Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs whenever your sleep is disrupted. It’s something that happens when your upper airway gets blocked. According to experts, it has the potential to be fatal, unless you suddenly wake up. While there is no permanent solution to treat this sleep disorder, there is a long-term solution to ensure that the momentary stop in breathing doesn’t lead to more serious complications. It is the CPAP machine – a device designed to assist patients with sleep apnea by providing constant airflow throughout the night.
Finding the right CPAP machine partially helps in having a better night’s sleep, but there is still one other factor to be considered – the right type of mask to wear. The mask you choose can determine your success with your CPAP machine. After all, you’ll be using it on a nightly basis. Because people have different facial anatomy and don’t sleep in the same way, it’s important to take some type to explore the different types of sleep apnea masks available to find the one that fits your lifestyle and needs.
What is the best mask for sleep apnea?
CPAP masks are divided into three main groups: full face CPAP mask, CPAP nasal mask and CPAP nose pillow. Full face masks are stable, nasal masks are comfortable and nasal pillow masks have a minimal design. So, which one should you choose? First, consider your doctor’s advice. Sometimes, you can’t simply choose a mask based on your preferences. There will instances when your doctor will recommend a model that best suits your situation.
The way you sleep can also be a major factor. If you have a tendency to not stay put during your sleep, a nasal pillow may not be ideal. If you are a side sleeper, a full face mask may hinder the way you sleep. A nasal mask is often the perfect combination of the two models, but it’s not the best one for mouth breathers. It is essential to consider all these factors first before determining each product’s feature.
Here are some of the most commonly used CPAP masks that deliver great results.
ResMed AirFit P10 Nasal Pillow Mask
A quick online search on the best sleep apnea masks will show that ResMed is a well-known name in the industry. This mask is just one more proof of that. The mask’s QuietAir woven-mesh vent technology makes it one of the quietest, compared to other CPAP masks. This means that the mask won’t emit any noises that may interrupt your sleep.
One benefit of nasal pillow masks is that they are lighter and more compact compared to the best CPAP nasal masks and full-face masks. The brand takes pride in its products being 50% lighter when compared to other nose pillows. The AirFit P10 also already comes with the headgear to support and stabilize the nasal pillow in place. Know that not all manufacturers include the whole package. Plus, its innovative split-strap design keeps facial contact at a minimum, promoting enhanced comfort once you slip it on. The mask includes three pillow sizes – small, medium and large – so you won’t have to guess which one will fit best in your nostrils.
ResMed Swift FX Pillow Mask
The Swift FX Pillow is another ResMed product on this list. A lot of people who wear this mask have reported that sometimes they even forget they their masks on. This model has a minimalist look, which means wearing it won’t be a problem if you’re reading a book or watching TV before going to bed.
Increasingly flexible, it has a super soft fit and settles in snugly into the contours of your nose. Its dual-wall pillow ensures stability without giving you the feeling that you have to restrain yourself from moving too much. And if you are a side sleeper, you also won’t have to worry about your mask slipping off. This CPAP mask also comes with a flexible chamber in its base, which is ideal when you’re turning and tossing looking for the perfect sleeping position. The flexible chamber also serves as a reliable seal when the CPAP needs to be set to emit high therapy pressures.
AirTouch F20 Cushion Mask
Wearing a CPAP face mask for long hours can definitely be uncomfortable. If you are concerned about the mask leaving a red mark around your mouth and nose area, the ResMed’s AirTouch F20 is the solution you need. This full-face mask comes with an UtraSoft memory foam cushion that makes it one of the softest face masks on the market. The brand even allows you to choose between two types of cushions – the memory foam and the seal cushion.
Thanks to its modular design and memory foam, this full mask is capable of conforming to the unique features of your face. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about whether it will be comfortable. Even though it is light and breathable, you won’t have to think about it slipping off at high pressures because it is designed to provide a secure seal regardless of the setting you choose on your CPAP machine.
Another great thing about this mask is that it is easier to clean and maintain compared to other CPAP full face masks. And you don’t need to use soap or water – a quicky wipe-down with wet wipes is enough to keep the mask’s memory foam clean.