Beards provide extra insulation, but when it comes to accommodating a CPAP mask, they often get in the way and make it hard to get a good seal.
What’s a bearded guy to do?
The best solution to get a reliable seal with a beard is to use a nasal mask or a nasal pillow mask, as these don’t require a seal around the mouth. However, it’s still entirely possible that your plush facial hair will be comfortable in a full face mask. After all, there are no wrong answers in CPAP therapy as long as it’s helping you get the most out of your sleep apnea therapy.
When choosing a new mask, comfort is essential, but so are noise and price—and we’ve got you covered on all fronts. So sit back, stroke your mustache, and let’s dive into our review of the best CPAP masks for facial hair!
The Best CPAP Masks for Beards in 2023
- Editor’s Pick: AirFit™ P10 Nasal Pillow Mask
- Customer’s Choice: DreamWear Nasal CPAP Mask With Headgear
- Best Value: SleepWeaver Advance Nasal CPAP Mask
- Best Full Face Mask: Amara View Full Face CPAP Mask
Editor’s Pick: AirFit™ P10 Nasal Pillow Mask
|Minimal Facial Contact||Not Great for High Pressure Settings|
|No/Few Red Marks||No Swiveling Hose Connection|
|Super Quiet||Headgear Isn’t Incredibly Durable|
|Short Tube Reduces Tube Drag||Nasal Pillows Can Irritate Nostrils|
The AirFit™ P10 Nasal Pillow Mask is one of our best-selling masks, and it’s easy to see why. It has a small footprint and makes little noise. The manufacturer even states that it only generates 21 decibels, which is considered softer than whisper-quiet. It will create fewer disturbances for you, and there’s also a good chance it will be quieter than your CPAP machine.
The P10 is a very reliable and comfortable mask, one that can serve you well through the winter and beyond. The open field of vision is also a nice touch, as you can read, watch TV, or browse the internet on your phone while getting ready for bed. Its design and lightweight construction make it an ideal choice for anyone with a beard or mustache.
|Notable Specs||Minimalistic Headgear, Minimal Facial Contact, Easy to Adjust, Easy to Clean|
|Lifestyle Needs||Good for Claustrophobia, Reading/Watching T.V. Before Bed, Wearing Glasses|
|Sleeping Position||Great for Most Sleeping Positions, Works Well for Active and Stomach Sleepers|
Minimalist and Comfortable—5 Stars: “Let’s face it: A mask could probably never be small or thin enough. In fact, I’d wish it could be tubeless! 🙂 This pillow mask setup, however, is pretty comfortable and fairly unobtrusive. It stays on whether I’m sleeping on my back or on my side, as long as I don’t lie on the tube. The whole thing is very flexible and lightweight. When I sleep on my back I move the tube straight down over my chest, and as little as a bed sheet is enough to hold it in place and prevent it from drooping down to the side. I’ve looked at other masks but have decided to stick with this one for nightly use. The strap and pillows are comfortable. I might consider a backup face mask for when I have a cold and the sniffles, as the pillow mask does not work great in those scenarios.” Verified Purchase 04/26/2023
Customer’s Choice: DreamWear Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear
|Top-of-Head Hose Mount||More Difficult to Clean|
|360° Tube Swivel||May Leak at Higher Pressures|
|Comfortable Nasal Cradle||Lacks Some Stability/Security|
|Wide-Open Sightline||Louder Near the Ears|
The lack of bulk near the front makes the DreamWear Nasal CPAP Mask ideal for anyone who has a beard or mustache, and you may not even need to trim your facial hair to get this mask to work. Airflow from a CPAP machine enters at the top of the head and flows through the frame, reducing the number of extra tubes needed and making the mask simple to clean and operate.
The DreamWear Nasal Fit Pack comes with cushions in all three sizes, so you can try each one to find the version that works the best for you. If you try it and you can’t get a good seal, I would encourage you to try cutting a little bit of hair from your upper lip, and then try it again. If it doesn’t work, remember that all masks sold by CPAP.com are backed by our 30-day fit guarantee; you can try as many masks as you need in order to find the right one! Just reach out to our customer service team within 30 days of your shipping date, and we’ll refund you (minus shipping) and help you pick a new mask if you need help choosing!
|Notable Specs||Minimal Facial Contact, Top-of-Head Hose Mount, 360° Swivel, Hollow Frame|
|Lifestyle Needs||Good for Claustrophobia, Reading/Watching T.V. Before Bed, Wearing Glasses|
|Sleeping Position||Great for Most Sleeping Positions, Especially Active Sleepers|
Best One Yet—5 Stars: “I’ve been wearing CPAP for over 10 years and have tried many masks. I thought I was getting a new mask with the nasal pillows that individually stick up your nose on either side. When I saw the design, I really thought that it was going to leak air like crazy, but thought I’d try it before sending it back. Well, I was very surprised. No leaking. Extremely comfortable, and I slept better than ever before. Almost like trying CPAP for the first time. I usually sleep on my side and it didn’t move or leak. Just amazing. I ordered another one for my lake home so I don’t have to be without it there. Hats off to the designer, I never would have thought that this design wouldn’t leak air, but it does not! Extremely happy!!” Verified Purchase 04/09/2021
Best Value: SleepWeaver Advance Nasal CPAP Mask
|Super Soft Frame||Cloth Masks Aren’t for Everyone|
|Secure Headgear||May Trigger Claustrophobic Feelings|
|Reduced Skin Irritation||No Swiveling Hose Connection|
|Comfortable for Side Sleepers||Tricky to Get a Good Seal|
Lots of CPAP users can’t tolerate the feeling of silicone or don’t want to deal with a bulky mask. Priced at around $59, the SleepWeaver Advance Nasal CPAP Mask uses an all-cloth design to create a seal that’s more comfortable than some of the models that use silicone. It’s designed to be one of the lightest CPAP masks and uses advanced technology to allow the cushion to be made entirely out of cloth.
If your budget is keeping you from getting a mask that’s around $100, the SleepWeaver may be a good mask for you to go with, because of its minimal design and how gentle it is on skin.
|Notable Specs||Cloth Construction, Very Lightweight, Soft Touch|
|Lifestyle Needs||Good for Sensitive Skin, Reduced Red Marks/Sore Spots, Good for Silicone Allergies|
|Sleeping Position||Great for Back Sleepers, Good for Side Sleepers, Not Ideal for Stomach or Active Sleepers|
Best One For Me—5 Stars: “The cloth masks are the only ones I can sleep with because of my chronic sinus pain and pain from masks touching my cheekbones. I put a light washcloth for padding underneath the top strap that touches the upper part of my forehead/head, as I’m also sensitive to the pressure of that top strap. That strap does, however, work well at keeping the mask in place- especially because I use a heavier climate-line hose. It took me a long time to find a mask that works well for me. This is the one.” Verified Purchase 10/02/2020
A Full Mask for a Full Beard: Amara View Full Face CPAP Mask
|Wide Open Sightline||Leaky at Higher Pressures|
|Affordable||Can Irritate the Tip of the Nose|
|Flexible Short Tube||Exhalation Vents Point Straight Out|
|Magnetic Headgear Clips|
If you prefer or need a full face CPAP mask, then look no further than the Amara View Full Face CPAP Mask. This Respironics mask is a less invasive version of a traditional full face mask design and is constructed to seal under your nose and around your mouth, eliminating the typical forehead support. This also makes the Amara View ideal to either read a book or catch the highlights from the game while getting ready for bed.
Priced under $100, this mask is reasonably priced, so if you prefer a full face mask that’s equipped with comfort for your facial hair, this one might be the one for you.
|Notable Specs||Minimal Contact Full Face Design, Flexible Short Tube, Adjustable Crown Strap, Magnetic Headgear Clips|
|Lifestyle Needs||Good for Claustrophobia, Reading/Watching T.V. Before Bed, Wearing Glasses, Mouth Breathing|
|Sleeping Position||Great for Back Sleepers, Good for Side and Active Sleepers, Not Ideal for Stomach Sleepers|
Finally, The Right Mask—5 Stars: “Was struggling with the Airfit F20. Bought a liner for it, which helped, but I am claustrophobic and just could not get used to it covering my entire nose. Decided to try this Amara full face and it has been a fantastic improvement. It seals well and is comfortable to wear and does not bother me like the other did. The air delivery just being to your mouth and nose pretty much directly is not even noticeable, you cannot feel it once the mask is on and sealed. This alone makes for better sleep.” Verified Purchase 01/28/2023
How to Shop for a CPAP Mask That’s Good for Beards
Even if none of our picks stood out to you today, we want you armed with the knowledge you need to make the best mask selection, so below are some tips for finding the best CPAP mask for facial hair!
Consider Your Breathing Style
The single most important factor to consider when choosing a mask, regardless of any other needs you might have, is how you breathe. If you have frequent congestion, a deviated septum, or generally have difficulty breathing through your nose, you’ll either need a full face mask or a minimal contact nasal or nasal pillow mask combined with a chinstrap to support your jaw. The mouth naturally falls open for a large number of people living with sleep apnea, and can lead to ineffective therapy and dry mouth in the morning, so chinstraps are a great way to gently support the jaw to prevent this from happening.
If you can reliably breathe through just your nose, then any mask style will work for you! Given that, we then recommend finding the mask that makes the least amount of contact with your face.
Consider Facial Touchpoints
Now that you’re thinking about your breathing style, the first masks you should consider afterward are those that make the least contact with your face. Ideally, this means a minimal contact nasal cradle or nasal pillow mask such as the DreamWear Nasal Mask or AirFit P10. Other masks in this style include the AirFit N30 and Fisher & Paykel Evora Nasal, though the Swift FX also receives its fair share of praise. For more unique options that don’t rely on headgear at all, consider the TAP PAP Nasal Pillow and Bleep Sleep Dreamport!
If you’re looking for full face masks that are good for beards, we recommend designs that rest under the nose rather than covering it entirely, which is why we recommend the Amara View in our list above. Other masks in this style include the AirFit F30 and F&P Evora Full Face Mask. That said, the AirFit F20 and AirTouch F20 both have favorable reviews from those with facial hair and enjoy the unique benefit of interchangeable silicone and memory foam cushions.
Consider Your Preferred Sleeping Positions
Lastly, you’ll want to think about your sleeping position. If you’re mainly a back sleeper, you have a world of choice since virtually no mask will pose an issue in this sleeping position! Side sleepers can use most nasal and nasal pillow masks, but we’d caution you to avoid nasal masks with bulky forehead supports; ideally, the AirFit P30i and AirFit N30i are good places to start for side, stomach, and active sleepers. If you’re in need of a full face mask as a side sleeper, the AirFit F30i is a great place to start.
The same can be said for stomach and active sleepers, though you’ll especially want to focus on designs where your tubing connects above your head rather than in front of your face. These designs offer great mobility and reduce bulk in front of the face for stomach sleepers.
Pro Tips for Getting the Best CPAP Therapy With a Beard
Here’s a brief list of steps and ideas that may help you find the right fit without sacrificing your glorious beard or styled stache:
- Trim Your Beard/Mustache: Okay, it’s not the most fun tip, but we aren’t asking you to shave your beard; just keep it tidy if you can! Rogue hairs disrupt your seal and the longer they are, the more likely it is your seal with struggle to stay secure.
- Use a Mask Liner: A mask liner is simply a piece of cloth that goes between your face and mask cushion. Mask liners are great for sealing leaky masks and providing greater comfort while limiting or eliminating skin irritation. They’re also incredibly helpful in bridging the gaps in your seal if you’re fond of your facial hair.
- Go to Bed Fresh-Faced: The importance of cleaning your CPAP equipment cannot be overstated, but a clean mask can only seal so well to an oily face or beard. Washing your face before bed gives your cushion a better chance of effectively sealing for more consistent and comfortable therapy.
- Don’t Be Afraid of Chinstraps: Chinstraps are a helpful tool for people whose mouths often fall open during therapy. Since the length of your beard can limit your mask options, a nasal mask and chinstrap combo can provide effective therapy for people who might otherwise use a full face mask. They can also drastically reduce symptoms like CPAP dryness in the mouth and throat!
Whether you need a quiet mask, are on a budget, or want to go with a customer favorite, you don’t need to sacrifice your facial hair in order to find a beard-friendly CPAP mask to get the most out of your CPAP therapy.
Don’t forget to look for the most minimal option that will work for you first, and move up to larger, more secure designs as needed. If you’re growing in a beard or don’t want to try a full face mask, remember to get a chinstrap as you switch to a nasal or nasal pillow version for the most effective therapy.
If all else fails, more unique options like the TAP PAP or Bleep Sleep Dreamport may be worth exploring!
Related Reading: How to Choose The Best CPAP Chinstrap For You!