The Respironics OptiLife has a special place in our heart as being somewhat of a pioneer to the modern Nasal Pillow Mask design.
The OptiLife looks somewhat archaic in its design, but it still is a solid Nasal Pillow Mask. There is a “phlange” that sticks out over each cheek
and serves as the attachment for the headgear. Oddly, these plastic phlanges aren’t uncomfortable in the least.
There are two places to attach the headgear on the phlange based on your preference for the angle of the nasal pillows. It’s all according to your preference and comfort as well as what gives you a leak free seal.
The headgear is very easy to use and is the first that uses the modern design of making a halo around the back of your head. (It makes a circle over where men go bald.) It is very easy to get on and off. The headgear is durable, but like most other nasal pillow mask headgear, it will leave a mark on your face when sleeping on your side.
One feature that makes the OptiLife unique is that it has a strap that goes underneath the chin as well. I want to be clear that this isn’t a chinstrap for mouth-leakers, but is meant to keep the mask in place while you sleep. The OptiLife is very effective at staying in place during movement in bed.
Overall the mask is very durable. It’s ugly, but durable.
The worst thing about this mask is that the exhalation port is on the front and shoots straight out. It doesn’t do a good job diffusing the air when compared to more modern nasal pillow masks. Many people still use this mask and are quite satisified with it.
Our stance: This pioneering nasal pillow mask has been around for quite awhile. It is proven to work well. Many of the newer nasal pillow mask employ some of the designs that the OptiLife pioneered. We’d try a different Nasal Pillow Mask prior to using this.