Full face masks cover both the nose and mouth and are the perfect option for people who breathe through their mouth while sleeping or those with nasal obstructions (i.e. a deviated septum, flu symptoms, or allergies). These masks are typically larger than nasal masks but provide a more stable fit, reducing the risk of air leaks.
What Is a Full Face Mask?
Full face masks are a type of mask that covers both the nose and mouth. Negative stereotypes surround the traditional full face mask as it is often associated with the big, bulky ‘gas mask’ design of the past. However, full face masks have evolved their design to be smaller, lighter and more efficient for their users.
Full face masks work for almost all airflow pressures but are most suited for high pressure. They are ideal for those who primarily breathe out of their mouths, and sleep on their backs.
Why Do I Need a CPAP Mask?
CPAP masks are used in conjunction with a CPAP machine to provide a secure seal for the delivery of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. Sleep apnea occurs when an individual stops breathing for 10 seconds or more while they are sleeping. This can occur from sinus issues, a deviated septum or other nasal passage problems that disallow proper breathing to take place while asleep.
CPAP therapy is usually in the form of a CPAP machine and fitted mask that assists in creating regular breathing patterns. CPAP masks can come in a variety of styles to suit each individual's needs and requirements for proper breathing and a night of comfortable sleep.
For example, a full face mask is more beneficial for those who require higher pressurised air and primarily breathe out of their mouth while sleeping. These masks differ from nasal and nasal pillow masks as they cover both the nose and mouth.
For more information on what sleep apnea is and what CPAP therapy involves, please visit our FAQs page.
Full Face Mask Pros and Cons
Here is a list of pros and cons associated with full face masks:
- Allows for comfortable breathing through both the mouth and nose
- Suitable for those who suffer from allergies or nasal congestion
- Great for those who enjoy sleeping on their back
- Provides extra support with full face coverage
- It can be difficult to wear if you are a stomach or side-sleeper
- Watching TV or wearing glasses can be difficult with the mask on your face
- Air leakage is more common with full face masks than with most other mask types
- It can cause dryness in the eyes
- It can be uncomfortable to wear in warmer temperatures
Alternatives to Full Face Masks
There are three other alternative CPAP mask options that exist: Nasal Masks, Nasal Pillow Masks, and Nasal Cradle Masks. Each type of mask is suitable for different face shapes and CPAP therapy needs.
While full face masks are a great option for individuals who require high pressure and breathe through their mouths while sleeping, some may find that this style does not properly fit their CPAP therapy needs.
Nasal Pillow Masks
Nasal pillow masks are a type of CPAP mask that is minimalistic, lightweight, and non-invasive to wear. As the most lightweight mask type, these masks allow for plenty of movement during the night and give you the freedom to sleep in any position.
This design goes mainly across the upper lip and underside of the nose, with support reaching across the cheeks around to the back of the head.
Nasal masks are a type of CPAP mask that provides indirect airflow to only the nostrils when you sleep. Unlike the full face mask, this mask only encompasses the nose, fitting over the nose bridge and upper lip.
Nasal masks are recommended for those that require a higher level of airflow pressure. While they are typically not as lightweight as other sleep apnea masks, they are still less bulky than full face masks.
There are many products within our CPAP Accessories page that can help support CPAP therapy and increase comfort throughout the night.
As the full face mask is typically best for back sleeping positions, a Memory Foam CPAP Pillow may be a great support product for you.
Other support accessories include mouth strips, cleaning supplies for your CPAP products and extra parts or components that may need regular replacement such as tubes, headgear and filters.
About CPAP Direct
At CPAP, we know that beginning your CPAP therapy journey can be daunting. That is why our team is here to help you every step of the way.
Our sleep specialist team is dedicated to making your sleep apnea treatment as easy as possible. We’ll provide tips and support where needed, with no extra charge or expiration date.
Finding the right CPAP mask for your needs may take a few trials. We always recommend you try out different styles by hiring a CPAP machine and mask from us. When hiring with CPAP Direct, there are no deposits, lock-in contracts or obligations to buy once the mask hire has finished.
We are even happy to deduct the first month’s rental cost from the overall price if you find that the machine is working for you.
If you have any questions about your existing mask or if you’re starting out on your CPAP journey, please contact the crew at CPAP Direct for professional, unbiased advice.