Editor’s note: The FDA has issued a recall alert for the ResMed AirFit N20. The reason for the recall is that ResMed is updating the labeling and warnings on this product, as it contains magnets that could interfere with the functioning of certain medical implants or devices, which the FDA warns could cause “serious harm or death.” For more on the recall, you can visit the full statement from the FDA.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is a form of treatment for sleep apnea. However, those with beards may need extra help finding an effective and comfortable CPAP. The reason for this is that beards can prevent some masks from securely sealing to the face, which means air may leak out rather than be pushed through the airways as intended.
If you have a beard and need a CPAP mask, we will go over the best CPAP masks for beards so that you can decide the style that is right for you. We’ll also discuss what to look for in a CPAP mask and answer other important important questions.
Best CPAP Masks for Beards
- ResMed AirFit N30 Nasal CPAP Mask– Editor’s Pick
- ResMed AirFit N20 Nasal CPAP Mask – Best Nasal CPAP Mask for Beards
- ResMed AirFit P10 Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask – Best CPAP Mask for Side Sleepers with Beards
- Philips Respironics DreamWear Full Face CPAP Mask – Best CPAP Mask for Mouth Breathers with Beards
ResMed AirFit N30 Nasal CPAP Mask
The ResMed AirFit N30 has the QuietAir™ vent technology that allows it to work without making excessive noise. It’s made from silicone that provides a reliable and comfortable seal without too much tension on your face.
Sleep Advisor Score
4.40 / 5
Why the ResMed AirFit N30 Earned Editor’s Pick
The ResMed AirFit N30 is a quiet, comfortable, and streamlined CPAP mask that fits around your nose. It is easy to take on and off and shouldn’t create any issues with pulling facial hair.
The N30 is made from silicone and seals securely around your nose without putting too much tension on your face.
Our editorial staff also appreciated this mask’s quietness due to the QuietAir™ vent technology, which reduces the noise from expelled air. This also makes it an excellent choice for couples and light sleepers.
What We Liked
- Quiet – Light sleepers and co-sleepers should appreciate how quiet this mask is. This is thanks to the QuietAir™ vent technology, which is specially designed to keep noise to a minimum.
- Comfortable parts – The mask is comfortable and made from conforming silicone. It doesn’t typically leave harsh lines on the face.
- Less intrusive – The ResMed AirFit N30 has a more compact design than other nasal masks, making this mask less intrusive. The profile can make it easier to sleep or read in bed.
- Uncomfortable for stomach sleepers – Stomach sleepers can have a difficult time finding a comfortable face mask. The ResMed AirFit N30’s design will likely not accommodate them.
- Nasal dryness – Those who use this mask may experience increased nasal dryness that could lead to nose bleeds. In this case, a humidifier may help, but if you have concerns about this, we also advise discussing this with your healthcare provider.
Best Nasal CPAP Mask for Beards
ResMed AirFit N20 Nasal CPAP Mask
This full nasal mask provides a secure seal to ensure no leaks happen during the night. The design uses InfinitySeal silicone cushions for maximum comfort while allowing full visibility.
Sleep Advisor Score
4.40 / 5
Why the ResMed AirFit N20 Earned Best Nasal CPAP Mask for Beards
CPAP users with beards are often best suited for nasal masks as facial hair typically interferes with them the least. The ResMed AirFit N20 is a nasal mask that earned a spot on our list because of its comfortable and innovative design, along with how secure the nasal mask remains.
The padded headgear provides extra comfort and reduces lines and skin and beard irritation. Further, the mask is available in a variety of sizes, and this mask is excellent for those who like to read or watch TV in bed.
What We Liked
- Padded headgear – Given that you spend many hours in your CPAP headgear, you’ll want it to be comfortable. The AirFit N20’s padded headgear should stay comfortable throughout the night.
- Quick release design – Sleeping with a CPAP mask can cause claustrophobia for some users. The quick-release design makes taking your headgear off fast and easy, which is also a benefit if you get up to use the bathroom at night.
- Easy adjustability – The magnetic clips make this mask’s headgear easy to adjust. Users can tighten or loosen it up even after they’ve settled into bed.
- Uncomfortable tubing – The tubing placement may make it difficult for combination or restless sleepers to use this mask.
- Interference with medical devices or implants – ResMed has alerted consumers who use other medical devices or who have medical implants that a CPAP mask with magnets could impact the performance1 of these other products.
Best CPAP Mask for Side Sleepers with Beards
ResMed AirFit P10 Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask
The ResMed AirFit P10 is a quiet nasal mask with a unique split-strap headgear design that’s easy to adjust and allows full visibility.
Sleep Advisor Score
4.50 / 5
Why the ResMed AirFit P10 Earned Best CPAP Mask for Side Sleepers with Beards
Side sleepers with beards need to find a CPAP mask that can handle facial hair and potential contact with the pillow or bed, and the ResMed AirFit P10 Nasal Pillow is an excellent choice for this group. Its minimalist design makes it an ideal choice for those who have experienced discomfort or claustrophobic issues with other masks, and its quiet venting system allows light sleepers and couples to sleep with little noise disruption.
Additionally, the Sleep Advisor team appreciated the unique split-strap design that helps provide a secure fit without leaving your face marked with the headgear lines that side sleeper CPAP users sometimes have to deal with. We also give this mask high marks for providing cushions in multiple sizes so that users can find the one that works best for them.
What We Liked
- Lightweight design – The AirFit P10 has a minimalist design and doesn’t weigh much. This benefits those who don’t like the bulk of other masks.
- Minimal noise – Those who wake easily due to noise should like how quiet this nasal pillow mask is. This quality also makes it beneficial for co-sleepers.
- Split-strap design – The headgear’s unique split-strap design allows for a secure fit, but keeps your face free from the indentations that other headgear can leave.
- Incompatible with some settings – CPAP users with high-pressure settings may be unable to use this mask. Air may leak out under these circumstances, causing them to be ineffective.
- Nasal passage irritation – The ResMed AirFit P10 Nasal Pillow is secured in your nostrils. Some users may experience nasal passage irritation that may lead to nosebleeds.
Best CPAP Mask for Mouth Breathers with Beards
Philips Respironics DreamWear Full Face CPAP Mask
The Philips Respironics DreamWear nasal mask is lightweight and comfortable to wear as it makes minimal contact with your face. The mask allows a full range of movement and is a good option for various sleeping positions.
Why the DreamWear Earned Best CPAP Mask for Mouth Breathers with Beards
Mouth breathers often need to use full face masks that can deliver air to their mouth. However, these masks are only sometimes conducive for those with beards.
The DreamWear from Philips Respironics works to solve this dilemma by providing a sleek, lightweight mask that could be beneficial for mouth sleepers with beards. Also, the DreamWear’s design allows air to travel to the mask without tubing in the front. Instead, the tubing runs from the top of the head.
What We Liked
- Beneficial for mouth breathers – As this is a full face mask, it can deliver air for those who either regularly or occasionally breathe through their mouth.
- Better line of vision – Full face masks are often bulky, which can hinder a user’s vision for activities such as reading and watching TV. The DreamWear, however, allows users to benefit from a full face mask without hindering their sight.
- Different cushion styles – This mask comes with different cushions, allowing users to find the one that works best for them.
- Metal implant complications – You should not use this CPAP mask if you have any medical implants as it could interfere with them.1
- Loud vent – Some sleepers may find the DreamWear’s venting system to be too loud. That said, if you sleep alone and are not a light sleeper, this might not be an issue.
What Type of CPAP Mask is Best for Beards?
Nasal Pillow Mask
The nasal pillow mask is the smallest CPAP mask and works well for people with facial hair. These masks utilize a small cushion that fits snugly into your nostrils. Since nasal pillow masks go inside your nose, they are one of the best options for those with beards because the designs lower the likelihood of your mask leaking due to facial hair.
However, those needing high CPAP pressure settings may find nasal pillow masks less effective.
Who Can Benefit from a Nasal Pillow Mask?
- People with all styles of facial hair
- Restless sleepers
- Those who like to read or watch TV with their mask on
- Nose breathers
- People who easily feel claustrophobic
Cons of Nasal Pillow Masks
- Mouth breathers can’t use them
- They can be less effective for those with high CPAP pressure settings
- It can dry out or irritate the nose
Full Face Mask
A full face CPAP mask can be beneficial if you breathe through your mouth while sleeping. Unfortunately, these masks tend to be the trickiest for those with beards to use. Those with full beards may have difficulty getting this type of mask to seal tightly to their face, which can cause leaks.
If you have to use this kind of mask, you can use a chin strap to provide a tighter fit. Also, conditioning your beard may help as this kind of mask is more likely to seal better to a soft beard than an abrasive one.
Who Can Benefit from a Full Face Mask?
- Those with closely cropped beards, mustaches, or goatees
- Mouth breathers
- Back sleepers
Cons of Full-Face CPAP Masks
- It may be challenging to seal for those with full, thick beards
- It may be uncomfortable and ineffective for side and stomach sleepers
- Can interfere with line of sight
Nasal CPAP masks are typically round or triangular CPAP masks that fit over the bridge of the nose and seal to the skin on the outside of the nose and the area between the nostrils and the upper lip. These are smaller than full-face masks, and the design makes it so that only a small amount of the mask comes into contact with facial hair. Therefore, there isn’t much concern about leakage due to a nasal mask not being securely sealed because of a beard.
Who Can Benefit from a Nasal Mask?
- Sleepers with full beards
- Side sleepers
- Nose breathers
Cons of Nasal CPAP Masks
- It could be uncomfortable or painful for stomach sleepers
- Not recommended for mouth breathers
- Those with allergies may find these masks challenging
Hybrid CPAP masks combine design elements of nasal pillow masks and the mouth section of full face masks. They seal both the nostrils and the mouth. Tightly securing the mouth portion of hybrid CPAP masks can be difficult for those with full beards, but they could still be a solid option for those who sleep with their mouth open.
Who Can Benefit from a Hybrid Mask?
- Mouth breathers
- Those with mustaches or goatees
- People who wear glasses
Cons of Hybrid Masks
- It may be uncomfortable for side and stomach sleepers
- Restless sleepers may dislodge their mask
- Masks with a nasal pillow may be unsuitable for those with high CPAP pressure settings
What to Look for in a CPAP Mask for Beards
Size & Fit
To get the most effective CPAP treatment, it is essential that your mask is sized correctly and seals to your face properly. If your mask is too loose, air can escape, resulting in inadequate air pressure. At the same time, a tight-fighting mask can make your face sore by creating pressure points.
Those with beards should pay special attention to their mask because some masks will be unable to seal to facial hair. If you have a thick, full beard, consider sizing up in your CPAP mask or adding a chinstrap to keep it secured.
More: Best CPAP Chinstraps
CPAP Machine Compatibility
The pressure setting of your CPAP machine is one of the driving forces as to what kind of mask will be best for you. Your doctor should prescribe a mask that they feel will best meet your needs, including your pressure settings.
Not all masks are compatible with some pressure settings, and those who require higher pressure settings can find nasal pillows uncomfortable. However, these masks often work very well for those with beards. Therefore, if you have facial hair, you will want to discuss your mask-type compatibility with your doctor.
Your preferred sleep position can affect the kind of mask that works best for you. Back sleepers have the most options when choosing a mask, with any style working for them. However, side and stomach sleepers will typically want to stick with nasal pillows as these are less cumbersome and not as likely to be dislodged by the pillow or mattress. Fortunately, nasal pillows are also excellent choices for those with beards.
Although many people can have some level of difficulty getting used to their mask, it is possible to find a CPAP mask that is effective and comfortable.
Along with taking your preferred sleep position into account, you may want to avoid full face masks if you have claustrophobic tendencies. Also, accessories such as padded headgear, mask liners, and swivel joints for your CPAP hose can enhance your comfort. For those with beards, you will want to make sure that you select one that does not irritate your facial hair and seals securely.
Considering that you will likely be using your CPAP mask nightly, it is important to have one made from quality materials that you find comfortable. Those made with better materials may cost more initially, but they are typically more durable and should last longer than less expensive masks made from cheaper materials.
Additionally, keep in mind any allergies you may have. For example, some people are allergic to silicone and latex and may want to avoid masks with these materials to prevent any irritation.
CPAP mask warranties usually range from 30 days to six months, depending on the manufacturer. CPAP machines typically have longer warranties than masks and other accessories. It’s helpful to know the warranty details upfront in the event of any defects.l
Your budget is likely a top consideration when making a purchase decision. CPAP masks are available in a price range that should accommodate many budgets, and those with beards should not expect to pay more for their mask.
We also recommend that you connect with your insurance provider to see if and what they’ll cover. Many insurance providers help cover CPAP costs, which can allow people to get the care they need without spending too much money.
Care & Upkeep
It is essential to clean your CPAP mask regularly. Proper care can prevent bacteria and mildew buildup, and it can help extend your mask’s lifespan. Most manufacturers will include specific cleaning directions for their masks. However, you should clean them with a mild soap and warm water if they don’t.
Tips for Wearing a CPAP Mask with a Beard
- Condition your beard – Keeping your beard moisturized by using a beard conditioner or oil can make sealing your CPAP mask easier. If your beard is dry or wiry, it can cause friction with your mask, possibly dislodging it.
- Try a chinstrap – In some cases, beards can make it harder to get a secure seal when using full face or hybrid masks. Chinstraps, a flexible fabric that wraps around your head and under your chin, could help provide a more secure fit.
- Use a mask liner – A mask liner serves as a barrier between your CPAP mask and face. They can also prevent your facial hair from getting pulled by your headgear and help your mask seal more securely to your face.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you wear a CPAP face mask with a beard?
Yes, CPAP masks come in various styles to accommodate those with beards. Nasal pillow masks are often the best for people with beards, but they don’t always work with those who need high-pressure settings. Additionally, mouth breathers can’t use them because they only deliver air through the nose.
Can you wear a full face CPAP mask with a beard?
If you have a mustache, goatee, or closely cropped beard, you should receive adequate pressure when wearing a full face CPAP mask. Those with full beards may find it more difficult to get a secure seal with a full face mask.
However, if your doctor requires you to wear one, you may try conditioning your beard, as this may prevent wiry facial hair from dislodging it, or incorporate a chin strap or mask line to create a tighter fit.
How do I protect my beard from a CPAP mask?
Conditioning your beard can keep your facial hair smooth and soft. Wiry, abrasive hair can cause friction between your beard and mask and possibly even dislodge it. Furthermore, keeping your mask clean and disinfected will help keep bacteria at bay.
Sosha Lewis is a staff writer for Sleep Advisor. Lewis is happy that she is able to combine her love of sleep with her love of writing.
- 1. “Urgent Field Safety Notice ResMed Masks with Magnets – Potential Magnetic Interference with Certain Medical Devices”. ResMed. 2024. –