Do you get claustrophobic easily? Are you a mouth-breather? Do you experience allergies that block your sinuses? Believe it or not, these are just a few of the questions you should be asking yourself when choosing a CPAP mask. This can feel overwhelming at first, but by assessing your sleep habits, breathing patterns, and general comfort preferences, you can confidently choose the best CPAP mask and enjoy a positive experience with CPAP therapy to treat your sleep apnea.
In today’s post, we’ll review the three most popular CPAP mask styles and outline some of the pros and cons of each.
Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask
Known for providing minimum contact with the face, the nasal pillows rest at the entrance of your nostrils and blow pressurized air directly into your nose. This CPAP mask works best with low- to mid-pressure CPAP sleep apnea machines, as the direct airflow can be uncomfortable at higher settings.
This is the best CPAP mask if you: experience claustrophobia, toss and turn in your sleep, have a lot of facial hair, breathe through your nose.
Avoid a nasal pillow CPAP mask if you: suffer from allergies that block the sinuses, are prone to nasal dryness, require a high-pressure setting, breathe primarily through your mouth.
Nasal CPAP Mask
This triangle-shaped CPAP mask covers the bridge of the nose to the upper lip area, delivering a more indirect and natural airflow than the nasal pillow mask. For this reason, a nasal CPAP mask is often recommended for CPAP machines with higher-pressure settings. With plenty of versatile options to choose from, the nasal CPAP mask is a popular compromise between the lightweight nasal pillow and the heavier full-face CPAP mask.
This is the best CPAP mask if you: toss and turn in your sleep, want a wide variety of options to choose from, require a high-pressure CPAP machine setting, prefer a more natural airflow.
Avoid a nasal CPAP mask if you: suffer from allergies that block the sinuses, have trouble breathing through your nose due to a medical condition, breathe primarily through your mouth.
Full Face CPAP Mask
Unlike the above styles that focus exclusively on the nose, a full-face CPAP mask covers the nose, mouth and face. This is designed in part for people who breathe primarily through their mouth, however the large surface area means a higher likelihood of leaks. Due to the bulkiness of the mask, this style is not ideal for active sleepers.
This is the best CPAP mask if you: suffer from allergies that block the sinuses, have trouble breathing through your nose due to a medical condition, breathe primarily through your mouth, require a high-pressure setting, sleep on your back, prefer a more natural airflow.
Avoid a full-face CPAP mask if you: experience claustrophobia, sleep on your stomach, toss and turn in your sleep, read or watch TV in bed.
No matter which CPAP mask you end up choosing, you’ll need to have a plan for keeping it clean. Cleaning a CPAP mask manually can be time-consuming, so you may be interested in an automated device like the SoClean CPAP Cleaner and Sanitizer. SoClean destroys 99.9% of CPAP germs in your CPAP equipment so that you can rest comfortably knowing you’re using a clean CPAP mask, hose and reservoir.