When it comes to reusable masks, there are two brands which are almost always mentioned. Those two brands are Cambridge Mask and Vogmask.
Although the reusable mask market has become a lot more diluted, with the addition of masks such as the O2 Mask and Respro for example, these two mask brands are still two of the most popular choices.
Further, with fine dust becoming such a big issue as air pollution increases, it’s more important than ever that you fully understand the capabilities of each mask and can make an informed purchasing decision.
If you want to learn more about the masks individually, please refer to my reviews:
Lastly, before I begin my comparison I want to make two it clear that neither of these masks holds an official NIOSH rating. Although they do meet some of the filtration criteria, no reusable respirator in the pollution mask style holds an N rating.
Read more: Xiaomi Purely fan-powered mask.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please refer to my affiliate disclaimer. I am not sponsored by either of these companies. I purchased both my Cambridge Mask and Vogmask with my own money.
Why Choose a Reusable Dust 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 over $30 (depending on your country).
I have already done a deep-dive into fine dust masks and compared reusable masks with disposable ones. However, I will sum up the most important points here.
- Reusable masks are reusable. It may sound obvious, but I had to point it out! While the exact length of ‘reusable’ depends on many factors such as air quality, they usually are rated for a few hundred hours of use (a few months if you wear them for a few hours per day).
- Reusable masks are cheaper and cleaner in the long run. Disposable masks often cost $2-$4 per mask, and these are only rated for 8 hours.¹ 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. 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.
- Style. 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 has over disposable dust masks is that it offers 99% filtration compared to the 95% filtration rating of Vogmask. masks with 99% filtration tend to be much more difficult to find and must be purchased specifically (usually online, as stores typically don’t stock them).
This means that a Cambridge Mask is better at filtering than most disposable masks that you will find without going out of your way. Vogmask, on the other hand, offers the > 95% filtration, which is far more common to find on disposable masks.
Vogmask vs 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.
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 Vogmask and Cambridge Mask.
Vogmask (left) meets the N95 filtration standard. Cambridge Mask (right) meets the N99 standard.
That leads me into the most important part of this article, a comparison of the 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. Neither of these masks holds an official NIOSH (N) rating. They both fulfill the filtration requirements for N95 and N99 (Vogmask and Cambridge Mask respectively), but neither is officially certified.
- Korean MFDS (Ministry of Food and Drug Safety) KF94 certification.
- Chinese National Quality Supervision for Personal Protection Equipment KN95 certification.
- Meets the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health N95 certification requirements.² However, it does not hold an N95 rating.
Cambridge Mask Certifications:
- European FFP2 certification
- Meets the American NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) N99 certification.³ However, it does not hold a rating.
Initially, it looks like the Vogmask has more certifications than the Cambridge Mask. This is true. However, the Cambridge Mask actually has the highest level of certification.
Vogmask officially holds the KN95 and KF94 ratings. Cambridge Mask officially holds the FFP2 rating (almost identical to KF94).
Data from the above table are the lowest results recorded for each category when they were tested by Nelson Labs. Vogmask’s results are publicly available. Cambridge Mask provided me with their results at request.
Fine Dust Filtration
Since most people will be purchasing these masks to use as protection from fine dust and other airborne particles, it is important to compare the exact filtration efficacy of each mask. Both masks were testing by Nelson Labs, using particles with a median diameter of 0.075μm.
Both masks provide > 95% particle filtration from this test. However, Cambridge Mask does perform significantly better. The test results show that Vogmask filters > 95.38% of fine particulate matter, whereas Cambridge Mask is capable of filtering > 99.47% of fine particles.
Both masks also hold very similar ratings, with the KF94 rating (held by Vogmask) and the FFP2 rating (held by Cambridge Mask) being very similar. The KF rating system is based on the EU EN standard rating system (FFP).
A comparison of filtration efficiency between Vogmask and Cambridge Mask. I also added some other masks that I recently reviewed for the sake of comparison. The two masks with a * were tested at 0.1μm – this is important, as 0.3μm is generally harder for filters to catch than smaller particles. This is due to the MPPS and filtration mechanisms.
Therefore, Cambridge Mask is the more effective mask when it comes to particle filtration. If your main concern is air pollution, this may be the better mask. However, I would recommend reading further to learn about the viral and bacterial filtration.
Viral Particle Filtration
Both masks use viral filtration as a big part of their marketing. However, it’s important to not take the marketing at face value as it’s often not the full story.
Vogmask is rated to filter out 99.9% of viruses with an MPS (Mean Particle Size) of 3 micrometres.⁵ This is higher than Cambridge Masks’s results which vary from 99.3% to 99.8%.⁶
However, it’s important to remember that neither of these masks it totally effective at filtering virus particles. Particles in viruses are far smaller, often being in the tens and hundreds of nanometers in size.⁷ Viruses are often attached to other, larger particles, and that is when a mask with an N95 or higher filter can be useful. However, due to the incredibly small size of virus particles, neither of these masks is totally effective.
When it comes to viral protection, Vogmask is the better choice. Cambridge Mask has done a lot of advertising and promotion of its ‘Military Grade Carbon Filter’ which it claims was ‘extensively developed and made into a product for use in chemical, biological and nuclear warfare protection, of the type used by armed forces around the world’.⁸
Interestingly though, it appears as though Vogmask is better at filtering viral particles. Make sure to not get caught up in the marketing and to look deeper.
if you are looking for a mask that is created specifically to kill and prevent the spread of viruses I recommend checking out the Aropec anti-viral mask.
Bacterial Particle Filtration
From the certificates issued to both companies by Nelson Labs (a well known medical-testing lab), both passed the Bacterial Filtration Efficiency test. Similar to the viral test, the BFE test uses particles of 3 micrometres allowing testing of up to > 99.9% efficiency.⁹
However, while both passed the test, the Vogmask performed slightly better. All recorded results were >99.9%, whereas Cambridge Mask had results between 99.6% and >99.9%.
Vogmask is slightly better at filtering bacterial particles. However, both masks both did very well.
Fit & Style
Vogmask designs. From Vogmask.com.
Both Cambridge Mask and Vogmask offer a variety of 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.
Luckily, among the more flashy options, both companies 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.
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 more options.
Both masks also keep branding to a minimum, something that I appreciate. Both masks (at least the models that I have) only feature branding on their tags.
Totobobo – a mask that you can self fit-test.
Cambridge Mask Pro.
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. 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. This is especially true if you have a more pointy nose.
Another important aspect to consider is that the Cambridge Mask is more adjustable in terms of size. This is due to the fact that the Cambridge Mask has two adjustable straps on the sides of the chin. These straps make it possible to tighten the chin seal of the mask without touching the mask itself.
Feeling & Materials
Unboxing the Vogmask.
After using the Cambridge Mask for a while, the first thing that stuck out to me when picking up the Vogmask was that it is lighter. Both masks are the same size (the smallest adult size), and I believe the weight difference is due to the extra adjustable straps that the Cambridge Mask has.
The filtering piece on the Vogmask also feels thinner. This doesn’t mean it is less effective at all, it’s just an observation that I made while comparing the masks.
Both masks have metal nosepieces and I couldn’t make out any difference in the durability or strength of either. One last difference that I noticed is that the east straps on the Cambridge Mask are longer. This might be important to take into account when considering which size to purchase.
Overall, both masks are equally as comfortable in my opinion. While you may find a preference after trying both brands, I am happy to wear either. On days of long use (wearing for more than 3 or 4 hours), both masks become very uncomfortable around the ears. However, I have never had a mask which uses ear-straps that hasn’t caused this pain.
One thing that Cambridge Mask does well is the packaging.
Both Cambridge Mask and Vogmask offer two 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 an N95 rated filter, whereas the pro has an N99 rated filter.
On top of this, the Cambridge Basic mask also has a lower lifespan (around 90 hours), and a different filter (no ‘military-grade filter’). However, the mask still achieves N95 filtration and is significantly cheaper than the pro model.
Vogmask, on the other hand, offers two different models which both offer the same filtration capabilities of N95. They offer a microfibre and organic variant, as well as single and two 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.
Which Mask is Better?
When comparing the Cambridge Mask Pro and Vogmask, there are a few things to consider. Both masks are great options, and it is better to pick the mask that fits your situation. Let me explain a bit better.
Vogmask is Better if:
- Vogmask is a better choice if you are looking for a mask that filters viral particles.
- It is also a good choice for bacterial particles.
- You want a slightly lighter mask.
Cambridge Mask is Better if:
- You want a fine dust particle mask. Cambridge Masks are better for air pollution filtration.
- It is also a good choice for bacterial particles (slightly lower than Vogmask).
- 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).
However, in the end, both 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.
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.
Alternative Mask Options
Although Cambridge Mask and Vogmask are probably the two most popular reusable masks out there, there are also a few other options. These are some of the most popular.
Respro masks are another company which makes reusable masks. Although I have no experience with Respro masks myself, they are well-liked online and appear to have a good reputation. They provide a large range of different masks, the best of which have an FFP3 rating, a rating which is equivalent to an N99 rating.
Airinum Masks. These masks are some of the most fashionable on the market, with simple colours that can fit any style. Nearly every part on the mask is replaceable, and this makes them fantastic for long term users. Airinum masks are rated KN95, a rating equivalent to N95.
O2 Canada is yet another great option for reusable masks. These masks follow a different design to the others on this list, and although I haven’t tried one myself, the design looks like it might make for a better seal on the wearers face.
MeoAir is a New Zealand based company that makes masks that are extremely easy to breathe through due to their use of a wool filter. These masks are also relatively cheap and feature > 99.7% filtration of 0.1 micro-metre particles.
Does Cambridge Mask or Vogmask Have a Higher Rating?
Can Cambridge Mask and Vogmask Filter Viral Particles?
Both masks have been tested offer > 99% viral particle filtration at 0.3μm. However, Cambridge Mask only offers around 99.3%, whereas Vogmask offers > 99.9% filtration.
Why Do Cambridge Mask & Vogmask 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 Vogmask/Cambridge 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.
- CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/hcwcontrols/recommendedguidanceextuse.html
- Vogmask certifications – https://www.vogmask.com/pages/technical
- Cambridge Mask Technical Specifications – https://cambridgemask.com/filter-technology/
- U.S FDA – https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/masks-and-n95-respirators
- Vogmask – https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0250/0840/files/Nelson_Labs_Viral_Filtration_1112598-S01.pdf?8699031093377030261
- I was personally provided with lab results from Cambridge Mask. However, at the companies request I can not share them.
- Science Direct – https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/virus-particle
- Cambridge Mask – https://cambridgemask.com/filter-technology/
- Nelson Labs – https://www.nelsonlabs.com/testing/bacterial-viral-filtration-efficiency-bfe-vfe/