The best full face respirator model should be efficient at filtering air pollutants out and protecting the face and face against flying debris.
Based on statistical findings, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) caused by exposure to harmful materials cause about 80 deaths a week.
Often priced between $30 and $99, the best respirators can protect you from this exposure. While shopping for the right one, you need to consider such aspects as the type of filter, filtration efficiency as well as comfort, and fit.
Throughout this guide, you will also learn what a full face respirator is and how to use one properly. Reviewed below are the top five full-face respirator models you should consider.
What is a Full-Face Respirator?
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a Full-Face Respirator?
- 2 Comparing The Best Full Face Respirator Models
- 3 1. 3M Safety R6211 Paint Project Respirator – The Best Full Face Respirator Model Overall
- 4 2. Parcel Distribution-101 Full Face N95 Respirator – The Best Industrial-Grade Full Face Respirator
- 5 3. 3M Full-Facepiece Respirator 6800 Series – The Best Reusable Full Face Respirator Model
- 6 4. Holulo Organic Vapor Full Face Safety Respirator Mask – The Best Full Face Organic Vapor Respiratory Protection Mask
- 7 5. Complete Suit Trudsafe 6800 Painting Spraying Full Face Gas Chemical Mask Respirator – The Most Affordable Full Face Respirator
- 8 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Full Face Respirator
- 9 How to Use a Full Face Respirator
- 10 Ready to Use a Full Face Respirator?
Basically, respirators are part of personal protective equipment (PPE) that are meant to filter the air you breathe and remove harmful pollutants.
Unlike other types of respirators, full-face respirators are designed to cover the entire face, offering protection for the eyes, mouth and facial skin as well.
Most of the best full-face respirators are designed to filter solid particles as well as harmful vapors, and gases from the air as you breathe. Such protective accessories are a requirement for professionals working on projects that involve painting, sanding, cutting, and grinding.
For the purpose of protecting your respiratory system against harmful pollutants, you may go for the disposable masks, cartridge half masks, or full-face respirator mask.
Regardless of your preference, it is advisable to go for one that meets controlled standards and is suited for the intended application.
Comparing The Best Full Face Respirator Models
|3M Safety R6211 Paint Project Respirator|
|Parcil Distribution-101 Full Face N95 Respirator|
|3M Full-Facepiece Respirator 6800 Series|
|Holulo Organic Vapor Full Face Safety Respirator Mask|
|Complete Suit Trudsafe 6800 Painting Spraying Full Face Gas Chemical Mask Respirator|
1. 3M Safety R6211 Paint Project Respirator – The Best Full Face Respirator Model OverallJust as is the case with other products by 3M, the R6211 Paint Project respirator is specifically designed to offer a perfect blend of performance, protection, and comfort. It was designed with the needs of the workplace, regulated applications and do-it-yourself, non-regulated applications in mind.
The result is a full face mask that boasts of exceptional protection, a balanced design, and a comfortable fit. It features swept-back cartridges that are conveniently positioned to improve visibility. This gives you a clear, unobstructed view of the working area at all times.
The respirator is certified as one of the best N95 class respirators by NIOSH. This makes it suited for the workplace, and regulated uses. The cartridges used on the mask are 95 percent efficient at filtering both liquid and solid contaminants that do not contain oil.
2. Parcel Distribution-101 Full Face N95 Respirator – The Best Industrial-Grade Full Face RespiratorThis respirator is ASTM Certified and is rated N95 by NIOSH. For enhanced versatility and efficiency, the full face respirator features an activated charcoal air filter as well. As compared to many other respirators within the same class, the PD-101 respirator offers excellent chemical filtration.
It has been proven to be effective are removing dust, ether, carbon dioxide, nitroalkane, nitrobenzene, and carbon trichloride from the air. Additionally, it is also capable of filtering organic vapor, alcohols, gasoline, chlorine benzene, chloroform, and chloropicrin you of the air you breathe.
In addition to giving you a consistent supply of clean breathing air, the full face mask is designed to protect the entire face from flying debris. Whether used for emergencies or regular industrial applications, the respirator will protect you against exposure to hazardous chemical agents and vapors.
3. 3M Full-Facepiece Respirator 6800 Series – The Best Reusable Full Face Respirator ModelThe Reusable Respirator 6000 Series by 3M Safety is a high-quality full-face respirator that offers a perfect blend of efficiency and comfort. The reusable respirator offers reliable protection against such air pollutants as paint vapor, mold, dust, and several chemicals.
The mask uses either cartridges or particulate filters to offer the right level of protection against particulates, and a variety of gases or vapors. The 3M Cool Flow Valve on the mask helps make breathing easier. The product has been proven to meet ANSI Z87.1-2010 standards.
The mask offers a high level of impact resistance for enhanced face and eye protection as well. The improved visibility and comfort of the respirator make it ideal for an array of applications. For instance, it is suited for use in assembly, chemical clean-up, chemical handling, chemical splash, chipping, chiseling, cleaning, furnace operations, grinding, and laboratories.
4. Holulo Organic Vapor Full Face Safety Respirator Mask – The Best Full Face Organic Vapor Respiratory Protection MaskFor more than 10 years, the Honolulu-based Holulo brand has been producing some of the best personal protection equipment and accessories. This full-face organic vapor respirator is one of the certified, high-quality products by the manufacturer. The CE certified headpiece features dual cartridges, a breathing valve, and an activated carbon filter.
As such, this mask will offer you reliable respiratory protection against such pollutants as organic gases and vapors, chlorine benzene, acetone, alcohols, anilines, carbon dioxide, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, methyl bromide, methyl chloride, and chloropicrin.
Such capabilities make the full face respirator ideal for a myriad of applications, including petroleum, mining, metallurgy, fire fighting, disaster relief, health and epidemic prevention. The product is backed by a lifetime guarantee offered by the manufacturer for quality.
5. Complete Suit Trudsafe 6800 Painting Spraying Full Face Gas Chemical Mask Respirator – The Most Affordable Full Face RespiratorAre you looking for an affordable full-face respirator that is effective at filtering pollutants out of the air you breathe? You should consider getting this Trudsafe 6800 chemical mask respirator. The mask features two standard connectors; an RD40 thread connection and a Bayonet connection.
This makes it comparative with almost all respirator cartridges and filters by the leading brands, such as 3M. The mask comes with Particulate Cotton Filters and an organic vapor cartridge. These offer a cumulative efficiency of P100 / N95. The masks are subject sled to a series of lab tests to ensure that you get the best quality and functionality.
The full face respirator has been proven to meet CE (EU) 2016/425(EU Standards. The adjustable design of the mask allows you to set it to the best fit for the B’s air-tight seal performance. In addition to the perfect sealing, the respirator also relieves wearing pressure with ease.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Full Face Respirator
Whether you are installing fiberglass insulation or just painting, working with chemicals that produce hazardous fumes requires you to have the right protective gear.
In addition to such applications, a good respirator will also come in handy whenever you are working in dusty environments. However, you just have to choose the right one for enhanced protection.
These are some of the important considerations you need to make while shopping for the best full face respirator:
Type of Respirator Filter
Having been designed to offer different levels of protection, different full-face respirator models are designed to suit different applications.
These facepieces may be grouped into two broad categories; air-purifying respirators, and atmosphere-supplying respirators.
In their functioning, the various air-purifying respirators use filters, cartridges, or canisters to filter contaminants from the air you are breathing.
Atmosphere-supplying respirators, on the other hand, supply clean air from an uncontaminated source.
Most industrial and DIY applications require you to use air-purifying respirators, which are further categorized into two groups:
- Particulate Respirators
The best particulate air-purifying respirators are designed to remove particles such as mist or dust from the air you breathe.
The leading models are comparatively costlier and lightweight masks. Although some particulate respirators feature a carbon later, they will not protect you from harmful gases and vapors.
The least efficient of these full-face respirators are rated N95 and most of them are designed for a single-use. For enhanced safety, it is advisable to dispose of a particulate respirator when it becomes difficult to breathe through.
- Vapor/Gas Respirators
Most of these air-purifying respirators come in the form of cartridges that are attached to a reusable partial or full-face mask.
With the leading full-face respirator brands, each cartridge type is designed to remove specific gases or vapors. As such, the right respirator cartridge will depend on the hazardous gas or vapor you are trying to filter.
Most of the best full face respirator cartridges are only meant to remove gaseous contaminants, have are not capable of removing dust and other particles. However, some full-face respirator manufacturers combine such cartridges with particulate filters for enhanced versatility.
As you may have noticed, the various respiratory cartridge types are color-coded in accordance with the type of gaseous hazard they can remove. For instance, those meant to filter organic vapor are black, those for acidic gases are white, while those for removing ammonia are pink in color.
Respirator Protection Rating
In addition to getting the right respirator type, you also need to ensure that your preferred model offers the right level of protection. This is often expressed using the Assigned Protection Factor (APF), a number assigned by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
It expresses the level of protection from airborne exposure each class of respirators has to offer. The larger the APF number, the better the level of protection. For instance, a respirator with an APF of 10 reduces exposure to about 1/10th of the concentration of the contaminants in the air.
NIOSH Air Filtration Rating
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has a rather different type of eating used to express the effectiveness of air-filtration respirators.
According to this rating, N95 is the least level of filtration you should go for. This rating shows the type of filter material as well as its protective properties.
The first part of this NIOSH respirator classification is a letter, often N, R or P. This letter indicates the ability of the filter to function following exposure to oils.
For example, a filter that is rated N is not resistant to oils. Respirator cartridges and particulate filter rated R are somewhat resistant to oils, while those rates P are oil-proof. This is particularly important if the filter is to be used in an environment where OK may be present.
If the respirator us not resistant to oils, exposing it to oils will reduce its filtration effectiveness. The number part of the rating shows the percentage of the contaminant the respirator is capable of removing. For instance, a respirator cartridge with an N95 rating is capable of filtering up to 95 percent of the contaminant out.
Comfort and Fit
Just as is the case with any other PPE gear and accessories, the best full face respirator should offer a perfect fit to your face. It should also be relatively comfortable to wear for extended periods. Most of the fixed-size full-face respirator models come in three main size options; small, medium and large.
If you would rather get a fixed size respirator, it is advisable to go for one that features an adjustable or elastic fastener. For the tight-fitting full-face respirator models, the mask itself should fit perfectly while maintaining a tight seal between the respirator and your skin throughout its edges.
For enhanced comfort, it is advisable to go for respirators that are fitted with a form face seal or any other comfortable material. You should also consider getting one with an ultra-soft nose foam as well as soft headbands. Such a face piece will be comfortable to wear for extended periods.
How to Use a Full Face Respirator
Basically, OSHA has several requirements for respirator use and cartridge change schedule at the national level. However, individual states may have regulations governing g the same.
It is important for you to understand and follow these regulations. Although full-face respirator design varies from one model to another, they are worn and used almost the same way.
Here are some important steps to help you use a full-face respirator properly:
You first need to place the full face respirator mask over your face, ensuring that it covers the nose and mouth region as it should. You should then pull the straps gently over the head crown. Now wind the button straps around the back of the neck and hook them together.
You should ensure that the face mask is secured tightly in place, yet comfortable to wear and move around with.
This step will help you adjust the respirator to the ideal fitness for enhanced comfort and protection. To do this, you should loosen the straps and lower the respirator lower above the nose bridge such that it offers optimal visibility.
While holding the mask in that position, adjust the top straps, and then lower the neck strips by pulling on the ends quickly.
Depending on its current position, you may decrease the strap tension by pushing out the backside of the buckle. Afterward, you may need to do a positive pressure seal adjustment for improved protection.
Pressure Seal Monitoring
You need to monitor the pressure seal on your mask before wearing it to ensure that it offers a leak-proof seal. To do this, you should place your palm over the valve cover exhalation point and exhale gently.
If the mask fitted perfectly, the facepiece should be able to bilge without allowing any air to leak into the mask. If you happen to notice any leaks, you should reposition the respirator or readjust its tension using the straps to prevent leakage.
Ready to Use a Full Face Respirator?
The lading full face respirator models are designed to give you an all-inclusive, flexible and comfortable protection as you work in hazardous environments.
The face mask is meant to be reused over and over again, but the filters cartridges need to be replaced every once in a while.
Your preferred full face respirator should have the right filters and cartridges for the contaminant you are trying to remove.
Just like the five models reviewed above, the right respirator should be relatively easy to wear, use and maintain. There are other protective garments for different applications as well, including these greatest welding jackets that will protect your upper body while doing a welding job.