Best CPAP Machines
If you’ve been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), then you might be exploring CPAP therapy. People with OSA experience shallow breathing or stop breathing entirely for brief intervals due to blocked airway passages. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines can help regulate breathing by sending a steady level of pressurized air via a tube and mask.
OSA is linked to poor sleep quality, but patients using CPAP therapy often snore less and report feeling more energized and less irritable the next day. In turn, improved sleep can also enhance the quality of life for OSA sufferers.
For the best results, patients should use their CPAP machine regularly and follow their doctor’s recommendations. Finding a model compatible with your needs and lifestyle is often the key to maintaining consistent therapy.
Our sleep experts have compiled a list of some of the top-performing CPAP machines based on critical factors, like portability, function, and ease of use. CPAP machines are only available through prescription, and it’s important to speak with a medical professional before buying and using one. Your physician can often recommend a certain style based on your health profile.
Top Picks Overview
Our Top Picks
ResMed AirSense 10 Auto CPAP MachineBest Overall
- Integrated humidifier with optional heated tubing
- Large LCD display
- 30-night trial
For those who appreciate multiple conveniences in one device, the ResMed AirSense 10 Auto CPAP Machine has smart features designed to enhance comfort. With built-in cellular communication that transmits data to ResMed’s MyAir app, users can closely monitor their therapy. Users can also adjust comfort settings remotely through the app. Additionally, the CPAP machine can save data directly to an SD card for easy sharing with your medical team.
An easy-to-read LCD screen automatically adjusts its brightness based on how dark a room is, so sleepers are less likely to be disturbed by a glaring screen during the night.
The AirSense 10 Auto CPAP Machine is notable for its range of intuitive features, including a breath-to-start function. Known as SmartStart, the feature initiates pressure as soon as a user breathes into the mask and stops when the mask is removed. An expiratory pressure relief (EPR) function delivers steady pressure during inhalation while lowering levels upon exhalation. The sleep onset detection system automatically increases pressure levels once a user has fallen asleep, which can be helpful for people new to CPAP therapy.
Humidity levels are adjustable thanks to the built-in humidifier, and the chamber is easy to clean and refill. This system can also be used with a heated tube to minimize dryness symptoms.
ResMed’s AirSense 10 Auto CPAP Machine offers a pressure range of 4 to 20 cm H20, which is standard for most devices. Purchasers have the reassurance of a 30-day trial and a 2-year warranty.
DeVilbiss IntelliPAP Auto CPAP MachineBest User-Friendly
- Whisper-quiet motor
- Stores sleep data for 90 days
- 5-year warranty
The DeVilbiss IntelliPAP offers customizable therapy through a user-friendly interface. The optional integrated humidifier is easy to remove and clean, and the large LCD screen provides easy-to-follow prompts. A SmartCode feature automatically stores sleep data for 90 days, so you and your doctor can keep track of your progress.
The machine delivers standard CPAP therapy for users who prefer a constant pressure level throughout the night. An optional SmartFlex feature lowers the pressure level during exhalation and returns to the prescribed setting for inhalation. The IntelliPAP’s pressure range is 3 to 20 cm H20, and ramping is adjustable in 5-minute increments from 0 to 45 minutes. The machine is whisper-quiet thanks to its 26 decibel sound level.
For those who want to continue therapy while in a car, RV, or boat, the IntelliPAP can be powered with a cigarette lighter adapter. A generous 8-foot power cord is included, and anti-slip pads help keep the unit in place while in use.
Value seekers may appreciate the IntelliPAP’s below-average price tag. The model includes a 6-foot hose, a 1-year supply of filters, and a carrier bag. The device is protected by a 5-year warranty, which is longer than average for CPAP machines.
ResMed AirMini Auto Travel CPAP MachineBest Features
- Travel-friendly design
- Bluetooth capabilities
- Waterless humidification
The ResMed AirMini Travel CPAP Machine packs convenient features into a small, portable design. The machine comes with an accompanying app that enables you to review sleep data, turn the machine on or off, and adjust device settings. You can also use the app to detect mask leaks, archive sleep scores for up to 30 days, and share information with your healthcare provider.
Users can opt for a steady flow of pressure or start with a lower level that gradually ramps up to the prescribed level. You can choose between an auto mode that detects when you fall asleep and then reaches the prescribed setting, or a setting that ramps up over a 45-minute period. The machine also features an adjustable setting to relieve pressure while exhaling.
The AirMini has a waterless humidification system called HumidX to optimize moisture levels without adding extra bulk. The HumidX system collects and recycles moisture from your exhaled breath to make the therapy more comfortable. Weighing slightly over 10 ounces, the machine is travel-friendly and only slightly larger than a standard computer mouse. The charging cord is flat and 6 feet long. With a 25 to 27 decibel sound level, the device is relatively quiet.
The machine is compatible with a nasal pillow mask, a nasal mask, and a full-face option. This model is backed by a 2-year warranty.
HDM Z2 Auto Travel CPAP MachineBest for Travel
- Optional integrated rechargeable battery
- Optional waterless humidifier
- May be used on a plane
Weighing just 10.5 ounces, the HDM Z2 Auto Travel CPAP Machine was designed with travel in mind. The lightweight and portable design is FAA-compliant for in-flight use, so travel plans don’t have to interfere with therapy. The device includes an optional built-in rechargeable battery that can run for an entire night when fully charged.
The HDM Z2 automatically starts therapy as soon as it detects breathing and stops when the mask is removed. Pressure levels auto-adjust based on altitude, air leakage, and breathing to optimize therapy and comfort. Ramp mode lets you fall asleep at a lower-than-prescribed setting while the pressure slowly increases. The Z-Breathe feature has three settings designed to relieve pressure during exhalation.
For those concerned with dryness, the HDM Z2 offers waterless humidification via a small portable cartridge. When placed between the hose and mask, the optional humidifier traps moisture during exhalation and releases it during inhalation.
With a 26 decibel sound level, the HDM Z2 is unlikely to cause much noise disturbance for you or your partner. This is partially thanks to a reusable muffler attachment that fits on the tube. The device’s Bluetooth capability allows it to transmit sleep data to the Nitelog app, enabling users to review feedback and share information with their physicians. The HDM Z2 includes a 30-night trial and a 2-year warranty.
What Is a CPAP Machine?
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines emit pressurized air through a tube and mask to regulate breathing for individuals with blocked or collapsed airways. While they are most commonly used for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), doctors may also prescribe them for patients with other respiratory diseases or heart failure. CPAP machines are Class II medical devices that require a doctor’s prescription.
In addition to prescribing CPAP therapy, a doctor must determine the optimal pressure setting. The continuous flow of air with the right pressure level helps keep a person’s airway passages open, which can normalize breathing and minimize snoring. CPAP therapy should be consistent for the best results.
CPAP therapy requires several components. The machine takes in air, filters it, and pressurizes it. In many cases, a built-in humidifier also adjusts the moisture level. This air then travels through a connective hose into a face mask. The face mask seals over your nose, mouth, or both to administer the air.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing briefly stops or is very shallow.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form of sleep apnea and is frequently seen in men, older adults, and obese individuals. With this condition, muscle relaxation causes tissues to block the airway and obstruct breathing. OSA is diagnosed using a sleep study that measures breathing, oxygen levels, and heart rate. Known as a nocturnal polysomnography, this sleep study may be conducted at a hospital or sleep clinic. However, in-home alternatives are also available.
For patients with OSA, blocked airway passages can cause snoring, gasping, and/or choking sounds. While loud snoring is common with sleep apnea, not everyone who snores has OSA. The most common symptom of sleep apnea is excessive daytime sleepiness, but other side effects related to poor sleep quality are also possible. OSA is associated with several other conditions, including hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and metabolic disorders.
Central sleep apnea is disordered breathing that occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles responsible for respiration. This can result from a stroke, brain infection, or other problems involving the brain stem or cervical spine. Complex sleep apnea involves elements of both central and obstructive sleep apneas but doesn’t always respond well to CPAP therapy.
You should consult with a medical professional if you consistently experience daytime fatigue or other potential symptoms of sleep apnea. Your doctor can perform tests to determine the root cause and assess potential treatment options.
While CPAP machines are commonly prescribed to treat OSA, your doctor might recommend alternative options based on the severity of your condition and your medical history. Surgery to correct anatomical issues or remove tonsils and adenoids may be beneficial for some patients. Another option is an implant that acts like a pacemaker and encourages throat muscles to stay open while sleeping. Less invasive methods include limiting or abstaining from alcohol, losing weight, and not sleeping on your back.
How to Find the Best CPAP Machine For You
Finding a CPAP machine that you feel comfortable using is critical for successful therapy. The abundance of models on the market can be overwhelming for first-time users, but knowing which features to prioritize can help narrow your search. We’ll highlight some of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a CPAP machine, but always ask your doctor or sleep specialist for recommendations before making a purchase.
Pressure Range: Pressure drives CPAP therapy, so the machine must pump out a strong enough level to open the airway. Most machines have a range between 4 and 20 cm H2O. Your doctor will determine what pressure setting is right for you.
Ramp Features: For some individuals undergoing CPAP therapy, falling asleep is challenging if the initial pressure is too intense. Therefore, many models have a ramp function that gradually increases pressure levels to ease users into therapy.
Sound Level: Many sleepers are sensitive to noise. A CPAP machine with a sound level of under 30 decibels shouldn’t cause many disturbances since this is approximately the volume of a whisper.
Moisture Regulation: CPAP therapy can result in stuffiness, nosebleeds, and a dry mouth. To combat excessive dryness, many models include humidifiers. Many machines have integrated humidifiers, while others incorporate waterless attachments that affix to the tube and trap moisture. Some designs use heated tubes to help optimize both the temperature and humidity of the pressurized air.
Data Tracking: CPAP machines often collect data on breathing patterns, heart rate, and blood oxygen levels. This information can help you and your doctor monitor your progress. Models often feature integrated wireless connections to transmit sleep data to an app. Others rely on SD cards to store data.
Sleep Trials and Warranties: Many CPAP machines are not returnable, which is why it’s crucial to double-check your doctor’s recommendations before making a purchase. Some brands include a sleep trial, but this isn’t the norm. Most models include a warranty, however, which protects against manufacturing defects. The average warranty for a CPAP machine is 2 years, but some are as long as 5 years.
Types of Sleep Apnea PAP Machines
“CPAP machine” is widely used as an umbrella term for any kind of positive airway pressure device that’s used to treat sleep apnea. In reality, there are different types of machines that offer unique forms of therapy. Not all devices are ideal for all medical conditions. A doctor can advise you on which option is best for you.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines send a constant flow of pressurized air to a user’s respiratory system. A doctor may adjust the prescribed pressure level according to the patient’s need, but the goal is always the same: to keep air passages open while sleeping. CPAP machines tend to be the least complicated since they maintain a consistent pressure level throughout the night.
Travel CPAP Machines
Travel CPAP machines serve the same purpose as standard machines but are smaller and lighter weight. They often include rechargeable batteries to make on-the-go therapy more convenient. FAA-approved models are able to be used while in-flight.
Bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machines deliver one pressure level for inhalation and a different level for exhalation. BiPAP therapy is a good alternative for people who have trouble with CPAP machines, particularly if they find pressure levels too intense during exhalation. Many BiPAP machines also have a CPAP setting, making them a versatile “two-for-one” device.
As a caveat, most insurers only cover BiPAP machines if a patient can prove that CPAP therapy was unsuccessful. While BiPAP machines are often used to treat central sleep apnea and some other conditions, most doctors first prescribe CPAP therapy to OSA patients before exploring alternative methods.
Automatic positive airway pressure (APAP) machines offer variable pressure based on a sleeper’s unique breathing patterns. When a user’s breathing is consistent, the machine decreases pressure output. If the internal sensors detect resistance, then more pressure is applied to assist a patient’s breathing.
High-movement sleepers can often benefit from APAP machines since shifting positions creates changing pressure demands. Side sleepers who have fewer apnea events may also find APAP more comfortable than CPAP therapy. One downside is that APAP machines are usually more expensive than CPAP machines.
How to Buy a CPAP Machine
If you’ve completed a sleep study and been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, then your doctor might recommend CPAP therapy. Purchasing a CPAP machine either in person or online requires a prescription from a medical professional since they are Class II medical devices. Your physician or sleep specialist will indicate a suitable pressure range and might even recommend a particular model based on your needs.
We’ll outline the fundamentals of buying a CPAP machine, but always follow your doctor’s guidelines before making a decision.
Have your prescription ready. Whether you purchase a machine at a brick-in-mortar location or online, you need to have a valid prescription. Shopping online offers more options and isn’t much more complicated than buying a machine in person. You’ll typically be asked to upload your prescription before completing your online purchase. In some instances, however, you can email or fax a copy to the retailer after placing an order.
Check insurance eligibility. Don’t assume that your health insurance automatically covers the cost of a CPAP machine. Before making a purchase, contact your provider or check eligibility under the “durable medical equipment” section of your benefits.
Be prepared to purchase accessories. While CPAP machines often include essential equipment, like tubing and filters, you still need to purchase a mask, headgear, and other accessories. You also need to replace your supplies regularly. Your insurance provider may cover certain items, but it is sometimes cheaper to pay out of pocket once you factor in deductibles and copays.
How Much Do CPAP Machines Cost?
Shoppers can expect to pay between $300 and $1,000 for a typical CPAP machine, but very high-end models can reach over $3,000. Traditional CPAP machines are generally less expensive than APAP and BiPAP models since they don’t utilize sensors or variable pressure settings. Travel CPAP machines usually cost as much or more than standard models.
CPAP therapy requires several accessories, including masks, cushions, pillows, headgear, filters, hosing, and batteries. Items like mask cushions and filters need to be replaced every few weeks, but most parts are functional for 3 to 6 months.
Exploring coverage options with your insurance provider can make the cost of a CPAP machine more manageable. You’ll likely have to pay for most accessories out of pocket, but some insurance companies cover a set amount of replacement parts annually.
Health Insurance and CPAP Machines
The relationship between CPAP therapy and health insurance isn’t always clear-cut. Most plans offer at least partial coverage for CPAP machines, but you’ll have to tick a number of boxes before qualifying. Some insurance companies determine eligibility based on your apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), which indicates the severity of your sleep apnea. Patients typically have to participate in a new sleep study every three years or so to renew their coverage.
Insurance coverage for CPAP machines usually occurs in one of two ways. A company will either reimburse you after you’ve purchased the device in full, or you’ll enter a “rent-to-own” contract. In the second scenario, you’ll have to prove therapy compliance for a certain amount of time before owning the machine.
Given how thorny insurance coverage and CPAP therapy can be, you should confirm the specifics of your plan before making a purchase. You can check your eligibility in the “durable medical equipment” category of your benefits, but speaking to your insurance provider directly can help clarify any confusion.