Disposable vs. Reusable Respirators: Choosing the Right Protection for Your Needs

We PPE ONLINE is one of the most trusted suppliers for disposable and re-usable respirators in Dubai. We are one of the leading suppliers of respiratory protection in the UAE market. We have a wide selection of disposable and re-usable masks for all sorts of industries and applications. PPE ONLINE is one of the prominent stockiest of renowned brands such as 3M, Honeywell, Makrite, Empiral, and Venus. PPE ONLINE offer products online through our e-commerce website where the customers have the freedom of selection based on their quantity requirements and can ship based on their convenience. We believe in providing the easiest way to order your PPE online through our most advanced e-commerce website PPE ONLINE.

Disposable Respirators

Disposable respirators are suitable for people who need short-term protection and will be using them in areas where the risk of infection or exposure is low. However, disposable respirators are not designed to last long, and are not suitable for repeated use. Disposable respirators are used in construction and manufacturing industries where workers are exposed to dust, fibers, and other airborne particles. These respirators are lightweight and easy-to-use, making them ideal for workers who need to move around frequently. The medical grade of these respirators is used in healthcare industries and medical rescue missions as well.

Reusable Respirators

As the name suggests, a reusable respirator is like a long-term relationship; it can be used over and over, and you only need to replace the filter when needed. There is a misunderstanding on how to clean a respirator and how long this process takes. However, in the time it takes to wash your hands properly at the end of the day, you can also clean and disinfect your respirator daily.  Unlike disposable respirators, reusable respirators are designed to be reused multiple times and last for a long time. They typically consist of a facepiece made of durable elastomeric rubber material, such as silicone or thermoplastic rubber, that creates a more effective and consistent seal around the face, preventing air from leaking around the edges into the mask. It offers a much tighter and safer seal than disposables. Plus, they can withstand repeated use due to the durable material.

Should I wear a disposable mask or reusable mask?

If you know the basic understanding about what is disposable and what is non-disposable masks, then you can select the type of mask which is more feasible for your operations. However, we PPE SAFETY PRODUCTS TRADING LLC always recommend our client to analyze the risk of your work environment before deciding on which model to use.  You may follow the below steps:

  • Step-01: Know the type of hazard: You’ll need to select equipment based on whether your work environment contains a particulate hazard (particles such as hazardous dusts or fibers), a gas or vapor hazard (such as solvent vapors or chlorine gas), or both types of hazards. Generally, you protect against particulate hazards with a filter and against gas and vapors with a cartridge. If both types of hazards are present, combination cartridges are an option that can filter out both particles and gas or vapors
  • Step-02: Find out if you need respirators in your workplace or not: The exposure assessment should yield employee exposure levels for the substances you tested for. The results are typically measured in parts per million (ppm) or milligrams per cubic meter of air (mg/m3), commonly averaged over an eight-hour work shift.


Compare your exposure levels to the occupational exposure limit (OEL) or permissible exposure limit (PEL) set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to determine if action is required by law. You can often use values set by other groups, such as the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) – if those values are lower than the OEL. In any event, make sure both your measured concentrations and the levels to which you are comparing them (such as the OEL) use the same units of measure. For instance, both could be expressed in ppm for an eight-hour time-weighted average (TWA). Measurements may also be in the form of 15-minute short-term exposure limits (STEL) or a ceiling limit (C), which is the absolute limit that should never be exceeded at any time by a worker. If your employee exposure levels are below the OEL, then respirators aren’t legally required, though you may still want to offer respirators for voluntary use. If your levels are above the limit, look to reduce exposures through engineering, or administrative controls. If putting those controls into place is not feasible, choose respiratory protection that helps bring exposure down to an acceptable level for workers.


  • Step-03: Determine the level: The only respirators OSHA allows for use in the workplace are those approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). All NIOSH-approved respirators have an assigned protection factor (APF), which can range from 10 to 10,000. The APF is the workplace level of respiratory protection that a respirator or class of respirators is expected to provide to employees when the employer implements a continuing, effective respiratory protection program as specified by 29 CFR 1910.134. For instance, an APF of 10 means the respirator can protect against exposure levels that are up to 10 times the PEL for that hazard.


  • Step-04: Finalizing the Selection: Once you know your required APF, you can narrow down your choices to those respirators that can reduce exposure to below the OEL. OSHA lists APFs for different types of respirators. For example, half-mask respirators with cartridges and filters have an APF of 10. Besides choosing equipment appropriate for your workplace’s types and levels of hazards, you must also consider compatibility with other required protective equipment, such as safety glasses and hard hats. Glasses and half face respirators, for example, may compete for space on the same part of the face — the bridge of the nose — so it’s vital to find equipment that fits together without causing either leakage around the respirator edges or loss of eye protection.


  • Step-05: Give Importance to Comfort to wear : Comfort and the ability to do the job are also important considerations; if the work is particularly strenuous, try to select respirators that are as lightweight and streamlined as possible. And keep in mind that people’s faces come in all shapes and sizes; you may need to select from a variety of models and sizes to find properly fitting respirators for all workers who need one.
At PPE ONLINE, we pride ourselves on offering a diverse selection of respiratory protection solutions from leading brands such as Makrite, Venus, 3M, and Honeywell. Whether you need disposable respirators for single-use applications or reusable respirators for extended wear, our website provides a comprehensive range of options to meet your specific requirements. We cater for all range from basic dust and surgical masks to N95, FFP1, FFP2, FFP3 and reusable respirators with various filter types. Browse through our catalog today and make an informed decision to safeguard yourself with the finest respiratory protection available. You can reach us on info.ppe@ppe-online.com or 00971 4 28 28 622