KN95 Masks and KF94 Masks Review for Kids and Adults (+Coupons!)

Review and comparison of the best KF94 and KN95 face masks for kids and adults
Left to right: Enro mask; MASKC KN95 and disposable face masks; Happy Mask

We’ve spent a fortune on face masks, trying on dozens to find the best KN95 masks and KF94 masks for our family and friends. My husband and I are both physicians; while he sees patients at the hospital, my work centers around online education. As such, safety for our community and yours is top priority. To help you narrow down the options, we’ve reviewed our favorite high-filtration KN95 masks and KF94 masks for kids and adults.

Due to the surging delta and omicron variants, we’ve upgraded to high-filtration KN95 and KF94 masks in our daily routine. In addition to safety, comfort is key for long days at school, work, grocery stores, sports practice, music lessons, and doctor’s appointments.

Review and comparison of the best cloth, disposable, and KN95 masks for kids and adults
From left to right: Vida/Lutema M95c mask (no longer recommended due to size/quality inconsistency); MASKC disposable face mask; Happy Mask reusable cloth mask for kids

For context, my husband and I have also received 3 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, and our children have received 2 doses. So far, none of us have contracted Covid-19, and we credit masks for providing additional protection to our family.

Related: How to Encourage Kids To Wear Masks and Protect the Community

Review and comparison of cloth masks, KN95 masks, and KF94 masks for kids and adults

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for general educational purposes only and based on current available guidelines. The recommendations may change as new information and research become available. Please see your local, board-certified, licensed physician for personal medical advice.

This post may have some affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I earn a small commission which supports our educational tips at no additional cost to you. Please see the disclosure policy for details.

Which kind of mask is best for my kids and family?

In addition to physical distancing, hand washing, and disease prevalence, mask effectiveness depends on 3 main factors: filtration, fit, and comfort.

Filtration

How well does your mask block out infectious particles from other people? How well does it keep in your own germs? This is the mask’s filtration efficacy.

Filtration efficacy depends on the mask material, number of layers, and the size of bacteria and virus particles being filtered. When mask companies advertise their filtration efficacy, the data should be from a reputable, independent laboratory (eg, Nelson Labs).

best KN95 mask or KF94 mask for kids - good fit versus poor fit with loose gaps
Left: Bluna KF94 Mask (pictured at age 8); Right: random disposable surgical mask

Fit

Health-care professionals undergo fit-testing to make sure their N95 respirator mask has no leaks around the sides.

Since most of us are not able to undergo official testing, the best we can do is aim for a snug fit. The mask should cover the nose (including bridge), mouth, chin, and cheeks without gaps.

According to ACS publications, “gaps (as caused by an improper fit of the mask) can result in over a 60% decrease in the filtration efficiency.” In other words, a mask becomes drastically less effective when it is loose.

Generally, an adjustable nose wire and ear loops can minimize leaks. But if a mask fogs up your glasses, there’s a gap above your nose.

Comfort

Last but not least, how a mask feels will influence proper and consistent wear. Modern mask companies are trying to offer adjustable ear loops and softer, lightweight materials to make the mask tolerable for long hours.

Which mask is most protective against infection?

As mentioned previously, protection from infection depends on multiple factors, and masks are just one part of the strategy.

Strictly speaking to filtration efficacy, fit-tested N95 respirator masks are the most effective. However, they are usually reserved for extremely high-risk exposure, such as physicians and firefighters.

For the rest of us, KN95 masks (made in China) and KF94 masks (made in South Korea) provide up to 95% filtration efficacy.

Generally, cloth masks have low filtration efficacy compared to the above options. However, thanks to modern technology, there are 2 reusable cloth masks with high bacterial and viral filtration.

But keep in mind the other factors, fit, and comfort. And consistency is also key. KN95 masks and KF94 masks are bound to fail if you take it off to talk, take photos, eat dinner at a crowded restaurant, etc.

What age can kids wear face masks?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children over age 2 years can wear face masks. Babies and toddlers under age 2 years should not wear masks due to the risks of suffocation, strangulation, and choking. Per the CDC, face coverings should also be avoided in people who cannot remove a mask without assistance.

How many masks do you need?

Everybody’s face shape is different, so I recommend trying multiple brands to see which one is most comfortable. The ideal number of masks to buy also depends on how frequently you are able to do laundry or if you’re using disposable masks.

Keep in mind that masks should be replaced when they are wet (eg, drool, sneezes, sweat) or soiled. For each day that your family plans on going outside, I suggest having a few masks ready per person.

In addition to the mask my kids wear to school, they bring 2 extra in their backpack. In my car, I have a dozen extra KN95 or KF94 masks as backup.

Comparison and review of the best cloth, KN95 masks, and KF94 masks for kids and adults (coupon codes)

For reference, my children are currently 5 and 8 years old. They were 3 and 6 when I first published this post, and I’ve kept one of the original images for reference.

Our family’s current measurements from the top of our nasal bridge to bottom of chin are as follows:

  • 5-year-old son: 4 inches
  • 8-year-old daughter: 4.5 inches
  • Mom: 5.25 inches
  • Dad: 6.25 inches

The best reusable cloth masks with high filtration for kids and adults

If you’re looking for high-filtration cloth masks, check out Enro Masks and Happy Masks. The NYTimes Wirecutter also independently tested and recommended these 2 brands. If you feel strongly about reducing environmental waste, consider these two brands.

Plus, they come in fun designs! While function is more important than fashion, having a mask in your favorite color or design is a nice bonus!

Enro Masks

Review of Enro high filtration washable cloth face masks for kids
My children wearing Enro masks (pictured at ages 4 and 7 years old)

These reusable cloth masks are very light and comfortable and come in 2 styles: the Enro Tech mask which sit closer to the lips, and the Enro Curv mask which curves away from the mouth.

My children have worn the Enro Tech mask at school and while playing sports. Other perks:

  • Adjustable ear loops
  • Machine washable and driable up to 100 times
  • Comes in 5 sizes: XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL

Both children prefer Enro Tech over Enro Curve. For reference, my son wears size XXS, my daughter wears size XS, and I wear size M.

*Promo code cannot be combined with other offers.

Happy Masks

Happy Masks review and comparison of the best face masks for kids
Wearing Happy Masks at age 7 years (left) and 3 years (right)

Happy Masks are my children’s absolute favorite to wear at school, playground, and sports. They are currently sold by pre-order or waitlist order and come in 2 styles: Pro, which requires hand-washing and air-drying, and Ultra, which can sustain a few machine-washings. Other perks:

  • Adjustable ear loops
  • Structured beak-shaped fabric keeps it’s shape and doesn’t bump into your lips.
  • Hand-washable for at least 50 times
  • Comes in 4 sizes: S, M, L, XL

To track how often they have been worn, we mark the date on the back of the tag and keep tally on an excel sheet.

*Promo code is valid for 1 order.

The best disposable KN95 masks and KF94 masks for kids and adults

A disposable mask is convenient to throw away after a potentially high-risk exposure, such as the airport, a doctor’s appointment, or busy school day.

Bluna KF94 Masks

Bluna KF94 mask for kids and adults
Bluna KF94 Mask for Kids

These are personally my favorite KF94 mask, and the adult size fits my husband, too! They are the softest disposable masks that we have tried, and the adjustable ear loops don’t hurt. Yes, you heard correctly. Adjustable ear loops, whoohoo!

While they also fit my children well, unfortunately, my children find the boat-style mask a bit awkward to put on and wear. However, many of their classmates wear Bluna masks.

Bluna masks often sell-out quickly, so keep an eye out for when they restock at the following shops:

Posh KF94 masks

Posh KF94 masks come in lots of fun designs, like houndstooth and faux Burberry check! The boat-shape gives great coverage – if fits your face. Compared to the Bluna masks, they run a bit smaller and are a bit stiffer.

I am able to wear the adult size Posh mask for a few hours before my ears ache. The kids size is too small for my daughter. While it fits my son, it is a bit tricky for him to wear independently.

Although Posh masks didn’t work for my kids, many of their classmates wear these masks. Check how your measurement compares with our family to see if this mask would work for you.

MASKC KN95 masks and surgical masks

MASKC Disposable Face Mask for Kids and KN95 Mask for Adults
MASKC KN95 mask for adults and 3- ply disposable face mask for kids (coupon chalkacademy for 20% off)

Mask has well-made KN95 masks and surgical masks in fun colors and designs. Note that the ear loops are not adjustable

  • MASKC KN95 masks:
    • The kids size fits my 8-year-old daughter well, but the ear loops are a little tight. My son also likes the MASKC KN95 mask but there is a slight gap above his little nose.
    • Unfortunately, the ear loops are too tight for my face. I’ve given my adult-sized masks to a friend with a narrower face.
  • MASKC Surgical masks
    • They fit our entire family, including my husband, very well! Now that we have a ready supply of higher filtration options, we currently do not wear their surgical masks.
4C Air KN95 Mask for Kids Review
4C Air KN95 mask for kids

4C Air KN95 Masks

These masks have become a great back-up to keep in the car and backpacks. What we like:

  • Well-made, light-weight mask material – they have not ripped on us
  • Adjustable nose wire
  • Soft adjustable ear loops for the small (kids) size
  • Comes in 3 sizes: S, M, L

The small kids size fits my son very well but too small for my daughter. Unfortunately, size medium is way too big for her but too tight and uncomfortable for me. I wish the adjustable ear loops were an option for all of the sizes. The other downside is the plain white color; my kids find these rather “boring” compared to their other masks!

Disposable versus reusable masks

If you’ve read this far and find yourself debating between disposable versus reusable, here are pros and cons to consider.

  • Filtration after washing: Many people believe that single-use KN95 masks / KF94 masks are more trustworthy than reusable high-filtration cloth masks. While testing at independent labs have shown continued high filtration in Enro and Happy Masks, there is potential for user error and losing track of washes.
  • Fit, comfort, and compliance: Many kids, including my own, feel strongly that disposable masks are less comfortable than Enro and Happy Masks. And most KN95 masks and KF94 masks also do not fit my children’s face as well as the Happy and Enro Masks. As mentioned before, if there’s a gap, then the KN95 / KF94 mask efficacy will be lower, anyway.
  • Environment: Obviously, the giant downside of disposable masks is all of the garbage. To mitigate this, we are using the Terracycle Zero Waste Recycling Program. We also use this grabber tool to pick up trash in the parks and beaches.

Masks that didn’t work for us

Remember: function over fashion!!

We have tried Dr. Puri KF94, Vistaprint, Jaanuu, Figs, Under Amour, Reebok, Everhart, Elestory, Vivian Chan, HiddenBloom, Gap, Target, and so many more. These masks were uncomfortable, did not fit well, and/or had low filtration.

At this point in the pandemic, there are so many better options.

Dangerous masks to avoid

Please DO NOT buy masks with valves, because exhalation valves can push infected air from your body into the room or area that you’re in.

Valved masks protect workers from dust at a construction site or people in heavily polluted cities; they were not designed for this pandemic.

Masks for people with hearing loss

Clear Mask is a popular, FDA-cleared option for audiologists, speech and language pathologists, nannies, and other professionals who work with people with hearing loss.

Eye protection

Tips for organizing masks

How to store and organize cloth masks
Hanger rack to organize masks
Kids' Mask Organization with Bilingual Labels (English, Chinese, Pinyin, Zhuyin)
Stasher silicone bags with printable bilingual labels

What are your family’s favorite KN95 or KF94 mask?

Please share your experience in the comments below!

Even though we aren’t near each other, it’s a small world and we’re all in this together!

Praying for your health and safety, friends!

30 Comments

  1. Do you feel a difference in comfort or anything else between the Base and Pro (Happy Mask)?
    I’ve bought a few clothes ones for my almost 4 and almost 6yo from Nostrom, locally made, amazon, disney. Nothing fits well or breathe well so far. Nose wire and ear loop adjustments are crucial as the ones I got didn’t.

    1. Hi Carol! I’ve been pretty disappointed and surprised by the mediocre masks from most retailers as well! We only have the pro Happy Mask, so I can’t compare it with the base version. If you end up getting both, please share your thoughts!

  2. Thank you so much for your in depth masks review!! It looks like we’re in it for the long haul and good masks with proper filtration&fit are much needed now, since there’s suggestion that the virus may be airborne. Praying for your family’s wellbeing.

  3. Thank you so much for posting this in-depth review of masks Betty – just purchased a couple from both 3MD, Happy Masks, and Filti! My family and I can’t wait to try the fit out for these. Suffice to say the ones we’ve been using have been just okay.

    Quick question – is it okay to machine wash the metal nose piece, or do you have to take those out when you put it through the washer?

    1. Never mind! They responded and said that
      The nose piece and the filter are sewn directly into the mask, so there’s no need to take anything out. The filters are made of 100% polyester and withstand washing in a washing machine well. Simply toss the whole mask in the washing machine on gentle cycle, then air dry before use again.

  4. Definitely try Halo Life masks for your husband in the XL. Our family has been very pleased with them. I imagine they are similar to the happy mask, except that the halo life nanofilter is removable so you can wash the mask itself and continue to reuse, while the filter is good for 200 hrs and then you replace into filter pocket (with their special thin nanofiber filters).

    1. I’m also ordering the happy mask (which is how I found your post!) to give those a try for my son because the pattern is definitely more kid friendly. Thanks for this, it was super informative!

  5. Thank you for your reviews. I’d like to buy the Happy Masl but don’t know what size. I’m a medium sized woman but I have a large nose and also will be getting sinus surgery soon so all my masks hurt right now. Do you think the large will be too large and leave air pockets? Thank you and stay safe .

    1. Hi Susan! Thanks for reaching out. I think it would be best to email Happy Masks to ask about the dimensions and sizing recommendations. The large is too loose on my face, but I’m not sure if it will be too large for you. Stay safe!

  6. The Enro masks have a decent fit, but they seem so thin, and even with the filter in them it seems as if you can see right through them in spots… the filter layer even appears to have holes in it… It makes me question how they can actually be that effective against covid. But you’d still recommend them? Can I ask what makes you confident that they are effective masks even though they are so thin? I’m truly curious – they almost just seem too good to be true… just want to protect my kids as well as possible in these crazy times. Thanks.
    (ps – I’ve found the halo life masks to be a good option as well. Would be curious to hear your thoughts on those)

    1. Hi! Have you reached out to Enro to ask about this concern? The Enro masks that we have don’t have this issue, but I think it’s a good question to clarify. I will keep an eye out for this in future orders from Enro and update this post with any changes. I saw that NYTimes Wirecutter independently tested Enro and found the fabric to have great filtration. Re: Halo, I’ve heard mixed reviews about their masks, some rave reviews and others meh. I did not order them, because I bought other masks with separate insertable filters and didn’t like this extra step. I’m glad that they have worked out for you though and looks like they have many options in stock compared to Happy Masks and Enro.

    2. Hi Kari,
      I purchased Enro masks for my son who just started kindergarten, after reading so many raving reviews for these masks I thought I had found the perfect one. When they arrived I was also very surprised at how thin they are, and that you can see light through them, and there appears to be small dot sized perforations all throughout the fabric.

      Like you, this caused me concern, because it just doesn’t seem protective enough? I also noticed that the filter inside is put in the center of the mask, but does not cover from edge to edge on the sides, or on the under side at the chin. I contacted Enro about this, and they said it does reach side to side? There’s a good half inch on each side of the mask that the filter doesn’t cover.

      I do like the way these masks fit my son, but I do worry about how protective they actually are?

      I’ve spent so much time researching and trying to find the most protective masks too, but don’t feel too confident about a lot of them.

      Please let me know if you find out any more info about these masks, would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

  7. I just ordered Enro masks so I can’t speak on how it is. But these comments regarding the small perforations is concerning. In addition, with so many different sizes, I’m not sure what sizes to order! I ordered a S for my 11 year old…hopefully it fits.

    1. Hi Linda! Sorry for just seeing your message now.

      I emailed Enro and asked them about the concerns re: appearance of holes. This was their reply:

      “It may look like there are holes in the filter layer, but they are actually just divots in the fabric.

      The perforations on the exterior layer of the mask allow for improved breathability of the mask. It does not impact the protection provided by the mask or the filter

      Our masks are made out of 3 layers:

      Outer Layer: 100% polyester treated with SILVADUR™ antimicrobial and water repellent finishes
      Filter Layer: Melt Blown Polypropylene (MBPP)
      Inner Layer: 100% cotton treated with SILVADUR™ antimicrobial finish

      Here is a link to the test reports:

      https://d23ibfstiksfhd.cloudfront.net/

      How did the size Large end up working out for your son? Their website has as size chart here; they suggest using a ruler to measure the distance from the top of the nose bridge (between eyes) to the chin.

    1. Hi Lindsay! My son wears a size XXS (Kids). Their website has as size chart here; they suggest using a ruler to measure the distance from the top of the nose bridge (between eyes) to the chin.

  8. Hello Betty, we have been using reusable masks, but thanks to your article I just ordered some surgical masks for my Kindergartener from MASKC and I was excited to see that they carry kids Kn95 as well. My daughter is turning 2 this week, and I was wondering if you had any recommendations for toddlers? She is mainly at home, but we want her to start practicing masking. She see’s her brother, and us wearing them so I am hoping that the transition will happen naturally.

    1. Hi Rose! It’s so great to hear from you and I hope your family has been safe and healthy! Happy belated birthday to your daughter, and so sorry for the late reply! (Have been taking a long internet break!) How did the MASKC masks fit on her? If they are too big, I would recommend trying the 4C Air KN95 masks size S. Not affiliated, but I just updated this post with a photo, review, and coupon code for 4C Air. Happy Mask size S also tends to work well for the toddler/preschool age, and I think they are ramping up inventory soon. Enro mask XXS might be a little big for 2yo’s though. Please let me know if I can help with anything else!

      1. Hello Betty, thank you for your reply. The MASKC KN95 masks actually fit my daughter very well, and do not move around on her face where it is so small like the surgery style. She also likes the rainbow pattern I picked :). We found the Enro mask XXS to be too big for her and have been unable to order happy masks in stock, but I will keep checking. In the meantime, I am going to order a package of 4C Air KN95 masks size S to try as well – thank you for the recommendation. I hope you and your family are well. Your posts are missed, but I am sure the internet break was much needed and has been invigorating. Thank you again.

  9. Thanks for your reviews! My mother bought some of the Enro masks for my sister who has significant health concerns, and they work so well for her. I was given the remaining masks as she rarely goes out due to being high risk. We are both adults, and the youth size fits us both perfectly. We are the waiting list for the happy mask for the entire family, and I cant wait until we are up!

  10. Would you say that a properly-fitting Enro mask offers similar protection to a KN-95? My kids seem to like Enro the best but all over the news I’m hearing we should be switching away from cloth! It is so confusing!

    1. Hi Sarah! I agree it’s so confusing and tricky! Our family has debated about this multiple times over the year, especially with the omicron surge. Based on filtration testing results for Enro and Happy Masks (plus Wirecutter’s updated testing results), these 2 brands seem to be much better than regular cloth masks. If they fit properly with no leaks around the mask, then their filtration efficacy should be similar to KN95/KF94 masks per their laboratory testing results. I added a section toward the bottom of the article about pros and cons to consider with disposable KN95/KF94 versus Enro and Happy Masks if you want to take a look.

      Although we have tried numerous KN95/KF94 masks for our kids, we have decided to let them go to school with their Happy Masks / Enro Masks. For our kids, these masks fit and feel much better than disposable KN95/KF94s. I know that they will be less likely to touch/readjust the masks that feel best to them, and thus they will be more likely to wear it correctly during a long school day. It’s the best that we can do for now. I hope this helps with your decision and that your family can stay safe and healthy during this time!

  11. Hi!

    My 4 year-old has been wearing Enro masks for the past few months and they fit her very well (size XXS) and she’s happy wearing them. However, I’m a little concerned about the fact that the masks are treated with SILVADUR (which I think might be classified as a pesticide). Any insight you have into this anti-microbial treatment would be appreciated. I’m considering switching over to Happy Masks. Thank you!

    1. Hi Elisa, thanks for your question! At this time, I haven’t heard of concerns from other physicians or scientists about Silvadur-treated fabrics. It seems to be a common component of fabric masks by other popular companies, such as Jannuu and Wear Figs. With that said, my children love Happy Masks the best, but they are still intermittently wearing Enro masks. And I will keep trying to updating this post with new guidelines and recommendations!

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