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All You Need to Know About Surgical and Respirator Masks


2020 has been a year of masks, disinfectants and sanitisers. With the outspread of Covid-19, people all around the globe were forced to buy medical masks to protect themselves from getting infected.

The two popular types of medical masks that have been bought the most are Surgical and Respirator Masks.

In this article, we’ve stated the comparison between two commonly used types of medical masks, i.e. Surgical Mask and an N95 Respirator Mask.

First, let us know what are Surgical and Respirator Masks.

What is a Surgical Mask?

Surgical Mask is a disposable, loose-fitting mask that covers the wearer’s mouth and nose and protects them from potential contaminants present in the environment.

Surgical masks are available in different sizes and thicknesses and are often used by doctors during surgery, dental or medical procedures.

You should not wear surgical masks more than once, which means that you should dispose of them after using once.

Since surgical masks are loose in fittings, they cannot provide complete protection from the germs and viruses.

Surgical masks are more effective in blocking large particles but may not prevent small particles because of their loose-fitting properties.

What is an N95 Respirator Mask?

N95 is a medical respirator mask that is closely fitted to the wearer’s mouth and nose. It can be instrumental in filtering out the airborne particles.

The main feature of N95 Respiratory masks is its edges designed so that they seal and protect your nose and mouth from coming into contact with contaminants present in the air.

While performing complex surgeries, medical practitioners wear surgical N95 masks which are commonly known as N95s.

Comparing the Surgical and N95 Masks

  • Note that both surgical and N95 masks should never be shared or used by two or more people.
  • The surgical masks are loose fitted and do not have sealed edges like an N95 mask.
  • N95 masks are more efficient in blocking airborne particles because of their close-fitting structure.
  • You cannot reuse a surgical mask, but an N95 mask can be washed and worn again, however, by the same person.
  • Wearing an N95 mask for a more extended period can result in shortness of breath.

Key Take-Away

All in all, both surgical and N95 respirators have their benefits and can help protect your mouth and nose from contaminants present in the immediate environment. Make sure to choose the medical mask that best suits your purpose. Thank you for reading!

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