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What is the difference between FFP1 and FFP2 respirators?

As the corona virus continues to spread throughout Asia and the rest of the world, many people choose a respirator recommended by the WHO as a protective measure. But which one should you buy? We have an overview of the difference between the individual masks for you.


Respirators (i.e. they are made of a substance that filters the air or contaminants) are based on a rating system and indicate how much protection they offer.

In the first place is FFP1, which protects against materials in concentrations of up to 4x OEL or 4x APF (assigned protection factor). Since it is (so to speak) the first rung on the ladder, they are the cheapest option.


Next comes FFP2 and these offer more protection than FFP1 at concentrations up to 12x OEL or 10x APF. They are the European equivalent to the N95 respirators used in the USA and comply with the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Without valve

In addition to the level of protection that each type of mask offers, there are also some design elements that you should consider.

Masks without a valve mean that the filter system is built into the fabric and therefore can be light and fairly discreet. This can make the mask comfortable to wear because it is not bulky and does not feel heavy on the face.

With valve

The other alternative to a mask without a valve is one with a valve. While this can make the mask a little bulkier and heavier (depending on the face mask), it allows air to escape from the mask. Valve masks are usually less sweaty and stuffy, making them more breathable and comfortable to wear.