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CPAP Nasal Pillow Mask Test

Manufacturers: Fisher & Paykel, ResMed and Löwenstein/Weinmann

CPAP nasal pillow masks generally help with the therapy of average to severe obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS), and together with the CPAP nasal masks they are among the most popular types of masks. Unlike classic nasal masks, the mask cushion of nasal pillow masks is placed directly under the nose, with two small tubes protruding into the nostrils. Thanks to their special design, nasal pillow masks cause far less pressure marks on the face. However, CPAP ventilation via a nasal pillow is only possible if one only breathes through the nose at night, as one is still free to breathe through the mouth. If you were to breath through your mouth, positive pressure in the airways could not be generated or maintained without further aid. Thus, there are two alternatives for mouth breathers: Firstly, there is the possibility of using a nasal pillow mask in combination with the  somnipax CPAP pro our anti-snoring mouth guard that prevents mouth leakage. This specifically prevents you from breathing through your mouth, as a result the body naturally shifts to nasal breathing in response, which not only is healthier but also facilitates CPAP ventilation. Alternatively, a full-face mask can be used for CPAP therapy by those who breathe partially or exclusively through their mouth. The cushion of this type of mask encloses both the nose and the mouth, and is therefore suitable for all types of breathing. Should a nasal pillow mask not be suitable for you, our Full-Face Mask Comparison is intended to help you to find the right model for you.

  • Price
  • Customer Rating
  • Especially Suitable for
  • Comfort
  • Freedom of Movement
  • Ease of Use
  • Cleaning
  • Volume
  • Therapeutic Pressure Range (in cm H2O)
  • Material of the Mask Cushion
  • Replacement Parts/ Accessories Available
  • Distinguishing Features
    Advantages
  • Best Quality
    product image
    F&P Brevida
    • $134.93
    • 4.0 of 5 stars (1)
    • Bearded Individuals, Spectacle Wearers, Claustrophobic Individuals
    • Very High
    • Very High
    • Very High
    • Very Simple
    • Very Quiet (17,5 dBa)
    • 4-25
    • Silicone
    • Yes
    • Winner of the “Reddot Design Award 2017” and the “HME Business 2017 New Product Award” improved mask cushion and headgear in comparison to the predecessor F&P Pilairo Q
    • Go to Product
    • $148.43
    • Bearded Individuals, Spectacle Wearers, Claustrophobic Individuals
    • High
    • Very High
    • Very High
    • Very Simple
    • Very Quiet (13 dBa)
    • 4-20
    • Silicone
    • Yes
    • 50% Lighter than the ResMed Swift FX Nasal Pillow Mask Also Available in a version “For Her” .
    • Go to Product
    • $134.93
    • Bearded Individuals, Spectacle Wearers, Claustrophobic Individuals
    • High
    • High
    • Very High
    • Simple
    • Very Quiet (17 dBa)
    • 4-20
    • Silicone
    • Yes
    • Also Available in version “For Her”
    • Go to Product
    • $101.18
    • Bearded Individuals, Claustrophobic Individuals
    • Average to High
    • Very High
    • Very High
    • Very Simple
    • Less Quiet (26 dBA)
    • 4-25
    • Silicone
    • Yes
    • Perfectly Suited for All Sleeping Positions
    • Go to Product
    • $132.23
    • Bearded Individuals
    • Average to High
    • Very High
    • Simple
    • Simple
    • Very Quiet (15 dBa)
    • 4-26
    • Silicone
    • Yes
    • Go to Product

Comfort:

Comfort is among the most important and, simultaneously, most complex criteria when it comes to selecting your CPAP mask. The deciding factor when determining the overall comfort of a mask is a comfortable and sufficiently snug fit. Otherwise the mask may slip while you asleep, which leads to pressurised air escaping (so-called “leakages”). Such leakages usually result in inflammation of the eyes and interfere with the overall success of therapy, as leakages complicate the process of maintaining positive airway pressure inside the airways. Leakages, therefore, require an increase in applied pressure in order to achieve the same result that would be achieved without unwanted air leakages. However, such an increase in pressure is not always possible and also brings additional unpleasant side effects with it, such as increased drying out of the mucous membranes. Thus, to prevent leakages, several masks include a mask cushion with Rollfit, Auto Seal or air spring technology. This ensures that the mask cushion seals evenly against the face in all possible sleeping positions, whereby the risk of escaping air can be significantly reduced. Moreover, masks with a forehead support generally provide a better and more stable fit, and are therefore less prone to leakages. An integrated forehead support can also be used to achieve better pressure distribution and, thus, help to increase comfort. However, especially bulky forehead supports are not suitable for everyone, as they can elicit feelings of claustrophobia. Especially for claustrophobic individuals but also for the purpose of reading or watching television (especially with glasses), we therefore generally recommend the alternative of masks without forehead support. Thanks to their minimalistic design, these masks facilitate a clear field of vision, and also make minimal contact with the face, which reduces the risk of pressure marks. However, because of their minimalist design, masks without a forehead support are generally less stable than masks with an integrated forehead support. Additional factors – such as light weight, a particularly soft mask cushion, and/or a headband – ensure a high level of comfort while wearing a mask. Furthermore, the comfort of any mask can be further increased through the use of oxyhero basic headgear strap covers . The headgear strap covers can be easily be attached to the headgear of the mask by means of the integrated Velcro fastener, and thereby provide a soft fleece layer between the face and the headgear.

Freedom of Movement:

If you frequently change your position while sleeping, then freedom of movement is an important criterion when it comes to selecting a suitable CPAP mask. In the case of masks with an elbow joint that has a 360° range of movement, increased freedom of movement is independent of the type of mask you choose. This makes it possible to move during sleep without the mask slipping due to tugging on the tube/hose. This effect can be further enhanced by attaching the tube/hose to the top of the mask. In this configuration, the tugging on the tube/hose is maximally reduced and the freedom of movement is minimally restricted. In addition to the tube/hose connection and the attachment of the tube/hose to the mask, a tube/hose suspension system is also crucial for a high degree of freedom of movement. For example, this is how  oxyhero basic or  oxyhero select hose/tube suspension system  ensures that the tube/hose is suspended above the head and routed to the mask from above. This not only greatly reduces the tugging on the tube/hose on the mask, but also prevents the tube/hose from becoming entangled or prevents you from lying on it while asleep.

Ease of Use:

The criterion “Ease of Use” summarises all the factors that facilitate the daily use of the CPAP mask (with the exception of cleaning, which is considered separate in this comparison). Masks that are particularly easy to use, can, therefore, be put on and taken off very quickly (without having to be readjusted them to the shape of the head each time). For this purpose, the masks are, for example, equipped with headgear that has clips or magnetic fasteners, so that the mask can be put on and taken off with ease. An elbow clip with a fast-clip function also facilitates daily usage, whereby the putting on and off of the mask is done in no time. This allows for easy connecting and disconnecting of the CPAP tube/hose to and from the mask, which means that instead of having to remove the entire mask, only the tube/hose has to be unclipped in the event of any form of momentary disruption, such as a nightly visit to the bathroom.

Cleaning:

Regular cleaning is a must for all CPAP masks. As the mask must be disassembled before it can be cleaned, the main difficulty of the cleaning process lies in the dis-and-reassembling of the mask. The masks that are particularly easy to clean are, therefore, composed of very few individual parts, which helps to keep the dis-and-reassembling process as straightforward as possible. Some masks are also equipped with a so-called “Visi-Blue System”, which provides colour-coding of the most important parts to be cleaned, thereby making the dis-and-reassembling of the mask child’s play

Volume:

A frequently overlooked criterion when selecting a CPAP mask is the volume of the sound it emits . Consequently, the sounds emitted by the mask could not only disturb you but also your respective sleeping partner when trying to sleep. The deciding factor when assessing the sound volume of a mask is the so-called sound pressure level, which is indicated in a comparative chart for all of the individual masks. For the sake of comparison: A ticking wristwatch has a sound pressure level of ca. 20 dBA. Particularly quiet CPAP masks fall well below this level, and are therefore hardly noticeable. Such low-volume levels can, among other things, be achieved through integrated exhaled air distribution systems, which ensure that the exhaled air does not exit the mask as a concentrated spurt but is rather dispersed in gentle swirls of air. This, on the one hand, makes the CPAP mask quieter while in use, and, on the other hand, allows your seeping partner to not be disturbed by the concentrated spurts of air.

Therapeutic Pressure Range:

Each CPAP mask has a specific therapeutic pressure range in which it can be used. Depending on the level of pressure that you require for the therapy of your sleep apnoea, it is important to ensure that the mask that you choose is designed to meet this specific pressure range.

Material of the Mask Cushion:

Based on the material of the cushion, CPAP masks can be divided into two major categories: Masks with gel cushioning and masks with silicone cushioning. This distinction is especially relevant in the case of an intolerance or allergy to one of these materials. The experiences of previous customers indicate that masks with a gel cushioning are especially comfortable to wear. Please refer to the table provided to determine which mask consists of your desired material.

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