The Only Respirators That Work With Beards

Shanna Cooper
Fri May 15, 2020

So you have a beard, want to grow out a beard or don’t want to give up your beard for the sake of safety? Is it possible to wear a respirator? Do you sacrifice your health for the sake of your beard? This is by far one of our most popular topics from customers when it comes to respiratory protection. With little guidance on the topic and incredibly limited product offerings out there for beards, we thought we should break down why a beard is so difficult with a respirator and how our Powercap ActivePureFlo3000 line, CleanAir with CA3 Helmet, and Infinity line are the only solutions out there.

Why can’t you wear a normal respirator with facial hair or a beard?

  • The seal of a respirator is the most important aspect for ensuring proper filtration
  • Facial hair that lies along the tight sealing area will interfere with the respirator
  • This interference will prevent maximum protection and prevent proper fit testing 

Why does it prevent proper fit testing?

  • Gases, vapors and particles (like COVID-19) always take the path of least resistance
  • By taking this path, these particles will manage to avoid the part of the respirator that keeps these particles out


Why doesn’t facial hair act like a barrier of sorts for particles, gases and vapors?

  • Our hair is actually larger than the particle size one would inhale
  • Our hair is not dense enough to capture these particles
  • Our individual hair follicles are too large to capture particles like a filter does
  • Studies show that even a day of stubble can cause 20 to 1000 times more leakage

How can I wear a respirator with a beard and make sure it works?

  • Perform a user seal check (check out our user seal check article on how)
  • Speak to a respiratory protection program manager about respirator selection options
  • A loose fitting respirator aka a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR)

Is there a respirator designed for beards?

            • The Powercap Active PAPR is designed to filter 99% of particles down to .3 microns without the need for a tight face seal. This allows anyone with any sort of facial hair to continue to work in dangerous environments without putting their health (or their beard) at risk!

            • The PureFlo3000 PAPR line surely does not disappoint. With 3 variations, it is the most advanced head mounted respirator on the market.
              The Hard Hat version and Skeletal Frame versions come with a NIOSH approved HEPA filter designed to filter liquid and solid aerosols like dust, smoke, fibers, toxic and non-toxic fumes, bacteria and viruses at 99.95% efficiency. 
              The Welding version features an auto-darkening filter (ADF) option along with a flame-retardant face seal to maximize facial protection paired with a hard hat for superior protection. 
              The Drawstring Hood version comes with an ANSI-rated visor and Tychem QC disposable drawstring hood for enhanced splash protection.
            • The CleanAir + CA3 helmet incorporates a powerful motor fan into a modular, lightweight, waist-mounted form factor and combines it with a HEPA filter and a CA3 Helmet. The CA3 Helmet is designed according to the EN 166 standard, which protects the wearer against the impact of medium energy particles and an NPF of 50. It is also suitable in dusty environments where neck and shoulder protection is not needed, grinding and other surface finishing operations, building industry ensuring you and your beard stay safe!
            • The Infinity line is a new generation of powered air purifying respirator combining a waist-mounted CleanAir 2F blower unit with the option of 3 different head piece configurations, providing user-selectable air flow rates and an ability to excel in dusty environments where surface finishing and grinding are your main focus.
              The CA3 helmet version is 
              designed according to the EN 166 standard, which protects the wearer against the impact of medium energy particles and an NPF of 50. It is also suitable in dusty environments where neck and shoulder protection is not needed, grinding and other surface finishing operations, building industry.
              The CA40g helmet version is the same system as mentioned above but features a combination of a grinding visor (250 x 150mm) and safety helmet for use in highly demanding environments. The wide curved polycarbonate visor features anti-fog coating and the helmet provides an NPF of 50. 
              The CA4 version can be used in all dusty environments where safety helmet is required: namely in building industry, surface finishing operations and other heavy industrial environments.

Breathe easy and never have to shave again. 

Stay safe out there.

View More Articles


what is the best RPE for contractors with beards, and some are wearing turbans

Terry KIFF @ 07/09/24

Suitable respirators for spray painting conversion varnish/lacquer with a beard ( prefer ventilation)

William Heytens @ 01/17/24

The company likely will not answer these questions because if they make any claims, then they can be held liable for those claims. No legitimate authority that will certify these respirators for effective protection against any hazard because NIOSH has very specific guidance when it comes to acceptable respiratory protection

J Lynn @ 11/16/23

Can anybody in PekeSafety please answer the comments, as I have a lot of the same questions. If you answer the comments people won’t keep asking the same questions! Answers needed please. Thank you

Jane Doe @ 09/22/23

I have a beard and don’t wanna shave for religious reasons, will this be safe for asbestos removal work?

Union Man @ 04/23/23

I have a beard and looking for a respirator that takes cartridges to be able to pass a fit test. What products to you carry for this and what are some prices.

Steve Hurst @ 12/19/22

Do these masks work with NH3 Anhydrous Ammonia filtering and are Safety Authority and WOrksafe approved?

Markus @ 11/29/22

Are they csa approved?

Martin Diotte @ 09/21/22

Interesting options but certainly NOT the only options out there. There are loads of Powered Air Purified Respirators (PAPR) out there for those who cannot or do no wish to shave. You can’t change the scientific fact that if air can go round the edges of your mask filter then the contaminates can too. They will not be filtered by your stubble or beard which is no use for high efficiency filtration of airborne contaminates even if you are very attached to it!

MM @ 07/07/22

Are the beard respirators CSA approved?


Susan Sangster @ 07/06/22
1 2 Next »

Submit A Comment