Top 5 Most Comfortable CPAP Masks
Many of those who use CPAP machines find themselves going to sleep with a mask and waking up without one. A good CPAP machine can be a vital instrument in the nightly routine of anybody who didn’t score so well on their last sleep test, however, you should be mindful when choosing the size for your mask. A bad fit can actually do more harm than good.
Keep reading to find out how CPAP masks work and which products will work best for your needs.
We’ll go over:
- What Are CPAP Masks
- Who Uses Them
- What Are The Most Comfortable CPAP Masks
What Are CPAP Masks?
CPAP machines have been the most common treatment for sleep apnea worldwide since they were invented in 1981. Previously, patients with very severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea sometimes had to get permanent tracheostomies before CPAP machines existed.
Instead, what we have today are simple devices that use oxygen to accommodate your sleep and dramatically improve your life.
CPAP machines help you breathe by delivering a constant flow of pressurized air into your mask with enough pressure to nudge the obstruction in your respiratory tract out of the way. This process is simple for a well-fitting mask, but it can be disruptive if the pressure is too strong or if the mask is leaky.
Who Uses CPAP Masks?
People who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea use CPAP machines (and these all require masks). There are three different kinds of masks. The mask that you get is decided by your doctor when you take a sleep test.
Sleep apneas are breaks in your regular pattern of breathing throughout the night. A single apnea is harmless, but in the United States, there are 22 million people who experience dozens or hundreds of chronic apneas in a single night. For some, these last for months. Chronic sleep apnea is a diagnosis you should definitely take seriously.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea. It makes up an estimated 80% of all cases. During OSA, something physical (like inflamed tissue or a loose tongue due to intoxication) is obstructing the upper airway and preventing fresh oxygen from entering the lungs.
Most often, OSA is due to excess tissue in and around the airways.
Unchecked, sleep apnea can profoundly affect a person's lifestyle. Thankfully, a person diagnosed with severe OSA is no longer forced to have invasive surgery for relief. Modern technology (which includes a CPAP machine) provides the solution to most cases of OSA.
What Are the Top 5 Most Comfortable CPAP Masks?
Mobility. Portability. Claustrophobia. — the most common complaints of CPAP device users.
The three coming up are the main kinds of CPAP masks.
Types of CPAP Masks
Full-Face CPAP Mask
This mask covers your mouth and nose. It is the most effective kind of mask but can be uncomfortable, depending on your nighttime movement and susceptibility to discomfort while sleeping. There is also a higher potential for air leakage.
Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask
This is the preferred option for CPAP users with facial hair. It is the smallest kind of mask and leaves the mouth uncovered. The air pressure coming in only from the nose can lead to dryness.
Nasal CPAP Mask
This type of mask allows for the most mobility. It is recommended for side sleepers, and only covers the nose but is different from a nasal pillow in that it actually covers a part of your face. On the other hand, it may not work as well with congestion.
Our Recommendations for the Top 5 Most Comfortable CPAP Masks
ResMed AirFit F30 Full Face Mask
Image Credit: ResMed AirFit F30 Full Face Mask
Users of the ResMed AirFit F30 say that this is a great option for side sleepers.
Designed with those who wear glasses in mind, this CPAP mask brings comfort and performance together. The minimal-contact face mask is unique in that the Infinityseal silicone cushion rests under your nose (rather than on the bridge of the nose) and provides a much more comfortable experience and a good seal perfect for higher pressure users. This also prevents additional discomfort or redness or red marks (and even claustrophobia) that can occur with cushions that rest on top of the nose. As stated above, this mask is great if you have a side sleeping position.
The AirFit F30 also features magnetic clips and velcro tabs that allow you to remove the mask easily. If you need to get up in the middle of the night, it has a quick-release elbow that lets you disconnect from the machine without having to take the entire mask off.
ResMed AirFit P10 Nasal Pillow
Specialty: Ease of use
Image Credit: ResMed AirFit P10 Nasal Pillow
The P10 is best recognized for its simplicity, minimal design, and comfort. It is one of the most popular masks out there nowadays.
The P10's minimalistic design replaced the Swift FX mask. AirFit probably decided to go in this direction after customers complained that the nasal cushions on the old model were tough to pull off and clean.
The box comes with small, medium, and large mask cushions.
A study that asked 65 CPAP users about mask comfort found that the AirFit P10 Nasal Pillow Mask design is not only the overall easiest CPAP mask to assemble, disassemble, and clean on the market, it is also one of the most comfortable nasal masks out there to use with your CPAP therapy. This minimalist design is a winning choice for men with facial hair.
Fisher & Paykel Simplus™ Full Face Mask
Image Credit: F&P Simplus™ Full Face Mask
This mask looks old-fashioned, but it got a great review from USA Medical Supply. It also won an HME Business Product Award.
The Simplus's headgear clips come off easily if tugged directly up, which is especially helpful for CPAP users who have dementia or Alzheimer's.
This is a well-rounded choice for those who use full-face CPAP masks. Generally, the advantage of full-face masks like the Simplus is that they allow you to breathe through your mouth as well as your nose. The Simplus is a snugly fitting mask that will not shift throughout the night and allow for freedom of movement. The frame is crafted in such a way that it does not impede your line of sight.
Fisher & Paykel Eson™ 2 Nasal Mask
Image Credit: F&P Eson™ 2 Nasal Mask
CPAP masks have the unfortunate tendency of making the person using them sound like Darth Vader. The Eson 2 has the advantage over other CPAP machines in that it cancels sith noises.
If this is a problem you (and your significant other) experience, you can trust that the Eson 2 will soundproof your nightly routine. Customers talk highly about the filter it has in the exhalation vent making it one of the quietest masks for all pressure settings.
As the airflow escapes from your mouth, a diffuser on the mask frame controls noise and that pesky draft that is liable to shoot out of your mask.
The Eson 2 also uses patented RollFit seal technology to optimize balance, comfort, and performance. It is compatible with most CPAP and Bi-PAP machines.
Philips Respironics DreamWear CPAP Masks
Image Credit: Philips Respironics DreamWear CPAP Masks
These are some of the best CPAP masks on the market. They use a silicone frame that features a swivel hose on the top of the head to allow sleepers to turn without disturbance. This allows for far greater mobility. These masks come in a nasal pillow, nasal mask, and full-face mask as well as different sizes.
DreamWear nasal pillows allow you to look anywhere you want without disturbing the field of vision.
We recommend the full face mask or the nasal mask for people who breathe through their noses in their sleep! Nasal pillows tend to be the most comfortable CPAP masks for those who experience claustrophobia or beard-related discomfort. They are the smallest and least disruptive to your nightly routine. You can even wear glasses or watch tv with them.
A CPAP mask can change the life of somebody with sleep apnea.
The CPAP mask that’s most comfortable for you is a personal decision. We hope you find it helpful to know that the most common complaints people have with the comfort of their CPAP masks are that they are claustrophobic, leaky, or cumbersome.
Technology and innovation have resulted in solutions for these issues, and CPAP masks will continue to get even better as time goes on (don’t worry, we’ll keep the lists coming)!
To find CPAP a face mask that fills your nights with sweet dreams rather than twists and turns, explore our wide selection of trusted, high-quality CPAP masks and supplies
Written by The Sleeplay Team