If you should know anything basic about CPAP machines, it should be that for the air to flow smoothly into your mouth and/or nose there has to be a proper seal. The seal I’m talking about is between the mask and the skin on your face.
If you happen to be a guy with a beard, some CPAP masks are just simply out of the question because your facial hair will prevent a seal from forming. However, there happen to be a few options available to you.
I call them the best CPAP mask for beards options.
As you can probably imagine, wearing a full face CPAP mask may not be your best solution if you have a beard. Sure, you may be able to get away with wearing one if you sport a well-manicured moustache but a beard is not going to give you much of a seal so your logical choice is a nasal mask.
The ResMed AirFit P10 is a good one to consider. It’s a quiet one that produces only about 21db of minimal noise.
This one just covers your nose and that means you can sit up late in bed reading or watching the late show and should you nod off your mask won’t.
The manufacturer states that this particular model is one of the best CPAP mask for beards option you will come across.
If you have any facial hair, the Philips Respironics DreamWear CPAP mask is said to create a solid seal without the need for trimming your beard.
The mask features cushions on all three sides which make it lightweight and comfortable. Plus, as far as CPAP masks go, this is an easy one to use.
The Circadiance SleepWeaver Advance Nasal CPAP Mask is one of the most affordable you will find making it the best CPAP mask for beards.
I also like the name although I would have had music from the 70s rolling around in my head if the product had been named DREAM Weaver instead of SLEEP Weaver.
Regardless, this is my top pick because it is the most advanced of the masks outlined here.
Things to Consider When Choosing A CPAP Mask If You Have Facial Hair
The main problem for men with beards who are attempting to participate in CPAP therapy is air leakage from the mask. It makes sense that a face covered in coarse hair is not going to provide the optimal surface needed for a CPAP mask to create a good airlock seal. Considering that the most essential part of CPAP therapy is the airlock seal, men with beards have been faced with two very clear options.
Shave the beard off or try something other than CPAP therapy.
That was until several CPAP mask manufacturers started designing smaller, more compact masks. At one point the nasal mask, which just covers the nose, was created and somewhere during the development and marketing of that product someone discovered that the nasal mask would be a good option for men with beards. The marketing department must have gone nuts with the realization that many CPAP users were men with beards (I added that part because it sounded sensible).
So here we are, nasal masks mean men don’t have to shave off their beards or moustaches to get the full benefit of CPAP therapy.
The most comfortable CPAP mask choices I listed above represent just a few different companies. I have provided a little more background on each below.
ResMed is a medical equipment company based in San Diego, California. It was founded in 1989 and provides cloud-connectable medical devices for the treatment of sleep apnea (including CPAP machines/masks), COPD and additional respiratory conditions. The company operates in over 120 countries worldwide and has over 7,500 employees.
Respironics is a medical supply company that focuses mostly on products related to improving respiratory function. Founded in 1976 in Murrayville, Pennsylvania, Respironics is one of many subsidiaries of the Philips Company. They introduced their first CPAP machine in 1985 and continues to work on developing and manufacturing machines to assist with COPD and other respiratory issues.
Founded in 2006, Circadiance develops, manufactures and promotes respiratory products with a focus on individuals with sleep-disordered breathing. The company is based in Pittsburgh, PA.
1. Which CPAP mask is best for beards?
I have to say that as far as I’m concerned, the best CPAP mask for beards is a nasal or pillow mask. I say this because the design of a nasal or pillow mask is such that it does not require a seal around the chin or jawline. These smaller masks just fit over your nose and seal in that region of your face. In other words, the masks that don’t come in contact with your beard will work the best.
2. Will I have to shave my beard?
Not really. Unless you feel more comfortable in a full face CPAP mask. Yes, some designs are said to sit and seal on the facial hair of the beard – I even have one of them listed above – but I am still a little skeptical of the quality of the seal versus a nasal or pillow mask.
3. Should I use a CPAP beard sealant?
I haven’t even thought about discussing this unusual CPAP accessory. It is a substance that you can apply to your beard and it is said to be effective in creating a seal when wearing a full face CPAP mask with a beard. Regardless of the success rate of this combination, all I can think about is how often the pillows around the mask would require cleaning or replacement compared to if you did not use the CPAP sealant product.
Best CPAP Mask With Beard Wrap Up
If you are a guy with a hairy face and requires a CPAP machine to sleep well at night, you probably thought there would be no options available to you that would accommodate both of those things. Well, the invention of nasal or pillow CPAP masks have changed the way bearded men sleep. Hopefully, I have introduced you to the best CPAP mask with beard options so that you can get a good night’s sleep without having to shave off your beard.