Best CPAP Masks for Children

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Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that causes individuals to have abnormal, interrupted breathing patterns during sleep. About 1% to 5% of children have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Common symptoms in children include restless sleep, loud snoring, daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, irritability, and behavioral issues.

Though surgery can treat OSA in children, doctors may also prescribe continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. CPAP therapy involves wearing a mask that is connected via a hose to a small machine, which pumps air to the mouth or nose to help keep the airway open throughout the night.

Since children’s facial structure differs from adults, it’s important to choose a mask designed for a child’s face shape for effective therapy. We’ll highlight what to consider when shopping for a CPAP mask for your child and provide our top picks so you can choose the best mask for their needs.

 

Why We Picked These

Our team has years of experience researching CPAP and sleep products. To determine our top picks for CPAP masks, we consider brand and product reputation as well as customer reviews to verify products are durable and effective. We also regularly review our top picks to ensure you have the most up-to-date information when deciding which CPAP mask is right for your child.

What You Should Consider When Choosing a CPAP Mask for Children

When purchasing a CPAP mask for your child, there are several things to consider. A comfortable mask that provides the right fit encourages individuals to regularly use it. We’ll take a closer look at key areas to consider to determine which CPAP mask is right for your child.

CPAP Mask Considerations for Kids

PriceThe prices of children’s CPAP masks vary but generally fall between $30 and $150. Your health insurance may cover some or all of the cost. If you’re paying out-of-pocket, online retailers may offer masks at lower price-points.
Size & FitThe size and fit of your child’s mask play a vital role in effective CPAP therapy. Most manufacturers use age and weight to determine who is best suited for each mask. Adjustable straps allow headgear to be snug but not tight and for the mask to accommodate your child as they grow.
ComfortComfort plays a key role in users adhering to CPAP therapy. Flexible headgear and tubing, soft straps, a lightweight cushion, and a fitted mask can all make CPAP therapy more comfortable. Additionally, a mask that allows for an open field of vision can help reduce feelings of claustrophobia.
UtilityTubing can impact which position your child can sleep in. Some tubes connect to the front of the mask and have an elbow connector. This allows the tube to move without getting tangled and accommodates back and side sleepers. Other masks feature over-the-head connections, which allows your child to sleep in any position. This style also offers an increased range of vision.
CompatibilityWhile many CPAP components are standardized, not all of them are. When purchasing a mask, it’s important to confirm it is compatible with the tubing and machine. If you’re unsure, you can contact the retailer or manufacturer.
What's IncludedCPAP therapy involves many components. Masks typically come with a cushion, frame, and headgear. The tubing can be included with the machine or purchased separately. It’s important to know what each piece includes so you can ensure you have the necessary components before your child starts CPAP therapy.
Quality MaterialsWhen picking a CPAP mask for your child, be sure to check that it’s made from durable materials. While CPAP components need to be regularly replaced, durable materials will ensure your supplies last longer and allow you to save money in the long run.

 

Types of CPAP Masks for Kids

There are several types of CPAP masks. Nasal masks cover the nose, nasal pillow masks lie just under their nose, and full-face masks go over the mouth and nose. We’ll highlight who is best suited to each mask type below.

Nasal Mask

Nasal masks form a seal directly around the nose, leaving the mouth free of obstruction.

Benefits:You Shouldn’t Use One If:
  • Keeps mouth uncovered
  • Doesn’t reduce field of vision
  • Your child sleeps on their stomach
  • A good seal can’t be achieved

 

Nasal Pillow Mask

Like nasal masks, nasal pillow masks only concern the nose. Instead of covering the nose, they are placed just beneath it to create a seal directly against the nostrils.

Benefits:You Shouldn’t Use One If:
  • Small profile
  • Lightweight
  • Your child is an active sleeper
  • Your child is a mouth breather

 

Full-Face Mask

Full-face masks form a seal with a cushion around the nose and mouth.

Benefits:You Shouldn’t Use One If:
  • Design accommodates mouth breathers
  • Suits active sleepers
  • Your child feels claustrophobic
  • The mask doesn’t fit your child’s face appropriately

 

Do You Need a Prescription for a CPAP Mask?

Since a CPAP mask is considered medical equipment, your child will need a prescription from a doctor to obtain one. Before receiving a prescription, a doctor will measure your child’s apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) to determine which therapy is right for them.

Will Health Insurance or CHIP Cover the Cost of a Child’s CPAP Mask?

Most health insurance plans cover part of a CPAP machine and its accessories. Typically, insurance providers require a compliance period to confirm your child is using the machine. Most devices record sleep data, which insurance providers can access to ensure users are adhering to therapy. For individuals who qualify for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), coverage varies by state.

Where Can You Buy a CPAP Mask for Kids?

CPAP masks for kids can be purchased in person or online. In-person options include medical supply stores and sleep clinics. Price-points tend to be higher when compared to online options because they offer comprehensive support, which can be helpful for those who have never purchased CPAP equipment before.

Shoppers can also purchase CPAP masks online. Online stores usually offer lower price-points and a wider selection than in-person stores. Many online retailers make it easy to compare options and offer free expedited shipping.

Tips for Parents New to CPAP Masks

  • Create a pro-sleep space: There are several ways to create an environment that promotes a restful sleep. Limiting the amount of blue light your child is exposed to before bed is essential since it suppresses the body’s release of melatonin, the hormone responsible for making you feel drowsy. Keeping the room temperature between 65 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit can also make it easier for most people to fall and stay asleep. Some children may also benefit from using a white noise machine to help block out background sounds.
  • Practice wearing the mask: It takes time for users to become accustomed to wearing their CPAP mask. To help your child become more comfortable, have them wear the mask for short periods during the day for increasing intervals before they wear it at night.
  • Begin CPAP therapy slowly: Beyond practicing wearing the mask, it’s a good idea to run the machine at night without the mask attached to help your child grow accustomed to the machine’s noise. It can also be helpful for your child to put the mask on with the air blowing for increasing periods during the day.
  • Regularly clean mask components: To prevent mold, microbes, and other debris from collecting in your child’s CPAP mask, it’s important to clean it frequently. The mask and tubing should be washed daily, while the headgear should be cleaned weekly.
  • Inspect for wear and tear: With regular use, mask cushions, frames, and headgear can show signs of wear and tear. When this occurs, the mask may not fit properly, leading to air leaks and less effective therapy. To avoid this, you should check parts for any cracks, tears, or damage each time you clean the mask.
  • Replace worn gear: All components should be replaced according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If any parts are cracked, torn, or damaged, they should be replaced immediately.

Frequently Asked CPAP Mask Questions for Kids

Selecting a CPAP mask for your child can be confusing. There are many factors to consider when determining which mask will best suit your child’s needs. We’ll go over some of the most frequently asked questions.

How do you clean a child’s CPAP mask?

Disassembled masks and tubing should be placed in warm, soapy water and hand-washed daily. After rinsing the components with cool water, let everything air dry before reassembling. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for specific instructions.

How often should you change your kid’s CPAP mask?

Each manufacturer’s recommendations vary. In general, cushions should be replaced every two to four weeks, and frame and headgear should be changed every three to six months to ensure your child receives effective therapy.

How do you wear a kid’s hair with a CPAP mask?

To help prevent the CPAP headgear from pulling on your child’s hair or getting tangled, it’s helpful to have a barrier between the straps and hair, such as a sleep cap, bandana, or helmet liner.

What is the minimum age for CPAP therapy?

CPAP therapy is an effective and safe treatment option for children with OSA from infancy through adolescence.