Best CPAP Masks for Open Mouth Breathers, According to Expertsby | Last Updated
Before you found you have sleep apnea, you had probably never given much thought to how you breathe during sleep.
But now, you need to search for special gear because it turns out you are a mouth breather.
Dear you! How do you choose a CPAP mask that won’t leak? What types are best suited for mouth breathers?
Don’t worry, the answers are coming. In this article, I’ve reviewed 5 best CPAP masks for open mouth breathers and shared some tips to help you easily find the perfect one. So, read on!
- Our Reviews of 5 Best CPAP Masks for Open Mouth Breathers
- Best for Adjustability
- Best for No-Marks Design
- Best for Leak-Proof Fit
- Best for Compatibility with Side Sleeping
- Best for Sleepers with Beards
|Fisher and Paykel Flexifit 431||One size fits all (Small to Large)||Silicone|| |
|ResMed AirTouch F20||Small, Standard, and Large||Memory foam|| |
|ResMed Mirage Quattro||Small, Standard, and Large||Silicone|| |
|Respironics ComfortGel||Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large||Gel cushion and silicone flap|| |
|Fisher and Paykel Simplus||Small, Medium, and Large||Silicone|| |
Our Reviews of 5 Best CPAP Masks for Open Mouth Breathers
Best for Adjustability
Fisher and Paykel Flexifit 431
This mask may look bulky, but don’t let the looks deceive you:
Once you adjust all the straps and put it on your face, you will barely feel it.
Although that’s the main reason I’ve put the Flexifit by Fisher and Paykel on my review of the best CPAP masks for open mouth breathers, there’s more to this mask.
So, it adjusts to your face with a glider strap, which goes around the forehead. Plus, the mask features under-chin design — meaning its cushion goes under your chin — which helps keep the seal tight and prevent leaking.
Also, the Flexifit mask features a silicone cushion that reduces the pressure on the nose bridge and around the mouth, alleviating possible discomfort.
The mask is available in a ‘one size fits all’ configuration, but you can easily adjust it to literally any face structure.
So, as the most prominent feature, I would name adjustability. No matter the bone structure of your face, this mask can easily offer you a tight seal.
The weak side of the mask, however, is that maintenance can be a bit annoying. The thing is that the mask requires complete disassembling for cleaning, which means you will have to re-adjust it over again after each cleaning.
Overall, this mask is a great pick for any sleep apnea patient who has problems with keeping their jaw tight. This model allows for both nasal and oral delivery without any issues.
Best for No-Marks Design
ResMed AirTouch F20
Resmed Airtouch F20 is another highly rated CPAP mask for open mouth breathers. It has made it to this list because it features a soft memory foam cushion to provide a tight seal without putting too much pressure on the nasal bridge and hence, without leaving red marks on your face.
The Airtouch is available in three sizes from Small to Large, and the manufacturer also offers a frame system with even smaller sizes, which is specifically designed for women (or anyone with a smaller face).
The mask is compatible with high-pressure settings of most CPAP devices. After you adjust it to your face, you can use magnetic clips to take it off without changing the fit. Also, the mask features the quick-release elbow that allows you to remove the tubing quickly in case of an emergency.
So, the best thing about the Airtouch F20 is how soft it is on your face. Unlike most competitors who use silicone cushions, this mask uses memory foam, which is known for its conforming properties. So, the mask feels really weightless and leaves no marks.
The drawback, however, lies in the headgear’s form factor. Since the mask doesn’t have a strap around the forehead, it might leak if you’re an active sleeper and shift positions frequently.
Overall, the AirTouch is a good mask for all mouth breathers with sleep apnea. If you have ever had issues with your mask making your face red and painful, this could be a perfect solution.
Best for Leak-Proof Fit
ResMed Mirage Quattro Full Face Mask
While reviewing this CPAP mask for open mouth breathers, I was impressed with its adjustability and compatibility with different sleep positions. But it was really surprising to find that the Mirage Quattro doesn’t leak. Because you know, it looks quite bulky. Still, it is true, and you can see for yourself.
The leak-proof design is provided mainly by the proprietary dual-wall silicone cushion. This cushion is more flexible compared to cushions in other masks, so it better adapts to movements during the night.
Every strap in the headgear is adjustable, which allows you to create a comfortable fit for your needs and forget about red spots on your nose bridge and irritation around the mouth.
The strongest point of this mask is definitely its leak-proof design. I love that the mask stays put — even if you frequently shift positions during the night — and doesn’t blow the air right into your eyes.
As for the downsides, I think that the Mirage Quattro is a bit overpriced. It does its job well but may not be an option for someone who has a limited budget.
So, the Mirage Quattro is a great mask that will help you receive your sleep apnea treatment even if you are used to breathing through your mouth. And due to its ability to keep the tight seal, it’s especially suitable for individuals who use high-pressure settings.
Best for Compatibility with Side Sleeping
Respironics ComfortGel Full Face Mask
The next model to be claimed the best CPAP mask for open mouth breathers is the Respironics ComfortGel. Despite looking pretty bulky, this model feels really comfortable after you adjust it to your face. And it suits individuals who prefer to sleep on their side.
The mask features a soft gel cushion that you place inside the silicone flap. It can offer you a more precise seal and prevent leaking even if you’re a side sleeper. Also, this cushion is replaceable, which makes maintenance much easier.
Another great feature is that the mask is available in four sizes, including extra large, so even people with a larger face can easily find a perfect fit for them.
What I really love is that this mask is compatible with side sleeping. It creates a tight seal even if you switch sides throughout the night, ensuring that you will have sound sleep without interruptions.
The possible issue about this mask is that the forehead cushion may sit too tightly and cause irritation in this area, even if you adjust the rest of the headgear precisely.
Despite the issue with the cushion fit, I find this mask pretty comfortable and well-made. It doesn’t leak and performs great in the side sleeping position.
Best for Sleepers with Beards
Fisher and Paykel Simplus Full Face Mask
If you breathe through your mouth, finding a suitable CPAP gear might be quite a task. But if you also have a beard, this task becomes even more challenging. Luckily, there’s this model by Fisher and Paykel, which has deserved its place in my review of top-rated CPAP masks for open mouth breathers because it works perfectly for bearded guys.
This mask is a bit wider compared to other full-face models, which helps create better pressure distribution and prevent leaks even in individuals with thicker beards.
The mask features an interesting Rollfit feature that allows it to roll back and forth on the nose bridge without breaking the seal, thereby minimizing pressure and redness in this area and adding up to overall comfort.
The coolest thing about this mask, of course, is that it can offer a tight seal and comfortable fit for people with beards. Its design easily adjusts to any amount of facial hair and offers easy airflow delivery.
As for the weak points, I think that the Simplus — even in its smallest configuration — might be a bit bulky for smaller sleepers, which may cause the mask to fall off or start leaking during sleep.
So, if you’re a larger mouth breather looking for a good CPAP mask compatible with facial hair, go with this model — it definitely won’t disappoint you.
Why Do You Breath Through Your Mouth?
Mouth breathing, or xerostomia, occurs pretty often in obstructive sleep apnea patients.
Sometimes, the inability to inhale the air through the nose can be caused by temporary factors — such as nasal congestions, allergens in the air, or sinus problems due to cold — which can be alleviated with the right treatment or pass on their own.
At the same time, chronic mouth breathing doesn’t pass on its own and is primarily caused by the changes in facial structures — such as a deviated septum, muscle atrophy, or an increased amount of visceral fat inside the airways. In this case, a person simply doesn’t breathe through their nose because it feels uncomfortable to them.
Chronic mouth breathing can lead to numerous unpleasant symptoms, such as:
- dry mouth and sore throat;
- gingivitis and bad breath;
- problems with voice;
- gasping for breath during apnea episodes.
Also, whether you breathe through your mouth or nose, you are still susceptible to all the adverse effects of OSA on your health:
- fragmented and non-restorative sleep;
- brain fog and sleep inertia during the day;
- the cognitive decline caused by ineffective shuteye.
With that said, getting the right treatment with the right equipment is highly important.
Types of CPAP Masks for Mouth Breathers and Their Features
Since mouth breathing makes all the nasal CPAP masks ineffective, the first step to help a mouth breather with sleep apnea is to identify which type of gear will suit their needs.
In today’s market, there are just two types to choose from. Luckily, the choice remains pretty wide. So, let’s get into more detail about each of the types.
Full-face CPAP masks are the most popular configuration available today. If you need a really good CPAP mask for an open mouth breather, chances are that you will be able to find the right fit among the full-face masks.
Now, these masks cover your face starting from the nose bridge and down to your lower lip (or even your chin bone), allowing for both nasal and oral air delivery.
Typically, a full-face mask has an adjustable headgear. This gear can aid you in adjusting the mask to your head size and creating a tight seal. If it turns out your jaw drops too low at night so that your mask can’t hold it and starts leaking, you can always purchase a separate chin strap. Such straps go from the top of your head and under your chin to help keep the jaw tight. This is a great solution if the cause of your mouth breathing lies in weakened muscles.
Now, you may want to use full-face masks because they are:
- Compatible with high-pressure settings. If your doctor prescribed you using a CPAP machine with high-pressure settings, which is common for patients with severe sleep apnea, a full-face mask is the best choice, as it typically offers a tighter seal.
- Comfortable for individuals with nasal congestions. Even if you are trying to train yourself to breathe through your nose, you may still sometimes need to breathe through your mouth — for example, due to allergy or cold. Since a full-face mask allows for both nasal and oral delivery, you can use it all year round.
- Suitable for active sleepers. Thanks to the adjustable headgear, full-face masks typically have a tighter grip to your face and stay put even if you’re shifting positions pretty frequently during the night.
As for the drawbacks:
You really need some time to adjust to the feel, even if you choose a lightweight model.
“Some people have claustrophobic tendencies, and wearing a full-face mask may trigger an episode.”
Oral CPAP Masks
This type of mask is relatively new to the market. An oral CPAP mask delivers the air only through the mouth, and the seal is created by two flaps: internal (which you place between your teeth and lips), and external (which goes around your mouth). The mask also features the headgear that goes around your head to keep the fit.
Chronic mouth breathers with severely deviated septum might benefit the most from using this type of mask, but it has several other advantages:
- works for side and even stomach sleeping due to more compact design;
- suits individuals who love watching TV or read before bed, as it allows to wear glasses and doesn’t block the field of vision;
- doesn’t put pressure on your nasal bridge.
However, it’s highly recommended to use oral masks only with CPAP devices that have a built-in humidifier and can warm the air for you. Pressurized cold air can dry out your throat and make you more susceptible to colds.
Also, oral masks typically aren’t compatible with high-pressure settings, so individuals with severe sleep apnea might want to switch to full-face models.
What to Look For If You’re in the Market for a CPAP Mask for a Mouth Breather?
Once you have determined the suitable mask type, you’re halfway there.
Now you need to think about some other important factors:
- Pressure settings on your CPAP device. If you need to use a CPAP device with higher pressure settings, you may need a larger mask to cope with the pressure so that your therapy will remain comfortable. As mentioned earlier, a full-face CPAP mask is a better pick in this case.
- Your sleeping position. Depending on your sleeping position, you may need different types of masks too. Back sleepers can use pretty much any type of mask. But if you shift between positions frequently or love to sleep on your side, you should choose a more compact full-face design or switch to oral masks for better flexibility.
- Your lifestyle. Sleep apnea can put certain limitations on your lifestyle. For example, if you’re a travel devotee. Fortunately, there are lots of compact sleep apnea masks — even among full-face models — that are easy to assemble and disassemble as you put them into your carry-on bag.
Sleep apnea can be intimidating to some people. But receiving proper treatment with a suitable sleep apnea mask can help you alleviate its symptoms and live a happy life.
The models I’ve reviewed here offer good value for money and are exceptionally comfortable for mouth breathers.
The one I personally liked the most is the ResMed AirTouch F20. Its leak-proof design and comfortable feel allow it to rank high on my rating. Plus, the design doesn’t mess with your field of vision and allows you to read in bed or watch TV.
However, if you need something that can cope with high-pressure settings, my recommendation is to try the Fisher and Paykel Flexifit 431. It adjusts to your face, creating a tight seal, and stays put in any position, which is a plus for active sleepers and those who sleep on the side.
Are you a mouth breather with sleep apnea? What features of CPAP masks are the most important to you? Share your thoughts below!