Last Updated: August 20, 2020
Respirator masks are vital to safety when working with spray paint, doing woodworking, and many other occupations. However, not all masks are created equal. There will be extreme variations in their ability to filter, fit, and perform. It’s not always easy to choose the best one by looking at products on a shelf.
We’ve chosen 10 different brands of respirator mask to review for you. We’ll list the pros and cons of each one and tell you about any additional features they may have or lack. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide where we look at each part of the respirator mask to see what’s important and what you can avoid.
Join us while we discuss comfort, type, weight, type of filter, and more to help you make an informed purchase.
|Best Overall||3M 7501 Reusable Respirator||
|3M 7162 Full-Facepiece||
|Best Value||Minor Miracle Breath Buddy||
|SAS Safety 7650-61 Opti-Fit||
|Miller Electric ML00895 Half Mask||
Here are the best spray painting respirators and masks that we have found to review for you.
The 3M 7501 Personal Reusable Respirator Is our pick for the best overall respirator mask. It uses an advanced silicone material that fits your face better and helps make it more durable. The single direction CoolFlow valve helps make it easier to breathe while wearing the mask, and the valve covers allow you to direct your breath, which helps reduce fogging. The dual-mode head harness is easy to adjust and holds the respirator firmly to your head. You can set it for standard or drop-down mode, and it’s color-coded to denote the size, which helps when you’re in a workshop with many respirators. It’s NIOSH-approved for safety and includes one set of cartridges and filters.
We found the 3M to work well in any situation. Our only complaint is that it tends to get heavy after a long workday.
The 3M 7162 Full-Facepiece Spray Paint Respirator Is there a runner up for the best respirator mask, and the same company makes it. This one includes the face shield and comes with lots of extras, including two cartridges, four filters, two filter retainers, and two face shield covers. This many extras will keep you protected through several jobs, and since the parts are changeable, you can use this mask well into the future if you have replacement filters. It’s also very lightweight and doesn’t fog.
The main reason that we didn’t choose the 3M Full-Facepiece Respirator as our top choice is that it won’t work if you wear glasses. If you wear glasses, you’d need to buy an extra part and have it installed into the mask by an eye doctor. It’s also considerably more expensive than our top choice.
The Minor Miracle Breath Buddy Respirator Mask is our choice for the best respirator mask for the money. This mask has a cool air valve that helps make it easy to breathe, and it blocks vapors, fumes, pollen, dust, and many other contaminants that may be in the air. It’s also guaranteed to remove 100% of odors while you wear it. It’s reusable and comes with cartridges and filters so you could get started right away, and it also includes safety glasses. It fits comfortably and is lightweight.
The only downside to this inexpensive mask is that it includes very poor instructions. If this is the first time you are using this type of respirator, you may find yourself looking up videos about how to use it.
The SAS Safety 7650-61 Opti-Fit Full-face APR Respirator Pictures of silicone skirt, which helps make the respirator more durable and also more comfortable. It has a wide viewing area, and the nose cup helps prevent the mask from fogging up while you use it. Its five-point head strap makes sure the mask is secure against your face. It’s NIOSH certified and includes one cartridge and one filter.
Unfortunately, the SAS Respirator does not include very good instructions, so it’s challenging to set up the first time. You can’t wear glasses with it, or it’ll break the seal around your face, and it’s not very easy to clean because sweat builds up in areas you can’t reach.
The Miller Electric ML00895 Half Mask Respirator Pictures a unique low-profile design and a large non-return exhaust valve to help reduce heat and make it easier to breathe while you’re wearing it. Turnbuckles make it easy to change the filters, and its 4-point head strap adjustments make sure the mask is secure. All materials used in construction are medical grade.
The primary downside to the Miller Electric respirator is that the straps are flimsy, and we broke ours after only a few uses. It causes a lot of sweating, and it doesn’t work with welding masks. We also felt that the filters were quite expensive.
The 3M Ultimate FF-401 FX Full Facepiece Reusable Respirator is the third respirator by the 3M company on this list. This model features a six-strap head harness for a perfect airtight fit. The straps are durable and should last many years, even with heavy use. It also features a wide field of view and a cool flow valve that makes it easier to breathe. Other unique features include a passive speaking diaphragm that helps make it easier to communicate in a noisy environment without the need for electronics and a Scotch guard coating that helps make the shield easier to clean.
We enjoyed Reviewing the 3M Ultimate, but like many respirators with face masks, you can’t wear glasses when you use it. This model is also quite heavy on your head after a few hours, and it’s extremely expensive.
The North Safety 770030L 7700 Series Silicone Half Mask Respirator is soft non-allergenic silicone. This material is very durable and helps form a better seal around your face. The half mask cradle suspension system also improves the seal and removes pressure points to allow you to wear the mask comfortably for longer. It’s NIOSH approved for safety, and its low profile design lowers breathing resistance in both directions.
Unfortunately, the North Safety does not include any cartridges or filters, so you will need to purchase them separately. Despite it being a half-mask, you still won’t be able to wear glasses with it, and it is uncomfortable after extended use because it causes sweating.
The RoofWorld 15in1 Reusable Full-Face Respirator uses silicone and thermoplastic elastomer material to provide comfort and added durability. The face mask provides a wide field of vision, and it is lightweight and well balanced.
We like the look of the RoofWorld, but couldn’t get it to seal well on our faces And without a good seal, the mask isn’t going to work very well. We also found that it tends to fog while you’re using it, and some of the pieces are not durable and began to fall off after only a few uses.
The Trend Stealth Air APF10 Reusable Half Mask Respirator features a compact design with twin filters. The activated carbon filters are inexpensive and easy to change in the bottom position exhalation valve means your glasses won’t get foggy while using this respirator. It’s also extremely lightweight, weighing less than half a pound.
What we didn’t like about the Trend Stealth Respirator was the strap was not very convenient to adjust, nor was it comfortable while wearing the mask. Stale air can also get trapped inside the mask, and ours arrived with a crease in it that we could not work out.
The ANJEER Suit for 6200 Full face Medium-Sized Respirator Is the last brand respirator masks on our list to review. This model comes with two filters that you can wash after each use to extend the life of each filter, and the mask itself is an extremely durable hard plastic.
What we didn’t like about the ANJEER was that it is extremely uncomfortable. The hard-plastic construction has no give, and it doesn’t seal well against your face. We also didn’t think the filters work that well and wouldn’t trust it in a harmful environment.
In this section, we’ll look at some of the most important things to look for when you’re choosing a respirator or mask.
The first question you will need to ask yourself is whether you’ll need a full-face or a half-face respirator. We’ll go over each in this section.
Full face respirators cover the mouth, nose, and eyes of the user. These respirators often have a large plastic face shield and are really two units in one as the half-face respirator is built in. Please units after much more protection than half-face respirators, but they are more expensive heavier and could fog up if not properly designed. People who wear glasses cannot use many brands because they will break the seal around your face.
A full-face respirator is best when particles in the air can be hazardous to the eyes like when spraying paint or woodworking.
Half-face respirators cover the mouth and nose to protect the lungs. Unlike the full-face respirator, this type does nothing to protect the eyes. This type of mask usually straps to the head with one or more straps, and they are generally lighter in weight and more comfortable than the full-face version. The half-face respirator is also less expensive, and most brands will allow you to wear glasses while you work. You can also usually wear face Shields or welders’ helmets over them.
Disposable masks are a type of half-face respirator that we’ve all become familiar with due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If the kind of job you’re doing is very small or is a one-off, the disposable mask might be the perfect inexpensive solution for protection over the short term.
There are more types of filters than there are brands of respirators. The kind of filter you use is going to be largely dependent on the job you’re doing, as well as personal preference and availability. Most of the respirators on our list have combination filters, which means they do a good job for general purpose air filtration. However, if you’re working more with gases and vapors, you may want to look into a gas and vapor filter, whereas if you’re working with particles like wood and paint, a particle filter may work better for you.
NIOSH stands for National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. If the brand of respirator you were looking at is NIOSH certified, you know it meets safety guidelines. We always recommend going with a certified brand when possible because you know any claims it makes on the package are true. However, there are a lot of great brands that don’t have certification.
When choosing your next respirator mask, we recommend the 3M 7501 Personal Reusable Respirator. It’s our pick for the best overall because it’s easy to breathe, comfortable to wear, and filters well. It’s also NIOSH certified and comes with extra filters. Another great choice is our pick for the best value. The Minor Miracle Breath Buddy Respirator Mask is inexpensive, lightweight, and comes with replacement filters and a free pair of safety glasses.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over our reviews and learn something new about respirators. If you have found the information presented here helpful and it has helped you make your next purchase, please share these best respirators and masks on Facebook and Twitter.
David Janus is the founder and CEO of Paint Sprayer Magazine. He has over two decades of experience in the spray paint industry and still enjoys writing about new products and technologies.
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