Face Mask Levels of Protection

Safety is everyone’s concern, but your mask choice is your own. With all of the key facts and safety factors in mind for facial protection, you can select an the correct mask to fit your need. The following is a quick guide to how masks are divided into categories of protection based on US and China design standards.

  • Basic Protection – This is any face covering from a cotton mask to bandanna face covering. The manufacture does not provide any specifics of what is filtered, if it blocks liquids, or if it may be flame resistant. These are used to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus by the wearer.
  • Level 1 Filtration – Designed to block out particles that are 2.5 microns. This is pollution such as automotive exhaust or fine dust. This type of mask is good for home or industrial use such as sanding wood or aerosol painting.
  • Level 2 Filtration – Includes Level 1 protection and includes flame resistance with liquid barriers. This type of mask is used for more basic medical or surgical procedures.
  • Level 3 Filtration – Includes Level 2 protection and includes a higher level protection (greater than 95%) for small 1 micron particles. These particles are typically the size of viruses.
Face Mask Comparison Table


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