N95 masks are American mask standards; KN95 is Chinese mask standards. Although there are many differences between the two masks, the two masks are the same in the functions that most people care about.
Mask manufacturer 3M said, "There is reason to believe that" China's KN95 "is equivalent to" the United States' N95. Mask standards in Europe (FFP2), Australia (P2), South Korea (KMOEL) and Japan (DS) are also very similar.
What KN95 and N95 have in common
Both masks can capture 95% of the particles. On this indicator, KN95 and N95 masks are the same.
Because some test standards say that KN95 and N95 masks can filter 95% of particles of 0.3 microns and above, many people will say that they can only filter 95% of particles of 0.3 microns and above. They thought that masks could not filter particles smaller than 0.3 microns.
However, masks actually capture smaller particles than many people think. According to empirical data, masks are actually very effective in filtering smaller particles.
The difference between KN95 and N95 masks
Both of these standards require the mask to perform a filtration test when capturing salt particles (NaCl), both tested at a rate of 85 litres per minute. However, there are some differences between KN95 and N95, here to emphasize.
These differences are not large, and there is not much difference for people who generally use masks. However, there are some key differences:
If the manufacturer wants to get the KN95 standard, it is necessary to perform a mask sealing test on a real person, and the leakage rate (the percentage of particles leaking from the side of the mask) needs to be ≤8%. N95 standard masks do not require seal testing. (Remember: This is a national requirement for commodities. Many industrial companies and hospitals will require their employees to do a seal test.)
KN95 masks have relatively high pressure drop requirements during inhalation. This means that they need to be more breathable.
KN95 masks also have slightly stricter requirements for the pressure drop during exhalation, which should help improve the breathability of the mask.
Key points: the difference between KN95 and N95 masks
Although only KN95 masks need to pass the seal test, both KN95 masks and N95 masks can filter 95% of the particles. In addition, KN95 masks have relatively strict requirements for breathability.