Comparing Fisher & Paykel Full Face CPAP Masks
Although Fisher & Paykel is best known for household appliances, the company also has a fairly significant healthcare business. Fisher & Paykel also has a full line of CPAP equipment. Their product line includes the Icon CPAP line and a number of nasal, nasal pillow, and full face CPAP masks. In fact, some of Fisher & Paykel’s CPAP masks have elicited some very positive reviews from CPAP users.
Along with the various nasal CPAP masks, Fisher & Paykel’s line of full face masks includes the Flexifit 431, Flexifit 432, and the Forma. Although each mask is slightly different, they all bring a level of comfort equal to any other full face mask available. Below is a brief description of each of these full face masks from Fisher & Paykel.
The Flexifit 431 was the first full face CPAP mask from Fisher & Paykel. Unlike all other full face masks, Fisher & Paykel utilizes an under the chin design to increase stability and enhance comfort. This under chin fit provides a constant point of reference when putting the mask on. It also maintains the seal even with jaw movement during the night. Another difference with other full face masks is the unique “milk bottle” mask shape. This innovative design provides a more accurate representation of a person’s nose and mouth structure.
An important part of any CPAP mask is the cushion. The Flexifit 431 utilizes the pressurized air from the CPAP to help automatically adjust to a wide range of facial features. The cushion is also frosted to optimize the seal and give it a smooth feel. To help with proper sizing, the CPAP mask frame assembly can actually accommodate a small, medium or large cushion. Lastly, the CPAP headgear is crown shaped so there is no strap to irritate the back of the head while sleeping. Rather, the headgear attaches to an innovative “glider” strap. This helps to reduce leaks by helping to maintain equal force when the head rotates from side to side.
Overall, the mask is well made and comfortable with most users giving it positive feedback. The ability to replace the cushion and headgear gives the mask a good cost per use ratio.
Fisher & Paykel’s second-generation mask, Flexifit 432, improves upon the under chin design of the 431, making it an excellent option for people looking for something slightly different but with similar design features.
The primary difference between the Flexifit 431 and 432 is the cushion. The Flexifit 431’s cushion is a soft, frosted silicone which seals well due to the flexifit technology that automatically adjusts to the facial contours. The Flexifit 432 offers an improved seal and more comfortable fit with the inclusion of a soft foam cushion that interacts with the silicone seal. The foam cushion is a separate piece which can be removed for cleaning or replacing when necessary. With the addition of the foam cushion, the Flexifit 432 increases the stability and comfort over the 431. Moreover, the Flexifit 432 maintains the under chin design which further increases the comfort factor.
The Flexifit 432 preserves all the excellent features of the 431 including the frosted silicone seal to optimize fit and the “glider” and easy release strap for ease of use.
Similar to the Flexifit 431, the 432 gets high marks from users. The addition of the foam cushion produces a more comfortable feel along with increased stability. By incorporating the under chin design with the foam cushion, the Flexifit 432 improves upon the already popular design of Fisher & Paykel’s full face mask offerings. Again, the cost per use ratio is high due to the replaceable cushion and headgear.
The Forma’s shape and lightweight design provides full face CPAP mask users with the basics for a positive experience.
As mentioned, the cushion is one of the most important features of a CPAP mask. The Forma’s cushion sets the mask apart from competitors. The cushion is composed of an outer silicone shell with a unique foam insert. This uniquely designed FlexiFoam cushion is a soft, light, and supportive foam that provides an excellent seal and advances the active contouring that conforms naturally to a CPAP user's face. The silicon seal which surrounds the foam is also frosted which again enhances the feel and optimizes the mask seal. Fisher & Paykel Forma employ their patented Flexifoam Technology which automatically adjusts to a wide range of nasal and facial contours.
The Final Word on Fisher & Paykel CPAP Masks
Although all of Fisher & Paykel’s CPAP masks are highly effective in meeting the needs of CPAP users, they do have obvious differences which may or may not be beneficial to users’ individual needs and tastes. Choosing a CPAP mask is a personal decision and should be based on comfort, fit, usability and design. It is important to remember that the choice rests with the user not the equipment provider. The Flexifit 431, Flexifit 432 and Forma are just a few choices in the full face CPAP mask world but each offers a unique option which is attractive to nearly any CPAP user. At The CPAP Shop, we strive to bring you products we trust. If you have additional questions, we are happy to discuss them with you.