3M N95 1860 vs. 1870 Surgical Mask review: Save from CIVID-19

The N95 Mask is a superior type of surgical Mask with ultimate protection. 1860 vs. 1870 are two models of n95 developed by 3M. The musk is made by a few manufacturers throughout the world. In 1970, The Bureau of Mines and NIOSH first developed the standard for single-use respirators and according to that standard 3M first developed N95 dust respirator. It was later approved in 1972. 3M used the melt blowing method that it developed several decades before. This is like the bows of ready-made ribbon and bra cups.

3M is an American corporation working for industrial safety, US health and care, and consumer products. N95 is a respirator that was developed to inhale air to the human respiratory system filtering the dust and germs in the air. In the later phase, the N95 has been famous for healthcare safety guard instruments after the virus bloating technology was added to it by Peter Tsai. Some chemical technology has been applied to it to trap viruses and kill them before they pass inside.

3M includes the technology and implants positive and negative charges in the respirator fabrics. These charges are able to attract particles like dust and virus and trap them to die. CDC recommends the use of an n95 quality mask to prevent inhalation of any air-borne infectious particles including Tuberculosis, SARS, and Ebola.

1860 and 1870 are two surgical masks widelyused by the health care provider, doctor, and nurse to detach themselves from and respiratory particles from the contact of any infected patient. 1860 and 1870 are two different of different shapes.

3M N95 1860 vs. 1870

3M N95 1860 vs. 1870




Braided Comfort Strap






Cartridge or Filter Included



Market Leader


Exhalation Valve



FDA Cleared



Face seal/Nosefoam




Advanced Electrostatic Media

Advanced Electrostatic Media, Individually Wrapped

Flame Resistance (ASTM D2859-96)



Flammability Rating

Class 1

Class 1

Fluid Resistant (ASTM F1862)



Gas & Vapor Protection Type


Individually Wrapped



NIOSH Filter Approval Rating


Natural Rubber Latex Components



Product Type

Healthcare Respirator

Healthcare Respirator

Protection Level



Recommended Application

Emergency & Pandemic Preparedness

Recommended Industry

Health Care

Health Care

Respirator Style


Flat Fold



Strap Attachment Type

Braided Comfort Strap


Like you see in the specification comparison table, there are some differences in terms of the facility. The use of the Mask will be determined by the purpose of use by the health caregiver.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for the n95 Mask was at its peak in history. The same infection was seen by SARS and MARS, but they were for a short period. The use of 3M 1860 and 8210 is very popular in the healthcare provider during the current covid-19 crisis.

1860 & 1870 variation

1860 type is round and followed by the shape of cup used in a bra. It covers most of the human face and doesn’t let the air particles pass in the nose and mouth with the air that is inhaled. The model 1860 has a braided comfort strap that makes a good feeling on the cheek. These features in not available in 1870 type. 3M include a cartridge or filter with the 1860 but not in the 1870 model.

By use, familiarity, and convenience, N95 1860 is the market leader that has no doubt. Health care providers are less likely to be seen to wear 1870. Prevention of air passing particles are found to pass through the eye and so an eye protector goggle is also used. 1860 is vertically wide enough to reach the goggle and cover-up from eye to chin. 1860 keeps a gap with the eye protector.

Moreover, only 1860 is recommended to use in a pandemic because it is fluid-resistant.

NIOSH approved the filter of 1860 as n95 which is not the same in 1870 type.

Common Features

  • Both 1860 and 1870 have nose foam that feels cozy for the nose to stay in.
  • They have FDA clearing for use widely.
  • Both of them include advanced electrostatic media that contributes to trap foreign particles and deactivate them.
  • They are flame resistant.
  • They have Bacterial Filtration Efficiency according to ASTM F2101.
  • Both of them have head ribbon that helps to tie the Mask on head avoiding ear.
  • They are both liquid resistant and so liquid backdrop can go through them.
  • The filters used in them are absorbed by several chemicals to make them against living particles.

Some reported the followinglackings.

  • None of the 1860 and 1870 has air exhalation valve for easier breath
  • Both of them cause line marks on the face upon long-wearing of those masks
  • Some health caregivers reported suffocation on wearing them.
  • Wearing N95 1860 and 1870 for a long time causesa bad odor on the inner side of the Mask and the person inhales that bad odor.

High demand of N95 1860 type

In January 2020, a big crisis of covid-19 pandemic a huge number of N95 masks, especially the 1860 type. China was then the biggest manufacturers and supplier of the N95 Mask. Health caregivers, emergency care providers, and those who were involved in Covid-19 affected were highly in need of those masks to maintain the infected patient. 1860type n95 mask was then used by 95% percent caregivers. Later they began to wear this Mask in combination with a face shield.

US president ordered the national defense to organize as many N95 masks as they can. All the masks they purchase from china were 1860 type.

Use of N95 at regular phase

N95 Mask has been being used widely since 1998 by medical surgeons, laboratory scientists, chemical analyzers, TB hospital personals and those who are involved in virus analysis. While saying so, the type of n95 it indicates is 1860. It was also used to prevent earlier respiratory infections including SARS and MERS.

What are the sizes of N95?

N95 1860 and 1860s are two models depending on their size. N95 1860s is the smaller size for those who don't feel comfortable to 1860. Similarly, 1860 is the biggest size of this type. So people can choose between these two sizes.

Here, N95 1870 comes only as 1870+ level. There is no other size of this type of N95. There are also reasons behind this. 1870 type mask is horizontally wide shape which can be easily bent to the ear and fit well. So no one adult person is supposed to feel loose-fitting or tight.

Both of the sizes have almost similar respiratory protection against particles. But they have dissimilarity in size and shape. Most of the health associations choose to use N95 1860 because they find it convenient to wear and look perfect. Because 1860 is reportedly to mark horizontal lines on the knows since it is vertically shorter than the 1860 type mask. The vertical rim ends in eye level in case of N95 1860 while 1870 can reach at most 1 cm below the eye level.

What is a better N95 mask?

While the 1870 type of N95 has most of the protection as in the 1860 type, people and organizations chose to use the 1860 type. They have found this more reasonable to feel confident. In our lab, we passed both of them through some fluid tests containing some particles. Both tests provided show the same filtration capacity of both 1860 and 1870. But during the test, we found more room to work with 1860.

Health caregivers also use a 2042F Triple-layer molded mask. They use this to work with the known bacterial issue. Because 2042F has equal to or more than 98% Bacterial Filtration Efficiency. Out of three, its middle layer is capable of trapping particles in the air. If your case is like that, you can consider using this too.

How effective are these 1860 and 1870 in the densely populated zone?

N95 stand-alone is not reportedly effective to protect you against respiratory infection. This is why the caregiver uses an eye goggle to stay more detached. Many of them use a face shield over the Mask to protect to mask from contamination. They do this to avoid the hassle of changing the Mask periodically. If the infection is all around you can no more depend on the N95 Mask. This is for fair and conservative use.

If you work any lab you should must need equipments, spectrophotometer and cuvette.

How costly is an N95 1860 and 1870?

The price of an N95 1860 and 1870 is eye tearing. While China is the biggest supplier of N95 masks, in 2020, they marketed the N95 1860 with a retail price at $10 and wholesale at $6. The high demand and short production are reported to be the main reason behind this. However, the price has now been reduced as low as $3 at wholesale and $5 at retail.

Note: If you feel suffocated using 1860 or if you are exposed to a bad odor while using this, you can consider using 8210V. This type of n95 Mask has an air exhalation filter for you to exhale. So you won’t feel discomfort about that.

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