a hill with a fence and a sign with one arrow pointing to the right showing a full face CPAP mask and the other sign pointing left and showing a CPAP nasal pillow

The Good and Bad of Nasal Pillows

I am going to start off by saying I love my nasal pillows. For me, they are so much better than a mask. Naturally, we all have our reasons why we love the mask, machine, and other aspects of our equipment, but if you are on the fence or undecided, I am going to throw out some convincing reasons why you might get nasal pillows over a mask.

If you love your mask, I am happy for you. It’s important for everyone to use what they like best and not what others say is the best. When you are new, it is important to try both, but that isn’t always an option, so here is what to expect when you get nasal pillows.

Nasal pillows keep their seal well

First, they don’t lose the seal as easily as a mask. Masks have to stay flat on your skin, and if they twist a little to the side, the seal that keeps the pressure going to your nose is lost. This can make a loud noise, have air blowing in your face, and wake you up. There is no reason to go through this when you can use a nasal pillow.

Since they are in your nostrils, they can twist and not lose pressure to your airway. Don’t let yourself lose sleep over this little issue. If you are like me, someone who twists and turns in your sleep, these are ideal. I have tried back sleeping, and I can’t do it. I have to sleep on my side, and I flip from right to left a few times. These are perfect for that.

Nasal pillows are comfortable

You can’t beat the comfort of nasal pillows. They fit gently in your nose and you hardly know they are there. If there wasn’t air pushing in your nose, you wouldn’t know. I have used them every day for almost a decade and it’s still like sleeping with nothing at all.

They are made of very comfortable material and do not cause pain after being pressed into your nose the whole night. The head strap is also nice and comfortable. It is a nice small one because it is just holding it in your nose rather than keeping a seal over your whole lower face. They are also much more comfortable for those with facial hair. You don’t have to worry about shaving or anything like that to fit nicely on your face.

Replacing the nose piece

The one downside I have found, and hopefully, it’s not just me, is the nose piece does eventually deteriorate, and I have had to replace the nose piece ever once in a while, more than I imagine with a regular mask. In no way is this a reason for me to ever change, but it is something to think about if you are on a tight budget.

I would say once or twice a year I need to change them, and I haven’t tried switching them out every night or once a week to see if that makes them last longer. But using the same one every night, for some reason, mine breaks down and I have to replace it. Now, compared to the positives, this is a little negative that would never get me to switch to a standard face mask.

Have you tried nasal pillows? What do you think? Tell us in the comments below!

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

More on this topic

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The SleepApnea.Sleep-Disorders.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.