|– excellent for claustrophobics||– very expensive|
|– hypoallergenic friendly.||– clips and hose connectors are fragile.|
|– not good for small noses/nostrils|
|– not suitable for pressures above 18cmH2O.|
What’s a hybrid mask?
- A hybrid mask covers the mouth but also uses nasal pillows for the nose. It’s an alternative to full face masks or total face masks.
It’s for people that are mouth breathers.
A full face mask covers your nose and mouth at the same time.
This type of mask is difficult to seal at the bridge of the nose and the cheeks if you have a small face or bony cheeks. Also if you’re claustrophobic or like to read or watch TV in bed then a full face mask may not be for you.
What is needed is a mask that gives you the usability of the nasal pillow mask and one covers the mouth like an oral CPAP mask.
A hybrid CPAP mask is a combination of an Oral Mask with the nasal pillow.
By having a mask that is part Oral and part Nasal Pillow you get the treatment of full face mask with the ability to wear glasses, read and watch TV.
Indeed this would seem to be a better option than a full face mask but there are only two hybrid mask available: Mirage Liberty CPAP mask and the Hybrid mask from InnoMed/RespCare ($90 bucks cheaper). (XlinkX)
Unfortunately — with no competition — the mask is outrageously priced at over $200. The cheapest I could find was $207 (as at 20 March 2015). That’s ridiculous when you consider the build quality of this mask and the price of full face masks being between $50 and $120.
Will it fit on my face?
A log of users found the mask was too easy to break. This is doubly so for the clips and hose connector. OK you can replacement clips at $5 and connectors from $10 (XlinkX) but for a mask costing $200+ you should expect at least some durability.
That’s the worst thing about this mask.
However: a LOT of users love this mask and have great results with it. They are willing to pay a premium for this mask.
Because it’s a blend of nasal pillow and oral mask it gives you the benefits of each type of mask.
The oral mask you have to ability to have a tight seal just around your mouth. This is suitable for people with beards and short moustaches. For people with bushy moustaches and beards may want to try Remzzzs liners (XlinkX).
Some issues with the mask
The problem with an oral mask (indeed all full face masks) is dry mouth. Dry mouth increases the possibility of cavities and other health issues. Biotene (XlinkX) will help.
A limitation of the oral mask is that you can’t have a small gap between the tip of your nose and the top lip. This mask won’t fit on you.
For the first few weeks you will feel like you are washing your mouth with spit as the drool will fill up the mask. If you’re a side sleeper this collects on the side of the mouth and is uncomfortable. Over time this because less of a problem as you get used to it.
The other part of a hybrid mask is the nasal pillow. These are prongs that go into the nose and have a cushion base for the seal: a bit like ear bud headphones.
And just like ear bud headphones they can be too large for your nose and that causes pain. This is a common issue with nasal pillow masks. So if you have small nostrils this mask may be uncomfortable for you.
The nasal pillows are dual wall and use a trampoline effect to maintain a seal.
A limitation of nasal pillows is that the maximum pressure is quite slow. However with this mask I’ve seen users with pressures of 18 cmH2O. Go above this pressure and the pillows will pop out.
Using the mask
All being said, this type of mask is comfortable and a very good alternative to the more traditional designed full face mask. The fact that it’s non claustrophobic and you can read or watch TV in bed. You also can use glasses which is something that’s very hard to do with a full face mask.
This is a great alternative to full face masks but if it wasn’t so expensive and the clips so fragile I highly recommend this mask.