The “KF” stands for “Korean Filter,” Sara Andrabi, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, tells Health. “The ’94’ represents the filtration efficiency, which means how good the mask is at filtering out particles. In this case, that is 94%.”
“These are basically N95 masks, just from South Korea,” infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, MD, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, tells Health.
Like N95 masks, KF94s have an adjustable bridge that can be manipulated to get a secure fit over the bridge of your nose. They also have side flaps to contour to your face. “These help close the gaps around the face and limit unfiltered air entry,” Dr. Andrabi says.
KFN4 masks are disposable and are readily used in South Korea. “It is worn by the general public to help with filtering pollution and dust,” Dr. Andrabi says.
And, along with N95s and (legitimate) KN95s, “these masks are the best types of masks to protect against COVID-19,” Thomas Russo, M.D., professor and chief of infectious disease at the University at Buffalo in New York, tells Health.
How does a KF94 mask compare to an N95 mask or a KN95 mask?
An N95 mask (aka an N95 respirator) is a respiratory protective device that’s designed to achieve a close facial fit and “very efficient filtration of airborne particles,” according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These masks filter out at least 95% of airborne particles, per the CDC. Similarly, KN95 masks are the Chinese equivalent of N95 masks.
KF94 masks are similar, but offer 94% filtration. “There is not much difference between 94 and 95% filtration,” Dr. Andrabi says. But, she points out, fit is “an important factor” in how efficient these masks are as well. It’s also important to note that KF94 masks are not on the FDA’s list for emergency use authorized face masks, as of right now.
The shape of KF94 masks are different from N95 masks, too. Collins describes it as having a “boat-style design,” with a wide band that wraps around the center of the mask. N95 masks, on the other hand, have either a cup or duck bill style. “The KF94 mask hits a much wider distribution of faces due to its shape,” Collins says.
What do doctors think of KF94 masks?
Experts say they’re worth trying. “Clearly, we need good masks now,” Rajeev Fernando, MD, an infectious disease physician working in field hospitals across the country, tells Health. “N95 is the gold standard, followed closely by the KN95 and KF94.”
But Dr. Adalja points out that KF94 masks—along with N95s and KN95s—can be harder to breathe in than cloth face masks. “They’re more difficult to wear,” he says, adding, “I don’t think that the general public needs to wear a mask at this filtration level.” Still, he says, a KF94 “doesn’t take away from hospital supplies,” which is important for the medical community.
In general, Dr. Andrabi says that “wearing masks help slow the spread of COVID-19” and the KF94 mask is “another type of mask that is available to the public.” KF94 masks aren’t perfect, though. “They don’t last as long as a cloth mask and cannot be washed,” Dr. Andrabi. But, she adds, “The most important thing is to ‘mask up,’ so wearing the mask you feel comfortable keeping on is of utmost importance.”
How to buy KF94 masks
You can find original supliers here kf94s.com, drpurimask.com and airqueennano.com these are verified original suppliers from south korea.