For the last two years, people across the world have been donning cloth masks to protect themselves from COVID-19. But given, many people are upgrading their multi-layer cloth masks with more protective N95 masks. They're designed to filter at least larger than 0.3 microns.
In fact, some schools and employers are now requiring the use of N95s. The University of Southern California, for example, is requiring faculty, students, staff and visitors wear surgical or N95 masks on campus during the spring 2022 semester.
What you need to know about free N95 masks
The Biden Administration has announced a plan tothrough local pharmacies (such as Walgreens, CVS and some supermarkets) and local health centers. These masks, sourced from the government's Strategic National Stockpile, will be released to the public .
Supplies will likely be limited to guarantee availability, andwill not be available (at least at first). So if you need a reliable supply of N95 masks, you'll have to open up your wallet and choose one of the N95 options we've curated below.
What to know about N95 masks before you buy
It's important to pick up an N95 mask that's approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Find the full list of approved N95 brands here (and all the picks below are NIOSH-approved, naturally). Beware: There are counterfeit N95 masks online, so be sure to check the brand name on the NIOSH site, and to shop at trusted retailers to .
Honeywell DC300 N95 particulate disposable respirators (20 pack)
This new Honeywell design is made to fit more face shapes and minimize pressure points. It comes in a pack of 20.
Kimberly-Clark professional N95 pouch respirator (50 pack)
If you're willing to purchase 50 masks, these from Kimberly-Clark have a large breathing chamber for comfort and soft but strong headbands -- and one of the best per-mask prices around. After a short period of unavailability, these N95 masks are back in stock at Amazon for quick shipping, so grab them before they sell out (again).
3M N95 8210 respirator (20 pack)
These 3M masks prevent eyewear fogging and have a foam cushion for maximum comfort on your nose.
3M Aura N95 respirator (10 pack)
These disposable N95 masks by 3M feature an adjustable nose clip, chin tab and a low-profile design that directs air away from the nose panel to reduce eyewear fogging.
N95 disposable multi-purpose respiratory mask (25 pack)
Honeywell Safety DF300 N95 Flatfold disposable respirator (50 pack)
This N95 face mask has a soft foam nose cushion for maximum comfort. Its humidity- and moisture-resistant filter media repels moisture. At less than $1 per mask, these Honeywell N95s are one of the best N95 mask deals out there.
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