If you struggle with allergies, congestion, a deviated septum, or if you’re sick, meet your new CPAP best friend: a full face mask.
The beauty of a full face mask is that it supplies air to both your nose and your mouth, giving you the flexibility to breathe as you please. Finding the mask that fits with your breathing needs or your preferred sleep position personalizes your therapy to make it more comfortable and effective.
Leave the chinstrap as a thing of the past, and let’s explore the best full face CPAP masks.
The Best Full Face CPAP Masks of 2021
We’ve chosen the best masks that accommodate different lifestyle needs. Here are the best full face masks of 2021:
Best Overall Full Face Mask: ResMed AirFit F20 Full Face Mask
Looking for a quiet and comfortable mask? Enter in our best overall full face mask—the ResMed AirFit F20 Full Face Mask. The AirFit F20 has a low-profile to allow you to complete your bedtime routine in the comfort of your mask. In addition to the low-profile, the AirFit F20 has no forehead support to minimize the pressure points and red marks. However, don’t worry about the lack of support—the AirFit F20 has InfinitySeal cushions to keep your seal secure.
To improve your comfort and not disturb you or your partner, the AirFit F20 has an included QuietAir Elbow to make the mask 89% quieter than previous versions.
ResMed AirFit F20 Full Face Mask Details
- Open Field of Vision
- Low-Profile Headgear With Magnetic Clips
- No Forehead Support for Fewer Red Marks
- Multiple Cushion and Headgear Sizes
- Quiet Mask Thanks to the QuietAir Elbow
- For Her Version Available
- Cross-Compatible With the AirTouch F20
Best Full Face Mask for Side Sleepers: DreamWear Full Face
Sleeping on your side is the general recommendation for anyone with sleep apnea. Side sleeping helps to naturally open your airway and can result in lower pressure settings and better AHI scores. Are you worried that if you sleep on your side your pillow will put extra pressure on your CPAP mask and cause leaks? The best solution is to select a mask that connects to your hose in an out-of-the-way place like the top of your head.
The DreamWear Full Face CPAP Mask does just that as the hose perfectly connects on the crown of your head, leaving the cushion free for you to get comfortable on your side. You’ll be able to relax in the position that works best for you without breaking your mask seal. It’s a win-win!
DreamWear Full Face Mask Details
- Open Field of Vision
- Unique Hose Connection—Great for Side Sleepers
- Minimalistic Design With Fewer Parts
- Hollow Frame With Supportive Headgear
- Magnetic Bottom Clips
- Fit Pack Includes Cushions of All Sizes: Small, Medium, Medium Wide, and Large
Best Full Face Mask for Stomach Sleepers: AirFit F30i Full Face
Sleeping on your stomach is also a sleeping position that can work in your favor if you have sleep apnea. On your stomach, gravity works with you to naturally open your airway, making it easier to breathe. Sleeping on your stomach presents its own challenges though if you have a mask that connects to the hose near your mouth.
This is where the AirFit F30i Full Face CPAP Mask can help! Like the DreamWear Full Face, the F30i also connects to your hose on top of your head, keeping the bulk away from your mouth. This makes it effortless to lay on your stomach. The F30i’s hose connection elbow swivels a full 360 degrees, so your tubing can route itself over the back of your head, preventing you from getting tangled in your hose while you sleep.
ResMed AirFit F30i Full Face Mask Details
- Get Comfortable Again: Sleep in Any Position
- 360-Degree Swivel: Freedom to Move While Sleeping
- Open Line of Sight: Wear Glasses, Read a Book, or Watch T.V.
- Whisper-Quiet: Makes Minimal Noise
- Disconnect Fast: Easy to Put On and Take Off
- Fewer Red Marks: Minimal Facial Touchpoints
- Hollow Frame Design: Easier to Clean and Maintain
Best Full Face Mask for High Pressure: ResMed Mirage Quattro
If your pressure range is on the higher side—perhaps between 15 to 20—you’ll need to have a mask that’s designed to accommodate those higher ranges. Thanks to the spring-air suspension and the dual-wall cushion design of the Mirage Quattro, you’ll keep your secure seal even at the highest pressures.
You’ll also appreciate the 24 different comfort settings of the MicroFit Dial, which is used to customize the forehead support to fit the unique curves of your face. The Mirage Quattro’s forehead support provides extra stability for the cushion, which is a feature you’ll appreciate and need at higher pressures.
Mirage Quattro Full Face Mask Details
- Provides a Quality Seal for Uninterrupted Therapy
- Adjustable MicroFit Dial Offers the Flexibility to Fit Any Face
- Dual-Wall Cushion Allows for More Movement During the Night
- Pick Your Size: Extra Small, Small, Medium, or Large
Best Full Face Mask for Women: AirFit F20 For Her
The ResMed AirFit F20 For Her is an ideal full face mask for women, and men may equally enjoy the standard AirFit F20. The AirFit F20 For Her uses a low-profile, over-the-nose cushion that won’t block your view. It also doesn’t use a traditional forehead support, so you’ll wake up with fewer red marks and facial indentations.
The AirFit F20 For Her offers smaller sizes than the traditional AirFit F20 and is designed with a woman’s facial structures in mind. The violet headgear on the F20 For Her has extra cushioning and insulation for maximum comfort.
AirFit F20 For Her Full Face Mask Details
- InfinitySeal Design Provides Maximum Visibility and Comfort
- No Forehead Support Means Fewer Facial Touchpoints
- QuietAir Elbow Helps Reduce Mask Noise
- Simple-to-Use Violet Headgear With Magnetic Clips
- Multiple Cushion and Headgear Sizes Available
- Cross-Compatible With the AirTouch F20
How to Shop for a Full Face CPAP Mask
Are you at the drawing board and ready to discover which full face CPAP mask is the one for you? Let’s break down some important questions to help you decide!
- Should the Cushion Cover Your Nose?
- Do You Want a Forehead Support?
- Plastic or Magnetic Headgear Clips?
- Do You Need an Extra Small or Extra Large Size?
Let’s dive in and answer these questions.
Should the Cushion Cover Your Nose?
In the past, full face CPAP masks used to always cover the bridge of the nose. For those of us that wear glasses, that meant we couldn’t read or watch t.v. with our mask on. Recently, major manufacturers like ResMed and Philips Respironics began producing low-profile full face cushions. These new designs seal underneath the nose while also covering the mouth, making it possible to read, wear glasses, or watch T.V. while wearing the mask.
Do You Want a Forehead Support?
Forehead supports provide extra stability for the cushion and make it possible for the cushion to bend and flex while you move without breaking the seal. The tradeoff for this extra stability is that you’ll oftentimes be giving up the wide-open view. For this reason, more and more people are leaving forehead supports behind in favor of low-profile cushions that don’t cover the bridge of the nose. However, if you’re struggling to get a quality seal, then you may need to give a mask with a forehead support a try.
Plastic or Magnetic Headgear Clips?
Magnetic headgear clips are growing in popularity, and more manufacturers are making them standard on the newer masks. Magnetic headgear clips are easy to use and make the mask on and off process a breeze. However, if you have an implanted medical device such as a pacemaker or a defibrillator, then magnets should be avoided as they can damage or destroy these devices. You will need to keep all magnets a certain distance away from these implanted medical devices. To be safe, you should choose a full face mask that uses plastic clips.
Do You Need an Extra Large or Extra Small Cushion?
Most full face masks come in sizes small, medium, and large. For some mask users, these standard sizes will not provide the perfect fit. If you need a mask in the size extra small, then look for masks created “For Her” as these masks will often have petite sizes available. The Mirage Quattro we explored earlier comes in a wide array of sizes from extra small to large. If you need a mask in the size extra large, then consider the ComfortGel Blue Full Face CPAP Mask. The ComfortGel Blue uses a patented “blue gel” cushion that’s more comfortable than a standard cushion. The Comfort Gel Blue is also one of the few masks to come in an extra large size.
Anatomy of a Full Face Mask
To better understand what you’re looking for in a full face mask, let’s explore the important features.
Mask / Frame: Oftentimes, you’ll see the frame referred to as a “mask.” The frame/mask includes the plastic or silicone parts that form the structure of the mask and can sometimes include the elbow or hose connection.
Hollow Frame: Masks like the DreamWear Full Face and the ResMed AirFit F30i use a hollow frame design that acts as a tube to allow air to pass through on the way to the cushion. The hollow frame is set up so that the hose connection elbow is mounted on top of your head, allowing for greater movement while also facilitating stomach or side sleeping.
Elbow: The elbow is the part of the mask where the hose connects to the mask. Some elbows are flexible and designed to rotate 360-degrees, but this varies from model to model. Sometimes, the elbow will connect to a “short tube” instead of your hose.
Short Tube: A short tube looks like an elephant’s trunk and is an extended tube that comes out of the front of the mask. It’s bendable, flexible, and designed to facilitate extra movement.
Cushion: A full face mask cushion covers your mouth and can either seal under your nose at the base of your nostrils or cover your entire nose. If a full-face cushion seals under your nostrils, then it’s often referred to using the terms, “low-profile” with an “open line-of-sight” or “wide-open field-of-vision.”
Forehead Pad / Forehead Support: A forehead pad or forehead support is primarily for the benefit of the cushion. The forehead pad provides stability as move around at night, keeping the cushion in one spot. While the forehead support often blocks your view, many designs include several comfort settings to make it more comfortable.
Headgear: Headgear refers to the elastic fabric or silicone that holds the frame in place while the mask rests on your head.
What’s the Difference Between Full Face Masks and Other Mask Styles?
||Full Face Masks||Nasal Masks||Nasal Pillow Masks|
|How Does It Seal?||Covers the mouth and seals either at the base of the nose or covers the entire nose using a pear-shaped cushion.||Seals either at the base of the nostrils or covers the entire nose using a cushion that’s a little larger than a strawberry.||Seals around the base of each nostril, using nasal pillows the size of blueberries.|
|What’s the Footprint?||The bulkiest of the three main mask types. Covers the largest surface area.||Smaller than a full face mask but still bulkier than a nasal pillow mask.||The smallest of the three mask types and the least bulky.|
|Best For:||High-pressure needs or anyone that can’t breathe out of their nose.||Anyone who can breathe through their nose but doesn’t want anything placed inside their nostrils. Active sleepers.||Anyone who can breathe through their nose but also wants a wide-open view.|
|May Not Work For:||Anyone looking for minimal bulk.||Those who can’t breathe through their nose.||Someone who can’t breathe through their nose or anyone needing higher pressures.|
Finding the best sleep apnea mask for your preferred sleeping position or lifestyle needs sets you up for therapy success. Your mask should work with you to provide a comfortable sleep for effective CPAP therapy.
David Repasky has been using CPAP treatment since 2017 and has first-hand experience with what it’s like to live with Sleep Apnea. He brings the patient’s perspective to the CPAP.com blog and has received formal training in CPAP machines, masks, and equipment.