A mask can be a surgical mask (disposable medical device) or a respirator (personal protective equipment) that is worn by contagious patients or caregivers. The type of mask you have protects you from being infected by infectious agents by airborne or droplets. Considering its protection class and the manufacturing standards, it can protect you from different viruses and bacteria.


In this case, your profession, field of application, and whether there is an absence or presence of contagious diseases, caregivers, and patients use a given type of mask.

Type of Mask

As noted above, the main types of masks are respirators and surgical masks. They have various functions, objectives, and standards. What you need to understand is that the surgical masks protect against infectious agents that are mainly transmitted through droplets. The protective respirators or masks protect against coming into contact with infectious agents that are transmitted by airborne routes.

Level of Protection Needed

You should note that each type of mask is subject to various regulations and standards depending on the country of manufacture. With the standards, there are various classes of devices that determine a particular degree of protection. It is advisable to check with the regulations in your area.

Reusable or Disposable

You should note that surgical masks are available as disposable. On the other hand, you can reuse respirators. Once the respirator is full, it is a good idea to replace it.


You should note that there are various sizes of masks, depending on the morphology of the user. Respirators or protective masks can be equipped with the exhalation valve to improve comfort. Certain masks cover your eyes if eye protection is required.

Effective Life

This can be defined as the duration of the mask’s effectiveness. You should note that the effective life of a mask varies depending on the use. Ideally, it can go between two and eight hours. If you get a cheaper mask, you should use it for a short period. In most cases, the effective life is revealed by the manufacturer.

It is advisable to put on a disposable medical device. That is because it protects against the infectious agents that are transmitted by droplets.