I’ve been relatively pleased with the ResMed Mirage Quattro Full Face Mask, especially compared to the ResMed Ultra Mirage Full Face Mask. The Ultra was prone to breaking near the forehead piece, which can be expensive enough when one already needs to replace the headgear and the mask seal from time-to-time on both masks (and probably almost any CPAP mask).
A little over a week ago I decided to look at getting a different type of mask. I knew there was room for improvement, especially after having some bad nights. I also wanted to have at least one spare mask around. Trying to get through even one night without it would be very difficult.
I ended up purchasing a Fisher and Paykel Forma Full Face Mask. I started looking at the FlexiFit 431 and 432 models. I’d heard they can work well for people with facial hair, which I have. Our local medical equipment supplier suggested the Forma over the others and stated that it was just the newer version of those types. I tried it on and decided to take it home (they provide a 30-day return policy).
I’ve used it for about three nights. My machine stats have actually shown an improvement, though as I mentioned in a previous post I don’t know how much is attributed to the change in mask. It’s slightly more comfortable than the Quattro. Others have complained about the lack of adjustment for the forehead strap. I agree, I’d prefer to be able to adjust that part of the headgear but it doesn’t really seem to cause any problems.
The leak rate reported by my machine is much higher than it reported with the Quattro. However, the machine isn’t set to identify the mask as anything other than a Quattro. Reported leak rates usually calculate out to about 24 or 26 L/minute, which is within the expected range of this mask when providing a pressure between ten and twelve.
Updated 10/20/2011: I had mixed results when comparing the two masks. I’ve concluded that the Mirage Quattro is more effective for myself. The Forma is more comfortable and my stats appeared better. However, I was also awakened by the high leak alarm more times this month than I ever was when using the Quattro over the course of a year. After all, even though my stats may have improved slightly I’m still not getting the rest I need if my REM stage sleep remains interrupted frequently.
I returned the Forma and exchanged it for another Mirage Quattro, which I’ll hang onto as a spare. I went back and compared the leak rates of both masks and found that the leak rate for the Quattro is a bit higher than that of the Forma. What does this mean? More air passes through the Quattro to deliver the equivalent amount of pressure as the Forma. Does that mean anything significant? Probably not.
Updated 06/09/2012: A couple of months later I switched to a Resmed Quattro FX, which I’m still using.