When it comes to reusable cloth masks, there are a few brands that are almost always mentioned. Respro, and Mau Mask to name two. However, among all of the reusable cloth mask brands there are three that are particularly famous. These three are Airinum, Vogmask, and Cambridge Mask.
Although the reusable mask market has become a lot more diluted recently, these brands still stand out as some of the most well-known and well-liked mask brands out there. With masks becoming more and more common due to the pandemic and increasing air pollution it’s more important than ever to understand the differences and similarities between these three cloth masks.
I have already reviewed all of these masks separately in detail. If you would like to learn more about the masks, please feel free to refer to the links below. I have also covered over 20 other masks in my review section.
Before beginning this comparison, I do want to make a few quick notes. Firstly, I want to make it clear that none of these masks holds an official NIOSH rating. Although they do meet some of the filtration criteria. To my knowledge no reusable cloth face mask currently holds an NIOSH rating.
Secondly, no mask is effective unless fitted correctly. Although officially rated respirators and professional fit testing are essential for the best protection, these aren’t available to most consumers. For this reason, it’s important to follow fitting guides and the manufacturer’s guidelines to make sure that you are using the mask correctly.
Finally, both Cambridge mask and Vogmask offer different models. I talk about the Cambridge Mask Pro and Vogmask VMCV (and VMC) in this article, both of which feature valves. However, valved masks are currently banned in many countries as they only filter air one way. For this reason, Cambridge Mask offers a free valve-cover, and Vogmask has changed most of its production to valve-less masks.
Airinum only offers one mask currently – the Urban Air Mask 2. This mask features a dual-valve design but similar to Cambridge Mask, it offers valve stoppers in its store. These valve stoppers will be included with all future mask purchases.
Read more: The most advanced anti-pollution mask.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please refer to my affiliate disclaimer. I was NOT sent a product for review, this product was purchased by myself. All opinions expressed in this post are my honest thoughts. I only recommend products that I believe in.
Information on this blog is for informational purposes only. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information herein with other sources. Furthermore, this information is not intended to replace medical advice from professionals. This website assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information and information is subject to change without notice. Devices mentioned on this website are not medical devices and do not guarantee protection.
Why Choose a Reusable Mask?
One of Vogmask’s many designs. Model – BerryLoveFashion.
The first question that many people wonder about is ‘what is the point of a reusable mask in the first place?’. This question is especially important as reusable masks cost considerably more than their disposable counterparts, often costing around $30 per mask.
Although there are many benefits to having a reusable mask, I want to list just a few of the most obvious points here:
- Reusable masks are cheaper and cleaner in the long run. Disposable masks often cost $2-$4 per mask, and these are only intended to be used for 8 hours (CDC). If you compare this to the Cambridge Mask guidelines, their masks can be used for 220 hours at 151-300 AQI. If you use one mask for the recommended 8 hours, that’s a total of 27.5 masks over 220 hours. At $3 each, the total would come to $82.50. Far more than $30 for a reusable mask.
- There is no need to worry about the mask fit. Of course, this can still be a problem with your first mask. However, once you have found a well-fitting size, you can keep purchasing that size. Unless you purchase the exact same disposable respirator every time, fit can always be an issue as there are so many different styles and sizes.
- Reusable Masks often look better. Although this is far less important from a functional viewpoint, it is still important for some people. Both Cambridge Mask and Vogmask offer different colours and styles.
One more benefit that Cambridge Mask and Airinum have over many disposable respirators & masks is that they offers 99% filtration compared to the 95% filtration rating of the N95/KF94/KN95 standard. Masks with 99% filtration tend to be much more difficult to find when it comes to disposable masks as N95 (and equivalent) is much more widely available.
Airinum, Vogmask and Cambridge Mask Comparison
In this review I first want to cover the differences in filtration specifications. In this section I will cover the particulate, viral and bacterial filtration capabilities of each mask. This is the most important section if you want to understand the technical capabilities of each mask.
After this, I will move on to discussing the fit, style and design. While these may seem less important than the filtration specifications, they play a big part in the effectiveness of the mask. A mask can not protect you if it isn’t fitted properly.
With that being said, this is my full comparison of Airinum, Vogmask, and Cambridge Mask. If you read through the comparison and still have questions or comments please don’t hesitate to comment on this post. I also welcome everyone to share their experiences with any of the masks!
That leads me into the most important part of this article, a comparison of the filtration specifications of each mask. This section may get a bit confusing, so please bare with me. I will write a summary at the end if you are just looking for a quick answer.
Before I go any further, it’s important to understand one thing. None of these masks holds an official NIOSH (N) rating. They fulfil the filtration requirements for N95 (Vogmask & Airinum) and N99 (Cambridge Mask), but none are officially certified. They do, however, all hold ratings from other regions.
- Korean MFDS (Ministry of Food and Drug Safety) KF94 certification.
- Chinese National Quality Supervision for Personal Protection Equipment KN95 certification.
Cambridge Mask Certifications:
Airinum Urban Air Mask 2 Certifications:
- Chinese National Quality Supervision for Personal Protection Equipment KN95 certification.
The ratings that these masks hold are very similar. The KF94 standard requires (among other factors) at least 94% particle filtration. The same goes for the FFP2 standard. The KN95 standard that the Vogmask and Urban Air Mask 2 hold requires > 95% filtration among other requirements.
As the above table from 3M shows, the FFP2 and KN94 standards are almost identical. The KN95 standard differs slightly, but it is also similar in many of the most important respects. In conclusion, the standards achieved by all masks are very similar and they are comparable to each other.
However, standards are only one part of the equation. Both Vogmask and Cambridge Mask have also been tested by the third party laboratory Nelson Labs for filtration. Vogmask displays their results publicly on their technical page. Cambridge Mask does not display their certificates publicly, but upon reaching out they provided them.
|Urban Air Mask 2||>99.2%||N/A||N/A|
The table above shows the minimum recorded results from the samples tested. These results were obtained using particles with a count median diameter of 0.075μm and a mass median diameter of 0.26μm for particle filtration efficiency (PFE), 3.0μm for bacterial filtration (BFE) and 3.2μm for viral filtration (VFE). This is the standard particle test size used by Nelson Labs.
The Airinum Urban Air Mask 2 is slightly harder to compare. This mask has the most diverse set of third-party testing, and the certificates can be found on their website. The issue is, since Airinum used other labs for testing (in this case, RISE), they have more extensive particle filtration results but no bacterial or viral testing.
For that reason, I chose to use the RISE results that most closely resembled the particle filtration efficiency (PFE) test carried out on Vogmask and Cambridge Mask by Nelson Labs. At more realistic airflow rates (such as 1L/s, still more than most people will breathe) the Urban Air Mask 2 has > 99.9% filtration at 0.3μm (source).
Although the Airinum Urban Air Mask 2 doesn’t have viral or bacterial testing, the filter is, in theory, 100% efficient against particles at 2-3μm (source). This does not guarantee protection for the wearer, but the filter can filter particles of the sizes tested on Vogmask and Cambridge Mask.
|Cambridge Mask||≥ 99.47%|
|Airinum Urban Air Mask||≥ 99.2%|
|Bloo Mask||≥ 98.7%|
*tested at 0.1μm, all other masks at 0.26μm.
Above is a table showing the particle filtration efficiency (PFE) of Airinum, Cambridge Mask, and Vogmask compared to other similar cloth masks (and Totobobo, which uses a plastic design). As you can see from the two tables, Cambridge Mask and the Urban Air Mask 2 provide significantly more filtration than Vogmask.
On the other hand, Vogmask performed better than Cambridge Mask in both viral and bacterial filtration. In both tests, Vogmask filtered all viral and bacterial particles at 3.0μm and 3.2μm respectively. 99.9% is the highest result given. Airinum does not have such results, so I can’t compare.
This is no guarantee that any mask will filter all particles. However, it does show that the filters used in all masks are capable (in theory) of filtering a large percentage of particles at the MPPS (most penetrating particle size).
It is also worth mentioning that the Airinum Urban Air Mask 2, Cambridge Mask Pro, and Vogmask models with a C in their name (VMC, VMCV, VMCV2) include a carbon filter. Carbon filters are used to filter some common pollutants such as VOCs (volatile organic compounds). They are also effective against many smells.
Fit & Comfort
After using the Cambridge Mask and Urban Air Mask for a while, the first thing that stuck out to me when picking up the Vogmask was that it is lighter. All masks are the same size (the smallest adult size), and I believe the weight difference is due to the extra adjustable straps on the Cambridge Mask and the dual-valves on the Airinum mask.
All masks have metal nose-pieces and I couldn’t make out any difference in the durability or strength. Something that is important to note, though, is that the Airinum mask features a foam piece to decrease leakage around the ridge of the nose. Neither Vogmask nor Cambridge Mask have this feature.
While fitting with cloth masks is always hit or miss, I found the Vogmask fit me the worst. This is due to the fact that the Vogmask is a very standard mask design. On the other hand, Cambridge Mask features elastic straps on the chin for extra adjustment. Airinum offers adjustable ear straps (neither of the other masks is adjustable), a chin-wrap, and a headband is included.
Cambridge Mask and Vogmask are very similar in regards to fit and feel with the exception of the aforementioned chin-straps. Airinum differs significantly in both fit and design. From my experience, the Airinum fits the best due to a few additions that the other masks don’t have. Namely, the foam nose-piece and the chin wrap.
The foam around the nose fills in the gap that is often left when trying to adjust the wire in the nose-piece. Since this is often the area with the most leakage, this is very important. The chin-wrap is a piece of the mask that sits under the wearer’s chin, theoretically providing a better seal around the chin. Some other masks such as Bloo Mask and Metamask also feature such designs.
The Cambridge Mask Pro offers a single valve design with no choice for no valve. Luckily, a valve-cover can be purchased with the mask for free. Vogmask offers no valve, one valve, and two valve designs. However, currently nearly all of their production has switched to valve-less Vogmask Organic or Vogmask VMC masks.
Airinum Mask Filter.
Similar to Cambridge Mask, Airinum offers only one model at a time. Currently, that is the Urban Air Mask 2 which features 2 valves. Similar to Cambridge Mask, Airinum offers valve stoppers. I have been told that these stoppers will be included with all future Airinum Mask purchases.
Overall, I found the Airinum Urban Air Mask to be the most comfortable and best fitting option out of the three. While no mask is entirely comfortable, the Airinum Mask leaked the least for me and required less adjustment after donned.
The Cambridge Mask and Vogmask are very similar. The Cambridge Mask provides a better fit through the adjustable chin-straps, but Vogmask is lighter and therefore easier to breathe through. My biggest issue with both of these masks is that they both rely entirely on ear-straps. Airinum, on the other hand, includes a head-strap to alleviate some pain on the ears after long periods of wear.
The good news is that both Cambridge Mask and Vogmask offer head-strap accessories. While these are an extra cost, I highly recommend getting one as it will alleviate a lot of pain on your ears. If you want to purchase one for cheaper, they can also be found on Amazon. This method isn’t as good as opting for a neckband design (such as Purar Mask has), but it’s definitely more comfortable than using earloops.
Although the Airinum fit me the best, all masks provided decent fits. However, they are still cloth masks and therefore a perfect fit is nearly impossible. If you are looking for a mask that provides a better seal, I would recommend checking out the O2 Canada Curve or the Gill Mask.
Vogmask designs. From Vogmask.com.
Both Cambridge Mask and Vogmask offer many different styles and sizes. If you are like me, you are someone who prefers a simple mask, something that blends in. Unfortunately, many of these mask manufacturers seem intent on making ‘fashionable masks’. Where, in my opinion, the most fashionable mask is a simple colour.
Airinum seems to agree with me. They also have a range of 3 different Urban Air Mask models. All of these models have simple colour designs. Airinum also has many limited edition models that change from time to time.
Luckily, among the more flashy options, both Cambridge Mask and Vogmask do offer some solid colour masks. The mask that I purchased from Cambridge Mask was a simple, solid, black mask. They also offer a few other colours, such as grey, green, and blue. There are also masks with a variety of different patterns, such as camo masks and checkered masks.
Cambridge Mask designs. From Cambridgemask.com.
Vogmask has many more options, with everything from cheetah spots to zebra stripes. They also offer a few basic coloured masks, such as coral, blue, aqua, white, and tan. There is no doubt about it though, Vogmask has the most design options.
All masks also keep branding to a minimum, something that I appreciate. Both the Cambridge Mask and Vogmask (at least the models that I have) only feature branding on their tags and they otherwise don’t stand out. The Urban Air Mask features more branding and has the brand name and logo on the right side of the mask as well as on both valves. However, the logo is quite subtle and I don’t mind it.
Vogmask sizing guide.
Both Vogmask and Cambridge Mask offer 5 different sizes, however, they measure sizes differently. Vogmask uses height as the measurement, whereas Cambridge mask uses facial dimensions and weight. Airinum offers one size less, with a total of 4 different sizes available.
Unfortunately, no face is the same, and although the mask may fit perfectly, it’s also possible that the ‘right’ size may not fit you. All masks are sized a little differently, so make sure to pay attention to each specific brands sizing guidelines.
From my experience (all small sized masks), the Cambridge Mask fits perfectly. Vogmask is a little too big, and the Urban Air Mask 2 is a little too small. If you have tried one of the masks before and are considering another one, this might be something to keep in mind.
While you should be able to find a good fit from all brands, it can be difficult to get a mask that fits perfectly. This is especially true as these masks are cloth masks that rely on wire nose-pieces. If you have strong facial features it can be especially hard to find a mask that creates a good seal.
Another important aspect to consider is that the Cambridge Mask and Airinum are more adjustable in terms of size. This is due to the fact that the Cambridge Mask and Airinum have extra adjustments that can be made (chin straps on the Cambridge Mask and adjustable ear/head straps on the Airinum mask).
Cambridge Mask Pro Churchill.
Both Cambridge Mask and Vogmask offer different models. Cambridge Mask Company offers the Cambridge Mask Basic and the Cambridge Mask Pro. The biggest difference is in the filter. The basic has a filter that filters > 95% of particles, whereas the pro filters > 99%.
On top of this, the Cambridge Basic mask also has a lower lifespan (around 90 hours), and a different filter compared to the Pro. However, the mask still achieves > 95% filtration and is a good, cheaper alternative. The Cambridge Mask Basic also features no valve.
Vogmask, on the other hand, offers five different models which all offer the same filtration capabilities of > 95%. They offer a microfibre and organic variant, as well as single and dual-valve variants of these masks. The different materials may help people who experience allergies or discomfort while wearing the mask.
‘The only difference between the microfiber and organic cotton Vogmasks is the textile on the outer and inner layer. If you are sensitive or allergic to synthetic textiles, the organic cotton masks will be more agreeable to wear. Organic Vogmasks are also available without exhale valve and carbon filter layer, and are efficient for filtering particles on both inhale and exhale.‘ Vogmask FAQ.
Vogmask also offers no valve variants, which can be important. Valve masks are made to protect the wearer, for example, from air pollution. However, air can be expelled from the mask as can the particles within. For viral situations, where spread prevention is important, a non-valve mask is needed. Non-valve masks filter the air both ways, meaning that the air you expel will also be filtered.
As the U.S FDA states ‘N95 respirators with exhalation valves should not be used when sterile conditions must be maintained.’ In other words, if you are looking for a mask for a virus, a non-valve mask is better as it will protect both you and others.
Airinum offers only one model and this simplifies the purchasing process a lot. While this means that you can’t choose which model fits your needs best, it means that the company can focus on making one mask as good as it can be. I have found that the Urban Air Mask 2 feels the most well-made.
Lifespan & Cost
Urban Air Mask 2.
This is a very important section to consider for one main reason – the Airinum Mask features replaceable filters. Both Vogmask and Cambridge Mask have to be replaced once they reach their limit. The Airinum Urban Air Mask 2 can just have its filter replaced.
However, the Airinum mask is also significantly more expensive. I don’t want to mention exact prices here as they tend to fluctuate. However, Cambridge Mask and Vogmask both sit around $30 USD. The Urban Air Mask 2 is almost three times this price, sitting at around $80.
It’s hard to compare the lifespan as some of the brands are very vague in their claims. Lifespan is highly dependent on the air quality conditions. However, Vogmask claims 3-12 months of usage with most users (those not in very polluted environments) being able to use the mask for 6-12 months.
Cambridge Mask Pro speaks more plainly, stating that the Pro should last a maximum of 340 hours of wear. As with all masks, this lifespan can be decreased depending on air quality. If you wear the mask for 3 hours every day, this means over 100 days of wear.
The Airinum mask features replaceable filters and each filter has an estimated life expectancy of 100 hours. These filters come in a pack of three for $24.
All of the filter lifespans will vary based on conditions. If you feel that the filter has become significantly more difficult to breathe through compared to when the mask was new, then it’s time to change.
Which Mask Is Best?
When comparing the Urban Air Mask 2, Cambridge Mask Pro, and Vogmask, there are a few things to consider. All masks are good options, and it is better to pick the mask that fits your situation. While the article should be read in full to decide what is best for you, I will summarise some of the key points below:
Vogmask Is Better if:
- You are looking for a mask that filters viral particles.
- You are looking for a mask that filters bacterial particles.
- You want a slightly lighter mask.
- You need a valve-less mask.
Cambridge Mask Is Better if:
- You want a fine dust particle mask.
- You have a young child that needs a mask. Vogmask only has one option for children, Cambridge Mask offers an option for 1.5 to 4-year-olds and one for children under 10.
- You want more adjustability (with the chin straps).
- You need a mask with a valve.
Airinum Is Better if:
- You want a mask for pollution (particle) protection.
- You want a mask with replaceable filters.
- You want a more premium mask.
- You need the best fitting mask.
- You want a mask with lots of adjustability.
- You need a mask with two valves.
In the end, any of these masks are better than none. If one of the brands fits you better than the other, it’s usually better to go with the bitter fitting mask. This will give you level of protection and make sure that you remain as comfortable as possible while wearing the mask.
If you are interested in purchasing one of these masks after reading this article, you can do so at the links below. If neither of the masks is available, or if you want to check out some other options, please refer to the alternative masks below.
Which Mask Has a Higher Rating?
Vogmask achieves the KN95 and KF94 standard, Airinum achieves the KN95 standard, and Cambridge Mask reaches the FFP2 standard. All of these standards are comparable. However, Cambridge Mask and Airinum have > 99% filtration of particles at 0.3μm compared to Vogmask which has > 95%. None of the masks hold an NIOSH rating.
Can Cambridge Mask, Vogmask, and Airinum Filter Viral Particles?
Both Cambridge Mask and Vogmask have been tested and offer > 99% viral particle filtration at 0.3μm. However, Cambridge Mask only offers around 99.3%, whereas Vogmask offers > 99.9% filtration. Airinum has not had viral particle testing.
Why Do These Masks Have Valves?
Valves offer decreased breathing resistance and making both inhaling and exhaling easier. However, they are not intended for filtering air that the user exhales. Therefore, while filters are great for air pollution, they are not ideal when it comes to preventing the spread of viral particles.
What Are Some More Mask Alternatives?
There are many fantastic alternatives to these masks. One that I recently reviewed is the Totobobo mask from Singapore. This mask allows for self fit-testing, self seal-checks and more. Another great mask that I recently tried is the MeoAir mask – a mask that offers ease of breathing with great filtration.
Which Mask Has a Better Filter?
When it comes to particle filtration (PFE), Cambridge Mask and Airinum offer the best filtration. However, when it comes to both viral and bacterial particles (BFE & VFE) Vogmask slightly outperforms Cambridge Mask. Airinum currently doesn’t have BFE and VFE test results.
Which Mask Is More Comfortable?
They are very comparable. Vogmask is lighter and tends to remain cooler inside the mask, and it also offers a dual-valve mask variant. However, Cambridge Mask has more comfortable ear-straps. I found Airinum to be the most comfortable overall.
Do These Masks Have Replaceable Filters?
Out of these three masks, only the Airinum Urban Air Mask 2 features replaceable filters.