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Before buying any mask, you should know the characteristics of the mask. Here is an article from N95 Masks vs FPP2 Masks, N95 and FFP2 are similar types of respirators. These masks supposedly protect both the wearer and the people around them. The World Health Organization cites studies that show that the filter systems of FFP2 and N95 masks are 94 and 95 percent effective, respectively. Their increased effectiveness has led countries like Austria and Germany to make them compulsory on public transport. FFP3 masks are most effective, followed by FFP2 / N95, then surgical masks, and finally sheet masks.

FFP2 masks are made up of three layers of synthetic nonwovens, available in a range of thicknesses, with layers of filtration in between - it is this combination of factors that makes these powerful results. But: 94 to 95 percent of what? The masks are then tested by seeing what percentage of those tiny particles get through, and in the case of FFP2 certification, only six percent or less can do that.

There are equivalents around the globe including a standard certified in Europe and available in the UK - the FFP2 mask. FFP2 simply stands for “filtering face piece”, the number indicating the level of protection. FFP2 and N95 face masks are not exactly the same, but studies show that there isn't a substantial difference between their effectiveness.

FFP2 masks are best used by health care workers or by those caring for someone who may have Covid-19, in a community facility. If you feel that you need that extra protection, FFP2 face masks are now available for purchase from some retailers. Here is a selection that WIRED has not tested. FFP2 respirators are very important personal protective equipment for doctors and other medical personnel who are in close contact with Covid-19 patients. As shortages have occurred, it is very important to ensure that there are enough of them available to hospitals during the pandemic.

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