For the newly diagnosed, there’s so much to figure out when starting CPAP therapy. What mask should I get? What type of machine do I need? To help make it easier to pick out your first CPAP system, we’ve created a CPAP Starter Pack designed to simplify things to 3 total steps.
We’ve also partnered with doctors nationwide who have hand-picked a selection of products. Simply search for your doctor, and if they’re found you can easily and quickly purchase their recommended products. If your doctor has not submitted their recommended products, no worries, you can choose from CPAP.com recommended products.
How Does the CPAP Starter Pack Work?
Instead of shopping our site, comparing features and products of all the different products we have here, you’ll be presented with a few, curated options. You will choose from popular, well-liked machines with a good track record and highly reviewed by other customers. Once you’ve made your selection, you’ll choose from a few popular masks.
You’ll have the option between full face, nasal, or nasal pillow masks, and just like our machines, these masks will be highly rated and well-liked among our customers. In addition, the masks will come with multiple sizes included to take the guesswork out of sizing and includes free returns within 30 days.
If your doctor is in our system, chances are, they’ve already hand-selected a bundle for you, and all you’ll have to do is pick the mask that best matches your sleeping style and you’ll be done.
It’s our hope that this makes it easier for you, as you try to get the right mask and machine as you begin your therapy.
Before getting into greater detail about purchasing your first CPAP machine and CPAP mask, it’s important to know what these things are and why you need them. We’ll go over these points in the next section.
What’s a CPAP Machine? What’s a CPAP Mask?
When starting CPAP therapy, you’re going to need 2 things: a CPAP mask and a CPAP machine. A CPAP machine is a device that gently pressurizes the outside air and blows it into your airway. The increased air pressure works like a splint, opening the airway and allowing air to reach the lungs.
When this happens, blood oxygen levels rise, and it begins to counteract the impacts Sleep Apnea has on the heart and rest of your body. The CPAP machine creates the pressure, but you need a mask to ensure the air remains pressurized as it enters your airway. The mask will cover your nose, mouth or seal at the base of the nostrils.
There are three different types of CPAP machines, and there are three different styles of CPAP masks. Which one is right for you will depend a lot on the type of prescription you have. In the CPAP family, there are CPAP machines, APAP machines, and BiLevel Machines. The differences between the three machines involve how the machines choose the right pressure.
CPAP machines are programmed to only provide one pressure, and cannot automatically adjust to changes in breathing patterns. APAP machines, on the other hand, can. APAP machines evaluate a person’s breathing on a breath-by-breath basis and change based on the needs of each person. BiPAP machines blow at two distinctly different pressures, a lighter pressure for exhalation and a stronger pressure for inhalation. Which machine is right for you will depend on what you’ve been prescribed by your doctor.
Masks are available in full face, nasal, and nasal pillow varieties. A full face mask covers your nose and mouth, while a nasal mask covers the nose. Nasal pillows are a little bit different, in that they seal around the base of each nostril. Which one is right for you will depend on how you breathe during sleep. If you breathe through your mouth, you’ll likely want to go with a full face mask or be prepared to use a chin strap with the other options. If you breathe through the nose, you can go with a nasal mask or a nasal pillow mask.
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.