Experts Say N95 Masks Offer The Best Protection Against Omicron — Here Are the Best Ones You Can Get Online

As the Covid-19 omicron variant continues to spread across the United States, a facial covering reevaluation is in order. While you've likely built up quite the collection of stylish cloth masks over the past two years, it may be time to trade them in for something a little more reliable, according to some experts. 

That's where N95 and KN95 masks come into play. The surgical-grade masks, or respirator-style masks, feature multiple layers and a disposable material for easy, clean use every time. Many of them even boast a certification from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), something cloth masks lack. While many N95 and KN95 masks have sold out across the country, we've found a few that are still in stock. Below, check out the best ones available online.

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Fangtian NIOSH-Certified N95 Mask

Fangtian's N95 mask is comfy, effective, and durable. Featuring an adjustable nose clip for a secure seal and at least 95 percent filtration efficiency against non-oil based particles, the mask is a pretty safe bet in crowds. Not to mention, sturdy, latex-free material and eyewear-compatibility offer ease with each wear. "This mask is comfortable," one Amazon reviewer wrote. "The padding around the nose is great, the seal is perfect, and I most definitely recommend this purchase. [The] straps seem very strong and stretchable." 

Shop now: $26 for 10; amazon.com

Kimberly-Clark NIOSH-Approved Professional N95 Mask

If you find tight masks bothersome, try this mask from Kimberly-Clark. It's constructed with a respirator-style pouch, which means it has an extra large breathing chamber for added comfort and easy air flow. It's also made with a bendable nose piece for a customizable fit, and special straps that are meant to be secured behind the head, rather than around the ears. "This 'duckbill' or 'pouch' N95 mask is a simple, brilliant design that folds flat," one customer wrote. "It conforms smoothly to the face, and the fabric feels soft. The bridge-of-nose wire is actually two parallel wires and molds well to the nose slope, preventing fog on eyeglasses." 

Shop now: $40 for 50; amazon.com

Maskc KN95 Face Mask

Looking to stock up? Order this pack of 100 stylish-yet-functional KN95 face coverings from celebrity-loved brand Maskc. The three-dimensional respirator masks feature an adjustable nose bridge, a breathable build, and 5-ply construction that keeps airborne droplets out. They're also made with comfort in mind, which shoppers are especially pleased with. "The KN95 black masks are the perfect fit for both my husband and myself," one reviewer wrote. "It is hard to find quality and protection, and a great fit, [but] these masks do it all. Plus, they are super comfortable on the face and ears."

Shop now: $320 for 100 (Originally $360); shopmaskc.com

Makrite NIOSH-Certified 9500-N95 Pre-Formed Cone Mask

This mask's star feature is its unique construction using low breathing resistance, which makes talking easy. It's also built with soft, synthetic polyester urethane foam on the outer side and a polypropylene meltblown fiber filter inside which protects against contaminants for up to eight hours. An adjustable aluminum nose piece prevents leakage and eyewear fogging for simple, worry-free wear. One reviewer raved that nothing gets through the mask when worn properly, writing, "I wore this mask on an airplane; when I lifted it briefly to take a sip of water, I was nearly overcome with the scent of perfume my neighbor had doused herself with. While wearing the mask, I couldn't smell it at all."

Shop now: $21 for 20; amazon.com

Evolvetogether Rio de Janeiro KN95 Mask

No matter what you're looking for in a mask, there's a good chance the Rio de Janeiro has it. The high-quality mask, which is a favorite among celebrities, is designed with 6-ply technology, double filtration, odor-reducing activated charcoal, and a streamlined profile for style. And beyond keeping viruses at bay, the mask is ideal for blocking increased air pollution and soothing intense allergies, too. A pack of these comes with five masks and a plant-based biodegradable pouch for mask storage when not in use. While it's technically not in stock right now, it is set to restock in early January. 

Shop now: $15 for 5; evolvetogether.com

DemeTech NIOSH-Approved N95 Respirator Face Mask

This respirator-style mask boasts five layers of protection which filters out more than 98 percent of airborne particles. Because it's also extremely comfy and breathable, shoppers can wear it for extended periods of time. Nearly 600 customers have given the masks a perfect rating on Amazon too, with one writing, "I wore this mask for 11 hours on a flight from Switzerland to the U.S. It fits very well, tight around the edges and chin. And you can see it move in a little when you inhale, indicating that air is going through the mask and not around it… I didn't have any straps break after wearing them during a three week trip to Europe." 

Shop now: $65 for 20; amazon.com

Honeywell NIOSH-Approved N95 Respirator Mask

This cup-shaped mask could not be comfier or or more dependable. Its lightweight construction is surprisingly sturdy yet gentle on the face. It features a spacious breathing chamber, an adjustable nose piece, and multi-layer adsorption media for lower breathing resistance. It even minimizes pressure points, so you can wear it all day long. "[It] doesn't get better than this!" one recent reviewer wrote. "Well made, great fit, and easy breathing. Peace of mind is worth a lot! Good gear for wood shop use and this ongoing pandemic."

Shop now: $33 for 20; amazon.com 

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