OBJECTIVE: To identify the factors associated with the use of the N95 respirator in Nursing and Medical students in the daily life of the covid-19 pandemic. METHODS: Descriptive-analytical cross-sectional study carried out in 2020. A total of 830 students from three universities in Peru participated in the study. Associations were evaluated using Pearson's Chi-Square and multivariate Poisson modeling with log linkage. RESULTS: Statistically significant differences were found between the preference to use the N95 respirator in relation to masks according to the activity they perform (p=0.001) and where they live (p=0.005). The multivariate analysis reported that the associated characteristics were age, activity performed, perception and fear of being infected by covid-19. CONCLUSION: The choice of N95 respirator is influenced by individual factors and perceptions. Spaces are needed to discuss daily life, the way of living, caring and educating, considering the socioeconomic dimensions and beliefs.