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We ordered KN95 masks to find the online stores you can trust

Plus, how to spot and avoid the fakes.

An image of the Hotodeal, Powecom, Well Before, Supply Aid, and WWDOLL KN95 face masks and their packaging. Credit: Reviewed / Esther Bell

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Editor's Note: January 24, 2022

We have ordered KN95 masks from multiple companies including Vida, Bona Fide Masks, WWDOLL, and more for testing. This article will be updated regularly as these shipments arrive.

Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, experts are still stressing the efficacy of and need for masks—especially as the contagious omicron variants spread. If you’ve looked into upgrading your favorite cloth face masks to something a little more clinical, like an N95, KN95, or KN94 mask, you may wonder which kind to order. We're here to help.

N95 masks are regulated by the the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and available from major American manufacturers. We have a list of where to buy N95 masks online with information direct from the manufacturers about authorized N95 retailers.

However, some people prefer the comfort and style of KN95 masks over N95 masks. Shopping for KN95 is a little trickier, because they're not regulated in the US—KN95 masks hold themselves to a Chinese standard—and because the brands selling KN95 are not as well-known to American consumers as N95 makers like 3M or Kimberly-Clark. So we decided to look into KN95 masks and see which stores you can trust. We ordered KN95s from popular websites such as Amazon, Vida, and Bona Fide Masks to see what options out there are legitimate—here’s what we found.

How can you tell if a KN95 mask is authentic?

Counterfeit KN95 masks were an issue early in the pandemic. But there are a few things you can note to ensure you're buying authentic products. For starters, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) doesn’t regulate KN95s, so if a KN95 says it’s “NIOSH-approved,” it’s likely a fake. The same goes for “FDA-approved” masks, or masks listed as “genuine KN95.”

You can also look for other signs of counterfeit products. If the packaging or masks themselves look like they’ve been tampered with, avoid them. Additionally, you’ll want any masks you wear to fit snugly on your face, and to avoid excess gaping that could let air escape. If your mask feels thin, flimsy, or loose, it may not offer the protection you think it does.

There may be markings on your mask that let you know it’s met international standards. The CDC notes that authentic KN95 masks will have a serial number starting with “GB” printed on them—specifically, “GB 2626-2006” or “GB 2626-2019”—and many will have a company name on them as well.

Reviews of online stores that sell KN95 masks

Because there's so much confusion out there, we decided to order KN95 masks from various online stores to see if the stores delivered what they promised. Note that we are not really testing the masks themselves, aside from ensuring that they meet the established KN95 standards for authentic masks. We are also trying on each mask. but my face is probably not the same as yours, so fit may vary. Likewise, shipping times are highly variable right now, and someone ordering masks at a different time may have a different delivery window than our experience.

Well Before

An image of a Well Before KN95 mask on its packaging.
Credit: Reviewed / Esther Bell

Where to buy KN95 face masks online: Well Before

  • We bought: KN95 masks, individually wrapped, 10-pack
  • Price: $14.90
  • Received in: Seven days

The masks from Well Before arrived in a sealed package and every mask was individually wrapped. The packaging listed the serial number, expiration date, and manufacturer’s name and address, and the masks themselves have the "GB 2626-2019" serial number imprinted in the fabric along the edge of the mask, as well as “Well Before KN95” printed on them.

I ordered the KN95s in size “regular” without adjustable ear loops, but I highly recommend getting the adjustable options. Though the quality of the fabric felt thick and protective, the loops were far too large for me and the mask didn’t fit securely on my face, which I don’t think is particularly tiny. While wearing one of the masks around for half an hour, I was constantly adjusting it and could never get a tight seal around my face.

Get the Well Before KN95 face masks starting at $15.90

Amazon: Powecom

An image of Powecom KN95 masks on the packaging.
Credit: Reviewed / Esther Bell

Where to buy KN95 face masks online: Powecom

  • We bought: KN95 masks, 10-pack
  • Price: $21.90
  • Received in: Five days

The Powecom masks ordered from Amazon seem like a reliable option, though the exact 10-pack we tested is unavailable at the time of publication. The Powecom masks arrived in a sealed bag that had important information like the serial number, the manufacturer’s name and address, and instructions for wear printed on it. There was also a small certificate inside that listed this information, as well as the materials these masks are made with and their expiration date of three years.

The masks themselves have the Powecom logo printed on the side, along with “KN95 protective mask” and the “GB 2626-2006” serial number. “Powecom” is also imprinted on the mask, another sign of a legit KN95.

Powecom has its own system to distinguish authentic masks. With every Powecom purchase, there should be a sticker on the packaging, which they call an “anti-fake label.” You can scratch off the sticker with a coin, like you would with a lottery ticket, to reveal a serial number. Type that serial number into Powecom’s website and it will tell you if you received legitimate mask. I tried this with the masks we ordered, but the sticker was placed on the fold of the packaging, and I couldn’t read the serial number due to the crease in the sticker.

The CDC tested Powecom masks in 2020 and found that they had an average of 98.8% filtration efficiency. (This doesn’t mean Powecom masks are NIOSH- or CDC-approved.)

Get the Powecome KN95 masks from Amazon for $21.90

Amazon: WWDOLL

An image of the WWDOLL KN95 face mask next to its packaging.
Credit: Reviewed / Esther Bell

Where to buy KN95 face masks online: WWDOLL

  • We bought: KN95 masks, 25-pack
  • Price: $28.74
  • Received in: Two days

The bag these masks came in listed the brand’s name and “GB 2626-2019” serial number, as well as other important information such as the manufacturer's name, address, and phone number. You can also see the masks’ batch number, production date (Dec 16, 2021), expiration date (Dec 15, 2023), and inspection date (Dec 16, 2021).

The masks themselves have “KN95” and “GB 2626-2019” embedded in the fabric. They fit securely on my face without feeling overly taught, and were comfortable to wear for longer periods of time. However, the masks also felt slightly thinner than some other options—thicker than a typical surgical mask, but less padded compared to the Powecom masks, for example.

These masks are manufactured by Chengde Technology Co., LTD., which also manufactures masks for other popular brands. The CDC tested masks manufactured by Chengde Technology in 2020 (though not the specific WWDOLL brand) and found that out of the 10 masks tested, all were over 98% effective. (This doesn’t mean these masks are NIOSH- or CDC-approved.)

Get the WWDOLL KN95 face masks, 25-pack from Amazon for $28.74

Amazon: Hotodeal

An image of the Hotodeal KN95 face mask.
Credit: Reviewed / Esther Bell

Where to buy KN95 face masks online: Hotodeal

  • We bought: KN95 masks, 20-pack
  • Price: $21.59
  • Received in: Two days

The Hotodeal masks are made by the same manufacturer as the WWDOLL masks, Chengde Technology. Thus, the packaging lists much of the same information, including the batch number, production date (Nov 22, 2021), expiration date (Nov 21, 2023), inspection date (Nov 22, 2021), and “GB 2626-2019” serial number.

The Hotodeal masks also have “KN95” and “GB 2626-2019” embedded in the fabric, and while they fit snugly, felt thinner than some other brands we tested. I suspect that the material in these masks are the same as the WWDOLL masks, as I couldn’t see or feel any differences between the two.

The CDC didn’t test Hotodeal masks specifically, but, as previously mentioned, tested other masks by the same manufacturer, Chengde Technology, and found them over 98% effective.

Get the Hotodeal KN95 face masks, 20-pack, from Amazon for $21.59

Amazon: Supply Aid

An image of the Supply Aid KN95 face mask lying on its packaging.
Credit: Reviewed / Esther Bell

Where to buy KN95 face masks online: Supply Aid

  • We bought: KN95 masks, 5-pack
  • Price: $5.75
  • Received in: Two days

The Supply Aid masks came with a “certificate of conformity” that listed the manufacturer’s information, the “GB 2626-2006” serial number, the production and expiration date, and the materials the masks are made of—non-woven fabric, meltblown fabric, and hot air cotton, like most other KN95s. These masks have “KN95” and “GB 2626-2006” embedded in the fabric, and feel the thinnest of the masks we tested. They provide a tight seal around my face, though the ear loops felt a bit tight after wearing the mask for our 30-minute test period.

The CDC tested the Supply Aid masks, manufactured by Suzhou Leitan Protective Products, in 2020 and found that out of the 10 masks they tested, all 10 were more than 99% effective. (This doesn’t mean these masks are NIOSH- or CDC-approved.)

Get the Supply Aid KN95 face masks, five-pack from Amazon for $5.75

Bona Fide Masks: Powecom

An image of a Powecom mask from Bona Fide Masks.
Credit: Reviewed / Esther Bell

Where to buy KN95 face masks online: Bona Fide Masks

  • We bought: Powecom KN95 masks, 10-pack
  • Price: $12
  • Received in: 12 days

The Powecom masks from Bona Fide Masks come with a certificate listing the standard information such as the manufacturer, “GB 2626-2019” serial number, three-year expiration date, and the materials used to make them. The masks themselves list the brand name, “KN95,” and the serial number on them. They created a tight seal on my face and were comfortable to wear during our 30-minute testing period.

Powecom has its own system to distinguish authentic masks. With every Powecom purchase, there should be a sticker on the packaging, which they call an “anti-fake label.” You can scratch off the sticker with a coin, like you would with a lottery ticket, to reveal a QR code and serial number. Scan the QR code or type the serial number into Powecom’s website and it will tell you if you received a legitimate mask. I tried this with the masks from Bona Fide and Powecom confirmed our purchase was legit.

The CDC tested older Powecom masks certified with the earlier “GB 2626-2006” serial number in 2020 and found that out of the 10 masks they tested, all were at least 98% effective. Powecom’s website lists Bona Fide Masks as the brand’s exclusive distributor in the U.S., and using Powecom’s “anti-fake” label we were able to confirm the masks’ authenticity.

Get the Powecom KN95 masks, 10-pack from Bona Fide Masks for $12

Vida

A pair of black Vida face masks.
Credit: Reviewed / Esther Bell

Where to buy KN95 face masks online: Vida

  • We bought: FDA Listed Adult Mask with KN95 Protection, 10-pack
  • Price: $25
  • Received in: 12 days

First, we want to make one thing clearer than Vida’s website may imply: Vida masks are not authentic KN95 face masks, but the brand’s proprietary version. Vida claims these masks meet a 95% filtration efficiency standard and offer “KN95 protection” however, our tests are focused on authenticity of the masks, not proving their efficacy, so we cannot independently confirm this. Because these masks aren’t true KN95s, you may want to consider another brand on this list to err on the side of caution.

These masks arrived directly in the shipping bag, divided into two sets of five masks packaged in clear, sealed plastic bags. They arrived without a certificate listing any of the information typically provided—the manufacturer’s information, expiration date, manufacturing date, etc.—and none of this information was printed on the mask. The masks simply say “made in USA” on both sides.

We included Vida in our testing because we recommend their kids masks and wanted to see if the full-size versions were a solid option. Though some N95 and KN95 masks come in smaller sizes, most aren’t tested on children and thus, aren’t NIOSH-approved or otherwise certified. Because of this, the Vida Children’s FDA Listed Kids Mask with KN95 Protection may still be a worthwhile option—though again, we can’t guarantee these masks’ effectiveness.

We have reached out to Vida for comment regarding the company’s testing process and at the time of publication have not heard back.

Get the FDA Listed Adult Mask with KN95 Protection, 10-pack from Vida for $25

HUHETA

An image of the Huheta KN95 face masks.
Credit: Reviewed / Esther Bell

Where to buy KN95 face masks online: HUHETA

  • We bought: KN95 masks, 20-pack
  • Price: $22.99
  • Received in: Seven days

The HUHETA masks arrived individually wrapped in a box labeled with the masks’ “GB 2626-2019” serial number, the manufacturer’s information, and instructions to wear the masks properly. Though the box lists the serial number, it’s not on the masks themselves—they only have “KN95” embedded in the fabric. These masks fit snugly on my face and the earband didn’t feel like they were digging into my ears at all, but the fabric feels much thinner than some other options we tested. Due to these factors, we feel more comfortable recommending other masks on the list, if they’re available.

The CDC tested another brand of masks from HUHETA’s manufacturer, Guangdong Nuokang Medical Technology, in 2020 and found all ten masks included in the study to be above 98% effective. However, they did not test the HUHETA brand specifically.

Get the HUHETA KN95 face masks, 20-pack from Amazon for $22.99

Maskc

The Maskc packaging next to a Maskc KN95 face mask.
Credit: Reviewed / Esther Bell

Where to buy KN95 face masks online: Maskc

  • We bought: KN95 masks, 10-pack
  • Price: $36
  • Received in: 14 days

The Maskc masks arrived in sleek black packaging with a “certificate of quality” listing the manufacturer’s information, the “GB 2626-2019” serial number, the production date, and the expiration date. However, the certificate had a typo on it and inconsistent formatting, so you may want to go with another option on the list.

These masks feel thinner than others, similar to the WWDOLL and Hotodeal brands, and have “KN95” embedded in the fabric. These masks weren’t horrible to wear around for half an hour, but they were definitely more irritating than most due to the tight earloops that are stitched at an angle and dig into the bottom of your ears.

We didn’t find any studies from the CDC on the efficacy of masks from Maskc’s manufacturer, Tongcheng Jinying Plastics.

Get the Masks KN95 face masks, 10-pack for $36

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.