most affordable mask you can find.

Medical Surgical Mask

Medical surgical masks are suitable for use in surgery during invasive procedures.

They are similar in design and construction to a 3 ply mask, but much more effective as a protective barrier.

They cover the user’s mouth, nose, and jaw, prevents against the direct penetration of pathogenic microorganisms, bodily fluids and particulate matter.

There are three tiers of surgical masks, and must meet certain official standards as governed by ASTM (U.S.A.) or EN 14683-2019 (Europe):

ASTM L1: able to resist blood and liquid at a pressure of 80mmHg.

ASTM L2/ EN14683-2019 Type iiR: able to resist blood and liquid at a pressure of 120mmHg

ASTM L3: able to resist blood and liquid at a pressure of 160mmHg.

Flat Fold Mask/ Soft Mask

Stronger and more effective than face masks, a flat fold mask opens up to cover your mouth and nose.

Being soft, they follow the contours of your face easier for better fit and comfort.

Medical flat fold masks offer much better protection than standard soft masks. 

Cone Mask

Hard rimmed and hemispherical in shape, cone masks are circular moulded and designed to create a tight enclosure around the nose and mouth.

They generally have a more rigid exterior.

Valved Mask

Certain cone masks have an additional exhalation valve which reduces exhalation resistance.

This makes it easier to breathe.


N95 masks filter at least 95% of non-oil microparticles sized 0.3 microns (0.0003mm) or larger, such as hazardous airborne particles and viruses. They are normally made from tough, yet flexible non-woven fibre.


N99 masks filter at least 99% of non-oil microparticles sized 0.3 mircons or larger, and N100 masks filter at least 99.7% of the same. 


P2 masks the Australian relative equivalent of N95 masks and must meet the Respiratory Protection Standard AS/NZS 1716. P1 and P3 round out the three levels of Australian mask rating.


FFP2The European relative equivalent of N95, with FFP1 filtering 80% of 0.3 micron particles and FFP3 filtering 99%.


The Korean relative equivalent of N95


The Chinese relative equivalent of N95

Please find comparion charts attached.

Download 3M comparison chartDownload PPE Masks comparison chartView masks