When it comes to masks, there usually isn’t much that differentiates them overall. Sure, some are better than others, and some have unique features. But usually, they don’t differ all that much.
Afterall, how unique can you make a mask? This was a question that I have asked myself many times. I review a lot of masks, and while there are differences, they are largely the same overall.
However, when I was looking online for new masks to review I came across the Purely pollution mask by Xiaomi. This is the first mask that I had found in months that made me surprised. It quickly became something that I had to try.
What makes this mask so unique is that it features active circulation. That is to say, it features an electronic fan that assists in circulating the air in the mask. To put it more concisely, this is a mask with a fan on it.
In a market where masks are all relatively similar, something this unique really stands out. However, I still had my doubts. Is there really a point in having a fan on a mask? How does the mask work? Is it even as effective as a normal (non-fan) mask?
In this post I aim to answer all of these questions. I will go over both the positives and the negatives of the mask and answer the question of whether this mask is worth it or not. With that being said, this is my review of the Purely fine dust mask.
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Xiaomi Purely KN95 Review
In this review I will be going over what I consider to be the most important aspects of any mask. These are the filtration capabilities (the filter), comfort/fit and design. In this review, due to the unique nature of the mask, I also have a look at the special fan.
Before I begin, I want to note that finding information on these masks is very difficult. Certificates of the filtration results are provided on the website, and while these seem trustworthy I can’t guarantee. This is mainly due to the language barrier – it’s extremely hard to find resources on any KN95 mask in English.
Therefore, please keep in mind that I am only stating what I have learnt from the website and my own personal experiences. Further, when purchasing replacement filters make sure to buy the official ones, as there are counterfeits out there.
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Before discussing filtration at all I need to mention a few things. The Purely mask holds a KN rating, and the KN standard is globally recognised standard. However, while the KN has strict requirements, there are sometimes counterfeit and fake filters that claim to have achieved this standard.
Therefore, while the KN standard is, in theory, effective at filtering fine dust (relative to its rating – KN90 = 90%, KN95 = 95%, and KN100 = 99.97%), masks that advertise these ratings aren’t always accurate.
I mention this because I have no proof of the standards that the Purely filters adhere to other than what is provided on their website. Always purchase masks only after your own research, and make sure that you rely on official sources.
I can not guarantee the effectiveness of the Purely mask filters. However, the results do appear to be authentic and the specific ratings are given on their website. Furthermore, filters on the Purely mask are interchangeable, and you can replace them with others if needed.
Purely mask filtration results.
The mask claims to have 99% filtration of PM2.5 particles and it also has an anti-bacterial coating. From the testing certificate provided on the website, this claim appears to be slightly off.
The certificate indicates that while the mask does often provide >99% filtration, there are times when it drops as low as 97%. While 97% fine particle filtration is still a good result, it is less than the 99% that is advertised.
Therefore, following the data provided, the mask should adhere to the KN95 filtration requirements. Average filtration is between 98 and 99%.
This information is consistent with the labeling on the interior filter, which claims to meet the GB2626-2006 standard for KN95. Although this standard has recently been succeeded, the filters are likely to be updated in the future.
This standard is international recognised and the filters should provide effective PM2.5 filtration. However, while I do believe that the masks adhere to the KN95 standard, it is hard to verify the authenticity of the filter.
One aspect in which the Purely KN95 mask excels in is comfort. While it’s not perfect, it is far and away one of the most comfortable masks that I have ever had the chance of using.
When putting it on for the first time you will quickly realise that it is very weighty. This is due to the fact that the mask has a whole fan attached to the right-cheek. With this fan comes motors and other elements.
Despite this weight though, the Purely Mask provided a great fit to my face (and the other people that I asked to test it) and after fitting the mask I could feel it moving with my breathing.
The biggest factor that influences the masks comfort though is the fact that the mask comes with an included headband. I have often complained about ear bands in the past, and this is one of my biggest issues with the common standard of reusable masks today.
The vast majority of reusable masks such as Cambridge Mask and Vogmask use ear bands. These bands work, but they also create a lot of pressure on the ears of the wearer, and over time they can be very uncomfortable.
While both of these brands offer optional headband accessories, they aren’t included with the basic models, and this is important. Many people don’t want to spend extra on optional accessories and understandably so.
The Purely KN95 mask, however, comes with adjustable ear bands that also have a headband included. After experiencing many reusable respirators in the past, I am very happy with the addition of a headband.
Therefore, although the mask is significantly heavier than most others, it isn’t really noticeable in real world use. The fact that a headband is included alleviates a lot of the possible pain, and in the end I didn’t notice the extra weight.
The mask is comparable to other reusable respirators in terms of internal conditions. All masks suffer from increased humidity and temperature inside and the Purely model is no exception. I did test the fans however, and I will discuss that more later on in the article.
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The design of the Purely Mask is one that I really like. I am someone who appreciates simple masks that don’t stand out, and the Purely is one of these masks. However, that isn’t to say that it looks bad!
The exterior of the mask has a graphite look with blue stitching. While it looks simple from afar, it looks unique and accented from up close.
Of course, the biggest standout feature of the design is the fan module. The fan module is big, and it is heavy. It’s something that you will instantly realise, and something that is unavoidable.
However, while the fan is big I don’t feel like it particularly stands out. As someone who lives in South Korea, I know what it’s like to live in a society where nearly everyone wears a mask. Here, I didn’t feel like I stood out at all.
The one exception was at night time. When you enable the fan, a blue light on the fan module will turn on. While this is usually fine at day time, it is something that can stand out at night time. The light is rather small, and it isn’t very obvious, but do expect a few extra looks when you walk past people in the dark.
As I have already mentioned, I love the ear-strap and headband combination. It alleviates a lot of pain on the ears and makes it far more comfortable than many other reusable respirators on the market.
Finally, while the mask does claim to be hand-stitched, it obviously isn’t. It is of a decent quality, and I do believe that it is a well made mask. However, it is not hand stitched.
If you are interested in fashionable dust masks that also provide fine dust protection, I recommend checking out the Idontcare mask.
When I first saw the mask, I assumed that the fan would function similarly to a valve. However, it’s actually implemented in a different way.
The intention of the fan is to draw external air into the mask so as to decrease the temperature and humidity within the mask. Anyone who has worn a respirator or mask for a long time will know how uncomfortable they can become over time!
Since the fan is actually intaking air, rather than expelling it, it is important that the air is filtered. Inside the fan, little filters can be placed that will allow all air entering the mask to be filtered before reaching the wearer.
The fan itself is quite small, but the fan module is quite big. It features three different speeds that also differ in sound levels. While the sound at the two lower levels is not noticeable by others while outdoors, the third level can be quite loud.
The wearer can always hear the fan, no matter what level. However, when there are other ambient sounds it’s hard for others to hear the fan even if they are less than one metre away.
The fan can also be taken apart. This allows you to change both the fan filters and the interior mask filter.
The fan can be charged with a micro-USB cable from a covered port in the top of the motor. Typical battery life is around 6 hours but can be a bit more or less depending on what speed you set the fan to.
Meo Air – Reusable Mask with > 99% filtration.
The price of the Xiaomi Purely mask differs over time, but the mask usually costs around $30 and has free shipping. This is about standard for reusable masks, with other reusable respirators such as Vogmask and Cambridge Mask also being around the $30 mark.
Compared to disposable respirators, this is a higher initial cost. However, it’s important to remember that the Purely KN95 mask also has interchangeable filters. This filters can be purchased and cost around $30 for 10 mask filters and 20 fan filters.
While there is no mention on the website, similar filters from other brands tend to last around 100 hours. While I need to do further testing, I would guess that these filters are similar. Therefore, over time, the Purely KN95 mask is a cheaper option that alternatives.
Is the Xiaomi Purely Mask Worth it?
So, after all of this, is the Purely Mask actually worth it? Well, to begin with I want to address the biggest question that I personally had before trying the mask for myself.
Does the active fan cooling actually help? Well, yes. But there is a downside. The fan has three speeds, and at the first speed, I could hardly notice a difference. On the second speed, I did begin to notice a difference but not as much as I would have hoped.
However, at the third and final speed level, I did notice a difference. I could feel some cool air coming into the mask and circulation. The downside though, is that this speed is the loudest and is audible for others in quiet situations. Further, at this speed the battery life is the lowest.
All of this is to say that they fan does provide some benefit, but the benefit wasn’t as good as I had hoped. The motor adds a lot of weight to the mask too, but this is hard to notice (at least for me) due to the full head strap which removes pressure from the ears.
- Comfortable mask that comes with a headband.
- Comparable pricing to other similar masks.
- Stylish and clean look.
- Replaceable filters that can be changed without replacing the whole mask.
- High PM2.5 filtration.
- Heavier than most masks due to the fan.
- The fan has limited impact on the air flow within the mask.
- This mask may stand out too much for some people. Especially at night time when the light is more obvious.
All in all, I had a good experience with the Purely Mask. It is a decent mask and most definitely a unique one. However, I wouldn’t recommend it due to the fan, as the performance is lacklustre. Overall, though, this is a well-fitting mask that is comfortable and provides good filtration.
If you are looking for a good fine dust mask that has interchangeable filters, this is a good option. If you have decided that this isn’t the mask for you, make sure to check out my post on the best reusable respirators!