Every person has their preferred sleeping position, and it is also quite normal to switch one’s position a few times all through the night. While all this might be done without a second thought, individuals that suffer from sleep apnea are less likely to enjoy such pleasures.
Some sleeping positions are known to aggravate snoring, while others work to naturally reduce the condition. According to many specialists, stomach sleeping is the best position for apnea patients as it takes advantage of gravity to open up the airways within the throat and nasal cavities. Naturally, back sleeping is the worst position as it effectively ensures these muscles cover these airways further. However, most people, myself included, find the most comfort while sleeping on the side. If you are one such person but struggle with sleep apnea, then working with a CPAP mask would provide a possible remedy every night.
It is not a one size shoe fits all scenario, though, and particular CPAP options work better with side-sleepers—picking an option that doesn’t would be counter-productive and often result in undue discomfort. To this end, here are some of the options that would best tackle your snoring condition if you sleep on the side.
The Nine Best CPAP Masks for Side-Sleepers Today
While various CPAP masks would be worthwhile to consider, only a few stand out. These score top marks with multiple metrics, including overall comfort levels, functionality, weightlessness, durability, and price affordability. The more a device scores on the above categories combine, plus other features not mentioned, the better the gadget. To this end, these are the top picks:
1. Editor’s Choice – Philips Respironics Nuance Gel Nasal Pillow Mask
There are plenty of reasons and features that make this CPAP mask the superior option for side sleepers. Firstly, the mask is available in two options, namely the cloth and the gel frame option. Users can, thus, get to choose the option that promises them the most comfort rather than simply conforms to a pre-set design preference.
The tubing is also flexible ensuring users enjoy the same level of effectiveness and functionality regardless of the size of their head and nasal orifices. This flexibility also works to secure the mask, while all the while acting gently on the user’s face.
When in a convenient position on the mask, these pillow masks get rid of any discomfort or red marks that arise due to using the mask. With all these conveniences, one might expect the CPAP mask above to be quite costly. However, the Philips Respironics mask retails for roughly $100, which is quite affordable for an anti-snoring device.
- The mask has paddings of soft pillows to enhance comfort and reduce red marks.
- The tubing is also flexible to ensure optimum fit.
- It is also quite affordable, considering that it retails for some $100.
- The device is also lightweight.
2. Runner’s Up – ResMed AirFit P10
This CPAP mask also comes highly recommended as a reliable option for continuous comfortable sleep all through the night. The mask has a minimalist design and is almost weightless, ensuring that users don’t feel extra burdened by the mask while asleep. The device is compatible with any nasal system and could prove an effective solution to apnea if you pick out the correct size. The mask comes with both facial cushions and a frame. The above CPAP device is whisper-quiet too, ensuring that its use doesn’t simply help you replace apnea sounds with those of a gadget that come as an anti-snoring gadget.
There’s also flexible tubing and a secure seal with every ResMed AirFit P10 device. This design pre-set enables the gadget to be compatible with multiple users without ever offering inferior functionality due to its fitting problems. One downside to purchasing the above CPAP mask is that it doesn’t come with a warranty. Accordingly, one would need to have complete trust in the gadget’s durability.
- The device is super quiet.
- It is flexible enough to accommodate the different head and nasal sizes.
- The mask incorporates facial cushions for added comforts.
- It also comes with a frame but the headgear is sold separately.
- Doesn’t have any notable warranty though
3. Also Great –Fisher & Paykel Simplus Full Face Mask
The Fisher & Paykel CPAP mask is also a great, all-round option to help individuals tackle sleep apnea. The gadget is easy to use as it only comes in three detachable parts, namely stretch panels, the headgear, and non-stretch panels. Each of the parts plays a crucial role in ensuring maximum support and convenience while in use.
The device is also designed to auto-adjust according to the nose, face, and head size. To enable such functionality, the mask’s design ensures that the headgear is high at the head’s back. This setting is to ensure maximum range of movements without dislodging the mask. There is also one seal that can roll back and forth, right below the nose. This seal adjusts automatically as needed to minimize the pressure in this area.
- The mask comprises three detachable parts.
- It auto-adjusts with the head’s movement.
- The mask is ultra-comfortable too.
- It has advanced air diffusion technologies that help reduce draft and noise.
4. Lightweight Option – Swift™ FX Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask
There are plenty of positives to unpack with this mask, but possibly its biggest selling point is the lightweight and travel-friendly design. Don’t be duped into thinking its lightweight nature makes it minimalist in any way, for the device packs a significant punch in all the key focus areas a CPAP mask should impress.
First, the mask’s comforts are enhanced by its ergonomic design, which features a ‘lock and key’ mechanism to safely secure the silicone-made headgear. This simple design enables users to enjoy the mask’s benefits while conducting various tasks beyond sleeping. You could watch TV, or read a book while wearing the gadget, for it comes with extra-comfort, even with the wearing of glasses. These straps and fitted pillows also help better stabilize the device for side-sleepers. Their flexibility is also a plus as it allows the device to accommodate head and neck movements.
The Swift FX is also versatile enough to accommodate a wide pool of users. This versatility is evident in the different-sized nasal pillows made either small, medium, or large. These pillows are interchangeable and can be sold separately. Accordingly, a user can change the size to a more appropriate option if the first pair proves to be ill-fitting.
- The mask is lightweight and travel-friendly.
- It comes with a ‘lock and key’ mechanism that ensures the device is easy to use.
- Can be used with glasses.
- It can be used for other activities such as reading.
- It comes with removable nasal pillows of different sizes.
5. Most Convenient – ResMed Quattro Air Full Face Mask
The CPAP mask has plenty of advantages for users that need a quick fix to their snoring problems. There are little moving parts in the pillow, including the availability of only one large pillow rather than two separate pillows to support the user’s nose.
The Quattro CPAP Full-Face mask is also an all-in-one system that promises an easier time with the assembly. Accordingly, there is little in the name of a complicated procedure that is likely to stand in the way of its use by an individual. What’s more, the price of the mask is also quite affordable, given that it’s available for some $70, give or take a few extra dollars. However, the above retail price covers the mask only, and the headgear would need to be purchased separately.
- The mask comes with one large pillow.
- The mask is also quite affordable.
- It is easy to use, with very few detachable parts.
- However, the price of the mask doesn’t include any headgear.
6. Most Affordable – Colilove Pillows M_A_S_K for Sleep Apnea
The above CPAP mask is one of the rare options that do the job enviably, remain durable for an extended period while still being affordably priced. The mask boasts the most affordable price on our list, as it is available for some $65.95 on Amazon. Don’t let this lower price discourage you, though, for the Colilove CPAP mask remains a high-quality device that’s both simplistic in its design while also staying comfortable to use and easy enough to assemble and takedown.
The mask comes in three different sizes, namely ‘Small, Medium, and Large.’ The extra-sized silicone pads enable these multi-size options, and they effectively ensure an appropriately sized mask is available for everyone, male or female, big or small.
The device is also ultra-comfortable thanks in-part to bending tubes that are extremely soft and easy to bend, without deforming. These tubes are also easy to remove, ensuring they’re removable and washable to keep bad odors away. The mask is compatible with most other CPAP machines as it relies on a standard-sized tube to connect it to the CPAP device. Most of the replaceable parts are also standard-sized, enabling users a greater range of options when shopping for replacement parts.
- The mask is highly convenient to use
- It is extra comfortable thanks to an ultra-comfortable pillow.
- The mask is easy to clean, thanks to its easy-to-remove parts.
- The mask is compatible with most CPAP machines as it uses standard-sized tubes.
7. Best for Women – ResMed Mirage FX for Her
There are few anti-snoring devices out there specifically for women, as most producers assume that apnea only affects an insignificant number of women globally. Consequently, the few devices that target this customer base are mostly ineffective, with only a few notable exceptions. The ResMed Mirage FX is one such exception to the norm. The CPAP mask amazingly compact in size, and its build also incorporates plush and soft pillows with a lightweight frame.
The accompanying headgear is only marginally invasive, and ladies it apnea is certain to enjoy the device’s extra flexibility. The headgear is suitable for a typical woman’s face in mind, in effect promising her better, more fulfilled sleep.
Worth a note too is the specially-made cushion that not only promises extra support for the forehead. The straps that attach the mask to the body are also made from soft and non-irritating material, further enhancing the device’s comfort levels.
- The device is easy to clean thanks to its removable parts.
- It’s women-specific and adjustable to fit all sizes.
- It is very easy to use.
- However, its use when new might be hampered due to the strong chemical smell it produces.
8. Least Noisy – Eson 2 Nasal CPAP Mask
It’s quite unlikely that you will find a quieter device than the Eson 2 Nasal CPAP mask. Various features make this mask the preferred option when whisper-quiet silence is a top priority. Firstly, the gadget does well to make use of noise reduction technology. This noise reduction component takes the form of a grey diffuser placed just above the mask’s elbow. The diffuser is made from eco-friendly material and works to silence the device, especially with the release of air from the mask, which can be quite noisy. What’s more, the diffuser is designed to be a replaceable component, meaning that a newer one can be purchased with sustained use of the mask, thereby adding extra years to the mask.
The mask also comes with a forehead stabilizing bar that ensures the device remains in place all through the night. The mask’s headgear is, on its part, has fitting of either the three pillow sizes, large, medium, or small. Thus, there’s no reason to ever purchase a loosely fitting version of the above mask and risk sub-optimal results. Know the size appropriate for you and enjoy the full benefits of the mask.
- The mask features eco-friendly noise reduction technology.
- The mask is also highly durable.
- It comes with various replaceable parts.
- The mask also features a forehead stabilizing bar for greater comfort.
- It is available in three different sizes, namely, small, medium, and large.
9. Most Durable – Respironics Comfort Gel Blue Full Face Mask and Headgear
Full face CPAP face masks rarely get the job done when used by side sleepers. A key reason for this is the extra mask parts that can be prompted into movement, thereby altering such a mask’s comfort levels and effectiveness. However, the Respironics Comfort Gel mask above works to tackle this problem thanks to some very specialized design pre-sets that provide maximum comfort and efficacy regardless of how much movement is experienced by the mask.
The mask has a CPAP elbow that provides a 360-degree wide movement. Accordingly, this mask is perfect for every individual who suffers from apnea, regardless of their sleeping position. However, it works particularly well with side sleepers, with its ComfortGel feature proving the difference needed to provide unrivaled comfort to users.
The device also boasts superior durability when compared to all other masks reviewed above. One key reason for this that all its flaps and cushions come well insulated. This insulation helps to enhance the durability of the device and effectively extend its usefulness.
- The mask’s parts makes them last longer.
- The device is also appropriate for all types of sleepers.
- The mask allows for 360-degree movement while asleep making it super comfortable.
How CPAP Masks help Prevent Snoring
As you may know already, CPAP is short for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, and is one of the main methods of treating sleep apnea. This treatment therapy works through the delivery of air at a constant rate using a mask and tubing. The CPAP machine is central to this therapy as it prevents the airways from collapsing by maintaining sufficient pressure to ensure the surrounding tissue doesn’t collapse.
To do this, the CPAP machine effectively releases a jet of air steadily into your breathing system to maintain the appropriate pressure, in the process, helping to maintain a positive airway continuously throughout the night.
A CPAP mask is central to the therapy’s success as it is only through the same that air reaches an individual’s breathing system. For the best results, any CPAP mask needs to be comfortable enough to allow sustained use for long durations of time. Ease of use and versatility with different sleep positions are also key to determining each mask’s overall effectiveness.
Factors to Consider When Looking to Buy a CPAP Machine
The nine CPAP masks reviewed above are among the best in the market today. However, simply picking one and expecting it to work their magic on your snoring could leave you rudely surprised. There are multiple other factors to consider when making such a purchase to ensure the product you eventually buy suits your design preferences, fits you perfectly, and is comfortable.
Consider the following factors below to ensure all these requirements are fulfilled:
i. The Device Flexibility and Comfort Levels
The two factors above are closely intertwined with CPAP masks, for the more flexible a mask is, the more comfort it will promise a user. The masks are meant to closely control your airway pressure, and this is only possible when the mask fits perfectly onto the user’s head. Such an optimal fit is only possible with flexible masks. Discomfort is also likelier with masks that don’t fit well, and such problems are a key reason why many discard their masks while still new: don’t make the same mistake.
ii. The Shape
This consideration is possibly more important for side sleepers due to your sleeping position. Such sleepers subject their ears to plenty of pressure, and the shape of the mask should either help relieve some of this pressure or at least not make it worst. The mask’s structure is key, for, with the right shape, you are likely to forget that you are wearing a mask soon enough.
iii. The Cost
The retail cost of a mask is also worth considering before you make the final decision. While choosing the cheapest option available is never advised, you can still unearth some bargains if you look around and consider previous user experiences too. Luckily, tons of mask specific user reviews are available in various online marketplaces that one can peruse before spending their money on any mask.
iv. The Weight
Side sleepers are also more likely to suffer from using a relatively heavy mask. Such a gadget will more often than not concede to gravity’s wishes and find itself loosening of its optimal position. Accordingly, you would be better off with an almost weightless device.
v. Your Preferred Sleeping Position
Your preferred sleeping position weighs heavily on whether a CPAP mask will suit your needs or not. Given the specific nature of the products reviewed, it is clear that they were meant for side sleepers. However, it is not uncommon for individuals to switch positions multiple times throughout the night. Accordingly, a mask that promises lesser flexibility would be ill-advised as it effectively means you are stuck to one sleeping position.
Lucky for you too, there are multiple masks that promise a 360-degree range of motions giving you the freedom to switch sleeping positions as you wish all through the night.
Some CPAP machines are more portable than others. Thus, it is prudent to query the portability of a particular option before committing your cash if you travel frequently and spend extended durations away from home. A portable machine will carry less weight and be compact enough to pack into a travel bag. Moreover, it would be an added benefit if the machine chosen didn’t make undue noises that might inconvenience anyone in your traveling party.
vii. The Sound Levels Produced
It is quite clear that you intend to regain the comforts promised by silent, noise-free night if you purchase the device to tackle snoring and apnea. Accordingly, buying a noisy machine would defeat the above purpose as you would essentially be replacing one distracting noise with another. Hence, be sure to test out different machine options, consult a specialist, and even consider previous users’ opinions. Do everything possible to make sure you get the quietest device available.
The Different Types of CPAP Masks Available
CPAP masks come in various types, sizes, and scope of functionality. Every individual looking to purchase such a mask must make the decision only after being fully informed. Only by doing this can the purchase of CPAP masks be more effective, rather than have the continually repeating cycles of masks being dumped to the darkest corners of the closet after just a few uses for either being ineffective or uncomfortable.
One of the steps to take to ensure you get the right CPAP mask is to consult your therapist or physician. These masks perform based on various physical factors, including the oxygen level noted in your blood, plus the apnea severity. These factors often cannot be determined without conducting a sleep study, further cementing the need to consult either of them.
Once a sleep study has been conducted, either of the following CPAP devices will be recommended to you:
- A full-face mask.
- A nasal mask.
- A hybrid mask.
- A nasal prong mask.
- A nasal pillow mask.
- An oral mask.
Instances where Snoring Might Still Persist even while using a CPAP Device
For most people, investing in and using a CPAP machine is enough to tackle snoring. However, various instances have been reported of individuals continuing to snore even while using the device. While such an instance is in no way normal behavior, there isn’t any reason to panic. There a few reasons that could help explain why you are still snoring, and better still, suggest possible remedies. With this in mind, let’s have a look at some of the reasons why a patient might snore even with CPAP devices:
- Incorrect positioning of the Jaw – remains among the top inducers of snoring and sleep apnea. Such wrong jaw positions have been known to cause muscles within the mouth cavities to become tense, and in the process, cause a snore-inducting blocked airway.
- Sleeping on Your Back – This sleeping position is ill-advised for people that suffer from snoring and sleep apnea. In this position, gravity actively works on muscle tissue and aids in the blocking of muscle tissue.
- Drugs and alcohol – causes relaxation of the throat. In this state, snoring is more likely to occur.
- Gaining weight – causes snoring when fat deposits accumulate around the throat muscles and make them less tense and prone to collapsing.
While the above reasons can indicate possible reasons you continue to snore despite using a CPAP machine, they could also help find solutions to the problem. Accordingly, reviewing them again can help you take various steps to make the gadget more effective. Possible solutions include:
- Looking to correct the Jaw’s positioning.
- Changing sleeping positions.
- Reducing the consumption of alcohol and other drugs.
- Working to lose weight and keep fit.
Common Problems Associated with using a CPAP Machine, Plus Possible Solutions
1. Dry and Stuffy Nose, and/or Dry Mouth
Some users have reported that using the mask leaves them with a dry mouth or nose, while others still report a dry mouth. Air leaks are the most common reason behind this, and the solution can be as tightening the straps to ensure a more optimal fit. Using a nasal saline spray right before you go to sleep is another possible remedy to tackle a dry and stuffy nose too. If everything else fails, consider working with a CPAP machine that also includes a humidifier.
2. Unwanted Noises
Most of the more recent CPAP gadgets are near whisper-quiet, ensuring that you get the best possible sleep without any distractions. However, no CPAP machine is completely noise proof. The air filter’s cleanliness should be among the first places you look when you detect any such unwanted sounds. Clean the filter thoroughly and make sure it is unblocked to enjoy your nights once more. If this move doesn’t work, consult your doctor or CPAP machine provider to confirm that it is not faulty.
If no reprieve comes your way even after this, and the device still proves bothersome, then placing it far away from your bed could be a useful solution. Alternatively, you can invest in some earbuds, or a white noise, sound-canceling machine.
Practicing wearing the mask while awake is an effective solution if you suffer from claustrophobia. For the best results, too, consider doing this in multiple, incremental steps. To begin with, use the mask first without any detachable part. Once you’re sufficiently comfortable with this, use it with the horse attached to it before finally using it while fully attached and turned on. It will be easier to use the device at night once you achieve this as you will be more accustomed to it.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
CPAP therapy has the potential to unearth multiple benefits to you over the long term. Besides working to fix your snoring over time, the CPAP machine also works to keep the blood pressure low and at a decent level. Use of the device will also result in better breathing, leave your lungs in better shape, and your nights more restful and fulfilling. However, all these benefits are only possible with a CPAP machine’s continuous use over the long term.
Thus, you must choose your CPAP mask with care before you make the purchase. Determine your design preferences, your budget, plus your default sleeping position first. With the above data established, you can then proceed to find the option that closely aligns with your needs as close as possible. And confirm the gadget’s durability too, and how easily it would be to purchase its removable parts when replacement is necessary.