icon cross How do I know which CPAP mask to use?

CPAP masks come in a range of different shapes and sizes to accommodate the way you breathe during sleep. Nasal masks and full-face masks are the main types of CPAP mask.

Let’s break down the steps to find the right CPAP mask for you:

Full Face CPAP Mask and Nasla CPAP Mask
Full-face CPAP masks are for those who breathe through the mouth. Nasal CPAP masks are for those that breathe through the nose.

Step 1: How do you breathe when you sleep?

The first question to ask yourself is, how do you breathe when you sleep?

If you breathe through your mouth or snore, a full-face mask is more suitable for you.

If you breathe through your nose when you sleep, a nasal CPAP mask will benefit you the most.

When it comes to nasal CPAP masks, you have two different options:

  • Nasal Cushions – These CPAP masks create a seal around your nose, providing air pressure directly through to your nose.
  • Nasal Pillows – These CPAP masks feature two prongs that rest directly against your nostrils to provide air pressure through to your nose.

 

CPAP mask claustrophobia is common, so for some people, a nasal mask is the only option; a chin strap will prevent mouth breathers from opening their mouths during the night.

Intus advice: If you use a pacemaker or defibrillator, you will need to choose one of our magnet-free masks.

You do not need a prescription to purchase a CPAP mask.

Step 2: What CPAP cushion do you need?

Nasal and full-face masks use a cushion or pillow that will either be silicone or gel. The silicone cushions are usually translucent, which is the standard cushion type. The gel cushions are generally blue (they can also be translucent or a different colour) and are usually considered to be more comfortable as they are softer and more adaptable.

The gel cushion masks can be a bit more expensive than their silicone equivalent, so it is up to you as to whether this is a valuable upgrade.

If you’re looking for a mask that is not made from silicone or gel due to an allergy or personal preference, consider a SleepWeaver skin-friendly CPAP mask.

SleepWeaver masks use neither silicone nor gel; they use fabric. They are designed to be more breathable, keeping your skin moisture free. This cushion makes it considerably more comfortable than regular masks, so it is certainly worth contemplating.

Step 3: What position do you sleep in?

Your sleeping position can affect the fit and seal of your mask. You may find you have CPAP mask air leaks and wake up with a dry mouth. This is because your sleeping position can knock your mask’s seal, affecting your CPAP therapy. Fortunately, there are masks suitable for different sleep positions.

CPAP masks for different sleeping positions

The best CPAP mask for side sleepers

Some full-face masks can be too bulky to turn onto your side at night. Nasal masks could be are a much better option for you.

Here are some nasal masks to take a look at:

However, If you use a full-face mask and sleep on your side, a CPAP pillow is designed with cut-outs to make room for your mask. The pillow ensures your mask does not get dislodged during the night.

For mouth breathers, a good option is a soft silicone, minimal contact Evora full-face mask.

CPAP masks for back sleepers

CPAP users who sleep on their backs can wear any mask, providing a doctor or sleep clinician has not encouraged them to sleep in a different position.

Take a look at our CPAP mask range.

CPAP masks for stomach sleepers

Sleeping on your stomach can cause red marks and skin damage from your mask as you press your face into it. In turn, causing air leaks and neck discomfort.

Because of these factors, a nasal pillows mask is more suitable.

Here are a few options:

Breathe from your mouth? Simply add a chin strap.

Do you have a beard?

Many CPAP users have beards, making choosing the best CPAP mask difficult. Common side effects can occur when wearing a mask whilst having a beard. You could experience a loose-fitting mask, air leaks and uncomfortable breathing.

The most simple solution would be to use a nasal pillow CPAP mask, as this avoids contact with the skin. Nasal pillows are great for accommodating facial hair because they do not sit at the top of the lip or cover the mouth. Nasal cushion masks also have a low volume giving the user’s beard space to sit. If you find nasal masks more comfortable but breathe through your mask, consider adding a chin strap to your therapy.

Less bulky full-face masks can be used when you have a beard, although trimming your beard could add comfort. Some masks use a minimal contact design, and the cushion sits on the upper lip.

The best CPAP masks for beards

Here are some options for you to take a look at:

F&P Evora Full-Face Mask

For those who need a full-face mask, consider the Evora; this minimal-contact mask is a great option for mouth breathers. The compact design reduces bulkiness, made with soft silicone and dynamic support technology. The silicone frame and material are very flexible, so they can easily cover a moustache or beard.

The Evora allows users to read or watch something without the mask obstructing their view. The mask is also available in the Evora nasal mask.

ResMed AirFit P10 Nasal Pillows Mask

These masks are a great option for beards and are considered one of the most comfortable. These minimal contact masks use two nasal prongs that fit under the nostrils. The minimal contact feature ensures facial hair is not obstructed. The lightweight design makes wearing the mask effortless. The flexible frame allows for freedom of movement throughout the night.

The mask’s advanced technology uses a quiet air feature, which means therapy is whisper quiet for you and your bed partner.

 

Sleepnet Phantom 2 & iQ 2 Nasal Masks

These are one size fits all nasal cushion masks that use comfortable AirGel material, suitable for almost any facial structure. The Phantom 2 and iQ 2 are minimal-contact masks made with interchangeable cushions to fit into each other.

Phantom 2 and iQ2 CPAP Masks

Step 4: How do I choose the right size CPAP mask?

Your mask needs to fit comfortably to get the most out of your CPAP therapy and avoid leaks and discomfort. Many of our CPAP masks come in different sizes; you must scroll down to the ‘downloads’ tab and print the ‘sizing guide’.

Please be aware that each mask has a different sizing guide.

We also offer fit-pack options; these masks come with multiple cushion sizes included. So you don’t need to worry about printing the sizing guide.

Mask fit insurance

You can add ‘mask-fit insurance’ when purchasing a CPAP mask from Intus.

This gives you 28 days to get used to your mask from the dispatch date; you can notify us that you are unhappy with it for any reason.

You can return it and refund it (we must receive it within 7 days of being notified).

Take a look at what other CPAP users have to say

We always recommend reading reviews that other CPAP users have left about the CPAP mask you are considering. This gives you an insight into other people’s experiences with that CPAP mask. All of our masks have a reviews section; here’s a customer review for the AirFit F20 mask:

“Just love the AirFit foam F20; it has made all the difference, especially for a ‘newbie’ who was struggling with the F30 ‘full-face’. The point here for other newbies – the F20 covers the nose ie to the bridge of the nose, and the memory foam makes it super comfortable, my previous F30 had a ‘nose cushion’ and although the mask was less cumbersome – ie just the mouth region, the constant puffing up the nostril, was just too much! My advice, the main point, is to get used to CPAP; if that means a full mask initially, well, that is not too much to ask to begin with. Love the mask – will probably not change!”

You can also consult our forums: forums.cpap.co.uk, to see what advice other CPAP users can provide when it comes to choosing a CPAP mask.

While we could give enough information to fill an Encyclopedia, there is no substitute for the input of those who use and wear CPAP masks every night.

Can I use any mask with my CPAP machine?

CPAP machines use a standardised 22mm connection, allowing you to use any CPAP mask with any CPAP or BiPAP machine.

If you use the ResMed AirMini travel machine, it is only compatible with certain masks. However, you can add the AirMini universal hose adapter to use any mask with the device.

 

If you have any questions and need some support, contact us.