Gill Mask Pro vs Gill Mask – Worth the Extra $5?

Gill Mask Pro White

Gill Mask is a mask that has always stood out among other masks due to the unique advantages that it provides. Gill Mask is a flexible mask that allows for easy cleaning and the use of almost any filter media.

Therefore, when Gill Mask let me know that they had released their new Gill Mask Pro mask, I was looking forward to trying it. This new Pro model keeps many of the advantages of the original, but it also improves the filter design. 

The Pro model comes in at a slightly higher price but the price is still very reasonable. Compared to other silicone-based masks and respirators on the market, the Gill Mask Pro is still far one of the most affordable. 

It’s important to remember that the Gill Mask Pro is not a replacement for the Gill Mask. Rather, the Pro is designed to stand alongside the original mask due to its different strengths. You may notice while browsing the Gill Mask website that the Pro is targeted more at medical professionals whereas the original is aimed at a more general audience.

Of course, that isn’t to say that the Gill Mask Pro can’t be used for protection against pollution. It definitely can. However, there are differences worth noting and many people may still prefer the original mask due to its flexibility. 

I’ve already covered the Gill Mask Regular in detail in my review. Since the Pro and Regular models are identical in regards to fit and almost identical in regards to basic design I will be brief on those sections in this article. Rather, I will be focusing on the differences. If you would like more detail regarding the fit and design, please refer to my original review.

With that being said, this is my full review of the Gill Mask Pro. I hope that this article can give you all of the information that you need to make an informed purchasing decision. If you read through the article and have any questions or want to share your experiences please feel free to do so in the comments below!

I am not a medical professional or expert in the field of respirators. My blog has always been aimed towards air pollution and it is from this perspective that I write this review. While I will mention the benefits of the Pro for a medical environment, I won’t go into detail. Please refer to experts for the best masks to use in a medical situation.

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This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please refer to my affiliate disclaimer. I was sent a product for review, but the article is not sponsored. All opinions expressed in this post are my honest thoughts. I only recommend products that I truly 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.


Gill Mask Pro Differences 

Gill Mask Pro Filter Tray

While the filter media has been greatly improved, the Gill Mask Pro no longer allows the user to use their choice of filter media. The filter used in the Pro is a proprietary design that requires a special filter tray. That is to say, only filters designed for the Gill Mask Pro will fit the mask.

You may be wondering at this point, why did Gill Mask remove the flexible filter system? After all, it was perhaps the most unique aspect of the original mask design. Well, the answer lies in surface area.

The Gill Mask Original allows the user to use any filter media that they want. This allows for the use of cheaper filters and also gives the user a lot of flexibility. If you want a filter with higher efficacy then you can use one. However, if you want a filter with lower filtration but less breathing resistance then you could make that choice.

OriginalPro
FilterUses any filter mediaOnly official filter media
FitIdenticalIdentical
StrapNylon (not suitable for autoclave)Silicon (suitable for autoclave)
CertificationBased on filterTesting by Innosparks
Price$18$25

The issue with the Gill Mask Original is that the filter surface area is quite low. A smaller surface area leads to greater breathing resistance and this was the biggest issue that I found with the Gill Mask Regular in my review. The flexibility was great, but the breathing resistance meant that the mask could be uncomfortable to wear at times. 

The Gill Mask Pro attempts to remedy this issue by using a corrugated filter design. Rather than having a flat surface, the filter is corrugated to give approximately 2.5x the surface area. This should, in theory, result in much less breathing resistance. 

The other major change with the Gill Mask Pro is the addition of a silicone headband. This silicone headband replaces the nylon headband used in the original mask. This change is to allow hospitals and medical professionals to use autoclave sterilization.

This change will make no difference to those using the mask for air pollution protection or those without access to autoclave equipment. However, for anyone with access to such devices then the Gill Mask Pro’s silicone strap may be a very useful change.

Other than these changes the Gill Mask Regular and Gill Mask Pro are almost identical. There is a slight design difference that allows people to differentiate between the two. However, in every other way these masks are the same. If the Gill Mask Pro fits you well, then so should the Pro.

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Gill Mask Regular Upgrade Kit

Gill Mask Pro Upgrade Kit

Since the Gill Mask and Gill Mask Pro are the same in regards to all of their basic dimensions, the Gill Mask can actually be swapped out to a Gill Mask Pro. Currently, users have to decide between one mask or the other. However, there will soon be an upgrade kit available (June 2021).

The company has also let me know that they plan to include a starter kit that includes both the Regular and Pro filter tray. This means that future purchasers won’t even have to worry about which mask to buy! Rather, you can try out both filter designs and see which one you prefer. 

This also means that if you already own a Gill Mask but want to upgrade to the Pro, it will be easy. Rather than replacing the whole mask, you will be able to simply purchase the upgrade kit which will allow you to equip the mask with the Pro filter tray and filter media.

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Filtration

Gill Mask Pro Filter

Gill Mask Pro filter (left) vs Gill Mask filter (right)

Unlike the Gill Mask which can use any filter, the Gill Mask Pro relies on a specific filter. Due to this, the filtration results are very important. Gill Mask Pro filters have undergone NaCl filtration testing at Innosparks, an engineering lab based in Singapore.

The testing was carried out using an industry-standard TSI 8130 at a flow rate of 85L/min. This means that the results are comparable to the filtration testing carried out by other labs. The tests were carried out on three filter samples.

The lowest recorded filtration was just over 96% while the best result came in at 98.26% filtration. Among all samples, the airflow resistance was consistent at between 50-54Pa. While these filtration results aren’t as high as some masks/filters on the market, they are solid results and indicate that provided the mask and filter are fitted correctly, the mask is comparable (in regards to filtration) to N95, KN95, KF94, and FFP2 masks.

This testing was carried out at the MPPS (most penetrating particle size) of 0.3μm. What this means is that filtration should typically be higher for other particle sizes (both larger and smaller). The MPPS should represent a worst-case filtration efficacy.

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Breathability

Gill Mask vs Gill Mask Pro

When I first donned the Gill Mask Pro it did feel more difficult to breathe through than most cloth masks. This is most likely due to the fact that many cloth masks tend to use filters with a larger surface area. However, I didn’t find that it was uncomfortably hard to breathe through.

When I noticed a major difference is when I compared the Gill Mask Pro to the Gill Mask. The Pro is significantly easier to breathe through. So much so that I don’t see myself using the Regular masks anymore unless I run out of filters. There is a very large difference in breathing resistance.

I wrote in my initial Gill Mask review that the mask would often compress in and out when I breathed. While the Pro still does this a little bit, it’s far less noticeable than the Regular. I made sure to seal check the mask multiple times to check for leaks but I couldn’t find anything noticeable.

One of the biggest downsides that I found with the Gill Mask Regular was the breathability. It was adequate, but not ideal. I also wouldn’t recommend it for exercise. While I have yet to try the Pro while exercising, I have found it to be far more breathable. The improvement is very noticeable.

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Fit

Gill Mask and Gill Mask Pro

The two variants of Gill Mask are identical when it comes to fit. However, I will briefly touch on fit again in this article as I have worn Gill Mask’s for over one hundred hours since my initial review. Before going any further, I want to note that these are my experiences. Everyone’s face is different and what fits me may not fit the next person.

As someone with a relatively small face and using the regular size mask, I found that Gill Mask is one of the better fitting silicone masks. When I first donned the mask I noticed some leaks around the top of my nose and these took me a while to seal. However, over time I was able to adjust the mask and remove these leaks.

What I found is that the bottom of the silicone cup actually sits under my chin, and this manages to provide me with an airtight fit. At times, the mask will move and I may need to readjust it. However, overall I was able to get a good seal about 90% of the time.

The use of headbands (as opposed to ear-loops) helps the mask remain well-secured and sealed. Especially for a heavier mask such as Gill Mask, headbands are required. The straps provide a lot of adjustment options and they should be able to adjust to nearly any head shape.

The Gill Mask is significantly bigger than masks such as the O2 Canada Curve Respirator, and this is an advantage when it comes to fit. While that mask often gets dislodged while talking, I’ve found the Gill Mask and Gill Mask Pro to retain a better fit over time – although, they do need adjustments at times.

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Conclusion

Gill Mask Pro

Overall, the Gill Mask Pro is very similar to the original. However, it also serves an entirely different purpose. Where the Gill Mask excels in flexibility and adaptability, the Pro offers better breathability at the cost of this flexibility. 

Although the Pro variant of the mask is targeted at those in medical professions, either mask can work well in day-to-day use as well. Which mask you decide to use will largely come down to flexibility and cost vs breathing resistance. 

Personally, as someone who normally relies on Gill Mask’s official filters when using the original mask, I don’t see myself ever using it again. While I still think that it is a great mask, the extra breathability that the Pro offers is very substantial. Since breathability was my biggest complaint for the Gill Mask, I am very happy to see this change.

With that being said, silicone masks aren’t for everyone. They often have more breathing resistance than cloth masks, they are generally more uncomfortable to wear (especially in hot/humid climates), and they definitely stand out. On the other hand, they tend to provide a better fit and often seal better than their cloth counterparts.

Since this article was intended as a comparison between the Gill Mask Pro and the Gill Mask Regular I didn’t cover some aspects in detail. If you want to learn more about the fit, design, and silicone masks in general I recommend checking out my full review.

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Gill Mask Pro FAQ

How Are the Gill Mask and Gill Mask Pro Different?

The Gill Mask Pro offers a filter with a much larger surface area and therefore more breathability. On top of that, it is also autoclave ready due to a new silicone headband.

Is the Gill Mask Pro Better Than Gill Mask?

This really depends on your use-case. The Pro offers a better filter and more breathability. However, the Gill Mask has much more flexibility and allows the user to choose which filter they want to use.

Does Gill Mask Pro Have a Certification?

The Gill Mask Pro has had filtration testing carried out by Innosparks. It also adheres to the ISO 13485 standard.

Can Gill Mask Pro Use Any Filter?

No. The Gill Mask Pro uses a new filter design so it can’t use any filter like the Gill Mask original can.

How Does Gill Mask Pro Compare to Other Silicone Respirators?

The Gill Mask Pro offers better breathability than other silicone respirators that I have tried. It’s also cheaper than most alternatives and has a better fit. However, it’s also larger than many alternatives and can be uncomfortable on hot days due to the size.

2 thoughts on “Gill Mask Pro vs Gill Mask – Worth the Extra $5?”

  1. Presently I have 3 pieces of Gill mask.I find the replacement filters are economical esp can use any disposable mask by cutting them to fit in.
    The new Gill mask pro looks good – can breathe better than the original Gill.
    But the replacement filter is a bit expensive compared to BYD disposables
    ($12 x 50 pieces can use for original Gill- many times over.)
    Suggest the Gill Mask Pro filters be versatile/ adaptable like the original Gill mask.

    1. Hello Andy,

      Thank you for bringing up this point. You are definitely right in that the Gill Mask filters are much more affordable than the Gill Mask Pro filters. This is where it really comes down to user preference. Is lower cost more important or better breathability? If the former, the Gill Mask is the better choice. If the latter, the Gill Mask Pro is a better choice.

      I was sad to see the removal of the flexible filter system as that was one of the biggest appeals of the original Gill Mask for me. However, after trying the Pro and experiencing better breathability I actually think I’d go for the Pro (even with the extra cost). With that being said, both choices can be good depending on the situation!

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