In case you hadn’t heard, ResMed has released the AirFit N30i Nasal CPAP Mask, and understandably the biggest question that the CPAP community wants answering is: “How does it stack up against the DreamWear?” With the two masks looking and working so similar, it’s an expected comparison, and one that we’d like to weigh in on. We reviewed the DreamWear extensively already in our comparisons of the top masks, so this article will serve as a ResMed AirFit N30i review, with a look at how it scores in each category comparatively.
Choosing a CPAP mask can already be a tough task between masks that are vastly different, so how can users decide between two that are so similar in design? We’re here to help, and with our mask grading process, like the one used when we compared the best CPAP masks, we will try to show where The N30i may have a leg up on the DreamWear or vice versa.
ResMed AirFit N30i vs Respironics DreamWear
Because these masks are so similar, let’s first discuss some of the basic traits that these masks share. Both are CPAP nasal masks, meaning they cover the nostrils to provide therapy air, and they both do so by using a nasal cradle style cushion. The cradle cushion “cradles” the bottom of the nose, as opposed to more traditional nasal masks that covered part or all of the entire nose.
Ease of Use(Minimal Adjustments): 8
The N30i matches the DreamWear in this category, with the only adjustment required done via the velcro tabs on the headgear which allow to tighten or loosen the mask as needed. The mask is easily put on by loosening the headgear then slipping the mask over the face, then tightening the headgear appropriately before use. DreamWear’s Score: 8
Ease of Maintenance (Minimal Pieces): 7
With just four main parts (cushion, frame, headgear, elbow), the N30i is easy to use and maintain. Like the Dreamwear, though, the hollow frame does present a somewhat more challenging process to clean. There is one area where the N30i does better in this category, and that’s the detachable elbow. While both masks have elbows that detach, the N30i uses a clicking tab system which is easier to use than the DreamWear’s elbow which requires insertion into the frame. DreamWear’s Score: 6
Quiet Operation (Exhalation Diffusion): 8
ResMed states that the N30i has a sound level rating of 24 decibels, making it one of the quietest masks available. With venting at both the nose cushion and at the elbow on top, it helps to disperse exhaled air for a quieter experience. DreamWear’s Score: 8
Active Sleeper Friendly (Rotating Elbow, Short Tube): 10
With both masks having the hose connection at the top of the frame, paired with hollow frames that allow for sleeping in almost any position, both the DreamWear and N30i offer a top-notch experience for active sleepers. DreamWear’s Score: 10
Field of Vision Obstruction: 10
Another benefit of the hollow frame design is the mask can be routed down the sides of the face, as opposed to other masks which require stabilization pieces that obstruct the user’s eyesight. The N30i, along with the DreamWear, utilize the unique design to avoid any part of the mask touching or interfering with the area around the eyes, which allows for an improved bedtime experience including watching TV, using electronics, or reading a book. DreamWear’s Score: 10
Cushion Comfort and Design: 8
As mentioned earlier in the article, the N30i is a nasal cradle cushion, meaning that it helps increase comfort and reduce irritation by cradling the bottom of the nose, and has two slots for the cushion to seal with both nostrils. This design keeps the touchpoints minimal and the overall design lightweight and user-friendly. DreamWear’s Score: 8
Headgear Cofmort and Design: 10
With the AirFit N30i using the frame as the major component of the mask, the headgear becomes less involved and instrumental to the fit and comfort. The headgear only tightens and loosens the mask on the face using the two velcro connections on either side of the back of the frame, making adjustments minimal and easy to accomplish. This also means the headgear is a single size, making ordering and replacement even easier. DreamWear’s Score: 10
Though one of the higher-priced nasal masks, the price point (which is the same as the DreamWear) comes in around the middle of the pack for masks overall when you consider the higher priced full face masks. Like so many other items, you get what you pay for, and that is true of this mask which delivers several innovative improvements over other nasal mask offerings. DreamWear Score: 8
Uniqueness (Offers Something Other Masks Don’t): 10
This category is one where the N30i wins, and in fact, has resulted in a score change for the DreamWear from its original review. The N30i frame, unlike the DreamWear, has integrated notching which allows for expansion of the frame material. This feature is what allows ResMed to offer just two frame sizes: Standard (which fits most users) and Small (for those with smaller faces and features), while the DreamWear has a traditional three size approach (small, medium, and large). So while both frames are the very unique hollow design, the N30i edges out the DreamWear with its additional innovation. DreamWear’s Score (UPDATED): 9
Sizing Variety (Has Different Sizes Available): 9
As mentioned in the section above, the AirFit N30i nasal mask is available in two frame sizes: small and standard. In addition, there are four cushion sizes: small, small wide, medium, and wide. The four cushion sizes match the number found on the DreamWear. DreamWear’s Score: 9
Final Score: 88 / 100 (vs. DreamWear’s 86/100)
Although the N30i was compared directly to the DreamWear Nasal mask in this review, another factor to consider is that the DreamWear is now a family of masks, including the nasal, nasal pillow, and full face versions. With that, each mask has their own benefits and drawbacks, but a great feature of the DreamWear masks is that you can easily switch between the different versions if one doesn’t work or another is needed for varying circumstances.
Both masks are currently compatible with any machine, with the exception of the ResMed Airmini Travel CPAP Machine which has unique mask offerings. That being said, ResMed could release a way for the N30i to work with the Airmini, which would give it another leg up on the DreamWear.
So, Which Is The Winner? Which is Better for You?
The truth is, it will depend on what you’re looking for. The N30i is still new to the CPAP world, and because of that, the initial consensus from users is still being formed. However, early indications are that the mask is being well received, and deserves the scores given in this review. The DreamWear, meanwhile, is an established mainstay in the CPAP industry and has maintained rave reviews while adding other versions to its line.
So, if you want a newer mask that has great potential and stacks up, and based on score, beats the DreamWear nasal mask head-to-head, then try out the N30i. If you are looking for some versatility to switch to other mask types with just the change of a few mask parts, then go for the DreamWear.
The good news is, both masks, like all masks on CPAP.com, feature free 30-day return insurance, so you can try them out in confidence that if it doesn’t work out, it can be returned for a refund or exchange during that trial period.
While the masks end up with very similar scores, the N30i slightly edges out the DreamWear, making it worth a try if you are looking for a new, innovative nasal mask that is highly rated for active sleepers.
Have you tried the DreamWear or N30i? What did you think about it? Would you recommend one over the other? Let us know in the comments!
We hope this article has helped you learn more about the N30i, but if you need more help or information, we’re here to help! Give us a call at 1-800-356-5221.
Chris has been involved in the CPAP world since 2012 and has immersed himself in learning about Sleep Apnea and the CPAP options available for users. Chris has become knowledgeable about machines, masks, and accessories and keeps up to date with new, innovative products.