Getting my CPAP mask to fit and CPAP mask sizing guides

Lady ftting her cpap mask ResMed UK blog

June 5th 2017

A CPAP mask that fits well will be more comfortable, easier to wear, and provide better therapy. The user guide for your mask provides instructions on fitting, and your sleep clinician will also be able to advise you. We’ve also provided answers to some frequently asked questions below. We hope you find them useful!

What’s the correct way to fit a CPAP mask?

Your medical equipment provider or sleep physician should have helped you to fit your mask properly when you started treatment. Please note that your mask user guide also contains complete fitting instructions. In general, these factors will affect your fit:

  • CPAP Mask Position. The fit of a mask depends a great deal on your position: a mask that fits well when you’re sitting up might not fit so well when you’re lying down. This is because our facial muscles change when we lie down and relax even further when we’re asleep. It’s always best to fit the mask while you’re in your sleeping position: whether you sleep in a bed with no pillows or in a recliner, you should fit your mask in your usual sleeping position.
  • CPAP Mask Size. If you can only get a good seal by tightening the mask until it’s uncomfortable, then you may have the wrong size of mask. Please note that sizing across different masks is not always the same. Talk to your equipment supplier or sleep specialist to be re-fitted with the correct size of mask.
  • CPAP Mask Headgear. Your mask should be as loose as possible while still creating a seal. If you feel your headgear strap is too loose or too tight, you should try re-adjusting it, or replacing your headgear if it is old or worn out.
  • MicroFit™ Dial. If you are using a ResMed mask that has a MicroFit™ Dial, your clinician will have set the dial at the optimal position. Making significant adjustments to the position of the dial will change the fit and might result in discomfort or less effective treatment.

We have provided the fitting guidelines for some of our most popular masks at the bottom of this page. If you experience difficulties in fitting your mask, please refer to your mask user guide for instructions or discuss it with your care provider or equipment supplier.

If your mask is properly fitted but still feels uncomfortable, you might need another type of mask. ResMed offers full face masks, nasal masks, and nasal pillows; you’ll find that some mask types and models may suit you better than others. Visit your equipment supplier or view ResMed’s complete range of masks here.

My CPAP mask is leaking. How can I fix this?

If your mask is leaking air, there’s probably a problem with the seal or the fit. Reasons for mask leak, and suggested solutions, include:

  • CPAP mask poor adjustment or fit. We recommend that you re-fit your mask using the fitting instructions in your mask user guide. You should fit your mask while you are in your sleeping position: our facial muscles change when we lie down and they relax even more when we sleep. You can also check out the mask fitting videos found in our CPAP mask product section, or read our FAQs on mask fitting.
  • Incorrect CPAP mask assembly.  Please see your mask user guide for information on assembling your mask. You can download the user guide from the support page for your mask.
  • Wrong size of CPAP mask. Talk to your equipment supplier or sleep specialist to be re-fitted with the correct size of mask.
  • Wrong type of CPAP mask. If your mask is the right size and is properly fitted but is still leaking, you might need another type of mask. For example, a full face mask can completely eliminate mouth leaks. Visit your equipment supplier or view ResMed’s complete range of masks here.
  • CPAP mask needs replacement. Your mask might be leaking because it’s old or worn out. Please see your mask user guide for information, or read our FAQs on mask replacement.
  • CPAP mask cleanliness. Dirt, oils and residues from your skin and your surroundings can build up on your mask if they are not removed daily. You should clean your mask every day to optimise the seal and efficiency. Read our post on CPAP mask cleaning and care.

If you’re still having problems with leaks, why not try using a heated humidifier or one of the latest positive pressure (PAP) devices. Our new PAP devices automatically measure and compensate for unintentional leaks to ensure the correct pressure is maintained. Heated humidifiers can greatly reduce mouth breathing and nasal congestion, both of which are associated with leaks.

To obtain a seal, I have to strap my CPAP mask so tightly that it hurts. What should I do?

It’s important not to over-tighten your mask. If you need to over-tighten your mask to obtain a seal, you might have the wrong cushion size or an incorrectly adjusted forehead support. Please refer to the first question for suggestions on identifying and resolving problems with fit.

My CPAP mask is really noisy at night. What should I do?

If your mask is noisy, it might mean that it doesn’t seal properly. See our recommendations above: make sure your mask is properly fitted, correctly assembled, clean and in good condition. If you’re still having problems, talk to your sleep specialist and ask to try a different size or type of mask.

Remember to fit your mask while you are in your sleeping position: if you sleep in a bed with no pillows, fit your mask like that; if you sleep in a recliner, fit your mask that way. This is important because our facial muscles change when we lie down and they relax even more when we sleep.

Mask noise can also be an indication that your mask is leaking air. This is a common problem that can arise if your mask doesn’t seal properly or doesn’t fit your face properly. Please see the previous answer for suggestions on how to resolve this problem.

How can I keep my CPAP mask on at night? I often remove it in my sleep.

If you’re removing your mask in your sleep, you’re probably suffering from nasal congestion. If you have a history of sinus and allergy problems, you may be better treated with a full face mask and/or humidification. You should discuss this with your health professional.

Where can I find CPAP mask fitting guidelines?

ResMed is happy to offer fitting templates for many of our masks. Click your mask below to open a PDF file of the fitting template.

Please note the following when using these templates:

  • Read the directions on the template carefully before cutting and using them.
  • The fitting template for the Ultra Mirage™ full face mask is three-dimensional and is not available online.
  • Mask fitting templates should be used to aid in the fitting of masks. The use of these templates is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional, sleep technician or equipment supplier.
  • Altering the size or dimensions of the original PDFs in any way may compromise the quality and accuracy of these template printouts. To avoid this problem, ensure you are printing at the actual size by turning off all page scaling in your printer settings. You may also refer to the ruler within the printout to ensure the printout is the accurate size.

ResMed CPAP mask fitting templates

This blog post contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website. The views expressed on this blog and website have no relation to those of any academic, hospital, practice, or other institution with which the authors are affiliated and do not directly reflect the views of ResMed or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates.