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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.

UPDATE: NEW DREAMWEAR HEADGEAR (Part Number 1116751 -- Immediately recognizable by the detachable downward-curved arms attached to the headgear strap). Note: it is a compatible replacement for your older headgear.l 

Of course, the first items to be considered are fit, leak control, and noise level with the new headgear. 

Fit: There is no question that this improvement did much for fit (more stability, less sliding and movement) and a minor bit for leak control(especially for slide sleepers who move in bed.)

However, leak rates still are above the ResMed N30i Nasal Mask, but are in the acceptable lower half (8.6 - 90%) of the range (0-24 l/m).

Noise is the same with noise being generated from the two vents (one at the top of the head and one at the cushion)and air passage in the hollow frame. 

I do not use the soft side sleeves to minimize facial lines. 

The pros remain. Clear vision (especially for those who wear glasses or watch television), greater movement possible for side sleepers, and most, of all, no pressure or irritation on the bridge of the nose or in the nostrils (like pillows). Not particularly affected by my beard, but needed to trim back my mustache. 

The cons remain. One, the venting is noisy and a minor irritation. Two, the air passing through the side arms can be heard but fades over time into a recognized (and ignored) sound. And three, I need a hose hanger to keep the top-mounted hose from being trapped by the headboard. I still prefer the ResMed quick-release design. 

The acid test, would I voluntarily replace my ResMed N30i Nasal Mask with the Dreamweaver with the new headgear? Caveat: Since I have Medicare with a supplement, there is virtually no cost to change any masks.) Yes! 

Since both masks are of a similar cradle design, I will watch for an update to the ResMed design.
"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

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEBSITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#3
RE: ResMed AirFit N30i Review/Comparison with DreamWear
Thank you for submitting your review.  I'm especially glad that you compared the side channels rigidity.  The side channels of the Dreamwear was the main reason that I hated it.  As a side sleeper, one of the Dreamwear channels would crush and seriously limit my air, and wake me up.  The software results looked o.k. because there weren't leaks but I'd have interrupted sleep every night.

The DME refused to order the ResMed Swift LT for Her that I'd been happily using for 9 years.  "We don't carry ResMed products and you'll get used to the Respironics brand."  

That was March 2018 and I've been using spare parts from my old Swift LT for Her packages ever since.

If I can get find another DME who'll order it, I'm going to try the N30i. 
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#4
RE: ResMed AirFit N30i Review/Comparison with DreamWear
Bought this mask and I loved the feel of it but from the moment I started wearing it my AHI Index went from (0 to 1 using the Res-Med Air-fit P-10 Mask) to (3.5 to 5.5 using this Dream Wear Res-Med Mask). Unfortunately, this Mask did not work for me. It may need some kind of lateral bracing behind the head to minimize leaks through stress head movements due during sleep hours,etc. I tempt to be a side sleeper with the head at an upper angle and change sides at least twice per sleep period and avoid sleeping on the back to minimize back pain etc.
Wore the mask only 4-5 nights and gave up on it. Not worth the $109
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#5
RE: ResMed AirFit N30i Review/Comparison with DreamWear
I'd managed to order the N30i from an online vendor.  If you look at the photo, you'll notice that the ResMed model on the left looks much stronger than the exceptionally floppy Dreamwear on the right.

The N30i side channels are still too soft for a side sleeper who needs aire pressure of 11, and a non-aided AHI of 96.


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#6
RE: ResMed AirFit N30i Review/Comparison with DreamWear
I brought the dream ware pillow and the Res med both of them collapse when i sleep on my side and imo i cant feel any difference in pressure as it seems the other side gets slightly bigger to compensate I like them both I do find the RES Med a bit harder on my upper lip at times I switch out depending on my mood
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