Surgical masks are in extreme demand nowadays. Millions of healthcare workers and frontliners constantly need new surgical masks to prevent contracting the COVID-19 disease from infected people.
Want to know where to buy available stocks of surgical masks from manufacturers without worrying about delays in shipping? Are you sure you’re procuring an FDA-regulated PPE for medical use?
In this article, we’ve covered everything you need to know about buying surgical masks, which can help you choose the best options in the market such as:
- what reliable surgical mask manufacturers has to offer,
- where to buy surgical masks online or in bulk,
- how shipping and delivery of surgical masks are made easier
So, You May Ask “Where Can I Buy Surgical Masks Online?”
Let’s lay out the cards.
There are tons of options online on where you can buy surgical masks, either in a box of 50 pieces of masks or in bulk or cartons of them.
In this article, we will focus mostly on purchasing these disposable face masks in bulk, but we’ve also chimed in a few info about retail choices so you can compare different price ranges.
So let’s explore those options.
Best Buying Fashion Face Masks for Non-Medical Settings, Sold Per Piece
Etsy sellers offer a variety of washable face masks and cloth face coverings. These masks are offered per piece at $8 to $20.
Note, however, that these types of masks are non-medical grade masks. This means you can use them for non-medical settings.
“Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure,” says the CDC.
Sells 20, 50, 500-Pack Medical Disposable Masks
Walmart’s Disposable Surgical Masks are sold in boxes. A 50-pc box costs $45 to $60, which is around $0.9 to $1.2 per piece of mask.
3. Mask Central
Sells 2, 10, 50 Packs and Bulk Surgical Masks
Mask Central has in stock surgical masks for both public consumers and professionals. Disposable face masks $34 for a pack of 50, or $0.68 per piece.
Sold in 10, 20, 50-pack or in bulk orders
Amazon has a variety of 3-ply disposable masks for consumers and healthcare workers. The cost per box of 50 pieces ranges from $28 to $50 per box, or $0.56 to $1 per mask.
Wholesale Surgical Masks in 100 to 100,000 required minimum order
Alibaba manufacturers and suppliers offering 3-ply surgical masks. Although you can find low cost deals for face masks in Alibaba with a very low cost range of $0.2 to $0.4, these are usually Class II masks. Class II masks have no splash protection and are only used for low risk exposure.
The high quality grades with a BFE of 95% or Class I masks cost $0.4 to $0.7 per piece with a minimum order quantity of 1000 to 100,000.
3-Ply Disposable Surgical Masks, Class I, Wholesale, 10,000 to 100,000 minimum order
HisoMedical offers high-quality surgical masks with 3 layers: PP+Meltblown+PP (25+20+20gsm), having a filtration efficiency, BFE, of more than 99%.
These are Class I/Level I surgical masks used by healthcare workers with heavy to moderate exposure to fluids and splashes. Cost per piece ranges from an affordable $0.34 to $0.40 per piece.
Challenges in Buying Surgical Masks Due to the COVID-19 Risks in Order Fulfillment
If you’re just starting to source surgical mask suppliers today, it would be more difficult to secure an order or even get your shipment on time.
More than ever, international shipping has been more challenging due to the Global Pandemic. Transportation restriction, depending on each country, is a huge burden alone when importing personal protective equipment (PPE).
Truth is, even if the FDA lowered the restrictions for transporting medical supplies to health facilities and hospitals, there are still many factors for delays.
Thousands of products are being held in the logistics warehouse or are stranded at the sea. For instance, the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced international delays of imports from Europe and China.
Not to mention, lockdown restrictions on each area causes further delay on the shipment of face masks and other PPE.
But we do have good news for you so keep reading!
Is Streamlining Your Buying and Shipping Process Possible During COVID-19?
Yes. You can definitely buy surgical masks and other medical supplies from qualified manufacturers at the fastest delivery time possible.
How? Check out HisoMedical.
HisoMedical provides a one-stop solution for acquiring bulk surgical masks in China. The company provides medical protective products and streamlines your sourcing and shipping process.
What’s more, HisoMedical has a responsive customer relations team that fully completes all customs clearance in your country.
They will provide necessary documents for a successful import/export fulfillment which includes:
- CE certificate (Europe), FDA certificate, ISO9001
- Test reports,
- Medical device production licenses,
- Medical device product registration numbers, and
- Other export needs
In this way, the process of ordering is seamless and worry-free, and you’ll get your products way faster than the traditional way of purchasing and importing.
What Should I Know Before I Buy Surgical Masks from Manufacturers or Suppliers?
You may be skeptical if you’re really getting every penny worth of your purchase. Afterall, disposable face masks are extremely difficult to get nowadays, and it has one of the largest market demands, worth $2.1 Billion by 2026.
You will have to know these things to know if you are sourcing quality surgical masks.
What are Surgical Masks?
Surgical Masks are disposable face masks which promote a loose-fitting shield between the environment and the nose and mouth of the wearer. These are made from non-woven fabrics, such as polypropylene plastics, and have a filtering surface.
They are available in a variety of grades with different thicknesses, depending on the level of protection needed by the wearer. Furthermore, surgical masks are regulated under 21 CFR 878.4040.
There are a few things to note about surgical masks.
What To Know About Using Surgical Masks
- First, they should not be shared and can be used for surgical, medical or dental procedures. They can also be used without a face shield.
- Second, different surgical masks have different abilities of protecting you from liquids, but they don’t provide extreme protection against smaller particles in the air. They are also not the best protection against contaminants.
- Before putting on surgical masks, the WHO recommends cleaning the hands first with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water.
- Surgical masks are good at blocking splashes and sprays if worn correctly and can protect the wearer from saliva secretions of other people. When soiled, you should discard the mask properly and wear a new one.
How Different Types of Masks Work?
ASTM lists 6 types of face masks. These masks are available with different grades depending on the level of protection needed.
- Minimum Performance Protection Face Masks – These are face masks with ear loops which stand as a physical barrier for short procedures or exams. There’s no fluid or excessive aerosols or sprays involved.
- Surgical Molded Utility Masks – These are low performance masks used as a substitute for earloop face masks. They are used for short procedures or exams.
- ASTM Level 1 Surgical Face Masks – These are earloop face masks, which are usually used for surgical applications with low risk of fluid splashes, aerosols and spray. They are often used for applications with fluid resistance of 80 mmHg. These masks have a BFE of 95%.
- ASTM Level 2 Surgical Disposable Masks – These are medical masks with 120 mmHg fluid resistance which protects the wearer against light to moderate fluids, sprays and aerosol. These masks have a BFE of 98%.
- ASTM Level 3 Surgical Disposable Masks Used for heavy to moderate fluid sprays and exposure, with 160 mmHG fluid resistance. These masks have a BFE of 98%.
- Maximum Filtration Masks – These are medical masks with maximum protection against airborne diseases and intensive amounts of splashes. Their filtration efficiency is as high as 99.9%. These are N95 or KN95 respirators.
How are Surgical Masks Manufactured?
Surgical masks or medical masks are manufactured in factories. High grade surgical masks usually have 3 or 4 layers of materials.
Being made with a non-woven fabric, a surgical mask makes it more difficult for bacteria to penetrate the cloth and, at the same time, allow the proper air flow.
The primary fabric material is made of polypropylene, polycarbonate, polyester or polyethylene with a density of 20 or 25 grams per square meter (gsm). The mask is manufactured with two filter materials which can filter out bacteria larger than 1 micron.
The filtration efficiency of the surgical mask will depend on its fiber material, manufacturing process and web structure and its geometric cross-sectional shape.
There are two ways of manufacturing the fabric. These are through a Spunbond process or Meltblown process.
20 gsm non woven fabrics are usually made by the spunbond process. This is formed by extruding and stretching the melted plastic until it forms continuous filaments.
On the other hand, 25 gsm fabrics are made by the Meltblown process. This process also involves extrusion of the polymer through a linear die which contains hundreds of small orifices. Hot air will then blow through the polymer creating tiny fibers on its surface. After cooling, it will be transported through a conveyor. The result is a fabric with a smaller diameter web of nonwoven fiber.
Surgical Mask Assembly
From the fabric spindle, the nonwoven material is ultrasonically welded in layers together. Workers will then assemble the nose strip and ear loops on individual masks.
Once the masks are completed, they are sterilized before being packaged and prepared for shipping.
What are the Important Surgical Mask Quality Tests?
After its manufacturing process, surgical masks are subject to testing to ensure safety. These are the following tests you should see when you buy surgical masks:
- Breathing resistance – An air flow is subjected to the mask to test if it will maintain its shape and induce proper ventilation. The difference in air pressure is then measured on both sides of the mask.
- Bacteria filtration efficiency in vitro (BFE) – This is a test which involves spraying aerosols at 28.3 L/min with bacteria at the mask. The mask should be able to filter the bacteria.
- Flammability. Measures the speed at which fire is caught by the mask material. For ASTM Levels 1 to 3, it should withstand up to Class 1 flame resistance.
- Particle Filtration Efficiency (PFE) – polystyrene microspheres are sprayed into the mask and ensure that particles would not go through it.
- Splash resistance. Blood is splashed against the surgical mask to test if the liquid will penetrate the surface of the mask.
What Certifications Should I See From Surgical Masks Manufacturers?
Knowing that the product you buy conforms with set standards of health agencies and government bodies is an important matter. Surgical masks are essential barriers against contracting the COVID-19 disease.
Currently, there were a number of reports on the distribution of poor quality masks which were recalled and subject for full refund.
“After reports of ripping and tearing, inspection of the masks determined that they did not meet the City’s standard and specifications,” says a City of Toronto Staff after receiving a total of 62,600 masks from an unnamed vendor.
However, you would less likely stumble upon these vendors if you know which certificates they should have to justify the quality of their proven product.
Here’s a video on how to determine if the surgical mask has an excellent quality.
Here, we summarized some of these certificates from manufacturers to pass FDA legislations and import standards for surgical masks for most countries.
- ISO, cGMP and NFPA certificates – These are performance requirements for the manufacture of safe and clean products set by organizations.
- FDA, OSHA and NIOSH – These government bodies have also set standards on the manufacture and sale of face masks.
- ASTM Standards – These cover standard test methods for the production of different grades, classes or levels of surgical masks to identify its level of protection for the wearer.
- UL or CE marking – These are private safety testing organizations which test products or let third party testing units to test products. These organizations evaluate and re-examines the quality test results of the manufacturer. If it does, the product earns a CE mark or UL mark showing it is safe for usage.
We hope this article helped you find reliable surgical masks from a supplier with less worries on its shipping and delivery.
To reiterate, there are tons of surgical masks being offered in the market, however, they are depleting very fast, especially if you’re buying from retail shops.
If you are looking for surgical masks in bulk or in a number of packs, you can buy directly from manufacturers or suppliers. Doing so, you’d save big, and ensure you’re getting the right quality when you assess them right.
Much better is if you would secure your bulk order of surgical masks and other medical PPEs from HisoMedical. Our company will take care of your order from manufacturing, quality testing, delivery, and import customs clearance by providing the right certificates and documents.