The Best Respirator Mask for Smoke and Dust

The Best Respirator Mask for Smoke and Dust

Our pick

3M 8516 N95 Particulate Respirator

3M 8516 N95 Particulate Respirator

The best disposable respirator

This NIOSH-approved N95 single-use respirator is sturdily constructed and comfortable enough for long-term wear.

Buying Options

Buy from 3M

May be out of stock

All the disposable masks we tested are government-certified to filter out 95 percent of harmful particulate matter, but the 3M 8516 N95 Particulate Respirator stood out as the most comfortable mask for long-term wear, as its design gives you space to breathe and has edges that don’t push against your cheeks. Its exhalation valve works as a dehumidifier, keeping your face cool and preventing exhaled breath from fogging up glasses. Whereas other single-use models have loosely stapled rubber bands for straps, the 3M 8516 has sturdier, braided straps that are less likely to snap or catch in your hair.

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Our pick

3M Rugged Comfort Quick Latch Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6501QL/49488

3M Rugged Comfort Quick Latch Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6501QL/49488

The best half-facepiece reusable respirator

Compatible with NIOSH-approved N95 or P100 filters, this half-facepiece respirator is constructed so that—when conditions allow—you can uncover your nose and mouth without having to take the whole mask off.

Buying Options

Buy from 3M

May be out of stock

*At the time of publishing, the price was $15.

A reusable, half-facepiece mask fits more securely to your face and feels more comfortable for long-term wear than a disposable model, and it offers you a greater range of protection because you can match it with various compatible cartridges. If you prefer this type of protection, we recommend the 3M Rugged Comfort Quick Latch Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6501QL/49488. Our testers rated this respirator highest in overall structure and quality due to its comfortable silicone facepiece and handy “quick latch” mechanism, which enables you to remove the respirator from your face without taking off the entire headpiece. Unlike other models we tested, it has an adjustable crown and a downward-facing exhalation valve that keeps your face cool (and ensures that you won’t fog up any glasses you may be wearing). The respirator doesn’t come with filters. To use it, you also need to purchase pancake-style filters or hard-plastic filter cartridges—when used properly, the two types are equally effective. You can buy a bundled version of the mask with P100 filters, but buying the components separately is usually less expensive.

source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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