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Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is a highly effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), but people who breathe through their mouth often struggle to find an appropriate CPAP mask. 

When someone using a nasal CPAP mask breathes through their mouth, the pressurized air escapes and cannot keep their airway open. Mouth breathing may also lead to symptoms such as dry mouth. 

Choosing the right full-face CPAP mask can help ensure that people who breathe through their mouth benefit from their CPAP therapy. Since no CPAP mask is right for everybody, we’ll walk you through a range of the best full-face CPAP masks available before explaining how to find a CPAP mask that suits your unique needs.

Why We Picked These

Our team chooses our featured products based on in-depth research, a synthesis of reviews from people who use the products, and knowledge gained from years of experience in the sleep apnea field.

By explaining these products and contextualizing their performance, we hope to offer our readers a deeper understanding of their own needs and which CPAP masks might work best for them.

What to Consider When Choosing a CPAP Mask if You Breathe From Your Mouth

People who breathe through their mouth often find it difficult to choose a CPAP mask that suits their needs, since many of the most popular CPAP masks are intended for nasal breathers. Understanding what to look for in a mask can make it easier to find one that works for you.

CPAP Mask Considerations

PriceAs CPAP masks are a medical device, it’s critical to choose the best mask for your needs rather than the least expensive option. When considering the cost of a mask, it’s also worth looking into the cost of replacement mask cushions and how often they require replacing.
Size & FitChoosing the right size and fit plays an important role in how well the mask works and how comfortable it is. Users should follow sizing instructions closely and size themselves for each mask they try, as sizing instructions can differ among brands or even models.
ChinstrapSome CPAP users who breathe through their mouth use a chinstrap to keep their mouth closed while asleep. This accessory works very well for some people, while others find a full-face mask more effective or comfortable.
Sleep PositionFull-face masks can sometimes make side or stomach sleeping difficult. However, choosing a low-profile mask and using a CPAP pillow can make these positions more comfortable. It’s also worth noting that some positions, such as back sleeping, can also worsen OSA or encourage mouth breathing.
CPAP PillowCPAP pillows are designed to provide space for the user’s CPAP mask, which is an important consideration for full-face mask users who sleep on their side or stomach. Stabilizing CPAP pillows can also help those who breathe through their mouth while sleeping on their back.
CompatibilitySome masks are not compatible with very high air pressure levels, but nearly all CPAP machines are compatible with all CPAP masks. If your CPAP machine requires a specific type or brand of mask, this information will be listed in the documentation and on the manufacturer’s website.
ComfortComfort is intensely personal, so you should consider what you personally find comfortable before choosing a CPAP mask. However, padded headgear, memory foam mask cushions, and easily adjustable headgear are all features that many people find comfortable.
Quality MaterialsMost CPAP masks use a similar range of materials, such as silicone mask cushions and synthetic fabric headgear. However, other options are available depending on the manufacturer. CPAP masks made with high-quality materials often have a longer lifespan than less expensive options.


CPAP Mask Types for Mouth Breathing

There are three major types of CPAP face masks: full-face masks, nasal masks, and nasal pillow masks.

Full-face masks are usually the most appropriate choice for people who breathe through their mouth while sleeping, though some people may be able to use a nasal or nasal pillow mask when combined with an accessory such as a chinstrap. 

CPAP Mask Types

Full-Face Mask

Full-face masks direct pressurized air through both the nostrils and the mouth, making them the best choice for most people who breathe through their mouth. Most full-face masks start at the bridge of the nose and end below the mouth, though some models start below the nose or have separate chambers for the nose and mouth.

Benefits:You Shouldn’t Use One If:
  • Mouth breathing doesn’t compromise the efficacy of CPAP therapy
  • Sinus congestion or nasal blockages do not affect the user’s sleep or CPAP therapy
  • High air pressure levels may cause less sinus irritation than with a nasal or nasal pillow mask
  • You experience claustrophobia that interferes with your sleep or CPAP therapy compliance
  • You sleep on your stomach and are unable to find a CPAP pillow that keeps you stable
  • Your facial hair interferes with the mask’s seal


Nasal Mask

Nasal masks deliver pressurized air through the sinuses and often look like a scaled-down version of a full-face mask. They usually start at the bridge of the user’s nose and end above their upper lip, though the mask shape may vary among manufacturers.

Benefits:You Shouldn’t Use One If:
  • Easier to wear while stomach sleeping or side sleeping
  • Size and shape can create a seal that’s both comfortable and effective
  • Allows for easy movement
  • You have regular allergies or sinus issues such as a deviated septum
  • You find a chinstrap uncomfortable or ineffective
  • Pressure on the bridge of your nose causes headaches or pain


Nasal Pillow Mask

Nasal pillows are extremely lightweight and compact, lacking the hard shell of most full-face or nasal CPAP masks. Instead, the pillow rests above the upper lip and inflates to create a seal against the nostrils.

Benefits:You Shouldn’t Use One If:
  • Extremely low-profile design is popular among people who feel claustrophobic in traditional CPAP masks
  • Users can watch TV, read, or wear glasses with no obstruction
  • Facial hair does not cause problems with air leaks
  • You breathe through your mouth
  • You require a medium to high level of air pressure
  • You have allergies, sinus issues, nosebleeds, or problems with sinus dryness and irritation


Do You Need a Prescription for a CPAP Mask?

Like CPAP machines, CPAP masks require a prescription from a medical professional. Individual parts for the CPAP mask, such as replacement cushions or pillows, do not require a prescription and may be available from non-specialist retailers. 

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

Medicare and some health insurance providers may cover the cost of necessary CPAP equipment such as masks, but it’s important to double-check your provider’s policies before assuming this to be the case.

In order to qualify for Medicare CPAP coverage, a person must be diagnosed with OSA (with a supporting sleep study) and complete a 13-week CPAP trial. Those whose CPAP therapy is covered by Medicare may be reimbursed for purchasing and replacing CPAP masks and other supplies on a regular schedule.

Private health insurance providers vary in their coverage of CPAP therapy. Many, though not all, cover the cost of CPAP masks if a person’s CPAP therapy is otherwise covered. 

Where Can You Buy a CPAP Mask for Mouth Breathing?

CPAP masks, including full-face CPAP masks, can be purchased from a sleep specialist, brick-and-mortar CPAP stores, and online CPAP retailers. Online retailers require customers to upload or fax their prescription before making a purchase. 

Sleep specialist
  • Highly personalized advice
  • Integration with your treatment plan
  • Often sell products at a higher price than other retailers
  • Limited selection
Brick-and-mortar store
  • The ability to look at products in-person
  • Mid-range prices and wider selection
  • May not be available in your area
  • May not offer the best product for your needs
Online retailer
  • Widest selection and lowest prices
  • Often offer free delivery
  • No personalized advice
  • Returns can be difficult


CPAP Masks for Mouth Breathing FAQ

Many people find the process of buying a CPAP face mask confusing, particularly if they have complicating factors such as breathing through their mouth. Your medical team is the best source for answers that take your unique needs and medical history into account. 

How do you clean a CPAP mask?

Most CPAP users should wash their CPAP mask on a daily basis, as well as washing the headgear weekly. Different CPAP masks have different cleaning requirements, but most can be hand-washed and rinsed using clean water and a gentle detergent. Some CPAP headgear can be cleaned in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. 

Can you wear a CPAP mask if you breathe through your mouth?

People who breathe through their mouth while asleep can wear a CPAP mask and use a CPAP machine, though this habit does make choosing the right mask even more important. Full-face masks are usually the best choice for these users, since this design prevents pressurized air from escaping through the mouth.

Can you use a nasal CPAP mask if you breathe through your mouth?

Nasal CPAP masks are not usually the right choice for most people who breathe through their mouth at night. When someone wearing a nasal or nasal pillow mask breathes through their mouth, the pressurized air leaks out and reduces the treatment’s efficacy. However, some people are able to use a nasal CPAP along with a chinstrap that keeps their jaw closed. 

How do you keep your mouth closed when using a CPAP mask?

People who are unable to train themselves to breathe through their nose while asleep can use a full-face CPAP mask or use a chinstrap to keep their jaw closed during the night. Chinstraps attach to the CPAP mask headgear and rest beneath the jaw to keep it closed and reduce mouth breathing.