nasal cpap mask with tubing attached

CPAP Mask Options and Styles

This post was originally posted on July 31, 2018, and updated on April 13, 2022.

What Are CPAP Masks?

CPAP masks deliver pressurized air from a CPAP machine to a user by directly connecting to the face or nose. There are different types of CPAP masks available, designed for different comfort preferences. Each type of CPAP mask offers different benefits for users. Many CPAP therapy patients try different masks to see which one best suits them.

Types Of CPAP Masks and Their Benefits

Full Face CPAP Mask

Man with CPAP mask laying in bed with woman.

Full face CPAP masks cover the entire mouth and nose. These masks provide the most efficient air delivery and are the most effective masks for maintaining CPAP compliance with specific air pressures. Full face masks are ideal for mouth breathers as it prevents the mouth from hanging open during sleep.

Nasal CPAP Mask

Man wearing nasal CPAP mask.

Nasal CPAP masks cover the nose and upper lip. If you find full face masks make you feel claustrophobic, then nasal CPAP masks are an ideal alternative. Nasal CPAP masks are preferred by patients with high pressure CPAP settings. These masks are ideal for active sleepers as they move flexibly without disconnecting.

Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask

Woman lying in bed while wearing a nasal pillow CPAP mask.

Nasal pillow CPAP masks use small cushions that insert directly into the nostrils. These masks have the least facial contact so there are fewer red marks. Nasal pillow masks are ideal for patients with low to moderate air pressure settings on their machines. They are also good for replacing full face masks due to claustrophobia and as another option for active sleepers.

CPAP Mask Fitting Accessories

Head Gear

Head gear keeps the CPAP mask stable with secure fittings to the head. Most head gear options can be flexibly adjusted for a good fit. Different comfort options are also available to prevent red marks at contact points. Some head gear choices can be easily removed at night without changing personal adjustments.


Chinstraps work in conjunction with head gear to ensure that your CPAP mask is fitted firmly to your face. Loose head gear or chin straps lead to leaks around the seals of the mask which reduces the effectiveness of your CPAP therapy. Chinstraps are adjustable and offer padded comfort options.

Nasal Cushions

Nasal cushions are specific to nasal CPAP masks. They ensure a tight seal at the point of contact. Loose seals lead to leaks. Good nasal cushions stay firmly in place even when a sleeper changes their sleeping position. There are many comfort options on the market that offer a contoured fit.

Nasal Pillow

Nasal pillows are specific to nasal pillow CPAP masks. Like nasal cushions they provide a secure seal at the point of contact, which for nasal pillows is the nostrils. Softer cushions help with comfort and prevent nasal sores. Like nasal cushions, nasal pillows maintain a secure seal even with nighttime movement.

Best Full Face CPAP Masks

Best Nasal CPAP Masks

Best Nasal Pillow CPAP Masks

Where Can I Buy the Best CPAP Masks?

You can find CPAP masks in all styles from leading manufacturers at The CPAP Shop. Find the CPAP mask you need from the comfort of your own home by shopping online with us. The CPAP Shop has partnered with AR MaskFit, a 3D face scanning capability, that you are able to do from the comfort of your own home. Based on your face shape and size and other preferences, this advanced technology selects the best CPAP masks for you. Give it a try today! Additionally, our knowledgeable staff can help you select the best CPAP mask for your needs. Give us a call at 866-414-9700.

Chris Vasta

Chris Vasta is the president of The CPAP Shop and an expert in sleep and respiratory therapy. He often provides insights on product design and functionality on various manufacturers’ prototypes and is frequently tapped to provide reviews on new releases.