Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Welcome to our big oxygen mask test 2021. Here we present all the oxygen masks we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best oxygen mask for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy an oxygen mask.




Summary

  • Oxygen masks are used to improve a patient's oxygen supply and intake and to ensure this.
  • There are oxygen masks that only cover the nose, mouth and nose or the entire face. There are also versions with a non-rebreathing reservoir or nebuliser.
  • Oxygen masks without a reservoir are suitable for oxygen concentrations up to 65%. Masks with a reservoir for concentrations up to 95% and masks with a nebuliser are suitable for simultaneous administration of medication

The Best Oxygen Mask: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying an oxygen mask

What is an oxygen mask, how does it work and what does it do?

An oxygen mask, also called an O2 breathing mask, is a technical device that transports oxygen provided by a device to the user. It is used to help the body oxygenate by supplying pure oxygen. There are different reasons for using an oxygen mask. It can assist natural breathing by supplying oxygen, for example, when a patient cannot absorb enough oxygen from the air or when pilots cannot absorb enough due to low oxygen levels at altitude. In this case, the patient can also have the oxygen content in their blood measured with the help of a pulse oximeter as a precaution.

Sauerstoffmaske mit grünem Reservoirbeutel

Oxygen masks are used in the course of ventilation with O2 cylinders to supply users with oxygen in certain situations.

It is also used as a substitute in the event of temporary failure or prevention of breathing. For the human body, a constant intake of oxygen via the respiratory tract is vital.

Our muscles and organs depend on the oxygen that reaches them through the lungs and via our bloodstream to perform their tasks. An undersupply of oxygen leads to a significant restriction of these functions. To prevent this, there is the possibility of supplying the body with sufficient oxygen with the help of oxygen cylinders and oxygen masks.

The mask is made of a soft, flexible and hard-wearing plastic and is fitted over the nose and mouth and tied tightly. There is a tube attached to the mask. This is attached either directly to an oxygen cylinder or a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device. If a CPAP machine is used, only a nasal mask can be used with it. With these devices, room air - with or without oxygen added - is delivered to the patient through positive pressure to help them breathe.

What types and styles of oxygen masks are there?

Oxygen masks come in different designs and shapes. Depending on the intended use, they are designed differently and can be made of plastic, rubber or silicone. There are oxygen masks that only cover the nose, mouth and nose or the entire face including the eyes.

A nasal mask is mainly used for long-term therapy of sleep apnoea. Oxygen masks are available in different sizes - for adults or children - and for different oxygen concentrations. More specialised masks can be connected to CO2 meters and others have a breathing indicator. The breathing indicator is used to visually monitor a patient's breathing. If a high oxygen concentration is required, non-rebreathing masks with a reservoir can be used.

How often should you change an oxygen mask?

You should usually change oxygen masks between seven and 14 days or when they become very dirty. For the sake of your health, we recommend the shorter interval so that the bacterial load remains low.

If you have an infectious disease in your mouth, nose or throat, you should change them because of the germ load so that you don't get sick again.

You can also clean the masks yourself by boiling them to make them germ-free. This is not recommended for tubes, as residual water in the tube is difficult to remove and is an ideal breeding ground for germs.

Why use an oxygen mask with a reservoir?

With non-rebreathing oxygen masks with a reservoir, oxygen concentrations of 65 to 98 percent can be achieved. Oxygen masks with reservoirs are used to keep the oxygen concentration in the air above 65 percent. This means that even if a patient's breathing is irregular, there is still a constant supply of oxygen.

The oxygen consumption is no higher than with normal masks. Especially in cases of smoke or carbon monoxide poisoning, an oxygen mask with a reservoir is preferable. These masks are available with partial rebreathing or without rebreathing.

Sauerstoffmaske mit Reservoirbeutel

With the help of a reservoir bag, ventilation with an oxygen content of 65 to 98% is made possible. These are available with and without rebreathing.

Decision: What types of oxygen masks are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, there are three different types of oxygen masks, which can be classified according to the different features:

  • Oxygen mask without accessories
  • Oxygen mask with reservoir bag
  • Oxygen mask with nebuliser

In the following sections, we will show you what types of oxygen masks there are and which one is best for you. To do this, we will introduce the types of masks mentioned above and list their advantages and disadvantages in each case.

How to use an oxygen mask without accessories and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The normal oxygen mask is simply the type of mask that covers the nose and mouth area of the face without being equipped with any other features. The advantages of such a normal mask are that it is suitable for oxygen concentrations of up to 65% and already performs well without any other additives.

Advantages
  • Comparatively favourable
  • 65% oxygen concentration
Disadvantages
  • Ambient air is also breathed in

The disadvantage of such a mask, however, is that a little ambient air is always breathed in with it, which means that the oxygen is not 100% pure. This can cause problems for some people.

How do you use an oxygen mask with a reservoir bag and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

An oxygen mask with a reservoir bag works in exactly the same way as the normal mask except that it also has a bag attached to the front of the mask. The advantage of this mask is that it can also be used at oxygen concentrations above 65%. With it, a concentration of up to 95% is possible. Another advantage is that with this mask you have a constant flow of oxygen available, which is why it is particularly suitable for patients with breathing disorders.

Advantages
  • 95% oxygen concentration
  • Constant oxygen supply
  • With partial rebreathing
Disadvantages
  • Comparatively expensive

In addition, the reservoir bag is often equipped with a valve that allows partial rebreathing or prevents rebreathing altogether, which also reduces oxygen consumption.

How do you use an oxygen mask with a nebuliser and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The oxygen mask with nebuliser also has the same function as the other two masks, except that a tube is fitted instead of a reservoir bag. The advantage of such a mask with a nebuliser is that it makes it possible to take medication at the same time.

These are supplied as nebulised medicines directly through the tube. On the other hand, this has the disadvantage that this mask with nebuliser cannot be cleaned itself, as the residual water can only be removed from the tubes with difficulty, which can lead to even greater contamination.

Advantages
  • Simultaneous administration of medication possible
Disadvantages
  • Complicated operation
  • Limited mobility
  • Comparatively expensive

Another disadvantage results from the tube, which makes the whole mask a bit more cumbersome to use, as it could get caught and cause the whole mask to jerk. Another disadvantage of this mask is that the tube is usually connected to either an oxygen cylinder or another device, which severely limits the patient's mobility.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate oxygen masks

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate oxygen masks. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a certain type is suitable for you or not. In summary, these are:

  • Type of mask
  • Size
  • Sterility
  • Material

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Type of mask

If you are looking for an oxygen mask, you probably need it for a specific purpose. It is therefore important to know what type of mask it is and whether it is equipped with a nebuliser or reservoir, for example. Normal oxygen masks without a reservoir are designed for oxygen concentrations up to 65 per cent, as you will always breathe in some ambient air. For COPD, you need this type.

Oxygen masks with a reservoir are suitable for oxygen concentrations above 65 per cent. These types are distinguished between partial rebreathing and non-rebreathing. They are used for patients with breathing disorders. Oxygen masks with nebulisers are used to administer oxygen in combination with medication.

Sauerstoffmaske mit Vernebler

Oxygen masks are available with a nebuliser or a reservoir bag. COPD patients need a mask with a nebuliser.

Size

The size is a decisive factor in whether the mask can be worn by children or adults. If the mask is not the right size, it will not fit the face properly and too much ambient air will be breathed in.

Sterility

It is very important for you to know whether the mask was packaged sterile or non-sterile. If the mask is not sterilely packaged, germs may be present on the product. In this case, you should disinfect the mask or, if possible, boil it so that you do not inhale germs.

Material

The material can affect your health. For example, if you are allergic to latex or rubber, you should buy a mask without latex. Some masks also contain softeners to make them more flexible. These can also cause allergic reactions. You should also know whether the masks can be boiled or disinfected, so that you save money and the environment

Sauerstoffmaske im Flugzeug

An oxygen mask is used to cover the face, nose and mouth, for example, when atmospheric pressure is reduced. (Photo: BioBarica / pixabay.com)

Facts worth knowing about oxygen masks

Why are oxygen masks used in aircraft?

When it comes to the use of oxygen masks in aircraft, a distinction must be made between two types - use in passenger aircraft and by pilots in certain aircraft.

In passenger aircraft, oxygen masks are used to ensure the safety of passengers. If there is a loss of pressure in the aircraft cabin, an oxygen mask drops from the ceiling at each seat and in the lavatory. This enables passengers to supply their bodies with oxygen despite the low oxygen partial pressure.

On aircraft without pressurised cabins, pilots need an oxygen mask when operating at high altitude. Without it, they cannot supply their bodies with sufficient oxygen.

Image source: pixabay.com / Engin_Akyurt

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