Site Information

 Loading... Please wait...


Face masks explained - the difference between face masks

Posted by MediBargains Face mask team on

What’s the difference between face masks?

Back in 2019 few imagined what 2020 would bring.  Fewer yet could predict the position face masks and face coverings would play in the politics and prevention of the Covid 19 pandemic.

After a considerable dearth in availability, supply of face masks are slowly returning to the market place. Global demand however remains high, resulting in an overall global shortage.

New to us, perhaps, but face masks date back to the 17th century plague, and the more familiar ‘hospital surgical mask’ rapidly approaches its centenary.

So what is 3ply mask?

3 ply essentially means 3 layers. A 3 ply mask consists of an outer and inner non-woven fabric layer with a middle filtration layer made from a polypropylene polymer, typically referred to in the industry ‘melt-down’. The meltdown layer prevents microbes from entering or exiting the mask, and it is the global shortage of this material which has resulted in higher costs of production and higher onward costs in the industry.

Are all 3 ply masks the same?

Whilst the principle of a 3ply mask is the same – to prevent the entrance and exit of microbes, some do this more efficiently than other.Any commercially available mask should have undergone testing (by sample selection) to determine how well in filters, how it copes under physical pressure, the degree to which blood penetrates and a microbial cleanliness test.

For the purpose of comparison, a key differentiator between the performance of masks we stock at MediBargains is how well the masks filters.

Below is a table of the various testing standards used and how well the masks perform.






≥ 94%



≥ 95%


EN14683 Type II

≥ 98%


We decided to stock the Type IIR with splash resistance instead as offers more protection (see below)

EN14683:2019 Type IIR

≥ 98%


R in Type IIR

Means ‘Splash resistant’

There are other masks available but these are the types we have decided to offer to provide a range of protection based on need.These are just our recommendations and this does not constitute medical advice.

Please contact us on to further discuss your requirement and stock needs.

Urinary Catheterisation and Types of Catheters

Urinary Catheterisation and Types of CathetersUrinary catheterisation is a medical procedure used to drain and collect urine from the bladder.What is a catheterA thin, flexible tube called a catheter is inserted into the bladder, usually along the tube through which urine naturally passes (urethral catheter), or through a hole in your abdomen directly into the bladder (suprapubic [...]

Read More »