If the surge of Omicron cases has you wanting to up your mask game for your family, especially your school-aged children, then you're probably looking for more protective masks – and possibly getting lost in alphabet soup as you wade through come-ons for N95s, KN95s and more. We're here to take some of the guesswork out of your search with kid-friendly recommendations on four-layer masks, five-layer masks and even reusable masks.
The biggest piece of advice we can give you up front is: Buyer beware, especially of masks that claim to be N95-rated for children.
An N95 mask is a respirator mask that filters 95% of air particles (when properly worn and fitted), as vetted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). A KN95, meanwhile, is a mask that evokes a child-sized N95. But, unlike the N95, there is no KN95 that's been officially rated by a U.S. government agency. (KN95 is an international designation, not a U.S. one.)
That said, a KN95 mask may well offer more protection than, say, a cloth mask. Compared to N95s, KN95s tend to be less expensive, and, no small consideration, given current high demand, easier to find in stock.
The masks noted below are best described as child-sized, N95-inspired masks. The list was pulled together by our sister team at CBS Essentials, which also produced a buying guide to N95 masks.
Let's get to the list.
Happy Life kids KF94 (20 pack)
These masks, with four layers, come individually packaged, are made of an eco-friendly material, and claim to meet Korea's KF94 standard (94% filtration efficiency). Reviewers recommend this size for older children.
AirPop kids reusable face mask (4 pack)
These masks are made with a soft foam that fits across your child's nose. The design prevents eyewear fogging and keeps the mask from touching the face for easier breathing. The dyes and prints used for these masks are skin-friendly and hypoallergenic for young skin.
WellBefore KN95 kids masks
These individually wrapped face masks are only $1.49 each. They're made of five layers (for kids for ages 5 to 12), or four layers (for ages 2 to 4). Their earloops are adjustable, and they have a moisture-wicking inner layer. Find them in three sizes for kids.1.49 at WellBefore
Powecom kids KN95-SM respirator mask (10 pack)
This multi-layer, breathable KN95 mask can be purchased in a 10 pack (or more).
Happy Masks Pro
This five-layer mask is lightweight and breathable. Its design leaves room around the nose and mouth for comfort, and its ear straps are adjustable. This mask can be washed up to 50 times. Pre-order now to receive your mask in mid-February.24 at Happy Masks
Brookwood Medical kids disposable face masks (30 pack)0comments
Choose from all sorts of kid-friendly prints in this disposable, four-layer face mask. Brookwood Medical is currently taking preorders to be shipped the week of Jan. 17. The mask's design prevents gaping and it won't cling to their mouths.35 at Brookwood Medical