N95 masks have been considered the gold standard when it comes to masking. With the kind of fit and fabric quality it is made of, they offer the highest odds of protection and prevention against COVID-19, and experts say that using N95 masks can filter out around 95% of particles suspended in the air (as small as 0.3 microns).
They are particularly helpful if you face a high exposure risk to the virus on an everyday basis. However, since the supply of N95 masks can run a bit short, they are often prioritized for use by healthcare workers and frontline staff first. Another alternative to using N95 masks are K95 masks, which can have a different style of ear loops in place. Medical guidelines recommend that in the light of the mutant variants spreading fast, using N95 masks would be the most helpful for people who face prolonged exposure times to unvaccinated people, are unvaccinated themselves, or are at risk of serious illness (compromised immunity).
While N95 masks aren’t supposed to be reused, a good way of extending their use is to have two masks handy- keep one mask closed in a paper bag after use and make use of the fresh one after, switching between them alternatively.