CPAP Nose Pillow or CPAP Mask?

CPAP Full Face Mask vs Nasal Pillows

At times, sleep apnea can be quite irritating. But with the right equipment, it doesn’t have to be. A CPAP nose pillow is the solution that many people have been looking for. A nasal pillow is basically a special type of mask, and its specifically made for use with a CPAP machine, which is also known as a continuous positive airway pressure machine.

Since sleep apnea is normally treated with a CPAP machine, the majority of individuals who have the condition also have a CPAP machine. In most cases, a nasal pillow is held over the nose with headgear, and the special headgear wraps around the back of the head.

CPAP Full Face Mask vs Nasal Pillows 1

The main difference between a CPAP nasal pillow and a regular CPAP mask is the fact that a nose pillow covers much less of a persons face. This is why it’s preferred by many people. A CPAP nose pillow has plastic inserts which look like headphones. These inserts slip into the nostrils. The amount of pressure that each individual person needs to keep their airway open can be delivered with a CPAP nose pillow.

Who Will Benefit From Using A CPAP Nasal Pillow?

For many people, a nasal pillow will work flawlessly. A lot of people are claustrophobic and they cannot wear the traditional, full-face CPAP mask. Many people cannot sleep with a mask that blocks their eyes. A nasal pillow doesn’t obstruct much of your vision. This is why it’s preferred by people who want to be able to see before they go to sleep.

CPAP Full Face Mask vs Nasal Pillows 2

The direct contact between a nasal pillow and a persons face is minimal. Since many men have a large moustache or beard, a traditional CPAP mask might not seal properly over their face. In these situations, an individual might have to make their CPAP mask so tight that it’s very uncomfortable.

Since CPAP nose pillows apply pressure directly through the nostrils, there should never be any uncomfortable situations. Some people also don’t like waking up with marks on their face caused by straps or the interface of a traditional CPAP mask. In some cases, a person might just want to have a few different CPAP masks that they can switch around.

Potential Problems

Although they work fabulously for most people, CPAP nasal pillows will not work for everyone. Some people do not find nasal pillows comfortable. There are also others that might have a reaction to nasal pillows. The top reason why people have problems with CPAP nasal pillows is that the pillows don’t fit.

Benefits of CPAP Nose Pillows

Since they’re small and lightweight, nasal pillows are ideal for most people. Nasal pillows are excellent for people with moles near their nose or a moustache, which can hinder a traditional mask. A CPAP nose pillow provides a clear line of sight. Thus, wearing the pillow is the best option if you like watching TV or reading while in bed. Since there is less surface to seal, a CPAP nasal pillow provides a tighter, comfortable seal.

The smaller design of CPAP nose pillows helps to ease claustrophobia. In most cases, a nasal pillow is much more comfortable than a traditional CPAP mask. The pillows are especially comfortable for people who have a smaller face. Anyone thinking of buying a CPAP nose pillow must be a nose breather.

The top benefits of using a nasal pillow include:

  • When compared with other masks, the chance of leaks is minimal
  • Easier to obtain the perfect seal
  • Excellent for CPAP pressures of 10cmH20 or lower
  • Easy to put on and remove
  • Come in three sizes
  • Works best for the active sleeper

Find the Best CPAP Nasal Pillow

Below are some things to keep in mind when choosing a CPAP nasal pillow.

  • By Price

Cost is usually a concern for most people when they want to buy CPAP nasal pillows. Thus, you should have a budget in mind before starting to shop. However, choosing a CPAP pillow based only on price is not recommended. Price will only help you identify the best CPAP nose pillow you can afford.

  • By Manufacturer

There are three main manufacturers that make CPAP nasal pillows. These brands by these manufacturers are Phillips Respironics, Fisher and Paykel and Resmed. These three manufacturers basically dominate the entire market. If you choose a CPAP pillow based on manufacturer, we recommend the order below:

  1. Fisher and Paykel
  2. Resmed
  3. Phillips Respironics

Check our reviews of the best CPAP nasal pillows here.

Tips for Choosing a CPAP Nose Pillow

It’s common for CPAP nasal pillows to be covered by health insurance companies. Inquire from your specific insurer whether CPAP pillows are covered. This will ensure you do not pay extra money. Many people don’t inquire and hence end up paying for the pillows from their pocket.

After finding out whether your insurance will cover the CPAP nasal mask, look for a mask that will work best for you. This is certainly challenging because there are many different nasal pillows and manufacturers to choose from.

Sleep Habits and Tips

Before starting to shop for the best nasal pillows, find out about your specific sleep habits. Since everyone is different, deciphering your personal sleep habits will help you to narrow down the selection. If you happen to be a side or stomach sleeper and frequently move around in your sleep, go for large nasal pillows.

CPAP Full Face Mask vs Nasal Pillows 3

With a large nasal pillow, it will be easier to toss and turn at night. During sleep, a large nasal pillow makes changing positions fairly easy. A large CPAP nose pillow provides effective and flexible support. If you are a side sleeper and maintain the position for many hours, go with a small nasal pillow. An added benefit of a small nasal pillow is it works great when travelling.

There are several factors that will help determine the best nasal pillow for you. There are CPAP nose pillows specifically made for people with claustrophobia. Whether you have facial hair, a goatee, moustache or beard should also help you determine the CPAP nasal pillow to go for.

Another factor to consider is whether or not you’re an active sleeper. If you are, go for a mask that will stay on your face while you move around during your sleep. If you like to watch television or read before sleep, choose a mask that allows you to engage in these activities. Some people simply want a small mask. If that is all that matters to you, then other factors will not matter much.

Something else to consider is whether or not you have allergies. There are masks specifically made to help people who suffer from allergies. It’s also important to consider whether or not you have weak hands. Some CPAP nose pillows are hard to put on and take off. People with arthritis might want to go for smaller pillows.

If you have a wide, big and round face, then many nasal pillows might not fit your face very well. To choose the best CPAP nose pillows, all factors should be considered. However, without actually trying and testing them first, purchasing CPAP nasal pillows will always be a gamble.

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