Nasal pillow CPAP masks cradle underneath your nose, with two small “pillow” cushions that rest just inside the nostril. The pillows inflate slightly to create a secure yet comfortable mask fit.
A nasal pillow mask’s minimal design provides a wider field of vision and less headgear than full face CPAP masks. And unlike traditional nasal masks, which tend to rest on top of the nose, nasal pillow masks don’t cover the bridge of your nose. This makes them ideal for CPAP users who experience claustrophobia, or just don’t like the feeling of a bulky mask.
Since they seal directly against the nostrils, nasal pillow masks are popular with people who have facial hair.
Best Sleeping Position: Side sleepers, back sleepers, stomach sleepers, active sleepers
Best Breathing Style: Nose breathers (or mouth breathers when paired with a chin strap)
Best Pressure Setting: Low to Mid
Mask Cushion Materials: Silicone or Gel
Who Should Use a Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask?
You should consider a nasal pillow mask if you:
- Wear glasses
- Like to read or watch TV before bed
- Experience claustrophobia from bulkier CPAP masks
- Have facial hair
Consider a Different Type of Mask If…
A nasal pillow mask may not be the right choice if you:
- Require high pressure settings
- Experience frequent nasal congestion or allergies
- Prefer your airflow spread over a wider surface area
Is a Nasal Pillow Mask the Same As a Nasal CPAP Mask?
No! A traditional nasal CPAP mask typically rests over the top of your nose, though newer designs may cradle underneath it. In either case, the airflow from your CPAP machine is delivered to the nasal area, but not directly inside it.
A nasal pillow mask uses two soft pillows to deliver airflow directly into the nostrils. These pillows inflate gently to form a gentle but secure seal.
Nasal pillow masks are often lighter than other types of mask, and offer less contact with your face.
How to Clean a Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask
Even though the nasal mask makes less contact with your face, it’s still important to clean it just as often as any other type of mask. This will help prevent the buildup of germs that may cause skin irritation.
Use warm water and mild soap to gently clean your pillows and mask frame every day. Let your CPAP mask dry completely before using it again.
How Often Should I Replace My Nasal Pillows?
Over time your nasal pillow cushions can develop microcracks, the mask frame can bend, and the headgear can stretch out. This can all lead to poor mask fit and air leaks. To keep your CPAP therapy effective, it’s important to regularly replace your CPAP supplies.
Nasal pillows - Every 2 weeks
Mask frame - Every 3 months
Headgear - Every 6 months