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Type IIR and FFP2 surgical masks are ideal for use in public and socially distant environments. They have ear loops and adjustable nose clips to ensure a tight fit. These masks help stop the spread of saliva or respiratory secretions exhaled by the person wearing them, making them a great option for stopping the spread of viruses and potentially harmful bacteria. But what are the differences between the two types of masks?

Type llR masks

The surgical face mask type IIR is a blue and white 3-layer face mask with an integrated nose clip. These masks have different layer materials and thicknesses in order to meet the certification of the mask type IIR (EN 14683). The outer layer consists of a polypropylene fleece with a water-repellent effect, the middle layer of a highly effective meltblown layer and the inner layer of a soft skin fleece. With a bacterial filtration efficiency of 98%, these face masks provide effective protection against a range of pathogens and particles.

The associated standard includes a number of factors including filtration efficiency, breathing resistance, splash resistance and microbiological purity. This standard specifies different types, whereby Type IIR must have at least 98% filtration efficiency.

They are suitable for their loose fit for the public or everyday life. Unfortunately, they only help to stop the aerosols when coughing or sneezing. They do not have an exceptional filter effect. The protection factor is therefore not particularly high. That is why we come to the FFP2 masks

FFP2 masks

The FFP2 masks have a different certificate, it is EN 149: 2001 + A1: 2009. Masks with this identification number have been checked by DEKRA and have passed a test. In contrast to the Type llR certification with 98%, the FFP2 masks only have to have a 94% filter effect. That is where the biggest difference lies.

In addition to the type llR masks, thanks to their tight fit, they are also suitable for self-protection and thus offer better protection overall. In this way, they can still provide good protection even when the distance is smaller and, compared to the type llR masks, guarantee better protection for everyone.

The structure of the FFP2 mask is far from that of the type llR mask, because they often have up to 5 layers. They also have a slightly firmer shape that hugs the face well.


FFP2 masks are better when it comes to effect. Since it is not only the effect that matters, the Type llR masks certainly also make sense, as long as the minimum distance is observed. In conclusion, one can say that both types have their raison d’etre. However, if you want to protect yourself as well as possible, you should use the FFP2 masks.