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How to Choose the Best CPAP Mask for You

Finding the right CPAP mask starts with choosing the right mask type. Most CPAP users find a comfortable fit with one of these three main mask styles:

What is Your Breathing Style?

You've already got obstructive sleep apnea, so we don't have to tell you how important breathing in your sleep is, but this question can very quickly narrow down your mask options.

Mouth Breather:

If you’re a mouth breather because of nasal congestion, allergies, or other difficulty breathing through your nose, you’ll want to try out a full-face CPAP mask first. Or if you would prefer less headgear or a wider field of vision, try a hybrid CPAP mask.

If you sleep with your mouth open, but don't have issues breathing through your nose, you may want to test the combination of a nasal mask or nasal pillow mask and a chin strap. This can help reduce dry-mouth or sore throat that are occasionally associated with CPAP therapy.

Nose Breather:

Great news! Nose breathers can use just about any CPAP mask style other than oral masks.


You’ll want to stick with a full-face CPAP mask or a hybrid CPAP mask for the best versatility in airflow.

What Is Your Sleeping Position?

Back Sleeper:

Back sleepers can use any kind of CPAP mask.

Side Sleeper:

This position is the best for snoring, but bulkier mask styles may shift against your pillow and break your seal. The slimmer profile of a nasal CPAP mask or nasal pillow mask will help keep a proper seal, so you can maintain your airflow all night.

Stomach Sleeper:

As someone with sleep apnea you should try to break this habit, but as far as CPAP masks go you’ll want a minimal design, such as a nasal pillow CPAP mask. Look for one with a mask cushion made of gel or memory foam since it will be pressed against your skin.

You may also wish to try a CPAP pillow to help prevent mask shift or getting tangled in your tubes!

Active Sleeper:

Look for a mask with a hollow frame and a hose connector that attaches to the top of the head. The top-mount CPAP hose will keep you from getting tangled in your tubing as you toss and turn, while the hollow frame provides flexibility without interrupting your sleep therapy.

What Is Your Pressure Setting?

Low to Medium:

You’ll be safe with any style sleep apnea mask.


Both full face and nasal CPAP masks can accommodate high pressure settings; however, full face CPAP masks may be more comfortable since they distribute the airflow over a larger area.
You’ll likely need to avoid nasal prong or nasal pillow CPAP masks.

CPAP Mask Types

Full face mask

Full Face CPAP Mask

Delivers airflow to the mouth and nose. Typically seals around the mouth and over the bridge of the nose, but may cradle underneath the nose instead.

Sleeping Position: Back sleepers, some side sleepers

Cushion Materials: Silicone, Memory Foam

Best For:

  • People with high pressure settings
  • People with chronic allergies or nasal congestion
  • Mouth breathers

Nasal Mask

Nasal CPAP Mask

Delivers airflow to the nasal area, but not directly inside. Typically covers the entire nose, but may cradle underneath the nostrils instead.

Sleeping Position: Back sleepers, side sleepers, active

Cushion Materials: Silicone, Memory Foam

Best For:

  • People who like to read or watch TV before bed
  • CPAP users who toss-and-turn

Nasal Pillow

Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask

Delivers airflow directly into the nasal cavity. Two soft pillows rest just inside the nostrils and inflate slightly to create a secure but comfortable seal.

Sleeping Position: Back sleepers, side sleepers, active
sleepers, stomach sleepers

Cushion Materials: Silicone, Gel/Comfortgel

Best For:

  • People who prefer minimal contact
  • CPAP users who experience claustrophobia
  • People with facial hair