KF94 Korean masks are required to test for “CO2 clearance,” which prevents CO2 from building up inside the mask. In contrast, N95 masks don’t have this requirement. To get the mask label certified, Korea KF94requires human fit-tests, The US N95 certification does not require a fit test.

KF94 is air filtration rated by Korean FDA to filter 94% of 0.4 ㎛ airbourn particles

Although KF94 and N95 have different standard in different countries, they are almost identical in function.N95 is tested with NaCl(Sodium chloride) which filters at least 95% of airborne particles but is not resistant to oil. However, KF94 is additionally tested with Paraffin Oil. SO KF94 is more effective in blocking LIQUID harmful substances or infectious diseases.

The number on a NIOSH rated masks signifies the filtration effectiveness of the filter. For example, an N95 mask is required to stop AT LEAST 95% of particles of 0.3 microns in size. The standards require N95 masks to be somewhat easier to breathe out of “exhalation resistance”

When people are infected with respiratory viruses, they emit viral particles whenever they talk, breathe, cough, or sneeze. These particles are encased in globs of mucus, saliva, and water. Bigger globs fall faster than they evaporate, so they splash down nearby—these are traditionally called “droplets.” Smaller globs evaporate faster than they fall, leaving dried-out viruses that linger in the air and drift farther afield—these are called “aerosols.”  These “aerosols” are usually 1㎛ or less and paritcles of Corona Virus is as small as 0.1㎛ ~ 0.2 ㎛. Both N95 & KF94 will completely block these theoretically.

KF94 Dust Disinfection PM0.4 KF94 & PM2.5 Dual Function Face Mask FDA Approved

Korean KF rated masks come in two different levels, KF80 and KF94. Like the NIOSH system, the number represents the filtration rate of particles, and this makes the masks very easy to compare.

The KF system is based on the European FFP rating system and as such, it performs almost identically. A KF80 mask performs the same as an FFP1 mask, and KF94 will perform the same as an FFP2 mask.⁶

If possible, use KF94 masks where possible, as they have significantly more protection than KF80 masks. In Korea, KF80 masks are often aimed at children and KF94 at adults.

N95, and KF94  comparison table

Difference Between N95 and KF94 Masks Charted Out

They look similar, and they filter a nearly identical percentage of particles—95% versus 94%. This chart from 3M explains the differences between the N95 and “first class” Korean masks. The columns highlight these two types of mask.

On the metric that most people care about (filtration effectiveness), they’re nearly identical. In most circumstances, mask users will not care about a 1% difference in filtration.

difference between n95 and kf94 mask

N95 vs. KF94 Masks: Bottom Line


On the factor that most people care about (filtration) N95 and KF94 masks are nearly identical. However, there are small differences in other factors, such as breathing resistance and fit-testing. Most KN95 are made in China Where as KF94 are only made in South Korea.

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