Choosing Between Surgical Masks, Procedure Masks
When choosing the appropriate face mask, its vital to understand the options available to you. Surgical masks, procedure masks and respirators are some of the most common variants on the market, and each have their own pros and cons.
Surgical and procedure face masks are both single-use disposable face masks and are the most common variant found around the world. Respirators provide the most protection out of all the options but are not typically intended to be used in situations where a new mask will be needed regularly, as they are more costly and technical to produce.
Disposable surgical and procedure face masks are often confused between each other. At first glance, they appear to be nearly the same as they use similar manufacturing methods and materials. The one major difference between the two is how they are worn. Procedure masks typically have an earloop design which allows them to be easily worn without hassle, while surgical face masks take longer to put on with straps that tie up behind your head. Because of this, disposable surgical face masks are supposed to have a more air-tight fit. However, this is only when worn properly.
Respirators, on the other hand, provide the most air-tight fit thanks to them being specifically moulded to fit the wearers face. They are usually worn with straps that go around the back of your head and form a seal around your nose and mouth. Because of their more intensive manufacturing process, they are made to be worn longer than a typical disposable mask and are commonly reserved for the most hazardous of situations for medical professionals.
Our surgical and procedure masks are designed to be fluid resistant and have Type IIR certifications in Europe. With this, the outer layer protects the wearer against large amounts of aerosol spray or fluids that may come into contact with the mask and the wearers’ respiratory system. The middle layer filters out up to 98% of bacterial and particulate matter between 0.1 and 0.3 microns in size, while the innermost layer is soft to ensure comfort after extended wear.
Respirators are usually made from the same polypropylene filtration layer but are often more rigid to ensure the tighter fit.
Where are each typically used?
Our earloop face masks are medical grade and are used in a variety of surgical, clinical, veterinary, and healthcare procedures. With well-designed and tight-fitting earloops, they are ideal for use by medical professionals alongside patients looking to contain the spread of harmful particles and bacteria. Respirators, on the other hand, are normally reserved for use in extremely hazardous environments where complete protection is needed.