I often start mask reviews by saying I am excited to review the product. That’s because I usually am – I enjoy trying a range of masks and sharing my thoughts on each device’s strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, it might not seem out of the ordinary when I say that I am very excited to present today’s review.
However, this is a particularly exciting day because I have finally had a chance to use and review the Envo Mask. This is a mask that I have intended to review for over a year, but I’ve always had difficulty obtaining the mask. There are no local distributors where I live, and the mask appears to only ship within the U.S.
About two weeks ago, I got my hands on the Envo Mask, and today I finally get to share my thoughts on the device. This has been a highly requested review, perhaps the most requested review that I’ve had over the history of this website.
So why was I so excited to try Envo Mask? Well, it’s one of the few reusable devices on the market that holds an N95 certification. While many devices claim to ‘adhere’ to such certifications, Envo Mask is one of the few reusable masks that officially holds an N95 certification on its filters (when used in Envo Mask).
This alone sets the mask apart from most of the competition. While a few other reusable masks hold official NIOSH certifications (such as Stealth Masks, which hold N95 – P100 ratings), there are relatively few alternatives.
On top of this, Envo Masks incorporate an innovative silicone-gel edge that is designed to provide a best-in-class seal. I don’t want to spoil the review straight away, so you’ll have to read on to see if I found the sealing to be as good as promised!
These two factors intrigued and excited me to try the Envo Mask. Based on what I’ve heard from readers, I am not the only one. So without wasting any more time, let’s dive into my full Envo Mask review.
- There are two versions of Envo Mask. Holo Headgear and Quickfit Headgear. Holo Headgear uses a dual-headband approach, whereas Quickfit Headgear uses ear hooks for fitting. I chose the Holo Headgear as I prefer headbands due to their better comfort and fit.
- No mask is effective unless fitted correctly. N95 devices are designed with professional fit-testing in mind, and fitting and usage should follow OSHA regulations.
- Envo Mask filters are only certified N95 when used in the Envo Mask frame.
- All experiences and thoughts shared in this article are my own. Your fit may vary.
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.
As mentioned in the introduction, Envo Mask shells, when used with the official filters, are certified N95. With many companies making false claims regarding their certifications, it’s always worth confirming this fact. Luckily, NIOSH maintains an up to date database of all companies and devices holding certifications.
You can either go to this link to confirm the authenticity of the certification or you can manually check. To do this, visit the NIOSH database and enter the approval code that is stated on the Envo Mask filter. This code is TC-84A-8448.
This will bring up an approval under the name of Sleepnet Corporation. This is the company behind Envo Mask. By clicking on the approval number, you can check the date that the device was approved, the exact certification (N95) and a few other pieces of basic information.
While the N95 certification process is very stringent, many devices perform well in excess of the standard. This is especially true when it comes to breathing resistances and filtration. For further testing, Sleepnet provides additional technical reports from tests carried out by Nelson Labs.
Nelson Labs is a trusted laboratory that provides a range of tests for masks and respirators. Its tests help show the theoretical capabilities of a device. I say theoretically because the device must be fitted correctly with no leakage at all for these test results to hold.
Further, the filtration tests were carried out on the filter rather than the mask. Therefore, for these results to be applicable, the filter must be seated correctly within the device with no gaps or breaks that allow unfiltered air to pass through.
With that in mind, Nelson Labs tested Envo filters under N95 testing conditions. Across 20 tested samples, the worst-performing filter provided 97.44% filtration. This means that the filters have a particle penetration of 2.56% at worst. On average, 98.692% filtration was observed across the 20 samples.
Nelson Labs also tested breathing resistance, and the worst-performing filter (sample size of three) had an inhalation resistance of 16mm H2O and exhalation resistance of 8.8mm H2O. Both of these are well within the breathing resistance requirements set by 42 CFR Part 84 that sit at 35mm H2O and 25mm H2O, respectively.
|Situation||Filtration||Inh. Resistance||Exh. Resistance|
|Worst case||97.44%||16mm H2O||8.8mm H2O|
|Average||98.69%||15.86mm H2O||8.56mm H2O|
The inhalation resistance of Envo Masks is higher than many commonly worn disposable N95 respirators, and exhalation resistance is comparable. With that being said, the advantages of Envo Mask will outweigh this slight increase in inhalation resistance for many individuals.
One factor to note is that Envo Masks use a valve to decrease exhalation resistance. While this can increase comfort in many situations, it removes two-way filtration, which is essential in some scenarios. Luckily, Sleepnet includes a valve cap in all Envo Mask purchases. However, this is a recent change, and resellers/distributors selling old stock may not include a valve cap.
Thermal imaging with the valve closed (using Flir One Pro)
I didn’t find breathing resistances noticeably different when using the valve cap. In fact, even when using the mask with the valve open, it seemed as though most of my exhaled breath was passing through the filter rather than the valve.
Out of curiosity, I used my thermal camera to see if the valve was working as it should. While far from scientific, these images show that with the valve open, some air passes through the filter but most passes through the valve (indicated by the warmer temperature in the valve).
The fact that I didn’t notice a perceivable difference between having the valve opened compared to having it closed speaks to the relatively low exhalation resistance of Envo Mask. While breathability isn’t as great as similar devices such as ElastoMaskPro, it’s a breathable device.
With the valve open
Overall, Envo Mask provides solid performance regarding filtration. The masks and filters perform in excess of the N95 standard. While they don’t offer filtration as high as other masks, we should also consider the fit. Silicone masks provide a better fit than cloth masks, which should also be considered.
With that being said, some masks, such as Stealth Mask, have masks that are certified N99 and N100 (or P3, depending on location). These masks provide significantly higher filtration but lack the silicone gel seal. So, in the end, while Envo Mask doesn’t have the highest filtration in this category, it performs well. In these situations, it’s important to consider which mask fits best.
One final note on the Envo Mask filter – while the filter is easy to fit, I found that putting the mask together when replacing the filter was somewhat difficult. Even following the instructions closely, I often worried about damaging the silicone gel seal when replacing the filter.
The feedback that I’ve heard most from readers regarding the Envo Mask is how good it fits. Along with the N95 certification, this is what drove me to get the mask. I wanted to know if the fit is as good as everyone says.
After using the mask for a couple of weeks, I can safely say that the fit is as good as it was made out to be. The AIRgel® cushion used to seal the mask moulds well to my face and creates a seal that rarely leaks.
Before discussing the fit any further, I need to reemphasise two points. Firstly, every mask fits each individual differently. Since we all have distinctly different facial features, a mask that fits me may not fit you. Hence, these experiences are purely my own.
Secondly, Envo Mask has two models – Holo Headgear and Quickfit Headgear. Both masks are identical except for the headband. In the case of Holo Headgear, a dual-headband approach is used. In the case of the Quickfit Headgear, two ear hooks are used.
I chose the Holo Headgear Envo Mask as headbands tend to be more comfortable and provide a better fit. While the Quickfit Headgear is more convenient for day to day use, many reviews mentioned that Holo Headgear provided a superior fit. This is something worth keeping in mind when deciding which version to purchase.
Throughout my time using my Envo Mask, I rarely encountered leaks. When donning the mask, I would have to adjust it to sit correctly. Once fitted, however, there were no discernable leaks. I also found that my glasses never fogged when using this device.
The Holo Headgear does a fantastic job keeping the Envo Mask in place. Most silicone masks rely on dual headbands, and these tend to be a far more secure fitting mechanism than earloops. However, Holo Headgear expands on this dual-band approach by adding an elastic circle on the upper strap. This means that the device is essentially mounted with three straps.
This is an excellent addition as I often find the top headband slowly falling down my head on other masks. The circular approach does a great job at preventing this as the top of the loop sits on the top of my head, keeping the lower strap in place. While the straps would sometimes fall during activities (such as hiking), this is the most secure-fitting silicone mask I have used thus far.
Quickfit Envo Mask
For this reason, I don’t recommend the Quickfit Envo Mask. While I haven’t used it myself, I believe it removes one of the most significant benefits that Envo Mask has. Holo Headgear is a far better fitting mechanism.
The best fit that I achieved with Envo Mask was when I aligned the bottom of the AIRgel® seal with the bottom of my chin. Any further up my face and the seal would break and leak around my nose. Likewise, any lower and the bottom of the mask would leak.
Overall, Envo Mask with Holo Headgear provided me with a great seal. The vast majority of the time, I had no issues with the seal and any minor leaks were quickly fixed with some slight adjustments. Out of all of the silicone masks that I have tried, I would say that Envo Mask ties with the AirHead Mask regarding fit. These are the two best fitting masks that I have tried. However, Envo Mask is both smaller and more comfortable.
I also believe that the AIRgel® seal used on Envo Masks will likely fit a wider variety of facial shapes. Silicone masks can be hit or miss when it comes to fit, and while some people are likely to have fitting issues with this device, I think that the innovative seal will provide a more universal fit than competing masks.
While fit and filtration are the two performance pillars of masks, comfort is equally important for many people. While it’s possible to put up with an uncomfortable mask in high-risk environments, a mask for daily use needs to be comfortable.
Anyone who doesn’t have experience with silicone/plastic masks will find Envo Mask a very different experience. Where cloth masks provide a relatively free-breathing environment, plastic masks feel more like wearing a diving mask. While this isn’t the best analogy, they feel significantly more restrictive than breathing through a standard high-filtration cloth mask.
With that being said, Envo Mask felt a lot less claustrophobic than other silicone masks that I have used. Although Gill Mask, O2’s Curve Respirator and AirHead all felt distinctly restrictive, Envo Mask feels more comfortable to me. While people unfamiliar with the feel of plastic masks may take some time to get used to it, this mask is on the more breathable end of silicone masks.
Another critical element when it comes to comfort is the mounting mechanism. Earloops tend to become very uncomfortable after being worn for more extended periods. Neckbands, while an improvement, can restrict head movement. Therefore, headbands are my preferred fitting system. While they are less convenient than the methods mentioned above, they provide a more secure fit and tend to be more comfortable.
The Holo Headgear headband for Envo Mask is no exception, and I found it to be comfortable – even when taking long bus rides that required me to wear the mask for over five hours. I also appreciate how Sleepnet designed Holo Headgear. Typically headband masks are harder to don and doff as the headbands need to be stretched over your head.
In the case of Envo Mask, you can first remove the top headband. This makes the lower headband twice the circumference and makes it far easier to take off. It also allows you to quickly take off the mask without entirely removing it for quick tasks such as taking a sip of water.
The area of most interest is the AIRgel® seal. Sleepnet advertises it as being ‘softer than skin’, which seems to be true. The seal is comfortable, and it doesn’t put too much pressure on my face. Further, it doesn’t leave ‘mask face’ after doffing the device.
While the sealing material was comfortable, I didn’t find it significantly more comfortable than other silicone masks. While it doesn’t leave skin indents, I did have some minor skin irritations from the seal. I have very sensitive skin and often get minor irritations from silicone masks. This wasn’t serious, and it didn’t prevent me from wearing the device. However, it was a minor discomfort.
Envo Mask with Holo Headgear is a comfortable combination even when worn for long periods. In addition, this mask is one of the best ‘stepping stones’ into silicone/plastic masks as it doesn’t have the same claustrophobic feeling that other devices suffer from.
Cost & Lifespan
If Envo Mask has one big drawback, it’s the price. Both the Holo Headgear and Quickfit Headgear configurations start at $79 from envomask.com. Further, if you’re purchasing the device from a reseller or distributor, it will likely cost more.
The $79 starter pack includes five filters, a storage case, and newer purchases will include a valve cap. Replacement filters start at $2.50 each (10x for $25) and decrease in price to just over $2 (100x subscription for $202 on six-month and annual subscriptions).
Envo Mask doesn’t provide a recommended lifespan. Instead, they state under their FAQs that users should replace filters once maximum load is reached and breathing becomes laboured. Further, if the filter media becomes damaged, it should be replaced immediately. Therefore, the lifespan of each filter will be dependent on your environment and usage.
If using the mask for viral protection, you will likely want to be replacing the filters often as they can become contaminated. However, filters can be replaced less frequently for other purposes such as air pollution protection.
While the initial cost for an Envo Mask kit can seem steep – and in many ways, it is – the price is also comparable to many other more ‘premium’ masks. For example, other Silicone/plastic masks such as the AirHead Mask are quite comparatively priced, while others such as Gill Mask come in significantly cheaper.
However, the ongoing price of Envo Mask is far more appealing. Depending on how often you replace your filters, the price is much lower over the long term than many other reusable masks. After you’ve used the mask for a few months, it will likely come out cheaper than other reusable masks that have significantly more expensive filters.
In terms of longevity, I do have concerns about the mask. Generally, I wouldn’t worry about the lifespan of a mask itself, but in the case of Envo Mask, I wonder if the gel seal can last. Sleepnet recommends that you replace the mask if the seal is pierced. While the seal seems sturdy so far, I wonder how it will hold up after a few months of use – if something happens to mine, I will update this article.
Luckily, spare bodies are available for $40. Not only this but every part of the mask can be purchased individually if needed. Therefore, this device should never need to be fully replaced.
Overall, while the upfront cost of Envo Mask is steep, it’s an investment that will save money in the long run. While other masks such as Gill Mask are significantly cheaper, Envo Mask has unique benefits that will justify the price for many people.
Update: as it turns out, Envo Masks do indeed have a longevity issue. Multiple readers have contacted me to inform me that the mask seal breaks after 6-12 months. While I still believe that Envo Mask is a fantastic mask for fit, filtration, and comfort, longevity needs to be considered. This is definitely NOT a mask that’s reusable indefinitely.
Overall, I’ve had a good experience with Envo Mask, and it’s a mask that I think many people should consider. I try not to outright recommend masks due to the number of variables involved, and how experiences between people can vastly differ. However, if I was to recommend a silicone mask, Envo Mask would be my top choice.
This is due to two points in particular. Firstly, the N95 certification. While there are higher filtration devices out there, NIOSH certifications carry an extra level of trust. While this certification is not intended for general use respirators, it’s a very stringent process that many people trust over other respirator standards.
The biggest benefit of being NIOSH certified is that it’s easy to verify via the CDC database. If you’re concerned about the authenticity of a device, it’s often hard to get a clear answer. However, with Envo Mask it’s easy to confirm that the device is officially certified.
The second factor is the fit of the device. Envo Mask with Holo Headgear provides a great fit that had minimal leakage over my time with the mask. It’s comfortable for long periods of wear, while also keeping the mask in place.
The biggest downside of the mask is the price. While over the long term, the mask will provide better value than disposable and semi-disposable masks and respirators, the upfront cost of Envo Mask is high. There are far cheaper alternatives, and many people will gravitate towards them due to the better affordability.
Finally, it’s important to consider the longevity of Envo Mask. Multiple readers have contacted me to let me know that the seals on their masks broke after 6-12 months of wear. This is important to keep in mind when purchasing Envo Mask – it’s not a one-off purchase as you’ll likely need to replace the seal or mask once or twice per year. For some people, this will be a deal-breaker.
Envo Mask FAQ
Is Envo Mask N95?
Yes. Envo Mask is certified N95 and this can be confirmed here: NIOSH Certification TC-84A-8448.
What Filtration Is Envo Mask Capable Of?
Across 20 tested samples, the worst-performing filter provided 97.44% filtration. This means that at worst, the filters have a particle penetration of 2.56%. Of course, this assumes that the filter and mask are used properly with no leaks present.
What are Some Envo Mask Alternatives?
There are few alternative reusable silicone masks that hold an N95 certification yet are smaller in form than a half-face respirator. The closest competitor is probably Stealth Mask which has higher filtration but I found it to not fit as well.
Can Envo Mask Be Washed?
Yes. The mask components can be separated and washed (minus the filter, which should be disposed of).
Is Envo Mask Worth It?
The high price of Envo Mask can be a deterrent. However, a lot of innovation has gone into this mask – the fit is great, it’s N95 certified, and the modular design allows individual components to be replaced. Over time, this mask will be cheaper than relying on disposable masks as the replacement filters are affordable.