Best CPAP machines

A CPAP machine, or a continuous positive air pressure machines, is a common way to treat sleep apnea. By drawing in outside air through an internal fan, CPAP machines can pressurize and humidify air before delivering it through a connected hose to a breathing face mask.

A doctor’s prescription is needed to buy a CPAP machine and its accessories. When choosing a CPAP machine, always consider the price, volume, and size as well as built-in features and humidifier capacity. Here are a few tips on what to look for in the best CPAP machine and a few reviews to help you start shopping.

Healthy Howard’s Picks

ResMed AirMini

— Built-in Humidifier
— Quiet and portable
— Bluetooth technology
— Automatic Stop and Start Function

Philips Respironics DreamStation Go

— Built-in Power Pack
— Bluetooth connectivity and DreamMapper app
— Includes a USB charging port
— FAA approved

ResMed AirStart 10

— Built-in Humidifier
— Easy to Clean
— EPR Technology
— LCD Display with easy to use interface

Fisher & Paykel ICON Premo

Highlights

  • Built-in Humidifier
  • Heated Hose
  • SmartStick software tracking
  • Alarm Clock
  • Preset Ramp Time

Easy and convenient to use, the Fisher & Paykel ICON Premo features a built-in humidifier, a preset ramp time option, a heated breathing tube, and a music and alarm playback function. The built-in humidifier is capable of holding 420 mL of water which is a lot higher than the average CPC machines capacity. Plus, as you get ready for bed, you can use the ramp time preset which only lasts twenty minutes.

The ICON uses an InfoSmart interface that lets you track sleep data like how many apnea episodes occur each hour as well as leak rates. The ThermoSmart Heated Hose is equipped with a lining of copper coils that reduces condensation and gives you a comfortable heated breathing experience. Other features include automatic altitude adjustments, SmartStick software that plugs into the included USB port that allows you to easily program and download songs, as well as an alarm clock that is integrated into the machine.

Pros

  • Helpful sleep data tracking
  • Convenient alarms
  • Reduced condensation

Cons

  • On the expensive side

Philips Respironics DreamStation Go

Highlights

  • Built-in Power Pack
  • Bluetooth connectivity and DreamMapper app
  • Includes a USB charging port
  • FAA approved

With flexible technology, the Philips Respironics DreamStation Go is a popular choice when traveling due to its ability to work as either an auto or fixed CPAP machine. This is a lightweight and compact CPAP machine that is approved by the FAA for use in-flight and easily packs down into half the typical unit size for travel. Equipped with a built-in power pack, there is no need to travel with an awkward power pack that takes up space in your suitcase helping the machine to stay under two pounds total weight, and it also comes with an optional clamshell that helps to guarantee safe transport as you go through security scanners at the airport.

The DreamStation Go also features a 12mm flexible tubing that measures six feet long that is both easy to pack and provides added mobility as you sleep. Even though it is half the size of standard tubing, it still connects easily with any type of CPAP mask. Automatically evaluating your breathing patterns, the DreamStation GO gives you pressure relief by mimicking natural breathing so it is easier for you to keep up your CPAP therapy.

Not only does the DreamStation Go fly well, but it is also a great choice when you go camping, especially with the included USB ports that let you easily charge mobile devices. The DreamStation Go also includes two sleep training sessions to help you learn how to best use your CPAP equipment and achieve better sleep. Plus, this machine will store breathing compliance data over one year and can use Bluetooth technology to connect wirelessly to the DreamMapper app to monitor your progress.

Pros

  • Very sturdy and compact
  • Handy USB charging port
  • Travels really well and packs easily in a suitcas

Cons

  • On the expensive side

ResMed AirMini

Highlights

  • Built-in Humidifier
  • Quiet and portable Bluetooth technology
  • Automatic Stop and Start Function

One of the smallest CPAP machines available, the ResMed AirMini Auto Travel CPAP weighs 10.6 ounces and is incredibly portable. This very quiet machine is powered by a little 20-watt power cord, and you can also purchase an optional carrying case or small lithium battery. This machine is also designed to work in either APAP or CPAP mode.

Utilizing a ramp features that lets you adjust the CPAP pressure slowly, the AirMini also uses an automatic stop and start function that allows you to simply put on the mask and begin breathing to start therapy and automatically stop therapy when the mask is removed. Plus, you can the EPR setting when you need to between 1 cm to 3 cm H2O.

With the most current ResMed technology, the AirMini includes HumidX that can improve the level of moisture in the machine without needing a totally integrated humidifier. HumidX acts as a small and disposable waterless humidifier that is about the size of a quarter. Bands of materials are implanted into the pod that sits right on the mask tubing.

The AirMini is capable of working with the AirFit F20 Mask, the AirFit P10 Mask, and the Airfit N20. You can also connect wirelessly using Bluetooth technology to see you sleep therapy data using the AirMIni app that will give you a leak rate, events per hour, and a 30-day sleep score, usage hours, events per hour, and leak rate.

Pros

  • Very sturdy and compact
  • Handy USB charging port
  • Travels really well and packs easily in a suitcase

Cons

  • A little on the noisy side

ResMed S9 Escape

Highlights

  • Color Display
  • Climate Control Feature
  • AutoSet Technology
  • EPR Technology

Compact and sleek, the ResMed S9 Escape will give you the most comfort as you sleep. Using Expiratory Pressure Relief (EPR) technology, you get an incredible natural breathing experience when air pressure is reduced as you exhale so you don’t have to work as hard to keep the same pressure going. This machine also makes almost no noise for a quiet and comfortable night’s sleep.

The Escape comes with large buttons and a color display that lets you easily change the settings. With its stylish appearance, it easily fits into your bedroom décor or any room that you plan to use it in. plus, the Escape also provides APAP technology and uses the S9 Auto-Set to monitor your breathing so it can adapt to any changes that happen as you sleep.

Using a climate control feature, the Escape can use a thermostat found at the end of the tubing to help set the temperature in the mask and adjust as needed. In case the temperature drops, the tubing is capable of heating up the air to the temperature you have already chosen helping to prevent dry mouth after use.

The Escape can also store data including days used, run hours, used, hours, and average use for up to one year with both onboard and removable data storage. The machine can also tell you if the fit of the mask isn’t correct so you know you are wearing it the right before you fall asleep. Finally, the AutoSet Technology gives you ease of use and comfort with just the right pressure amount at each stage of sleep.

Pros

  • Quiet with easy to use controls
  • Climate lined tubing prevents leaks
  • Easy to adjust settings

Cons

  • A little large to travel with

ResMed AirStart 10

Highlights

  • Built-in Humidifier
  • Easy to Clean
  • EPR Technology
  • LCD Display with easy to use interface

A great value, the ResMed AirStart 10 CPAP offers both basic but essential features that you want in a CPAP machine. Designed for easy use and set up, the AirStart 10 allows you to plug in the device and start using it without having to worry about difficult settings or menus to deal with. It has an LCD display with an easy to use interface, plus it includes an SD card that can collect important compliance data that allows you to track your therapy or even forward the information to your doctor.

Using Expiratory Pressure Relief technology, the AirStart 10 reduces pressure when you exhale providing more comfort. It will also ramp up the level of pressure automatically by starting at a lower pressure than prescribed and then slowly increasing to the correct level by the time you fall asleep. You can also have the pressure gradually decrease overnight so it won’t wake you up.

If you are in an unnatural respiratory phase, the EPR can detect it and respond after ten second or more of apnea. Until the respiratory cycle begins again, the machine will stop and apply the pressure prescribed. The AirStart 10 also features a large water chamber that can hold 380 ml of water that will pump moist and warm air preventing stuffy noses and rainout.

This durable machine also features an integrated humidifier to guarantee that there is moist and warm air that is entering your respiratory tract as you do therapy. The included humidifier will preheat to make sure your therapy time is comfortable right from the beginning. The water chamber is also easy to clean and disassemble. during therapy is warm and moist. The humidifier can be preheated to make sure therapy is pleasant from the start. The water chamber can be easily disassembled and cleaned.

Pros

  • Very durable and quiet
  • Easy to use LCD display
  • Has a humidifier and expiratory pressure relief technology

Cons

  • Not dishwasher safe

Devilbiss IntelliPAP AutoAdjust

Highlights

  • Optional Humidifier
  • SmartFlex Technology
  • SmartCode feature
  • Battery Backup

An effective method of therapy, the Devilbiss IntelliPAP CPAP Machine uses a very sensitive snore detector that can self-adjust the pressure when it detects apnea. Using SmartFlex technology, you can customize your pressure reduction with three levels, plus six rounding options to customize your transition between exhalation and inhalation. With three large buttons, you can easily operate it, plus its compact design makes it easy to travel with.

With a transition rounding feature, the SmartFlex lets you breathe easily against the pressure of therapy stopping you from experiencing adverse changes in pressure. The SmartCode feature is an easy and simple way to monitor your sleep performance without needing software. You will see SmartCode messages displayed on your LCD screen that use a unique encrypted code containing your sleep therapy results which will help to confirm your compliance with the adherence score.

The IntelliPAP is waterproof and durable featuring a stainless-steel heat transfer plate plus a water chamber made of Lexan which is a polycarbonate resin thermoplastic. With the optional humidifier, you can have extra comfort and humidity and comfort while you sleep providing you up to eight hours of humidification on the highest setting. The easy to remove humidifier maximizes humidity through a large surface area and a chamber that can hold enough water to get you through the entire night.

Using a separate connection for AC and DC power, the IntelliPAP can also use a battery backup when needed. The supplied cord can be connected to an AC power source while an optional 12V DC power cord can connect you to a battery or other DC power source. It is capable of switching from the default AC power source to the DC source without interrupting therapy.

Pros

  • Has the option of a battery backup
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Can tell if you are snoring or if there is a mask leak

Cons

  • On the expensive side

ResMed AirCurve 10S

Highlights

  • Full-Color LCD Display
  • Auto-Adjusting
  • Ambient Light Sensor
  • Built-In Humidifier
  • Heated Hose

With an auto-adjusting feature that makes it effective and responsive, the ResMed AirCurve 10S uses innovative technology to set itself apart from other CPAP machines. This all white, sleek machine works well with any room décor and includes a CLD display that displays all the information you need to know.

It also analyzes every breath you take and adjusts itself as needed using a heated hose and built-in humidifier for a comfortable night’s sleep.

With a full-color display, the front LCD display not only gives you information about your current sleep experience but also stores information about previous sessions.

Easy to read and intuitive, the menus are simple to navigate with an easy grip dial. Plus, it uses an ambient light sensor that sits right on top and is subtly integrated to detect the ambient light levels in the room and adjust the LCD display’s brightness as needed.

Pros

  • Quiet and simple to use
  • Good air pressure delivery
  • Smooth respiration with comfortable humidity

Cons

  • Water chamber is a pain to deal with

APEX Medical XT Fit

Highlights

  • PVA Pressure Relief Function
  • Illuminated LCD Screen
  • Great for Travelling
  • Optional Heated Humidifier

Portable and lightweight, the durable APEX Medical XT Fit Travel CPAP Machine feature innovative technology that allows you efficient and easy operation. An illuminated LCD screen lets you easily read any data that Is displayed. The XT Fit CPAP gives you all the basic information you need like ramp settings, pressure settings, and operating hours.

Featuring user-friendly functionality, the XT Fit CPAP is ideal for those with respiratory disorders or obstructive sleep apnea. One of the smallest machines available, this is a good traveling CPAP machine or for those that are involved in a lot of sports. It is also a great machine for those that don’t want to carry bulky and heavy machines with them for therapy.

Even though the XT Fit is small, it is still very efficient and works just like larger CPAP machines. You can set the machine with ramp times between 0 and 45 minutes with five-minute increments making therapy easier to use at night. You also get a clinically proven algorithm along with increased pressure stability.

Featuring a PVA Pressure Relief function, you get comfortable CPAP therapy in a very portable machine. With this super quiet machine, you don’t have to worry about external power supplies, and you can easily carry the machine in your luggage.

Pros

  • Easy to set up ramp settings
  • Lightweight, portable, and quiet
  • Comes with a built-in SD card for data collection by the doctor

Cons

  • Only AC power compatible

Respironics DreamStation Auto CPAP

Highlights

  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • SmartRamp Feature
  • Optional Humidifier
  • DreamMapper App

Using a clinically proven algorithm, the Philips Respironics DreamStation CPAP machine has a design that focuses on the user. Using Flex technology, you are guaranteed to have airflow delivered at the lower required amount needed for sleep apnea therapy. Able to detect when you need more air as you sleep, the air will flow continuously no matter how deep a sleep you are in.

With the C-Flex technology, the pressure is lowered at the start of every breath so that you are able to sustain a low pressure when you are exhaling. Airflow is designed to flow like a natural respiratory process so you will not have interrupted sleep. The color display comes with a large dial that allows you to easily navigate the different setting and menus, plus there is an ambient light sensor that will adjust the brightness of the screen to the light in the room.

With optimized humidified air flow, the machine has a heated tubing and you have the choice between either Fixed or Adaptive humidification modes. When using the adaptive mode, the machine will adjust the temperature to match the ambient conditions to create an enjoyable environment. The fixed mode lets you keep the heated plate of the humidifier constant, and it won’t adapt to the environment.

The quiet DreamStation also uses a SmartRamp feature that will monitor your breathing and increases the pressure only when you have an apnea event. It does not increase pressure consistently over time but automatically adjust when it detects apnea to increase pressure to assist the respiratory tract.

Bluetooth connectivity comes standard on the DreamStation with cellular modems and Wi-Fi as optional upgrades. The built-in Bluetooth let you connect easily to the DreamMapper app allowing you to monitor how effective your therapy is.

Pros

  • Bluetooth connectivity that connects to a mobile app
  • Lightweight and quiet
  • Gives you an onscreen progress report

Cons

  • On the expensive side

Transcend EZEX Portable

Highlights

  • Included USB cord
  • Windows Compatible
  • Includes Solar, DC, and AC power options
  • EZEX Pressure Relief Technology

With each exhale, the EZEX pressure relief technology lowers the pressure. The Transcend EZEX Portable CPAP Machine offers a natural and comfortable therapeutic experience and is able to regulate automatically pressure levels to compensate for any shifts in position, leaks in the mask, or apneas. You also get four settings from 0 cm H2O to 4 cm H2O relief as well as several power options including solar and a mobile DC adapter.

The EZEX also allows you to easily track compliance data and can store the data for thirteen months. You can connect it through the included USB cord to a Windows computer to transfer the data.

Equipped with Transcend Multi-Night battery, you get up to sixteen hours or run time. Other power sources include solar, DC, and AC through the Universal AC adapters that are included. All these sources are easy to interchange and will give you power compatibility when you travel and work in most countries.

Pros

  • Very portable, perfect for traveling
  • Has a solar power option
  • Works with any type of mask

Cons

  • A little on the noisy side

CPAP Machine Buyer’s Guide

How a CPAP Machine Works

CPAP machines made today work very much like the machines in the past. However, today’s CPAP machines use quieter and smaller motors than their predecessors. Room air is taken in through a filter and then pressurized to the prescribed settings from your physician. Created to be able to give you water pressure from four cm up to 25 cm, you will often find the air is passed through a humidifier that heats it before being delivered through tubing to the mask.

With a consistent flow of pressurized air, a cushion is created along the upper airway with some CPAP machines even using a pneumatic (air) splint that will keep the throat from caving in. it also stops the tongue, uvula, and soft palate from moving into the airway and reduces the vibrations that are created from snoring. In some cases, it can relieve the swelling in the nose while clearing mucus from along the airway. When the airway is supported, breathing will normalize and you will see improved sleep quality as your fragmented sleeping stop. This will also help maintain oxygen levels and avert and serious consequences of sleep apnea.

These machines will vary somewhat in how they can detect an airway collapse. They do this by measuring the resistance and reacting with increased pressure throughout the night to resolve the sleep apnea. Some of these devices will also try out lower pressures and adjust them down if needed.

Pros and Cons of Using a CPAP Machine

Pros

  • Even though it isn’t a cure, a CPAP Machine is considered the best and most effective treatment from those suffering from sleep apnea issues.
  • Pretty user-friendly, CPAP Machines are considered easy to use and don’t give you a lot of issues with operation.
  • Portable and lightweight, most CPAP machines don’t weigh more than five pounds and are easy to travel with fitting into carry-ons and suitcases.
  • With lots of choices, you can easily find a CPAP machine in your price range that offers the functions you want.

Cons

  • These machines can be noisy and disrupt your sleep and anyone sleeping near you. Many people using one will sleep in another room from their partner.
  • Stuffiness and soreness can be caused by CPAP masks as well as eye irritation.
  • Your sleep mobility can also be restricted due to being connected to a hose that can keep you from turning and tossing so it may be necessary to find a unit with a longer hose.
  • The expense is also another drawback with most CPAP machines costing between $200 and $800 or higher.

Considerations When Buying a CPAP Machine

Sleep Apnea Types

Depending on the type of sleep apnea you have, you will need either a BiPAP or CPAP machine. BiPAP is appropriate for CSA while CPAP is usually prescribed for OSA. If CPAP therapy has failed, however, BiPAP can be used to treat OSA.

Weight and Size

You will notice that most CPAP machines are pretty compact, although some may be larger than other models. If you have a limited area where you will be using it, the most compact model will probably be best. If you travel a lot, you want a lightweight machine that will travel well. You will find that most CPAP machines include a carrying case for easy transport.

Operating Pressure Range

An apnea patient will typically need airflow somewhere between 6 and 14 cmH20 with most CPAP machines able to give you airflow from 4 to 20 cmH20. Make sure you do your research to find out if the CPAP machine you are considering has the correct operating pressure range for your needs.

Ramp Time

The Ramp Time means how much time the machine needs to get to your prescribed operating pressure after you turn it on. Most machines will usually take between 30 and 60 minutes.

Humidifier

Another common feature is a built-in humidifier that requires you to pour water into it. Some models will have a detachable humidifier that you can remove and fill with water. The capacity of the humidifier is another important thing to consider as some large humidifiers can hold more water allowing them to run longer than a machine with a small humidifier.

Volume

If you are familiar with CPAP machines, you know they typically produce noise with some being louder than others. Measured in a-weight decibels, the volume on a CPAP machine will tell you what the relative loudness is of air-based sounds.

Hose Length

Linking the face mask to the CPAP machine, most hoses are six feet long, but if you are not able to set up your machine next to your bed due to the short hose length, make sure to look for a machine that features longer hoses.

Automatic Controls

Shifting to match your breathing patterns, automatic on and off controls easily adjust to your fit your breathing as well as a change in altitude.

Alerts

When pressure is turned off from a lack of power, some CPAP machines will alert you that something is happening. It will also let you know if there is a leak with a hose or if the mask leaves your face. Alerts range for LCD backlighting to audible alarms.

Sleep Data

Many CPAP machine models come with smart technology that can monitor your sleep and give you readable data that can be stored for a month or a year. You can even connect some machines to a computer with either Bluetooth technology or a USB cord to transfer the data.

Operating Altitude

Typically designed to work correctly at specific altitudes, a CPAP machine tell you in the product specifications if exceeding this altitude will compromise the functionality of the delivery of correctly pressurized air.

Warranty

Typically, a CPAP machine does come with a warranty between 2 to 5 years depending its manufacturer.

If you are using a CPAP machine, you know how important it can be in getting a good night’s sleep. Finding the right CPAP machine for your needs is not as hard as you think. Just make sure to do your research to ensure that you get a machine that can address your specific needs correctly.