Single-use masks | Disposable masks

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Updated on 18/04/24 by Erika C

Non-reusable disposable antiviral masks

Disposable masks, as the term implies, are limited to one use only, after which they must be disposed of properly.

Disposable masks include: 

  • surgical masks
  • FFP1, FFP2, and FFP3 masks are catalogued by the abbreviation NR

Their use is particularly recommended in cases where the formation and accumulation of germs and bacteria are to be avoided as much as possible: the period of use is rather short and does typically not exceed 8 hours.

Differences in protection 

Disposable masks

Disposable surgical masks are usually made of 3 or 4 layers joined by a hot-melt process.

This type of mask can protect others from infected respiratory secretions, but it should be noted that it is not as capable of protecting the wearer from fine aerosols such as viruses.


For protection against these, one should opt for the following types.


Disposable FFP1 masks

Disposable FFP2 masks

Disposable FFP3 masks


72% filtering capacity from viruses to the outside and to the wearer



92% filtering capacity from viruses to the outside and to the wearer


98% filtering capacity from viruses to the outside and to the wearer


All the above versions are also available as:

  • disposable masks with filter → protect only the wearer
  • disposable masks without filter → protect both the wearer and others

We want to remind you that, unless they are categorised by the letter 'R' (from reusable), they are still disposable masks. The latter is, on the contrary, catalogued by the initials 'NR'.

Popular types

The high demand for disposable masks has led to a greater dedication on the part of manufacturers, and their manufacture has become increasingly meticulous and detailed.

The masks that provide the best example of this particular regard are:

  • for children
  • coloured
  • pharmacy 

Disposable masks for children

Paediatric disposable masks include the types mentioned in the first paragraph with the addition of a greater focus on design, comfort and fit. 

 mascherine per bambini 

Given that their use will be intended for an audience of minors from 6 years of age and up, the structure and details of the disposable mask will be conceived and designed on a smaller scale to best meet the conformity requirements of standard UNI EN 14683: 2019.

The aesthetic side is also an exception: masks with bright designs and patterns are very common in these cases.

Coloured disposable masks

These days, the facemask has become an integral part of everyone's outfits, and precisely because of this, it has been desired to match the garments worn.

When it comes to events and ceremonies, coloured masks have achieved their fair share of success: the classic blue typical of disposable surgical masks does not always go well with elegant outfits.

mascherine colorate


Black disposable masks

Black disposable masks offer an undeniable advantage: they suit all types of clothing in style and colouring.

Black is one of those colours that 'goes well with everything and also lends an unparalleled sense of elegance. Not surprisingly, black disposable masks are becoming increasingly common in the catering trade to match the sober and elegant style of servers' uniforms.

Disposable pharmacy masks

Until recently, the topics 'sale of disposable masks' and 'production of disposable masks' were a sore point: they were only available in pharmacies, whereas now they can be found everywhere.

Many companies' teams have reinvented themselves by becoming genuine manufacturers of disposable masks, especially in times of covid 19; this has given the user more choice to the extent that they also pay attention to their appearance. 

 Frequently asked questions


How is the disposable mask worn?

Disposable masks should be worn by touching only the elastic bands or ties without coming into contact with the inside to avoid contamination.

Next, it should be checked that the underwire in the upper part of the mask adheres perfectly to the nose, and finally, it should be checked that the lower part completely covers the chin.

Before each use, it is essential to wash or sanitise your hands, and it is always good to ensure that you are wearing the mask the right way around.

Apart from FFP1, FFP2, and FFP3 + R, what are other non-disposable masks?

Cloth facemasks must also be machine washed at 60° after each use and would therefore also fall into the category of disposable facemasks, but this rule is rarely followed.

This is probably due to the fact that the masks are already in use in the community and are therefore not suitable for medical use but only for family needs; consequently, these are low-risk situations.

What are paper disposable masks?

Paper disposable masks are masks made of cellulose and are part of Class I PPE.

In this case, the level of protection is not very high and is not determined by the layers but by the veils, which are usually 1 or 2.

Their use is more widespread in wellness and beauty centres and generally in all low-risk situations. They are non-sterile devices that guarantee an excellent level of hygiene rather than real protection from pathogens.

Consequently, it is to be excluded in the event of epidemics and pandemics.

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