A CPAP mask is a medical apparatus that’s used for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy. They come in different sizes, shapes, and styles for consumers to choose from. Due to the number of choices, however, people are having a hard time choosing which mask is the “best” mask for them. Well, what we CAN say is that there isn’t a single mask out there that’s good for everyone. That said, we’re here to show you what you need to know when choosing CPAP masks for side sleepers and the criteria you need to have before buying.

What are the different types of CPAP masks?

Well, there are 3 different types to choose from: Nasal pillows, nasal masks, and full face masks. There are many things to consider before choosing one of these 3, so let’s run down their pros and cons.

Nasal pillow

CPAP Mask For Side Sleepers

This type of mask has two nibs that go directly into your nostrils.

  • Pros
    • Minimalistic design that’s ideal for patients with claustrophobia or have issues with material touching their face.
    • Often recommended for people with glasses.
    • Allows for a more direct airflow into the nasal passage
    • Can be used by active sleepers who tend to move a lot during sleep.
    • Also recommended for people with large amounts of facial hair as less leakage will occur
  • Cons
    • Direct high-pressure settings can dry the nose and cause nosebleeds.
    • Mouth-breathers would not be able to use it properly since the mask only targets the nose.

Nasal mask

This type has a small triangular shape that goes over your nose instead of inside the nostrils.

  • Pros
    • It provides a more natural airflow with a less-direct pressure.
    • Has a suction that helps with active sleepers.
    • It can be used for higher pressure settings as opposed to the nasal pillows.
  • Cons
    • Mouth-breathers would need a chin strap to use the mask.
    • Some users report irritation caused by the pressure of the mask resting on their nose bridge.
    • Also not advisable for people who have difficulty breathing through their noses.

Full Face Mask

Like the name implies, this type of mask covers both your nose and your mouth.

  • Pros
    • Highly recommended for mouth-breathers who don’t want to use a chin strap.
    • Also advised for people who often experience colds and allergies.
    • Is excellent for high-pressure use since it makes the pressure more tolerable due to its wide surface.
    • Mostly for supine sleepers, but active sleepers can use it as well.
  • Cons
    • Higher chance of air leaking out due to its large surface area.
    • Leakage above the mask causes eye irritation and dryness.
    • Not for most claustrophobic users.
    • Stomach sleepers will have problems with the bulkiness of the mask

What else do I need to know?

The simple things to look for would be size, fit, and comfort. And from what we’ve researched, a full face mask is still more adaptable as compared to the other 2 masks, that’s why we’ve made a list of our top 3 CPAP mask for side sleepers so you’ll know how to choose.

Mirage Quattro Full Face System


This full face mask system has a Proven Mirage™ dual-wall cushion and a Spring Air™ technology which is designed for active sleepers. It has a MicroFit dial that allows for easy adjustment of the forehead support. It’s also very easy to wear with the headgear clips and slots that’s on the system. It comes in four sizes spanning from extra small, small, medium, and large.

The MicroFit dial can be adjusted even while you’re using the mask so you can get the proper feel using the most comfortable position. The mask follows the contours of your face and is soft which makes it easy to adjust to any face size. Since it has a forehead support, side sleepers will be able to use it without having to worry about any dislodging from the face.

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AirFit F10 Full Face System


The AirFit 10 uses lightweight materials so you wouldn’t have any issues wearing it to sleep. It has a headgear type support that removes the forehead strap that other people get irritated about. It also features the Spring Air™ technology which helps the unit remain attached on your face with a better seal. The headgear is made with a SoftEdge™ technology which allows you to move freely in it as if it wasn’t there.

Unlike other masks, the AirFit 10 uses an elbow vent which prevents the user from spewing the air towards themselves or their bed partners. The removal of the forehead support also allows for a better field of vision which makes it easier to read or watch TV before bed.

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Philips Respironics DreamWear


This Nasal mask/pillow is designed to feel like it’s not even there. It’s a headgear type mask that uses minimal contact and stays under-the-nose with a cushion that prevents discomfort or irritation of the nostrils. The hose goes to the top of the head so people who twist and turn would have no problem at all with their hoses getting tangled up. This makes it easier to use for both side sleepers and abdomen sleepers.

This mask provides exceptional comfort and does not limit your field of vision. The only drawback is that mouth-breathers would have a hard time using it but Respironics has its own adaptable chinstrap that they can use with it. This is an excellent tool for sleepers who suffer with sleep apnea.

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With the number of models and manufacturers in the market today, finding a CPAP mask for side sleepers is not a daunting task. Just knowing the details of what you’re buying is enough to help you build your decision on which mask type to purchase. Our recommendations are here to show you some of the products that we think are highly effective for side-sleeping use. If you have any concerns, you can contact your physician for better support in choosing a mask for you.

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