Finding the best CPAP mask is important to comfort.  Doctors estimate that 70% of CPAP owners do not use their machines every day.  Most of this statistic is due to discomfort with a specific CPAP mask.  Trying a variety of CPAP masks is the key to finding a best fit for everyday use.  Many durable medical suppliers will allow their customers to test a mask for up to 30 days to test comfort.  Also, during a sleep study, the center may have a variety of masks to try.  Take advantage of these opportunities to find the right mask.

There are 3 main types of CPAP masks, with many different small variations.  The main 3 types being used today are:

  • Nasal pillows with a side tube design
  • Nasal pillows with a center tube design
  • Full mask over the nose

Best CPAP mask for side sleepers

best cpap for side sleepers

One of the best new CPAP mask is the nasal pillow style with center tube holder.  This mask has some advantages and disadvantages over the other styles.


  • The center tube support, allows patients to sleep on either side without adjustment of the mouthpiece.  This feature makes this style the best CPAP mask for side sleepers.
  • The nasal pillow design has less contact with the sinus area of the face.
  • The design keeps the mask from being pulled off as easy at night.


  • For those who wear eyeglasses at night prior to sleep, the eyeglasses and mask are difficult to wear at the same time.
  • The strap connection to the nasal pillow has contact with the face, although not the sinus area.
  • Nasal pillow design results in unbalanced pressure on the nose.  Discomfort is possible for patients with a higher pressure setting.

No mask CPAP

cpap no mask

This nasal pillow is an older design, but many patients still content that it is the best CPAP design to date.  The main advantage of this design is having the least contact with the face, including the sinus area. 


  • Nasal pillow design with the least contact with the face.  For patients who experience claustrophobia or have issues with contact with their face, this mask is the best.  The only part touching the face are the nasal pillows.  The straps touch the forehead and back of head.
  • This unit has easy cleaning.
  • There is an extra hose attachment that is lighter than the main CPAP hose.
  • This design allows easy wear of glasses while wearing the nasal pillows.


  •  The design allows easier loosening at night.  Patients who are restless at night, may have the mask fall off easier.
  • The tubing enters on the side.  Patients must choose which side to sleep on, otherwise they will sleep on the tubing.
  • Nasal pillow design results in unbalanced pressure on the nose.  Discomfort is possible for patients with a higher pressure setting.

Best CPAP mask for high pressure settings

best cpap mask high pressure

The newest design of CPAP is the lightweight mask.  The mask contains a small piece of lightweight plastic with a neoprene seal that fits over the nose.  The main advantage of this design is it helps to equalize the pressure on the nose because the mask fits over the nose.


  • The mask helps equalize pressure in the nose.  This is important for patients with a higher pressure setting.
  • The mask is a good CPAP design for side sleepers.
  • Contact with the face is relatively minimal.


  • The mask contacts the sinus area.  For patients with sinus problems, the mask tend to apply pressure on the sinuses resulting in discomfort or blockage.
  • Wearing reading glasses and this mask at the same time is possible, but difficult.