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Choosing the best CPAP mask can be tricky, especially if you have facial hair. Beards can prevent certain mask styles from sealing properly, which can make it difficult for sleepers to get effective therapy.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy pushes pressurized air into the breathing passages to help prevent airway collapse. It’s considered one of the best treatment methods for people with sleep apnea.
CPAP masks seal around your face and deliver air to your nose, mouth, or both. We’ll cover what types of masks work best with facial hair, our top picks, and ways to determine whether a certain mask will work for you.
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With easy adjustment, headgear that makes it easy to take the mask on and off, and quiet performance, the Fisher & Paykel Oracle 452 Oral CPAP Mask is a good option for sleepers with beards who breathe through their mouth and want a less obtrusive mask.
The Fisher & Paykel Oracle 452 Oral CPAP Mask has a functional design that includes many thoughtful features. It’s an excellent choice for people who breathe through their mouth, as well as those who have a beard or other facial hair.
The mask is a comfortable alternative for people who find it difficult to tolerate a full-face mask. Rather than extending over both the mouth and nose, the mask only secures to the user’s mouth, making CPAP therapy more comfortable for people who prefer a less intrusive mask.
Part of the silicone mask fits between the user’s lips, while an external flap folds over the outside of the lips. The unique construction keeps the mask securely in place, even for active sleepers. The mouthpiece is available in small and large sizes to allow for varying face and mouth shapes. An adjustment dial lets users customize the mask’s fit by changing the amount of space between the internal and external components.
The mask’s exhalation vent has a bias diffuser that diverts the user’s exhalations through multiple holes for a quiet performance. The easy-release headgear has one strap that fits around the back of the head, while a swivel allows the hose to move without restriction. Users should note that they may need to wear nose plugs to ensure they breathe only through their mouth during therapy.
Shoppers who purchase this mask through The CPAP Shop can try it for up to 30 days following delivery. Those wishing to return their mask within the trial period receive a full refund but are responsible for paying return shipping charges. Free shipping is available for customers in the contiguous U.S. who spend over $99.
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The Philips Respironics Wisp CPAP Nasal Mask’s quick-release elbow and low profile should suit nose breathers who enjoy minimal skin contact and are seeking a mask at an approachable price-point.
The Philips Respironics Wisp CPAP Nasal Mask works well for people with facial hair thanks to its low-volume design. It fits securely over the user’s nose, extending from just below the nose’s bridge to underneath the nostrils.
For people with facial hair, this mask style has a distinct advantage over other options because it seals around the nose without allowing facial hair to affect the fit. It’s best for people who breathe through their nose or for those willing to wear a chinstrap to keep their mouth closed. You can see easily over top of the mask, making it ideal for people who watch TV or read while wearing their mask.
The model is made from silicone and the cushion is available in three sizes: small/medium, large, and extra large. The included headgear extends across the user’s cheeks to a four-point adjustment system. A quick-release elbow makes it easy for sleepers to take the mask on and off and allows for simple assembly.
The manufacturer states that the magnetic headgear clips are not ideal for all users. Check with your health care team to ensure the Wisp CPAP Nasal Mask is right for your needs.
The CPAP Shop offers free shipping for customers in the contiguous U.S. who spend over $99. Shoppers who want to return their mask can take advantage of the 30-day trial period. Returns initiated within 30 days of delivery qualify for full refunds, though customers are responsible for return shipping costs.
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Minimal noise, a quick-release swivel, and padding for extra comfort make the ResMed Ultra Mirage II Nasal CPAP Mask a good option for side sleepers and those who experience claustrophobia with other masks.
Individuals looking for a CPAP mask that prioritizes comfort and fit should consider the ResMed Ultra Mirage II Nasal CPAP Mask. This option lets users adjust each component individually to achieve the right fit for their face shape. Shoppers should note that the assembly kit does not include headgear, which is sold separately.
The nasal mask fits around the sleeper’s nose to create a leak-free seal. The cushion features two layers that inflate, which decreases pressure against the bridge of your nose and helps you stay more comfortable. You can choose between medium and large cushion sizes to further customize your mask’s fit. Air vents help reduce noise by strategically diverting exhalations away from the mask.
One of the model’s most notable features is its flexible forehead support. The padding conforms to your head’s unique shape to help decrease pressure points and increase overall comfort. The elbow swivels 360 degrees to minimize hose tangles.
The mask’s corresponding headgear is made from polyfoam, nylon, and spandex material that is intended to be comfortable and breathable. Users can easily disconnect the mask from the headgear using the quick-release clips on the sides of the mask.
The CPAP Shop backs this nasal mask with a 30-day guarantee that allows shoppers to return their mask for a full refund within 30 days of delivery. Shipping is free within the contiguous U.S. for orders over $99. Customers must pay for return shipping charges.
The best CPAP mask for beards is one that seals against the skin despite the presence of facial hair. Nasal pillows, nasal masks, and oral masks typically have streamlined designs that minimize contact with the face. This prevents facial hair from interfering with the mask’s seal and helps to prevent leaks.
Full-face masks can be difficult for people with thick or long beards, though properly conditioning your beard and using a chinstrap can help sleepers achieve a more comfortable fit. Oral masks can also be a good alternative to full-face masks, as they push air directly into the mouth and fit around the lips where there is less facial hair.
You can buy the Purple Hybrid and the Purple Hybrid Premier through the Purple website and at select mattress and furniture stores across the United States.
Full-face CPAP masks cover the user’s nose and mouth, making them excellent choices for people who breathe through their mouth or those who alternate between their nose and mouth. Of the most common CPAP mask styles, full-face masks are the largest and can be the most difficult to use with facial hair.
Full-face masks are best for people with mustaches, goatees, or short beards. People with full beards may experience leaks. Using a chinstrap can help keep a full-face mask in place. Conditioning your beard can also help, as the mask can seal more effectively to a soft beard than an abrasive one.
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Nasal masks fit around the user’s nose. While designs vary depending on manufacturer, most nasal masks are circular or triangular. The top crosses the bridge of the nose, and the sides seal to the skin on the outsides of the nose. The bottom sits beneath the nostrils and above the upper lip.
Due to the nasal mask’s shape, there is little room for facial hair to come into contact with the mask. People with beards should find that they can use a nasal mask without their facial hair causing significant leakage. If you’re not a natural nose breather, you may need to wear a chinstrap to help keep your mouth closed.
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Nasal pillow masks are one of the best options for people with beards. This is the smallest mask style and least likely to become dislodged by facial hair. Nasal pillow masks have a small cushion that fits snugly beneath the nose and seals against the nostrils.
The low-profile design is a good option for active sleepers and people with various types of facial hair, including full beards. Nasal pillows can be uncomfortable for people who require high CPAP pressure settings. Mouth breathers may need to wear a chinstrap to help keep their mouth closed.
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When purchasing a CPAP mask, it’s important to consider the fit, cost, and compatibility with the machine you intend to use. If you have a beard, you’ll also need to make sure you choose a style that’s unlikely to leak because of your facial hair.
Certain mask styles are better than others at accommodating beards. Sleeping position, quality, ease of use, and overall comfort are also important considerations when shopping for a mask.
CPAP masks are medical devices intended to treat people with sleep apnea. When choosing any type of product that impacts your health, it’s important to consult your physician. It’s also critical to keep in mind that user experiences can vary widely, and what works well for one type of sleeper may not be right for you.
Masks are available in a wide range of shapes, styles, and constructions. This allows users to pick the best option for their facial structure and unique considerations, such as having facial hair.
People with beards should expect to pay the same prices for a CPAP mask as people without facial hair. Many masks are naturally compatible with beards, and it doesn’t cost more to produce a mask that can accommodate one. Shoppers should expect to pay between $50 and $250 depending on the style and brand they choose. Additionally, certain insurance providers partially or fully cover CPAP masks.
Size and Fit
A properly fitting mask helps to ensure users get effective CPAP therapy. Air can escape from a mask that’s not sealed correctly, leaving you without adequate air pressure. A mask that’s too tight can create uncomfortable pressure points and red marks or indentations.
Beards can prevent masks from sealing properly, which can lead to leaks. Choosing a mask that fits correctly and accommodates your beard is important to ensure your therapy is effective. Many CPAP masks come in different size options, and shoppers should keep in mind that longer beards may require larger masks to accommodate their volume.
Following your sleep study, your doctor will create a PAP therapy plan that includes pressure settings specific to your needs. This may dictate which kind of mask you can use, as not all masks are compatible with every pressure setting.
Generally, CPAP machines can administer 4 to 20 centimeters of water pressure (cm H2O). Bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP or BPAP) machines typically have pressure settings that go up to 30 cm H2O. When used with higher pressure settings, nasal pillows can be uncomfortable.
In addition to pressure compatibility, you’ll want to ensure that the mask you choose works with your device and CPAP hose.
Certain mask styles and sleeping positions work better together than others. Larger mask sizes are more likely to come into contact with your bed pillow, so it’s important to consider your preferred sleeping position while shopping for a CPAP mask to ensure you can sleep comfortably.
Back sleepers have the most versatility when it comes to choosing a mask. Full-face, nasal, and nasal pillow masks are all excellent options for back sleepers. Stomach and side sleepers typically find nasal and nasal pillow masks more comfortable, since they’re less likely to press into the bed pillow.
Though it may take some adjustment, it is possible to find a CPAP mask that’s both functional and comfortable. Features like padded headgear, quick-release systems, and swivel joints for your hose are all accessory options that can increase your overall comfort during CPAP therapy.
Liners can also enhance a mask’s feel. These soft fabric barriers fasten to the frame or headgear to create a comfortable buffer between your skin and mask. Using a liner can also help keep your mask clean and extend its lifespan.
CPAP pillows are designed especially for CPAP therapy. These innovative pillows have strategic shapes and cutouts designed to accommodate CPAP masks and hoses. Standard pillows may get in the way of your mask and its accessories, which can cause leaks or discomfort. CPAP pillows are particularly useful for side and stomach sleepers, as these two sleeping postures can make mask adherence difficult.
Like any other medical device or accessory, it’s important to factor quality into your purchase. Buying a well-made mask may cost more upfront, but top-notch materials often last longer than their inexpensive counterparts, making a more expensive mask a better value overall.
Check to see if a CPAP mask you’re considering purchasing has a warranty or active recall. Customer reviews can also be helpful when deciding between different masks.
Cleaning and Care
Cleaning your CPAP mask regularly helps extend its lifespan and prevents mildew or bacteria buildup. Failing to properly care for your CPAP machine and accessories can cause discomfort and prevent you from getting effective therapy. Check the manufacturer’s individual cleaning directions to ensure you care for your mask properly. Otherwise, best practices indicate you should clean your CPAP mask daily with warm water and mild soap.
People with beards may find it more difficult to find a suitable CPAP mask than those without facial hair. Getting a proper seal requires a bit more attention if you have a beard, but there are a few methods you can employ to ensure your mask stays leak-free and you stay comfortable.
You can use a chinstrap to keep your mask in place even if you use a full-face or oral mask. Some models designed for people with beards prevent the mask from sliding up your head or off your beard.
The best type of CPAP mask for beards is typically a nasal pillow, which has very little contact with your facial hair. However, full-face masks and nasal masks can also be excellent choices for people with beards. The key to choosing a mask for a beard is to get one that fits both your face and beard properly.
If you have a large beard, headgear that attaches above your facial hair can help you get a better fit. A mask that fits correctly should seal against your skin without causing discomfort, even if you have a beard.
If your beard is long, coarse, or thick, it may cause leaks if used with an improperly fitting CPAP mask. When wearing a CPAP mask, the cushion should seal around your nose, mouth, or both without needing to tighten the headgear too much. Long beards can prevent masks from properly sealing, and coarse hair may cause your mask to shift.
Choose a CPAP mask that’s intended for users with facial hair and consider using a beard conditioner to address coarse hair or a chinstrap to prevent your mask from dislodging.
You can wear a full-face CPAP mask with a beard, though you should take care to ensure it fits correctly to prevent leaks. People with short beards or goatees may have an easier time tolerating a full-face mask than those with long or thick beards. Full-face masks fit around the nose and mouth, so it may be difficult to seal a full-face mask around a full beard. Most CPAP mask manufacturers indicate whether or not a CPAP mask is beard-friendly.
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