How Long Do Face Mask Filters Last?

How Long Do Face Mask Filters Last

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Welcome to this article that talks about how long face mask filters last. There are different kinds of filters used in making homemade face masks. Most of these filters are reusable and washable. However, these filters have a lifespan and should be disposed of properly. This article will discuss the different types of filters and how long they can be used.

How long do face mask filters last? This will have to depend on the type of filter. A disposable filter usually lasts from one to two weeks and should be discarded after that. Carbon filters face masks that can be used up to three months, while respirator filters can last six months. Most filters are disposable and for one-time use only. When using reusable ad washable face mask filters, make sure that you check its lifespan and how long to use it safely.

This article does not contain any product recommendations. If you are interested in purchasing face masks, here’s our buying guide with products.

What are the different kinds of face mask filters? How long do they last? What face mask filter should I use? These are some of the questions that we will answer in this article. To find out more about the topic, you can read the rest of the article below.

How Long do Disposable Mask Filters Last?

Disposable mask filters can only be used for one to two weeks. After that, they should be discarded. They cannot be cleaned or washed. Take note that one to two weeks is based on casual use of the mask-like wearing it only when heading outside or going to public places. If the mask is continuously worn for the whole 8-hour working day, it can only last for one to two days.

How Long Does PM2.5 Filters Last?

The PM2.5 filters usually have a lifespan of one to three days. Some companies claim that their filters can last up to several months or are reusable. Make sure that you check the packaging of the filter so that you will be aware of how long you can use it safely.

What is PM2.5 Activated Carbon Filters?

The disposable mask filters have a layer of activated charcoal that absorbs various gases and vapors. They have a 5 layer construction, arranged in a specific order, so it matters which way they are fitted into the mask. The other layers in the filter will effectively trap up to 2.5 microns particles in size. When placing the filter into the mask, the front of the filter printed with the words “PM2.5” should be inserted into the mask facing upwards towards the mask’s inside. It should be on the same side as your face when wearing the mask.

How Long do Cartridge Filters Last?

Filters used in reusable mask cartridges protect from twenty hours if used in dusty jobs. On the other hand, it can be used up to several weeks for protection against viruses. It would be best to be cautious about how long you used the filters, especially when dealing with viruses. Follow the instructions and expiration date provided by the manufacturers on the packaging.

How Often Should Face Mask Filters be Changed?

To make sure that you prioritize your safety, you are advised to change face mask filters every day. If you are using a reusable filter, it should be completely dry before using it again. On the other hand, note that the more you use the filter, the less effective it will become.

How Long do Respirator Filters Last?

Once in use, a respirator filter can last up to a maximum of six months when properly taken care of. Both filters and respirator masks should be stored in a sealed container to prevent airflow and contamination that can wear the filter out. Avoid storing it in contaminated areas. Moreover, the filter’s longevity will also depend on various factors like the type of filter, frequency of use, quality of the filters, and filtering.

When Should a Respirator Filter be Changed?

After you have used the filters, it is easy to find out if they already need to be changed. Below are the signs that you need to look for depending on the type of filter you are using.

Particulate filters need to be changed when 

  • The filter has been damaged in any way.
  • It becomes difficult to breathe, or the respirator becomes uncomfortable to use

Gas/Vapour filters need to be changed when

  • It is past the expiry date found on the packaging.
  • The filter starts to smell like contaminants.
  • It has been out of the original packaging for six months or more.

How Long Can NanoFiber Mask Filter Last?

The filters can last from eight hours up to twenty days, depending on the level of pollution, and are also fully recyclable. The outer shell component of the mask can last for a long time. It is machine washable and tumbles dry safely. This is another mask option that you can have if you decide to purchase face masks on the market.

What are NanoFiber Face Masks?

These kinds of face masks have two components: The reusable skin and the replaceable filter. Each filter has three layers composed of two layers of PET and one embedded with nanofiber material. The mask filter can stop 99% of PM2.5 particles, including dust and other air pollutants. They are usually made from poly-nylon and spandex. These materials are chosen based on their durability, breathability, and hypoallergenic properties. We have also written this article that talks about if linen is a good material for face masks. You can also check out the article for more tips and information about the topic.

Related Questions

How to Make a Face Mask with Filter Pockets?

You can easily make a face mask with filter pockets by following tutorials online. There are also patterns available for sewn and no-sew face masks. Joan shared a tutorialOpens in a new tab. on how to make a face mask with filter pockets. The face mask is for intermediate level and can be made under an hour, depending on your sewing skills. She also shared a pattern that you can download. You will need 100% cotton fabric and 4 pieces of 18 inches fabric ties to make the mask. You can check out the link above for the step-by-step instructions.

The tutorial is for face masks with fabric ties. The good thing about fabric ties is that they can easily be adjusted to fit the wearer’s face. If you want to have face masks with earloops, you can also search online for more tutorials.

✅ Video – Easy Face Mask with Filter Pockets for Beginners

Anjurisa shared the video below on her YouTube channel. She demonstrates how to make a face mask with filter pockets. This tutorial is easy to follow and specially made for beginners. If you do not have a sewing machine, you can always hand stitch the face mask. Check out the video for the visual demonstration below.

Why do Face Masks Need Filters?

Adding a filter into face masks can provide an extra layer of protection to the wearer. When it comes to reusable face masks, the more layers, the better it is to wear. Choose fabrics that are made from tightly-woven materials. Wearing a mask by itself may not be effective. You can find face masks with filter pockets available on the market.

Are Face Mask Filters Washable?

Some face mask filters are washable, particularly the HVAC ones. They can be worn two to three times before washing. Some people choose to wash filters as frequently as they wash their masks. Take note also that every wash reduces the effectiveness of the filters. Filters are more delicate than masks and should be hand washed rather than placed in a washing machine. You can also check out this article that we have written, which discusses if face mask filters are washable. We have also shared tips on how to wash and dry the masks properly.

Where Can I Purchase Face Mask Filters?

You can purchase face mask filters online. Many people are purchasing filters online because it is more convenient, and you can choose from a wide array of available filters. There are disposable filters that you can purchase by piece or in bulk if you want to save on your budget. You can even avail of packages wherein you will get free disposable filters if you purchase a face mask.


Thank you for reading this article that talks about how long face mask filters last. As we have discussed above, there are different kinds of filters used for face masks. Some are disposable, while others are reusable. When using reusable face mask filters, make sure that you check their lifespan to ensure that you are well protected while wearing the face mask. If you want to purchase anti-viral face masks, you can check out the link above for a list of products you can purchase.

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