How to be comfortable with your CPAP mask

Man trying nasal CPAP mask

Last updated on August 5th, 2022 at 03:57 pm

Being comfortable with your mask is key for successful CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy.

There are a few factors to consider and solutions to ensure you are as comfortable as possible with your CPAP mask.

CPAP masks come in different mask typesOral, Hybridnasal pillowsnasal cushions or full-face CPAP masks. 

We have a page dedicated to how to choose a CPAP mask; take a look at it here.

If you’re prone to sinus infections (colds, congestion), have a deviated septum or suffer from regular nosebleeds, a full-face mask may be more comfortable for you.

It can take time to get used to your new CPAP mask; we always advise trying it for 3-4 weeks before giving up!

With most of our CPAP masks at Intus, we offer the option of adding mask-fit insurance. The insurance allows you to try your new mask for 28 days, and if you do not find it comfortable, you may return it.

CPAP Mask Sizing

When choosing a CPAP mask that’s right for you, the size is the most important factor. The wrong size will lead to discomfort (red marks or skin irritation) and mask leaks.

Many CPAP masks come in different sizes; when ordering one of our masks, you can find your size easily – by scrolling down to the ‘downloads’ tab and printing off the sizing guide – so you get the best fit possible.

There is also the option of choosing a risk-free CPAP mask for these; we guarantee a comfortable fit. Or you can return your mask for a refund.

We also offer a CPAP mask fit pack; these masks come with multiple cushion sizes, so you won’t need to measure your face.

CPAP Mask Cushion Type 

Almost all CPAP masks use either a silicone cushion or a gel cushion.

The silicone cushion is the standard, transparent cushion. Gel cushions are generally considered to be most comfortable as they are softer and more adaptive.

If you have been struggling with a silicone mask, then a gel cushion may be worth considering.

If you are a nasal breather, then for ultimate comfort, you could consider the SleepWeaver Advance. This mask is made entirely of fabric, with no plastic, silicone or gel touching the face, and is now one of our most popular nasal masks.

CPAP Mask Liners

Mask liners, such as RemZzzs, are available for almost all CPAP masks.

They are soft fabric liners that sit between the mask and your face, helping to reduce irritation and leaks. By absorbing moisture and oils from the skin, they help prevent the rashes and red marks that they cause and leaks from occurring.

These are also very useful if you can not get the right seal with your CPAP mask.

Replace Mask Parts

Unfortunately, your CPAP mask can’t last forever.

We recommend replacing your CPAP mask parts (headgear, cushion, clips and frame) as soon as they begin to start showing some wear and tear. As this ultimately will affect the comfort in your mask.

We recommend a new CPAP mask every six months.

Weight change can also impact the fit of your mask and mean you could need to replace your mask/mask parts.

To get the most out of your CPAP therapy, cleaning your equipment regularly is essential. It will prevent more frequent mask replacements and benefit your comfort.

Read more on how to clean your CPAP equipment here.

Ramp Setting

Many CPAP users begin therapy and find the pressurised air reaching their CPAP mask uncomfortable.

To solve this – most CPAP devices have a ‘ramp’ setting; this works by gradually increasing the pressure as you begin your therapy. Making it easier to fall asleep and become comfortable with your CPAP pressure.

CPAP Humidifier

It is common for CPAP users to find the pressurised air too cold. This can lead to a dry mouth or nose.

CPAP humidifiers warm and add moisture to the air you breathe through your CPAP mask, giving you extra comfort.

You could be wondering if you should use your humidifier in the summer our blog will tell you all you need to know.

Aromatherapy 

Using gentle scents can remove the slight antiseptic smells of a mask, particularly a new one.

It can replace the unpleasant smell with a relaxing, more welcoming aroma. It makes wearing a mask more comfortable and easier to get used to.

If you find the scent of the mask is something you are uncomfortable with, then trying something like Pur-Sleep could be beneficial.

Freedom

Wearing a CPAP mask can restrict your freedom of movement. This can make some people feel claustrophobic in their CPAP mask – moving too much or shifting onto your side can dislodge the mask and create leaks and discomfort.

Some Simple Solutions:

  • An Ultra CPAP Pillow features cut-outs that your mask falls into when you sleep on your side. This is an excellent solution for those who like to side-sleep and have been unable to do so.
  • Hose Lift is another helpful tool which elevates the hose above the bed. This allows you to change position without fear of the hose pulling on the mask.
  • Practice wearing your mask throughout the day to get used to the feel gradually. CPAP benefits your sleep, and the advantages outweigh the negatives, keep this in mind if you struggle with mask claustrophobia. Relaxation exercises may also help with anxiety and discomfort.

Thousands of people use CPAP in the UK alone; Sleep Apnoea is a common Sleep disorder affecting men and women of all ages.

Please contact us if you have any mask issues, and here does not solve the problem.

Author Jenny Hall