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75: Size matters! And 8 other things to know when you’re shopping for a new CPAP mask

cpap Sep 09, 2023
Size matters!  And 8 other things to know when you’re shopping for a new CPAP mask

 Time for a new mask? 

Here are things to consider before plunking down your hard-earned money.

1. Insurance Coverage.  Check with your insurance provider to understand when you are eligible for a new mask, if there are any limitations to your options, and what documentation might be required for reimbursement.

2. CPAP Mask Distributors.  You can get your CPAP supplies from two general sources: 

  • Brick-and-mortar companies that are local to you.  These are called Durable Medical Equipment (DME) or home healthcare companies.  They also supply oxygen, wheelchairs, and other medical supplies.  They may staff people with expertise in CPAP mask fitting and machine set-up.  You will most likely need to call ahead for an appointment if you want to try CPAP masks in person..
  • Online companies.  Some are specific to CPAP supplies (such as or, some are not (such as  Online searches can be a great way to compare prices and read reviews. 

3. Mask Manufacturers.  These are the big names in CPAP mask manufacturers, and each company has several CPAP mask types available.  Masks are designed to be compatible with a wide range of machines and tubing.

  • ResMed
  • Philips
  • ReactHealth
  • Fisher & Paykel
  • Circadiance

4. Mask Types.  There are different types of CPAP masks, and most of the CPAP mask manufacturers carry one of each type: 

  • Nasal pillow mask (fits inside the rim of your nostrils)
  • Nasal cradle (fits up to the base of your nose)
  • Nasal mask (fits around the perimeter of your nose)
  • Full face mask (fits around your mouth and nose, good for mouth breathers)
  • Oronasal or hybrid mask (fits around your mouth and up to the base of your nose, good for mouth breathers)

5. Mask material.  Comfort is crucial for successful therapy. Look for masks with soft, hypoallergenic materials and customizable features like adjustable headgear and cushion sizes. 

  • Silicone
  • Memory foam
  • Cloth
  • Maskless Adhesive (Bleep Sleep)

6. Size.  Masks come with sizing guides inside the package to help you choose the right size.  Note that your best CPAP mask size may be different between manufacturers, especially if you change your mask type.  Look for the availability of a “Fit Pack” if you are trying something new.  This means you spend a few extra bucks to get all the sizes for that mask in the package.  Once you figure out what size works for you, you don’t have to buy the Fit Pack again.

7. Try Before You Buy.  If possible, try on different mask styles before purchasing. Some local CPAP suppliers (DME companies) and clinics offer mask fitting services where you can test different masks to find the one that suits you best.  It’s a bonus if you can try the mask with pressure applied.  With the mask on, lean back (or lay down if possible!) and move your head from side to side to challenge the stability of the seal.  The headgear should be adjustable and comfortable. Make sure the straps don't dig into your skin or cause discomfort.

8. Trial Period. If possible, choose a supplier that offers a trial period for the mask. This allows you to use the mask for a certain period and return it if it's not the right fit for you.

9. Read reviews.  CPAP users who write their experiences of different masks may help you to choose.  Look for comments on leak and fit.  Consider the ease of cleaning and maintaining the mask. Look for masks with detachable components that are easy to take apart and assemble.  Hearing about real-world experiences can help you make an informed decision.

Remember that finding the right CPAP mask might take some trial and error. Everyone's needs and preferences are different, and your preferences may change over time. 

To get started with what type of mask is a good fit for you, take my quiz:





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