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Sleep apnea affects 1 in 15 adults in the USA, but CPAP treatment can provide a solution. However, to get the best from this treatment, you need the right CPAP mask.
In our quest for the best CPAP masks, we’ve examined the important features and purchase considerations. We’ve looked at quality, comfort and configuration possibilities. We have examined a number of models and have determined a list of great options for different types of sleepers, and mask preferences. This should help you to find the best CPAP mask for your specific requirements and needs.
Other features: MicroFit Dial headgear with 24 size settings, ActiveCell Technology, dual-wall cushion, adjustable headgear
The ResMed Mirage Activa LT is a CPAP mask with active cell cushioning that expands and contracts throughout the night for extra comfort. The seal is not compromised and this ensures that the mask is effective with no need to tighten or over-tighten the straps. There is also a quick release mechanism.
This mask also has a redesigned diffusion vent to help reduce airflow and prevent disturbances to your sleep. Due to this reconfiguration, the mask is 49% quieter compared to the original MirageActiva. So, if you or your partner is a light sleeper, you’ll find this mask is whisper quiet and should not disturb your rest. It is available in four different sizes to suit your facial structure and ensure that you feel comfortable. This makes it the best CPAP mask for side sleepers or back sleepers.
What stands out?
What we liked about this mask is that while it is loose fitting, the mask feels stable and yet you won’t experience those unsightly red marks around your nose when you wake up. There are 24 different mask positions to select and you can get a very custom fit with some experimentation. This means that you can get the ideal fit to suit your sleeping preferences and eliminate the pain that can accompany frequent position changes.
What cons did we manage to find?
Where there is some room for improvement is in the materials used for the fastener tab. This is made of a lightweight plastic that is vulnerable to breakage. There have been some user reviews that have complained about the fastener tab breaking, which has compromised the overall functionality of the mask.
Other features: MicroFit dial, detachable headgear, tight fitting, compatible with most machines and tubing (except for ResMed AirMini)
The Mirage Quattro is a full face mask that has highly customizable options to securely fit all face shapes. There are four sizes and fit adjustability to allow the mask to closely contour and create a tight seal to prevent air leakage and optimize the CPAP performance without any compromise to comfort.
What’s great about this mask is that it has an adjustable dial so you can tighten the forehead support bar to achieve your desired fit. There is also Spring Air dual wall technology along the edge of the mask to ensure it creates a snug feel and hugs the face, while air vents throughout the mask keep it relatively quiet.
What do we love it for?
This is one of the best full face CPAP mask options and it is supported with a full 90 day ResMed manufacturer’s warranty. Providing you wipe down the mask after every use and hand wash on a weekly basis, you’ll adhere with the manufacturer terms and conditions and can enjoy stress free use.
What were we disappointed with?
One area where it falls down a little is that if you tend to breathe through your mouth, when your jaw is relaxed the flexible membrane along the chin does move. This is supposed to maintain the seal, but some users have found that the seal is compromised in this way.
Other features: lightweight materials, open vision design, under the nose cushion
The Philips Amara View is one of the best nasal CPAP mask options. It has an under the nose design that will not leave marks or abrasions on the bridge of the nose. The sleek design of this mask means that you don’t need any forehead support. This does mean that it is a light and small mask that is a great option if you wear glasses or like to watch television before you fall asleep. You can relax without compromising your field of vision.
The Amara View is a comfortable face mask that has a silicone finish, so you can wear it with a great seal. The nostril opening creates pressure into the nostril, but you shouldn’t experience the irritation that you may have found with a traditional nasal pillow.
What makes it special?
What we liked about the Amara View is that it comes with a fitPack option. If you’re unsure about what cushion size you’ll need, you can try out the three different sizes to find the best fit. There is also four-point adjustment around the mask, so you can enjoy a secure fit and even pressure with a quick release if you have difficulties in the middle of the night.
What cons did we find?
One area where Philips could make improvements is with the straps. Some people have had difficulty getting a good fit and one user reported skin irritation from having the straps in contact with their face. Another user had difficulty with the straps pressing under their nose and causing their gums to feel sore in the morning.
Other features: can’t be used with AirMini; whisper quiet, ultralight flexi-tube
If you’re looking for the best nasal CPAP mask for side sleepers, you’ll want the lightest, smallest mask possible and you’ll appreciate the ResMed AirFit P10. This is one of the lightest sleep apnea masks on the market at just 1.6 ounces. The mask has woven mesh vents or QuietAir vents, to reduce the noise down to a whisper quiet 21dB. The vents can also direct your exhaled air away from your face and your sleep partner for complete nighttime comfort.
The P10 has a split strap headgear design that helps keep the mask from moving as you’re laying on your side. However, only two soft straps actually touch your face.
Why are we impressed?
What we really liked about this mask is its flexibility. While it is a great option for side sleepers, it is also a good option for back sleepers and stomach sleepers. It is a good choice if you tend to be a light sleeper, have sensitive skin or wear glasses. Since the mask is so lightweight, it is easy to find a comfortable position without compromising the seal.
What negatives must you be aware of?
One area of concern is that you do need to be meticulous about cleaning. ResMed do recommend that you clean the mask after each use and this should be taken seriously. There are reports of users who have neglected the cleaning and struggled with bacterial infections as a result.
Other features: InfinitySeal cushion, plush headgear and magnetic clips, quick release elbow and diffused venting
Our pick as the best CPAP mask for mouth breathers has to be the ResMed AirFit F20. This is a full face mask that can provide a comfortable and effective seal regardless of your face shape. The headgear and mask have seven contour points to provide an adaptive, close fit without excessive rubbing or pinching. ResMed have carefully considered this mask to ensure it has a comfortable design. There is a silicone cushion and soft nose bridge with headgear that contours around the chin for additional support.
Like others in the ResMed product line, the F20 features QuietAir venting technology. This has multidirectional openings to allow venting in different areas and break up your exhaled air. This makes the mask gentler to use with reduced noise. The F20 is available with small, medium or large headgear, but the cushion is only available as a small or medium.
Why did it make our list?
What we like about this mask is that you can purchase both the cushions and headgear separately. This makes it easy to buy replacement parts regularly, so you can prolong the lifespan of your mask. The mask is also compatible with all types of CPAP machines that use standard size tubing. It is also supported with a 90 day warranty.
What is not ideal about it?
Where ResMed could make improvements is with the magnetic clip. This is a very basic plastic part that some users have reported as cheap and poorly designed. While the mask has good reviews overall, the rating has dropped due to complaints about a broken magnetic clip.
Other features: stable fit, flexible movement and connection, supportive chassis, curved cushion design, septum bridge membrane
The ResMed AirFit N30i is a must to include in our list of the best sleep apnea mask options. It has a 360º swivel, hollow frame tubing and a top mounted hose connection, so that even if you tend to move around a lot as you’re sleeping, you won’t compromise the seal. The N30i has been engineered, so that it moves with you. The mask frame has eliminated the excessive bulk in front of your face, while the integrated notching system and springfit design allows the mask to adapt to the shape of your face, so you can customize your fit.
Why are we impressed?
Where this mask stands apart is that it features flattened silicone tubing that rests on the cheeks, while the curved nasal cradle securely fits at the base of your nose. This means that other than these points, the mask doesn’t have contact with your face. So, if you enjoy reading in bed, you can enjoy an open view. Additionally, you can pick your ideal size and fit. There are three cushion sizes and the option of a standard or small size frame, for a great fit. You can even swap out the frame with the P30i if you want to try different mask styles.
What negatives must you be aware of?
There are only a couple of issues that are downsides to this mask. The tubing does create condensation if you prefer a cool bedroom. Additionally, the headgear is only available in standard or small. So, if you tend to have a larger head, you may find the top position of the gear slides forward so it doesn’t pull hard on the part where it connects to your nose or you could end up waking up with nostril pain.
Other features: multi-size cushion design, flexible swivel, clear line of sight, flexible tubing
The Philips Wisp has one of the best CPAP headgear designs. It provides a comfortable, soft fit that can be worn loosely without worry about compromising performance. It easily attaches to the face without the need for a forehead attachment. So, it is a great option for those who like to read or watch television before going to sleep. The mask cushion is lightweight and small with an outer silicone membrane that has minimal contact on the face. You can also choose from three cushion sizes for the best fit and comfort. It is supplied with a small/medium cushion and a large cushion together with an extra large cushion, so you can try out the different sizes for the most comfortable fit. It is also supplied with a flexible, lightweight short tube for easy disconnection and quick cleaning.
Why is it special?
What we liked about this mask is that you can choose your preferred frame. There is a fabric or silicone option, so you can ensure maximum comfort. This means that if you have a particular reaction to silicone or worry about the durability of fabric, you can pick the best one for you.
What are the flaws?
The only criticism relates to the fit. Some users have found that the small to medium nose piece is too small, while the large is too large. Perhaps Philips would have been better to have a separate small, medium and large nose piece to ensure a more customizable fit.
Other features: dual system for superior fit, Duo Pack option
As its name suggests, the Philips Respironics ComfortGel Blue has been designed with comfort as its top priority. When you need to wear a CPAP mask every night, even a minor comfort issue can become a big problem that compromises your sleep and rest. This mask is made with innovative gel technology that is designed to provide a custom fit. The premium padding provides adjustability, while the nasal cushion conforms comfortably to the skin to avoid painful pressure points with minimal air leaks. When combined with the gel cushion, the silicone flap of this mask creates a good seal, while protecting the cushion from potentially harmful skin oils to extend its lifespan.
What do we love it for?
What we liked about the Respironics ComfortGel Blue is that it features System One Resistance Control. Philips appreciates that variations in mask fit can affect the pressure amounts delivered by your CPAP machine. The Resistance Control technology accounts for any variations and adjusts the pressure to compensate accordingly, so you can get your prescribed amount.
What were we disappointed with?
One area of concern is that you will need to be prepared for regularly replacing the cushions. Due to wear and tear, you will need new cushions to ensure your CPAP therapy continues at optimum levels. The manufacturer even includes an extra cushion with your initial purchase. This suggests that the cushions have a very limited lifespan, so you will need to monitor your cushion and ensure that you replace it before it compromises CPAP performance.
Things to Consider
With so many options on the market, it can be challenging to find the best CPAP masks. So, here we’ve compiled a buying guide with the features to look for and answers to frequently asked questions to help you to make a final purchase decision.
Types of CPAP Masks
Approximately 18 million people in the USA are affected by sleep apnea. So, it stands to reason that there are hundreds of different configurations and styles of CPAP masks to accommodate preferences and different face shapes. However, there are essentially three main types of CPAP masks.
Full face mask is the best option for mouth breathers or those who have difficulties breathing through their nose
A full face CPAP mask seals around your nose and mouth, making it the best CPAP mask for mouth breathers or those who have difficulties when breathing through their nose. The full face mask allows effective airflow distribution, which makes high pressure settings that are easier to tolerate. It is also a good option if you tend to switch between nose and mouth breathing or simply don’t know which you prefer.
However, full face masks tend to include a forehead pad that can cause irritation. Additionally, the design can limit the field of vision if you like to read or watch television in bed.
Nasal CPAP mask is best for side sleepers or people who have facial hair
As the name suggests, the Nasal CPAP mask is designed to only cover the nose. With a smaller profile, this is a more popular choice for side sleepers or if you have facial hair. Additionally, nasal CPAP masks can accommodate higher pressure settings compared to nasal pillows. These masks can often be combined with a chin strap to prevent sore throats and dry mouth, if you tend to breathe through your mouth, but occasionally breathe through the mouth. However, like the full face mask, they may include a forehead pad that can cause irritation. However, this type is not the best CPAP mask for stomach sleepers.
Nasal pillow is preferred by active sleepers and those who enjoy reading or watching TV before sleep
Nasal pillows rest under the nose and only seal around the nostrils. Rather than having a cushion, these masks feature individual silicone, gel or memory foam pillows. This is the lightest and smallest style of mask with a minimal design that is a good choice for active sleepers or those who enjoy watching television or reading before bed. However, these masks are only suitable for low to medium pressure settings.
As you can guess, oral CPAP masks are the best option for mouth breathers
As the name suggests, oral masks only cover the mouth, making them a solid choice for mouth breathers. They can accommodate any pressure allowance, but if you tend to switch to breathing through your nose, your CPAP therapy will be interrupted.
Total Face Mask
The total face mask is perfect for back sleepers and those who need a high-pressure setting
Finally, a total face mask is large enough to cover the mouth and nose with a seal over both airways. This is a large mask that covers most of the lower half of the face with side straps to keep it in place. This is a good option for back sleepers or those who need a high pressure CPAP setting. If you tend to sleep lightly or sleep on your side, you may find this type of mask bulky.
How to Pick a CPAP Mask
Trying to pick the best CPAP can be a little daunting, but here we’ll look into the features you should consider to find the best model for you.
Perhaps the most important consideration when you’re choosing a CPAP mask is the recommendations of your doctor. Your healthcare provider will provide a specific pressure prescription
Trusted SourceHow to Determine CPAP Pressure Settings to Treat Sleep ApneaLearn how sleep apnea severity and other factors determine what CPAP pressure settings are appropriate.
for your CPAP treatment and this will influence your choice of mask. Some masks, like the AirFit P10 are only suitable for low to medium pressure levels, so if you need a higher pressure, you will need to choose a different type or model of mask.
Your doctor can also help guide you through the advantages and potential disadvantages of the different masks to help you to find which style will be most likely a good choice for you.
Compatibility with the Machine
Another important consideration is machine compatibility. Generally, most masks are designed with a universal fit compatible with all CPAP machines. However, there are exceptions. Some connection equipment is mask specific, so you would need specially fitted adapters to use standard CPAP tubing.
Size and Fit
Masks come in different sizes to allow you to find one that suits your head and face size. Without proper sizing and fit, your mask may not create the required seal for your CPAP machine to correctly function. A poor fit can also create discomfort and pain throughout the night.
Generally, masks are available in small, medium and large sizing, but some brands also have women specific sizing or wider options for different face types.
The materials of your mask will not only impact comfort, but also durability. If the mask is hard plastic, it will rub and cause irritation. Most masks feature softer plastic or silicone cushions, but if you have a silicone sensitivity, there are some models with a cloth option.
Your Sleeping Position
Your preferred sleeping position will also determine the best choice of CPAP mask. If you’re a back sleeper, you can use any type of CPAP mask, but side sleepers may struggle with bulkier masks that can shift against the pillow and break the seal. Stomach sleepers will be limited to a minimal design such as a nasal pillow, but you should try to break the habit of sleeping on your stomach.
Finally, you need to consider that if you’re an active sleeper, you should look for a mask with a hollow frame for flexibility, so that even if you toss and turn, you won’t interrupt your sleep therapy.
Your Breathing Style
Another important factor is your breathing style. Nose breathers can use any CPAP mask style while mouth breathers should try a full face mask or if you prefer a wider field of vision an oral CPAP mask.
If you don’t know your breathing style, you should consider a hybrid or full face CPAP mask.
An airtight seal is crucial and the mask headgear allows fit adjustment for your mask to help to keep it in place throughout the night. Most masks have headgear made with soft elastic that fits around the back of the head, but the size and shape of straps differs between manufacturers.
We’ve mentioned this before, but it is worth reiterating. A weak seal leads to air leaks and will prevent you receiving the right air pressure as you sleep. The mask fit and the type of mask will impact the seal, so look for a model with lots of adjustability so you can achieve a secure seal.
Line of Sight
Pay close attention to the mask’s line of sight if you like to read or watch TV in bed
If you like to read or watch television in bed, some styles of mask can be annoying by restricting your line of sight. In this case, you will want to look for a model with a low profile.
The tubing connects your mask to the CPAP machine, but depending on the mask style it may attach at the top of your head or near your nose. If you’re an active sleeper, you may appreciate a top of the head attachment as it will provide greater flexibility as you move during the night.
If your insurance plan does not cover the full cost of your CPAP mask, price will become a major consideration. Just bear in mind that price does not necessarily correlate with comfort and quality. So, concentrate on the other considerations and then you can narrow down your choices according to your budget.
A warranty can express a manufacturer’s confidence in its products. While many manufacturers offer a 30-day warranty with their CPAP masks, there are some models, like the ResMed AirFit F20 that are supplied with a 90 day warranty.
You should replace your CPAP masks approximately every six months to ensure the CPAP machine remains properly functioning and clean. Even if you frequently clean your mask, facial oils will eventually compromise the ability to create a proper seal. Simply tightening the mask could make the mask more uncomfortable to wear. However, you should consider replacing your mask if it isn’t fitting properly anymore, if there are visible signs of damage or you notice air leaks, even if it is not yet six months only.
You should clean your CPAP mask each week using a mild detergent and warm water to keep your mask sanitary and properly functioning.
You’ll need to disassemble your mask and then submerge the mask cushion, headgear and tubing in a sink of warm, soapy water, agitating the pieces in the water with your hands for approximately five minutes. Rinse the parts with fresh water, pat dry and allow them to fully dry before reassembling.
As you can see, there are some excellent CPAP masks on the market today. From the Philips Amara View that does not impede your field of vision to the highly customizable Mirage Quattro, there are some great masks. However, the stand out pick as the best CPAP masks has to be our editor’s choice, the ResMed Mirage Activa LT. This impressive mask has active cell cushioning that ensures extra comfort as it expands and contracts, so you don’t need to over tighten the straps to create a good seal. The vent configuration also ensures this mask is far quieter than the original Mirage Activa, making it ideal for light sleepers or those with a partner who is easily disturbed.
Just remember that if you want the best CPAP masks, you need to consider your own requirements. This will allow you to find a mask that is comfortable, effective and compatible with your CPAP machine levels for an effective treatment plan.
How to Determine CPAP Pressure Settings to Treat Sleep Apnea
Learn how sleep apnea severity and other factors determine what CPAP pressure settings are appropriate.