It can be overwhelming to choose the right CPAP mask for you. There are a variety of styles, but preference and comfort are two of the greatest factors for why someone would prefer one over the other. The three most common styles for masks include:
The Full Face CPAP Masks provide both the nose and mouth with continuous air pressure. Individuals who have difficulty breathing through their nose or continually breathe through their mouth would be best suited using this style. Additionally, it is recommended that individuals try to breathe through their nose as much as possible. This can easily be made possible through the use of humidity and a chin strap with the use of nasal and direct nasal style masks.
Full Face Masks
|* Comfortable for those with nasal congestion/obstruction leading to mouth breathing
* High performing with those who are prescribed high-pressure settings
* Great seal for back sleepers
|* Can feel claustrophobic
* Overall mask weighs more
* Contacts a greater area of the skin leading to potentially more irritation/mask impressions
* Air leaking common for those who move in their sleep
The Nasal CPAP Masks only provide the nose with continuous air pressure. This style typically sits at the bridge of the nose and will cover the lower half of the nose.
|* Less direct nature than the direct nasal
* Greater selection of mask shapes to fit your facial profile
* Smaller surface area on the face
* Great for those who are active sleepers
|* Seal can break if the individual begins to breathe orally
* Irritation along the bridge of the nose is common
* Uncomfortable for those who tend to breathe through their mouth
The Direct Nasal CPAP Masks are the smallest of the three offered. The nasal pillows rest just around the outside of the nostrils and continuous air pressure is delivered through them.
Direct Nasal Masks
|* UltralightLess material touching the face
* Good for those who may feel claustrophobic
* Decreased likelihood for air leakage as air is delivered directly
* Great for those who may have facial hair that could interfere with the seal of the nasal and full face
|* Can be uncomfortable for those with high-pressure prescriptions
* Can cause dryness and nosebleeds * Seal can be disrupted with mouth breathing or ill-fitting mask/headgear
As outlined above, each mask type has their own advantages and disadvantages. An individual should purchase one that shows seal efficacy during sleep, no air leakage, comfortable, and provides the optimal level of therapy. Remember to use size guides provided by brands to find the best size for your facial profile.