Best Respirator Masks 2021 [Review & Guide]

[Updated December 2020] Respirator masks are used in situations where the air isn’t safe to breathe. This can occur in a variety of ways and workers are at risk of inhaling some unpleasant vapors or fumes. Your body needs extra protection against harmful molds, paints, chemicals, and other nasties. We look at the best respirator masks available to workers.

The best respirator mask we tested is the 3M 7511/ 3M 7512 / 3M 7513 which is supplied with filters and manufactured from a globally recognized brand.

Top Ten Respirator Masks

RespiratorType Of RespiratorFiltration Efficiency
3M 7511/ 7512/ 7513Half Facepiece MaskP95
GVS SPR457 Elipse P100Half Facepiece MaskP100
Sundstrom H05 5721S Pro PackHalf Facepiece MaskP100
Miller Electric ElipseHalf Facepiece MaskP100
3M Full Face 6800Full Face MaskDepends on filter
North Safety 770030L HalfHalf Facepiece MaskDepends on filter
Drager X-ploreHalf Facepiece MaskN95
3M Ultimate FXFull Facepiece MaskDepends on filters
Zelbuck HalfHalf Facepiece maskP95
Breath BuddyHalf Facepiece MaskP100

3M 7511/ 7512/ 7513 Respirator Mask

The 3M 7511/12/13 is a professional series half-face respirator with cool flow valve technology. The pack includes the facepiece, a pair of 6001 cartridges, 1 pair of 501 retainers and 2 pairs of 5P71 filters.

TIP: The 7511 is the small model, 7512 the medium model, 7513 is a large model

It is NIOSH approved to P95 and is advised for workplace settings. It provides 95% filtering against aerosols.

The facepiece is manufactured from silicone materials which means it provides protection but also is lightweight and can be used throughout the working day.

This mask is ideal for those working with solvents, paints sprays and pesticides. It is built for both protection and comfort.

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GVS SPR457 Elipse P100

GVS Half facepiece offers protection to the P100 NIOSH standard. It is is a reusable facepiece that allows replacement filters. It has a narrower profile than most masks of the same category and this design stops the filters from getting knocked in tight working conditions.

The unique patented design allows the mask to sit lower and therefore allows the user a greater field of vision when wearing the piece.

It is lightweight and designed to be worn for long periods during the working day.

The mask is manufactured from thermoplastic that is hypoallergenic. The mask is supplied with two P100 filters.

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Sundstrom H05 5721S Pro Pack

This complete respirator pack by Sundstrom. The pack includes:

  • SR100 Silicone Half Mask
  • SR 232 OV/ACChemical Cartridge
  • P100 Particulate Filter
  • SR 221 Pre Filter
  • Pre Filter Holder
  • ID Tag
  • Cleaning Wipes
  • Storage Box

The facepiece is manufactured from Silicone which is heat-treated to minimize the risk of contact allergy.

P100 particulate rated.

The pack has everything included straight to use from the box. Offering maximum safety.

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Miller Electric Elipse Half Face Respirator

This half facepiece filters against Particulates especially toxic dust particles.

Fits under most welding helmets

Due to the design and large non-return exhaust valve, it provides reduced user fatigue.

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3M Full Face Mask 6800

The Full Face Mask offers further protection over half-face masks.

The mask is not supplied with any filters. They must be purchased separately, can be used with 3M’s full range.

It can be used in a wide range of industries especially with workers working with chemicals, grinders, polishers, sawing and sanding and paints.

The mask is FDA tested and offers good seal tightness to the wearers face. Please note that this mask is not designed for glass wearers.

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North Safety 770030L Half Face

This half facepiece by North Safety is a respirator with a low fit profile that enables protection and a better field of vision.

It is supplied with a cradle suspension system that allows the facepiece to seal evenly. The soft silicone seal gives good protection and fit.

Low exhalation and inhalation resistance reduce worker fatigue.

The mask is supplied without cartridges or filters.

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Drager X-plore 1350 N95

These filter masks by Drager offer N95 NIOSH protection. These are throw away products after one use.

The N95 dust mask filters 95% of particles from the air and this is protection against fine dust, solids, and liquid particles.

The exhalation valve helps guide humid air out of the mask to ensure low breathing resistance.

Head harness is adjustable and can be used with other PPE like eye, ear and head protection.

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3M Ultimate FX Full Face

This full facepiece by 3M offers another level of protection over half piece alternatives.

The mask is supplied with 6 strap configuration head harness to ensure the tightest of fits.

Cool flow valves ensure that the wearer doesnt heat and remains comfortable whilst working.

The facepiece has a silicone nose cup and face seals to provide comfort and durability.

The mask lens comes provided with 3Ms Scotchguard coating which allows paints and stains to be easily wiped off.

The cartridges are designed for different filters suitable for a range of environments. Please check with 3M and your Occupational health advisor before purchasing.

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Zelbuck Half Facepiece Respirator Masks

The Zelbuck Half Face Mask is a reusable mask that allows different filters in the cartridges. As a bonus to the mask, a set of goggles is thrown in as well and spare filters are supplied also.

This mask (with correct filters applied) protects against organic vapors, gases, and particulate matter. When using the dual filtration system it effectively blocks out 96% of vapors and gases. It is made from silicon and PVC plastic. Filters are expected to last for approx 300 hours but of course, this depends on the working environment and maintenance of the mask.

Due to the design, these can be used for longer periods over the working day.

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Breath Buddy Respirator Mask

This Half Face respirator mask by Breath Buddy comes with P3 Filters and are according to Breath Buddy are comparable to NIOSH P100 standard.

Ideal for workers operating in woodworking, painting and paint spraying, insulation and general cleaning.

As this is a half piece mask it is suitable for use over the working day and the materials keep cool.

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Respirator Masks Buying Guide

Best Respirator Masks

Respirators are essential when the quality of air is compromised. They protect you against airborne contaminants, which can cause health problems in the respiratory system. They ensure you do not breathe in toxic fumes, particles or vapors. With so many of them in the market, it is hard to tell the best one among them. There is a wide range of respirators, and they protect users against pollen, dust, and many other contaminants found in the air.

Full Face vs. half Face Respirators?

The full face and half face respirators are some of the respirators you will find in the market. You choose one between the two depending on your needs. The half face is wide but only covers the nose and the mouth. Sometimes it extends to the cheeks and filters a lot of airborne contaminants. However, with type respirator requires to get protection for the eyes such as goggles. What’s more, they come in standard sizes and designed to fit almost everyone.

The half-face respirator’s main advantage is that it does not obstruct the wearer’s view. However, if you have a long beard, you may have to trim for optimum protection.

The full face respirator gives you complete face protection and comes in handy if you are working in an area with harmful elements. It protects the eyes with inbuilt goggles. However, these respirators come in two types, including electrical and mechanical. Electrical respirators or air respirators are best for jobs that involve working in areas with excessive dangerous chemicals.

While a full face respirator is efficient, it can cause fogging lens. This can cause distraction as you work and therefore before you settle of a respirator, make sure the manufacturer has taken care of this.

Who Should Wear Respirator Masks?

Respirators are for anyone who needs personal protective equipment to protect them against dangerous particles in the air. The type of respirator you wear depends on the environment where you work. Some come with clean air supplied from a secondary source such as a tank, but others purify the air by filtering vapors, gases, and particles in the air that you breathe in. Also, air-purifying products may be reusable or disposable. The reusable ones come with filters or cartridges that can be replaced. They are come in handy when other hazard control methods do not offer the protection you need. Here are situations when respirators must be used:

• If various control methods, such as substitution, elimination, and administrative controls have failed.

• During repair or installation of engineering controls.

• During emergencies and temporary situations, including maintenance operations.

How to Choose a Respirator Mask

Respirators are important and take care of the lungs and the whole respiratory system. They are important for various people, including HVAC contractors, plumbers, painters, insulators, and builders. Here are tips to help you when choosing the best respirator for you.

Understand the Different Respirator Masks Available

Respirators must be used in areas where oxygen is insufficient, or the air is contaminated. People who work in industrial plants require them. This is not the only reason to use a respirator, so you must know the various types available for you to choose what fits your needs. Here are the main types of respirators:

• Particulate respirators

Particulate respirators are used when working in an environment with a lot of dust, dirt, and vapors, which are non-toxic but may become dangerous over time to the lungs. They are used in industries where fiberglass insulation and sand wooding and similar activities take place.

• Respirators for vapor and gas

They come in handy in an area where gases or vapor is in the air. They are mostly worn in the construction sites, especially when painting.

• Combination respirators

These respirators filter fumes and particles from the air you breathe in. It comes in handy in situations such as a demolition where there are dust and the possibility of having fumes.

Choose What Fits You

Respirators have different fittings. Mostly, some are tight, and others lose. You select what fits you perfectly while suiting the area where you want to use them.

The Size and the Seal

People come in different sizes. While some faces are small, others are big. So, you have to look for a respirator that will seal your face and keep you comfortable. Going for the wrong size can affect the following:

• The safety offered by goggles or eyeglasses.

• Cause discomfort depending on the length of your facial hair. Dental gear

• Facial piercings

• Facial structure

What Are Respirators Made Of?

Respirators are mostly made of soft cloth-like materials but can be made of other materials such as rubber, neoprene, and silicone. The most durable ones are made of neoprene and rubber. Silicone is comfortable, flexible and easy to clean. What you must consider when choosing what your respiratory is made of is your work environment. Some occupations require strong and long-lasting ones while others are fine with delicate disposable respirators

ANSI Respirator Masks Regulations Maintenance

ANSI respirator regulations and maintenance ensure no injuries or fatalities that occur in workplaces. These regulations are designed to eradicate hazards and dangers with the use of specific safety equipment and practices. ANSI does not have mandatory standards; it is an institution to oversee the development along with standards accreditation. When ANSI accredits a procedure, it signifies that they meet the requirements for balance, consensus, openness, and due process. Their standards mainly involve:

• An agreement reached by a group of people, but must be open and have all interested parties well-represented.

• A broad review and comments by the public.

• Consideration of any comments left by those who respond.

• Incorporation of changes submitted as long meet consensus requirements of the draft standard.

• Any appeal submitted by participants alleging how the principles were disrespected in the process of developing the standards.

Respirators may be combined with other protective gear to offer you maximum safety. They include arms, legs and other parts of the body protection. What you combine your respirator with is determined by your work environment. ANSI recommends multi-hazard protection, where you use different pieces of personal protection equipment.

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