Is There Any Difference Between N95 and P2 Masks?

The P2 rating is the standard in Australia and New Zealand similar to the US N95 mask rating.

N95 and P2 masks are nearly identical on filtration–the factor most people care about. However, there are small differences in other factors, such as breathing resistance and requirements for fit-testing.

N95 and P2 masks look almost identical, and they filter out nearly the same amount of particles: 95% versus 94%. 

To get masks certified as “P2,” manufacturers must perform fit tests on real humans, whereas N95 manufacturers do not.

The standards require P2 masks to be somewhat easier to breathe out of (“exhalation resistance”).

Australia requires manufacturers to test P2 masks for “CO2 clearance,” which prevents CO2 from building up inside the mask. In contrast, N95 masks don’t have this requirement.

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