Please note that our Brown Deer store has CLOSED as of June 1st, 2018.


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Fitting Your CPAP Mask

There are a number of manufacturers making many mask designs. You can visit our online product gallery to preview all of the styles available in our retail stores. Because face shapes and preferences differ so much between positive airway pressure (PAP) device users, the multitude of choices is a good thing. It does, however, present you with a challenge – to find the right mask. Keep in mind that different people prefer different masks, and while there are some features that appeal to the majority of people, one mask isn't going to meet everyone's needs.


This seems obvious, but unfortunately many patients stop using their PAP device early on because they simply don't like the mask. The mask does not have to be uncomfortable, and it certainly shouldn't hurt.

It will be strange at first, just as wearing glasses or contacts is strange at first. However, you should be able to get used to it. If you cannot adapt to your mask, try these suggestions.

Ease of Fit

Your equipment technician will fit your mask initially, but once you take it apart to wash it, you'll have to fit it yourself. Make sure you understand how to fit the mask properly.

  • Ask your technician to show you how to fit the mask. Demonstrate that you can do it.
  • Ask if there are any fitting guides you can use. If your technician doesn't have any, please check the mask manufacturer’s website.


Some people find the white noise of the PAP device and mask soothing, but others need complete quiet to sleep. If you prefer silence to white noise, make sure you get a mask that won't keep you awake. Look for the following characteristics.

  • Large exhalation ports: the more space available for air to escape, the less noise the mask will make


The mask may fit you perfectly, but if it's so inconvenient that you won't use it, it's not doing you any good. Try to find a mask that:

  • Is easy to put back together when you take it apart. Remember, the first few times you put it together may be difficult.
  • Doesn't take forever to fit on a nightly basis. If you have to refit a mask every time you put it on, you'll be less likely to use it when you're so tired you can't think of doing anything besides falling asleep. Some styles feature headgear clips that you simply unclip and refasten to take the mask on and off.

Air Venting

Check the position of the exhalation port on the mask. Make sure the air flowing from that port won't disturb you or your partner. For example, if the exhalation port is placed squarely in the middle of the mask and there's no cover to divert airflow, the air can blow straight into your partner's face.

Some people feel self-conscious about using their CPAP equipment in front of others. They worry that their sleep partner may be "turned off" by the appearance of the equipment. Similarly, some people worry about taking their equipment with them on trips because they don't want to draw attention to themselves or have to answer a lot of questions about CPAP.

These concerns are normal, but CPAP is nothing to be embarrassed about. By using your CPAP regularly, you are taking control of your health and making a positive choice for your future and well-being.

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  Photos and copy provided by ResMed, Inc. used with permission.