ResMed AirTouch F20 Review: Will This Foam Cushion Transform CPAP?
They say nothing lasts forever
A bit over a year ago, I thought I had found the last CPAP mask I was ever going to have to buy. It was a very comfortable and effective mask. Perhaps naively, I thought it would last me for years and years to come.
Unfortunately, the world of sleep apnea therapy isn’t quite so romantic.
Over time, my old mask started becoming less and less effective at preventing leaks. To its credit, I barely ever cleaned the cushion, so that made it easier for the silicone to weaken and develop leaks. The time and poor care led to one of the most hated inconveniences that many sleep apnea patients are all too familiar with: air leaks.
Now, what was once a perfect solution for this sleep disorder that forces you to wear a Bane mask while sleeping has withered into nothing more than a shell of its former glory.
Although I would’ve been happy with replacing my old mask cushion with the same mask I had and going about my life, I also enjoy trying new things. So, I decided to go searching for new CPAP masks.
This is how I discovered the ResMed AirTouch F20
The ResMed AirTouch F20 is one of the newest CPAP masks manufactured by Resmed. It features a design that will remind you a lot of the AirFit F20.
One convenient thing about both masks is that they use the same head strap, so if you already have one of the masks and would like to buy the other, all you need is to buy the cushion, thus saving you a lot of money in the process.
The ResMed AirTouch F20 features a memory foam cushion that allows for greater comfort without sacrificing your mask seal. As you can see from the picture, the cushion also has a silicone section that bridges the memory foam with the hard plastic part of the mask.
As nice as the mask looked, I did have a few reservations before getting the AirTouch F20.
My main concern was that the mask wouldn’t seal well enough. Memory foam isn’t exactly the toughest material, so you can imagine my concern when I thought that it wouldn’t be able to keep the therapy air from leaking out of the mask.
My second worry was of hygiene. As comfortable as memory foam can be, it’s a difficult material to clean. If you’ve ever owned a memory foam pillow or mattress, you probably know that water tends to spoil the foam. Whereas many other solvents can dissolve the foam into a liquid mess.
The third concern was of durability and whether the memory foam would be able to withstand the unclean environment that is an oily face.
The value proposition: is the AirTouch F20 worth it?
As problematic as these drawbacks may be, I couldn’t help but feel excited when I learned of a CPAP mask with a memory foam cushion. This is something that has never been done successfully, and just thinking about how comfortable it must feel to have something so soft against my face made me willing to try it.
I wrote this full review for the Resmed AirTouch F20 to show everyone exactly what to expect from this mask. My goal was to try and be as comprehensive and informative as possible. If you have any questions after reading this review, please leave them in the comments section below and I’ll make sure to reply and answer them.
Check out my video review of the ResMed AirTouch F20 Full Face Mask below
Sleep Mobility: 97/100
Mask Fit: 98/100
Standard Retail Price: $154.00
Get the Resmed AirTouch F20 from CheapCPAPSupplies here.
1. Extremely comfortable mask feel
2. Magnetic clips for easy head strap removal
3. No nose bruising whatsoever
5. Permeable foam design allows for a natural feel
6. Easy to disassemble
8. Can be worn while reading or walking around
9. Stays sealed despite your sleeping position
10. Smaller than most full face CPAP masks
11. Easily detachable mask to tube joint
1. Mask vent makes a noticeable sound during the CPAP therapy
2. Hard to clean the cushion thoroughly
3. Mask cushion seems a bit fragile
When it comes to sleep apnea, we would all rather avoid all this mask mess and just be able to sleep quietly as a mouse with only a pillow pressed against our face.
But, this world is far from perfect, so the next best option to not having to wear a CPAP mask is wearing a CPAP mask that feels like it’s not even there. Thanks to the memory foam, the AirTouch F20 comes pretty close to that.
This memory foam padding is truly a game changer. It’s soft and pressure resistant in the sense that when pressure is applied and relieved, it slowly morphs back into its original shape. Yet, the foam is not too soft and can still maintain its seal on the face despite the therapy air flowing into the mask.
To give some reference, I set my CPAP pressure range between 8 and 14 and the cushion holds its seal on the face very well. From other Resmed AirTouch F20 customer reviews I’ve read, the general consensus seems to be that it is a suitable mask for higher pressures as well.
The foam allows for a second unexpected benefit, it allows an extremely slight airflow from inside the mask and out through the foam. This makes the mask airflow feel a lot more natural and less like a piece of impermeable plastic attached to your face.
The head strap is adjustable around the temples of the head and chin area. The design is the best that I’ve used so far because it’s relatively small, simple, and comfortable. Cotton and suede texture also help to make it feel comfortable against the face and head.
For a full face mask, the AirTouch F20 features great sleep mobility. Compared to the AirFit F20 and other masks I’ve used, it’s allowed me to sleep on my side a lot more comfortably. One reason for this is because this mask’s head strap is meant to be adjusted more tightly than most other CPAP masks.
Combine that with the fact that the memory foam does a better job at adapting to your face position and you have a mask that lets you sleep in practically any position. The head strap design helps too; it’s comfortable, steady, and allows good contact with the head which helps the mask stay in place.
Another nice feature is that the mask can be easily disconnected from the hose. Simply press on the joint attached to the hard plastic part of the mask and this allows you to quickly separate yourself from the CPAP machine hose. This is a very useful feature that I regularly use to take bathroom trips at night or get out of bed for any reason, all without having to remove my mask itself or the headgear.
The head strap also features magnetic clips which can be used to easily put on or remove the mask headgear. The magnetic clips stay on very well and don’t break easily.
When I first started using this mask, I used to adjust it as I had adjusted all of my past CPAP masks. I would then go to sleep and every morning proceed to wake up surprised by the sight of my AirTouch F20 halfway across the room.
This is a not too uncommon occurrence for me and quite a few others. I have a tendency to wake up unknowingly in the middle of the night when my mask starts leaking, remove it, and throw it away from me in a bout of anger and frustration.
After I got fed up with finding my mask removed from me in the mornings, I decided to adjust it considerably tighter than normal. Once I tried this, I was surprised to find that I would wake up the next morning with my mask still on and no bruising on my nose or anywhere in my face.
So from experience, you might have to adjust the mask more tightly than usual to get the fit that works. But fret not, despite the tighter fit, nose bruising is very rare with this mask and the memory foam makes the whole thing feel much more comfortable.
Two of my big concerns before purchasing this mask had to do with durability.
The first one was whether the AirTouch F20 memory foam mask cushion would be durable enough to resist all the oils and pressure from wearing it every night. I was initially a bit skeptical that the cushion wouldn’t begin to lose its shape and wither as many other foams do.
After about 6 months of using the AirTouch F20 at least 6 times a week, I haven’t seen any signs of damage to the cushion. However, I recommend you watch my video review of the mask so you can inspect for yourself.
The ResMed AirTouch F20’s cushion has been a lot more reliable and resistant than I imagined it to be. However, it might take longer than the 6 months I’ve been using it for me to see any signs of damage to the cushion. So for the time being, I’m not ready to claim that it’s quite as durable as silicone yet.
My second concern was bacteria accumulation in the cushion. This is a product of how hard it can be to clean memory foam. Unlike silicon, which you can just be put in a hot water bowl with mild detergent, excessive water spoils the memory foam while many solvents, like alcohol or acetone, can eat it up.
So how do you clean the ResMed AirTouch F20 mask cushion?
The best way to clean the AirTouch F20 memory foam part is to use alcohol-free sanitization wipes to rub the memory foam padding. Something like baby wipes and many respirator mask cleaning wipes would do the trick.
Although ResMed recommends cleaning this mask once a day, I tend to clean my mask around once a week. I have yet to see any signs of infection or anything on my face from the past 6 months of wearing this mask so I think it’s safe to say that hygiene issues aren’t much of a concern with this mask either.
Overall, the AirTouch F20 Full Face Mask lives up to the expectations. The memory foam is revolutionary and truly a game changer. Though it makes the mask a bit more fragile when it comes to cleaning, it allows for a more comfortable feel and better mask fit. The cushion also does a great job at withstanding higher pressures and maintaining a leak-free mask environment.
The memory foam allows the mask to be tightened up more without producing nose bruising. This is one of the most important criteria that I rank CPAP masks by because it can actually be quite difficult to find a mask that doesn’t leak or produce nose bruising.
(If no matter what you do you keep waking up from a bruised nose from CPAP, click here to find out how to get rid of CPAP nose bruising once and for all)
In terms of sleep mobility, the AirTouch F20 has allowed me to sleep on my side comfortably.
This is a big benefit for me as I tend to switch to side sleeping halfway through the night. Additionally, the mask cushion is more durable than I expected it to be at first glance. I’ve had it for about 6 months by now and it hasn’t shown signs of losing its shape or developing any cracking.
Memory foam tends to collect more bacteria than silicone because it’s a more porous material. I suggest cleaning the cushion regularly with baby wipes or another type of alcohol-free wipe to prevent bacterial buildup.
I’ve never had an issue with bacteria accumulation in the mask but I believe it’s certainly still something to be aware of. The rest of the mask (head strap, joint, and plastic shell) can all be cleaned with warm water and soap.
The noise problem
One complaint that the AirTouch F20 inherited from its predecessor, the AirFit F20, is the loud mask joint vent. As therapy air exists the mask vent it makes a noticeable airflow noise. Although not very loud, it can still be bothersome and annoying.
I go into extensive detail about the noise and provide an audible demonstration in my review of the AirFit F20, which is linked here. I also provide a demonstration of what it sounds like in my AirTouch F20 video review above. Though not a deal breaker for most people, this is something that really bothered me during my first days using this masks.
I’ve since gotten accustomed to the sound and drowned it out with the fans I turn on before going to sleep at night. However, I definitely suggest to ResMed that future mask designs involve a vent that isn’t as loud.
The ResMed AirTouch F20 is a different and more effective mask than other CPAP masks I’ve used. The memory foam cushion, lack of nose bruising, comfortable head strap, and high sleep mobility make it one of the best CPAP masks I’ve ever used.
However, it does have some room to grow, mainly in the noise department. Same as the AirFit F20, it has a joint vent that is noticeably loud. I’m hoping ResMed takes this feedback from me and others and creates a mask with all the wonderful features of the AirTouch F20 but with a quieter exhaust vent.
That being said, I’m very glad I purchased this mask. I wouldn’t be surprised if, in the future, other CPAP mask manufacturers began emulating the design and headed towards a memory foam based approach to the cushions. As long as CPAP mask companies used the right type of foam and had a decent design, these would beat silicon padded masks any day.
Overall, I give the mask a well deserved 97/100.
*Get FREE shipping at CheapCPAPSupplies when you use our Rested Life AirTouch F20 link*
Note that for people that already own an AirFit mask (whether it’s the F20 or F20 For Her) I definitely recommend trying out this mask as you’d only have to purchase the AirTouch F20 mask cushion. This is because all of these masks use the same exact head strap so you wouldn’t need to buy the whole mask.
If you have any questions or have had any experiences with the Resmed Airtouch F20, I’d love to hear you out. Please leave a comment below and I’ll reply as quickly as possible.