"In February of 2008 ResMed released the Mirage Micro nasal CPAP mask. An evolutionary step forward from the Ultra Mirage II nasal CPAP mask, the Mirage Micro looks fairly similar to the Ultra Mirage II at first glance, but is significantly different in many ways. Let's take a look at the features of the new Mirage Micro, and compare them to the features of the Ultra Mirage II. I think you'll like what you see on the new Micro.

UMII Nasal Mask

Micro Nasal Mask

Perhaps the most noticable difference between the Ultra Mirage II nasal mask and the new Mirage Micro is the forehead support. There's no mistaking ResMed's new MicroFit dial on the Micro. First introduced on the Mirage Quattro full face mask, the MicroFit dial allows for a high level of fine tuning so that users can achieve the best fit possible. The new forehead support on the Micro can be adjusted to 24 different positions, as compared to 4 positions on the Ultra Mirage II. It's also adjustable with one hand. The butterfly forehead pad has been carried over to the new Micro.

The stem of the forehead support on the Micro is part of the mask frame. It looks quite sturdy, so I don't anticipate that frame breaks here will be a problem. Also, the new forehead support design on the Micro eliminates a part on the Ultra Mirage II that generally breaks after a time and needs to be replaced. This means that as long as the Micro frame holds up, you won't be spending money replacing your broken forehead support. Take a look at the images below to see a side-by-side comparison

UMII Forehead Support

Micro Forehead Support

Moving down from the top of the mask you'll notice a new cushion on the Micro. A prominent feature on the Mirage dual-wall cushion is a loop at the top which allows you to easily pull the cushion off of the frame. While the shape of the part of the cushion that touches your face appears to be unchanged, the shape of the part that connects to the mask frame has changed. The new design on the Micro eliminates the need for a separate cushion clip. That's good news, because if you've used an Ultra Mirage II in the past, you may very well have experienced a broken cushion clip. Because of the change in shape of the Micro cushion and frame, the older Ultra Mirage II cushions will not fit on the Micro, and the Micro cushions will not fit on an Ultra Mirage II.

As with the Ultra Mirage II, it's sort of difficult to tell when you've got the Micro cushion on the frame properly. The cushion clip design featured on the Mirage Activa and the Mirage Quattro was not carried over to the Micro. This is good because it eliminates bulk and simplifies the mask, but the drawback is that it isn't always clear when the cushion is properly fitted on the mask frame.

UMII Cushion

Micro Cushion

The next big change can be seen in the elbow and vent cover. It seems ResMed's manufacturing department has mastered the fine art of forming really small holes in plastic. We saw a similar vent hole design on the Mirage Quattro, and it's advantages can now be enjoyed on the Mirage Micro. Those advantages are quieter airflow and more effective air dispersement. In fact, the Mirage Micro vent makes the Micro 52% quieter than the Ultra Mirage II. You'll also notice two flanges on each side of the vent cover - just to the left and right of the ResMed logo. This new flange design also helps to disperse air away from the user and a bed partner.

Incidentally, the vent cover is pre-installed on the Micro, whereas on the Ultra Mirage II it came disassembled. It is, however, still a removable and replaceable part on the Micro, so it is just as easy to clean as the old vent cover.

UMII Vent Cover

Micro Vent Cover

The Micro's elbow assembly has one less part. Specifically, it's missing the split washer that holds the Ultra Mirage II elbow to the mask frame. On the Micro, the elbow simply snaps into place and stays put.

UMII Elbow Assembly

Micro Elbow Assembly

Another notable difference is new sizing options for the Mirage Micro. There's a new small size designed for petite facial structures. The small Micro only includes the small cushion. However, the other two size options include two cushions, so if you get the medium/large Micro, you get a Micro mask with one medium cushion and one large cushion. If you get the large-wide/x-large Micro, then you get a Micro with one large-wide cushion and one x-large cushion. That's a pretty good deal, especially if you can effectively use both cushion sizes!

The Mirage Micro comes complete with a drawstring carrying pouch. It's handy for traveling, or if you simply don't want your mask to collect dust during the day.

All other parts including the oxygen port cap, gray tubing swivel, green headgear clips and headgear strap are shared between the two masks. There are no changes on any of those parts.

Micro Medium & Large Cushions

Micro Pouch

Overall, the Mirage Micro represents a solid evolutionary design step that offers some great user-oriented features which can help you improve and more easily comply with your CPAP therapy. At the time of this writing the Micro and Ultra Mirage II cost $135. If you're currently using an Ultra Mirage II I'd encourage you to try the new Micro. If you're looking to buy a ResMed Mirage nasal mask for the first time, I'd definitely go with the newer Micro model.

Andrew Senske

CPAP-Supply.com is a leading online retailer of CPAP equipment. Located in Spokane, WA CPAP-Supply.com has been serving thousands of customers around the world since 2001. Founded on a belief that patients are their own best primary care providers, CPAP-Supply.com understands the importance of educating patients and customers on both the effects of and treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. For more information visit CPAP-Supply.com or call toll free 1-888-955-2727."

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