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?

    • NoNameherself Reply

      Leak under 10 is okay under 5 is optimal above 15 isn’t doing crap. Above 20 is equal to not using a CPAP.

  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.

    • NoNameherself Reply

      Lol record him. It should show how much of leak it is on most machines. But if it high enough to drive you crazy 2 things.
      1st if it loud air noise and he uses a full face , make sure he not opening his mouth under his mask.
      2.nd if it’s vibrating sound turn up humidity.

  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?

    • NoNameherself Reply

      Make sure it’s not your expiration holes. Some masks have tiny holes right there so you can breath out. And you feel a little air with your hand , it’s your own breathing. Otherwise replace hose. And ensure humidifier is closed.

  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.

    • NoNameherself Reply

      Put your mask on in the mirror . Open your mouth like a small yawn. Do your bottom lips fall under the mask?if this is true. Then your mouth breathing snoring is waking up. Normally full face work for mouth breathing because most people only have it open a crack. But if jaw completely dropped.You need a bigger mask, to catch that drop jaw.

  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

    • NoNameherself Reply

      You need to adjust the top straps. If the top seal mask is loose, you feel air blow your eyes .3 reason. Bottom straps are too tight pushing bottom seal down but top half of seal outward.
      2. Top straps are loose. People forget to adjust those.
      3. Its your nose/ face type, if your face
      is flatter or you nose bridge is flat and wide. Get a vitera.

  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?

    • NoNameherself Reply

      Turn down your humidity.

  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…

    • NoNameherself Reply

      If only leaks when you are asleep:
      2 things make is sure it sealed to handle you moving around. Nasals on better on your side.
      Make sure you are not mouthing breathing sleep it will represent a large leak. If you can tolerate full face and your are mouth breathing use a chin strap.
      Check your oxygen when you are awake if it’s in 80 awake go see a doctor ASAP. That is respiratory failure. CPAP should bring your oxygen back to the 90s – 97 to 95 when it is working. But if you’re CPAP is work your total apnea in night is low or gone. ( Per hr can be thrown off if your all together). And your oxygen is still low you may need oxygen attached to your CPAP machine.

  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.

    • NoNameherself Reply

      Mask leaks are important. They should not continue to raise your pressure if your leak is very high. Because high mask leaks make CPAP useless. So it may seem like your apnea is worse than what it is.
      Try tightening your mask just moving back and forth during sleep is just going be a struggle. You are on a very high pressure so some leak is very normal.
      You also may have been put on bipap due to heart complications ( not always but if you have mixed or central apnea. ). At some point when very severe apnea and you really do need a very high pressure on bipap and very mask is leaking 20+. It almost impossible to correctly treat. Bipap/ CPAP mask were never designed for max pressure. Less people get there tonsil removed as children, that prevents OSA getting worse as adults. People are getting sicker over the last 30 yrs and we been using more and more high pressure which was never intended to be used. Of course people need it and we raised the pressure limits. But even the mask manufacturers can’t combat a new model to withhold that much pressure. The only solutions at that point would be
      – keep trying other masks to something fits especially if you have unique nose shape.
      – shave your beard If you have one
      – lose weight of your BMI is high.
      – surgery or inspire ( it’s an implant) if you qualify.
      – get your heart issues if you have any and blood pressure under control/ treated.

  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.

    • NoNameherself Reply

      Apnea causes high blood pressure. When you say deep sleep do mean the middle of your dreams? Apnea can worsen in specific stages of sleep more than others for some people. Especially in REM ( dream state), compared to your lighter sleep stages. The leak won’t effect your light sleep. But when you start get into your deeper sleep stages and you will have alot apnea, your CPAP will not prevent those apneas with a high leak.

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  24. Immaculate Grid Reply

    Thank you for sharing this information about CPAP mask leaks. It’s important to address this issue to ensure a good night’s sleep.

  25. immaculate grid Reply

    If you are experiencing a leaky CPAP mask, it could be due to your CPAP pressure being set too high. It is recommended to consult with your doctor or respiratory therapist to discuss adjusting the pressure settings if it is causing issues.

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