The 5 Best Respirators
If you work around dust, toxic chemicals, smoke, wood chips, saw dust, or other noxious substances, you need the best respirators to protect you. In addition to their ability to come in a variety of designs or styles, you’re recommended to check out respiratory masks. But it can take time and effort to find the best one for you, so here are our respirator reviews and ratings.
In This Article
Best Choice: Safety Works SWX00320 Multi-Purpose Respirator
This is the best respirator because it’s lightweight and meets the safety requirements listed by OSHA. It also comes with low-profile cartridges that are best for spray painting and contains a tight and flexible seal for your face.
The Safety Works Multi-purpose Respirator is the best respirator for you because it contains a patented and flexible facepiece that’s able to offer a tight seal against your face. Not only that, but this is the best respirator for spray painting, since it comes with low-profile cartridges that allow you to still see fully.
This facepiece is ideal for working with various types of chemicals, including lead, asbestos, toxic dusts, fiberglass, ammonia, formaldehyde, or even acid gases. In addition to these benefits, this respiratory mask meets the requirements listed by OSHA and NIOSH, which can ensure the safety of this product.
Item Key Features:
- Only weighs 1.5 pounds
- Contains a tight and flexible seal around half of your face
- Includes low-profile cartridges for maximized view
- Some of the cartridges for this facepiece are difficult to find for purchase
Premium Pick: PD-101 Full Face N95 Respirator
This is the best respirator because it has high density elastic straps for maximized comfort. It also includes voice amplification and an ergonomic design plus air circulation that prevents the mask from fogging.
The Parcil Distribution Full Face N95 Respirator is the best respirator because it’s capable of leading the industry with its technology and design. More specifically, this is the best respirator because it has a large voice amplification, an ergonomic design, and has air circulation that is able to prevent the mask from fogging.
In addition to these benefits, this is the best respirator because is has an easy dual filter replacement as well as high density elastic straps for maximized comfort. When you purchase this product, it comes with two cartridges plus a breathing valve. This product can also be classified as the best respirator for woodworking because it has air circulation that prevents the mask from ever fogging, and it’s also impact-resistant.
Item Key Features:
- Has a wide-view perspective ratio
- Includes a sound-repeating diaphragm that allows for easy communication in the public
- Is able to protect your full face, rather than just your nose and mouth
- Not recommended for firefighters or military-use
Best Value: 3M Rugged Comfort Quick Latch Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator
This is the best respirator because it is the most affordable. It is produced with resilient silicone so it’s able to provide the best comfort and durability.
The 3M Rugged Comfort Half Facepiece Respirator is classified as the best respirator for you if you’re on a budget, since it’s available for a cheap price. Additionally, this respiratory mask is produced with a resilient silicone material that’s able to provide the best comfort, durability, and stability. It also has a soft and firm seal that’s able to fit tightly against your face.
Furthermore, this is the best respirator because it contains cool flow valves that assist in reducing the heat and moisture that’s built up inside of the mask while you wear it, so it can be comfortable if you have a beard. Likewise, this is the best respirator because the exhalation valance cover directs moisture downward and forces it out of the path of fogging your eye piece.
- Comes with an adjustable harness
- Has an exhalation valve cover for maximized air flow
- Doesn’t provide protection for your full face
Editor’s Choice: 3M 7162 Full-Facepiece Spray Paint Respirator
This is the best respirator because it includes changeable filters and cartridges that can prolong the life of the respirator. It is also lightweight at 1.4 pounds.
The 3M Spray Paint Respirator is classified as the best respirator for spray painting because it represents a reusable design, since it comes with changeable filters as well as cartridges that can lengthen the life of the product.
Furthermore, this is the best respirator because it’s able to shield not only your nose and mouth from harmful chemicals and particles, but it also shields your eyes from these particles as well. This respiratory mask also comes with P95 filters for maximized protection.
- Includes P95 filters
- Comes with 2 organic vapor cartridges
- Only weighs 1.4 pounds
- More expensive than some of the other respirators on the market
Honorable Mention: Yinshome Respirator Mask
This is the best respirator because it protects against toxic chemicals and is produced with a premium silica gel material. The cartridges are low-profile, so vision isn’t compromised while wearing this respirator.
The Yinshome Safety Respirator is labeled as the best respirator because it’s produced with high-quality materials. For instance, this product is composed of a premium silica gel that’s able to offer maximized protection as well as ultimate comfort while you’re wearing it.
Not only that, but this respiratory mask is able to offer dual protection, since the legs are collapsible and removable. Your vision isn’t compromised while wearing this respirator, since the cartridges are low-profile.
- Contains adjustable straps
- Protects against paint, chemicals, polish, pesticides spraying, oil extraction, and even toxic chemicals
- Produced with a premium silica gel material
- Doesn’t come with additional cartridges
Important Respirator Features to Consider
Filter classification rating
The filter classification is a rating that represents how able a respirator is to filter the air surrounding it. N95, N99, and N100 ratings aren’t resistant to oil, and they’re able to filter 95%, 99%, and 99.7% of airborne particles. On the other hand, R95 is resistant to oil in small amounts, and it’s able to filter 95% of airborne particles.
Lastly, P95 and P100 are completely resistant to oil, and they’re able to filter 95% and 99.97% of airborne particles. You should consider which particles your respirator is able to filter in order to choose the best one for your specific needs.
It’s also important to consider the cartridge classifications when choosing between respirators because it will help you choose products that are able to provide the most protection for the specific environment that you’re in.
More specifically, most respirators contain cartridges that are labeled as OV, AG, OV/AG, Alkaline, or Multi-contaminant. Respirators with an OV classification represent their ability to provide protection against organic vapors, like gasoline, solvents, resin fumes that can cause allergies, and other organic fluids. AG classifications stand for protection abasing acid gas, and these respirators are capable of protecting you from highly toxic gases.
Additionally, OV/AG classifications are able to provide protection against both organic vapors as well as acid gases. Alkaline ratings are capable of filtering ammonia, methylamine, phosphine, and other alkaline substances. Lastly, multi-contaminant respirators are the most durable, since they’re approved to provide enough protection for any harmful substances in the air.
Level of toxicity
It’s also important to consider the certain level of toxicity in the air of the location that you’re working in because this will help you choose the best respirator for the protection that you require in order to be safe. More specifically, if your working environment is extremely toxic, then you may need skin protection as well as air-purifying protection.
Type of work
You should consider the specific type of work that’s requiring you to wear air protection because this will help you choose the best product that fits with the demands of your work, much like when choosing the best first aid kit or the best knee pads for work. For instance, it will help you choose whether you will have both hands available, require full-face protection, or need supplied air or purification. Always consult your Safety Data Sheet (SDS) to check what sort of protection is needed.
In other words, respirators are recommended for people that engage in work such as sanding, painting, grinding, cutting, insulation installation, dry-wall installation, or sawing, just like fire extinguishers are kept for any work that has a fire hazard. Just make sure you have the right type for any potential fires in your workshop.
It’s important to consider the amount of comfort that each product offers. For example, you should consider how long you’re required to wear the respirator. If you’re participating in a painting job, then you may need the most comfortable option, since you’re required to wear the respirator for a longer period of time. Additionally, if you have a beard, you may not get a proper seal on your respirator unless you trim it back.
On the other hand, if you’re participating in cutting work or sawing, then you don’t have to consider the comfortability of the product as much, since you’ll most likely only be wearing it when you’re actually doing the cutting.
Respirators with the NIOSH label are certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, given that they’re able to provide the most protection. This label is only really required for jobs that are severely hazardous.
You need to consider the size of the respirator because the ones that fit perfectly on your face are able to provide the most amount of protection, just as well-fitted safety gloves would. In order to achieve proper protection, the respirator should feature a tight seal on your face. Not only that, but you shouldn’t have any facial hair or piercings on your face when you’re using respirators.
Lastly, you should consider whether the product you are purchasing has ventilation, since valved or vented respirators are better. They’re able to allow for easier exhalation when you’re wearing them, and they also reduce the amount of heat build-up that you’re exposed to. Given that, they’re overall more comfortable and prevent eyewear from fogging up.
Different Types of Respirators
There are a number of different types of respirators on the market, and all of them offer different levels and types of protection depending on your needs. Here are a few different respirators to evaluate for your next project’s safety requirements:
Disposable respirators are typically only designed to provide minimal protection and for a limited amount of time. More specifically, they can only be used for a few times, and they usually aren’t able to provide sufficient enough protection against extremely toxic substances.
In addition to that, disposable respirators are capable of purifying the air around you, and they can’t be used as supplied respirators. Furthermore, disposable respirators tend to be less durable than other types, they’re inexpensive, lightweight, and they’re produced with a low-quality material. However, these are ideal when contaminants can cling to a mask as they can be discarded after use.
These respirators are designed only to cover your mouth and your nose, and they typically contain air-purifying qualities rather than supplied air. In addition to that, these respirators have air-purifying cartridges and filters that can be replaced in order to increase their prey Timon capabilities. They can be produced using various different materials and can be worn with safety glasses.
These products are able to provide the most protection out of all types of respirators, and they’re used for environments that have extremely toxic substances. Not only that, but they’re also able to provide maximized protection for your entire face, including your eyes. Unfortunately, these are heavier than other types, and they tend to be more expensive than other respirators on the market.
Aside from respirators responsible for purifying the air around you, there are also breathing machines that come with air already supplied. As you breathe in, you’re breathing in clean air that has been supplied in a separate tank.
Benefits of Respirators
- Can be used for a variety of different purposes, since they offer varying levels of protection
- Purify air of different danger levels
- Allow you to focus more on the work that you’re completing instead of focusing on breathing comfortably
- Most don’t affect your mobility
- Ensured safety, since the companies that produce respirators are required by OSHA to consider annual respirator fit tests to ensure that their products don’t leak
In addition to steel-toed boots and other important safety gear, respirators offer important protection in your workshop. Overall, every product included in this list can offer you the protection that you need in order to safely work in environments that have harmful particles in the air. You are highly advised to purchase one of these products for your protection, but it can be difficult to find one for your specific type of work. We recommend the Safety Works Multi-purpose Respitator because it meets the safety requirements listed by OSHA, is lightweight, and offers a tight and flexible seal for your face.
Furthermore, this product comes with the ability to offer dual protection, a perfect fit for your face, and even offers strong filtration and exhalation capabilities, since it comes with a ventilation system. Given these benefits, you should check out this product on the market.