Introduction

Do you need to buy a new CPAP mask, but you’re unsure about which one to get? Maybe you don’t know the differences between the different mask types, you’re unsure about the features of the top-rated CPAP mask models, or you want to make sure you get a CPAP Mask that fits snugly.

There is no need to worry about any of that! Picking a CPAP mask can be a strenuous task requiring many considerations – but that’s exactly why we, at Health Sqyre, have put this E-Book together. We want to help you understand everything about the process of purchasing a mask that’s fit for you.

It’s likely that not all parts of this ultimate guide is applicable to you, so feel free to skip to those sections that are relevant to you.

If you have any questions along the way, or you want additional help/information in a particular area, please feel free to contact us, at https://healthsqyre.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new – we’d love to get your thoughts or to help you out!

We hope you become a master of CPAP masks after reading this guide! Let’s waste no more time, and get straight into it…

Table of Contents:

1. CPAP Masks – All the Different Types

Full Face Masks
Nasal Masks
Pillow Masks
Travel Masks


2.
 How your CPAP Mask is Affected by Lifestyle / Sleeping Habits

Facial Hair
Reading/Watching TV Before Bed
Active / Side / Stomach Sleeper
Mouth Breather
Claustrophobic
Small / Wide Faces
Designed For Her

3. CPAP Mask Sizing Guide

Picking a Mask
Choosing the right size
Small / Wide Faces
CPAP Mask Fitting

 

4. Buying your CPAP Mask using Cash vs. Insurance

Reimbursement by Insurance
High Deductible vs. Low Deductible Plan
Status of your Insurance Plan
Other Cases

5. How much should I spend on my CPAP Mask?

Cheapest CPAP Mask?
Most Expensive CPAP Mask?

 


6. CPAP Mask Comparison Chart

Comparison Chart for:
ComfortGel Blue Full Face, AirTouch F20, Simplus Full Face, AirFit N20, DreamWear Nasal, ComfortGel Nasal, DreamWear Gel Nasal Pillow, Opus 360, AirFit P10.

 

 

7. Top Rated CPAP Masks

Comparison of the Types of Masks
Top Full Face Masks
Top Nasal Masks
Top Nasal Pillow Masks

 

8. CPAP Mask Features

Replaceable Cushion
Mask Cushion Types

9. CPAP Buying Considerations / Common Complaints

Full Face: Comfort, Material, Headgear, Sleep Lifestyle
Nasal Mask: Comfort, Material, Chinstrap, Sleep Lifestyle
Pillow Mask: Comfort, Material, Headgear, Chinstrap, Sleep Lifestyle

10. CPAP Mask Manufacturers

Manufacturers list
Features, Sleep Style, and Sizing Needs

 

 

 

11. CPAP Mask Glossary

 


1. CPAP Masks – All the Different Types

 

There are several types of CPAP masks to consider for your therapy. We are going to discuss each of these types so you will become better informed on your proper mask selection

Full Face Masks

The full face cpap mask covers the nose and the mouth. It remains attached using properly fitted headgears and straps. It is the most constricting mask but the benefits far outweigh this con for mouth breathers and users suffering from nasal congestion.

Since the mask covers both the nose and the mouth, it allows air flow into your mouth when your nose is stuffy or blocked. This mask can handle very high pressures and it only touches the sides of your face.

It is ideal for back sleepers. If you are a side sleeper, you could be prone to leakage and if you are a stomach sleeper, the elementary size of the mask will make it difficult to sleep. If you wear glasses, you will not be able to while wearing this mask.

Nasal Masks

philips respironics dreamwear nasal cpap mask with headgear - Health Sqyre
The
nasal cpap mask covers only the nose and remains attached using a properly fitted headgear. It is the most popular choice for CPAP users since it is the most comfortable.

It is lightweight and less restrictive than a full face mask. It can also be used with a
chinstrap for mouth breathers to minimize leakages. There are numerous sizes and styles from which to chose based on your face size, gender, & activity during sleep (just to name a few).

However, there are cons. The triangular shaped mask rests on the bridge of the
nose and/or forehead. Some complain of irritation of the pressure of the mask at these resting points. It is not ideal for users that suffer from nasal congestion or any other type of medical condition with the nose as it would restrict airflow through the mask.

Pillow Masks

fisher and paykel opus 360 nasal pillow cpap mask with hose and headgear - Health Sqyre
The
pillow cpap mask is the least invasive since it simply rests at the entrance to the nose and seal in the nostrils providing direct airflow into your nasal passage.

This style mask is also attached using a properly fitted
headgear. There is absolutely no material covering the nose so it is ideal for eye glass wearers or users suffering from claustrophobia. You can have unrestricted movement during sleep without disrupting your therapy.

It is not suitable for high pressure CPAP settings since it can cause discomfort, nasal dryness, and nose bleeds.


Travel Masks

tinted image of airplane in the sky - Health Sqyre
Your travel mask needs to be soft, lightweight, and should easily come apart. Make sure the mask is easy to clean and compatible with your travel CPAP machine. Here are two top travel masks currently on the market:

Resmed’s AirTouch F20 is one of the softest and lightest masks ever constructed while designed to create a seal across a wide range of pressures.

Amara View is the smallest and lightest of all the leading full face masks featuring soft and comfortable fabric straps.

Please check out The Ultimate Guide to Traveling with Your CPAP for more travel tips.

Make sure you select a mask that is comfortable and fits. If it is not working, you will not be compliant with your therapy. Keep in contact with your Doctor and your DME Supplier to ensure you have the best mask for your lifestyle. You will also need to keep in stock your replacement parts for your mask.

You can also take our quiz Find the Right CPAP Mask to help in your selection.

 


2. How your CPAP Mask is Affected by Lifestyle / Sleeping Habits

 

Every CPAP user is different in so many ways – physical face shape, lifestyle choices, sleeping habits, and more. And so, even though almost all CPAP brands boast that they have the perfect fitting masks with the best features, frankly, that is not the case – you will need to find the right type of CPAP mask or model, based on your lifestyle/sleeping habits.

We’ve organized a list of explanations for the most important factors to consider before picking a CPAP mask. For a nice summary of which masks are suitable for what lifestyle needs, check out our CPAP Mask comparison chart.

After reading this section, you should at least be able to narrow down your choices to just a few masks! If you would like a personalized CPAP mask recommendation, head on over to our
 CPAP mask finder quiz after taking a quick and easy survey, we’ll make a personalized mask recommendation, just for you!

Facial Hair

man with facial hair - Health Sqyre
If you have any kind of facial hair – whether it be a beard, goatee, or moustache – you run into the risk of CPAP mask leakages because of the uneven surface area. This can potentially lead to further dangers such as eye infections, if left untreated. 

However, you don’t have to shave all of your facial hair for the sake of your CPAP therapy. Generally, nasal pillow masks, such as the AirFit P10, work well for CPAP users with facial hair – that is, unless you have very hair nostrils.

If you are a mouth breather, you may want to consider trimming your facial hair a little bit and trying on a full face mask that has a cushion that conforms nicely to the contours of your face and facial hair. The
 AirTouch F20, with its memory foam cushion, or the ComfortGel Full Face Mask, with its gel cushion, may be good options. 

A
mask liner can also help reduce the chances of leakages – they are placed in between the mask and the surface of your face, giving an extra layer of seal. 

If none of the suggestions above work, as a last resort, you may want to consider shaving your facial hair!


Reading / Watching TV (phone) before bed

woman reading book in bed - Health Sqyre
Many CPAP users like to read a book or watch TV just before bed. If you are used to watching TV or reading before sleep, you want a CPAP mask with a clear line of vision. 

Generally, nasal pillow and nasal masks – like the AirFit P10/AirFit N20 and Respironics Dreamwear nasal mask/nasal pillow maskare suitable. Some full face masks like the AirTouch F20, which doesn’t have forehead support, or the Amara View, which fits under the nose instead of over it, can also work.  

For any CPAP mask model, just look at the product photos and see if there are any features that may obstruct the user’s vision near the eyes/bridge of the nose, like forehead support or headgear straps. If it’s clear and unobstructed around that area, it should be fine for reading or watching TV.


Active/Side/Stomach Sleeper

person sleeping on gray couch with blue towel - Health Sqyre
Do you toss and turn when you sleep? Or do you sleep on your side/stomach? You may need to ask your sleeping partner to check at night to see if you have these sleeping habits.

If this sounds like you, you’ll have to pick a mask that is well adapted to movement. You’ll have to read the mask features carefully to see if they’re designed for flexible movement or not. Here is a list of some masks that are equipped with such features:

– ResMed AirFit P10 Nasal Pillow Mask – The nasal pillow easily compress up and down in response to movement to maintain a comfortable seal regardless of your sleeping position.


– 
F&P Simplus Full Face Mask – The RollFit Seal “rolls” up and down the bridge of your nose, allowing the seal to stay tight even with some movement. It also has a flexible elbow connection that swivels around in circular motions.


ResMed Mirage Activa Nasal Mask – The name of the mask says it all; the ActiveCell Technology allows more movement during your sleep, with less mask leakage.


– 
ResMed Airtouch F20 Full Face Mask – The mask’s UltraSoft memory foam conforms to the contours of the user’s face, even if they shift during sleep.


– 
Respironics Dreamwear Nasal Mask/Gel Nasal Pillow Mask – The hose connection is at the top of the user’s head, and it swivels freely in a circular motion.


– 
F&P Opus 360 Nasal Pillow Mask –  This mask has a 360 degree pivotal ball and socket elbow connection which allows for more movement during sleep.

Last of all, especially if you’re a stomach/side sleeper, you may benefit from a CPAP pillow. This specially designed pillow help prevent red marks and irritation, and minimizes the chance of air leakages. The pillows usually have cut outs so that the mask exhalation ports aren’t obstructed and so that the CPAP user can sleep in several different positions.

Mouth Breather

black white and brown dog running with mouth open - Health SqyreDo you breathe with your mouth during sleep, and/or do you have allergies that cause nasal congestion? If you answered yes, you will need to buy a full face CPAP mask, since air would leak through your mouth during therapy with a nasal or nasal pillow CPAP mask.

However, if you require a nasal or nasal pillow mask for some reason (for example, you may find a full face mask uncomfortable or claustrophobic), then you may want to use a CPAP chin strap. This strap stops air from leaking out your mouth during therapy, so that you can breathe naturally through your nose instead.


Claustrophobic

dark tunnel with overhanging light - Health Sqyre
If you feel claustrophobic easily, our advice from the ‘Reading / Watching TV’ section also applies – find a mask that doesn’t obstruct your view or cover your face with too many straps! 

Generally, people find nasal pillow or nasal masks less claustrophobic to wear, since there is minimal contact with the face – with the exception of masks like the 
ComfortGel Blue nasal mask, which has forehead straps. However, there are full face masks that are suitable for claustrophobic users too – like the AirTouch F20, which has an unobstructed line of sight, and a soft memory foam cushion that doesn’t stick to the skin.


Small and Wide Face

two red faced sculptures in a park - Health Sqyre
If you have a face shape/size that is noticeably smaller or wider than most people, you may have to choose your CPAP mask sizes carefully. 

If you’re unsure whether you have a small/wide face, head on over to our 
CPAP mask sizing guide page, where we’ve set up a list of printable sizing guides for most CPAP mask models on the market. You can print these out and put them against your face to get a fairly accurate measure of what size you need. Alternatively, nasal fit packs/nasal pillow fit packs are great, because the package comes with a variety of sizes that you can try out. 

If you have a small face, consider those masks which offer extra small or petite sizes – such as the
 Comfortgel Blue nasal mask, which offers a petite size. The ResMed “For Her” series masks usually offer smaller sizes too. On the other hand, if you have a wide face, go for models that offer ‘wide’ sizes – such as the Dreamwear Nasal fit pack that offers a medium-wide size.


Designed For Her

close up of a girl's red lips - Health Sqyre
The CPAP masks that are designed for women are usually not that different from the not-for-her versions. The main differences that we observed were:

– Size: the masks that are designed for women usually offer a XS/petite sizing option

– Color: the “For Her” versions are usually pink or embellished with floral designs.

We don’t think that this should be a major factor when you decide what CPAP mask is best suited to your needs, unless you have a small face, or you really, really like pink/floral designs.

 

 


3. CPAP Mask Sizing Guide

 


It is very important for you to pick the right CPAP mask size for your therapy. If the mask is too small, you may experience red marks or irritation where the mask makes contact with your face. If it’s too large, you may experience leakages – which can lead to discomfort and even eye infections, if not treated properly. 

This CPAP mask sizing guide will run you through all you need to know about choosing the right sized CPAP mask, from beginning to finish. After reading this section, you’ll be able to find a perfect-fitting mask in no time!

dreamwear nasal, dreamwear nasal pillow, airfit f20, and airfit P10 CPAP masks - Health Sqyre

Picking a Mask


If you’re unsure about what type of mask is right for you, you can:

1. Take our Mask Finder Quiz – at the end of the short and easy quiz, we’ll give you a personalized mask recommendation.

2. Read our section on the different types of masks, which point out the differences between full face, nasal, and nasal pillow mask.

3. Read our Best CPAP Masks of 2017, where we review and compare the best, most popular masks in detail.

4. Have a look at our CPAP Mask comparison chart, which compares those masks more concisely and clearly.


Choosing the Right Size


Here is a list of sizing guides for most of the CPAP masks on the market. You can print these out and put it against your face to get an accurate estimation of which size is best for you! 

Note that we don’t have a sizing guide for nasal pillow masks, as that depends on the size of the user’s nostrils, and you can usually get a fit pack that comes with various nasal pillow sizes. 

If the mask you are looking for isn’t on this list, chat to us, and we’ll try to find the guide for you. Just click any of the links below and start browsing! 

ResMed Sizing Guides:

AirFit F20, AirFit F20 For Her, AirTouch F20, AirTouch F20 For Her Full Face

AirFit F10, AirFit F10 For Her, & Quattro Full Face

Mirage Liberty Full Face

Quattro Air, Quattro Air For Her Full Face

Ultra Mirage Full Face

Mirage Quattro Full Face

Mirage Micro, Mirage Activa LT, Mirage SoftGel Nasal

Mirage Vista Nasal

AirFit N20, AirFit N20 For Her, Swift FX Nano, & Swift FX Nano For Her Nasal

Mirage FX, Mirage FX For Her Nasal

Mirage Activa, Ultra Mirage II Nasal

Respironics Sizing Guides:

Amara, Amara Gel Full Face

ComfortGel Blue Full Face

FitLife Full Face (SMALL SIZE / LARGE SIZE)

Dreamseal Nasal

Pico Nasal

Trueblue Nasal

Dreamwear Nasal

ComfortGel Blue Nasal

Amara View Nasal

Comfort Fusion Nasal

Fisher & Paykel Sizing Guides:

Zest series (Zest Q, Zest Plus, Zest Lady) Nasal

Simplus and Eson Full Face

Flexifit 406 & 407 Nasal; Flexifit 432 Full Face

two red faced sculptures in a park - Health SqyreSmall/Wide Faces

Here is a chart showing whether the CPAP masks listed in the Best CPAP Masks of 2017 page are suitable for small and wide faces or not:

MASK

SUITABLE FOR SMALL FACE?

SUITABLE FOR WIDE FACE?

AirTouch F20 Full Face

No

No

Simplus Full Face

No

No

ComfortGel Full Face

No

No

Dreamwear Nasal

No

Yes

AirFit N20

No

No

ComfortGel Nasal

Yes

No

Dreamwear Gel Nasal Pillow

No

No

Opus 360 Nasal Pillow

Yes

Yes

AirFit P10 Nasal Pillow

No

No


CPAP Mask Fitting


After getting hold of your mask, you need to check to make sure it fits correctly. Lay in bed as you would in any other evening/night. With your head on the pillow, gently pull the headstraps until it is comfortable and there are no leaks – it may take a few tries to get it!

If you still have trouble fitting your mask, check the mask user guide for the complete fitting instructions, or talk to your physician or medical equipment supplier.

 

 


4. BUYING YOUR CPAP MACHINE USING CASH VS. INSURANCE

 


When should you pay in cash and when should you use insurance when buying a CPAP machine? In this section, we will be covering factors you should consider when deciding how to pay!

REIMBURSEMENT BY INSURANCE

 

If the CPAP supply is not reimbursable by your insurance company then you will be paying cash (out-of-pocket) for it anyway, so it’s in your best interest to find the cheapest cash price.  If it is reimbursable by your insurance, then using insurance is a good option to save money. If not, paying in cash is your only option.

 

 

HIGH DEDUCTIBLE VS. LOW DEDUCTIBLE PLAN

 

Do you have a high deductible plan or a low deductible plan? If you have a high deductible plan, it’s typically better to pay in cash, provided that you have not met or you are not close to meeting your deductible. On the other hand, it’s usually better to use your insurance if you have a low deductible plan unless you are not even close to meeting your deductible.

Many Americans now have higher deductibles to meet before they can use their health insurance benefits. Higher deductible typically means lower monthly premiums and that some benefits are covered before you meet your deductible. However, almost all plans require you to meet your entire individual or family deductible before CPAP equipment are covered.

STATUS OF YOUR INSURANCE PLAN


What is the status of your plan? Are you close to meeting your deductible? Have you met your deductible? If you have met your deductible, then take advantage of your insurance to get the cheapest price. If your deductible has not been met, pay out-of-pocket (in cash).

Health Sqyre provides you with a real-time health insurance dashboard that shows your deductible, co-insurance rate, and out-of-pocket maximum information. Sign up free today to see!

It makes sense to use your insurance to buy CPAP equipment if you’re close to meeting your deductible.  It also depends on the price of the product that you’re buying.  If the product costs less than the amount remaining on your deductible, such as a CPAP mask, then you will probably get the best price paying in cash (out-of-pocket). However, if the product costs more than the amount remaining on your deductible, such as a CPAP machine, then you will save more money by using your insurance. If you’re not close to meeting your deductible, then it’ll be cheapest to pay in cash.


OTHER CASES


If you don’t have health insurance and paying in cash is therefore your only option, but you are experiencing some financial hardship in paying for your CPAP equipment, there is an organization called The Reggie White Foundation that offers low-cost CPAP and supplies. For a CPAP, there is a $25 program fee and proof of financial hardship. For CPAP supplies, there is a $10 program fee and proof of financial hardship. See the application here.

Even if you have insurance, you may want to pay in cash for your CPAP and supplies. Some people may find it easier to pay in cash to avoid dealing with
insurance talk, such as EOB, co-insurance, etc. Your insurance company might only authorize specific providers for your CPAP equipment, and you might happen to not be satisfied with the selection (product options, customer service, location, etc.). Then, you can also choose whichever vendor you would like to buy from by paying out-of-pocket.

These are the factors you should consider when deciding whether to pay out-of-
pocket (cash) or use insurance. Choose wisely and save money! If you have any further questions, feel free to chat us or shoot us an email!

 

 


5. How much should I spend on my CPAP mask?

 


Are you new to the CPAP therapy world? If so, making the proper [mask] selection is crucial for your therapy. It will be the difference between having successful and compliant therapy, or not. As you come to the choices for a mask, cost can be a factor.


Do I buy the cheapest CPAP mask?


If you have a good fit, the mask is comfortable, and you have no leaks with the cheapest mask, this could be the right choice for you. But, as with many things, quality could also prevail. What is the material? Does it have a warranty? Has the mask been discontinued? These are questions you will need answered to determine if the cheapest mask is for you.

It’s important to understand your own medical limitations on materials. Your face will be in contact with them items for a good portion of your life. If you have allergies, you will need to determine if the product is made with latex or silicon. Ascertaining where the mask was manufactured will give some insight on whether it contains PVC or phthalates such as DEHP, DBP or BBP. You can read where they are manufactured by reading our blog on CPAP Mask Manufacturers.  If the mask is being discounted because it has been discontinued, you will not likely find replacement parts once you need them.


So, do I buy the more expensive CPAP mask?


Using the same logic as before, if you have a good fit, the mask is comfortable, and you have no leaks with the more expensive mask, this could be the right choice for you.

This is assuming the price does not take a primary role in your decision. If price is no issue, you are fortunate enough to purchase a high end quality mask from manufacturers like Resmed or Philips Respironics that use non latex materials which are free of PVC and phthalates. They have quality control at a local level and are established leaders in the CPAP industry. They both also have generous warranty policies and outstanding customer service. If these aspects are important to you as a Consumer, you can also take our quiz Find the Right CPAP Mask to help in your selection.

Whether you are on a budget or have a limitless end of cash to spend, considerations should be given on the CPAP mask you plan on using every night.

 

 


6. CPAP Mask Comparison Charts

 


For ease-of-navigation purposes, we have listed the best and most popular cpap masks, listed in our Best CPAP Masks of 2017 page, in a CPAP mask comparison chart. The Best CPAP Masks of 2017 page also has more detailed comparisons of the various CPAP masks. 

If you have any specific questions, feel free to reach out to us via chat.

Full Face Mask Comparison

fisher & Paykel simplus full face cpap mask with headgear - Health Sqyre
philips respironics comfortgel blue full face cpap mask with headgear on model - Health Sqyre

ResMed AirTouch F20

F&P Simplus

Comfortgel Blue

Price

$154.00

$88.00

$79.99

Cushion Type

Foam

Silicone

Gel

Easy-to-wear headgear clips

Yes

Yes

Yes

Replaceable Cushion

Yes

Yes

Yes

Forehead Support

No

Yes

Yes

Ideal for Active Sleepers

Yes

No

No

Ideal for Mouth Breathers

Yes

Yes

Yes

TV Friendly

Yes

No

No

Ideal for Claustrophobic People

Yes

No

No

Ideal for People with Facial Hair

Yes

No

Yes

Nasal Mask Comparison

white and blue resmed airfit n20 cpap mask with headgear - Health Sqyre
philips respironics dreamwear nasal cpap mask with headgear - Health Sqyre
philips respironics comfortgel blue nasal cpap mask with headgear on model - Health Sqyre

Mask Model

ResMed AirFit N20

Respironics Dreamwear

Comfortgel Blue

Price

$99.00

$109.00

$56.86

Cushion Type

Foam

Silicone

Gel

Easy-to-wear headgear clips

Yes

No

Yes

Replaceable Cushion

Yes

Yes

Yes

Forehead Support

No

No

Yes

Ideal for Active Sleepers

Yes

Yes

No

Ideal for Mouth Breathers

No

No

No

TV Friendly

Yes

Yes

No

Ideal for Claustrophobic People

Yes

Yes

No

Ideal for People with Facial Hair

No

Yes

Yes

Nasal Pillow Mask Comparison

white respironics dreamwear nasal pillow cpap mask with headgear and hose - Health Sqyre
fisher and paykel opus 360 nasal pillow cpap mask with hose and headgear - Health Sqyre
Blue ResMed airfit p10 cpap mask with headgear - Health Sqyre

Mask Model

Respironics Dreamwear Gel

F&P Opus 360

ResMed AirFit P10

Price

$109.00

$56.89

$99.00

Cushion Type

Gel

Silicone

Silicone

Easy-to-wear headgear clips

Yes

No

No

Replaceable Cushion

Yes

Yes

Yes

Forehead Support

No

No

No

Ideal for Active Sleepers

Yes

Yes

Yes

Ideal for Mouth Breathers

No

No

No

TV Friendly

Yes

Yes

Yes

Ideal for Claustrophobic People

Yes

Yes

Yes

Ideal for People with Facial Hair

No

Yes

Yes


If you’re curious about how we determined the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in the tables above, check out our post that explains how the type of CPAP mask you get is affected by your lifestyle & sleeping habits.

Also, if you want a personalized CPAP mask recommendation from us, take our mask finder quiz. We hope these comparison charts help you decide what mask you want – happy shopping!

 

 


7. Top Rated CPAP Masks

 

1. Full Face Masks  – Full face masks cover the nose, mouth and part of the face with side straps that keep the mask in place. Some hybrid face masks cover the mouth but also have nasal prongs that fit into the nostrils like a nasal pillow.

2. Nasal Masks – Nasal masks, which are triangular in shape and fitted over the nose, cover the areas from the bridge of the nose down to the upper lip. They are popular among CPAP wearers because of the wide range of sizes and fits.

3. Nasal Pillow Masks – Nasal pillow masks, which are the smallest of the CPAP masks and rest on the user’s upper lip, have two soft nasal tubes that go into the nostrils as well as straps that go around the head. It’s the most popular mask choice because of their minimal design.

 


Mask Type

Pros

Cons

Full Face Masks  

Good for mouth breathers

  • Good for those with dry mouth in the morning

  • Prevents mask leakage from the mouth for those who sleep on their back.

  • Good for patients with higher CPAP pressure levels (due to larger mask surface area)

  • Good for patients who are claustrophobic – full-face mask touches the outside of the face instead of the upper lip and/or the bridge of the nose.

 

 

  • Higher chance of air leakage (due to larger mask surface area)

  • May cause dry, irritated eyes

  • Difficult to watch TV, read, or wear glasses while wearing the mask

  • Not good for stomach sleepers

Nasal Masks  

  • Good for nose breathers

  • Good cushion seal around your nose

  • Masks come with forehead support for extra stability and support for mask

  • More natural airflow – delivered pressure isn’t as direct as nasal pillow masks

  • Better for higher-pressure settings than nasal pillows

  • Flexible fit – many styles

 

 

  • Not a good option for mouth breathers

  • May cause red marks around the nose due to tightening the mask too much

  • May cause extra discomfort for those with sinus issues

Nasal Pillow Masks  

Fewer sleep interruption

  • More openness/freedom

  • Keeps your field of vision clear – good for those who wear glasses, read, or watch TV before going to bed

  • Less air leakage due to direct airflow into the nasal passages

  • Good for patients with a lot of facial hair

  • Minimal coverage of face reduces claustrophobic feeling

  • Causes discomfort when used under higher-pressure due to direct airflow into nostrils.

  • May cause nosebleeds and dryness of the nose.

  • May develop allergic skin reaction to plastic for those with sensitive skin

  • Using ill-fitting nasal pillows could lead to pressure ulcers within the nostrils.

Full Face Masks

 

1. ResMed AirTouch F20 / Overall Score: 93%

Design: 95%

Features: 90%

Comfort: 100%

Price: 85%

Quality: 95%


Featuring a light, breathable UltraSoft memory foam cushion, this mask is easy to maintain and has magnetic headgear clips.


The Good: The AirTouch F20 is a full face mask that places emphasis on comfort. The UltraSoft memory foam cushion ensures a nice seal seal, the mask is easy to clean, and the magnetic headgear clips make it easy to take off and put on

The Bad: Because the AirTouch F20 is ResMed’s newest full face mask and a step up from the AirFit F20, the mask is pretty pricey. Also, the cushion has to be replaced every 30 days.

Conclusion: Although the AirTouch may be a little hard on the wallet, it’s a worthy investment – if you’re looking for a high quality full face CPAP mask and you’re not on a tight budget, we would highly recommend this product.

2. Fisher & Paykel Simplus / Overall Score: 88%

Design: 85%

Features: 85%

Comfort: 85%

Price: 90%

Quality: 95%


The Simplus incorporates three key components, the RollFit Seal, ErgoForm Headgear and Easy Frame, to give users a simple, innovative experience.

The Good:  The Simplus full face CPAP mask has features like RollFit Seal, ErgoForm Headgear, and frame with ‘easy clip’, which are all designed to increase comfort. The air diffuser also keeps the mask quiet.


The Bad:  A couple of people have complained on forums online that the mask hurts the bridge of their nose, and the Simplus has relatively high air leakage rates.

Conclusion:  A pretty good mask, at a pretty good price. There are some newer masks (like the
AirTouch F20) which seem to have more comfort features, but those products come with a much higher cost.

 

Nasal Masks

White and blue resmed airfit n20 CPAP mask with headgear front view - Health Sqyre
1. ResMed AirFit N20 / Overall Score: 94%

Design: 95%

Features: 95%

Comfort: 100%

Price: 85%
Quality: 95%


Featuring a light InfinitySeal cushion, this mask is easy to maintain, has magnetic headgear clips, and provides a proper seal to users of all facial features.

The Good: The AirFit N20 comfortably moves with you throughout the night regardless of your sleeping position. The adaptive InfinitySeal cushion is paired with the soft and flexible frame that includes integrated padding, magnetic clips, and quick-release elbow. It’s intuitive to use and easy to reassemble after cleaning.

The Bad: Along with ResMed’s other lines, the AirFit N20 is also quite pricey. Also, the cushion has to be replaced every 30 days.

Conclusion: The AirFit is expensive compared to other brand models, but given the features and technology integrated into its simple design, it can be a worthy investment.

philips respironics dreamwear nasal cpap mask with headgear - Health Sqyre2. Philips Respironics DreamWear / Overall Score: 94%

Design: 100%

Features: 95%

Comfort: 100%

Price: 80%

Quality: 95%

The DreamWear allows you to sleep in comfort in any position with its unique, minimal design.

The Good: The breakthrough top of the head design allows you to sleep in any position. The innovative design prevents red marks, discomfort, or irritation in the nostrils or on the nose bridge. You also have unobstructed view with its minimal design.

The Bad: Although this model claims that you can sleep on any sleeping position, a couple of users have noted that sleeping on the side loosens the seal.

Conclusion: Although overall a solid mask, with a very simple design and soft nasal cushion, some do complain about the loosening of the seal when on the side.

Nasal Pillows Masks

white respironics dreamwear nasal pillow cpap mask with headgear and hose - Health Sqyre

1. Philips Respironics DreamWear Gel / Overall Score: 95%

Design: 95%

Features: 100%

Comfort: 95%

Price: 90%

Quality: 95%

 

Featuring gel pillows, a hollow frame with fabric wraps, non-invasive design, and swiveling top-of-head connection, the DreamWear Gel is the only pillows mask that provides the freedom of movement to sleep the way you want.

The Good: The DreamWear Gel Nasal mask combines the innovative hose on the top of your head design with a gel pillows cushion that gives you a great, comfortable seal. Its minimal design gives you a full field of vision to read or watch TV before falling asleep, and you can also comfortably wear your glasses. This mask gives you a right fit that works with almost any nose shape.

The Bad: A couple of users complain that the gel pillows don’t fit well, thus not forming an effective seal.

Conclusion: The DreamWear Gel has an overall simplistic, innovative design with soft gel pillows, but keep in mind that some people have a hard time getting a good fit of the pillows.

fisher and paykel opus 360 nasal pillow cpap mask with tubing front view - Health Sqyre

2. Fisher & Paykel Opus 360 / Overall Score: 88%

Design: 90%

Features: 90%

Comfort: 85%

Price: 85%

Quality: 90%

The Opus 360 gives you “360 degrees” of freedom with its pivoting ball-and-socket, silicone pillows, and a facially contoured mask frame for extra stability.

The Good: With its simple, slim-line design, you can sleep in almost any sleeping position without mask displacement. The pivoting ball-and-socket elbow provides greater versatility, and the silicone pillows and facially contoured mask frame gives extra stability.

The Bad: Some users say that the pillows do not fit well and that the foam pads irritate the skin.

Conclusion: The Opus 360 is an overall simplistic, functional mask and is worth a try, given the affordable price. However, take into account what other users have said about it.

Whether it’s the full face, nasal, or the nasal pillows mask, it’s important to find the right fit for your mask to stay compliant in your therapy. It can be uncomfortable and even embarrassing to have to wear a mask to sleep for therapy, but the designs have become innovative nowadays to implement style along with giving users maximum comfort in their sleep. No matter what, you must focus on the big picture that this is to help you sleep and breathe well. Therefore, read about each mask carefully before choosing the one for you, and always keep in mind the health benefits of these masks!

 

 


8. CPAP Mask: All of the Features

 


More than 18 million Americans suffer sleep apnea. CPAP therapy is the way to treat this sleep disorder. Being compliant with therapy is important because sleep apnea can become dangerous if left untreated.

However, many patients are not as good with being consistent with their therapy as they should be – its main reason being discomfort. Therefore, it is very important to find the right CPAP mask to stay comfortable throughout the night while getting therapy. There are several features of CPAP masks you should consider…


Replaceable Cushion

Now, CPAP machine and supplies aren’t cheap. You want to take good care of them, so they’ll last. Replacing cushion on your mask when you are supposed to will extend the life of your CPAP mask. Also, the cushion will become soft over time, lose shape, become cracked or torn and not as efficient in creating a seal. Dirty cushions may cause infections. Replacing cushions will make the mask feel new, and you’ll be able to get better sleep! The suggested replacement time is every 1 month.

Mask Cushion Types

Cushions come in different sizes and shapes. Most are made out of silicone, which is a softer and lighter material than gel cushions, and have a contoured shape to fit the face. Gel cushion is an alternative to the more popular silicone cushions. Gel cushion has the ability to mold itself to the shape of the patient’s face, which will make it feel like a custom fit. Philips Respironics’ ComfortGel Blue CPAP Masks are popular gel cushion masks. Foam cushions are also becoming popular, especially with the release of the AirTouch F20, which has a memory foam cushion that conforms to the user’s face.

However, gel masks must be tightly adjusted every night to prevent any leaks. Silicone cushions, on the other hand, do not have to be adjusted every night if the patient naturally fits well. Keep in mind, however, that silicone does not conform to the face and stays in the same position all night.

 

Headgears

The headgear connects with the mask and provides support for your head. They are basically straps that hold your whole head together with the mask to keep it in place. If you are gentle with using your CPAP mask and accessories, you may just replace the CPAP mask and use the same headgear, so that the next time you need to replace the mask, you can buy the cheaper “without headgear” version of your mask.


Headgear Quick-clips

Headgear quick-clips allow you to leave the headgear in its fitted position while allowing you to take it off comfortably and quickly. The quick-clip accessory attaches to the side strap of the headgear. With the quick-clips, you don’t have to unfasten and readjust the straps every time you put on/take off the mask.

Chinstraps

The vertical design of chinstraps allows for a vertical angle of force on the chin to reduce sleep interruptions and the potential of causing sleep-related events. Chinstraps are very useful for users who sleep with their mouth open because these straps keep the mouth closed during sleep, keeping the pressured air from escaping through the mouth and preventing dry mouth symptoms in the morning. However, if you can’t keep your mouth closed, try a full face mask. This will let you to breathe in pressurized air through your nose and mouth.

Philips Respironics Premium Chin Strap

Forehead Support

The forehead cushion reduces pressure points for a more comfortable experience. Some people are sensitive to the pressure put on the bridge of their nose, and forehead support will alleviate that discomfort. Forehead support will also adjust the mask and prevent leakage below the mouth and by the bridge of the nose.

As you can see, there is a variety of different features in a CPAP mask. When buying a CPAP mask for yourself, pick and choose which features are important for the mask you will use. Sometimes, you have to try out different features to see what works for you and what doesn’t. It’s most important that you stay as comfortable as you can to stay rested and compliant in your therapy!

 

 


9. CPAP Mask Buying Considerations / Common Complaints

 


When buying a CPAP mask, you need to compare features against your sleeping style.

fisher & Paykel simplus full face cpap mask with headgear - Health Sqyre

Full Face Mask

Comfort: About ¼ of CPAP users choose a full face mask. It ensures the delivery of air pressure on a continuous basis to either your nose or mouth. While it is very effective, users often complain of feeling claustrophobic, dryness around the eyes, and leakage issues (can be caused by facial hair or a loose fit). But, it is the mask of choice for patients suffering from allergies or other comorbidities that result in mouth breathing during sleep.

Material:  Cloth, gel, foam and silicone are the various cushion options for the full face mask. The cushion is the part of the mask that touches your face. It is common for users to have allergies or discomfort with certain materials that is unknown until therapy begins.

Headgear: The full face mask uses a headgear to secure the mask around the head and is typically offered in various sizes and materials to reduce leakages.

Sleep Lifestyle: What type of sleeper are you, and will this mask work for you? Some full face masks accommodate eyeglass wear comfortably while others do not. If you enjoy laying in bed and watching TV, you will need to put on your eyeglass wear with your mask to guarantee a good and comfortable fit.

white and blue resmed airfit n20 cpap mask with headgear - Health Sqyre

Nasal Mask

Comfort: Around 50% of CPAP users choose the nasal mask due to the wide range of sizes and adjustments that can be made to obtain comfort during therapy. The nasal mask only covers the nose with a triangular shaped frame. If you have nasal allergies or another other comorbidities (deviated septum) that affect the nasal passageway, the nasal mask could be challenging during therapy and is not recommended.

Material: Like the full face mask, it is offered in cloth, gel, foam and silicone cushion options.

Headgear: Using a headgear with the nasal mask reduces leaks and permits more comfort during sleep.

Chin Strap: A chin strap can be added to keep the mouth closed. This is a good option for mouth breathers who cannot tolerate a full face mask.

Sleep Lifestyle: The nasal mask is great for active or side sleepers. It can handle higher pressures and will even provide good suction with users that have facial hair.

white respironics dreamwear nasal pillow cpap mask with headgear and hose - Health Sqyre

Pillow Mask

Comfort: This is the most lightweight of masks and is excellent for a user that does not like materials touching their face. The pillows simply rest on the entrance to the nostrils. However, it cannot withstand higher pressures since that could result in nasal dryness and discomfort.

Material: Gel and silicone are the two options for the pillow portion of the mask.

Headgear: This type of mask also uses a headgear to secure the pillow mask to the head.

Chin Strap: Mouth breathers can use a chin strap with a nasal pillow mask to keep the mouth closed but users complain that is does not feel natural and inserts challenges with therapy compliance.

Sleep Lifestyle: This is the optimal style for active sleepers or for users who have a lot of facial hair that may cause leakage in the other mask types.


Your goal in therapy is to ensure you can breathe while you are sleeping, uninterrupted. In order to do this, you need to find a mask that is comfortable but will also deliver the prescribed pressures from your CPAP machine. Take our quiz Find the Right CPAP Mask to help in your selection.

 

 

 


10. CPAP Mask Manufacturers

 


CPAP Mask Manufacturers are in a competitive market. The two industry leaders are Philips Respironics and Resmed. They are most recognized for their product quality and their advancements in sleep technology.

Below is a list of manufacturers, their manufacturing locations, and the length of time they have been in business:

NAME

MANUFACTURING LOCATION

YEAR FOUNDED

AG Industries

St. Louis County, Missouri

1981

Becton Dickinson

USA, Asia, Mexico, Canada

1897

Circadiance

Unknown

2006

Devilbiss Healthcare, Inc

USA (primarily)

1888

Fisher Paykel

Mexico, Italy, Thailand and China

1934

Medline

Global

1966

Mercury Medical

Unknown

1963

Philips Respironics

New Lensington, PA

1976

Pulmodyne

Indian, Pulmodyne

1985

ResMed

Global

11989

Sarnova, Inc

Global

1978

Sleepnet Corporation

Hampton, New Hampshire

1997

Somnetics

New Brighton, Minnesota & Global

2010

Sunset Healthcare Solutions

Chicago, Illinois

2004

Teleflex Medical

Global

1997

When selecting a CPAP mask manufacturer, features, sleep style, and sizing needs will assist in determining which brand is best for you. Things you should consider are as follows:

Features

Cushion type (cloth, foam, gel, or silicone) & Forehead support are components of the mask. They are designed for the mask and are replaced on a regular maintenance schedule.

 

Sleep Style/Habits

Is reading/watching TV before bed something you do? Are you an active sleeper or a mouth breather? CPAP manufacturers make masks for varying sleep styles to ensure you are comfortable and have successful/compliant therapy. You can read more on sleep styles and their impact on your CPAP mask selection by reading our blog on Your Lifestyle / Sleeping Habits Affect the Type of Mask You Get to help you decide.



Size

Some manufacturers offer various sizes in the CPAP mask and the headgear. If you have a small face or a wide face, you will need to make sure this is being offered by your CPAP mask manufacturer. You can take our quiz Find the Right CPAP Mask to help in your selection.

Resmed’s top selling full face mask is the AirTouch F20. It’s their softest mask ever and uses a memory foam cushion that conforms to the unique contours of each face. Their top selling nasal mask is the AirFit N20 providing a fit accuracy of 99.4% of faces worldwide with comfort-driven features.

Allowing yourself to think about features, sleep habits, and sizing needs when purchasing your CPAP mask will enable you to sleep better and feel more rested everyday.

 

 


11. CPAP Mask Glossary



Assembly Kit – Mask only, no headgear.

Chinstrap – Strap designed to cradle the jaw to keep the mouth closed.

Diffuser Filter – A filter that is placed on the exhalation port so that it reduces the exhalation noise of the mask.

Fabric (Cheek) Wraps – Wraps that can be placed on the cheek portion of the mask to help alleviate irritation on the cheeks.

Forehead Pad – A pad that supports the mask’s forehead piece to provide comfort and reduce irritation.

Full Face Mask – A face mask that covers the nose and the mouth.

Headgear – Straps that go around the head and are designed to fasten the mask to the face to reduce air leaks.

Headgear Clips – This clip is threaded onto the headgear strap and attaches the strap to the frame. The clips allow easy removal and replacement of the mask without re-adjusting the straps.


Loops – Designed by Resmed, a headgear alternative that attaches behind the ears instead of around the head.

Nasal Mask – A mask that covers only the nose.

Nasal Pad – A soft strip placed across the nasal bridge to help skin irritation and facial sores, mask leakage, and improve comfort.

Nasal Pillows Mask – A mask that only covers the base of the nose (the nostrils).

Replacement Cushions – Cushions made of either gel, silicon, or foam that replace the inner section that goes over the mouth and nose.

 

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