As case numbers continue to spike, face masks are more important than ever. The good news is that masks work well to keep the virus from spreading. The bad news is that the most effective masks can be hard to get.
We’re not talking about the cute fabric masks emblazoned with the name of your favorite band. We’re talking about KN95 masks—the masks the FDA specifically recommends you wear in high-risk situations (say, on public transportation) to protect from possible transmission. Right now, KN95 masks are in stock on Amazon.
And if you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get free shipping, of course. Not yet a member? No problem. You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. (And by the way, those without Prime still get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.)
Shop it: Powecom KN95 Masks (10-pack), $22, amazon.com
“N95s?” you ask. Close, but not exactly. N95 masks are the next level up from KN95s and are meant to be reserved for healthcare workers. When the pandemic first hit and regular citizens were scrambling for masks, our hospitals were left short on this essential PPE. Now we know to leave them for the pros—and that’s why buying KN95 masks is the smart move.
A pack of 10 is just $22 right now—just $2.20 a mask!
Does the brand matter? Yes, according to the FDA, it does. Read more on this below.
Understanding the N95 / KN95 connection
KN95 masks are very similar to N-95 masks, Dr. William Schaffner, infectious disease specialist and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, tells Yahoo Life. In fact, during the early days of the pandemic when medical-grade masks were in particularly short supply, the FDA granted what’s known as ‘emergency use authorization’ for KN95 masks—meaning they could be used in hospitals.