CPAP Clinic Sleep Blog

Understanding your sleep health, sleep apnea and CPAP therapy

Move around a lot in bed? PAP therapy and mask fitting suffering? Let’s fix it. Part 1

Move around a lot in bed? PAP therapy and mask fitting suffering? Let’s fix it. Part 1.

Moving around in bed and working with a PAP mask can be a nuisance. Many weigh in describing their struggles on a consistent basis in PAP forums, chat rooms, etc.

Many don’t know that there are numerous PAP mask alternatives to keep up with moving in bed and maintaining PAP mask usage. We’re going to examine common sleep positions and suggest mask alternatives to keep up during sleep.


Sleeping like a log (back sleeping)

mask fitting

What has shown NOT to work well: some nasal or nasal pillow masks as a standalone mask.

Here is why very light nasal or nasal pillow masks, such as the Resmed Swift FX Nano or P10,  won’t work some of the time:

  • the mouth opens, thus creating a leak and ineffective therapy
  • the tubing pulls the mask down (if a front connection) because the mask headgear isn’t strong enough to support the pull of tubing and a leak ensues
  • the tubing drapes along the bed and changes the angle of the mask (due to light headgear that won’t hold well) and a nagging leak occurs


Here are masks which have shown to work with back sleeping and why:

  • the Resmed Mirage Fx, the four point headgear holds better to the head and virtually assures the mask stays
  • the Resmed F20 Full Face mask, the magnets and preset velcro adjustments on the headgear keep this mask in place
  • the N20 nasal mask, the headgear arrangement is virtually the same as the F20 with the same benefit
  • the Respironics Dreamwear Full Face Mask, it’s unique all silicone design holds the headgear portion and the tubing on the top of the head, which removes unnecessary tubing front hanging issues. The mouth and nasal accomodation is super soft and stays in place.
  • the Respironics Amara View is much like the Dreamwear Full Face mask, only it has a plastic frame to hold the soft silicone nose and mouth portion for a secured fit. The back of the head headgear is also a more secure fit.
  • the Fisher-Paykel Pico or Eson2, either one of these masks have four points of connection with headgear, securing it to the head quite well, plus these two masks are light and won’t bear down on your face, thereby remaining in place.




Extra Considerations

  • A chinstrap (yes, we know it’s not a mask) but, a chinstrap can assist the mouth to “catch” the jaw from opening. The chinstrap will fit underneath the mask, and virtually any mask can be used with a chinstrap, as long as the jaw is cupped closed, not clamped shut.

For example, a mouth that is clamped shut inside a Full Face mask will create more obstruction and make the PAP work harder and create unnecessary leaks. So chinstraps are NOT advisable with full face masks.

Alternatively, chinstrap tend to work quite well with virtually any nasal (and nasal pillow) mask and help the back sleeper get great sleep without a leak from an open mouth.

Part Two of this series will explore another sleeping positon which challenges effective PAP therapy — side sleeping.


Call 1.877.430.2727 for help.

Written and Edited by Bill Bistak B Sc.,SEO/SEM Spc, CRT

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