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CPAP Masks For Sleep Apnoea Treatment
Choosing a suitable CPAP mask can be more comfortable, create a better seal and leave fewer pressure marks than the standard CPAP mask.
How to choose the right mask
If you breathe through your nose when you sleep, a nasal pillow CPAP mask or a nasal cushion CPAP mask will provide the most effective therapy.
If you breathe through your mouth or snore, you will want to consider a full-face mask.
Everyone’s face is different, particularly around the bridge of the nose. Some masks can feel ‘tight’, and you should be happy with the fit and comfort of your mask. If your current CPAP mask isn’t comfortable, contact us and we can make a few suggestions for alternatives.
Choosing the correct size CPAP mask
Please be aware that just because you currently use a Large CPAP mask, it doesn’t mean that every large-size CPAP mask will be a suitable fit for you. If you are choosing a mask for the first time and it is available with a ‘FitPack’, we would advise choosing the FitPack to determine your perfect size. When you reorder your masks, you can continue to order the correct size.
CPAP Masks FAQs
All CPAP masks use a standardised connector to the breathing tube and are interchangeable between machines, giving you have the freedom to choose a mask that will provide you with the most effective therapy.
We do not currently have this facility. We do however provide detailed information about every mask that we supply. This includes a wide range of photographs, an assessment of the features, any brochures, guides or videos that are available, and for the majority of masks we provide a downloadable sizing gauge to ensure you purchase the correct size. We are also available via the contact us page to discuss the suitability of any given mask for your preferences and requirements. However, ultimately the choice is very personal and our advice, however much experience and knowledge our team have is a distant second to your personal needs.
Due to the nature of the equipment, masks cannot be returned for a refund, unless you have opted for mask insurance or you have purchased a risk-free CPAP mask.
If you are considering trying a mask for the first time, you can order in confidence using Mask Fit Insurance. Mask Fit Insurance costs £14.99 for nasal masks and £19.99 for full-face masks, and allows you to return a mask for a refund if it is unsuitable. You can find full details of the mask-fit insurance on the product page.
You do need to provide written confirmation of CPAP suitability when ordering a machine, but this is not required for a CPAP mask. You will need to tick a self-declaration of CPAP usage at the checkout but this is all that is required.
CPAP equipment manufacturers recommend that masks and CPAP equipment are cleaned regularly. They advise washing the mask, tubing and CPAP humidifier chamber at least once a week, because a daily routine can be hard to maintain. However, rinsing the mask and hose daily is great if you can manage it. If you are unwell or sick, daily washing is essential.
In order to remain comfortable your CPAP mask should be cleaned daily, throughout its lifetime.
Clean your mask in the morning after each night’s use with some CPAP mask wipes or warm soapy water. Please be aware that non-CPAP mask wipes may contain alcohol which can damage your mask. In addition, regular washing of your mask and headgear is recommended on a bi-weekly basis. Your CPAP mask should be disassembled into it’s various components and along with the headgear, placed into a bowl filled with a solution of a mild soap detergent, or unscented washing up liquid and warm water.
It only takes a few minutes to clean your CPAP mask.
- Unplug your device
- Disconnect the mask
- Wash the outside and inside of the mask with warm drinking-quality water and soap. It is important to avoid strong detergents as these can damage the mask and leave behind harmful residues.
- Rinse the mask thoroughly in warm, drinking-quality water.
- Place the mask on a flat surface on a towel to dry naturally. Avoid placing the mask in direct sunlight or on a radiator.
See our article on how to effectively clean your CPAP equipment for a comprehensive guide.
If your CPAP mask previously sealed well and is now starting to leak then the cushion may be reaching the end of its life. Through use the silicone used in most CPAP masks loses strength and becomes sloppier and therefore less able to maintain a seal. Tightening the headgear can offset this to a degree but eventually this will not be sufficient. This tends to happen after around 9 months but can happen earlier. Replacing the cushion should solve that problem; though if the cushion alone is not replaceable then a new CPAP mask would be required.
For more information on solving mask leaks – check out our comprehensive guide.
The average life span of a CPAP mask is around 9 months; sometimes this can be longer and sometimes shorter. The life depends on a number of factors;
- how often it is used (and for long long)
- how it is a washed (and how often)
- the wearer’s skin oils and sweat levels
Over time the cushion on the mask will wear out, much like if you were to wear the same shoes every day. When this happens, its ability to maintain a good seal reduces. Many CPAP masks have replacable cushions which provide a more cost-effective way of replacing the worn cushion rather than replacing the entire mask.
Over time, oils from your skin will damage the silicone in the mask seal. Depending on the type of silicone used, most mask seals will become softer over-time. When the mask makes a poor seal, air will escape and make your CPAP therapy less effective. Signs that the seal is damaged may be the sound of hissing as the air leaks out or you may experience very dry eyes in the morning. You can tighten the mask straps to try to compensate, but when the mask seal is degraded, you will need to replace your CPAP Mask.
The most simple solution would be to use a Nasal Pillows CPAP mask, as this avoids contact with the skin. They instead use two cones that sit on the entrance to the nostrils. However if you require a full face CPAP mask then a little extra creativity may be required. Some bearded CPAP patients use lanolin to soften the hairs and allow the CPAP mask to fit more easily. Those with beards are advised to use a gel mask if possible, as the cushions are usually more adaptable and can often compensate for facial hair better than a regular silicone mask.