CPAP Masks for Her - A Better Choice for Women with Sleep Apnea
By Patty - Certified Polysomnographic Technician
This article will review all the For Her (FH) masks, their unique qualities, individual pros and cons, and how they differ from other masks.
Why the For Her Series of CPAP Masks May Be the Best Choice for You
The first reason would be about the size of your head in general. Do you have a smaller head? “For (-smaller-) Heads!”
The second reason would be about the shape of your face. FH masks seal well to defined facial features.
The third reason may be about your hair. Long hair or certain hair styles can be accommodated by the FH series of masks by allowing for your hair to go over or under the headgear while still maintaining a good fit.
A comfortable fit and a good seal are always the end goal for the best mask. The FH series adds more options to the choices available.
For Her CPAP masks come in all styles, including:
- Full face
- Nasal Pillow.
Each of these masks have headgear that is slightly smaller than in other masks. The individual cushions of each of these masks are slightly smaller and may have a slightly different angle.
The cushions in the FH series are designed to create a comfortable, good seal for faces with defined features. The headgear is designed for smaller head circumferences and a range of hairstyles.
Altogether this promotes a comfortable, good sealing mask that will take care of the nocturnal apneas caused by Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Full Face Masks For Her
Let’s start with the Full Face For Her masks. Full face masks are for mouth breathers. When your jaw involuntarily opens in your sleep, the pressure will continue to enter your airway rather than out the open mouth, preventing any obstruction that will cause you to stop breathing.
The For Her Full Face masks cushions are designed to be smaller from the bridge of your nose to below your bottom lip. The fit of the cushion is very important for a good seal as well as comfort.
Always use the size gauge to help you find the correct size. The cushion is the part of the mask that creates the seal. It is very important to clean the cushion daily and schedule a weekly soak with soapy water to stay on top of any bacteria growth.
Cushions should be replaced every few months for the best performance and healthier therapy. When reordering the cushions, you can get the For Her CPAP cushion replacements.
This mask is surprisingly lightweight. It fits well due to the adjustment options of the headgear at both the forehead and mouth. The quick release at the hose attachment provides the ability to not have to remove the entire mask when waking in the night, allowing you to be back to sleep faster. The easier the mask is to use, the more compliant you will be with your therapy. The headgear, which is pink, works well with long hair as it can be worn both over and under the hair. A disadvantage of this mask is that the frame touches the whole face because it extends to the forehead. This mask comes in the size XS.
This full face mask is both compact and light. The advantage of this full face mask is the clear line of vision as the frame does not extend to the forehead. This mask has a smaller fit range and provides a great seal. The pink headgear is narrow and comfortable and does up with clips for a secure fit.
This is a quiet mask because exhaled air is directed away from the user. This is another full face mask - it has a clear line of vision. Great mask if you like to read before sleep. This lightweight mask with its unique frame is comfortable and easy to put on. The cushion is designed for comfort, and the mask is easily adjustable with Velcro straps, promoting a good seal. The simple mask design with few parts makes cleaning a breeze. One disadvantage is the plastic frame at the cheeks. Also, the pink headgear uses hooks to attach to the frame, and they can be hard to manage. This mask comes in the size XS.
This mask is the upgrade of the F10. The F20 is a quiet mask due to its air vent design that breaks up the exhaled air as it exits the vent. Noise sensitive sleepers or sleep partners will appreciate this design. This mask performs well at all ranges of pressure. The soft and durable headgear, which is light gray and lavender, connects to the frame with magnets. The quick release design where the tubing connects to the frame makes this mask easy to use. The AirFit F20 FH is an esthetically pleasing full face mask overall.
This mask is the same as the AirFit F20 FH, but the cushion is foam as opposed to silicone. The foam cushion provides another option for people who have skin sensitivities or allergies. The downside of the foam cushion is cleaning it. It needs to be replaced more often as it cannot be washed, only wiped off. The gray and lavender headgear is great for long hair.
Nasal Masks For Her
The next style in the For Her series of masks is the Nasal mask, which is the style most often used. The cushion forms a seal around the nose only. Air pressure enters through the nose to the airway and prevents any nocturnal apneas caused by Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Again, the cushions, frames and headgear are all designed with defined features, small head circumference. and various hairstyles in mind.
This mask is an easy mask to use and clean. The headgear has two points of adjustment and yet is very minimal. This mask's comfort is due to the soft cushion design. The ball joint elbow and spring flex tube allow for movement without causing leaks. The mask comes with wraps for the frame to stop any facial markings. This mask has tubing included. You connect your CPAP tubing to this tube. It is universal to all CPAP tubes. The disadvantages of this mask are the silicone strap on the headgear slides on fine or soft hair.
This mask has a sleek frame and soft headgear. The flexible cushion provides comfort. The tube attaches to the frame and has a 360 degree swivel. This swivel prevents any tugging on the mask when you roll over. The downside is the plastic frame at the cheeks which, depending on your facial shape, can feel uncomfortable.
This mask has a larger frame but is still lightweight. The forehead frame allows for a range of fit. The quick release option means that you do not have to remove the full mask when getting out of bed at night. The headgear is suitable for all hair options, too.
This mask’s super soft frame, headgear, and cushion put it in the top of the class. The quick release at the tube and the magnetic headgear attachment make this mask simple to use. This mask provides a good seal, which is the goal. The pink headgear connects by means of magnets.
Nasal Pillow Masks For Her
The third style in the For Her series is the Nasal Pillow For Her mask. The Nasal Pillow masks provide direct therapy as the pressure is sent to the airway via the nares. Direct pressure from the Nasal pillow feels more obvious to some.
The For Her nasal pillow cushions are slightly smaller than other pillow masks. The nasal pillow masks are the minimalist masks. The pillow cushion is light, and the headgear is very sleek. People who wish to have ‘less’ in a mask choose the nasal pillow style.
This mask is the only one with headgear designed to avoid the back of the head. The pink headgear hooks onto each ear instead. This is great for certain hair styles or scalp sensitivities. This is the most minimalist mask available. People whose hair tends to be damaged by other types of headgear have this option. This mask is available in size XS.
This mask is so simple, light, and minimalist that it encourages compliance with CPAP therapy. This is the mask for anyone concerned about accepting the interface. A no nonsense design that is easy to use and provides a good seal. One downside is that headgear does stretch out eventually. This mask is available in size XS.
A Few Final Tips
It is important to remember, when putting on your mask, to always use two hands. Hold the cushion to your face with one hand and pull the headgear over the back of your head with your other hand. Then adjust the straps for a good fit. Do not leave straps attached and pull over your face. This may cause the cushion to fold, causing leaks and it will wear the cushion faster.
When choosing a mask for the first time, you may wish to pick a mask that comes in a FitPack, or with all sized cushions included. This way you have choices and can find the size of cushion that is the best fit for you.
The fit pack For Her series masks are: AirFit P10 For Her; Swift FX For Her; Swift FX Bella; Swift LT For Her. and F&P Brevida.
Please note that these other masks come in size petite or small: Philips Amara Gel Full Face; F&P Brevida nasal pillow, and the Wisp nasal mask.