Although disposable respirators are handy, they are also expensive, environmentally harmful, and require planning to pre-purchase.
If you feel this way, a reusable respirator (often referred to as a reusable mask), is extremely useful. Not only are they cheaper over the long run, but they are often more comfortable and more environmentally friendly.
These days, there is a massive variety of reusable respirators out there, and a large number of them are very good. The most popular tend to be Cambridge Mask, Vogmask and Airinum, however, they aren’t the only options!
Especially currently, many of these brands are out of stock. It has led to many people asking the question ‘what are the best Cambridge Mask alternatives?’ and ‘what are the best Vogmask alternatives?’.
In this article, we will have a look at some of the best reusable respirators on the market. Most of these masks are quite well-known, but there might be a few that you haven’t heard about before!
Before I begin listing the best reusable respirators and masks, I want to clarify a few things.
- Masks on this list are intended for general (public) use and are not to be used in professional settings. If you are in a professional setting, get training before deciding on a respirator.
- These masks are generally intended to protect against typical outdoor air pollution. That is to say, they protect against fine particles and VOCs. If you need protection from a specific gas or particle, make sure to do research and to purchase the right mask.
- No reusable respirator is effective unless it is fitted properly. While fit-testing requires professional training, some level of protection can be achieved by doing pressure checks and following the fitting steps.
Wondering how to find cheap respirators that are still effective? Check out this post on finding cheap respirators.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please refer to my affiliate disclaimer.
Why Pick a Reusable Respirator?
Looking for an anti-viral mask? Check out my Aropec Anti-viral mask review.
Before we go over the best reusable respirators, we first need to discuss why reusable respirators are better. There are a few obvious factors, such as that they are more convenient and less environmentally harmful, but there are a few other elements that you may not have considered!
- Reusable respirators are cheaper. Although they require more initial investment, an average reusable respirator lasts for 150-300 hours. Disposable masks normally only last for around 8 hours each. If the average disposable mask costs $3, then you are looking at over $100 for 300 hours worth of disposable masks.
- No need to worry about fit. When purchasing a disposable respirator, you always have to worry about the fit. Every mask is different, and not all will fit you. With a reusable respirator, once you find one that fits you never need to worry again. Just purchase the same mask again in the future!
- Reusable respirators can be washed. This means that you can keep them clean and also that they are more environmentally friendly.
- You can pick a respirator design that suits you. Whether you want something subtle that blends in, or something that stands out, you can find a design that you like with reusable respirators.
Xiaomi Purely – KN95 respirator with a fan, full review.
Best Reusable Respirators
There are many different reusable respirator companies out there, and I couldn’t include them all on this list. I will be making sure to update this list in the future and to add new companies when I encounter them.
However, I wanted to include companies that have a relatively strong international presence. Many countries have domestic reusable respirator producers, but many of these (especially in the cases of countries like Korea and China) don’t ship internationally.
If there is anything that you would like to see added to this list, please leave a comment and I will add the respirator when I can!
Vogmask is one of the biggest players in the reusable respirator game. They have been around for a long time, and create quality masks that are well-known and of a good quality.
Vogmask are standard reusable respirators. By standard, I mean that they are fitted with straps behind the ear, they have a wire nose-piece, and they are a typical shape.
These reusable masks are rated KN95, and KF94. If you want to learn more, you can find my review on Vogmask here.
Please note, these masks DO NOT hold an N95 rating. Their filtration does meet the requirements of the N95 certification, however, they do not officially hold the rating.
- Achieves N95, KN95 and KF94 filtration standards.
- Many different designs
- Standard fit (if a disposable respirator fits you, this should too)
- Available in many different countries
- Ear-straps can cause pain after long periods of wear. A strap is available to remedy this.
- Wire nose-piece can be a bit taught and hard to adjust properly
- Although N95, some masks on this list have higher ratings
2. O2 Canada
O2 Canada has a unique take on reusable respirators and they provide some of the most interesting masks on this list.
O2 masks have fully replaceable parts, allowing you to simply purchase new filters when needed. This means that once you have the mask, you won’t need to buy another one.
These reusable masks have an interesting design and it means a few things. Firstly, some people won’t like the design. These masks stand out.
However, the design also means that the mask creates a strong seal on the face of most people.
Although the O2 masks do not have an NIOSH rating (due to their small size), they have been tested and shown to filter up to 99% of fine particles. They also have 99.97% viral filtration efficiency.
- A smaller mask with a headband that will be more comfortable for some people
- Very good filtration capabilities
- The design helps the mask create a better seal with the wearers face. This makes it more effective
- All mask parts can be replaced individually
- Significantly more expensive than most reusable masks on this list.
- Many people will not like the design
Airinum masks are another popular reusable respirator option and they are also some of the most elegant and sleek masks on the market. When people ask me what I would recommend as a Cambridge Mask alternative, this is one of my most recommended masks.
Where Cambridge Mask and Vogmask have many designs that make them stand out, Airinum has gone for a more simple design that makes them look elegant and fashionable.
The dual valve design is similar to that offered by Respro and makes breathing both comfortable and easy.
These reusable masks are rated KN95, meaning that they filter out at least 95% of 0.3 micron particles.
Airinum also offers many replacement parts. Everything from the filter to the valve and strap can be replaced.
- Simple, elegant design. Many people will appreciate the simplicity of Airinum
- KN95 filtration. Although not the best filtration, KN95 will protect you from the majority of fine particles
- Replaceable parts
- Only KN95. Some other reusable respirators offer N99 equivalent ratings
- Ear-strap design. However, an optional headband can be purchased
- More expensive than many masks on this list
4. Cambridge Mask
Although I own many of the reusable masks on this list, the mask that I keep coming back to is the Cambridge Mask.
This mask is very similar to Vogmask with only a few slight differences. I recently did a comparison of Vogmask vs Cambridge Mask.
The Cambridge Mask meets the N99 filtration requirements and provides very effective filtration against fine dust particles. However, as with Vogmask and many other masks on this list, Cambridge Mask does not hold an N99 certification.
Cambridge mask also has many different designs and it is possible to find something for everyone. Want to learn more? Read my full Cambridge Mask review!
- > 99% filtration
- Adjustable chin straps
- Standard fit
- Many designs available
- Ear-straps, these can cause pain over long periods of wear.
- The mask is heavier than other similar masks (like Vogmask). This can make it uncomfortable over long periods.
5. Debrief Me
Debrief Me is an interesting name for a mask company, however, don’t let that deter you! They have some N99 rated (but not certified) reusable respirators which are great for protecting you and your family.
Debrief Me masks follow the same design as Vogmask, Cambridge Mask and Airinum. In other words, they follow the ‘standard’ design. This means they have ear straps.
Debrief Me masks can be found in both 95% and 99% filtration variants. The 95% variant will provide less filtration but will also have more ease of breathing.
They also provide sports masks which follow a design similar to Respro’s masks. However, this mask currently has no NIOSH rating, and as such, it’s better to avoid for fine particle protection.
The biggest downside with the Debrief Me mask is that the ear straps are very small. This can make them very uncomfortable over long periods, and I highly recommend purchasing a headband.
- N95 and N99 variants
- Filters can be replaced
- Standard design that will appeal to many people
- Small ear-straps can be painful to wear
- The 95 variant has no valves and as such, the 99 mask will be significantly more comfortable
Respro is another big player in the reusable dust mask area, and one that has been around for many years.
Respro is perhaps most well known for their designs. While many people love them, some people find that they stand out too much.
There are many different models of reusable respirator at Respro, and they range from FFP1 to FFP3 (80-99% filtration). The highest rated Respro respirators are comparable to an N99 rating.
The biggest benefit of Respro over the competition is the fit. These respirators don’t use ear straps, and rather, they have a head-band that goes behind your neck.
This means that the mask will be fitted more effectively (it is less likely to move) and also that it removes the strain from your ears – something which can be very painful otherwise.
- Respro masks go up to an FFP3 rating (comparable to N99)
- Many different mask models available
- Due to the design, these masks are great for sports
- Removes the strain from ears
- Some people will not like the design as it tends to stand out
- The lower-end masks are only rated FFP1 (80% filtration)
7. MeoAir Mask
MeoAir is a mask made in New Zealand using a wool filter. This filter is named the Helix filter and is produced by Lanaco. I recently did a full review of this mask, including the filtration properties that the filter offers.
The mask meets the NZ/Aus P2 standard which means that it provides > 94% filtration. However, the Meo Lite actually offers significantly more, with test results showing a minimum of 96% filtration of fine particles.
Since the mask is made from wool, it also offers best-in-class breathing resistance. When I tested the breathing resistance, I found it to be significantly lower than alternative masks. In test results, it’s as much as 5x lower than masks that offer comparable filtration.
- Wool filter makes breathing far easier than comparable masks
- > 96% filtration at 0.3μm and > 99% at 0.1μm
- > 99.99% bacterial resistance
- Comparably cheaper than other options on this list
- Replaceable filters
- Lack of test results for viral particles
- Masks ship from New Zealand, meaning that waiting times can be long
OnroadCo is another mask company specialising in reusable respirators. This company is one of the lesser known ones, but one that provides quality products.
Again, OnroadCo follows a standard reusable respirator design. This means that the mask uses ear straps and has a wire nosepiece. The biggest design difference is that the valves are placed higher up (closer to the top of the mask).
These reusable respirators meet the N95 standard (but do not hold the rating officially) and while not the best on this list, the provide significant protection against fine particles and other pollutants.
- N95 equivalent filtration mask
- Standard design that will appeal to many people
- Only a few designs, and no solid colour designs
- Only rated equivalent to N95
9. Idontcare Korea
Idontcare Korea provides some of the most interesting and unique masks on this list, and after testing the reusable mask myself, I can’t help but reccomend it.
Currently, this mask is only available in Korea. However, the company has expressed an interest in expanding internationally, and I recommend checking their website to see when they start international sales.
The mask has around 92% filtration and just falls short of the KF94 requirement. However, the mask is also extremely comfortable and is one of the best fitting masks that I have tested. Despite having a lower filtration rating, the fit is far better for many people.
The mask is fashionable and also features interchangeable filters. Each filter is rated to last 100 hours, and a 5 pack can be purchased for $10.
- Very comfortable mask
- Adjustable ear bands allow for more secure fitting
- Well designed and stylish, while not standing out too much
- Interchangeable filters
- Only rated for 92% filtration, this is lower than many of the other masks on this list
- Large initial cost. Over time though, the filters will make the mask cheaper
- Limited avaliablity
10. Totobobo Mask
Totobobo is a company based in Singapore that offers one of the most unique masks on the market. The first thing that stands out about this mask is the look – it’s transparent apart from the filters.
The transparent and plastic design of the mask offers many unique benefits. Not only can you self fit-test the mask (this is the only mask to offer such a function), but you can easily clean it. You can even heat the mask up to mould it to your face!
Totobobo has many unique features and it is one of the most interesting masks on this list. if you don’t mind the look, then this is one of my personal recommendations. It’s one of the best fitting masks that I have ever tried. You can find my full Totobobo mask review here.
- The only mask on this list that allows for self fit-testing
- Adjustable in many different ways. This allows for users to create the perfect fit
- Filters are easily replaceable and cheap to replace
- Different sizes for children all the way to adults
- Easily washable
- The look of the mask isn’t liked by everyone
- Not all filters have lab results yet. However, the F94 and F96 filters have full test results
11. Purely KN95 Mask
The Xiaomi Purely KN95 mask is unique as it is the only mask on this list that offers active cooling. That is to say, this mask has a fan and motor that allow it to actively intake air. Not only does this assist in breathing, but it cools the inside of the mask.
Anyone that has worn a mask or respirator for an extended period of time knows that they can become very uncomfortable very quickly. The Xiaomi Purely tries to solve this problem by making sure that air is constantly flowing.
While the fan has limited impact (you can find my full review here), the mask is still rated KN95, has interchangeable filters, and is actually quite comfortable. If you don’t mind the size and extra weight of the fan, this is a good choice of mask.
- KN95 filtration
- A comfortable mask that comes with a headband included
- Interchangeable filters that can easily be replaced
- Clean, fashionable design
- The mask is significantly heavier due to the fan module
- The fan has limited impact. While it can help at times, it can also be loud at the faster speeds
Which Reusable Respirator Is Best?
As much as I wish that I could give an overall recommendation, it unfortunately isn’t that easy. It depends on user case and there person in question. However, there are a few general recommendations that I can give regarding which reusable respirator is best.
In terms of the best protection, you will want to look for an N99 or FFP3 rated mask. The masks on this list that meet these specifications are the Respro mask (select models) and the Cambridge Mask (Pro Model).
Both the Respro and Cambridge Mask have the option to use headbands, however, this will need to be purchased separately for the Cambridge Mask. I highly recommend using reusable respirators with a headband, as they can be extremely uncomfortable over long periods otherwise.
While I haven’t had experience with the mask myself, the O2 Canada mask looks to be a very effective mask that provides fantastic filtration. I am looking into ordering one of these masks myself so I can test it, however stocks are very low right now.
Overall, all of these reusable masks can provide great protection. However, no matter which mask you purchase I would say that a headband is an essential. You can purchase these headbands from Amazon.
Personally, I would recommend the Cambridge Mask. However, as mentioned earlier, there are low stocks at the moment and they can be very hard to find. If that is the case, there are many Cambridge Mask alternatives out there.
Reusable Respirator FAQ
How Long Do Reusable Respirators Last?
This depends on the respirator in question, however most are rated for at least 100 hours. Many are rated for much longer, and can be used for up to 300 hours.
Other factors such as air quality can impact how long the respirator can be used for.
What Is the Highest Rated Reusable Respirator?
In this comparison, the best-rated respirators are the Cambridge Mask Pro (N99 rating) and the higher-end Respro masks which are rated at FFP3. These ratings are comparable to each other.
There are many more reusable respirators available that meet the N95 criteria.
Can I Wash A Reusable Respirator?
Before you wash your respirator make sure to check the manual and/or website of the brand. However, most reusable respirators can indeed be washed, and many even allow you to replace the filter.
Is a Respirator With a Valve Better?
When it comes to fine dust protection, reusable respirators with a valve are generally best as they are more comfortable and are less humid inside.
What Is the Best Alternative to Cambridge Mask?
What Is the Best Alternative to Vogmask?
There are many different reusable respirators on the market. Cambridge Mask, Airinum and Respro are the biggest competitors to Vogmask. However, there are also many more reusable masks available that provide great filtration such as O2 Canada and Idontcare Korea.