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What’s the difference between N95, KN95, P2 and FFP2?

August 17, 2021
What’s the difference between N95, KN95, P2 and FFP2?

What’s the difference between N95, KN95, P2 and FFP2?

Are all the mask terminologies driving you mad?

It can be very confusing with all these letters and numbers flying around, why can’t we have one universal standard for what is classified as safe and reliable to use in a pandemic situation.

So, what is the difference between a P2, N95, KN95 FFP2 Face Mask? They are basically all the same with minor variations.


Disposable respirator masks are subject to various regulatory standards throughout the world. These standards specify certain required physical properties and performance characteristics in order for respirators to claim compliance. During a pandemic, health authorities will often use the following performance standards when making respirator recommendations.

  • P2 (Australia/New Zealand AUS/NZ 1716:2012) Respiratory protective devices describe three classes of particulate filter, Class P1, P2 and P3. The P2 respirator is equivalent to the USA standard N95 and endorsed by the Australian government for public use during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • N95 (United States NIOSH-42CFR84)
  • FFP2 (Europe EN 149-2001)
  • KN95 (China GB2626-2006)
  • Korea 1st class (Korea KMOEL – 2017-64)
  • DS2 (Japan JMHLW-Notification 214, 2018)

So, to keep things simple, if you reside in Australia or New Zealand, look for the P2 certified face mask which is endorsed by the Australian government. For 100% Australian made P2 respirator mask, click here.


Another frequently asked question is the difference between a P2 respirator mask and a surgical mask. There’s been a lot of confusion and miscommunication with the various media and medical groups and government bodies as to which option is more effective. So, to clear up any confusion:

The main difference – A P2 Respirator protects the wearer and surrounding environment. A surgical mask on the other hand is a loose-fitting device that creates a physical protective barrier which is intended to protect others, not the wearer, from saliva and respiratory secretions. Unlike a P2 Respirator Mask, a surgical mask has no seal around the face allowing airborne particles to enter from loose gaps.

If you have any further questions, please contact us.

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