In a scene that could best be described as a “mission impossible” security clearance situation our staff that attended the APSS June sleep conference in Seattle this year were able to get a sneak peak of the Dream series of CPAP products by Philips Respironics. This included the DreamStation™, the new series of CPAP and BiPAP machines as well as the “under the nose” nasal mask DreamWear™. As with any new interface our staff anxiously awaited its arrival to market. We just received our first shipment last week and many of our employees where excited to see what our expert reviewers were going to say about this product.
I like to refer to this mask as a nasal mask/nasal pillow hybrid and the DreamWear is offered in a fit pack that includes a medium frame, small, medium, medium-wide, and large cushions along with cloth mask strap pads and headgear. Other options such as small and medium frames are available and like always the headgear and cushions can be purchased separately or as needed replacements when your parts suffer from the wear and tear of nightly use. Be sure to wipe the cushion down daily to eliminate oil build up that could affect your cushion seal, we recommend CPAP mask wipes or a solution of baby shampoo that is low in alkaline and will not break down the mask like standard soaps that have harsher chemical.
The nasal cushion of this mask is superior to those of most nasal pillows that insert directly into the nasal passage (which can cause irritation). I was very impressed with the comfort, weight, and seal this cushion offers. The mask frame itself is a tubing system that allows air to pass through both sides and delivers it to the cushion. I put this to the test of a side sleeper and attempted to restrict one side to see if I could notice a difference and the results revealed that when I did this the other side (non restricted) compensated and all pressure was still delivered to the cushion.
My next test was the noise level of the mask. It has a small CO2 exhalation slit in the cushion and on all the pressure settings I tried (4cm/H20, 9cm/H20 and 14cm/h20) the DreamWear™ passed with flying colors. This is a huge plus for people that are on auto adjusting or higher fixed pressure machines that may have a bed partner that is disturbed by air blowing out through the CO2 vents. It is very lightweight and includes mask strap pads that eliminate red marks or irritation to the skin where the mask frame comes in contact with your face.
My first thought when putting the mask on was the awkwardness of having the tube connection at the top of my head. I have always slept with the ResMed Swift FX as my personal mask as its hose connects and hangs below. I first used a standard universal 6ft hose but quickly realized a lighter weight hose would pull less on the mask. Though a standard universal is not heavy I could notice the weight as the connection is on the crown of my head. I recommend a lighter weight tube such as the Slim Style Ultra Light Tube ($12.99). Most people think that if you use a Respironics CPAP machine that only Respironics hoses and mask will work with it but ALL makes/models of machines are compatible to work with all other masks and hose tubing.
The top of the head connection is not a new trend in apnea therapy products, other masks such as the Swift LT, Fisher Paykel Opus, and Apex Wizard 230 offer a similar option and some people prefer to have the hose drape over the head and behind them rather than to the side or below. The difference in the design is the latter products offer the option for both front hanging or over the top hanging whereas the Dream Wear only offers a connection to hand behind the head.
I definitely recommend this mask to people that love the concept of nasal pillows but are sensitive to nasal irritation. Instead of using prongs that insert into the nose it uses a cradle to seals all around the nose. The crown hose connection is something everyone should consider before buying because it does not allow for the option to allow the tube to hang below. This shouldn’t be a deal breaker but users may want to consider purchasing a CPAP tube lift kit that sits beside your bed and allows for greater movement or consider using a 8ft or 10ft tube to accommodate more freedom to move about the bed. The price point of $109 fits nicely since most new nasal mask products from premium manufactures start around $127.
Check back with us soon for more new products from Philips Respironics. Maybe a Dream Series of full face or nasal pillow will be released.