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Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that affects an estimated 10% to 30% of adults in the United States. People with OSA stop breathing for brief intervals while sleeping due to blocked airways. When left untreated, OSA can lead to serious health consequences like cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and depression.
Continuous positive airway therapy (CPAP) is the preferred treatment for OSA. CPAP machines deliver pressurized air through a hose and mask to keep a person’s upper airway open.
For individuals who need CPAP therapy and breathe through their mouth, a doctor may recommend a hybrid CPAP mask. Unlike a nasal pillow or nasal mask that only delivers air to the nose, a hybrid mask seals both the nose and mouth. Hybrids are also less bulky than traditional full-face CPAP masks and typically only cover part of the nose.
We’ll discuss who can benefit from a hybrid CPAP mask and how to choose a model that’s right for your needs. We’ll also cover care guidelines and how to properly fit your mask.
ResMed AirFit F30 Full Face CPAP Mask
Who it’s best for:
- People who want the benefits of nasal and oral CPAP therapy with a low-profile mask
- Those who like to read or watch TV before falling asleep
- CPAP users who find nasal pillows uncomfortable
- Mask cushion rests beneath the nose
- Strong seal over the mouth and nostrils
- Unobtrusive design permits excellent line of sight
The ResMed AirFit F30 features a unique design. While many hybrid CPAP masks include nasal pillows that are inserted into the nostrils, the AirFit F30 rests below the nose and seals around the outside of the nostrils.
The F30’s design makes it less bulky than standard full-face masks but more suitable for CPAP users who find the direct airflow of nasal pillows uncomfortable. It may also be a good compromise for people who want both nasal and oral CPAP therapy but dislike masks that rest on the bridge of their nose.
The mask’s headgear uses magnetic clips and Velcro straps for a customizable fit. The CPAP machine’s hose attaches to an elbow that connects to the front of the mask. The elbow features a quick-release design that lets you get out of bed during the night without removing the mask. The mask cushion is made from a lightweight silicone material.
While the headgear is one-size-fits-all, the mask cushion is available in small and medium sizes. ResMed has a printable sizing guide on its website to assist customers in selecting the appropriate cushion size.
Shoppers in the contiguous U.S. who purchase the ResMed AirFit F30 through The Sleep Doctor receive free shipping. The mask comes with a 90-day limited warranty from the manufacturer that covers defects in materials and workmanship.
ResMed Mirage Liberty Full Face Mask
Who it’s best for:
- People who find standard full-face masks claustrophobic
- Those who alternate between nose and mouth breathing
- People who wear glasses
- Lightweight design doesn’t cover the nose
- Adjustable headgear with clip fasteners
- Choice of three pillow sizes: small, medium, and large
With a lightweight design, adjustable headgear, and a one-time adjustment needed for a proper fit, shoppers who alternate between mouth and nose breathing or find standard full-face masks uncomfortable should find the ResMed Mirage Liberty Full Face Mask meets their needs.
The ResMed Mirage Liberty Full Face Mask is a less bulky alternative to a typical full-face mask. Separate seals on the mouth and nose make it a comfortable option for mouth breathers. The mask’s design is also suitable for people who switch between nasal and mouth breathing.
A flexible silicone mouth cushion permits a wider range of jaw movement without digging into the face. The latex-free mask comes in small and large sizes, and users have a choice of small, medium, or large nasal pillows.
The crown-shaped headgear is made from lightweight foam that helps wick moisture away from the user’s face. Adjustable straps gently rest around the ears without creating contact points on the forehead or nasal bridge. This design gives users an open field of vision and reduces skin irritation. The headgear has click-and-lock fasteners that lets you quickly assemble and disassemble the mask.
ResMed backs the Mirage Liberty Full Face Mask with a 90-day warranty. The CPAP Shop offers free shipping and a 30-day return policy for customers in the contiguous U.S. Customers are responsible for return shipping fees.
What Is a Hybrid CPAP Mask?
A hybrid CPAP mask seals both the nostrils and mouth. Nasal masks and nasal pillow masks only seal the nose, making hybrid masks a better option for mouth breathers who find standard full-face masks claustrophobic or obtrusive.
Unlike full-face masks, which generally extend up to the bridge of the nose, hybrids typically only cover the lower part of the nose. Many hybrid CPAP masks include nasal pillows, while some rest just below the nose and seal around the nostrils without making contact with the bridge of the nose.
Who’s a Good Fit for a Hybrid CPAP Mask?
Since a hybrid CPAP mask delivers pressurized air to both the nose and mouth, it can be an effective choice for people with sleep apnea who breathe through their mouth. Hybrid masks can also be effective for people who want the benefits of oronasal CPAP therapy but don’t like the bulkier fit of standard full-face masks.
However, not everyone is a good candidate for this mask style. Some people may want to explore the pros and cons of other CPAP masks before deciding if a hybrid CPAP mask is the right fit for their needs.
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How to Choose a Hybrid CPAP Mask
Finding the best hybrid CPAP mask for your needs is crucial to successful therapy. An ill-fitting mask can result in air leaks, and an uncomfortable mask can lead to poor therapy compliance.
Along with comfort and fit, shoppers should consider factors like price, pressure needs, and material quality when choosing a mask.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Hybrid CPAP Mask
Choosing between different mask options can be an overwhelming process. Marketing terms can sometimes be misleading, which can further confuse shoppers. CPAP users should focus on important factors like sleep position, machine compatibility, materials, and ease of cleaning when determining which mask is the best fit for them.
The typical hybrid mask costs between $75 and $250. Prices vary according to the manufacturer, material quality, comfort features, and accessories. A mask that includes multiple nasal pillow sizes, for example, generally costs more than a model with just one size.
Some insurance plans cover the cost of CPAP masks, so shoppers should check with their provider before making a purchase.
Size and Fit
A properly fitting mask is key to preventing air leaks and pressure loss from the nose and mouth. Users are also less likely to adhere to therapy if a mask is uncomfortable. Hybrid masks have a lower profile than most full-face masks, but an ill-fitting design can still create pressure points.
Most masks, mouth cushions, and nasal pillows come in multiple sizes. Manufacturers typically list dimensions online or on the packaging to help shoppers determine the right fit.
Some models include interchangeable pillow sizes in case one nostril is larger than the other, and adjustable headgear allows users to personalize the mask fit. Most manufacturers caution against overtightening the straps, as this can contribute to air leaks and pressure marks.
Hybrid CPAP masks typically work with most CPAP machines, but shoppers should check product compatibility before purchasing their mask, as models can have varying air pressure requirements.
It’s important to make sure that your mask meets the pressure needs prescribed by your doctor. While full-face masks are often recommended for people who need high CPAP pressure settings, the more direct airflow of hybrid masks that include nasal pillows may be uncomfortable for some users.
A CPAP mask that comfortably accommodates your sleep position improves therapy compliance. While most hybrid masks are less invasive than full-face masks, some models feature a more minimal design than others.
Side and stomach sleepers generally require a low-profile design that’s less likely to interfere with their bed pillow. Back sleepers can usually sleep comfortably with a larger mask, while combination sleepers often benefit from a low-profile hybrid design with flexible tubing that adjusts with movement.
Mask comfort is crucial to CPAP therapy adherence. Users should consider how soft and flexible the materials are and where the headgear and straps are placed to ensure they can sleep comfortably with the mask.
A CPAP pillow features contours or cutouts that allow sleepers to comfortably sleep with a CPAP mask. CPAP pillows come in different shapes and sizes to suit different sleep positions and mask types. Some pillows are designed for side sleepers and prevent masks from digging into the face. Other pillows are intended to stabilize a mask, particularly for high-movement sleepers.
Masks made with quality materials generally last longer and perform better. Mouth cushions and nasal pillows made from pliable materials like silicone are usually more comfortable than rigid plastics. Similarly, soft and flexible fabric headgear is less likely to dig into the face than stiff or cheaper materials.
Cleaning and Care
CPAP users should refer to the product manual before cleaning their mask, as guidelines vary according to model. That said, most CPAP components should be hand-washed at least once a week using warm water and mild soap. This includes mask frames, cushions, nasal pillows, and CPAP hoses.
All accessories should be fully rinsed and air dried prior to use. Mask cushions and nasal pillows should also be cleaned daily with a CPAP wipe or a damp cloth and mild soap.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Place the headgear over your head and gently rest the mask over your mouth and beneath your nose.
- If applicable, insert the nasal pillows into your nostrils.
- Fasten the headgear.
- Adjust the straps until the mask feels secure.
- The mask should be secure but not so tight that it digs into your face.
- If the mask includes nasal pillows, make sure they are evenly aligned after adjusting the straps.
A tighter mask fit does not always lead to effective therapy. A mask that is either too loose or too tight can cause air leaks. A snug fit is needed to prevent pressure loss, but a mask shouldn’t press deeply into your face.
Hybrid CPAP masks are generally suitable if you breathe through your mouth since they create a seal over both the nose and mouth. Some designs have built-in chin straps to gently keep the mouth closed. Hybrid masks are also generally appropriate for people who alternate between nasal and mouth breathing.