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Disposable Respirators Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Product (N-Series, P-Series, and R-Series), By End-use Industry (Transportation, Energy, Manufacturing, Construction, Healthcare, and Others) and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Last Updated: April 08, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102037



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The global disposable respirator market size was USD 6.31 billion in 2020. The market is projected to experience decline from USD 8.38 billion in 2021 to USD 6.85 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of -2.8% during the 2021-2028 period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented, with the product witnessing a positive demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a staggering 223.9% uptick in 2020. The sudden fall in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.

Growing demand for n-95 respirators due to rising health and safety concerns amid COVID-19 is anticipated to fuel the market growth. Rising demand from the food & beverage industry for maintaining hygiene and safety standards will further drive this growth during the forecast period. Furthermore, increasing healthcare spending and favorable government support is likely to create lucrative growth opportunities for the market.


Supply Chain Uncertainty amid COVID-19 to Widen Demand-Supply Gaps

The COVID-19 outbreak resulted in a significant increase in the demand for facemasks and respirators. Since no country anticipated such high demand, there was a severe scarcity of facemasks and respirators. China is among the global leaders in the production of personal protective equipment (PPE), including respirators. China was the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak and one of the first countries to be impacted by the pandemic. Due to nationwide restrictions and lockdowns in the country, numerous industrial facilities were compelled to operate at reduced capacity or even shut down altogether. China's decreased industrial production negatively influencing all major economies globally.

The shortage of availability and high prices of the raw material is likely to hinder the manufacturing of the Disposable Respirator. A surge in demand for a protective facemask amid the pandemic has led to a shortage of key components including polypropylene, nonwoven Fabric, and polyethylene (PE). In the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and ASEAN Countries, rubber shortage is a serious bottleneck in downstream processes for manufacturing Disposable Respirator. Adding a new production line can take 4 to 6 months and cost a high investment.


North America Disposable Respirator Market Size

Increased Sales of Face Masks to Reduce COVID-19 transmission

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), people can transmit the virus to others while showing no signs or symptoms of COVID-19. Surgical facemasks can prevent the transmission of the coronavirus from symptomatic individuals. Wearing a facemask may limit exposure to respiratory droplets and large particles and may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus. High effectiveness (up to 95%) of products such as N95 has increased their adoption among the people and healthcare workers. Providing facemasks to healthcare workers and COVID-19 patients globally brought the global demand to a level significantly over the pre-crisis production capacity. There are around 43 million healthcare workers operating amid the pandemic across the world, indicating the need for improved facemask production capacity.

The emergence of local & regional pharmaceutical players, especially those involved in the R&D of PPE, to fight the coronavirus pandemic is creating a profitable environment in the healthcare industry. The investments by key companies in conducting clinical trials on the effectiveness of medical masks as a protective barrier against coronavirus infection are playing a crucial role in controlling the pandemic. Various key pharmaceutical giants such as 3M, Prestige Ameritech, KCWW, others. are engaged in evaluating the antimicrobial activity against COVID-19 in new and existing medical masks.


Rising Demand for N95 Respirators in Industrial and Healthcare Settings Shall Drive Market Growth

Healthcare is a sector that is experiencing rapid change worldwide. The current market conditions, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic highlight the need for continued innovation in the healthcare sector. The increasing importance of personnel safety at healthcare facilities and the coronavirus outbreak has augmented the growth in the personal protective equipment (PPE) market. The rising geriatric population base and the growing number of coronavirus cases have resulted in increased PPE penetration in the hospital sector globally. The rising demand for respiratory protection in the healthcare industry to ensure the safety of people and the healthcare workers during the pandemic is expected to boost the industry growth over the projected period.

A respirator is a personal protective device worn on the face, covering the mouth, nose, and is used to reduce the wearer’s risk of inhaling hazardous airborne particles (including dust particles and infectious agents), vapors, or gases. Most of the N95 respirators are manufactured for use in construction and other industrial jobs that expose workers to small particles and dust. The National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) in the National Institute regulates them for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

Growing Demand for Disposable Respirator in Construction Industry to Aid Market Growth

Working in construction industry involves the risk of inhaling harmful particles. Therefore, wearing a proper respiratory protection is important. Construction dust can cause serious damage to workers’ health and life-threatening diseases. Suffering long-term exposure to dust, chemicals and other irritants can cause a range of lung problems that can lead to cancer and other serious illnesses. Construction workers can be exposed to different types of dust particles, such as lead dust, silica, and wood.

Construction workers are exposed to minute silica dust particles from many sources. For example, concrete workers are exposed to silica dust during sawing, mixing, chipping, jackhammering, cleaning, and grinding operations. Masons are likely to be exposed when cutting concrete bricks and blocks, tuck-pointing, and mixing mortar. Tile workers are most exposed when cutting ceramic tiles or stone. Site preparation workers can be exposed during excavation, trenching, demolition, and earthmoving, whereas drywall workers are exposed when sanding joints and cutting drywall. Bridge, street, and highway construction workers are exposed during abrasive blasting, milling, drilling, breaking, and cutting concrete.  


Potential Environmental Threat from Disposable Mask May Hinder Market Growth

Face coverings are now a mandatory requirement in public places globally to fight the COVID-19 outbreak. However, even before they became compulsory, masks were causing litter problems on land and at sea. The discarded masks may even risk spreading coronavirus to waste collectors, litter pickers or those who first come across the litter.

Disposable masks are mostly made of plastic products, which is not biodegraded, but are easily fragmented into smaller particles. The disposable masks production is around 43 billion per month. If it is not recycled or disposed of properly, can easily end up in the freshwater systems, oceans, and environment, thus hindering the market growth.


By Product Analysis

N-Series Segment to Dominate the Market during Forecast Period as They Provide Protection from Airborne Particulates

Based on the product, the market is classified into N-series, P-series, and R-series. The N-series segment accounts for the major share of the market.

The N-rated respirators are not resistant to oil-based particulates. They are among the most widely used respirators because they can be worn for extended periods and provide appropriate protection from airborne particulates such as coal smoke, airborne particulates from stone grinding, and so on.

Following the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a substantial increase in demand for N series respirators, particularly N-95 respirators. Many health organizations, including the WHO and the CDC, have recommended N-95 respirators for frontline workers in their COVID-19 guidelines. Because of the pandemic, N-95 has become a household name, and it is in high demand in the consumer market. With the emergence of new coronavirus strains, the world is still battling the COVID-19 pandemic. According to experts, the virus will be around for the next few years, resulting in consistent demand for N series respirators.

After the N series respirators, the P series respirators are among the most commonly used respirators after the N series respirators. The P-rated respirators are classified as oil-proof. They are more effective than R-rated respirators at filtering out airborne particulates. They also have a longer lifespan, lasting up to 40 hours, depending on which occurs first. As a result, they are far more often utilized in industrial and hazardous material handling applications.

By End-use Industry Analysis

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Transportation Industry accounted for major disposable respirator market share in 2020 due to rising demand in commercial and passenger mobility sectors.

By application, the market is segmented into include transportation, energy, manufacturing, construction, healthcare, and others. The transportation industry accounts for a major share of the global market due to rising demand from the commercial and passenger mobility sectors. During the manufacturing process, workers in the transportation industry are frequently exposed to airborne particulate matter, which includes dust, welding fumes, glass fiber, silica particles, paint vapor, and solvents, among other things. Moreover, several operations in auto shops and factory floors might expose personnel to a range of health concerns. All manufacturing companies use welding guns, grinding machines, cutting machines, drilling machines, and other equipment. If the worker does not utilize an adequate respirators mask, an accident may occur, like inhaling dust, chemicals, and others. Therefore, respiratory protection is of paramount importance to ensure workers' health and safety due to the extremely hazardous nature of such substances encountered in the transportation industry.


North America Disposable Respirator Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)

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The disposable respirator market size in North America stood at USD 2.10 billion in 2020 and will continue to hold a dominant share over 2021-2028. The United States and Canada have stringent workplace safety standards, which require companies to provide appropriate respiratory protection equipment to their employees when necessary. Rising industrialization in the region along with strict safety regulations are expected to increase the demand for personal protective equipment including disposable respirator.

In the wake of new virus variants, many European countries have made it mandatory to wear medical-grade respirators masks when an individual is in public. For example, in Germany, the federal and state governments introduced measures making it mandatory to wear medical respirators masks such as surgical masks or FFP2 (European equivalent of N95) in stores and on public transportation, regardless of vaccination status.   

China has the world's largest manufacturing sector and is sometimes referred to as "the factory of the world". Businesses all around the globe choose China to produce their goods because of its established infrastructure, low labor costs, and technically skilled workforce. China is home to a wide range of industries that produce and export chemicals, petrochemicals, fertilizer, plastics, and synthetic textiles, among other things. During the production process, all of these industries generate airborne particles to some extent, and personnel working in close proximity must wear personal protective equipment, which includes disposable respirator. China’s manufacturing sector is likely to expand during the forecast period, indicating that the domestic demand for disposable respirator will rise as well.

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Latin America and Middle East & Africa will also witness robust growth during the projected timeline. Egypt announced plans in February 2021 to construct highways and railway networks connecting nine African countries. The infrastructure project will help with the development of a road between Salloum, Egypt, and Benghazi, Libya. The FIFA World Cup 2022 has given Qatar's construction industry the most significant boost. More than one million people are expected to attend the World Cup in 2022. As a result, the government has been on a building spree to establish a network of new hotels to handle the anticipated influx of guests for the major event. The robust expansion of the construction industries in many Middle Eastern and African countries is anticipated to drive the regional market growth.


Key Players to Adopt Strategic Development to Uphold their Market Positions

Price and product quality are two factors based on which prominent market competitors compete. Given the low amount of capital required to start a firm, small and medium-sized market participants are likely to demonstrate significant advances during future. Larger companies, on the other hand, are more inclined to pursue worldwide expansion in order to establish a stronger brand.

The main challenge for the existing players is expected to be fluctuating raw material prices and strategies of new entrants. Key players depend on mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures to maintain the market and reduce the system's overall expense.

For major market participants to be competitive, capacity growth is anticipated to remain the favored competitive approach. For example, In November 2020, Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota, U.S. Senator Mike Rounds and U.S. Congressman Dusty Johnson joined 3M ribbon cutting leaders to mark a significant expansion at 3M's Aberdeen, South Dakota, plant. to the expansion will allow 3M to manufacture ever more N95 respirators required by those battling at the pandemic's front lines. 


  • 3M (Minnesota, U.S.)

  • Honeywell International, Inc. (North Carolina, U.S.)

  • COFRA S.r.l. (Barletta Andria Trani, Italy)

  • Uvex Group (Fürth, Germany)

  • MSA (Pennsylvania, U.S.)

  • Moldex-Metric (California, U.S)

  • Protective Industrial Products, Inc. (New York, U.S.)

  • RZ Mask (Minnesota, U.S.)

  • Makrite (Taipei, Taiwan)

  • SHIGEMATSU WORKS CO.,LTD. (Tokyo, Japan)  

  • Drägerwerk AG & Co. KGaA (Lübeck, Germany)

  • Mallcom (India) Limited (Kolkata, India)

  • Delta Plus Group (Apt, France)


  • July 2021 – 3M launched its new disposable KN95 respirator. The respirator is designed for comfort and breathability while protecting the user from dust, smoke, smog, PM2.5 particles, allergens and other particles.

  • April 2021 – Honeywell's collaborated with Will.i.am to debut XUPERMASK, a technologically advanced face mask. XUPERMASK has dual 3-speed fans and HEPA filters for enhanced breathability, along with audio and microphone capabilities.


An Infographic Representation of Disposable Respirators Market

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The global disposable respirator market research report provides a detailed analysis of the PPE industry and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, products, competitive landscape, and products. In addition, it offers insights into market trends and highlights vital industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses various factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years. It includes historical data & forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels, and analyzes the industry's latest market dynamics and opportunities.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Billion)


Product; End-use Industry; and By Region

By Product

  • N-Series

  • P-Series

  • R-Series

By End-use Industry

  • Transportation

  • Energy

  • Manufacturing

  • Construction

  • Healthcare

  • Others

By Region

  • North America (By Product, By End-use Industry)

      • U.S. (By End-use Industry)

      • Canada (By End-use Industry)

  • Europe (By Product, By End-use Industry)

      • Germany (By End-use Industry)

      • U.K. (By End-use Industry)

      • France (By End-use Industry)

      • Italy (By End-use Industry)

      • Spain (By End-use Industry)

      • Rest of Europe (By End-use Industry)

  • Asia Pacific (By Product, By End-use Industry)

      • China (By End-use Industry)

      • Japan (By End-use Industry)

      • India (By End-use Industry)

      • ASEAN (By End-use Industry)

      • Rest of Asia Pacific (By End-use Industry)

  • Latin America (By Product, By End-use Industry)

      • Brazil (By End-use Industry)

      • Mexico (By End-use Industry)

      • Rest of Latin America (By End-use Industry)

  • Middle East & Africa (By Product, By End-use Industry)

      • South Africa (By End-use Industry)

      • GCC (By End-use Industry)

      • Rest of the Middle East & Africa (By End-use Industry)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 6.31 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 6.85 billion by 2028.

In 2020, the North American market size stood at USD 2.10 billion.

Registering a CAGR of -2.8%, the market will exhibit a decline in growth during the forecast period (2021-2028).

The transportation segment is expected to lead this market during the forecast period.

Rising demand from the food & beverage industry for maintaining hygiene and safety standards is expected to drive the market during the forecast period.

3M, Honeywell International Inc, Moldex-Metric, Drägerwerk AG & Co. KGaA, and Mallcom (India) Limited are market players in the global market.

North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2020.

Growing concerns regarding the spread of covid-19 is projected to propel the market.

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