Close-up of a blonde woman wearing a half mask for respiratory protection

Gas mask: comparison of the 3 best models in 2023

A respirator, commonly known as a gas mask, is a device for filtering chemicals and gases. Nowadays, you can find modern and affordable masks to protect your respiratory system from pollution and gaseous substances. However, we feel it is important to point out that this type of mask is not suitable for all environments.

Unable to compensate for a lack of oxygen, this device should never be used in the following situations:

  • Places where the ambient oxygen level is below 19 %.
  • In poorly ventilated or unventilated spaces.
  • In cases where air pollution is unknown or immediately lethal to humans.
  • In places where the concentration of the pollutant is greater than the maximum filtration capacity of the filter associated with your gas mask.

Our comparison for the year 2023

Comparison updated on 22/03/2023

Thinking of buying a respirator online and not sure which one to choose? Don't worry, we've got you covered.
In this article, we help you to make an informed decision with the help of a clear and concise comparison. It will help you identify the product that best suits your needs, based on the opinions of many professionals.

In order to make your choice easier, we have limited our selection to 3 gas masks and 4 filters classified according to the type of pollution you wish to protect yourself from:

  • If you handle toxic products or solvents (paint, disinfectants, etc.).
  • If you work in dust (insulation work, woodworking, etc.).
  • If you are afraid of exceptional circumstances such as an epidemic or war (virus, radioactive elements, etc.).

1. Respiratory protection masks

Respiratory protection masks are filtering devices designed to protect your respiratory system from toxic gases and particles in the air. To ensure your safety and health, the choice of mask (full or half-face) should be appropriate for the area in which you will be working.

Full face mask Dräger X-plore 6530

The best performer according to the professionals

This full face mask meets the highest standards of quality and reliability. The mask body made of EPDM is extremely durable, non-irritating and very comfortable to wear. The X-plore 6530 is equipped with an integrated stainless steel acoustic membrane to facilitate communication and has a visor as an option:

  • Impact resistant polycarbonate (with plastic or stainless steel frame)
  • Made of scratch-resistant triplex glass with a stainless steel frame.

Designed to be worn in harsh environments, we believe the X-plore 6530 is the best performing mask if you want to effectively protect your health from airborne contaminants.

Dräger X-plore 6300 full face mask

Our favourite 

This mask is a single filter mask offering reliable protection for your lungs and eyes against hazardous substances. Its ventilation system is especially effective thanks to an independent inner mask, which prevents the visor from fogging up and guarantees excellent vision.

Available in a universal size, the mask body is made of durable, hypoallergenic EPDM, with a double seal consisting of three sealing lips, which provides a secure and comfortable fit for all body types. Most importantly, the X-plore 6300 is equipped with a 5-point headgear that not only ensures quick donning and doffing of the mask, but is also wide enough not to put pressure on the user's head.

Dräger X-plore 3500 half mask

An interesting price/quality ratio

The X-plore 3500 half mask is designed to be worn for long periods of time and in the most challenging conditions. The ergonomic shape of the mask provides an enhanced seal and allows it to fit any face shape. Made from soft, non-irritating materials, it is comfortable and easy to breathe.

Available in a range of sizes (S, M and L), this gas mask is the best value for money in our opinion. Supplied without filters, this mask is designed to be used with the X-plore bayonet filters offered later in this article.

2. The filters

An essential part of your mask, the choice of filter must meet a specific professional need. Whether you come into contact with airborne particles or toxic gases, we have compiled a list of cartridges to suit your needs, regardless of the type of mask (half mask or full mask) you wear at work.

Dräger X-plore Rd40 filter A2B2E2K2HGP3 (suitable for full face masks)

Most complete protection (gases, particles, bacteria and viruses)

The A2B2E2K2HGP3 is by far the most effective respirator mask. It is easy to fit and has a round thread Rd40 connection compatible with most modern masks. Designed to be versatile, this filter offers complete protection against particles and vapours: organic and inorganic gases, acids, ammonia and its derivatives, mercury, viruses, bacteria and radioactive particles.

Easy to install, just follow the clear marking to find out which way to turn to fix it. CE certified, this filter is manufactured in Germany according to strict guidelines and complies with the EN 14 387 standard.

Dräger X-plore Rd40 P3R filter (suitable for full face masks)

Protection against particles/dust (does not protect against gas)

The P3R is ideal if you want to carry out activities that generate dust. Whether for sanding, renovation, demolition or medical applications, this filter blocks all airborne particles, be it dust (wood, asbestos, plaster, etc.), viruses and bacteria.

Less versatile than its counterpart the A2B2E2K2HGP3, the P3R does not protect you from gases. However, it offers more than enough safety in all dusty situations, but also against pollen and pet hair.

Easy to install thanks to its Rd40 connection with rounded thread, it can be combined with a large number of breathing masks such as the CDR 4500 or the X-plore 6300. CE certified, This filter is manufactured in Germany according to strict guidelines and conforms to EN148 standards.

Dräger X-plore Filter A1B1E1K1HGP3 (suitable for half masks)

Most complete protection (gases, particles, bacteria and viruses)

The A1B1E1K1HGP3 is suitable for half masks. This versatile filter offers complete protection against gases and particles: organic and inorganic gases, mercury, viruses, bacteria, acids, ammonia and its derivatives. Its capacity is slightly lower than a class 2 filter, but does not change its effectiveness in blocking airborne contaminants.

Equipped with an ABS plastic housing, your filter is protected from damage in case of drops or shocks. CE certified, this filter is manufactured in Germany according to strict guidelines and complies with EN 14 387 and EN 143:2000.

Dräger X-plore A2P3 filter (suitable for half masks)

Protection against particles/dust and gases (solvents)

The A2P3 is a filter suitable for half masks. Designed for multipurpose use, these filters provide protection in all situations: insecticides, pesticides, turpentine, paint, lacquer, resin, particles, etc.

Equipped with a sturdy plastic housing, your filter is protected from damage in the event of drops or shocks to the cartridges. CE certified, the A2P3 is manufactured in Germany according to strict guidelines and complies with EN 14 387 and EN 143:2000.

3. Protective glasses

If you choose a half mask, we recommend that you also use safety goggles or safety glasses, because unlike a full mask, a half mask will not protect your eyes from airborne contaminants.

Dräger X-pect 8520 safety glasses

Our favourite

The X-pect 8520 is designed to protect your eyes in dusty or toxic gas environments. Equipped with a wide elastic headband that does not allow for uncomfortable pressure points, the X-pect 8520 offers high chemical protection. Scratch resistant and with an anti-fog coating, we believe these glasses are the most suitable if you want to wear a half mask.

Dräger X-pect 8120 protective goggles

An interesting price/quality ratio

The X-pect 8120 is particularly robust and comfortable thanks to its unbreakable polycarbonate lens and ergonomic straps. The X-pect 8120 is compatible with prescription glasses and can be adjusted to fit any face with the help of the length and width adjustable straps.

What is the purpose of a gas mask?

A respirator is a system designed to protect the wearer of hazardous materials or substances in the air. Wearing one may be essential if you want to avoid inhaling products that are harmful to your health (which is the case for many craftsmen).

There are 2 types of masks:

  • The half mask The mask only covers the lower part of the face, i.e. the nose, mouth and chin. The mask has a double filtration system which is usually found on the sides of the mask. This type of mask is held on the face with adjustable straps. 
  • The full mask This gas mask covers the entire face. The advantage of this mask is that it protects the eyes from particles and the various gases in the environment. Like the half mask, this mask works with the help of an air filtering device.

What should you look for in a respirator mask?

Ethis Crea | Respiratory protection masks

It is important to note that the term 'gas masks' applies to all kinds of masks that are of no use to you in certain emergency situations. This includes surgical masks, paintball masks and many others. In our opinion, choosing a mask can only be done on an informed basis: whether it is the choice of filter or its practicality.

Filters (also called cartridges)

The quality of a gas mask depends largely on its filter. This element is colour coded to show you which hazard it protects you from.

Organic gases and vapours with a boiling point above 65°C such as solventsbenzene, hydrocarbons, alcohols, ethanol, freon, white spirit.
AXGases and vapours of organic compounds with a boiling point below 65°C such as methyl acetate, styrene, acetone, chloroform, methanol, phenols, many VOCs.
BInorganic gases and vapours such as hydrocyanic acid, chlorine, bromine, cyanide, fluorine, hydrogen sulphide, chlorine dioxide, carbon dioxide.
COCarbon monoxide
EAcid gases and vapours, usually associated with P3 such as acrylic acid, formic acid, hydrogen fluoride, nitric acid, sulphur dioxide, hydrogen chloride.
HgMercury vapours and derivatives usually associated with P3.
KAmmonia and organic derivatives (DMA, DMEA, MMH, UMDS, hydrazine, methylamine).
NoxNitrogen monoxide, nitrous vapours, nitrogen oxide.
REACTORRadioactive iodineradioactive methyl iodide.
SxGases and vapours specifically mentioned by the manufacturer.
PSolid and liquid particles (lead, asbestos(e.g., ceramic fibres, aerosols), radioactive particles and highly toxic, bacteria and viruses (H1N1, bird flu, SARS, TB, etc.).

In addition to the colour code, there are 3 protection classes. These classes determine the capacity to trap contaminants. Thus, for a similar concentration, the autonomy of a class 3 filter will be longer than that of a class 2 (and the same applies to a class 2 and a class 1).

Class 1For a gas content of less than 0.1 % by volume, the lowest capacity (cakes).
Class 2For a gas content between 0.1 % and 0.5 % by volume, i.e. the average capacity (cartridge).
Class 3For a gas content of between 0.5 % and 1 % by volume, i.e. the largest capacity (large capacity cans worn on the belt)

During your search, pay attention to the quality of the filterThe filter has a limited lifespan and should always be sealed before use. An outdated filter or one filled with hazardous substances (such as asbestos) will not protect you from the targeted contaminant.

Also, unless you are using a proprietary gas mask filter for your mask, always use a 40mm threaded gas mask filter: this will fit almost all modern gas masks. Finally, remember that you will need spare filtersThe use of the latter is not eternal.


When choosing your respiratory protection mask, we advise you to :

  • Choose full face gas masks, because if you need to protect your lungs, you also need to protect your eyes.
  • Pay attention to the size of the mask: if it cannot be fitted properly, it will not protect you.
  • Pay attention to the presence of a speech diaphragm if you want to be able to speak clearly to others while wearing the mask.
  • Choose your gas mask filter carefully: it must fit the mask and protect you from the targeted contaminant.
  • Don't forget the goggles: a half-face mask requires that you wear protective glasses adapted to the environment where you will be working.

Practice wearing your full face mask

Wearing a full face mask has absolutely nothing to do with wearing a half mask. If you have a tendency to claustrophobia, we advise you to take the time to get used to wearing your mask.

Practise putting it on and taking it off: you don't need to attach the filter to do this. Just remember that when the filter is attached, the mask is a little heavier and the airflow is different. Try wearing your mask for 20 minutes and see how it goes.