Types of CPAP Masks

There are several different types of CPAP masks to choose from. Here we explain the differences between each type, who they benefit, who should avoid them, and the most popular masks in that category. If you need further advice about how to choose a CPAP mask, then please click here.


Nasal Cushions Mask

Used by around 60% of our customers

What they are:
A Nasal Cushion Mask uses a cushion that sits around the perimeter of the nose.

Who are they good for:
A Nasal Cushion Mask is a good option for nasal breathers, provided they exclusively breathe through their nose at night and their mouth does not drop open (although a chin strap can prevent that from happening).

Who are they not good for:
Mouth breathers, those with severe sinus issues (although the SinuPulse Elite may help this), those with a deviated septum. Active sleepers and those who find this style of mask claustrophic or uncomfortable may wish to try a Nasal Pillows Mask instead (see below).

Popular Choices:
Philips Respironics DreamWear
ResMed AirFit N20
Fisher & Paykel Eson 2


Nasal Pillows Mask

Used by around 15% of our customers

What they are:
Nasal Pillows use small silicone cones that sit on the perimeter of the nostrils. This means there is usually no contact with the face itself (they are sometimes referred to as "minimal-contact masks" for this reason). They are for those who would otherwise use a Nasal Cushion mask but find them uncomfortable or claustrophobic.

Who are they good for:
Those who require a nasal mask but find a nasal cushion mask uncomfortable or claustrophobic, or are active sleepers (ie somebody who chages position frequently during sleep).

Who are they not good for:
Those with nasal issues such as a deviated septum, mouth breathers. Some may also find the "jets" of air uncomfortable, particularly if using pressures higher than about 12cmH2O.

Popular Choices:
Fisher & Paykel Brevida 
ResMed AirFit P10
Philips Respironics Nuance


Full Face Mask

Used by around 25% of our customers

What they are:
A Full Face Mask uses a cushions that sits around the perimeter of the mouth and nose. The cushion is usually either silicone or gel, and these are the most commonly used type of CPAP mask.

Who are they good for:
Mouth breathers or those unsure how they breathe, those with sinus or nasal issues, and those generally unsure what type of mask would be most suitable.

Who are they not good for:
Side sleepers, those with claustrophobia, active sleepers.

Popular Choices:
Philips Respironics Amara Gel
ResMed AirFit F20
Fisher & Paykel Simplus


Hybrid Mask

Used by around 3% of our customers

What they are:
A Hybrid Mask combines an oral mask with nasal pillows. They are essentially designed for those who require a Full Face Mask but find them claustrophobic, or that they cause discomfort on the nasal bridge.

Who are they good for:
Those who require a Full Face Mask but find a regular one claustrophobic or cause discomfort on the nasal bridge. Good for those who look to read in bed.

Who are they not good for
Those with noses that are notably unsymmetrical, some may find the air "jets" from the nasal pillows uncomfortable.

Popular Choices:
Philips Respironics Amara View 
InnoMed Hybrid


Total Face Mask

Used by around 1% of our customers

What they are:
A Total Face Mask sits around the perimeter of the face; that is across the chin, up the cheeks and temples and across the forehead. They use a silicone seal similar to a regular Full Face Mask.

Who are they good for:
Those who require a Full Face Mask but find regular masks uncomfortable or leave their nasal bridge sore. However if a Full Face Mask cannot be tolerated then a Hybrid Mask should be considered before a Total Face Mask.

Who are they not good for:
Claustrophia sufferers, and generally should only be used if Full Face CPAP is required and both regular Full Face and Hybrid Mask have proven unsuccessful.

Popular Choices:
Philips Respironics FitLife


Oral Mask

Used by around 1% of our customers

What they are:
Oral Masks sit between the gums and the lips. An oral mask should only be considered as a last resort if every other mask type has been unsuccessful.

Who are they good for:
Those who have tried full face, nasal cushion and nasal pillows masks without success.

Who are they not good for:
Anyone who could use any other type of mask. As we are designed to breathe through our noses primarily, breathing exclusively through the mouth while sleeping bypasses many of the body's natural defence systems, leaving you more prone to picking up illnesses.

Popular Choices
Fisher & Paykel Oracle 452