I usually have a spare mask to hand, but in this case, I didn’t. However, I had a old mask that was only slightly broken – unlike my more recent mask, it worked well once it was on, but it had a tendancy to fall apart when taking it off or putting it on. But it would do for now.
The reason I didn’t have a spare was because I had discovered my favoured mask was no longer available. I’m a bit odd, in that there is a lot of fancy tech around in the area of CPAP masks – gel pads, flutter exhaust ports, fancy 3 way swivels – but I am most happiest and get a perfect nights sleep with the simple plastic and silicon mask. The problem is that everyone wants to push you towards the “better” and more expensive masks, which I either find uncomfortable, or – in the case of the super cushioning gel pads – actually brings me out in a rash.
So this recently happened with my preferred supplier, who used to sell me simple 40 quid masks, nothing fancy, that worked a treat. That mask is now unavailable, and the cheapest mask they have is 90 quid, with most of their offerings over 100 quid. Just for a nasal mask, that might last me anything from 6 months to 2 years.
So after doing a search, I found an Amazon partner selling a mask which looked like it might be suitable, for 38 quid. They had self-branded it, so I didn’t know the make, and it was a bit of a shot in the dark, but it looked like my old mask.
Anyway, it just arrived, and it looks and feels brilliant – really comfortable. It isn’t identical to my old mask, but it does have exactly the same headgear setup (straps round your head), which means I can use my existing headgear, which is still perfectly good, and save theirs for when mine gets tatty.
Furthermore, I now know the manufacturer of the mask – Skynector, in China – and so could then do a Google search. I found a UK CPAP supplier I didn’t know existed, who sell this mask (for £42 quid) plus other inexpensive kit. So even if the Amazon partner doesn’t last long, I have a source.
I’m going to pack my slightly broken mask away as a spare, and try this one for a few nights. If after a week I am having no problems, I’ll probably buy another 2. Result.