How to Properly Wear an N95 Particulate Respirator

N95 masks or respirators have become a necessary part of our everyday lives since the world plummeted into the COVID-19 Pandemic. Before March 2020, the only people who wore N95 Particulate Respirator were medical staff or exceptionally ill people.

Yet, with the dangers of the pandemic continuously looming, the world has gotten used to not only seeing people wearing N95 Particulate Respirators but also wearing them daily.

Unfortunately, most people don’t know that a respirator is only useful if worn correctly.

Did You Know?

Did you know that medical professionals receive specific training to wear masks, respirators, and other PPE (personal protective equipment)? This fact is proof enough that wearing protective gear isn’t enough.

You need to know how to wear the gear correctly to ensure you do everything you can to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.


This article will discuss, step by step, how to wear an N95 Particulate Respirator properly.

Safety First Preparations

Before you even touch your N95 Particulate Respirator, there are crucial steps you need to follow to ensure you are being as safe as possible:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer before picking up your respirator. If you use dirty hands to pick your respirator up and apply it to your face, you are defeating the purpose of having the respirator.
  • Inspect your respirator for holes, tears, or any other sign of damage. You want to check the entirety of the respirator. That means you want to inspect:
    • Surface
    • Straps
    • Nose Bridge

Get a new respirator if you notice that your respirator has sustained damage. Do not risk wearing a respirator with even the smallest imperfections. Remember, you are protecting yourself from microbial germs. So even having a stitch out of place can negate the effectiveness of the respirator.

Wearing the N95 Particulate Respirator

Here are the three steps to properly wearing the N95 Particulate Respirator once you have prepared yourself and your respirator:

Step #1: Placing the Respirator Against Your Face

Place the palm of your hand against the respirator and make sure the straps are facing out. It will also help to slip your hand between the front of the respirator and the straps.

Once you have this position, place the respirator against your face. Ensure the bottom is under your chin and the metal nose piece fits snugly across the bridge of your nose.

Note: Never press the N95 Particulate Respirator into your face. You want to securely hold it against your face, but you want to ensure the respirator keeps its shape.

Step #2: Securing the Straps

While you are still holding the respirator against your face, pick up the top strap with your free hand and palace it over your head. The top strap should fit snugly around the back of the top of your head.

Once the top strap is secured, use the same hand to pull the bottom strap over your head. You want this bottom strap to sit around the back of your neck, below your ears.


You want both straps to fit securely, without slipping down or back over your head. The respirator should be fairly comfortable. The respirator should feel snug but not too tight.

Step #3: Shape the Nose Bridge

Once the straps are in the correct position, you want to use both hands to bend the metal nose piece so that it fits securely against your nose and face.

Note: The respirator may not fit as well if you only use one hand to pinch the metal nosepiece, so always use two hands, even when adjusting the respirator.


After you have secured the N95 Particulate Respirator to your face, slide your fingers gently down both sides of the metal nosepiece. This action will seal it against your nose and face.

Checking the Security of Your N95 Particulate Respirator

Even after you have placed your N95 Particulate Respirator, you still need to check the security of the respirator.

Here is the best way to check to ensure you have put your respirator on correctly:

Step #1: Cover the Respirator

You want to start by completely covering the outside of the respirator with both hands.

Again, you don’t want to push the respirator against your face. Rather, you just want to cover it securely.


Step #2: Exhale to Ensure a Secure Fit

When you get your hands in place on the surface of the respirator, exhale or breathe out

quickly. You should not feel any air blowing on your face or eyes. If you feel any air due to your exhale, this means the respirator needs to be adjusted.

Adjusting Your N95 Particulate Respirator

It shouldn’t be too big of a deal to adjust your respirator if you follow the instructions above. Simply repeat steps 2 and 3 until your respirator has a good fit. You will know your respirator has a good fit when you do not feel any air blowing on your face or eyes during the test.

Be Advised: Most N95 Particulate Respirator models should fit adults. However, if you can’t get a good fit, try a different size or type of N95 Particulate Respirator. You should not settle for a respirator that does not work properly.


Why Should You Use an N95 Particulate Respirator?

Over the past few years, various masks and respirators have emerged on the market. From bulk deals to DIY masks, there is no shortage of options when it comes to covering your face.

However, much like properly wearing your respirator, you aren’t doing anything to help yourself if you do not wear the correct respirator.

The N95 Particulate Respirator is a NIOSH Certified respirator, which means it must filter at least 95% of airborne particles. (The 95 in the name is a reference to its success.)

In summation, to protect yourself fully, you need to wear your N95 Particulate Respirator correctly. Using your respirator correctly includes everything from preparing to pick up your respirator to testing the fit to ensure you have a good seal and making the correct adjustments until the fit is right.

For more information or to order your supply of N95 Particulate Respirators, visit Merilogy today!