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If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your doctor may have recommended you try continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. This effective treatment requires a CPAP mask, which you wear during sleep to prevent your upper airway from narrowing or closing.

While it can sometimes seem like CPAP advertisements are geared exclusively toward men, some manufacturers are also starting to design masks with women in mind.

We’ll discuss how to find and fit a CPAP mask and delve into additional factors such as compatibility with your CPAP machine and other practical considerations. We’ll also take a look at the best CPAP masks for women as chosen by our team of sleep experts.

Our guide to the best CPAP masks has more information on choosing a CPAP mask regardless of gender. You may also be interested in our guide to the best nasal CPAP masks.

What’s the Best CPAP Mask for Women?

Designed with women in mind, the ResMed AirFit F20 for Her comes in a smaller size than its standard counterpart and boasts a flexible seal, quiet air vents, and a quick-release elbow.

In-Depth Reviews

  • Pros

    1. Full-face design is suitable for people who have trouble breathing through their nose

    2. Designed without a forehead bar for a wider field of vision

    3. Interchangeable with the AirTouch F20 memory foam mask cushion

  • Cons

    1. For Her version is only available in small and medium sizing

    2. Contains magnets, making it unsafe for people with certain medical implants

    3. High price-point

Price

$155

The ResMed AirFit F20 for Her is a standout CPAP mask for women. The full-face design provides a comfortable fit without feeling bulky or cumbersome. An InfinitySeal — ResMed’s proprietary mask cushion — forms a tight seal around the nose and mouth to ensure steady, leak-free airflow and proper pressurization throughout the night. You can choose from small, medium, and large cushion sizes based on your facial structure.

Another useful feature is the quick-release elbow port, allowing you to easily attach and detach the connective tubing. Magnetic clips on the headgear also help you put on and take off the mask without any hassle. If you’re a light sleeper, the QuietAir vent should prevent noise-related disruptions. This component reduces the volume of your CPAP machine to a whisper-quiet 21 decibels. 

For additional comfort, you can swap out the silicone cushion for ResMed’s memory foam full-face mask cushion. While the silicone is somewhat soft, the memory foam molds to your face to reduce irritation. Since the headgear makes minimal contact with the face, you can comfortably wear glasses during your CPAP therapy if you enjoy reading or watching television before bed.

The AirFit F20 is competitively priced, and those who sign up for a subscription to receive replacement parts on an ongoing basis receive a 15% discount on their purchase. Standard ground shipping is free of charge. Unopened and unused masks may be returned within 60 days of receipt.

Disclaimer: In November 2023, ResMed issued a safety notice cautioning that the magnetic clips on this model and other ResMed masks should be kept at least 6 inches away from any implanted medical device that may be affected by magnets, including pacemakers and insulin pumps. The company also warns that other metallic implants such as valves, stents, and certain dental implants may be impacted by the magnetic clips.

  • Pros

    1. Lightweight design feels less claustrophobic and stays in place when changing positions

    2. Comes with adjustable headgear and three cushion sizes

    3. Competitively priced

  • Cons

    1. May be uncomfortable at higher therapy pressures

    2. Some people may dislike the sensation of air blowing directly into their nose

    3. For Her version is not available in large

Price

$99

A common misconception among first-time CPAP therapy recipients is that all CPAP masks are heavy and bulky. The ResMed AirFit P10 For Her is a prime example of an effective, high-performance CPAP mask that’s also very light and flexible. Weighing less than 2 ounces, this nasal pillow mask is outfitted with split-strap headgear that leaves most of your face untouched. The open design allows you to wear glasses and provides full visibility. The straps are adjustable, so you can customize the mask for a comfortable fit.

The hose features two small vents designed to suppress noise when you exhale, making the AirFit P10 exceptionally quiet compared to other masks. Each order includes pillows in extra-small, small, and medium sizes. If none of these options provide adequate coverage, you can also order large pillows. The mask is also engineered to form a secure seal as soon as it makes contact.

Color-coded components and left-right guides make assembling the mask a quick, straightforward process. The ResMed AirFit P10 For Her is reasonably priced, and Sleep Doctor customers who sign up for a site subscription receive a discount on their order. You may return unused masks within 60 days of delivery.

Disclaimer: In November 2023, ResMed issued a safety notice cautioning that the magnetic clips on this model and other ResMed masks should be kept at least 6 inches away from any implanted medical device that may be affected by magnets, including pacemakers and insulin pumps. The company also warns that other metallic implants such as valves, stents, and certain dental implants may be impacted by the magnetic clips.

  • Pros

    1. Upper and lower headgear straps allow for more precise adjustment

    2. Proprietary cushion forms a gentle yet secure seal that adapts to movement

    3. Headgear straps leave a clear area in the back of head for a ponytail or long hair

  • Cons

    1. Contains magnets that may interfere with implanted medical devices

    2. For Her version is only sold in size small

    3. Frame is not as minimalist as some competing models

Price

$99

With any CPAP mask, a proper fit is crucial. The ResMed AirFit N20 is designed to feel comfortably snug for any wearer. Headgear composed of flexible mesh fabric conforms to the unique contours of your head and face, resulting in a “goldilocks” fit that is neither too tight nor too loose. The mask also uses proprietary InfinitySeal cushions engineered to mold to your nostrils, ensuring a tight seal and steady airflow — even if you change sleep positions or toss and turn.

The hose is equipped with a quick-release elbow, allowing you to detach the mask from the CPAP device with ease. This feature is handy for people with incontinence and others who make frequent trips to the bathroom during the night. Since the mask does not have a forehead strap, you’ll enjoy full visibility for reading, watching television, and other pre-bedtime activities. This design also allows you to wear glasses comfortably.

The For Her mask is slightly smaller than the standard model and styled with lavender accents. All orders include cushions in small, medium, and large sizes. Shoppers who purchase their AirFit N20 from Sleep Doctor receive a discount when they set up a subscription through that site and may return their unused mask within 60 days of receipt.

Disclaimer: In November 2023, ResMed issued a safety notice cautioning that the magnetic clips on this model and other ResMed masks should be kept at least 6 inches away from any implanted medical device that may be affected by magnets, including pacemakers and insulin pumps. The company also warns that other metallic implants such as valves, stents, and certain dental implants may be impacted by the magnetic clips.

What Should Women Consider in a CPAP Mask?

Though traditionally considered a male condition, there is increasing awareness that women can also have sleep apnea, particularly those experiencing pregnancy, menopause, or polycystic ovary syndrome.

Though not offered by all manufacturers, some CPAP masks are designed specifically with women in mind. In very general terms, women tend to have smaller jawlines and thinner cheekbones with fuller cheeks, although there is a large spectrum of possible facial shapes for all genders.  

As the interface responsible for delivering pressurized air into your lungs, a CPAP mask is an important part of sleep apnea therapy. Factors to consider when shopping for a mask include the fit, comfort, design, your personal sleeping and breathing style, compatibility with other CPAP equipment, and your doctor’s recommendations.

Listen to Your Doctor

Your doctor should always be your first point of contact for information regarding a new CPAP mask. They can help recommend a mask style based on your therapy pressure and other personalized considerations.

Mask Type

You can choose between the three main types of CPAP masks, each of which offers certain benefits depending on what you’re looking for.

  • Full-face: A full-face mask extends from the bridge of the nose down below the lips, delivering air to the nose and mouth.
  • Nasal: Generally considered the most effective CPAP mask type, a nasal mask delivers air to just the nose through a mask that typically covers the bridge and the nostrils.
  • Nasal pillow: Nasal pillows insert into the nostrils, allowing more flexibility and ease of movement, though they exert more direct airflow and may be uncomfortable at higher pressure settings.

Breathing Style

Some doctors may recommend you try a full-face mask if you tend to breathe through your mouth, especially if you have a blocked nose from nasal congestion or a deviated septum.

Sleeping Position

Certain mask styles may be better or worse depending on your preferred sleeping position. For example, while front-of-face tubing may be convenient for back sleepers and some side sleepers, this design can lead to air leaks when stomach sleeping. Stomach sleepers and some side sleepers may prefer a nasal pillow mask or a top-of-head tubing connection, which is less likely to get caught on the bed pillow.

Fit and Size

Finding a CPAP mask that fits your face is important, because an ill-fitting mask can cause discomfort or unwanted air leaks. Some manufacturer websites include printable sizing guides to aid shoppers in finding the right fit. If you’re unsure of your size, some retailers sell fit packs that include several cushion sizes.

Machine and Hose Compatibility

Always check the user guide to confirm your mask is compatible with your CPAP machine, humidifier, and tubing. Masks usually are compatible with most machines, but you should pay special attention to the pressure limit and the tubing, which may require an adapter.

Recalls and Warranties

Product recalls occur when a manufacturer discovers an issue that makes the mask unsafe for use. The company may contact you directly, or you may hear about the recall from your doctor or supplier. If the recall applies to you, you may need to return your mask and wait to receive a different model in exchange.

Independent of recalls, manufacturers typically offer a short warranty to protect customers against manufacturing and workmanship defects. Different mask parts such as the cushions and headgear may have a shorter warranty than the frame.

Where to Buy a CPAP Mask for Women

CPAP masks are sold online as well as in brick-and-mortar stores. You can sometimes obtain a CPAP mask through your doctor or sleep clinic.

Buying in person offers the advantage of being able to consult with a salesperson or health professional. Buying online also has benefits, as you’ll have access to a wider selection of masks and easier price comparison.

Pricing, Prescriptions, and Insurance Coverage

CPAP mask prices range from $50 for a basic nasal mask to around $200 for some full-face models. Within each mask style, you’ll find price fluctuations based on the complexity of the design, the materials used, and the brand.

You’ll need a prescription to purchase your mask, although replacement parts are sold over the counter. Medicare, Medicaid, and many private insurers help cover the cost of CPAP masks as long as you meet usage requirements and other conditions.

Dive Deeper: In-Depth CPAP Guides

Some CPAP supplies are essential, including the machine, mask, and tubing. Others, like mask liners and specialty bed pillows, are designed for comfort and may make it easier to consistently use your device as prescribed.

Data-Driven Results You Can Trust

Our team is passionate about finding high-quality products to help people get better sleep, and that includes products designed for people with sleep apnea. When choosing the best CPAP masks for women, we considered factors such as differences in facial structures and how to wear a mask with long hair.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should a CPAP mask fit?

In order to deliver effective therapy, a CPAP mask needs to provide a secure seal with no air leaks. However, you also want to avoid using a mask that is too tight, as this can cause uncomfortable pressure points and skin irritation. Most masks use flexible cushion materials such as silicone, which fit over the nose or the nose and mouth.

Do women need a specialized CPAP mask?

Obstructive sleep apnea has unique particularities in women, whose upper airway, breathing patterns, and fat distribution are different from men. However, as most CPAP studies have focused on men, there is not enough research to say with certainty whether women have unique treatment needs . Several studies show that women do derive benefits from CPAP therapy, which suggests that the existing masks are working.

Women are more likely to experience claustrophobia, in which case they may prefer more streamlined and minimalist mask designs.

What is the best type of CPAP mask for women?

There is limited research on how to optimize CPAP treatment for women. Women may have more luck with CPAP masks designed for smaller faces, but ultimately the best mask differs from person to person.

It’s possible that rather than a different mask, women may do better with a CPAP machine programmed with a female-specific algorithm. Others may benefit from eschewing CPAP therapy altogether and using an alternative treatment method, such as a mandibular advancement device, which is a type of sleep apnea mouth guard that moves the lower jaw forward to force the sleeper’s airway open.

How do you wear a CPAP mask when you have long hair?

Many CPAP masks have headgear that leaves a space in the back of the head where you can feed long hair either loose or in a ponytail. This may be more comfortable than putting the headgear over the top of your hair.

How do you clean a CPAP mask?

You can keep your mask clean and extend its lifespan by wiping down the cushions on a daily basis and performing a deeper cleaning of the mask frame, headgear, cushions, and tubing attachment once per week. Use warm water with mild soap to clean the parts separately, then fully air dry all the components before putting the mask back together. Check the user guide for instructions specific to your model.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market. Send an email to [email protected] or call us at (877) 672-8966 with your questions and we'll help you find exactly what you're looking for.

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