Sampat says a sleep technician, sleep technologist, or respiratory technologist can work with you directly to fit you to the right mask.
3. Consider comfort.
Size is only one part of fit. You also want to think about the type of mask that will work best with your features.
“I’m seeing someone in my clinic, I look for certain things to help determine what they need,” Sampat says. “I look at their facial features: Do they have a beard? Do they have a large chin? What kind of nose structure do they have?”
“If someone breathes through their mouth only, for example, then choosing a mask that doesn’t cover the mouth is probably not going to be as effective,” Sampat says.
4. Explore accessories.
CPAP machines not only come with masks, tubing, and filters, they also have add-ons you can get to make your machine more comfortable and easier to use.
“Sometimes, people have trouble with the hose getting tangled up during the night, and so they use a hose hanger attached to their headboard to help keep it out of the way,” Ebben says.
There’s a whole range of “extras” that can enhance your experience. For example, pads can help soften the feel of the straps, and heated hoses can moisten the air as it enters your nose.
Not all accessories will fit all machines and masks, so be sure you know what will work with yours.
5. Research who will repair it.
Your machine may have issues from time to time, so it’s good to know where you’ll turn for a fix.
“If your machine is malfunctioning, the ability to replace or speak with a real person to troubleshoot is key,” says Chidinma Chima-Melton, MD, medical director for quality specialty care and regional medical director for pulmonary at UCLA Health.
6. Check your coverage.
Most private health insurance policies cover CPAP machines and equipment like tubing, filters, masks, and headgear. The level of coverage will depend on your specific plan. Your plan may require you to rent your machine instead of buying one.