5 Reasons Why Your CPAP Mask is Leaking

A leaky CPAP mask is a prevalent complaint among CPAP users. If you lose air pressure, hear strange noises from your CPAP mask, feel stuffed up upon waking or experience disrupted sleep, chances are you have a leaky CPAP mask.

Advanced Sleep Medicine is here to provide you the top five reasons for why your CPAP mask leaks, and what you can do about it.

  1. Your CPAP pressure is too high.

When you first received your CPAP machine, chances are your doctor or respiratory therapist helped you set the pressure settings. These settings would have been based on your sleep study. However, if the pressure amount is causing a problem now, you can talk to your doctor about changing it. If your CPAP machine uses a ramp feature where it gradually increases the pressure, it might be set too high. 

  1. You’ve been tossing and turning in the night.

This can cause your CPAP mask to become loose or shift on your face, breaking the seal and causing a leak. Often, this can be remedied by adjusting the straps. We also carry CPAP masks specifically designed for active sleepers.

  1. Your CPAP mask is dirty.

When the dirt and oils build up on your CPAP mask, it can cause you to lose the seal. A CPAP mask should be wiped down daily with a damp cloth or a CPAP mask wipe and submerged once a week in soapy water.

  1. How you sleep.

There’s no right or wrong way to sleep, but your position can affect how your CPAP mask fits. For example, if you breathe with your mouth open, a nasal CPAP mask is not going to be good for you, and you’ll want to use a full-faced mask instead. If you’re a side-sleeper, then a CPAP nasal mask is going to work better than a full-faced CPAP mask.

  1. Your CPAP mask is old.

The seals on CPAP masks do wear out over time, which cause leaks. Expect to change your CPAP mask once every three months. If it’s that time for your CPAP mask, check out the wide range of options we have on our website.

If you are still experiencing CPAP mask air leaks after trying the above suggestions, contact Advanced Sleep Medicine today!


  1. Jordan Reply

    Thank you mom for your kind words.

  2. Mike g Reply

    How many literally per minute is normal for leaking?

  3. gerald riggins Reply

    mask leaking, replace new one leak to . before using mask clean resura mask wipe this new leak to.

    • gerald riggins Reply

      cancel reply

  4. Denee Taylor Reply

    My ramp was at 45, turned it down to 35. I wiped my mask down with a cloth. I checked the seal and it is in tact. In addition, I just received my replenished mask and tubing in September 2019. Please advise further.

  5. Dave Reply

    It’s because the mask is dirty. Run it under hot water and it will be fine!


    My mask leaks are running 25 to 34 Lpm yet my events are very low- never over 1/hour. Seems the events are the important thing. Can I just ignore the leaks? I tried a full face mask but had difficulty using it. The leaks were somewhat less but the leaks woke me up so I did not have a good nights sleep. Using a P10 now and I do not notice the leaks at all. Sleep wonderfully.

  7. Dorothy Keller Reply

    I was able to stop my mask from slipping up and causing air to leak and having to readjust my straps. I took the strap from an old mask and wrapped it around the mask, just an inch or so below the other strap. It keeps the mask in place and prevents it from slipping up on the back of my head. Manufacturers should look at creating a mask with a double strap in back.

  8. M Therese Reply

    Thank you for your wonderful suggestion. please show how you helped stopping leaking.
    Thank you.

  9. Katie Reply

    Augh. I’m online looking for solutions , as a leaky mask sounds like a train running past my head. My husband’s sleep apparatus must have a chronic leak. Pillows over my head do not drown out the sound. Only solution is a different room—for me. He sleeps right through it. I’ve read him some of these solutions so he is starting to believe it is an issue. If he can’t hear it, he thinks it doesn’t exist.

  10. Jerome Ngugi Reply

    Thank you for the pointers.
    These help to know that there is so much more that could be causing trouble with a cpap mask, not just shifting positions while asleep.
    It also gives various options to think about before automatically concluding that the mask is the problem.

  11. manoakoa Reply

    It’s the hose where it connects to the swivel on my mask that leaks. Any suggestions how to remedy that issue?

  12. Mark Reply

    When I first put my full face mask on, it fits perfectly – no leaks. But 3-4 hours later, it starts to leak and becomes quite loud. At that point, I pretty much have to just get up.

    • Deborah Reply

      I have the same problem. My air pressure increases and gets too high practically blowing the mask off my face. I can’t adjust the setting myself they told me where I got the equipment my doctor set the pressure. So obviously the setting is high because I have severe apnea. Now I need a mask that can deal with it.

  13. Jackie Reply

    My mask gets a good seal when I first press it on and within seconds it starts to leak air into my eyes. I bought ther leak proof creme from the place where I got my machine and that doesn’t work either. I use a full face mask because I am a mouth breather. I am usually up all night adjusting ther darn thing and still never works properly. HELP!!!! What do I do

  14. Doug Marino Reply

    Used my mask one night. The next night there is a big rush of constant air. Where the hose fits the elbow on top of the mask is leaking air. What do I do. I have tried taking it apart and putting it back together to no avail.

  15. Harry Reply

    My mask is creating moisture after several hours in use. I have a cleaning machine and replace parts as needed. Can you make a suggestion?

  16. Melissa Reply

    My cpap I am having leaking of 30 but my events per hour are 1.2 or lower. I have checked everything I can only guess after I sleep it’s not sealing right I use a pillow nose mask. Any suggestion? Also my oxygen is dropping into the low 80s I think due to elevated blood pressure I have tacracada I think from low levels of oxygen at night . Please help…

  17. Ernest Zabloudill Reply

    My sleep test was performed with a mask that was too small for my face. I typically wear a large . This mask was smaller. If I tturned left or right, aair escaped.
    I was assured that the results would not be affected. I went from a pressure of 17 to a bipap of 18 / 25.
    How important is mask fit during a sleep study ? Now my mask needs a very tight fit to work.

  18. Arthur Abbott Reply

    If the pressure amount is causing a problem now, you can talk to your doctor about changing it.

  19. Neena Reply

    Whether I use a facemask or pillow, with or without a chin strap I have leakage but low events. The problem is I wake up out of dreaming deep sleep and take my blood pressure and notice it is high. 145/90, like that. If I’m sleeping lightly my BP isn’t high. Do you know if the CPAP or leaking is contributing to my high BP or is it unrelated? Thanks.

    • Dee Reply

      Does it happen pretty consistently or every night? If so, try going a night or 2 without the cpap and see if the same thing happens.

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