Best CPAP Masks for Side Sleepers

Sleepfoundation.org is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

Written by

Lauren Fountain

author

Medically Reviewed by

Jenny Iyo

author

If you currently use or are considering continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy for sleep apnea, then you might feel overwhelmed by the number of different CPAP masks on the market today. Though it can take some time to adjust to your mask, some styles are more suitable for certain sleeping positions than others, which may make it easier to rest comfortably. If you’re a side sleeper, there are certain factors you’ll want to consider before purchasing a CPAP mask.

One of the main challenges for side sleepers using CPAP therapy is simply keeping the mask in place. Your pillow can displace the mask, or if it’s causing discomfort, you may unknowingly move it during the night. While a CPAP mask needs to be sturdy enough to fit securely and withstand pressure changes, it should also be soft enough to limit facial discomfort. Pressure soreness during therapy is a common problem for side sleepers, but finding a mask with soft buckles and surfaces can minimize this.

Side sleepers are also more prone to air leakage because of the way the face rests against a pillow, but an ill-fitting mask combined with restlessness is especially hazardous. Air leaking from a weak seal around your nose or mouth can cause a partial or complete airway collapse, so it’s essential to find a mask that fits both comfortably and securely and won’t hinder your CPAP therapy.

Product Details

ResMed AirFit P10 Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask

Best Overall

ResMed AirFit P10 Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask

ResMed AirFit P10 Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask
Price: $118
Who it's best for:
  • Sleepers easily disturbed by noise
  • Value seekers
  • Those wanting a minimally invasive design
Highlights:
  • Key-clip nasal pillows for easy assembly
  • 50% lighter than many options on the market
  • Mesh-vent technology to reduce noise
ResMed AirFit P10 Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on ResMed products

The ResMed AirFit P10 Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask is a quiet and lightweight design with an accessible price-point. It is also a very versatile mask since it is compatible with all CPAP, BiPAP, and VPAP machines.

The ResMed AirFit P10 doesn’t cover your nose, as it inserts partially into your nostrils via two prongs. Because this model has minimal facial contact, you’re less likely to encounter skin irritation. Thanks to mesh-vent technology, the ResMed AirFit P10 is also 50% quieter than most nasal pillow masks on the market today, so it may be well suited for sleepers who are easily disturbed by noise.

Side sleepers are more susceptible to air leaks, but the low-profile ResMed AirFit P10 features a dual-wall construction to help enforce an airtight seal. Active sleepers of any position will likely benefit from the mask’s short, flexible tube, which adjusts to your movements without getting tangled.

With its color-coded, clip-on construction, the cushions are easy to assemble and remove. The ResMed AirFit P10 comes with three cushions (small, medium, and large), headgear, a short tube, a mask frame, and two headgear clips. This model comes with a 90-day warranty and can be returned for a refund within 30 days of purchase.

Philips Respironics Nuance Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask

Best Value

Philips Respironics Nuance Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask

Philips Respironics Nuance Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask
Price: $100
Who it's best for:
  • People with sensitive or easily irritated nostrils
  • CPAP users who want a personalized fit from their nasal pillow mask
  • Sleepers who prefer lightweight headgear
Highlights:
  • Pliable and lightweight gel frame with secure headgear
  • Small, medium, and large sizes available
  • Minimizes nostril irritation and red facial marks
Philips Respironics Nuance Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Philips Respironics products

With any CPAP mask, a comfortable fit is key to getting a good night’s sleep. The Philips Respironics Nuance Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask offers small, medium, and large sizes to accommodate a wide range of sleepers based on nostril size and personal preference. The gel pillows conform to the nostrils and reduce irritation that commonly occurs with this type of mask, and also create a secure seal to ensure uninterrupted airflow.

The standard Nuance frame is made of soft and stretchy fabric. Shoppers can also choose the Nuance Pro, which is composed of a lightweight gel material with minimal coverage, resulting in fewer red lines or marks on the sleeper’s face. The headgear straps are also quite flexible and designed to stay in place during the night. The mask’s thin profile also helps to reduce the risk of seal leaks for side sleepers.

Both the Nuance and Nuance Pro are affordably priced and replacement parts are relatively inexpensive. The masks are backed by 90-day warranties.

Philips Respironics DreamWisp Nasal CPAP Mask

Most Comfortable

Philips Respironics DreamWisp Nasal CPAP Mask

Philips Respironics DreamWisp Nasal CPAP Mask
Price: $90
Who it's best for:
  • Active side sleepers
  • Individuals who read or watch TV before bed
  • Those who wear glasses at night
Highlights:
  • Lightweight design
  • Mask frame includes built-in airflow
  • Magnetic clips are easy to connect and disconnect
Philips Respironics DreamWisp Nasal CPAP Mask

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Philips Respironics products

The Philips Respironics DreamWisp Nasal CPAP Mask has a versatile design that allows side sleepers to rest comfortably, especially if they frequently toss and turn. The mask’s lightweight frame makes it feel less bulky than other full-face models. With just four contact points, the mask feels light and stable around your head. It also comes with fabric wraps to minimize skin contact.

What sets the DreamWisp apart from other CPAP masks is its frame with built-in airflow. The device channels air directly through the frame, which eliminates disruptions in air pressure when lying on your side. You can also change positions throughout the night while the mask delivers a continuous stream of air.

Another perk of the CPAP mask is its tube, positioned at the top of the head. You can read, watch TV, or wear glasses at night without clunky headgear blocking part of your face. Magnetic clips on the side of the mask allow you to remove the mask without disrupting your preferred comfort settings. Individuals with limited dexterity and those who frequently move around at night are likely to appreciate these features.

The DreamWisp includes one small, medium, and large nasal cushion for personalized comfort, but petite and extra large options are also available. The CPAP Shop sells separate replacement cushions, as well.

The Philips Respironics DreamWisp is compatible with most CPAP devices. The mask frame and cushions are latex-free and dishwasher safe. The CPAP Shop also includes a 90-day warranty that begins at the date of purchase.

Fisher & Paykel Brevida Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask

Best Fit

Fisher & Paykel Brevida Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask

Fisher & Paykel Brevida Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask
Price: $105
Who it's best for:
  • Sleepers who normally find nasal pillow masks uncomfortable
  • CPAP users who share their bed with a partner
  • Mask shoppers looking for a model with multiple sizing options
Highlights:
  • Signature AirPillow reduces discomfort and irritation
  • Vent diffuser limits noise potential
  • Swivel joint adapts to user’s movements and helps to prevent airflow disruptions
Fisher & Paykel Brevida Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Fisher & Paykel products

The Fisher & Paykel Brevida Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask is a great option for people who normally find this type of mask uncomfortable. The reservoir features plush, contoured cushions to cradle each nostril and reduce irritation. Buyers can choose from two different pillow sizes – extra small/small or medium/large – to ensure a proper, customized fit.

The mask is also adaptive to your movements. A swivel joint keeps the hose in place and prevents airflow disruptions during the night. Another helpful feature is a vent diffuser that muffles noise during exhalations, allowing your partner to remain asleep. The headgear straps are also made of lightweight, flexible fabric, allowing the mask to feel less bulky than many competing models.

Thanks to color-coded parts, the mask is easy to assemble and disassemble whenever cleaning is needed. An approachable price-point also makes the Brevida a great catch for shoppers on a budget. The mask is backed by a 90-day warranty.

ResMed Swift FX CPAP Mask

Best for New CPAP Users

ResMed Swift FX CPAP Mask

ResMed Swift FX CPAP Mask
Price: $127
Who it's best for:
  • People with sensitive skin
  • Active sleepers
  • Those with facial hair and/or glasses
Highlights:
  • Soft and adjustable silicone construction
  • Flexible, 360-degree rotation to help keep the tubing in place, regardless of sleep position
  • Optional fleece-lined side straps
ResMed Swift FX CPAP Mask

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on ResMed products

The ResMed Swift FX CPAP Mask is a great choice for side sleepers because of its low profile and flexible construction. It’s also suitable if you’re new to CPAP therapy or find full masks too bulky and uncomfortable.

The ResMed Swift FX features a minimal, low-profile design to help you forget that you’re wearing a mask. Its soft, fully adjustable silicone headgear comes with optional fleece-lined side straps to promote a secure fit. This reinforcement is helpful for side sleepers who’ve previously struggled to keep their mask in place.

The ResMed Swift FX Mask comes with three different cushion sizes: small, medium, and large. The cushion is designed to contour the nose and supply airflow directly into the nostrils. This close fit minimizes the risk of air leaks while still being able to withstand high-pressure settings. The mask also features 360-degree rotation and an adjustable velcro back strap to help keep the tube and headgear in place.

Because the ResMed Swift FX Mask doesn’t obstruct your vision, it can be used for therapy while you’re awake. The design is also appropriate if you have facial hair and/or wear glasses.

The ResMed Swift FX CPAP Mask uses standard tubing and is compatible with any CPAP machine. This model has a 30-day return policy and a 90-day warranty against manufacturing defects.

How to Choose a CPAP Mask for Side Sleepers

Because of the face’s proximity to the pillow, side sleepers can experience air leaks, skin irritation, and general discomfort. To avoid these pitfalls and ensure that you’re getting the most from CPAP therapy, it’s important to find a mask that fits securely and is comfortable enough to wear regularly.

What to Consider When Purchasing a CPAP Mask

Finding your right fit will depend on several variables. It’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor before purchasing a CPAP mask since they may be able to make recommendations based on your health profile. Size, fit, comfort, durability, and machine compatibility are some of the most important factors to examine when shopping for a CPAP mask, as they can greatly impact the success of your therapy.

  • Doctor’s Recommendations: Your doctor can often make CPAP mask recommendations based on your personal history and sleep style. You can also request to be fitted for a mask at a doctor’s office or sleep clinic, which is helpful since masks are often not returnable once opened.
  • Size & Fit: Finding the right size and fit might require some experimentation, but it’s well worth the effort since an ill-fitting mask can undermine your CPAP therapy. Each type of mask fits differently, and its comfort and security will largely depend on your sleep position and face shape. Side sleepers typically do well with a low-profile, minimal design that doesn’t obstruct your face’s contact with a pillow. For this reason, side sleepers often prefer nasal pillows, as they fit under the nose instead of over and are the least invasive mask type.Cushions, which are used to seal your CPAP mask system, typically come in small, medium, and large sizes. The right size cushion is critical, as this helps prevent air leaks. A proper fitting cushion will be snug yet comfortable, and its opening will fall directly below the nostrils.
  • Contact Points: Side sleepers typically do best with minimal designs like nasal pillows, as they have fewer points of contact with the face. Less mask surface area means lower friction and pressure between the face and pillow, thereby reducing the risk of air leaks.
  • Comfort: Many people suffering from sleep apnea give up on CPAP therapy because they find the masks too cumbersome or uncomfortable. Side sleepers often complain that full face masks are too bulky and dig in uncomfortably. Finding headgear and cushions that fit securely yet noninvasively will increase your therapy’s efficacy as well as its consistency.
  • Compatibility: It’s important to verify that your new mask is compatible with your CPAP machine. Even if the model uses standard CPAP tubing, it’s a good idea to double-check the manufacturer’s manual for compatibility guidelines.
  • Tube Location: A CPAP tube or hose is a hollow plastic cylinder that connects the mask to your CPAP device. The tube will have a swivel connection at the mask’s nasal area or at the top of your head.Tube placement relative to sleep position is an important factor since a tangled tube is more likely to cause air leaks. Combination sleepers typically do well with masks that have top-of-head tubing, which tends to stay out of the way when changing positions. Side sleepers often have success with nasal tubing because it doesn’t encroach on the pillow as much.
  • Included Components: Parts vary based on the model type, but CPAP masks commonly include cushions, headgear, tubing, clips, mask frames, and soft cloths.
  • Materials: It’s important to consider the materials that go into a mask, especially when it comes to comfort and possible allergies. Skin irritation is a common complaint of those using CPAP therapy, but many masks utilize soft materials like fleece or cotton to minimize aggravation. Other common mask materials include silicone, rubber, foam, and vinyl.
  • Durability: Masks don’t have the same longevity as CPAP machines, but properly caring for the components will extend their life and efficacy. It’s a good idea to regularly inspect parts for wear, but as a general rule of thumb, cushions should be replaced every month, while the mask frame and tubing are best changed out every three months. The headgear and chin strap will often last as long as six months.
  • Price: Cost varies based on quality, style, and materials, but the average CPAP mask ranges from $50 to $150.
  • Warranty: The average warranty for a CPAP mask is 90 days, which covers potential manufacturing defects. Some policies will replace your mask right away if a defect arises within the policy window, while other manufacturers require that you return the mask for inspection before they send a new one.

What Types of CPAP Masks Are Best for Side Sleeping?

Finding a compatible CPAP mask comes down to multiple variables, but sleep position is one of the most important factors. Side sleepers are especially prone to air leaks, skin irritation, and general discomfort, which is why certain models are more appropriate than others. Minimal, low-profile designs, like nasal pillows, are usually better choices for side sleepers because they tend to cause less friction than full face masks.

With that said, it’s always wise to discuss mask styles with your medical provider since they may be able to provide personalized recommendations based on your health and circumstances.

CPAP Mask Type Description
Nasal Masks This common option consists of a triangular-shaped mask that covers the nose from the bridge to the upper lip area. The mask is often reinforced by an additional forehead strap that rests above the eyebrows. Nasal masks are a good choice for many side sleepers because they are less bulky than full face models and shouldn’t dig into the skin as much. Regardless of your sleeping position, the nasal mask isn’t the best option for those who wear glasses or have facial hair, as this can interfere with the seal.
Nasal Pillow Masks This is one of the most popular mask types for side sleepers because it has the lowest profile and is the least invasive. The mask consists of a cushion with a seal that is partially inserted into the nostrils and held in place by straps and headgear. A nasal pillow mask should be lightweight, and because there is minimal contact with the face, side sleepers are less likely to encounter pressure or skin irritation. Active side sleepers may find that this style is also more likely to stay in place. Nasal pillow masks are often ideal for people with narrow nose bridges, smaller faces, and/or facial hair.
Full Face Masks The most sizable of the three mask varieties, a full face mask consists of a sturdy plastic frame covering the mouth and nose, which is held in place by straps and headgear. It is typically too large and bulky to be comfortable for most side sleepers, and because it requires a large seal, it is more likely to leak. This style is recommended for people who breathe through their mouths or require higher pressures.

Helpful Tips for Side Sleepers with Sleep Apnea

While finding the right mask can greatly improve your CPAP therapy, side sleepers can take additional steps to enhance overall performance and sleep quality.

Clean CPAP Components Frequently: Regular cleaning is one of the most crucial factors in optimizing CPAP therapy, preventing infections and illness, and extending the life of your equipment. When oils and skin cells collect on the mask, they can interfere with a snug fit.

Your mask, headgear, and tubing can be washed by hand in warm soapy water and then air-dried completely before use. It’s best to clean the tubing and headgear at least weekly, while the cushion should be washed daily. It’s also advisable to wash the equipment more frequently when you’re sick.

Replace Worn Mask Components: It’s good practice to inspect your mask parts routinely because worn components can greatly reduce CPAP performance. Cushions and/or nasal pillows should be replaced every month, while the frame and tubing should be exchanged every three months. Headgear typically lasts as long as six months.

Consider a CPAP Pillow: These are special pillows designed for CPAP therapy with cutouts to accommodate your mask and hose. This design allows sleepers to move freely at night without as much worry of compromising their seal and causing leaks. A CPAP pillow can also alleviate pressure points and make your therapy much more comfortable.

Consider a CPAP Chinstrap: Side sleepers who breathe through their mouths or chronically awake in the morning with a dry throat may benefit from a CPAP chinstrap. Mouth breathing can be a significant impediment, as it reduces the air pressure needed for optimal CPAP therapy. A chinstrap can reduce this tendency by using a padded chin cup and headgear to help the jaw stay closed throughout the night.

Frequently Asked Questions About CPAP Masks for Side Sleepers

  • What all factors to consider while shopping CPAP masks

    A CPAP mask can be an overwhelming purchase because of all the factors to consider, but we’ll address some of the most common questions that arise for shoppers.

  • Do full face CPAP masks work for side sleepers?

    Even though full face masks aren’t typically recommended for side sleepers, certain styles can work as long as they fit securely and/or have certain attributes to accommodate this position. For example, full face masks with hoses on the top of the head can be effective because they are less likely to become obstructed and cause leaks. Models that target active sleepers will often be more suitable for side sleepers, as they might have extra features to help keep the mask in place.

  • How much do CPAP masks cost?

    CPAP masks cost anywhere from $50 to $150, depending on the quality, materials, and style.

  • Are CPAP masks covered by insurance?

    CPAP masks are often covered by insurance because they are classified as durable medical equipment, but it’s always a good idea to check eligibility with your provider.

  • Do I need a prescription for a CPAP mask?

    A CPAP mask is deemed a Class II medical device by the FDA and therefore requires a prescription to purchase. Certain individual mask parts, however, may be purchased online without a prescription.

  • Was this article helpful?
  • YesNo

About Our Editorial Team

author
Lauren Fountain

Certified Sleep Coach

Lauren is a Certified Sleep Science Coach with extensive experience researching and testing a wide variety of sleep products.

author
Jenny Iyo

Physical Therapist

DPT

Dr. Iyo is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at an orthopedic clinic in Seattle. She specializes in hands-on therapy and tailored exercise programs.

About Our Editorial Team

author
Lauren Fountain

Certified Sleep Coach

Lauren is a Certified Sleep Science Coach with extensive experience researching and testing a wide variety of sleep products.

author
Jenny Iyo

Physical Therapist

DPT

Dr. Iyo is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at an orthopedic clinic in Seattle. She specializes in hands-on therapy and tailored exercise programs.