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Medical Mask Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Type (Surgical Mask, Respirators, and Others), By Distribution Channel (Hospital Pharmacies, Retail Pharmacies, and Online Pharmacies), and Regional Forecast, 2020-2032

Last Updated: July 08, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102703



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The global medical mask market size was valued at USD 2.15 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 6.22 billion by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 8.5% during the forecast period.

Acute respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, whooping cough, influenza, and coronavirus (CoVID-19) are hugely contagious. These are often spread through mucus or saliva when a person coughs or sneezes. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), every year, 5-10% of the population in the world is affected by respiratory tract infections lead by influenza, which causes severe illness in about 3-5 million people. Transmission of the respiratory diseases can be reduced by taking appropriate precautions such as wearing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), maintaining hand hygiene, and following preventive measures, especially during a pandemic or epidemic. PPE includes medical clothing such as gowns, drapes, gloves, surgical masks, headgear, and others. Face protection is of utmost importance as the aerosols of the infected person directly enters through the nose and mouth. 

Therefore, the mask acts as a protection to minimize the severe effects of the disease. The importance of facemasks was truly acknowledged during the SARS epidemic in 2003, followed by H1N1/H5N1, and most recently, coronavirus in 2019. Facemasks provided 90-95% of effectiveness in blocking the transmission during such epidemics. Increasing demand for a surgical mask, increasing prevalence of the infectious respiratory diseases, and awareness among the population about the importance of face protection has tremendously impacted the sales of the medical mask from past few years. This has brought a greater increase in the medical mask market value of the global market in 2019.


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Imposing of Mandatory Mask Usage Guidelines by Governments to Facilitate Market Growth

Controlling the effects of infectious respiratory diseases will only fall at a place if the system has stringent guidelines on hygiene. Besides medical practitioners and other medical staff there is a lesser awareness among the population. Epidemics have forced governments across several countries to set new guidelines and impose a strict action on violators. The World Health Organization, in April 2020 issued an interim guideline document for advising the use of medical masks. 

The document extrapolates detailed guidelines on how to use a mask, who are advised to wear a mask, etc. Moreover, due to the CoVID-19 pandemic, the health departments across several countries have issued guideline documents to increase awareness and promote usage of the medical mask. 

For instance, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India, Department of Health of Minnesota, Vermont Department of Health, Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA) of the U.S., and many others have proposed guidelines in accordance to the usage of the mask. Such mandatory imposing has brought awareness across the world and eventually lead to an increase in the demand for the medical mask, including surgical face mask, N95 mask, procedural mask, cloth mask, and others. Therefore, surveillance of the government authorities had a greater impact on the usage of the mask thus propelling its demand and sales.


Increasing Prevalence of Respiratory Diseases to Stimulate Market Value

Contagious respiratory diseases have seen to be rising over the years. Although the disease spreads due to a deadly pathogen, factors such as growing pollution, improper hygiene, smoking habits, and lower immunization expedite the spread of the disease; causing it to be a pandemic or an epidemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that epidemics result in about 3 to 5 million cases and more than lakhs of deaths worldwide. 

For example, CoVID-19 resulted in more than 2.4 million cases worldwide in 2020. The increasing prevalence of respiratory diseases has surged the usage and sales of the N95 and surgical masks, therefore marking a higher market value. Growing awareness among the people about the significant use and effectiveness of the masks is anticipated to have a positive impact on the market size for medical mask, in the coming years. 

Additionally, rising surgeries and hospitalization would also contribute to the exponential medical mask market growth value during the forecast period.

Increase of Sales of Medical Mask to Expedite Market Growth

To ensure safety of the medical staff, nurses, employees, cooperative efforts are incorporated from everyone. High effectiveness (up to 95%) of the mask such as N95 has increased the adoption among the people and healthcare workers. The major expedition in the sales of the mask was observed in 2019-2020 owing to the epidemic of CoVID-19. 

For instance, the epicenter of the coronavirus, China, had an increase of about 60% in the online sales of the facemasks. Similarly, in the U.S. facemask sales marked an increase of more than 300% in the same period according to the data from Nielson. Growing adoption of surgical, N95 masks among the population to ensure safety and protectiveness has exceedingly increased the current demand-supply equation of the medical masks market.


Medical Mask Shortage to Restrict the Market Growth

The demand for a mask in a general scenario is low as only the doctors, medical staff, or industries where people have to work in a hazardous environment utilize it. On the flip side, a sudden epidemic or pandemic surges the demand leading to a shortage. Shortages usually take place when manufacturers are not prepared for worse situations or when epidemics lead to a ban on exports and imports. 

For example, during CoVID-19 many countries including the U.S, China, India, parts of Europe fell shortage of masks thus hampering the sales. Shortages eventually led to a decrease in sales restricting market growth. Moreover, the economic impact caused due to epidemics is also responsible to lower the market growth of the medical mask as it leads to an increase in production but a decrease in the sales value of the product.


By Type Analysis

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Effectiveness of Respirators to Aid Dominance

On the basis of type, the medical mask market is segmented into the surgical mask, respirators, and other. Respirators with a market share of 47.6% dominate the global market in 2019. Respirators have proved useful in protecting an individual from an infectious as well as hazardous environment containing viruses, bacteria, harmful pollutants that pose a threat to the body. These types of masks are used in various industries including healthcare. The respirator protects an individual by covering the mouth and nose prohibiting the entrance of airborne contaminants. As the respirators show higher effectiveness (up to 90-95%), they have been priced higher as compared to other masks. 

Respirators are in high demand in China as the country has higher pollution levels directing the people to adopt the respirator mask. Sales of respirators increased largely between 2019 and 2020 due to the coronavirus epidemic. Increased adoption of respirators due to higher effectiveness is the major factor for its dominance in this market. For instance, the biggest producer of N95 mask, 3M, doubled its global production in 2019 from 400 million to 1.1 billion mask per year and is also expected to double in the coming year.

On the other hand, sales of the surgical mask have also drastically increased owing to the easy availability and cost-effectiveness of the product. Demand and sales of the surgical and procedural mask are higher in middle and low-income countries as they are easily affordable by the population. These types of masks are also disposable and hence are generally preferred by the medical practitioners during surgeries and treating patients in ICU. Surgical mask is anticipated to emerge as the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period owing to its higher demand worldwide. Other types of masks that include cloth mask, fog-free mask have a lower market value owing to its property of reusability and lower price.

By Distribution Channel Analysis

Increase in Respiratory Diseases to Boost Sales of Retail Pharmacies

Based on the distribution channel, the global market can be segmented into hospital pharmacies, retail pharmacies, and online pharmacies. Retail pharmacies emerged as leading with respect to its market share and market value in 2019. The dominance is attributed to the rise in sales of surgical masks at retail stores. The growing prevalence of the respiratory disease, the adoption of the surgical mask by the population, and the emergence of the coronavirus epidemic led to the higher sales of the masks. 

As the retail stores are easily approachable to the population, they are generally preferred. Hospital pharmacies also have a considerable share in the global market. Growing hospital admissions and a rise in surgeries is the major factor responsible for increased adoption and sales of a surgical mask. During the forecast period, retail pharmacies are expected to emerge as the fastest-growing segment with a higher CAGR followed by online pharmacies. A significant rise in sales of online pharmacies is anticipated owing to preference towards home delivery of the products. 

For example, sales of online pharmacies in China increased by more than 55% during the coronavirus epidemic. Thus, the increasing adoption of medical masks by the population and the growing prevalence of infectious diseases are anticipated to impact the sales of the distribution channel.


North America Medical Mask Market Size, 2019 (USD Billion)

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On the geographical front, the global market is classified into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa. 

This market in North America stood at USD 0.93 billion in 2019 marking its lead position. The primary factor responsible for dominance is the highest production rate of the mask as well as increased sales due to the effect of the coronavirus epidemic in 2019. According to worldometer statistics, the U.S. had the highest coronavirus cases in 2019 with more than 7 lakh infections. This majorly contributed to a surge in sales of the protective mask. Also, major manufacturers of the mask are based in the U.S adding millions to the regional market value. 

Europe marked the second position in the global market owing to large CoVId-19 cases in the European countries and higher adoption of the surgical mask by the population. Asia Pacific, on the other hand, is likely to emerge as the fastest-growing region in the forecast period. Awareness campaigns and initiatives by the governments across the several countries backed by strong funds to manufacture personal protective equipment and increased adoption of the medical masks in the Asia Pacific countries are likely to push the market growth of the region. 

Latin America and the Middle East & Africa, on the other hand, will witness slower market growth owing to a low number of hospitals and medical staff as compared to other regions as well as lower prevalence of respiratory diseases. Moreover, rising awareness among the lower-income countries is anticipated to contribute to the market growth in the coming years.


Increase in Production of Medical Mask by the Industry Players to Foster Market Growth

The global market is highly fragmented as many emerging market players are focusing to meet the supply-demand balance of the industry. Yet some top players such as 3M, Kimberly Clark, Honeywell, and others lead the market. The emergence of the coronavirus epidemic has led to robust demand in the medical mask market. This has pressurized the market players to bridge the supply demand gap. The industry players have thus focused on increasing the production capacity of the surgical mask, N95 mask, etc. 

For instance, 3M in 2019 has doubled its global production of a mask from 400 million to 1.1 billion per year. Moreover, small scale players have emerged in the market to supply masks to fight over the deadly disease. Therefore, increasing demand and higher adoption of the mask by the population is expected to boost the production capacity of the industry players thus propelling the market value in the coming years.



  •  April 2020 – Partners HealthCare announced the launch of N95 mask sterilizing facility. This facility is aimed in sterilizing and reusing the discarded N95 masks to meet the shortage faced due to coronavirus epidemic.

  • January 2020 – 3M’s top executive announced the increase in production capacity of the face mask in response to coronavirus. The production of medical mask is set to add millions to the 3M revenue.


An Infographic Representation of Medical Mask Market

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The medical mask market report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading key players, mask types, and leading applications of the types. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years. It further highlights some of the growth-stimulating factors and restraints, helping the reader to gain in-depth knowledge about the market.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD billion)


By Type

  • Surgical Mask

  • Respirators

  • Others

By Distribution Channel

  • Hospital Pharmacies

  • Retail Pharmacies

  • Online Pharmacies

By Geography

  • North America (U.S. and Canada)

  • Europe (U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, and Rest of Europe)

  • Asia-Pacific (Japan, China, India, Australia, Southeast Asia, and Rest of Asia- Pacific)

  • Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America)

  • Middle East & Africa (South Africa, GCC and Rest of the Middle East & Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size is projected to reach USD 4.11 billion by 2027.

In 2019, the market value stood at USD 2.15 billion.

Growing at a CAGR of 8.5%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).

Respirators segment is expected to be leading in this market during the forecast period.

Increasing prevalence of respiratory diseases leading to epidemics is the key factor driving this market in 2019.

The key players in the market are 3M, Honeywell International Inc., Halyard Worldwide, Inc., KCWW, and Others.

North America dominated the market share in 2019.

Increased awareness among the population about the significance of medical mask, issuance of usage guidelines by the governments, and cost effectiveness of the masks is expected to drive the adoption of the medical mask during the forecast period.

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