Different Types of CPAP Masks

Martine Coven


If you are in the market for a CPAP machine, you should know that it’s going to take some time to get used to wearing a CPAP mask while you sleep. They aren’t like the little masks you put over your eyes to preserve your beauty. These masks are pretty bulky and can possibly cover half your face.

Luckily, that doesn’t mean they have to be uncomfortable. There are different types of CPAP masks, each one for a specific purpose. Knowing the information below can help you and your pulmonologist choose the right mask for maximum comfort and effectiveness while you sleep.

Full Face Masks

Full face masks cover your entire nose and mouth. These masks are great for people who breathe through their mouths or who switch positions frequently at night.

These masks are a bit more secure than others. In some cases, they may be more comfortable than others because the air pressure is spread over a larger area of the face. This one is best for mouth breathers because the others don’t work well when a person breathes through their mouth.

The downside of these masks is that they can be bulky and slightly heavier than the other masks. However, they aren’t so big and heavy that they’re a deal-breaker. It boils down to personal preference.

If you have a lot of facial hair, you might want to get a different mask. The hair can prevent the mask from getting a good seal on your face.

Nasal Masks

Nasal masks essentially cover only your nose, from the bridge area to your upper lip. Some newer models are a little smaller and are designed to be placed under your nostrils. These masks tend to be smaller and more lightweight than full-face masks, so they may be more comfortable for some people.

They are good for people who change positions often while sleeping or people who sleep on their side or back. However, it’s not a great choice for people who have frequent nasal congestion or nasal injuries that block airflow. The mask allows air to go around the nostril but not necessarily directly into the nostrils.

Nasal Pillow Masks

These are smaller than the previously discussed mask and can even be used by people who sleep on their stomachs. They are less invasive and the most versatile option for people who use CPAP machines.

This mask gets its name from what could be considered a little pillow that goes into each nostril. This soft cushion doesn’t go far into the nostril – just far enough so that it can create an airtight seal. This allows the machine to pass the air directly into each nostril.

This mask is popular because it doesn’t obstruct the user’s view. That means the user can watch television, read, or do other visual tasks while wearing the mask. Plus, it’s very comfortable for people who have facial hair.

With the light weight, small footprint, and versatility of this mask, you may think that everyone should get this one. Unfortunately, it’s not suitable for everyone. Like the nasal mask, this one isn’t suitable for people with severe congestion or nose injuries.

Specialty CPAP Masks

Advances in mask technology have made it possible for specialty masks, and these masks are making a splash in the market. These masks are considered specialties because they aren’t as mainstream yet, but they are simply different types like the ones above. Some of them include:

  • Masks made specifically for women
  • Oral masks
  • Hybrid masks
  • Kids’ masks
  • Cloth masks
  • Fashion masks (as in printed designs)
  • Disposable masks

As you can see, it’s not a quick choice to choose a mask. There are a lot of considerations, and sometimes people may get overwhelmed and choose an alternative to a CPAP machine.

Also read: What to Expect From a Prenatal Massage

Take Your Time and Choose Wisely

Knowing the different types of masks is half the battle of choosing the right one. This guide should get you going in the right direction when you pair it with advice from your pulmonologist. Just remember to choose the most comfortable one that will be effective, and you can look forward to getting good sleep.


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