Why Mask Standards Fail for KN95, KF94, N95, and Surgical

Some masks in our database that pass our tests for filtration and breathability can still fail overall if the official standard isn't met or cannot be verified. Which medical masks have official standards? KN95, KF94, N95, and Surgical Masks are the ones you're most likely to see reviewed in our testing database.

KN95 Mask Standard - The KN95 standard requires that the mask have the manufacturer name and the technical standard that the mask is claiming, typically either "GB 2626-2019" or GB-2626-2006" written across the front of the mask.  This is similar to how official N95 masks have NIOSH approval numbers printed on the front.

KF94 Mask Standard - The KF94 standard requires that the mask itself is made in South Korea, and overseen by the Korean version of the FDA.  That means that Even if a KF94 mask passes filtration and breathability tests, the mask will receive a failed score if it wasn't made in South Korea because that means its quality has not been overseen by the proper authorities.

N95 Mask Standard - Legitimate N95 respirators will have a NIOSH approval number printed on the front. Additionally, the manufacturer of the mask can be identified and verified as being registered with NIOSH and the FDA.

Surgical Mask Standard - Due to surgical masks being more prevalent, there isn't a single standard for these masks you can follow. We recommend only buying American-manufactured surgical masks that provide access to independent lab testing reports that verify it is at least ASTM Level 3.