CPAP mask for mouth breather?

For mouth breather what is the best CPAP mask to use? And if I prefer to use the nasal mask will I still get the benefit of cpap?


If you can't breathe through your nose, or if you sleep with your mouth open, you won't receive the correct CPAP air pressure to treat your sleep apnea.

In this case, the first option will be to use a CPAP full face mask. However, it's understandable why you prefer a nasal mask. You don't have all the hassle of the full face mask, with claustrophobia (for some people), the difficulty to find a good fit, or the greater chances of leaks.

If you have nasal congestion or you just have the habit to sleep with your mouth open, you can use a CPAP nasal mask + chin strap + PoliGrip gel + decongestant (saline spray). Here is my explanation:

  • you can successfully use a CPAP chin strap, because it does keep your mouth from falling open. It also pushes your tongue up from underneath so that it helps form a seal.

  • If it is a matter of your actually opening your mouth at night then cut the leg off a pair of opaque panty hose and tie that from your chin to the top of your head.

  • even if you use a CPAP chin strap, the air can escape through your lips. A THIN layer of PoliGrip gel on your lips from corner to corner will seal your lips shut BUT if the need arises to open your mouth it is easily done with no discomfort and just as easily re-sealed by just moistening your lips with your tongue.

    Some use PoliGrip strips instead with good success.

  • Adjusting your heated humidifier up or down can make all the difference in handling a stuffy nose. Usually the humidity will open a stuffy nose in fairly short order. You may have to struggle thru a few breaths, the open your mouth for a gasp or two, struggle thru a few more breaths, etc. until the humidity opens the plugged, stuffy sinuses.

    Sometimes rolling to one side and laying on that side a while will open one side of your sinuses so you can breathe until the humidity opens the other side.

    And sometimes you just need to blow your nose clear or as clear as possible and then use a good saline nasal rinse or spray shortly before going to bed.

The other option will be a CPAP full face mask. Many sleep apnea patients use these mask with success, but you need to learn how to find a good fit for your face.

Let us know which full face nasal mask you choose.

I recommend you look at:

  • Resmed Quattro

  • Respironics Full Life

  • Fisher&Paykel Forma

I use a full face mask on the nights I have nasal congestion and really appreciate it...but I must tell you, as a nasal pillow user, it took a while for me to get the hang of using a full face mask.

It just takes practice, so give yourself time to do that before you go under the knife!

If you have problems with your CPAP mask, please click here to learn how to avoid them.

Really looking forward to hearing about your experience!

I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back.

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide

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Dec 24, 2011
PoliGrip gel
by: Babs

what a good idea! I'm currently using strips of first aid tape, flexible with tiny holes that stretch too much later, leak later from saliva, and are easily pulled off mindlessly in sleep. I'm going to try the PoliGrip gel. thanks!

Mar 06, 2016
poliGrip gell
by: Anonymous

Where can I find poligrip gell, I have only found the cream.

Jan 03, 2017
Mouth breather sometimes
by: Ricky

First time using the cpap mask I start with my mouth closed and sometimes I open my mouth not alot is it ok when you're sleeping you open your mouth is this bad for me

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