CPAP Nasal Masks: Finding the Right Size

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, as you might know, is the most common treatment for sleep apnea. If you’re new to CPAP, a nasal mask might seem strange at first, and that’s understandable. And because you need it for a successful therapy, make sure to use one that fits your face perfectly. 

But how do you find the right fit? What does sizing look like when it comes to CPAP masks? These are the things you need to know before you buy CPAP nasal mask.

Why Size Absolutely Matters

CPAP nasal masks work by creating a seal around your nose. This seal directs pressurised air from the CPAP machine into your airway, preventing it from collapsing during sleep. Leaks can disrupt your sleep and reduce the effectiveness of therapy, which makes sizing crucial. 

If the mask you’re using is too small, it won’t create a good seal and might cause red marks or discomfort. On the other hand, wearing a mask that’s bigger than your size can feel so uncomfortable.

How to Measure Your Nose

Some mask manufacturers provide sizing guides with instructions for measuring your nose. You can follow this general guide:

  1. Measure the distance from the bridge of your nose straight down to the indent below your lower lip.
  2. Pinch the tip of your nose closed and measure the width across your nostrils.

Tips for Choosing the Right Size

  • In case you fall between sizes, go with the larger size. You can always tighten it up as needed.
  • Are you the type who tosses and turns a lot during sleep? Sleep style matters, and in this case, you should consider getting a mask with a more secure headgear.
  • For men, the beard and moustache might get in the way. If this is the case for you, you’d be happy to know that there are nasal masks designed to accommodate facial hair.

Trying on Different Mask Sizes

You don’t want to purchase the wrong fit, especially with something as crucial as a CPAP nasal mask. Thankfully, there are suppliers that allow mask fittings, so make the most of it. When fitting, take note of these:


  • The mask should feel snug but not constricting.
  • There should be no leaks around the seal (super important!).
  • The mask shouldn’t push down on your nose or irritate your skin.
  • You should be able to move your jaw freely.

Living With Your Mask

Again, if it’s your first time to wear a CPAP mask, it might take some getting used to. Keep these things in mind:

  • Wash the mask cushion nightly with warm water and mild soap.
  • Allow the mask to air dry completely before reassembling.
  • Replace the mask cushion regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If you experience leaks or discomfort, consult your doctor or CPAP supplier for further guidance.

The importance of using the right size of CPAP nasal mask cannot be overstated. Finding the perfect fit is your first step towards a successful CPAP therapy. Follow the tips we discussed above and work with your doctor—it’s the key to a truly comforting sleep.

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