[SIPC_Content]Nearly 70% of people sleep on their side. Unfortunately, this is when most CPAP masks tend to leak. Although CPAP mask manufacturers design masks with side sleepers in mind (they would be silly not to), its a difficult task and problems can arise when we turn on our side.
The usual advice for CPAP users who side sleep is to sleep on the edge of our pillow (to prevent pushing the mask off your face) and draping the CPAP hose over the bed head. Although these can help, there are a number of CPAP masks and products that can improve it further.
Nasal Pillow Masks
First of all, it is worthwhile trying a nasal pillow mask. Both the Swift FX and AirFit P10 from ResMed incorporate ResMed’s unique ‘cone shaped’ double walled cushion nasal pillows. Both the Swift FX and AirFit P10 feature a low profile, cheek hugging headgear that barely moves when side sleeping. In addition, the low profile of these masks, as well as the cone shaped pillows, reduce the likelihood of the silicone pillows being pushed out of position.
Nasal CPaP Masks
If your are a nasal mask wearer, it may be worthwhile considering the Mirage Activa LT. Despite being a few years old now, the Mirage Activa LT is still one of the best masks for side sleepers. The reason? When fitted correctly, the Mirage Activa’s Active Cell technology allows the mask frame to shift without moving the cushion. For side sleepers, this allows the mask to be pushed by the pillow (a bit more than other nasal masks) without disturbing the mask seal. The trick with the Activa LT is to fit it loose enough so the air fills the side pockets; this is what allows the mask frame and cushion to move independently.
Full Face Masks
If you use a full face CPAP mask, its hard to go past the Mirage Quattro. The Mirage Quattro is good for side sleepers for an entirely different reason than the Activa LT. Due to the unmatched stability of the Mirage Quattro’s forehead support, it is unquestionably the most stable CPAP mask available. For side sleepers, this means the mask will resist the pressure of the pillow and stay in place when sleeping on your side.
SleepWeaver Cloth Masks are not exactly my first choice option, but they may be worth trying if you have tried everything else. Theoretically the cloth masks are soft and flexible and should maintain their seal if bumped by the pillow. In reality, I have found the truth is quite the opposite. I found it difficult to get a good seal with these masks and they readily lose their seal. May be worth a try though.
Now we have covered the best masks for side sleepers, lets look at some other products that may be of help
There are a number of special pillows on the markets that have grooves or cut outs for the CPAP mask to sit in (so they aren’t pushed around by the pillow). Despite being more expensive than your average pillow, they can be a worthwhile investment, and can mean being able to use your CPAP without significant mask leaks.
Hose management can also be an issue for side sleepers. If you don’t have a bead head you can drape the hose over, there are a number if products available that help keep your CPAP hose out of the way.
I hope that some of these tips helped you. If there is anything else that you have tried, please leave a comment and I’ll be sure to add it if it works.