Generally, according to their intended use, the types of N95 masks include the standard N95 particulate respirators and N95 surgical respirator masks. Additionally, there are N95 masks with a breathing valve or not.
Differences between standard N95 particulate respirator and N95 surgical mask:
How to differentiate standard N95 particulate-filtering respirators and N95 surgical masks? The N95 surgical mask is literally a combination of N95 respirator and surgical mask, it is both certificated by NIOSH as an N95 respirator and also cleared by the FDA as a surgical mask. N95 surgical respirator masks are also referred to as medical respirators, healthcare respirators, or surgical N95s.
The significant difference between a standard N95 particulate respirator and an N95 surgical mask is that the N95 surgical mask is fluid-resistant while the standard N95 particulate respirator is not.
An N95 particulate respirator, also called N95 dust mask or N95 pollution mask, helps reduce very small particles inhaled by the user, and it is used for respiratory protection when the user might be exposed to particulate hazards. With a fluid resistance plus, an N95 surgical mask help reduce particles both inhaled and exhaled by the user, it is designed to be used during surgery and nursing tasks, whatever the user requires respiratory protection, expelled particulates or requires fluid resistance.
Differences between N95 masks with a breathing valve or not:
Many people question: Is an N95 mask with an exhalation valve better than the one without a valve?
In fact, the N95 respirators with an exhalation valve are not recommended to be used for coronavirus prevention, because the valve is a one-way vent that couldn't keep your exhalation to yourself. It means that this valved N95 mask makes your breathing out easier and helps reduce heat build-up to avoid fogging up your glasses, however, it's not that friendly to others. Besides, the N95 mask with the valve is pricier than the one without a valve.