BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper Health & Wellness

Best N95 mask for kids

Which N95 mask for kids is best?

N95 face masks for kids come in a diverse array of colors and designs and all serve the same primary purpose: to keep viruses, smoke, dust and pollen from entering your child’s body through their respiratory system. The Kimberly-Clark Professional N95 Pouch Respirator is protective yet breathable and has an innovative design to protect your kids from airborne impurities.

What to know before you buy an N95 mask for kids

NIOSH rating

Some cheaper dust masks or respirators aren’t approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, also known as NIOSH. It’s crucial to find a NIOSH-approved N95 mask, since it filters out at least 95% of all particulates that are bigger than 0.3 microns in diameter.

Don’t touch your mask

It might be difficult for some young kids not to touch or fidget with their face mask, so give your kid lots of gentle reminders. Your child will learn how to follow directions when wearing a face mask is reinforced by their peers and adults. They’ll learn how to wear their face masks routinely and properly when necessary, just like they know to buckle into their car seats and wear bike helmets.

When kids should start wearing masks

Universal indoor masking protects kids and adults who are not fully vaccinated, as well as those who aren’t yet eligible for COVID vaccines, such as young kids. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that people over the age of 2 wear a face mask inside at public places for the time being in areas where community transmission rates are high or substantial, regardless of their vaccination status. 

Universal indoor masking will likely continue in all grade schools, regardless of location. Everyone, including kids, should also keep wearing face masks while traveling. If you have an at-risk adult or medically fragile kid in your home, you should consider having anyone who’s not fully vaccinated wear masks at home. Everyone in your household should also wear face masks inside the home if anyone in the household has tested positive for COVID or has symptoms of COVID.

What to look for in a quality N95 mask for kids

Positive and negative pressure

The best N95 masks form a tight seal around your child’s lower face, and this seal can be tested for both positive and negative pressure. Test for negative pressure by having your child inhale deeply and watching if the N95 mask draws inward. Test for positive pressure by watching if the respirator valve opens smoothly when they exhale. 

Secure and adjustable

Search for elements such as adjustable double strapping systems and metallic nose pieces when purchasing N95 masks for kids, since these elements indicate that the masks are secure and adjustable.

Multiple layering

The best N95 masks offer a diverse range of protection for various users, meaning they’re able to filter out various kinds of particulate matter with multiple layers. 

How much you can expect to spend on an N95 mask for kids

N95 masks for kids range in price from about $15-$50, depending on the materials, construction and quality of the masks.

N95 mask for kids FAQ

How do you help a kid get used to wearing a face mask?

A. Your child might be afraid of wearing a face mask. Help them feel more comfortable by looking in the mirror with your face masks on and talking about it. Place a face mask on their favorite stuffed animal to normalize wearing a mask, or decorate the mask so it looks more fun and personalized. Show your kid pictures of other kids wearing face masks, or draw a face mask on their favorite book character. 

What about kids with special health care needs?

A. Kids with weakened immune systems or those with health issues that place them at high risk of infection need to wear an N95 face mask for protection. Kids with medical issues that interfere with lung or cognitive function might have a difficult time wearing a face mask, and other special precautions might be needed for them.

What are the best N95 masks for kids to buy?

Top N95 mask for kids

Kimberly-Clark Professional N95 Pouch Respirator

What you need to know: This N95 mask is protective yet breathable and has an innovative design to protect your kids from airborne impurities.

What you’ll love: This product is NIOSH-approved and offers efficient filtration against air particles. The masks are easy to breathe through, and the top of the mask bends to fit your child’s nose while the elastic band goes snugly around their head.

What you should consider: This mask can be bulky, which might be a hassle for your kid’s everyday life.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top N95 mask for kids for the money

3M Paint Sanding Valved N95 Cool-Flow Respirator

What you need to know: This product is meant to help your child breathe safely for everyday activities. 

What you’ll love: This N95 mask features a valve to keep cool air flowing to decrease overheating under the mask, as well as a special design to keep out airborne particles and dust. Your child can adjust the nose clip to better fit their face.

What you should consider: This mask can be a little difficult and confusing to use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Powecom KN95 Face Mask

What you need to know: This product is an excellent option for short amounts of time, since it provides lightweight materials and an adjustable fit.

What you’ll love: This mask is approved by the FDA and can be reused several times until your child has no more use for it. It comes with a metal fastening strip that you can customize to properly seal the mask around your kid’s nose.

What you should consider: This mask is meant to be disposable, so you can’t wash it.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Share this post: