The benefits of replacing them are unmistakable.
It's important to replace your mask and accessory supplies on a regular basis to ensure you are receiving the most comfortable, effective and hygienic therapy possible. The life of your mask is impacted by use, oils from your skin and cleaning. But even with regular care and maintenance, your mask and accessories can become worn out over time. Your headgear, cushion or pillows may stretch out or deteriorate, your tubing and humidifier water chamber may develop tears or cracks, and your air filter may become old and worn, not to mention the potential for mold and bacteria buildup. As a result, your therapy system will not be performing at its best.
You may need to replace your CPAP supplies to ensure effective therapy if you answer yes to any of these questions:
Mask cushions and pillows
- Have the edges of your cushion or pillows become stiff or cracked?
- Has your cushion changed to an opaque color?
- Are you experiencing discomfort, redness or skin irritation?
- Does your filter show signs of wear, such as discoloration? If so, your filter may not be protecting you from everyday allergens.
Mask (excludes headgear)
- Are you experiencing excessive leaks? You may be able to replace your mask or just your cushion or pillows for more comfortable therapy.
Tubing (standard or heated)
- Has your tubing begun to change to an opaque color?
- Has your tubing developed tears? Small tears can occur between the coils, causing air to escape and reducing the effectiveness of therapy.
Headgear and chin strap
- Has your headgear stretched?
- Do you find you are over-tightening to avoid leaks?
Humidifier water chamber
- Has the water chamber become discolored or cloudy?
- Do you see any cracks or pitted areas?
- Has the bottom of the chamber become moldy?
Why and how often should I replace my mask, cushions and pillows?
You should replace your mask cushion and pillows periodically because as it becomes worn, it becomes less effective.
We recommend you follow Medicare’s replacement schedule guidelines and manufacturer’s recommendations on how often you should replace your CPAP mask and supplies.
Suggested Replacement Schedule
- Masks – Replace every 6 months
- Cushions – Replace every 2 weeks
- Pillows – Replace every 2 weeks
- Tubing – Replace every 3 months
- Headgear – Replace every 6 months
- Filter – Replace every 2 weeks (disposable filter)
- Filter – Replace every 6 months (reusable filter)
The life of a mask cushion depends on use, the oils from your skin, and cleaning. It is always a good idea to inspect your mask routinely; poor care may adversely affect the fit of the cushion and thus performance. Plus they can collect mold and unseen bacteria.
To get the longest life from your mask, be sure to wash your face each night before putting on your mask, and wash your mask after each use. Use only mild soap, nothing with perfumes, moisturizers, antibacterial agents, bleaches, etc. Always dry your mask and cushion out of direct sunlight.
Poor performance is often the first clue that your cushion may need replacement. Check for small tears or pinholes, anything that might cause a leak. Household pets have been known to damage cushions by playing with them and so have children, so you may want to keep your mask out of reach. Also, be sure you don't leave your mask somewhere that receives direct sunlight during the day.
Why and how often should I replace my headgear? You will need to replace your headgear occasionally. Like mask cushions, the life of headgear depends on use, the oils from your skin, and care (cleaning, etc). Taking good care of your mask is the key to maintaining the best performance and mask fit. Wash your headgear at least once per week and dry it out of direct sunlight. If you have oily skin or hair, you may need to wash it more often.
Headgear should last longer than a mask cushion, but it will depend on use and environment.