Achieving a comfy fit

Achieving a comfy fit

Although you have been given the best mask for your needs and face shape, it will still take some practice and time to get it to fit well.

The main thing is to avoid air leaks, but equally important is to feel comfortable. Indeed, getting a comfy fit with your mask is often the key to being able to use the NIV effectively. Some users may find they get sore patches (like on the bridge of the nose) or struggle to get the correct tightness.

Achieving a comfy fit takes a bit of persistence and determination, but with support from your Care Centre most problems can be overcome. You may have tried a number of masks before settling on the one you are currently using but you may find after a while that a different style or size would be more comfortable. Feel free to discuss this with your Care Centre team.

See our Step by Step Guide on fitting your mask correctly and read the Top Tips from NIV users like you.

Fit mask

Getting the right position

If you are struggling to get the mask on comfortably it can sometimes be worth repositioning it. Undo the lower straps, lift the mask away from your face and then relay it, placing the bottom of the cushion in the crease of your chin and then onto your nose.


A comfy nose

If the bridge of your nose is uncomfortable, try pushing the forehead rest away a little and adjust the lower straps to compensate. If air is leaking into your eyes, the mask may be too far up your nose – try tightening the upper straps a little.


Don't overtighten the straps

If your mask is leaking it can be tempting to overtighten the straps – but if you make them too tight, air will leak more and the mask will feel uncomfortable. If in doubt, release the straps and start again, tightening slowly. Remember, it doesn’t have to be absolutely airtight.

Over tight

Replacing old parts

Over time the headgear will stretch and getting a good fit becomes more difficult. Likewise, the cushions can go floppy and the seal becomes less effective. Replacements can be supplied easily – check your mask often when you clean it.

Check cushion
Remember that keeping your mask and headgear clean will improve the seal and help avoid leaks.
Submitted by Alison
Silicone gel can be used to help relieve pressure in key spots, like the bridge of your nose. You can get this via your GP or district nurse.
Submitted by Dennis
Your GP and district nurse see plenty of people using different types of face masks (e.g. oxygen) - so do ask them for tips and tricks to keep yourself comfortable if you are getting sore spots.
Submitted by Beryl & Dennis