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Which Type of CPAP Mask Is Right For You?
Finding the right CPAP mask starts with choosing the right mask type. Most CPAP users find a comfortable fit with one of these three main mask styles:
- Full Face CPAP Mask
- Nasal CPAP Mask
- Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask
Full Face CPAP Mask
If you're looking for a tight seal around your nose and mouth, then a full face CPAP Mask would be a great fit for you. What people tend to enjoy about a full face CPAP mask is that they can choose to either breathe through their nose or their mouth (as opposed to being restricted to only breathing through one or the other). As such, full face CPAP masks are generally really great options for those who often find that they breathe through their mouths and/or those who are subject to frequent nasal congestion and allergies.
In terms of comfort, full face CPAP masks distribute airflow over more surface area while you're wearing one. This means that the pressure from the device is less concentrated on one spot, which can offer more comfort for longer wearing experiences. This is generally why certain individuals with sleep apnea may find a full face CPAP mask more comfortable than a nasal mask or nasal pillow mask. It's also great if you need to keep your CPAP pressure settings on the higher side.
Full face CPAP masks also offer a unique wearing experience in that since they have a larger frame profile, they obstruct less of your vision. This means if you enjoy reading or watching television in bed, you may find a full face CPAP mask facilitates those activities easier than other mask types.
- People with high pressure settings
- People with chronic allergies or nasal congestion
- Those who breath for their mouths
- Back Sleepers
- Side Side Sleepers
Popular Full Face CPAP Masks:
Nasal CPAP Mask
Nasal CPAP masks are designed to create an effective seal around your nose. The ideal wearing experience here would be that which is firm around your nose but not covering or creating obstruction on your mouth. As such, Nasal CPAP masks are excellent options for those with sleep apnea who breathe primarily through their nose.
For those with sleep apnea, nasal CPAP masks are generally the most popular style of CPAP mask. This is generally because they offer a lot of flexibility in terms of comfort since you can change your sleeping position while maintaining a good seal from the mask. This means that if you toss and turn in your sleep, a nasal CPAP mask may be a great fit for you.
The minimal framing of the nasal CPAP mask also makes it an excellent choice for those who don't necessarily want to feel constricted by a lot of equipment on their face. Those with sleep apnea who may also experience claustrophobia would also greatly benefit from the wearing experience of a nasal CPAP mask.
- People who like to read or watch tv before bed
- Those who toss-and-turn
- Back sleepers
- Side sleepers
- Active sleepers
Popular Nasal CPAP Masks
Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask
If you're looking for a lightweight and minimal CPAP mask wearing experience, then it may be worth exploring nasal pillow CPAP masks. By design, nasal CPAP masks occupy a very small portion of your face. While a traditional nasal CPAP mask uses a cushion that fits over your nose, a nasal pillow CPAP mask features two, very small and flexible pillows that fit comfortably in your nostrils. This allows the mask to distribute pressured air without relying on a lot of equipment going over your face.
The biggest benefit of nasal pillow CPAP masks is that they allow the wearer full range of vision (especially if you're a glasses wearer). So if your bedtime routine includes reading a book or enjoying some television, a nasal pillow CPAP mask may be a good option for you.
Since nasal pillow CPAP masks are so versatile, they tend to be great choices for active sleepers, less mobile sleepers, and those who may experience claustrophibic moments while wearing a CPAP mask.
- People who prefer minimal contact from their masks
- CPAP users who experience claustrophobia
- Those with facial hair
- Back sleepers
- Side sleepers
- Active sleepers
- Stomach sleepers
Popular Nasal Pillow CPAP Masks:
What is Your Breathing Style?
You've already got obstructive sleep apnea, so we don't have to tell you how important breathing in your sleep is, but this question can very quickly narrow down your mask options.
If you’re a mouth breather because of nasal congestion, allergies, or other difficulty breathing through your nose, you’ll want to try out a full-face CPAP mask first. Or if you would prefer less headgear or a wider field of vision, try an oral CPAP mask.
If you sleep with your mouth open, but don't have issues breathing through your nose, you may want to test the combination of a nasal mask or nasal pillow mask and a chin strap. This can help reduce dry-mouth or sore throat that are occasionally associated with CPAP therapy.
Great news! Nose breathers can use just about any CPAP mask style other than oral masks.
You’ll want to stick with a full-face CPAP mask or a hybrid CPAP mask for the best versatility in airflow.
What Is Your Sleeping Position?
Lucky you! Back sleepers can use any kind of CPAP mask.
This position is the best for snoring, but bulkier mask styles may shift against your pillow and break your seal. The slimmer profile of a nasal CPAP mask or nasal pillow mask will help keep a proper seal, so you can maintain your airflow all night.
As someone with sleep apnea you should try to break this habit, but as far as CPAP masks go you’ll want a minimal design, such as a nasal pillow CPAP mask. Look for one with a mask cushion made of gel or memory foam since it will be pressed against your skin.
You may also wish to try a CPAP pillow to help prevent mask shift or getting tangled in your tubes!
Look for a mask with a hollow frame and a hose connector that attaches to the top of the head. The top-mount CPAP hose will keep you from getting tangled in your tubing as you toss and turn, while the hollow frame provides flexibility without interrupting your sleep therapy.
What Is Your Pressure Setting?
Low to Medium:
You’ll be safe with any style sleep apnea mask.
Both full face and nasal CPAP masks can accommodate high pressure settings; however, full face CPAP masks may be more comfortable since they distribute the airflow over a larger area.
You’ll likely need to avoid nasal prong or nasal pillow CPAP masks.
Do CPAP Masks Require a Prescription?
Many of your favorite CPAP masks are available prescription-free thanks to our convenient mask assembly kits! However, fully assembled CPAP masks or any masks purchased through insurance do require a prescription.
If you need help obtaining or updating your prescription, your personal CPAPsupplies.com Sleep Specialist can help!
CPAP Mask Replacement Schedule
To keep your CPAP therapy both effective and hygienic you should replace the individual parts of your mask according to the recommended schedule. This will help ensure that your CPAP mask is clean and free from air leakage, and always maintains the perfect fit.
Nasal pillows - Every 2 weeks
Nasal mask cushions - Every 2 weeks
Full Face mask cushions - Every 4 weeks
Mask Frame - Every 3 months
Headgear - Every 6 months
Chin straps - Every 6 months
30 Day Mask Guarantee
Choose your next mask with confidence with our 30-day guarantee on new CPAP masks. If you’re not fully satisfied with your purchase, you’ll get the full amount towards a new mask– at no extra cost!
Learn more about our 30-Day Mask Guarantee