It’s that time for my my recommendations update. In this buyers guide, I take into account whether there have been any significant releases since the last update. That said, if any new masks have arrived just prior to this post going public, I can only make provisional recommendations based upon how I think they will perform, as I want to have some time to see how well it performs prior to recommending it.
My aim with these posts is to give my specific recommendations – recommendations that I would have no hesitation in giving my friends, family, and clients. I am not aiming to list every mask available, but give you a breakdown of the best options in each mask category.
Finally, if you use the affiliate links, you help support the site. You will not pay extra by shopping through these affiliate links (although you might find slightly cheaper prices elsewhere).
Let’s jump in.
Best AutoSet Cpap Machines
Best Premium Auto CPAP Machine
The high end CPAP machines are, in truth, much more similar than they are different. With the current crop of premium CPAP machines, once optional extras are now standard, and each company has its version of similar features. Most offer some form of expiratory pressure relief, and in fact, this feature is now present in many middle range and cheaper CPAP machines. Most offer heated humidification and heated tubes as almost standard, and smart device data integration has been introduced on the most recent modules. Versions of the AutoRamp feature is now available on both the Respironics and Resmed models.
So, who did it better?
The choice isn’t as easy as it may seem. The main difference now between ResMed and Respironics is that the ResMed machine has an integrated humidifier, and you can remove the Respironics humidifier unit.
My recommendation is this:
If you need a humidifier, the Resmed AirSense 10 machine is the way to go. It is smaller, lighter, and better to transport when compared to the Dreamstation with humidifier.
If you don’t need the humidifier unit. I would go for the Respironics DreamStation machine. There is little difference between the two machines. But, why should you pay the extra dollars for the Resmed machine with the integrated humidifier, if you don’t need it?
Best Budget (below $500) Autoset CPAP machine
Cpap machines are expensive. Not all of us can afford the top-of-the-range Resmed CPAP Auto set machine, but we still want a machine that is reliable, quiet, and stores enough data so we know that our therapy is working OK.
Truth be told, many of the cheaper CPAP brands have similar functionality to their more expensive counterparts; without some of the bells and whistles and expensive price tag. In addition, you may be able to pick up superseded model from one of the major manufacturers for a portion of the original RRP. Most of the less expensive machines now feature.
The machines in the running include the Curasa Auto Cpap machine, the RESmart Auto CPAP, XT Auto, Luna Auto, and the IntelliPAP AutoAdjust Travel CPAP. We know there are others, but these are the most popular machines in this category. The Curasa, RESmart, and Luna Auto machines all cone with heated humidifiers as standard. Both the Curasa and Luna models have multiple options in viewing and downloading the data from the machines, including the use of an SD card, which is particularly useful. In addition, bother models have an equivalent auto on feature, and have some form of expiratory relief.
Best AutoSet Machine for Travel
The best machine for you in this category is dependent on a number of things.
Firstly, if you travel a lot, and need a second cpap machine to take with you, while leaving your main bedside Cpap machine at home. Or whether, you want a do-it-all unit that acts as a bedside unit as well as a travel companion.
In addition, whether or not you require heated humidification on your travel cpap needs to be taken into account. As this will change the recommendation for what is best for you.
However, when the humidifier is added, the Transcend machine becomes awkward to travel with. The ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet is actually the best travelling companion in this instance. Its easy to pack away, and more compact than its apparently travel-focused rivals. You just need the 12V power cord (or a sine-wave 12V to mains power inverter) for when you want to travel off the beaten track. A battery pack would also work.
Best without humidifier – Transcend Auto Travel CPAP
Best with humidifier – ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet
Nasal Pillow Masks
Best Nasal Pillow Mask
Despite the release of the new series of nasal pillow masks, the ResMed Swift FX still comes out on top. The Swift FX mask offers the most flexibility in fitting different sized heads. It isn’t the lightest nasal pillow mask about, but it makes up for that in its durability, ample adjustments, and stability.
Admittedly, the AirFit P10 has a number of advantages over the Swift FX. Notably, it is smaller, lighter, and quieter. If you are ok with replacing parts more regularly than with the Swift FX mask, the AirFit P10 is probably to better choice for you.
Best Nasal Pillow Mask – Below $100
If your budget is a little tighter, a bit of shopping around can still score you a decent Nasal Pillow mask. In fact, you will often find that some of the ‘premium’ nasal pillow masks are heavily discounted and can be picked up for a steal. However, this recommendation is meant for those masks that were actually intended for this lower end of the market.
With the introduction of Fisher and Paykel’s latest Nasal Pillow mask, the Brevida, we have changed our recommendation for this category. We believe that their newest offering has done enough to take the top spot here. The Brevida offers an extremely comfortable, stable, and quiet mask for cheaper than the more expensive models. It is a major update from the ill-fated Pilairo range, and now comes with different size nasal pillows (which was a major problem with the Pilairo). We are confident that the Brevida is worth a try for patients who prefer the freedom that a nasal pillow mask gives.
Best Nasal Mask
In the nasal mask world, there are a sleuth of options. Especially lately, there have been some significant design changes and innovations that have dramatically changed the nasal mask landscape.
Therefore, it is a particularly difficult job for me to pick a clear winner here.
The Respironics Dreamwear looks like a hybrid between a nasal pillow mask and a normal nasal mask. And it works well (for some people). The Respironics Wisp with it’s open face design is definitely in the running here, as well as ResMed’s N10 Nasal Mask and tried and true Mirage FX. The last one that deserves to be in this list (in my humble opinion) is Fisher and Paykels Eson mask range. The best choice depends more on the size and shape of your nose more than any other mask type.
Its a difficult choice. If you can get the Dream wear to seal onto your nose, and stay in place, it offers an excellent, unobtrusive mask option. However, I have found that it tends to lose its seal though the night, and disrupt my sleep. Certainly, it has been hailed as a life saver for many a cpap user, I just found it insecure. I really love the newer Wisp and N10 designs, and have found them to to be comfortable, secure, and unobtrusive to use (compared to the traditional nasal masks). The clear winner is difficult to pick. Although the ResMed option is a little lighter and the silicone a little softer, the Wisp fit pack comes with more size options which should allow you to get a better fit.
The winner – Respironics Wisp Nasal Mask.
Best Budget (below $100) Nasal Mask
There are actually quite a few masks in this price range that fit the bill, not only financially, but they are very good masks in their own right. However, I think the best value-for-money CPAP mask in this category (and perhaps overall) is the Fisher and Paykel Eson. The mask is of solid construction, super quiet (due to the disposable airflow Diffusers) and comfortable. Once you are used to it, it is simple to use, and offers the greatest adjustments for the headgear to make sure it stays in place. Stay tuned though, as Fisher and Paykel have released the Eson 2, which has kept the fundamentals of the original Epson, whilst improving on a couple of shortcomings (namely the headgear, headgear clips, and now with a reusable diffuser).
Best Full Face Mask
Once again, the title for the best Full Face cpap mask is a difficult one for me to choose. Mask manufacturers have spent considerable money on research and developemtn in this mask range too, ,oroducing lighter masks without (hopefully) compromising how the mask fits and seals. Of note in this category are ResMeds AirFit F10 Full face mask, the Amara View Full Face Mask from Respironics, the tried and true ResMed Mirage Quattro, and Fisher and Paykels Simplus mask.
The fit and seal is most important. We’re looking for the best all-round mask here, the mask that will suit most people, but not all. To be honest, the simplus, and the Amara View and Simplus masks are found wanting here. Both (compared to the other options) have significant issues with getting the mask to seal, and particular issues when the cpap pressure builds up.
The pick of the bunch is probably the AirFit F10. It is much lighter than the Mirage Quattro (although the Mirage Quattro is now an old mask) whilst still using the features that made the Mirage Quattro a market leader (double walled cushion and the cushion shape). The one major issue I have found is that the silicone can come off the frame, but it still wins out against its competitors.
With the introduction of ResMed´s AirFit F20 mask, our recommendation has changed to favour the most recent addition. The addition of the magnetic headgear hooks, and the improvement of the mask cushion alone has put it in a category of it´s own. We hope it will live up to the high expectations we have for it.
Best budget (below $120) Full Face Mask
OK, this is the hardest recommendation I’ve had to make. There are quite a few options out there, most of which I’m not intimately familiar with. I won’t do a recommendation until I’ve thoroughly researched the field, and ill be here with an answer in the coming weeks.
This post is a work in progress, and I will continue to work on it in the coming weeks until all of the categories are adequately represented.