Rate This:Ask This When Choosing a CPAP Mask
If you've been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your doctor may have prescribed a CPAP machine to help keep your airways open while you sleep. While CPAP machines are an excellent treatment option for sleep apnea, they only work if they're used consistently, but compliance with CPAP machines is often low because people find wearing a mask during sleep uncomfortable. However, there are many types of masks to choose from, and finding the right mask for your needs can make it easier to use your CPAP machine consistently. Whether you're frustrated with your current CPAP mask or are new to CPAP and hoping to find the best option, read the questions and answers below, to help find the right mask for the best night's sleep possible.8 Active Questions | Add a Question
The best mask for people who breathe mostly through their mouth during sleep is a full face mask, like the Simplus or the ResMed Mirage Liberty. Because these masks cover both the mouth and the nose, you'll always get the benefits of your CPAP machine, no matter how you breathe.
For side-sleepers, nasal pillows and nasal masks may offer the most comfort during the night, without the worry of displacing the mask while you sleep. The Eson 2 and AirFit P10 are excellent options for side-sleepers.
While side-sleepers often feel more comfortable in a nasal pillow or nasal mask, if you're a nighttime mouth breather, you'll need a full face mask. There are several that are designed to still be comfortable when worn in a side-sleeping position. The top ones to look at are ResMed Mirage Liberty and the ResMed AirFit F10.
If you have a beard, a full-face CPAP mask may not retain enough of a seal to be effective. If you have a beard, your best options will be either a nasal pillow or a nasal mask, though mustaches may also interfere with nasal masks.
In some cases, your mask may be exchangeable or returnable, but this will depend on where you purchase your mask, as some places do not allow returns. If you aren't sure which CPAP mask you'll like best, be sure to shop somewhere that allows for returns and exchanges, or you may need to pay for a differnet mask out of pocket.
If you choose a nasal pillow or a nasal mask, you may want to have a backup full-face CPAP mask on hand, as well. This can be helpful for times when you're congested from a cold or allergies and can't breathe well through your nose.
The frequency in which you need to replace your mask will depend on the style and brand of mask you buy. Check the manufacturer's instructions, and be sure to replace your mask or mask cushions, as needed, in order to receive the most effective CPAP therapy.