Whether you’re 15 or 50, getting a good nights rest is absolutely essential to our overall health and well being. If you or someone you love has sleep apnea, getting a good night’s sleep can be easier said than done. As you know, sleep apnea can keep you from achieving the deep, restful sleep that our body needs – but it doesn’t have to. With a good CPAP machine and a well-fitting mask, you can sleep like a baby even with severe sleep apnea. In this guide, we’ll go over some of the best CPAP masks of 2018.
Quick Picks for the Best CPAP Mask of 2018:
- Best CPAP nasal pillow mask – ResMed AirFit P10
- Best CPAP nasal mask – ResMed Mirage FX
- Best full face CPAP mask – Fisher & Paykel Simplus
What is the Best CPAP Mask on the Market?
That, dear readers, is a bit of a trick question. There is no single mask that could be definitively called the best CPAP mask, simply because different styles work better for different peoples. Generally speaking, there are three different types of CPAP masks:
- Nasal pillows – very small and unobtrusive; seals directly over/in the nostrils
- Nasal masks – small; mask covers the entire nose
- Full-face masks – larger; mask covers both nose and mouth
To help you find the best CPAP mask for you, we’ve selected our favorites from each of these product categories. Find more info on the best CPAP masks below.
Best Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask: ResMed AirFit P10
The ResMed AirFit P10 is among the most popular CPAP masks on the market and is certainly one of the smallest. Its ultra lightweight design feels very natural, and its small size and tight seal makes it a good CPAP mask for side-sleepers.
- Very lightweight
- Lightweight and soft headgear for comfort
- In-nose seal with “earbud” style design
- Great for side sleepers
- Features QuietAir™ woven-mesh vents for quieter exhalation
- Comes with three sizes of pillows; small, medium, large
- Made by ResMed, one of the most trusted names in the CPAP industry
Nasal pillow masks like the AirFit P10 are popular among people who primarily breathe through their nose at night, and who prefer a lightweight mask. They tend to be more comfortable than the larger nasal and full-face masks. This style is also quite popular among side-sleepers, as they tend to be more comfortable when sleeping on your side.
That said, nasal pillows are not for everyone. If you frequently breathe through your mouth while sleeping, or if your prescription requires a very high pressure, you may not be able to use a nasal pillow. Speak with your sleep doctor if you have questions about the different CPAP mask styles.
Best Nasal Mask CPAP Mask: ResMed Mirage FX
The Mirage FX is a lightweight but secure nasal mask that offers a surprisingly comfortable fit. It features a unique “butterfly” forehead support design that keeps the mask firmly in place in most sleep positions. The design also helps to reduce pressure on the face.
- Mid-weight design
- Very comfortable
- Design with forehead support keeps pressure evenly distributed
- Works in most sleep positions
- Great for restless sleepers who move around a lot
- Good for new CPAP users
- Can handle higher pressure settings than nasal pillows
- Made by ResMed, one of the most trusted names in the CPAP industry
Nasal masks like the ResMed Mirage FX can be seen as a middle ground between nasal pillows and full-faced masks. They are still relatively lightweight but offer a bit more secure of a fit when compared to nasal pillows. Since they only cover the nose, they are of course designed for people who primarily breathe through their noses.
If you’re a new CPAP user, or you’ve tried nasal pillows in the past and they didn’t work for you, a nasal mask like the Mirage FX is a good place to start. They can also accommodate higher pressure settings than the smaller pillow styles. The Mirage FX is one of the best CPAP masks on the market, and if you’ve determined that a nasal mask is the right style for you, this is a great choice.
Best Full Face CPAP Mask: Fisher & Paykel Simplus
The Fisher & Paykel Simplus is a simple and comfortable full-face CPAP mask that is extremely popular among CPAP users. It sports a simple design with only three main parts, which keeps cleaning and care easy. It also features the innovative RollFit seal, which helps keep a tight seal as you shift positions during the night, while simultaneously reducing unpleasant pressure on your face.
- Lightweight and comfortable frame
- Very comfortable for a full face design
- Offers air flow to both nose and mouth
- Full face design is perfect for mouth breathers
- Features ErgoForm Breathable Headgear for comfort and freedom of movement
- Offers RollFit technology to allow the mask to shift while maintaining a seal
- Good for high-pressure settings
- Good for folks with nasal congestion, allergies, etc.
- Made by Fisher & Paykel, a highly respected brand in the CPAP industry
Full-face masks like the Fisher & Paykel Simplus are best for folks who tend to breathe through both their nose and mouth during sleep. These masks cover and provide air pressure to both your nose and mouth. Even if you normally breathe through your nose, you still may find this style helpful for when you have sinus congestion, a head cold, etc.
While full-face masks can look a bit intimidating at first, they are often the best CPAP mask style for many people. With that said, they are usually not the best choice for side-sleepers, as they can cause some discomfort by pushing into the side of your face. It’s best to speak to your doctor about the best style of CPAP mask for you and your individual needs, and then use that information to find the best CPAP masks that are within your price range.
How Often Should You Replace Your CPAP Mask?
The best CPAP masks are very well made, but they still need to be replaced regularly. You may be surprised to learn how often experts recommend replacing your CPAP mask and other components. While specific timelines will vary depending on several factors (your sleep position, the amount of oils your skin produces, the style of your mask, etc.), some general guidelines can be found below:
Cushion (nasal, pillow or full-face) – once every month
Mask – once every 3-6 months
Headgear – once every 6 months
More guidelines can be found at SleepApnea.com. If you have insurance, you may also wish to call your insurance provider and ask how often they cover replacement parts.
Keeping Your CPAP Mask Clean: Consider the SoClean 2
It’s very important to keep your CPAP mask clean and sanitized. This will help you avoid getting sick due to bacteria, germs and mold spores that could potentially develop in your CPAP equipment. To help in this pursuit, consider using the SoClean 2 CPAP Cleaner.
- The SoClean is an automated CPAP cleaning system
- Simply place your CPAP mask, still connected to your hose, into the unit
- It will turn on automatically, and pump activated oxygen (O3/Ozone) through your mask, tube and humidifier
- The activated oxygen kills 99.9% of bacteria, germs and viruses present in your CPAP equipment
- Compatible with most machines and masks (all the best CPAP masks on this list are compatible)
- Click here to learn more on Amazon.com
We also have put together a full SoClean 2 review if you want to learn more about the device.
Even with the SoClean 2, you will still need to manually clean your CPAP components with soap and water every once in a while. See our CPAP cleaning best practices guide for more information.
How to Choose the Best CPAP Mask Style for You
There is no single best CPAP mask, as each person will react differently to different styles of mask. In making your decision, some factors you should keep in mind include:
Breathing style – do you breath through your mouth, nose, or both? If you regularly breath through your mouth while sleeping, you will likely need a full-face CPAP mask. Conversely, if you breath primarily through your nose, you may do better with a nasal mask or nasal pillow.
Sleeping style – do you sleep on your back, side, or stomach? If you’re a back sleeper, any style mask should work fine. If you’re a side sleeper, full face masks might put too much pressure on the side of your face. You also might consider getting a CPAP pillow, which are specially designed to leave ample room for CPAP masks, even while sleeping on your side.
Machine compatibility – what CPAP machine do you use? Most of the major manufacturers (ResMed, Phillips Respironics, Fisher & Paykel) make their CPAP units compatible with most mask types, but there is still a slim possibility that a third-party mask might not work well with a different company’s CPAP machine.
Pressure settings – what is your pressure setting for your CPAP unit? This will be based on your doctor’s recommendations, and will vary significantly depending on the severity of your sleep apnea, your size and weight, and other factors. In general, full face style masks work better for higher pressure settings. You may wish to speak to your sleep doctor about recommended mask styles.
Past experience – what CPAP masks have you tried in the past? What was your experience with those styles? Most CPAP users will find a style they like, and stick with it over time. They might try a different brand, but typically if a style (nasal, nasal pillow, full face) is identified that works well and is comfortable, there is little need to try a new style altogether.
The Importance of a Good CPAP Mask
Choosing the right CPAP mask is vitally important. Here’s why:
Comfort – the best CPAP mask of 2018 will provide great comfort, allowing you to rest easy and get the sleep you need. Conversely, uncomfortable masks will make it difficult to sleep, and may make you less inclined to actually use your CPAP!
Confidence – you want to feel confident that your masks will do its job, without getting in the way of your comfort. Also, you may wish to seek out a low-profile mask, particularly if you share your bed with a partner. Some new CPAP users feel a bit self-conscious about using a CPAP, and might feel more confident with a smaller mask, such as a nasal pillow.
Leakage – a good mask will fit snugly yet comfortably, minimizing leakage while maximizing comfort. You don’t want your machine to leak, as this can cause disruptions in your sleep quality and make your CPAP therapy less effective.
Questions About the Best CPAP Masks?
Do you have a question about finding the right mask for you? Do you have a specific mask in mind that’s not discussed on this list? Feel free to leave a comment or send us an email, and we’ll be happy to do what we can to help!