It is notable that both the BiPAP and CPAP machines call for the use of a BiPAP or CPAP mask. This is essentially a breathing apparatus. Nevertheless, the most popular BiPAP or CPAP masks are referred to as nasal masks.

These ones typically supply oxygen only to the nasal passages and not to the mouth. It is widely recognized that these are highly effective for those who breathe more through the nose.

Nasal CPAP Masks: Features and Design

The phrase ‘nasal CPAP mask’ refers to any mask of the positive air pressure that exclusively takes oxygen to the nasal passages. Such masks should be differentiated from fullface CPAP masks. The latter work by delivering oxygen to the nose and mouth.

Oral masks, on their part, usually supply air only to the mouth. It’s essential to note that most BiPAP machines can work well with nasal CPAP masks. In either case, keep in mind that you require a doctor’s prescription to purchase a PAP mask.

Take note that all nasal CPAP masks are different. Nevertheless, they feature the following components:

The Frame:

This component is actually the ‘mask.’ It seals around the nose, supplying oxygen to the nasal passages.

The Cushion:

Generally, nasal CPAP masks are usually designed with thin membranes along the frame edges. This works well to improve comfort, helping to alleviate pressure.

Most of these mask cushions are usually made from silicone. This component, however, can also be made of gel, cloth, or foam. The cushion is generally replaceable. It should be swapped out often; every few months; happily, Medicare allows users to replace their CPAP mask cushion after a three- month interval.

The Headgear:

The headgear are straps that fit around the head, holding the frame in place. You will find that there are two straps in most nasal prong masks and nasal cradles. One of these straps generally runs on both sides of the jaw, connecting at the back of the head, just parallel to the ears.

The other wraps along the forehead neatly, linking to the jaws trap just behind the ears.

On the other hand, nasal pillow masks usually tend to have a single strap that runs under both the nostrils before connecting behind the ears. These traps may be made of silicone fabric besides being secured with hook and loop closures, and quick clips or buckles that enable the wearer to remove and unclip the mask without a problem.

Elbow port:

The elbow port derives its name from its right-angle shape. The elbow port is generally fixed to the front of the frame. It is used to connect the CPAP machine mask using the connective hose. Moreover, the elbow port may come with sidewall buttons for easier connectivity. Also, they usually come with swivels to accommodate the different positions of sleeping.

There are, generally, three available types of nasal CPAP masks.

Nasal cradle:

This one remains, by far, the most popular item currently. Notably, the first ever CPAP masks used this design. It was a successful venture. In simple terms, many refer to this design as a nasal CPAP mask. The nasal cradle mask-type generally forms a triangular seal looped around the nose. This usually goes to the upper lip, although it does not cover the mouth.

Most nasal cradle masks often come with chin straps that are made to keep the jaw closed. For this reason, it can be ideal for those who tend to sleep with the mouth open.

Nasal pillow:

Instead of covering the entire nose in the manner that the nasal CPAP masks do, nasal pillow masks come with two seals around the openings or nares, of both nostrils. This is ideal for direct delivery of air. The nares are usually held in place by a pillow, or cushion, thus enhancing comfort and stability. Indeed, nasal pillows are generally considered as the most compact and lightest of the three types of nasal masks. Moreover, they often have minimal headgears as well.

Nasal prong:

Nasal prong, just like nasal pillows, are non-restrictive, lightweight, and uniquely designed to form seals running around both nares. Such masks connect to the headgear wrapped around the crown of the forehead and head. These nasal prong masks are generally not used a lot. Instead, their availability is rare compared to the nasal and nasal pillow types.


  • Wide model selection.
  • Non-invasive and lightweight; suited for high pressure delivery.
  • Lightweight and non-invasive; ideal for all sleep positions.


  • Heavier and bulkier than most nasal masks.
  • Relatively expensive.
  • Not suited for high pressure delivery.
  • Limited selection.
  • High irritation potential.
  • May aggravate congestion:

This is the case since they are ideal for clear, unobstructed nasal passages. Those who have allergies or who otherwise experience routine congestion are not advised to wear nasal CPAP masks.

CPAP and BiPAP compatibility

Often, masks which are used with CPAP machines may also be used with BiPAP machines. This is true as long as the mask’s elbow port is compatible with the connective hose.

Multiple sizes:

  • You can get many CPAP masks in various sizes, including standard, medium, small, and large sizes. Moreover many nasal CPAP masks are available in extra small and larger sizes.

Models that are specifically made for male and female wearers are usually available from specific manufacturers. The same applies to models that are designed for ‘smaller’ and ‘wider’ faces. In a few cases, the nasal masks will come in just a single universal size.

  • Cleaning:

CPAP masks should generally be cleaned several times per week. If possible, they should be cleaned every day, using a cleaning cloth, cpap sanitizing machine or rag that is soaked in alcohol.  Moreover, they are best stored in dry environments where humidity is not an issue.

  • Price-point:

Nasal cradle masks are usually some of the most expensive nasal CPAP options. The prices may range from $60 to $130. Nasal prong and nasal pillow models are the cheaper option, rarely costing above $90 to $100. It is essential to note that CPAP masks are, by and large, sold as a separate package from CPAP machines.

Considerations for Nasal CPAP Mask Shoppers

You need to keep in mind a few factors whenever you go shopping for a new nasal CPAP mask. First, remember that, before buying, it is wise to compare the different models and brands available. Then, think of a few questions to help you make a sound decision:

Do you have a problem, suffering from allergies or some other types of routine congestion? If so, you need a nasal cradle mask that is able to supply indirect air. This is, likely, the most suitable option for you.

Why is this so?

Well, those who suffer from frequent congestions are not likely to receive adequate air delivery from the usual nasal prongs or pillows. The reason is, these are normally directly inserted into the nares.


Think about your ideal cpap pressure setting:

Nasal cradle masks are the most suited for all pressure rates since they are capable of providing indirect air delivery. It does not matter if the situation involves high rates.

Regardless, those who require high pressure rates are not likely to be comfortable with nasal prong masks or nasal pillow. This is because the air gets delivered into the nares directly. On the other hand, if the pressure goes too high, it can cause significant discomfort.

Consider also:

What is your budget?

You can get comparable prices for all nasal CPAP masks. Even so, the regular nasal cradle masks (which cost up to $150) are usually more expensive than nasal prong models or nasal pillows. Notably, both of these two are normally available for under $100. That said, you can get some of the highest-rated nasal cradles for just $60 or less.

The next question is:

What sizes are available?

You can get the vast majority of nasal CPAP masks in three standard sizes, namely, small, medium and large. Usually, included with the same purchase, you can get all the three standard sizes. Many are available in XL and XS sizes as well. Certain nasal masks generally come in a single universal size. This is designed to care for the needs of most users.

Go for ‘Hers’

Female users of the CPAP are, however, advised to go for models that are specifically designed for ‘her.’ Why? They will find that certain models intended for universal wear are usually too large. Others with relatively wide or small faces may find that they are more suited for designs that are custom-size.

Does mask weight matter to you?

If so, keep in mind that nasal cradle masks are generally lighter compared to full face CPAP masks. Such models are, however, significantly more invasive and heavier than nasal prong masks or nasal pillows.

What is your preferred headgear?

You will find that most nasal cradle masks come with multiple straps. Most nasal prong models and pillows, on the other hand, have a single strap that is designed to run beneath the nostrils.

Nasal prong models and nasal pillows are generally considered as being less invasive. Nevertheless, nasal cradle masks are thought to be better suited to provide greater support around the forehead.

How is this headgear secured?

It is common to have hook-and-loop closures. These may, however, come undone in the course of the night, especially if they are too tightly secured. Some CPAP users generally prefer to go for more sophisticated closures.

These sophisticates include buckles with adjustable dials to loosen the straps, quick clips and cinchable straps. The ‘quick clips,’ usually hook into grommets in the frame of the mask. You can always remove them quickly and easily.


Has the headgear been included with the mask?

Usually, a Headgear is generally included with the mask frame. They are, however, sold separately. For this reason, before making your purchase, check the product specs to be sure of this.

It can save you from needless troubles later on.

Our Mask Reviews

Fisher & Paykel Eson™ 2 Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear

If you really want what is described as a definitive minimalistic mask, then you don’t go far. Pick the Fisher & Paykel’s Eson 2 Nasal CPAP Mask. It is unique because it comes with a special headgear.  Moreover, its updated RollFit nasal seal is quite adaptable.

Further, it is made in such a way that the user can easily move around with it throughout the night. In this way, it helps maintain a powerful seal. One exciting fact is that the headgear that comes with the mask is slim. It also offers multiple adjustment areas, which enhances comfort.

Eco-Friendly Diffuser

Keep in mind that the Eson 2 Nasal CPAP Mask from F&P is actually an updated type of the Eson nasal mask. The latter usually comes with a headgear combination and a slim frame.

Moreover, the RollFit seal is much lighter than the previous model. Remarkably, it moves with the user continuously even as sleep positions are changed in the course of the night. One important feature that comes as an extra bonus with this item is the eco-friendly diffuser.

This is attached to the mask and helps to reduce the noise on exhalation.

Key Features

  • Has an updated RollFit Cushion.
  • Features a unique forehead stability bar.
  • Comes with an open view mask frame.
  • Has an easy-to-fit headgear.
  • Offers an eco-friendly noise reduction.

The F&P’s Eson Nasal Mask is well-known known for its RollFit seal. The highly adaptive design remarkably glides over the bridge of the nose. This works perfectly to accommodate any changes in sleep position over the night. The item is carefully designed to keep maintaining a strong seal regardless of motion. Moreover, the mask is designed to prevent nasal sores and leaks.

The F&P’s Eson 2 also comes with a slimmer seal. This accommodates the various facial structures. Further, it helps create the best fit. Keep in mind that the cushion size does not impact much on your comfort. This is because the design comes with a more supportive technology.

ResMed Swift FX Nasal Pillow Mask

Key Features

  • Ultra-quiet.
  • The exhalation ports are located on the frame, rather than the cushion. This allows for a gentle dispersal of air on the outward side, away from the user.
  • This works excellently to dampen the irritating whine of the audible motor and the airflow noise.
  • Easy Fitting: The minimal design is easy to use; it has only 2 adjustable points.
  • It has a low-profile blackstrap.
  • Features a buckle on top.
  • The featured back strap is made of a Lycra-based material, coming with Velcro fasteners. Further, the top buckle is beautifully incorporated into the headgear. For easy adjustment, it uses a convenient set of notches.
  • The item’s highly streamlined design helps give a sense of freedom, promoting an early acceptance of the CPAP. The Swift FX also comes with the following nasal-size pillows:
  • Further, the extra smaller pillows are usually sold separately. All these pillow sizes are easily interchangeable using the mask frame.
  • The sound levels of this product have been minimized to merely 25 decibels at the mask.
  • It is small, travel-friendly and lightweight.
  • The mask’s frame is generally invisible while the Swift FX’s pillow cushion connects seamlessly with other parts of the mask. The product has a set of quick-release “lock and key tabs” that safely secure the silicone headgear straps. This conveniently allows for an easy removal from the frame.

Wonderful Minimal Design

Truly-speaking, minimal design is wonderful for creating an ergonomic comfort to the user. It allows you to watch the TV or read at bedtime with your glasses on. The item comes with vastly improved pillows.

These are designed to offer improved comfort and support, using the dual-wall flaps. Moreover, the base of the cushion comes with a highly integrated flexible chamber.

The function of this chamber is the enhancement of better stability for people who sleep on the side. The extra flexibility also accommodates better movement and a most reliable seal while working at high therapy pressures.

Significantly, the Swift FX has undergone tests for a maximum 20cm of water pressure. It has been proved that it is able to maintain a highly consistent seal even at maximum therapy.

DeVilbiss Aloha Nasal Pillow Mask


Unlike other previous systems, the Aloha Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask that comes with a headgear is fantastic for giving the CPAP user control and adjustment to improve the seal.

The angle of the nasal pillows can easily be altered. This gives the best fit and comfort for the user. Moreover, the hose connection’s swivel offers great flexibility for active sleepers. The Aloha is actually a lightweight and quiet item. This is always possible while it is still stable and most comfortable to use.

Key Features

  • Features a ball-and-swivel joint.
  • Features the arched-track technology.
  • Has a quiet operation.
  • A minimal headgear.
  • Is a lightweight short tube.
  • Is latex free.

For a highly enhanced freedom of movement when sleeping, the Aloha is designed with a convenient ball and swivel joint. The potential to tag on the mask right there at the connection of the hose is highly reduced.

For this reason, active sleepers will experience less disruption in the seal.  If you want the hose to get routed up over your head or down across your chest, the swivel will easily allow you to do so.

Arched-Track Technology:

This item employs the Arched-Track Technology. This offers the CPAP user greater control to adjust the nasal pillow’s angle and depth. Every user of the CPAP can, therefore, find a greater level of seal and comfort while minimizing the potential discomfort from the pressure of the nasal pillows.

Quiet Operation

The exhalation port’s angle essentially means a reduced possible disruption for users and bed partners. Also, the pillow and ports design facilitates the Aloha’s quiet operation.

Minimal Headgear

The headgear is lightweight and stable. It is designed from soft, breathable material. This design enhances minimal contact on the face and clear line of sight. This allows the user to watch TV or read. A Tube Retainer is included with the Aloha. It allows the hose to be conveniently worn over the top of the head.

ResMed Swift™ FX Bella Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask with Headgears

The Swift™ FX Bella Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask with Headgears is packaged ready with two unique headgear options. It is available in pink and gray colors. It is a great headgear option that you loop around your ears rather than having it cross the back of your head.

The Bella is also packaged with nasal pillows in three sizes. The Pink headgear comes in the extra small, small and medium pillows. The Gray headgear also comes with the small, medium and large-size pillow sizes.

Key Features:

  • Swift FX Bella features loops – around the ear.
  • It comes with an around- the head-gear.
  • Comes with soft wraps and sleeves.
  • Features twin color options; gray and pink.
  • Has a quiet operation.
  • Features a nasal pillow design.
  • Is an easy fit.
  • Is travel-friendly and lightweight.

Yes, we finally have a headgear that does not have to cross over the back of the head. We know that this situation usually disturbs rest and hair.  Now, the extra lightweight silicone Bella loops well around the ears. It perfectly secures the mask in place. The product comes with a convenient set of soft sleeves. This further cushions contact with both the face and cheeks.

The ResMed knows well the importance of comfort. For each of the Bella headgears, they have included a useful set of wraps. Moreover, the soft fleece material acts to cushion contact with the cheeks and face, helping to stop the silicone headgears from slipping.

Quiet Operation

There are convenient exhalation ports on the frame (rather than the cushion) through which the air disperses gently, away and outward. This dampens the airflow noise and the audible motor whine and airflow noise. The sound levels are  reduced to just 25 decibels at the mask.

Why is It Essential to Wear a Nasal Mask?

Most women with sleep apnea feel that the unisex nasal CPAP masks seem to be better designed for men’s faces, considering their length and width. Moreover, such masks feature a back strap headgear, thus interfering with women’s’ longer hair.

For our best mask for women pick, we do not hesitate to pick the ResMed Swift FX Bella Nasal Pillow Mask.


It effectively addresses these issues. Further, with this product, the flexible frame always contours to the wearer’s face. This is true regardless of specific dimensions.

Further, the looped headgear fits nicely around the user’s ears. They don’t interfere with longer hair. Also, customers can select the extra-small, small, and medium sizes of pillow. Notably, the ResMed Swift FX Bella Nasal Pillow Mask comes with a 90-day warranty.

Final Thoughts

A new study has concluded that getting treatment for the sleep apnea condition can drastically reduce incidences of readmission in hospitals. Moreover, a strict adherence to a controlled regime of the CPAP treatment can produce wonderful results in dealing with the sleep apnea condition.

By accessing a wide selection of high-quality nasal CPAP masks, it can be quite easy to find the best types that will work well for you.

Consider all the benefits of choosing the best nasal CPAP mask to alleviate this condition.

Hopefully, the well-researched information in this post is all you need to make this wise selection, leading to ultimate success.


I graduated from the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine a while back. My previous work station was at the HFHS. The institution is better known as the Henry Ford Health System. While there, I served diligently, working as a professional sleep consultant.

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