Whether you're new to CPAP therapy or you've been using a CPAP machine for years, the CPAP mask you choose plays a crucial role in delivering effective therapy. CPAP masks connect to your machine with tubing and create a seal around your nose, mouth, or both to deliver pressurized air throughout the night and keep your airways open.
Developing consistency in your therapy habits will lead to the best possible treatment, but CPAP usage studies have found that an uncomfortable mask fit and pressure leaks from a poor seal are two of the largest drivers of non-compliance. Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for new CPAP users to try multiple masks before finding one that fits well. There are several types of CPAP masks to choose from, and the best CPAP mask will vary for each person. To help remove some of the guesswork, we've compiled a list of the best CPAP masks in 2023 based on user feedback, design, and our own clinical experience.
Click on one of the masks below to learn more about it or keep reading to see our review of all five.
Older styles of full face CPAP masks are typically bulky, sealing over the bridge of your nose and under your mouth. The size of these masks and the proximity to the eyes increases the likelihood of claustrophobia for some patients, while the seal on the bridge of the nose is a common source of irritation. The AirFit F30i from ResMed overcomes both issues with a much smaller design that seals on the chin, around the mouth, and under the nose.
Secure Fit: The mask secures around your cheeks and over your head with silicone straps which double as the tubing and keep it out of your face and clear of your body as you sleep. Two additional mesh straps run from the back of your head around each side of your jaw, securing with convenient magnetic clips. The length of these straps can be adjusted, making it easy to set your preferred tightness once and eliminate nightly changes. Additionally, the reduced surface area of the mask relative to older full face models helps prevent shifting and pressure leaks if you move around in your sleep.
Comfort Features: In addition to soft mesh and silicone materials, the seal placement below rather than on the bridge of your nose helps reduce irritation and potential claustrophobia while making it easier to wear glasses, read, and watch TV.
Quiet Design: The AirFit F30i features diffused exhalation ports, meaning there are multiple places for air to escape the mask as you breathe out. With one port located on the connector at the top of the mask and one in front of your mouth, air can easily escape as you exhale even if one port is covered by a pillow or blanket. In addition to reducing noise, the design also acts as a safety feature to prevent excess carbon dioxide buildup in your mask.
If you breathe only through your nose while you sleep, the AirFit N30i is a great mask option to consider. Similar in design to the F30i, it secures around the bottom of your nose and comes in a variety of cushion and frame size combinations.
Adjustable Design: Like the F30i, the AirFit N30i tubing runs up to the top of your head. The silicone around this area is made in an accordion style to allow it to stretch if you have a larger head. The strap securing the mask around the back of your head is also adjustable to help you find the perfect fit.
Comfort Features: The N30i uses the same soft mesh and silicone materials as the F30i. Built in tubing on both sides of the mask as well as the top-of-the-head connector placement carry over as well, ensuring effective air flow no matter your sleeping position and keeping tubing up and away from your body throughout the night.
Durability: With fewer moving parts than traditional nasal CPAP masks, we typically see fewer cases of parts breaking over time with use.
Nasal Cushion Fit: Some users we've spoken to have noticed the nasal cushion slide out of place during the night, resulting in pressure leaks. The mask secures to fewer points around the head to create a more minimal feel, but this combined with a more active sleeping style can cause the cushion to shift for some people.
Third in the family of minimal CPAP masks from ResMed, the AirFit P30i offers a nasal pillow style for those who prefer it, with several cushion sizes to find the right fit.
Secure Fit: We commonly recommend pillow masks for anyone who struggles with pressure leaks from cushion shifts on a standard nasal CPAP mask. The pillows on the P30i rest comfortably on the outside of each nostril to create an effective seal against the nose and prevent pressure leaks.
Comfort Features: The P30i offers the same soft materials and smart tubing design of the F30i and N30i to ensure maximum comfort while you sleep.
Interchangeable Cushion: The AirFit P30i and N30i use the same headgear and frame, meaning the cushions are interchangeable. It's not uncommon for new users of nasal pillow masks to develop irritation around the nostrils, and they can also cause discomfort when you're sick or have a dry nose, so it can be helpful to switch to a nasal cushion for a few days off and on as needed.
Our top recommendation from Philips Respironics, their DreamWear Nasal Pillow Mask offers a similar experience to the ResMed P30i, making it a great option for nose breathers, active sleepers, and anyone who experiences claustrophobia using a more traditional CPAP mask.
Comfort Features: The masks frame is once again made from silicone while the headgear is made from a soft mesh. Tubing is built into the frame like the ResMed options above, minimizing bulk and ensuring effective therapy even if one side of the frame is compressed while you sleep. The hose connector remains at the top of the head as well, allowing it to pivot and stay out of the way throughout the night.
Headgear Extension: Some DreamWear mask users have noted that the mask can slip throughout the night due to the high crown fit of the headgear across the back of the head. Comfort and a secure fit are keys to effective therapy, so Philips offers an optional DreamWear headgear with arms which acts as an extension, placing the fit lower on the back of the head. Those with larger heads are the most common users, but it's worth considering if you otherwise like the fit and feel of your DreamWear mask but experience slipping and resulting pressure leaks.
Both the Bleep DreamPort and Bleep Eclipse stand out on this list because, unlike traditional CPAP masks, they have no straps or headgear. Instead, both masks connect to adhesive strips placed around each nostril.
Minimal Design: Without straps or headgear, many CPAP users find Bleep masks more comfortable and less restrictive, allowing for a more natural sleep experience. The lack of seal points around your face also eliminates the concern of skin irritation and pressure sores which can be caused by more traditional designs.
Mask Adjustments: While Bleep masks provide more comfort and freedom than traditional masks, there is a tradeoff. A new pair of adhesive strips, called DreamPorts or Eclipse Halos depending on the mask you're using, need to be applied to your nostrils every night. You also need to sanitize the area beforehand with DreamPrep pads to ensure the adhesive stays in place. It can take up to 15 minutes per night to wipe the area and find the right fit for the best seal, so be patient if you're using one of these masks for the first time and focus on developing a routine.
Connector Style: As mentioned above, the Bleep DreamPort and Bleep Eclipse use slightly different adhesive connectors. On the DreamPort, a plastic connector will stick out from each nostril and clip into receiving connectors on the mask. On the Eclipse, each adhesive strip has a magnetic ring that will rest around your nostril. The ends of the mask are also magnetic, allowing a seamless connection that's easier to apply and remove. This can be especially helpful if you need to use the bathroom or leave the bed for another reason during the night.
How to Choose the Best CPAP Mask for You
The masks we recommended above are some of the best on the market, but the most comfortable CPAP mask is different for every person. For example, the best CPAP masks for side sleepers will likely differ from the best options for back or stomach sleepers. Most important is that your mask provides a secure seal to enable effective therapy night in and night out. If you're new to CPAP therapy or you've struggled to find a comfortable CPAP mask, we recommend talking with your doctor to help identify the unique combination of features and design elements that will work best for you. If you want to learn more about any of our recommendations above or other CPAP masks we offer, contact our customer service team and we'll be happy to help.
Debra J. Strelow is a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) and Licensed Respiratory Care Practitioner (RCP). She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences in conjunction with Rochester College’s Registry program in Respiratory Therapy. She has 35 years of experience in hospital/acute care, transitional care, and long-term care, as well as a vast knowledge of Home Respiratory Care. For the last 20 years, she has worked in Home Durable Medical Equipment (DME) clinical care as well as Home Care management. As the Virtual Respiratory Therapist for REMsafe Sleep, she provides education, virtual setup, compliance monitoring, and support to CPAP customers throughout the United States.