What's your favorite N95, KN95, KF94, FFP2 masks for long airplane flights?
Any tips for surviving in semi-comfort?
What's your favorite N95, KN95, KF94, FFP2 masks for long airplane flights?
Any tips for surviving in semi-comfort?
I like the 3M Aura N95. It's comfortable for me as it's cut down a little under the eyes so it accommodates glasses. I've been buying them at my local Home Depot. If you go to the Home Depot site it will give you the aisle and bin number if they have them in stock so you don't have to faff around looking for the blooming things, lol.
Now, friends of mine do NOT think these are comfortable so it depends on the shape of your face and nose, I think, to find comfort.
I wore this kind of N95 on my trip to France in October. I had it on from when I entered the Spokane Airport at 4:45AM thru that airport, Seattle + a layover, the flight and then thru CDG to the hotel. Then since the room was not ready, walked around outside for a couple of hours with it on. I had a short time with it off for a meal on the plane and lunch in Paris. I'd say I had it on for a good 22 hours with a few breaks.
I also just got back from a trip to Kauai. Had it on again from entry to the Spokane Airport thru Seattle and then on to Hawaii, onto the car rental place and then finally took it off once we were outside in the rental car lot.
My tip to surviving in comfort is just to know you have to do it. The N95 gives my face a bit more space. I do have to mouth breathe most of the time but wearing it for long periods is no problem for me any more. If this is what I have to do to travel then I'll do it.
Try some out ahead of time so you know if they work for you.
Bring an extra to change into part way through the flight due to possible moisture build up. N95 have the advantage of better fit and the bands go around the head vs. on the ears. Taking that pressure off the ears is a plus over time and it is a life saver if you are also adding glasses or hearing aids in the over the ear mix. N95 also have the highest rating for filtering.
For our trip this past summer, I ordered some of the Powecom KN95 masks, with the headband style loops. They have them at Bonafide masks but I found mine on Amazon. I found them to be comfortable as they don't bother my ears, but the headband style does slip on my hair a bit. I'd say the best way to get used to them is just to practice. I wear a KN95 at work all day now and I am much more accustomed to it. I will say after wearing it from Seattle to FRA, having a long layover, and then flying to Pisa, we were thrilled to to arrive in Cinque Terre and breathe in the fresh air on our terrace. Happy travels!
Pam- I hope you enjoyed your time in Kauai! We are headed there soon.
I could not find a N95 that was comfortable and let me breathe easily. Luckily, I discovered the KF94. Comfortable, easy to breathe in, large so easy to speak.
@Frank II -
We have paper bags of different N95 masks. My husband works in a school so they fitted him. He felt like he was suffocating and couldn't wear them. So he went back to the basic disposable masks and even then, once home he is so happy to get rid of it.
Traveling is going to be a challenge. I'm not particularly concerned about having a break-thru case of omicron since I figured it's going to happen at some point, but I just don't want that some point to be while traveling.
I've heard others mention that they have been happy with KF94. I'll need to pick up a few samples and try them out.
I have ordered 5 different styles for our upcoming trip to France. I still haven't received 2 styles, both Powecom, that I ordered on January 3 from ProjectN95.
The GB3636-2019 Powercom, also from Project N95, is my least favorite. The picture of it on the package has an extra piece to cover the top of the nose, but the masks don't have that piece. They also have a smell that I don't think I will be able to overcome.
MASKC comes in all sorts of different colors. The style is almost identical to the one above, but it doesn't smell. Fit for both are ok, not perfect.
The Good Comfort KN95 has the piece over the nose and fits me the best. It doesn't smell. All three styles I have trimmed with a scissors for a better fit. Wearing a good fitting clothes mask under an KN95 adds a little more comfort, too.
I just finished an unexpected long term subbing position in an elementary school that was experiencing an Omicron outbreak and had a mask mandate. I wore cloth masks that I made specifically for me with a medical mask inserted in the pocket. I tried to buy N95 to wear, but the shelves were empty and my orders were very slow to arrive.
I think mask comfort is a very, very individual thing. My local CVS stores now have freebies to hand out (two per visit). They have an over-the-head strap, so I guess they're N95. I don't see that label on them, though. They're made by Honewell I'm looking forward to trying those, as well as two KN95s I got from a city distribution point. The more I can try, the better my decision will be.
I'd suggest everyone stop by their local chain drug stores to see what they can get for experimental purposes.
I've worn the Powecom KN95s on two transcontinental and two transatlantic flights, plus multi-hour airport layovers and shorter flights. They weren't uncomfortable, I got used to them. I like the ear loops because it makes them easier to put on and remove, for eating or in eveyday use. I take one everywhere outside my house and wear it indoors. I keep two active, switching between them every day until they get wet or smelly or otherwise past their prime.
I wear glasses and hearing aids, and still manage the ear loops by lifting from the top to remove. So far no equipment lost.
You asked about people's "favorite" mask for long flights, and I expect most of us haven't had enough experience to make good comparisons. As for "surviving in semi-comfort," just suck it up and leave it on. Keep in mind all the other discomforts of long flights, distract yourself with movies or reading, sleep if you can, whatever works. It's really not that big a deal.
@mnannie - I should add, favorite masks that do not have an odor.
I'm really sensitive to smell.
I'll check around and see if they give out free masks at different locations. To order many different masks can start to be a bit expensive.
@Dick - probably saying 'semi-comfort' is not the right wording. More like a mask that I can wear without feeling like I can't breathe and having a minor panic attack. I'm 5'10 and squeeze in basic economy seats, so kinda used to discomfort.
the best retailer is generally considered to be Bona Fide Masks, check out their selection (and search online for discount codes)
For masks that have ear loops, I cut an extra piece of elastic about a foot long and knot the ends to both ear loops to make a lanyard. I make it long enough so I can move the knot to the front of my ear so it isn't irritating. This way the mask can hang around my neck if I need to remove it.
Creative. So much better then putting the mask on your wrist or lap.
The 3M Aura N95s do have a metallic odor when you first remove them from the plastic overwrap. It does dissipate. For the extras I carry in a pouch in my purse, I take off the overwrap and the smell is gone by the time I am ready to wear them. BTW, for my trip last October I took enough masks for every day. I knew they fit and didn't want to screw around with trying to find some that I liked.
Meg....just getting into the sun and blue skies was worth the trip!
It's funny. I bought a bunch of Powecom N95's. They're sitting nearby as I couldn't stand them.
I wore a KF94 mask on my flight home from Europe and the entire day without a problem. I wore them on long train rides. In fact, I just ordered more. What I really like is each one is individually sealed in their own package. (Thats how you can tell they are real.)
Mask comfort is individual. I tried all types before I settle on KF94's. I should note that for everyday use I still use the basic surgical mask.
I wore my N95s on all flights--three long haul international and three intra-EU. I had no issues with them. They are the most protective and most comfortable. I even wore them while I hiked in the Alps.
I recently discovered the KF94s and I find them really comfortable, or at least as comfortable as a mask could be.
Air France requires a blue surgical mask only on their flights, however, so I think that on my trip in March I will wear the blue one on top of the KF94.
I will bring several for the flight because they will likely get damp...
I hope that you can find one that you like.
Thanks everyone! I really appreciate your recommendations and thoughts.
The one type of N95 that hasn't been mentioned is the Kimtech (Kimberly Clark) "duck mask". It's funny looking - and you get funny looks wearing it in the grocery store - but I have found it to be the most comfortable N95. For whatever reason it feels softer on my face and since it is latex free I think it has less of an odor and is less irritating to my face. The elastic that goes around the head is also latex free and is soft. I don't know what the fabric is. It's sort of like ace bandage fabric. The longest I've worn it is for about 10 hours. My husband has worn the 3M Aurora N95 for up to 12 hours. He said the duck mask is more comfortable but the Aurora wasn't unbearable.
Trotter, my husband and I also use the KC "duck mask". It is designed that way because it allows more air in the mask making it easier to breathe. We ordered ours from Amazon. We always take two each wherever we go since we're concerned that the straps will break--they're a bit fragile but much more comfortable than the elastic ones that cut into my ears.
Frank, I'm going to look into the 3M Aura N95. Would you tell me where you bought/ordered yours, please?
Lindy…not Frank but I’ve been using the 3M Aura N95 and get them at my local Home Depot. They were readily available on the shelf for quite a while (in fact they had a cardboard display with at least 80 boxes) but I noticed a couple of weeks ago they were in short supply. In looking at the Home Depot site I see there are something like 24 boxes of 10 available at the nearest town north of me (45 miles) and if I needed them, it’s a beautiful drive if the weather is fine, lol.
I also have a Lowe’s near me but have not looked to see what they have.
The Home Depot website also gives the Aisle and bin number for the masks so you don’t have to hunt for them. Hint….they are in the paint section.
BTW…pre-Covid I used to keep a supply of N95s on hand for fire/smoke season here in the West. So there are uses for these masks (unfortunately) when Covid subsides enough to not need them for daily use. For a number of years they have been on my packing list for my yearly trips to Yellowstone.
SharYn....Air France doesn't require you to wear a blue surgical mask. You can wear a surgical mask or a FFP1, FFP2, FFP3 mask. Just no cloth masks or ones with valves. (FFP1, FFP2, FFP3 masks are the European version of N95's, KN95's, and KF94's. The are better than surgical masks.)
Thank you, Pam. I just ordered 24 from HD. We have the "luxury" now of trying out different masks before our trip to England in June. I'm hoping one of these days, masks will be the Slinky, Hula Hoops, etc. of the past--except those were fun.
Pam, I am going to try those Aura's! I am having such a hard time finding ones that are not too big for my face and accommodate my glasses without my glasses falling off my face.
Upon SharYn’s (upthread) recommendation I ordered the FLAX KF94 masks from Amazon. They are slightly large for me, so I twist the ear piece before putting it on. That makes it fit perfectly, it’s very comfortable, and I have no trouble breathing while I wear it. I feel confident that it will work out very well on my upcoming trip.
Frank II -- thanks for the clarification.
The photos show the blue mask and AF handed out free blue replacements in November after the meal service, so I made an assumption. (I do that a lot -- LOL.)
I'll be much happier with my KN94 since it's a much snugger fit. But I'll take a blue one just in case ... The gate agents and cabin attendants always have the last word!
And Andrea -- I'm glad that you found a good fit!
Lindy, glad you were able to order and I hope they work for you all.
Jlkelman, these work best for my with my face , nose and glasses. I can get the nose piece clamped down tight enough that I don’t fog my glasses. I have some old (2018 at least) round 3M N95s and they do not fit as well under my glasses. I bought them one summer when we were having day after day of terrible smoke over the summer.
I just discovered the most fabulous masks; KF 94 from South Korea. Comma Comma brand had really good reviews and apparently there has been little to no fake masks out of South Korea. I ordered 12 at a time, and they are packaged three to a package. I ordered the large and think they might be a speck big so now I have ordered the medium size. I don't think I will have any problem wearing it my entire plane ride to Paris. The N95s just don't work for me. I don't like the two straps and the limited space; I feel claustrophobic. Here is the link.
My niece swears by the 3M Aura Particulate Respirator N95 foldable from Home Depot as well.
I find the KF 94 masks comfortable enough to run three miles on an indoor track. The mask gets sweaty enough so that I don't reuse it though.