CPAP machines help people with sleep apnea get a full night of rest – which is a bit easier said than done.
Like with everything else in life though, there is a give and take involved.
A good CPAP device will give you the ability to breathe naturally for a good night of sleep; that is if you’re able to figure out the mask-to-pillow logistics – which can be a struggle, especially for side sleepers.
If you’re a back sleeper, you generally won’t have to deal with that struggle. The mask fits over your face, the hose flows over the pillow – it’s all fairly simple.
But if you sleep on your side or stomach, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Traditional pillows don’t work very well with a CPAP machine. Unless you can keep absolutely still like the guy below…
If you set the mask on your face loosely, the pillow pulls the mask away, the air leaks and you lose pressure.
If the air starts to burble out of the mask, the noise can disrupt you, and your partner. That quiet whistle of leaking air isn’t so quiet at 3 AM in the morning!
If you set the mask firmly against your face, the pillow tends to push the mask into your face. Which is uncomfortable, and you’ll usually wake up with red marks all over your cheeks.
You can use fabric pads for the mask, but they still won’t prevent the discomfort caused by the mask contorting into you.
What we need is a better pillow!
For a CPAP machine to work optimally, you need to be able to rest your head on the pillow, while also having the mask stashed away.
The machine and the mask work best when you don’t notice their presence.
For that, you need a pillow that will work for you, not against you. We need an “organizer” pillow.
One that will have convenient slots or openings so that everything can fit into place. Something that has compartments. And maybe something that isn’t a solid rectangle.
Something like…this pillow for CPAP side and stomach sleepers from EnduriMed:
Yes, it does look funny, but it works! The sloped indentations provide the mask and tube with plenty of room to move, allowing you to sleep comfortably, without an overtightened mask.
This pillow works for C-PAP, Bi-PAP and APAP users – regardless of sleep position. Back sleepers will also appreciate this pillow as everyone turns and shifts at some point throughout the night.
Let’s take a look at the features of this pillow, and how it might work for you.
Size and specs
- Made of 100% memory foam
- Includes a zippered and washable cover
- Measures 22.4″ x 14.6″ x 4.5″
- Weighs 2.47 lbs
When purchasing this pillow, there is also an option to purchase an additional pillowcase.
Many people purchase this extra cover mistakenly because they don’t think there is a pillow cover included with the pillow.
Unless you want an additional pillowcase, there is no need to purchase the extra. The pillow does come with a custom pillow cover. There is also an option for a cooling cover – more on this later.
The contoured shape
At first glance, this butterfly-shaped pillow just looks funny.
Especially when compared to a regular stomach pillow!
You might even wonder how anyone could sleep on it. But there’s a method to its madness. It’s actually a pillow exclusively engineered for CPAP sleepers.
There are actually two different contoured grooves on each side of the pillow. Both sides have symmetrical openings on both right and left, so you can sleep comfortably on either side.
One groove is smaller, to fit both smaller people and masks, while the other side is larger, for larger people and masks.
With either groove, it allows the tube to run through, and off of the pillow, without exerting any force on it. This prevents the mask from pushing into or pulling away from your face.
The pillow is made of 100% high-quality memory foam, which is soft enough to be comfortable, yet firm enough to offer the proper amount of support to keep your spine aligned throughout the night.
Whether you are petite, or large, and whether you use a nasal mask or something larger, like a Respironics full-face mask, this pillow should provide you with the comfort you need for a full night of sleep.
If you find memory foam pillows too warm for your preference, they do make a cooling pillowcase as well – available in blue and white color (blue shown below).
While we’re on the subject of healthy sleep, an often-ignored aspect of sleeping with a CPAP mask is maintenance. Like with everything else, your sleep apnea mask also needs a little love and attention.
In the morning, your mask is always full of nasty bacteria. The same stuff that you’re going to be breathing in later that night.
When left dirty, it’s just an infection waiting to happen.
Take the time to clean it thoroughly with CPAP mask wipes.
These types of wipes are specially formulated with safety in mind.
They remove the bacteria, oil, and grime that build up throughout the night, and do not use harmful chemicals, alcohol, etc – so you don’t have to wash your mask after cleaning it.
Unlike regular wipes, these wipes won’t harm your mask or your skin.
Because of Covid, we all have a supply of Clorox wipes. If you do use Clorox wipes to clean your mask, make sure to rinse it completely with running water!
A CPAP mask works only as long as you actually get some sleep.
Whether you sleep on your side or your stomach, you need a specially tailored pillow when sleeping with a CPAP mask. Regular pillows are just not practical.
The EnduriMed back and stomach sleeper pillow is a practical, and affordable solution to this problem.
Regardless of sleep position, and mask size/type, this is a one-size-fits-all pillow that will have you sleeping throughout the night, with no interruptions, and without red marks on your face in the morning!
Have you tried this pillow? If you have, could you please leave a comment below, and share your feedback with us?