Best Full Face Respirator Masks of 2021 (Review and Guide)

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In a Rush? Here are the 3 best full face respirator masks that we thought you would be interested in.


BEST OVERALL PICK

3M Ultimate FX Full-Facepiece FF-401

“A simple and comfortable to wear full-face respirator, with easy to put in new-cartridges, and not too expensive. Can be a little heavy compared to lighter masks.”

BEST VALUE

North 760008A Silicone Full Facepiece Respirators at Amazon

“Featuring a full facepiece mask, poly-carbonate lens, and a comfortable fit, this mask packs a ton of value while meeting ANSI standards.”

BEST BUDGET

3M Full Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6800 at Amazon

“A great budget mask for those who don’t want to spend a lot but still want a full face mask that is comfortable and well built.”


Taking on a painting or demolition project can expose you to toxic fumes or dangerous particles. Many people use disposable masks but aren’t aware of the danger you still subject yourself to – whether it be from lack of protection from the mask moving around on your face or not stopping the particular dangerous particle in your environment. Furthermore, disposable masks don’t protect your eyes and this can be a cause of serious concern.

Everyone should take their health and safety seriously and depending on your job, you may need more protection than just a simple disposable mask or half-face respirator.

To help you discover the best tool for your job, our team has written a guide and some reviews on what we consider to be some of the best full-face respirators on the market. We hope our detailed product reviews and guide help give you the information you need, to give you the protection you need. Everyone should put their health and safety first!




Table Of Contents


The Best Full Face Respirator Masks with Reviews

Here’s a list of the best full face respirator masks we found:

1. 3M Ultimate FX Full-Facepiece FF-401



Pros:

  • Most ideal for painters or if you deal with toxic fumes
  • Doesn’t fog up
  • Lens allows for clear vision
  • Organic vapor cartridges

Cons:

  • Uncomfortable to wear with glasses and seal won’t be secure
  • Large size still may be small for some
  • Will not seal all the way if you have long facial hair

Product Overview:

This is one of the most recommended full face respirator masks if you work with a lot of paint, stain, or sealant. It easily adapts to supplied air systems with high and low pressures with any combination of configurations including cartridge and filter capabilities. Both can be replaced quite easily and are available in the 3M packout.

Being officially licensed by NASCAR, this option is ideal for painters, workers, and technicians. When you purchase the mask, it comes with the full face respirator, two organic vapor cartridges, two filter retainers, four P95 filters, and two face shield covers. The organic vapor cartridges are the most practical to use if you have chemical sensitivity and will help prevent you from getting migraines from fumes.

However, the mask isn’t very comfortable if you’re wearing glasses and won’t seal all the way. Also, the large size may still be too small for some people.



2. Honeywell North Silicone Full Face Respirator



Pros:

  • 200° field of vision and minimized distortion in lens
  • Oral nasal cup to prevent fogging
  • 5-strap harness for a secure fit
  • Comfortable to wear and can rest on neck when not in use

Cons:

  • Doesn’t fit if you wear glasses
  • Cartridges and filters are sold separately
  • Lens can potentially scratch easily

Product Overview:

The North Silicone mask gives you the best value for its included features. It has a hard-coated polycarbonate lens that gives you a wide 200° field of vision which is highly useful if you need to be aware of your surroundings in dangerous and dusty environments. The lens is also specially designed to minimize distortion so you don’t get dizzy or disoriented. It also meets ANSI standards for high impact and penetration resistance.

The mask is equipped with a dual sealing flange and 100% silicone construction for optimal fit and comfort. The face piece fits properly to the contours of your face thanks to the convenient chin cup. Additionally, the speaking diaphragm allows for clear communication with others and the oral nasal cup prevents your lens from fogging up.

The mask features direct cartridge-to-facepiece connection for easy breathing and the 5-strap harness allows for a secure fit which better protects your safety. If you don’t need the respirator, but don’t want to fully take it off, the neck strap lets you “park” the mask so you can easily put it back on when getting back to work.

The Honeywell silicone respirator can be adapted to PAPR or supplied air and is NIOSH approved for further safety. Unfortunately, the cartridges and filters are sold separately for this model. The mask also isn’t practical to use if you wear prescription glasses, although North does make frame inserts where you can install prescription lenses.



3. Holulo Organic Vapor Full Face Respirator With Visor Protection



Pros:

  • Practical for painting projects
  • Straps are secure and easy to use
  • Mask comes with protective film on the face shield
  • Activated carbon respirators and double filtration system for easy breathing

Cons:

  • Can’t be worn with glasses
  • No speaking diaphragm included
  • Filters are attached to mask upon arrival with no seal or cover

Product Overview:

The Holulo Organic Vapor full-face respirator is the best for those with a tight budget but still want decent protective qualities from a full-face mask. It’s made from high quality silicone and was originally intended to help workers in low quality air environments, such as when you are painting or cutting concrete. Holulo has developed safety equipment and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for quite some time, and really have refined their masks.

The activated carbon respirator works to block out organic gases and vapors, alcohols, ash, tear gas, carbon dioxide, and a lot more. The double filtration system provides you with reduced breathing resistance and fair weight distribution so the mask doesn’t feel too heavy. This is beneficial as you won’t end up with a neck aches that force you to take off the mask.

The polycarbonate lens is double-sided and is designed to prevent fogging so you’re more aware of your surroundings. The mesh headband fits comfortably with minimal pinching or pulling and the mask fits snugly on your face ensuring a tight seal.

It’s a bit uncomfortable to wear if you need to wear prescription glasses. If you do wear them underneath the mask, it’s not guaranteed that the respirator will fully seal. The plastic seems thin near the attachment points, but they should be fine if the mask isn’t put through a lot of abuse. There also isn’t a speaking diaphragm equipped so if you need to communicate to others as you work, your voice will sound muffled.



4. 3M Ultimate FX Full Facepiece Reusable Respirator



Pros:

  • Cool FlowTM Valve helps release hot, humid air for easier breathing
  • Passive speaking diaphragm enhances communication
  • Soft silicone and face seal for comfortable wear
  • Approved with 3M cartridges, filters, or supplied air system for versatility
  • Great range of view with wide lens

Cons:

  • Can’t use with any prescription glasses
  • Not easy to do a pressure check
  • No valve to let out accumulated sweat

Product Overview:

This is one of the best full face respirator masks that keeps both your vision clear with its Scotchgard (TM) protected lens and helps to protect you from breathing in airborne contaminants. You can easily wipe off any paint, stains, and other liquids from the large lens and the wide field of view enhances what you can see for better spatial awareness.

The mask is rather versatile as you can use 3M particle filters, gas/vapor cartridges and supplied air systems. While some masks tend to gather up a lot of hot air making it harder to breathe, the Cool FlowTM Valve makes breathing easier by releasing humid air within the respirator. This is especially helpful if you work during the summer and also prevents your lens from fogging up.

It can be hard to hear someone talk through a respirator mask, and oftentimes it’s too dangerous to take off your respirator just to be heard clearly. Thankfully, the 3M features a passive speaking diaphragm so that you can communicate with others clearly, without having to remove the face piece.

In regard to comfort, the 3M is equipped with a head cradle to reduce any pressure points and hair pinching, with a soft silicone nose cup and face seal to soften heavy contact areas of the mask. There are six straps that wrap around the head to get rid of any shifting that would require constant readjustment and they are extremely durable, having been tested rigorously.

Keep in mind that if you wear glasses, you can’t wear the respirator without breaking the face seal.


5. 3M Powerflow Face-Mounted Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR), Respiratory Protection 6900PF



Pros:

  • Compact design for a snug fit
  • Battery lasts up to 8 hours
  • Lightweight and well-balanced for less neck aches
  • Practical for asbestos, mold, and toxic particles

Cons:

  • Cartridge is not included
  • Can’t be worn with glasses and won’t seal correctly with facial hair
  • Battery packs are costly

Product Overview:

This 3M respirator is a battery-operated unit that can increase wearer productivity without having to wear a blower unit at your waist. The battery life of the rechargeable battery lasts up to 8 hours and certain PAPR systems provide a more optimal level of respiratory protection than non-powered air filtering respirators.

Because the respirator provides a constant flow of air, this can have a nice cooling effect which is great for when you’re working on those hot summer days. The battery-powered blower pulls the air through the filter which decreases additional breathing resistance. This blower unit can be mounted on the face, waist, or head, depending on what’s most comfortable.

The 3M Powerflow system delivers a minimum of 4 cubic feet of air per minute when used with the filter. This respirator in particular uses the popular 6000 series face piece and its highly protective face shield meets high impact requirements of ANSI. The mask is ideal for if you’re working in environments filled with asbestos, lead, mold, and other similar hazardous materials.

If you wear glasses or have a full beard, the respirator might not fit over your face correctly and there’s no guarantee it’ll seal all the way. You can always buy another battery pack in case anything happens to the one the mask comes with – although they are pricey. If you wish to power the battery more easily using a portable power bank/charger, you can also use an adapter, although it is not included.



6. Complete Suit Trudsafe 6800 Painting Spraying Full Face Gas Chemical Mask Respirator



Pros:

  • Equipped with both Bayonet and RD40 connections
  • Includes Organic Vapor cartridges and Particulate Cotton filters
  • Lens is anti-fog and shock resistant with wide field of view
  • Made of high quality silicone for convenience and durability
  • Comfortable to wear with no heavy pressure

Cons:

  • Won’t fit with glasses on
  • Rubber inside mask collects dust easily
  • Large size still may be small for some users

Product Overview:

This full respirator mask by Trudsafe is equipped with two types of connections, a Bayonet connection and a RD40 connection. These are standard connectors so they can fit many popular brands such as 3M. The mask comes with Organic Vapor cartridges and Particulate Cotton filters which means both oily and non-oily particles are filtered out.

If you deal in chemical cleanup, painting, welding, furnace operations, or mechanical assembly, this respirator is widely used in such operations and is highly recommended. It has gone through a series of lab testing by the FDA to fully ensure its quality and safety. Because the mask’s design is snug to the face, you can have a peace of mind knowing that it’s sealed securely to keep out toxic air contaminants.

The 5 point harness and mesh headband work to protect your head and hair with little to no pulling or pinching. It also relieves any heavy pressure while keeping a consistent seal. The polycarbonate lens is made with anti-fog and environmental protection material that allows for a clear view as well as shock resistance in dangerous environments.

To prevent any condensation and accumulated heat, the high flow air outlet valve at the front of the mask reduces gathered heat so that you can exhale more smoothly. However, this mask isn’t very comfortable to wear with glasses, so keep that in mind. Also, the rubber inside the respirator tends to be clingy which results in a lot of dust getting stuck onto it. However, this is easy to clean with a damp rag.





Buyer’s Guide: Full Face Respirator Masks

Types of Respirators

Typically, there are 3 types of respirators, which are disposable, half-mask, and full-mask.

Disposable:

Disposable dust masks are the most common type of particulate filter for home use. They cover your nose and mouth and can be used up to a couple of times before they need to be thrown away. They also provide protection from airborne particles such as dust, mists, liquids, and fumes, but they don’t protect you from gases or vapors.

Half-Mask:

Half-masks also cover the nose and mouth but offer replaceable air-purifying cartridges and filters. These are able to filter gases and vapors and are more suitable in the workplace. However, they often need to be worn with protective goggles since they don’t cover the eyes.

Full-Masks:

Full masks are the safest and most protective since they cover the entire face without obscuring your vision and often offer shock resistance lenses. They seal securely to your face and come with replaceable air-purifying cartridges and filters. Sometimes they have a battery-powered fan that blows air through the filter to give you an easier time breathing.

Full-face respirators belong in the category of gas or vapor respirators and they usually come with cartridges attached to them. While these cartridges don’t necessarily protect you from particles, you can combine them with particulate filters that fit the masks.

You’ll notice that there are different color cartridges and each color represents what they best protect against. These typically include:

  • Yellow: filters out organic vapor/acid gases
  • Black: filters out organic vapor
  • Pink: filters out ammonia gas
  • White: filters out acid gases


Make sure to store unused cartridges properly and refrain from using them after they’ve expired to ensure protection. While you’re using the cartridges, be sure to replace them periodically to maintain their protection level. Once their capacity to absorb harmful contaminants has been exceeded, they don’t offer protection anymore.

Man wearing Respirator Mask


Using a Respirator Mask

When using full face respirator masks, be sure that you understand and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid any injury. Not every respirator can handle every type of situation.

Respirators labeled with NIOSH are certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, but you must make sure it’s certified for the specific hazards in your work environment.

Air-purifying masks need to have a secure and tight seal on your face for it be effective and it must be the right size to ensure there’s no way for toxic chemicals to make their way through. These masks work best if you have little to no obstructions on your face (full beard, sideburns, earrings, etc.) as they can potentially prevent the mask from sealing correctly.

Make sure to check if your respirator is labeled for only homeowner/DIY use or workplace/occupation use. DIY use is typically weaker in protection and won’t protect you from harsh chemical pollutants in the air.

Valved or vented respirators give you an easier time exhaling and reduces heat buildup so that you’re more comfortable. They also prevent your mask lens from fogging up and obscuring your field of vision.


Ryan

Ryan

Ryan is a writer for ToolboxAdvice.com. He's been a hobbyist and painter for a long time, and now enjoys teaching others. His content primarly focuses on reviews and guides for painters and construction professionals.

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