CPAP masks are one of the most important aspects of sleep apnea treatment. A good mask can make a huge difference in how well you sleep and how comfortable you feel. There are many different types of CPAP masks available, but all work to provide the same result: they deliver air pressure to your nose and mouth that keeps your airway open while you sleep.

The type of CPAP mask you choose depends on your needs and preferences. It can make a difference in your ability to use CPAP therapy effectively. Patients can choose the type of mask based on various factors, including their breathing habits and their type of sleep apnea. You don’t want a mask that’s too tight, causing sores, or needing a readjustment. Let’s look at the three types of masks including the full face mask CPAP.

How Does a CPAP Mask Work?

A CPAP mask provides positive pressure to keep your airway open during sleep. This improves blood oxygen levels and reduces apnea events. The continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) delivers pressure through tubing connected to a headgear system that includes a mask and straps for stability.

CPAP machines draw air from the room, filter it and pressurize it before delivering it to your mask. Continuous airflow prevents your uvula, tongue, and soft palate from slipping into your airway. Consequently, your breathing stabilizes, and you will sleep better.

Several types of CPAP masks are available for patients who suffer from sleep apnea: from simple triangular cushions that fit under the nose to those that cover the entire face.

A CPAP device consists of the following basic components:

  • A cushioned mask
  • A headgear frame
  • A motor enclosed within a base unit
  • An attachment that connects the mask to the motor
  • Jointing “elbow”-shaped components
  • Customizable straps for a perfect fit

The most common types of CPAP masks fall into three categories:

Full Face CPAP Masks: This mask covers your lips and nose and has a triangle shape. If you breathe via your mouth while you sleep or have a blockage in your nose, your doctor may advise you to use full face CPAP masks.

Nasal Pillow Masks: The mask has a small cushion covering the nostril. It may also be equipped with prongs to fit inside your nostrils. With this mask, you can put your glasses on easily. Moreover, it gives you a snug fit even if you have lots of facial hair that might prevent larger masks from fitting comfortably.

Nasal mask: This mask is cushioned and covers the entire nose area. This may be a better choice if you tend to move around while sleeping. The device provides a high-pressure airstream.


A CPAP machine is an invaluable tool for those with sleep apnea, but choosing the right mask can be daunting. There are many options to choose from, so it’s important to know what they are before making your choice. Today’s users can choose between various CPAP masks for different purposes, including nasal pillows and full face masks that utilize the same basic system but with a few unique modifications.