The CPAP mask is the interface between the sleep apnea patient and the CPAP machine. CPAP masks are usually made of silicon and/or rubber and plastic materials. They usually have straps that help to secure the mask to the face.

Starting off on CPAP for sleep apnea treatment can be an intimidating process. Not only do you have a new diagnosis, but now you are being introduced to several treatment options for which there are many variables.

Choosing the best CPAP mask for you:

  1. Get a prescription from your doctor
  2. Meet with an equipment professional that specializes in CPAP masks
  3. Try on several CPAP masks to find the one that fits you best and that you find comfortable

Assuming that you and your doctor have chosen CPAP as the therapy option for you, your next step will be choosing a CPAP mask. cpap mask

There are 100’s of masks. Each one is a little different from the others. However, they all work in the same way – they deliver air from the CPAP machine through a hose to your airway. This keeps your airway from collapsing during sleep and prevents obstructive sleep apnea.

Most CPAP masks are made of plastic and/or silicone or gel-like materials. Some are made of fabric and other hybrid materials.

Most of them are attached to an adjustable strap that keeps the mask attached to your face. A CPAP mask is the exact same as a BIPAP mask.

There are many types of sleep apnea masks. There are masks that just cover the nose (nasal cpap mask), and masks that cover just the mouth (oral masks), and of course, nasal-oral masks (1). There are also masks that are attached to oral appliance mouth devices.

Types of Sleep Apnea CPAP Masks portable cpap mask

  • Nasal CPAP Mask
  • Oral CPAP Mask
  • Full-Face Mask (Nasal-Oral)
  • Nasal “Pillows” or Prongs
  • Total Face CPAP mask
  • CPAP-mask with oral appliance, “hybrid CPAP mask”

Nasal CPAP Masks vs Oral  vs Nasal-Oral

Each of these CPAP masks has different qualities. There is no one-size-fits-all with sleep apnea masks. The continuous positive airway pressure interface must be personalized to your face and to your comfort level (2).

cpap masks

There are hundreds of different CPAP masks on the market. Each looks a little different.

Some cover the nose. Others cover the mouth. Some cover the nose and the mouth. Most are made of plastic and silicone.

Each of these masks was created to solve a specific mask interface problem or preference. These preferences and problems include:

CPAP Mask Features

Each of these masks was created to solve a specific mask interface problem or preference. These preferences and problems include:

Minimalism – reducing materials to prevent claustrophobia. Many new masks use the least amount of material and attaching strap possible to deliver air like the DreamWear CPAP mask. This allows for a more natural feel during wake and sleep.

Mouth-breathing – Many people breathe with their mouths open during sleep. If you use a nasal CPAP mask and the mouth opens during sleep, air will follow the path of least resistance and exit through the mouth, thus reducing its efficacy. CPAP Mask with oral appliance 223 (7)

Nasal obstruction – Nasal resistance and obstruction can pose a problem with CPAP when using a nasal mask. For people with challenging nasal passages, and oral CPAP mask, or full-face mask might be indicated.

Facial Hair– Mustaches and beards can interfere with the seal between the mask and the face. Some of the mask categories mentioned were designed not to interface with the hairy part of the face.

intranasal CPAP Mask

Within each of these mask categories are several subtle options.

Once you have picked your mask, make sure to keep it clean. There are several popular CPAP cleaner machines that can facilitate this process.

The bottom line with choosing a CPAP mask

Don’t be intimidated by the selection of masks and CPAP mask options. The fact that there are so many options and masks means that there is no One Perfect CPAP Mask for everyone.

Try on many masks. See what is comfortable for you. Know that the mask that you choose this year may be different than the mask that you use next year. The mask is not a permanent decision. In fact, you will likely get a new mask yearly – or maybe more often. Masks were not designed to last forever.

Overall Comfort – reducing materials to prevent claustrophobia. Many new masks, like the DreamWear CPAP mask, use the least amount of material and attaching strap possible to deliver air. This allows for a more natural feel during wake and sleep.

Breathing through mouth – Many people breathe with their mouths open during sleep. If you use a nasal CPAP mask and the mouth opens during sleep, air will follow the path of least resistance and exit through the mouth, thus reducing its efficacy.

Nose breathing issues – Nasal resistance and obstruction can pose a problem with CPAP when using a nasal mask (3). For people with challenging nasal passages, and oral CPAP mask, or full-face mask might be indicated.

Mustaches and beards can interfere with the seal between the mask and the face. Some of the mask categories mentioned were designed not to interface with the hairy part of the face.

What is the best CPAP mask?

The reality with sleep apnea masks is that the best mask for you is the one that you feel comfortable with and are agreeable to wearing (4).  There is no ‘best CPAP mask’ for all people. There may be a best mask for you. Nasal CPAP Mask

Masks often come in several sizes for different shaped faces and noses (5).

CPAP masks  should be replaced a few times per year. They are generally not designed to last forever. The rubber/silicone wears out and breaks down. The seal between the mask and face will become compromised over time.

Top CPAP Machines and CPAP Masks Reviews

How much do CPAP masks cost?

CPAP masks often cost between $30 – $150. You do not need a physician prescription to buy a new mask, hose, or CPAP filter.

Usually, a CPAP supplies professional will fit your face to several mask and have you try on each one for comfort and fit. It is important that the mask does not leak significant amounts of air while wearing the mask.

The CPAP mask is the interface between the CPAP machine and the body. A CPAP mask is the same as a Bipap mask. The equipment connecting to the BiPAP machine is identical.

The sleep apnea mask is arguably one of the most important parts of the treatment components. Talk to your sleep doctor about finding the best CPAP mask for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.