by | Apr 5, 2022 | Z

Last Updated: Jun 28, 2022 @ 10:46 am.

What is the best FFP2 mask? And what is the difference between these masks and N95 respirators? We tried out masks from 7 brands to find the best bets. Here are the ones we think are best.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. We don't take money or freebies from the brands we review. Our work is 100% reader-supported!


Finding the Best FFP2 Masks: A Quick Primer

So what is a FFP2 mask? And how does this differ from the more familiar N95 mask?

Both of these masks are similar—they are respiratory masks. They are designed to protect the user and others around them from aerosols.

What does FFP2 mean?

Let’s break it down:

• FF stands for filtering facepiece.

• P2 stands for the level of protection. These masks come in three levels of protection: P1 is the least, P3 is the most. 

Who requires FFP2 masks?

FFP2 is a European mask standard. In the United States, N95 masks are the standard. And KN95 is the Chinese standard.

At the time of this writing, several European countries still required FFP2 masks, especially on public transport and in airports. Since these masks are specified in European regulations, travelers to Europe have been seeking out these masks to be compliant with current rules. 

How do FFP2 masks stack up versus N95?

As the name implies, N95 masks filter out 95% of particles. FFP2 are rated at 94% effectiveness. 

Wired UK recently explained what makes these masks so effective: 

FFP2 masks are defined as being composed of three layers of synthetic non-woven materials, available in different thicknesses, with the inclusion of filtration layers between.

It’s this combination of factors that lead to those strong results. But, 94 to 95 percent of what? This figure is achieved by testing masks using NaCl (sodium chloride) particles and paraffin oil – this is only for FFP2 testing, with the N95 certification process only testing with NaCl. While standard medical masks only filter three micrometre droplets, FFP2 respirator masks filter down to 0.075 micrometre solid particles. The masks are then tested by seeing what percentage of these small particles make it through and, in the case of getting FFP2 certification, only six per cent or less can do so.

We tried out several brands of FFP2 masks to find the ones that were most comfortable and easy to use. Here are the ones we think are best.

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Best For Comfort

Good quality
We thought these masks were the most comfortable ones we tried—they keep their shape away from the mouth. Ear-loops are soft.
$26.99 ($1.35 / Count)

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Best For Smaller Faces

Soft fabric
We liked these individually wrapped masks, which were especially comfortable on folks with smaller faces.

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Best Budget-Friendly

Individually wrapped
This brand from Italy (hence the instructions in Italian) offers good fit at a price that doesn't break the bank.

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About the Authors

Denise & Alan Fields are consumer advocates and best-selling authors. The Fields have authored 12 books with three million copies in print, including the best-selling guide to baby gear, Baby Bargains.

The Fields have been featured and quoted in the New York TimesWall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

As consumer products experts, the Fields have been guests on the NBC Today Show, Good Morning America and ABC’s 20/20.

How We Pick Products To Recommend

We often turn to our readers (3 million strong!) to find products to recommend. We ask our parent readers for their favorites and consider their real-world experiences in our recommendations.

When we test a product, we always purchase it with our own monies. We do not take free samples, as we believe that compromises our independence.

We also fact check manufacturer information with our own measurements. If a maker claims a product weighs X pounds, we will weigh it to make sure. If the battery life is supposed to be six hours, we will see how it stands up in the real world.

In some cases, we will do interviews with experts in the field to get additional feedback on products.

To get hands-on time with products, we regularly meet one-on-one with gear companies and even tour manufacturing facilities. (When we do this, we pay our own travel expenses).

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

We make our living from affiliate commissions, but we always recommend what we think are the best bets for our readers (not the ones that are the most expensive). We are always looking for products that offer the best bang for the buck.

Our independence is a key reason why we have been doing this so long. As we mentioned above, when we purchase a product for hands-on testing, we do so with our own money.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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