3M 9205+ Aura: User Submission

3M 9205+ Aura: User Submission

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Why did this mask fail?


Video Transcript Hey, everyone. Welcome back, where we are testing every single mask that we can get our hands on. And today, we have a user submission. Super excited about this one, because I'll show you the letter I got.

Dear Lloyd. My name is Reed, and I am 11 years old. I really like your company, and I'm sending to you what I think is a fake 3M Aura. I am curious about its actual efficiency. Sincerely, Reed.

Wow, Reed. Thank you so much for doing this. This is so cool. I actually want to know more. Why do you think it's fake? It looks actually super real. This is what Reed sent me, and yeah, I mean, it looks like the Aura 3M. I don't get it, man. I'm looking on their website here. They call this the fish or the boat mask.

It looks very similar. Also, it's very much like the KF94 design, which is a really good mask design. I don't see anything obvious on here that would make it seem like this is fake, and it's sealed, great packaging. I love that these are individually sealed.

These are like the gold standard N95s. Okay? When the peak of the pandemic was there, this is the one that surgeons love having. This is a surgical respirator. As far as I'm concerned, it's a really, really great mask. Just so many great things. I mean, this thing went for $15- $20 at the height of the pandemic, and it's a really good way to get a good quality seal.

I mean, when it comes to N95s, this is the gold standard. Now all N95s have a thing that goes around the back of your head. Boy, this is really embarrassing. This is not attractive. I've done this before; I promise. Okay, so this is going to go on the bottom. This is going to go on the top like so. Look at it. With the lab coat, I'm a surgeon now, basically. This is a dope mask.

I haven't put on an Aura for a while. It actually has a smell that I don't like. I think it's the glue from this beautiful strip that's on the top. I mean, it's a beautiful, beautiful mask, but I don't like the smell. I mean, I would actually ... We score between zero and 25 and I'd put this probably at a 10. Actually, I'm going to put it at a five. This is offensive. I mean, maybe that's why Reed thinks that this is a fake because maybe the real ... I don't remember the real one smelling this bad. This smell's really bad. But the construction is really, really nice.

Okay. Well, let's see. I mean, the seal on that is 100%. That's a great seal. And as long as the fabric is good, it should seal really well. Now the clamp that we have installed right now, this one is made to test flat fabric from a surgical map.

You're going to have to give me a second, and I'm going to have to replace it with a different type of apparatus. But I do trust that the seal is good and that it will test the particulate filtration, which is the thing we really do care about. I'll still report the breathability, but I don't know if it's going to be right or not.

I'm really curious why he thinks it's fake. I mean, maybe it's that smell. That smell was horrible. All right, let's switch to the PFE machine. This is a particulate filtration efficiency machine. On N95, it would be tested to slightly different standards. We actually test all our masks at the N95 standard of airflow because it's 86 liters a minute, which is basically the maximum amount of air.

Think about if you took the biggest breath ever and you were trying to blow over a house or something like the big, bad wolf, that's 86 liters a minute. Normal breathing is probably more around 15 or 20. The ASTM standard allows us to test in different settings. We choose to test at the highest setting ever, which is the NIOSH standard of 86 liters a minute. We just think it's the most accurate.

That's going to be the same. We're using these 0.1-micron particulates, latex particulates, which are actually technically a lot smaller than what NIOSH uses. NIOSH uses salt, which we can also do. And if I were doing an N95 test here for real, I would switch to the salt. It takes a couple of hours, so I'm not going to do that. I'm just going to test this and see what happens. Let's do it. You ready?

All right, Reed. This is your day. Let's see if this is fake or not. One thing that's very interesting is that a lot of these masks that 3M makes are actually made in China. And so I found it interesting that China was also making a lot of fakes, as well. It really, really didn't do their brand any favors for sure. The other thing that kind of sucks is they were really not very good about helping people verify if something was a fake or not. In fact, if you were to call them up and you bought something that just wasn't bought through one of their handful of authorized distributors, they would say that it was probably a fake.

That could be what's going on here. Maybe somebody bought some real 3M Auras and just bought it and then sold it through another distributor. And then that distributor wasn't authorized to sell them, so that could be, too. Look at that efficiency. 3M invented so much of this stuff. They have some of the best scientists. That's a beautiful mask. Airflow resistance is at 240. Part of that is because of how smaller of an area that I'm using, so that's not fair. But N95 standard is under 250, so that's good for N95, actually. RN95s, or our FFRs here that we make tested about 210, so a little bit more breathable, but that's good for N95. That's within standard, 100% efficiency.

Now, if we were doing the NIOSH test with this machine, I would have to charge this and run it for 20 minutes. I'm only going to do it for two minutes here because I can't fill that much time, Reed. I can't do it, but I don't know that this is a fake. And if it is, it's a pretty dang good one. I mean, look at that 100%. That's that 0.1-microns. Do you know how small 0.1 is? It's so small, and it's catching every single particulate. I have never seen that on this machine. That is really impressive. RN95s that we test here, they 99.9%, but not 100%. More breathable, though. That's really impressive.

Test is finished up, and there you have it, folks. If I was going to buy fake N95s, I'd buy it from wherever you got this because that's a pretty good score. 100% filtration. That's a good mask right there. That's a good mask. Well, Reed, thank you for sending that in. If you happen to see this video, please leave in the comments. I'll make sure to promote it up as to why you thought this was fake; I'm very interested. But in terms of efficiency, I think this guy's the real deal. All right, thank you guys very much for watching. If you have a mask you want me to test, send it to me. I'll put the instructions in the link below. Thanks so much.


This mask was submitted to us by someone that was concerned it was fake.  After testing it we're pretty confident that it's completely legit.  Scoring a 100% filtration rate, the 3M Aura is considered by many to be the gold standard of N95 masks.

Made in America, perfect filtration, great seal, quality construction, and no real smell to speak of...This is a top tier level mask.  You should keep an eye out for fake ones, but the real ones are top notch.

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How can one tell if the 3M Aura 9205 buys is fake or not? What place is reputable to buy these from? (I bought a package of three on Amazon.) If the masks come individually packaged is that an indication that they are genuine?

Kathleen Massoud April 06, 2022

How can one tell if the 3M Aura 9205 buys is fake or not? What place is reputable to buy these from? (I bought a package of three on Amazon.) If the masks come individually packaged is that an indication that they are genuine?

Kathleen Massoud April 06, 2022


Frederick Cason February 02, 2022

EGD scheduling

Frederick Cason February 02, 2022

You mention the terrible smell but then let it pass. I have this mask; the smell seems chemical. What is it and could there not be heath impacts from breathing in off-gassing ?

Consumer January 23, 2022

The seller that pops up on the BUY MASK option is where you yourself bought the mask you tested? How can I be sure it’s not fake?

Rosalinda January 22, 2022

I think you have a typo in the database listing for this mask. The database lists this as 3M 9210+, but the box picture says 9205 and the mask in the video is also marked 9205.

Robert Longman January 17, 2022

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