Respirator & Dust Mask: Details & Differences

There are two different types of masks which you can use to protect your lungs –Respirator and Dust mask. If you are doing woodworking, painting, grinding, gardening etc, that might expose you to airborne particles, then make sure you wear one of these masks. Miners and firefighters are well aware of the airborne dangers which can hamper the lungs and usually receive unique training about the usage of different types of safety masks.

Dust Mask

A dust mask is basically a loose-fitting mask which fits over your mouth and nose. When the user tries to breathe in air, it is then pulled through the dust mask. It is important to note that, the dust is then captured on the exterior of the mask.

Dust masks typically have a single strap which goes around your head. Also, some will possess a strip of bendable aluminum at the exterior across the bridge of the nose. Through the bending movement of the aluminum you can acquire a better fit.

Dust Mask Considerations

  • Dust masks need to fit properly. If not worn properly, there might be leaks which make the gear less useful.
  • Beard scan pose a problem because they don’t allow a tight fit on the face. However, mustaches are OK, as per their size.
  • If a dust mask is damaged or ripped, don’t aim to fit it. Throw it away and use a new one.


A respirator is a mask which is made to protect your lungs from dust, pollen along with chemicals and fumes. You can check out disposable respirators and two different types of air purifying respirators which are – non-powered and powered.

Respirator Considerations

Just like dust masks, respirator masks should also fit properly. One needs to be sure that it must form a good closure all around the edges of the preferred mask.

Unlike dust masks, respirators are more expensive. Also, powered respirator masks are usually more expensive than non-powered, which are more costly than disposable ones.

Primary Difference

dust mask will offer you protection against pollen and non-toxic dust. This will prove effective when you are doing heavy duty cleaning in the house or acting in your yard when there is a lot of pollen in the air.

respirator offers protection against gases, fumes, vapors, and other dangerous particles in the air.  This can prove effective when you are cutting wood, painting, sanding, demolishing walls etc.

Final Say:

Dust masks and respirators are perfect for protecting our lungs from harmful particles. Both the varieties are different which needs to be understood before selecting any one for usage.


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