Blue Ribbon Supply Company
[0 item(s) / 0 unit(s) in cart]

News and Useful Information


Which Face Mask should you use to protect yourself?


May 24, 2020 - S SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Face masks have proven to be very efficient in blocking the spread of COVID-19.  It is a simple and effective thing to do, but most people cannot determine the right mask to use, nor can they locate the mask they need.


Demand for face masks and other PPE has skyrocketed, and because of that we have received many questions regarding the different types of masks available. There are three types of masks in high demand at the moment. N95 / KN95 masks, basic 3-ply pleated surgical masks and fabric masks.


N95 / KN95 masks: The primary purpose of N95 / KN95 masks is to protect the wearer. There are two reasons to use the N95 / KN95 masks:


  • industrial dust and particulate matter protection, and,
  • medical protection.


Both use a type of particulate respirator/filter certified by NIOSH (National Institute forOccupational Safety and Health) which provides a filtration efficiency that blocks 95% of very small (0.3 micron) particles. So, N95 / KN95 masks require specific standards and stringent requirements. Because they tend to restrict the flow of air, they are not as easy to wear for a prolonged amount of time as are surgical masks. Make sure you do not use a N95 or KN95 mask with an exhalation valve during a pandemic. Since the goal of wearing a mask during a pandemic is to reduce or restrict virus particles in exhaled breath from spreading, the use of a valve - which is meant to enable easier exhaling - is counter to this goal as it allows larger particles to be exhaled. Information on these masks can be found on the Blue Ribbon Supply website.


3-Ply Pleated Surgical Masks: The purpose of these 3-Ply Pleated Surgical Masks is to protect others from the wearer, but these masks also provide protection to the wearer from sprays, splashes, and large-particle droplets. These special, multi-layered masks are also designed to prevent moist particles from leaving the mouth and nose to potentially infect others or landing on surfaces that others might touch. In that sense they work better than say, a simple fabric scarf. These masks are much cheaper and more commonly available than the N95 / KN95 masks.


Fabric Washable Masks: Since fabrics and thread counts vary widely and are not tested, the efficiency of a fabric face mask cannot be determined. However, wearing a fabric face mask is certainly better than nothing. Just make sure to choose one that has a fine thread count (T-200 or more) and be sure to wash it frequently.




Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there has been huge global demand for these masks. That demand will continue because COVID-19 will remain a threat until a vaccine is in place and most masks are one-time use. You can expect that such demand will continue for months, perhaps years to come. Current demand is so high that most producers cannot satisfy it. According to an interview with 3M by the Wall Street Journal, demand currently exceeds their production capacity. Trying to keep up with demand has strained the supply chain, but Blue Ribbon Supply has been actively obtaining face masks for our customers since the COVID-19 outbreak began. These are all being produced for us by qualified, legitimate factories who have stepped up production to ensure we have masks available.

Blue Ribbon Supply Company
Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Admin | Feedback