If I’m brutally honest, the bar was set pretty low when I went to review the Respironics Wisp nasal mask. Respironics, ever since the ComfortGel range, had produced a number of unimpressive masks; one after another. No matter what they seemed to try, it failed.
They tried to innovate with the Optilife with their first attempt at the under-the-nose cushion. FAIL!
They tried to copy ResMed with the Amara Full Face Mask. NOPE!
And when it came to nasal masks…
The True Blue was a truly awful concoction that was as bulky as it was awkward to use. The EasyLife is a mask I’d rather leave in the past.
So, I wasn’t expecting good results with the Wisp.
“Keep an open mind Peter, keep an open mind” I repeated over and over when I first saw it.
You know what? I was pleasantly surprised
The all important cushion
The cushion is… dare I say it… good!!
Woohoo!! Go Respironics!!
Hey, I don’t think it is the best cushion around, but it certainly shits all over their most recent attempts.
Generally speaking the mask cushion is comfortable. The silicone is relatively soft, but I think it is of the same quality as the ResMed silicone. Not yet. The sizing of the cushions seems a little off, and the S/M size seems too far on the small size, and has been known to hug the nose too tightly and cause irritation around the nose.
But it’s nearly impossible to keep everyone happy when it comes to mask sizes. Personally I like the size offerings from Fisher and Paykels Eson 2 range when it comes to nasal masks. However, one huge draw card for the Wisp is the availability of fit packs if you are unsure about your size cushion you need. Unlike ResMed and Fisher and Paykel which require you to purcahase the mask in the correct size. But the Wisp is (I believe) an improvement on the sizes offered from ResMed, and should suit a wider range of people out of the fit pack than the ResMed.
On nearly all of the people that have tried this mask, the cushion initially seals quite well. It appears very stable on the nose, and there appears to be little side-to-side movement despite the lack of a forehead piece for stability.
I’m a fan. Can you tell??
Obviously, with it’s open face nature it isn’t as stable as some of the other nasal masks on the market (i.e. F&P Eson). However, it is stable enough for those CPAP users who aren’t necessarily restless sleepers.
Vent Location and noise
It’s not as quiet as some of the other masks on the market, and the air vent can sometimes be a nuisance. Could be a deal breaker for anyone you is easily aroused by noise, or anyone who’s bed partner is a particularly light sleeper. For those folks, I recommend you give the Fisher and Paykel Eson 2 a try.
Honesty, I like the design of this headgear, and the excellent field of view it provides. However, there have been numerous reports that the headgear is flimsy, and of failures in the clip mechanism. The headgear looks like it will stretch and tear easily, and this has been the case with many users of this mask. The clips are quite intuitive tho, and generally easy to use, whilst preventing taking the mask off in your sleep. If only it was more durable. Additionally, the clips do sit under the ears with some people, and cause irritation when they ride up through the night.
Is it easy to use?
The mask is relatively easy to take on and off. Not quite as easy as some of the other mask options, like the ResMed Hooks or Magnet system. The clips can be a pain in the backside at first, and take some getting used to. It’s easy to adjust, although you may have to try a few different nasal cushion sizes to get the right one (due to the funny sizing). Once you have it setup tho, it is simple to take on and off. There are other masks that are easier to use tho.
A neat feature (and one that has been recently emulated in ResMed’s N20 nasal mask)is the easy to locate and operate clips to remove the short tubing from the front of the mask. They are as to find and operate, and makes those late-night bathroom visits much easier.
Realistically, most modern-day masks have very few parts. This is no exception; it just has a few extra parts than some of it’s competitors.
Hey, it’s not our pick of the masks, but it might be right for you. The fit pack is particularly useful if you don’t know what size you are.
If you like, you can Buy the Wisp Mask with Fabric Frame and Headgear here.