Best CPAP Masks

Many people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy to find relief from their symptoms. These devices deliver pressurized air to breathing passages to help prevent upper airway collapse and decrease instances of gasping or choking. 

Tubing connects the CPAP device to a mask that fits over, around, or below the user’s mouth or nose. There are many different mask styles that accommodate a range of sleeper types, face shapes, and air pressure settings. 

We’ll cover the best CPAP masks on the market today, explaining how each model works. We’ll provide detailed information on how each mask fits, what kind of features it includes, and explain who is likely to benefit from each particular mask. Additionally, we’ll go over some of the most commonly asked CPAP mask questions, including how to properly clean a mask and what types of insurance cover CPAP accessories. 

Why We Picked These

Our team of sleep product experts at SleepApnea.org have years of experience researching CPAP and sleep apnea-related products. Our researchers stay on top of current CPAP technology developments to ensure that we bring our readers the most up-to-date information possible. 

We thoroughly examine brand reputation, customer reviews, and effectiveness. We only recommend trusted devices and update our top picks regularly so you can make informed decisions based on the most recent research and compare the best masks available today.

 

What You Should Consider When Choosing a CPAP Mask

Choosing the right CPAP mask is crucial. The wrong mask may feel uncomfortable, fail to function, or leak air. We’ll highlight some of the most important factors to consider when picking out a CPAP mask. 

Price

CPAP masks cost less than the devices they connect to, though they can still be costly. Without insurance, you should expect to pay between $50 and $200 for a CPAP mask, depending on its features and style.

Size and Fit

The wrong size mask or a mask that doesn’t fit correctly can fail to deliver effective therapy. Check that a mask comes in the correct size for your needs and consider taking advantage of a trial period to ensure it works well with your face shape.

Sleep Position

Side and stomach sleepers may find sleeping with a CPAP mask more difficult than back sleepers because hoses are more prone to tangling for these sleeper types. Top-of-the-head tubing and CPAP pillows can help prevent disconnections.

Compatibility

There are many CPAP machine brands and multiple product lines within them. Not all components are interchangeable. Make sure the mask you like is compatible with the device you own, or purchase the two together.

Comfort

You’re more likely to adhere to CPAP therapy if your mask fits correctly. Adjusting pressure settings with your doctor as needed and adding humidification if necessary also contribute to higher compliance. 

Though it takes time to get used to wearing a CPAP mask, there are enough options available that most sleepers can find a suitable match.

Quality Materials

You’ll need to replace your CPAP mask regularly. Choosing a mask made from high-quality materials can help extend the time between purchases.

Types of CPAP Masks You Can Choose From

People who use CPAP machines have three main options when choosing a mask. Nasal masks, nasal pillows, and full-face masks each help prevent airway collapse, though they accomplish this goal in slightly different ways. Nasal pillows sit just below your nose, while nasal masks cover your nose entirely. Full-face masks cover both your mouth and nose. We’ll explain the differences between each style. 

Nasal Mask

Nasal masks fit snugly over your entire nose and seal against the skin around it. They are most often made from silicone.

Benefits:

  • Fits securely around the nose to prevent leaks
  • Less intrusive than full-face masks
  • Available in multiple sizes to accommodate a range of face shapes

You shouldn’t use one if:

  • You have lots of facial hair
  • You breathe primarily through your mouth
  • You’re a stomach sleeper

Nasal Pillow Mask

Nasal pillows sit beneath your nose, sealing against your nostrils without covering your nose completely. Nasal pillows are typically crafted from flexible silicone.

Benefits:

  • Great for people with facial hair
  • Easy to see over top of the mask
  • Small and lightweight

You shouldn’t use one if:

  • You use higher-than-average pressure settings
  • You most often breathe through your mouth
  • You have chronic allergies or congestion

Full Face Mask

Full-face masks cover both your mouth and nose. This mask style is generally pliable and made from silicone.

Benefits:

  • Works effectively for people who breathe through their mouths
  • People who use high pressure often find these masks more comfortable than other mask styles
  • Works for those prone to congestion

You shouldn’t use one if:

  • You watch TV or read while wearing your CPAP mask
  • You sleep on your stomach
  • You are an active sleeper

Do You Need a Prescription for a CPAP Mask?

Individuals need a prescription to get CPAP devices and components, including CPAP masks. Those who already have prescriptions may need regular renewals to purchase new devices and qualify for insurance coverage.

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

Medicare and many health insurance plans cover CPAP devices and equipment such as CPAP masks. However, not all plans are the same and some people may be responsible for all or part of the cost of accessories. Certain plans reimburse you after purchases, while others cover costs outright. Most providers only cover associated CPAP costs when you prove regular use and compliance. Contact your insurance provider for exact terms.

People with Medicare must adhere to a set of requirements that are in place to ensure you use your machine correctly. After meeting your Part B deductible, you must pay a 20% copay that covers CPAP accessories and a machine rental. Provided you use the machine as instructed, you’ll own it following 13 months of rental payments. 

Where Can You Buy a CPAP Mask?

You can buy a CPAP mask from online and in-person medical device stores. Some physicians and sleep clinics also sell CPAP masks. Visiting a brick-and-mortar store allows you to see a mask in person, which may be appealing for people with specific needs. Online retailers often have the largest selection of CPAP masks, allowing you to find exactly what you need. 

Frequently Asked CPAP Mask Questions

While CPAP masks are designed for easy use, you must wear them properly to avoid leaks and receive effective therapy. We’ll explore some of the most frequently asked questions that arise regarding CPAP masks and provide troubleshooting tips.

How do you clean a CPAP mask?

The best way to clean a CPAP mask is with mild soap and water. Disconnect your mask from its tubing and make sure no parts of the machine are plugged in. Gently wash your mask in a tub or sink with soap and warm drinking-quality water. Avoid using dish detergent, as it can leave residue behind.

Rinse your mask with warm water, checking to see that you removed all the soap. Finally, lay the mask out to dry on a towel away from direct sunlight. If you’re also cleaning your CPAP machine, it’s important to use only distilled water to prevent buildup and bacterial growth.

How often should you change your CPAP mask?

You should replace your CPAP mask about every three months. Though purchasing a high-quality mask and washing it regularly can slightly prolong a mask’s lifespan, you’ll still want to ensure you change masks regularly. Overusing your mask can cause the cushion to crack, which may lead to leaks. Check with your mask manufacturer for exact care and replacement suggestions, but expect to purchase three to four new masks a year. 

How do you wear your hair with a CPAP mask?

People with long hair can avoid getting it tangled in a CPAP mask by braiding it or wearing a beanie or hair wrap to bed. Before putting on your mask, use one of these methods to fasten your hair against your head, taking care to secure it well enough that it won’t come undone when you shift positions. Choosing a CPAP mask that tightens without velcro or buckles at the hairline is another way to avoid getting your hair tangled in your mask and headgear.

How do you put on a CPAP mask?

Though exact instructions vary depending on which mask style you choose, you put on most CPAP masks using the same method. First, sit upright and hold your mask in one hand and your headgear in the other. Place your mask over your nose, mouth, or both, according to the type of mask you use. Then, while holding the mask in place, pull the headgear over your head and fasten it to your mask. 

CPAP mask seating is important. Check the mask to make sure it’s secure against your skin but not too tight. Overtightening your mask can lead to leaks. A mask that fits properly sits against your face without tugging at your skin. There should not be any gaps between the mask and your mouth or nose. Turn your machine on, then feel and listen for leaks around the mask before going to sleep.