CPAP Mask Comfort and Usage Tips

By | August 30, 2016

What Are Some Tips To Maximize CPAP Mask Comfort?

This page will outline some basic tips on how you can maximize your CPAP mask comfort and usage.

It is very important that you find a CPAP mask that fits you properly and is comfortable to wear. To select the right mask and to maintain its proper condition and fit, you need to work closely with your sleep specialist who will help you with the following tips:

  • a nasal mask that covers your nose is the most commonly used CPAP mask. However, if you breath through your mouth when you sleep, you may want to consider a full-face mask that covers both your nose and your mouth
  • the smallest CPAP mask that fits your face but doesn’t pinch your nostrils is ideally what you should look for
  • the CPAP mask should be fitted while you are in a sleeping position and with the air blowing at the proper pressure that your sleep specialist has prescribed for you
  • the headgear attached to your CPAP mask should be secure on your head but not too tight. You should adjust the straps to minimize any air leaks, especially into the eyes
  • the cushion on your CPAP mask should NOT be crushed against your face
  • for effective CPAP therapy, you do NOT need to have a tight fit. If your mask is too snug against your face, folds may be created in the material which could create a path for leaks. If you find that there are leaks present, you should loosen the headgear straps
  • you should mark the headgear straps with permanent marker to indicate wear the straps should be fastened. One thing I’ve done is to actually sew the straps at the correct position to maximize the CPAP mask fitting
  • remove the CPAP mask by pulling it over your head or it may be easier just to use the quick-release clip and then pull it over your head
  • do not block the exhalation port between the CPAP mask and the connecting tube to the CPAP device
  • you may want to buy the accessory that is available which prevents the tubing from pulling on your CPAP mask when you turn in your sleep
  • for those of you who wear dentures and use a full-face CPAP mask, remember that if your CPAP mask was fitted with your dentures in, that your mask may not fit properly if you should sleep without your dentures in

I hope you find these tips useful to maximize your CPAP mask comfort and fit.

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6 thoughts on “CPAP Mask Comfort and Usage Tips

  1. Nemanja

    I have a friend who suffers from obstructive sleep apnea. He was complaining how his CPAP mask was uncomfortable to his specialist, and to me as well.

    I’ll forward him this post, hopefully it will be of some help to him.


    P.S Those masks sure look scary to me!

    1. Shawn Post author

      Thank you for your comments. I know of other friends who found their CPAP mask uncomfortable as well. A couple of them had their sleep specialist adjust the mask for them, which I think made a difference, only because I didn’t hear anymore complaints from them. Another friend of mine actually changed to a different type of mask (ie. he went from a full face mask to a nasal mask) and it made a huge difference for him. I appreciate you sending your friend the link to my post and I hope he is able to resolve his problem.
      P.S. I didn’t find the mask scary, but it did take a couple of nights getting used to it. But now I’m used to it and in fact, I have a very difficult time sleeping without my mask on!

  2. Koda

    My best friend used to suffer pretty bad from sleep apnea. she actually stopped using her mask because she hated it and wasn’t comfortable with it, so she just kept suffering having to deal with the apnea

    haven’t asked her about it in long time, but maybe if she had access to this info it would have been easier to stick with

    thanks for the post!

    1. Shawn Post author

      Hi Koda,
      Thank you so much for your comments. I’m sorry to hear that your best friend has sleep apnea. I’m also sorry to hear that she can’t wear a CPAP mask. Perhaps if she got it fit properly by her sleep specialist or perhaps she needs to try another type of mask. There are many to choose from. She should know that untreated sleep apnea can lead to a list of problems and can actually reduce her lifespan by a number of years if left untreated. I hope that you show her my website and that she is able to get some useful information that will benefit her.
      Best regards,

  3. ToveL

    Hi, Shawn

    I have a question for you. Are the CPAP mask you are telling about here giving the one with the mask a good night sleep? Does it take a while before he/she gets adjusted to the mask?
    My fiance snores when he is exhausted. He doesn’t snore all the time just when he is really tired from a stressful week. Would this mask be good for him?


    1. Shawn Post author

      Hi Tove,
      I wear a CPAP mask to bed every night and without it, I wouldn’t get a good night’s sleep. In fact, I’ve come to rely on my CPAP machine and have a tough time sleeping without it. I know a lot of family and friends that also wear a CPAP mask to bed without any issues. My dad used to wear his CPAP mask to bed, but after he had a stroke, he couldn’t wear it anymore as he felt claustrophobic with it on. I have heard that complaint from a number of people, but thankfully I have never had that problem. Your fiance may want to consider trying a CPAP machine but it would probably be better to get tested to confirm if he has sleep apnea. At that point if he does have it then he can try a CPAP mask to see if it would help him sleep better.



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