There are many styles of CPAP masks available. The first thing you need to do when choosing a mask is establish your natural way of breathing at night (through the mouth, the nose or both). Secondly, determine if you are sensitive to enclosed spaces, and consider a mask with a more open field of vision if you are. Work closely with your CPAP equipment supplier to determine the particular style of a CPAP mask that is right for you. Here are the common styles of CPAP masks and examples of when they are the best choice.

Nasal pillows mask

This mask includes a small nasal pillow that sits beneath the nose which supplies air pressure. The mask is held in place by either side straps or a ball-cap style headgear. This style of mask has become very popular with CPAP users in recent years. This style of mask is best if:

  • You experience anxiety or claustrophobia when wearing larger-sized styles of masks that obstruct your field of vision
  • You want to wear glasses while wearing the mask
  • You want to maintain a full field of vision to watch television or read while wearing the mask
  • You sleep on your abdomen or on your side (ball-cap style headgear should be used in this case as it does not have side straps)

Nasal cushion mask

This is a slightly larger style of mask compared to nasal pillows masks. The nasal mask fits over the nose and seals to your face with a foam cushion or a soft inflatable seal, providing air pressure to your nose. Side straps hold the mask in place. This style of mask is best if:

  • You have been prescribed high air pressure, as the mask forms a strong enough seal that you will not have to tighten the headgear excessively
  • You move in your sleep – the headgear and the cushion can maintain the seal through movement

Full-face mask

This is a large triangular mask that fits over both the nose and the mouth. The mask seals to the face with a foam cushion or a soft inflatable seal, providing air pressure to both your nose and your mouth. Side straps keep the mask in place. This style of mask is best if:

  • You breathe through your mouth at night
  • You have nasal congestion or an obstruction which makes breathing through your nose difficult
  • You have been prescribed high air pressure – the mask seals well to your face without having to excessively tighten the headgear
  • You move in your sleep – the headgear and the cushion allow for movement without losing the seal
  • You wake up with a dry mouth when using a nasal mask – full-face masks supply air to both the nose and mouth and thus prevent the mouth from drying out (when using the heated air humidifier of your CPAP machine)

Tips for choosing the mask that is right for you

Choosing the mask that is right for your personal needs and preferences is the single most important step in ensuring successful CPAP therapy. You should take great care in making this choice. Here are some tips to help you succeed when choosing the perfect mask for you:

  • Discuss all available options both with your doctor and the CPAP equipment supplier. Discuss the pros and cons of each mask style as it pertains to your personal needs
  • Try on different styles of masks before making your decision
  • Wear the mask while sitting up and lying down to ensure it feels comfortable in all positions
  • Make sure the mask is convenient to use – you should be able to put it on and take it off easily and quickly
  • The mask should fit snugly to your face without causing any discomfort
  • Put the mask on with both the hose attached and air pressure being supplied to the mask. This will help to ensure that the mask seals properly to your face and that there are no air leaks
  • Try different mask sizes. Just because you feel most comfortable in a particular size of one mask, does not mean the same size will necessarily be the best fit for you with a different mask
  • Some CPAP equipment suppliers will allow you to try sleeping with the mask for a limited period of time before you buy it. Take advantage of this option to make sure the mask you choose is right for you

Better sleep equals better life

Poor sleep negatively affects health, brain function and overall quality of life. Assistive sleeping devices help to provide a positive outlook and allow the body to naturally heal during sleep.
If you are suffering with poor sleep or your CPAP therapy is inadequate, we are here to help.

Request a consultation -OR- 905-763-6333