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[Product Review] ResMed AirFit N30i Review/Comparison with DreamWear
#1
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ResMed AirFit N30i Review/Comparison with DreamWear
4 ResMed AirFit N30i

My situation...

I am a side-sleeper who turns over in the night due to intermittent shoulder pain. I am a medium light sleeper who will react to above-ambient noise. Pressure on my ResMed AutoSense AutoSet 10 is 12-17 (cm of water) with an EPR setting of 3. Pressure is 13.7 - 90%. I normally do not use a humidifier. AHI averages around 1.0 with few centrals. I have both beard and mustache -- closely trimmed. It appears that a bushy mustache might be problematical with any of the "cradle" masks. 

Per the enclosed "fit card" contained in the "fit kit" version of the package (Small, Medium, Small Wide), I am on the borderline between medium and small medium -- and have chosen to use the small-medium as it appears to be more comfortable.

Preliminary tests were done with the A10's "mask fit" feature which is a convenient way to test for abnormal leaks. Daily testing was over 15 days with continuous sleep times of 6 - 9 hours, no naps, and one early morning medication break. 

Pros and Cons...

As with any other mask, it is a matter of sleeping habits, preferences, and pressures. 

I found that the N30i mask appears to be marginally better than my DreamWear under-the-nose Nasal, but leakier (6.70 - 90%)than my go-to mask which is a ResMed Mirage Activa LT (3.60 - 90%) and less leaky than the DreamWear (9.8 - 90%).

The N30i is more comfortable than the Activa. Infinitely better visibility over the Activa. And about the same comfort level as the DreamWear. Both the N30i and DreamWear do not touch the bridge of the nose which is a plus. Much better, in my opinion, than pillow masks. 

Cost issues do not apply because of Medicare + Supplement pay 100% with zero deductibles. Both items are similarly and competitively priced. However, I would opt for the N30i if forced to pay.  

Comparison with the Phillips Respironics DreamWear Nasal Mask

Both the ResMed N30i and the DreamWear are both functionally similar, with under-the-nose cradle-like cushions and air vents at the top and bottom, and a detachable hose fitting at the top.

Whereas the DreamWear mask comes with removable anti-chafe sleeves on the side, the ResMed N30i's anti-chafe sleeves are permanently attached. Which could be a cleaning issue. 

The rigidity of both frames is determined by the air pressure and both frames appear to become more rigid and inflexible as air pressure increases. I subjectively perceive that the N30i is a "stronger" and more durable mask.

The operational noise appears to be similar, possibly with the N30i being marginally quieter due to less flutter in the bottom vent. With both masks, air from the top vent is initially annoying if you sleep close to your headboard. 

Bottom line ...

Six of one, half-a-dozen of another, the issue comes down to pressure and personal preference. The greatest issue with the N30i appears to be the bottom vent's effect on a partner in close proximity. In the final analysis, I am sticking with the N30i and consigning the DreamWear to my "mask box" in the garage.

Caveat: If you should drop the mask, or any other mask for that matter, on the floor, it appears that the cushion will attract small particles due to static electricity. Make sure that you clean the mask thoroughly before using. 

I will update the review after a longer period of time.

UPDATE:

(01) Added hose hanger to sort a problem with the top mounted hose being trapped between the pillow and the headboard -- and finding the mask ripped off when I changed sides,
(02) Needed to add humidity (setting = 2) to compensate for dryness not experience with Mirage Activa LT Nasal Mask.
(03) For supplemental oxygen users - (a) no direct mask port; (b) you may wish to consult someone about the possible oxygen dilution with the top vent before the oxygen enters the side tubes and the flows out through the bottom vent. I am not sure how it works or if it is a concern.
(04) The quick-release connection is great for medication/bathroom breaks -- but you need to be awake enough to reconnect the hose before hitting the start button or you are in for an awakening surprise. (I do not use autostart)
(05) I assume the slit in the headgear is for a woman's ponytail -- otherwise I do not have a clue to its functionality other than as some form of stabilizer.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
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#2
RE: ResMed AirFit N30i Review/Comparison with DreamWear
Thanks for the review. I'm looking forward to updates as I'll consider getting an N30i this spring or summer.
Dave

I'm not a doctor in real or fictional life. My posts include opinions based upon user experience regarding CPAP therapy and should not be considered medically professional direction or advice. Even a 1,000 mile trip requires a good first step. My recommended first steps include getting good walking shoes, 1 great cup of coffee, and a good GPS.

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