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Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is the leading treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), but many people find their CPAP masks uncomfortable. CPAP mask liners are a popular solution to this problem. They consist of soft fabric that reduces skin irritation and wicks away moisture while preventing leaks and protecting the mask.

CPAP mask liners are a straightforward product. However, like all CPAP accessories, there is room for confusion if you’ve never used one before. We’ll introduce you to our picks for the top CPAP mask liners, then walk you through what you need to know before buying or using a CPAP liner.

Why We Picked These

We choose our featured products — including CPAP mask liners — based on in-depth research of their performance, construction, durability, and customer satisfaction. Our team has many years of combined experience with CPAP products, and we use our expertise to provide readers with the insight they need to navigate the CPAP accessories market. 

What Is a CPAP Mask Liner?

CPAP mask liners are fabric sheaths that provide a barrier between the CPAP mask cushion and the user’s skin. Most are marketed as preventing air leaks, protecting skin from red marks or irritation, and shielding the mask from body oils. Many CPAP mask liners also wick away moisture to reduce the temperature and humidity inside the mask. 

The design of a CPAP mask liner varies depending on the manufacturer and the mask compatibility. 

Will a CPAP Mask Liner Help Prevent Air Leaks?

CPAP mask liners can help prevent air leaks by filling in the spaces where a user’s skin might pull away from the mask or wrinkle. Additionally, facial moisture can cause masks to slip, creating air leaks. Liners frequently combat this problem by absorbing sweat and oils. 

In addition to using a mask liner, other ways to prevent air leaks include:

  • Cleaning mask components regularly
  • Replacing mask components according to the manufacturer’s directions
  • Ensuring you use the right mask size and style
  • Using a CPAP pillow to reduce pressure on the mask 

What You Should Consider When Choosing a CPAP Mask Liner

Like choosing a CPAP mask, choosing a CPAP mask liner can be more complex than it first appears. There are several factors to consider before making a purchase. Understanding each of these considerations can limit confusion and make the process easier. 

CPAP Mask Liner Considerations

PriceMost CPAP mask liners cost less than $30. More advanced features may come with a higher price tag. Reusable mask liners are more cost-effective than disposable options, but customers looking for value should also consider the expected lifespan of any reusable option.
CompatibilitySome CPAP mask liners are compatible with a wide variety of masks, while others are designed for a single brand name mask. Choosing a compatible liner helps ensure that it fits on the mask and that the cutouts line up with your mouth and nose. You can usually find compatibility information on the manufacturer’s website or through an online CPAP retailer.
Moisture WickingCPAP masks can be humid, so many mask liners are intended to wick away excess moisture for a more comfortable experience. Cotton and microfiber are among the most absorbent liner fabrics, though some manufacturers use fabric blends designed to address the problem.
ComfortAll CPAP mask liners are intended to be comfortable, but comfort is subjective. You can find thick and fuzzy options or smooth and streamlined designs, so consider what might feel best to you.
Quality MaterialsA well-made CPAP mask liner can last longer, so it’s worth balancing the quality of the materials against the mask liner’s cost. While a less expensive option may seem like a good deal, the yearly cost may be greater if you need to replace it more often.
Cleaning and CareAll reusable CPAP mask liners should be cleaned routinely. Daily cleaning is usually best, but weekly cleaning is acceptable. Some mask liners are machine-washable, while others must be washed by hand.

Reusable vs. Disposable CPAP Mask Liners

Disposable CPAP mask liners are intended to be used once before being thrown out, while reusable mask liners usually have a lifespan of three to six months. Reusable designs must be washed regularly. However, avoid reusing disposable mask liners since they cannot be cleaned effectively and may degrade.

Both options have pros and cons. Some people prefer one or the other, while others use either as needed. 

Reusable Mask LinersDisposable Mask Liners
  • Cost-effective compared to disposable liners
  • Sometimes offer special features, such as cooling or advanced moisture wicking
  • Potentially more sustainable, particularly if made of natural materials
  • Can be used with facial care products that would stain reusable liners
  • Do not require maintenance or cleaning
  • Convenient
You Shouldn’t Use One If:
  • You struggle with the upkeep of CPAP equipment
  • You use heavy facial care products that leave a residue
  • You are away from convenient cleaning facilities
You Shouldn’t Use One If:
  • You’re on a tight budget
  • You’re interested in advanced features
  • You hope to use each liner more than once

Where Can You Buy a CPAP Mask Liner?

CPAP mask liners are available from brick-and-mortar stores, online CPAP retailers, and some sleep specialists. 

Brick-and-mortar CPAP stores tend to have higher prices and smaller selections of mask liners than online retailers. On the other hand, choosing a mask liner in person allows you to ask questions and potentially take a closer look at the liner itself. 

Sleep specialists usually have the highest prices and smallest selections, though buying from your specialist allows easy integration with your care. 

Do You Need a Prescription for CPAP Accessories?

While you must have a prescription to purchase a CPAP machine or CPAP mask, mask components and accessories are available without a prescription. Because of this, CPAP users can purchase mask liners from some online retailers that do not sell CPAP machines or masks, such as Amazon. 

Will Health Insurance or Medicare Cover the Cost of Your CPAP Accessories?

While Medicare and some health insurance providers may cover CPAP machines and certain accessories, CPAP mask liners are not considered durable medical equipment and are therefore not usually covered. 

However, you may want to review your policy and double-check with your insurance provider if you are uncertain. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding how CPAP mask liners work and their potential benefits can make it easier to choose the right option for you. If you have further questions about CPAP mask liners or you’re unsure whether they are appropriate for your needs, your health care team can offer personalized information and advice.

How long do CPAP mask liners last?

Disposable CPAP mask liners should be discarded after one use, while reusable mask liners can last anywhere from 1 to 12 months. 

A large part of a CPAP mask liner’s lifespan is determined by its design and materials. Knit or stretchy fabric tends to have a shorter lifespan due to its potential for snagging and stretching. More resilient materials, like microfiber, tend to last longer. You can also expect high-quality materials to last longer than alternatives. 

What are the benefits of CPAP mask liners?

Mask liners can help CPAP users protect their skin, prevent air leaks, lower the temperature and humidity inside their masks, and protect their CPAP masks from unnecessary damage. 

While some people find their CPAP masks comfortable as-is, others experience red marks or skin irritation. This is particularly common among people with sensitive skin or delicate skin prone to tearing. A CPAP mask liner creates a barrier between the mask cushion and the skin, which can make it more comfortable and less likely to cause irritation. 

CPAP mask cushions are meant to prevent leaks by molding against the face, but skin can shift or wrinkle. CPAP mask liners make up for this by filling the gaps. 

Sweat can also jeopardize a secure seal, so some mask liners are designed to wick away moisture. Not only can this prevent mask slippage, but it can also help reduce condensation inside the mask. 

Finally, mask liners protect the mask and mask cushion from body oils, facial care products, sweat, and other contaminants that could degrade the materials and shorten the mask’s lifespan. 

Will Medicare pay for CPAP mask liners?

Mask liners are not considered durable medical equipment and are not covered by Medicare.