Wondering which new CPAP machine to buy? There is nothing more important when purchasing a piece of medical equipment than being well informed about all of the available options.
Remember, any medical equipment that you need to purchase should be considered carefully. You need to understand what the pros and cons of each model are to ensure that you are getting the best possible option for your needs.
This is especially true where the best CPAP machine could end up saving your life.
This is a big investment and is likely to be something that you will need to use your whole life. As such, you need to consider a lot more than just the upfront cost. Not only could this machine save your life, but it could also improve the overall quality of your life tremendously.
But how effective the results are depends on the model you choose. You have to think about a range of considerations like:
- How much noise does it make? Being able to breathe freely is not all that helpful if the noise keeps you up all night.
- How much will you have to pay? Is your insurance going to cover all the costs or will you need to pay a portion? What about maintenance costs and consumables down the line? Less expensive models might save you cash upfront but are bound to cost more in the long-run due to maintenance costs.
- What are other users saying, good or bad?
In this post, we will look at the best CPAP machines on the market today and see how they measure up in terms of warranty, price, sound, data management, ramp, and portability.
CPAP Machine Comparison Table
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4 - 20 cm
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Our Top Four CPAP Machines Reviewed
#1. Dreamstation Auto
hilips has established itself as one of the leading brands for electronic devices of all natures, but has really excelled when it comes to medical technology.
This model tops our list of best CPAP machines because it is small in size and very efficient – both factors which make it highly portable.
The full-color display is easy to read, and the machine has smart features which put it at the top of our list.
One of the most innovative features is the light sensor built into it. This sensor detects when the light levels in the room change and dims or brightens the screen accordingly.
This device automatically adjusts the pressure as necessary when in use and is able to make corrections with every new breath taken. You can rest assured that you will always experience the optimal pressure.
The humidifier hose has been placed on the top of the device to make it easy to access no matter what position you are in. The display faces forward to ensure that it is easy to operate on your own.
The machine makes use of three proven technologies – A-Flex, C-Flex, and C-Flex+. You can use the Opti-Start function to start off your new therapy session at 90% of what the pressure was during the last session. This can help to address and issues still remaining from the previous session.
The Dreamstation syncs in with the user’s natural breathing patterns and this helps it learn what the optimal pressure for each breath is. Because you are getting the correct pressure relief as and when necessary, the airways naturally become more pliable and open.
You also have full access to the data that it gathers throughout the night. It has its own built-in modem, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi capabilities so that you can keep a complete record of events. It records Periodic Breathing, AHI, Therapy Hours and Leak Rate.
It also records the pressure that the machine was during Opti-Starts, so you have a full record of how effective your treatment has been. You can use the machine to check whether or not the mask fits properly, and it notifies you if the filter needs to be changed. It has an automatic On/Off feature as well.
For a little extra, you can also have heated tubes and a heated humidifier. In this case, the humidifier has tech built into it to prevent the water being cycled back into the machine while operating.
The humidifier’s water chamber is easy to remove for regular cleaning – it can even go in the dishwasher.
The heated tube makes the therapy sessions more comfortable and can be plugged in directly when you are not using the humidifier. The device features a SmartRamp feature that increases the pressure if, and only if, an event does occur. This comes in at a good price and overall, with the features is a good buy.
You can get all these features at a very reasonable price. Though this machine has all the features that can make you fall in love with it, few have reported of noise disturbance issues from the machine during sleeping. Other than that, the machine is a go for its product for treating your sleep issues.
You get a full two-year warranty with this model.
#2. ResMed AirSense 10
The ResMed S9 range was very popular because it was packed with features. This follow-up model offers all the best features and a few more besides.
This auto-adjust air pressure so that your needs are always met and it makes sure that you have a comfortable therapy session. It features Climate Control, AutoRamp, Smart Start, Air View, Expiratory Pressure Relief and cell technology.
The Autoset is easy to operate and very user-friendly. What makes this new model different is that you can make use of their proven tech to ensure pressure is automatically adjusted but can opt to pay a little extra for a heated tube for your humidifier.
Also, unlike previous options, this one supports wireless communication. It connects through local cell tech to ensure that data is backed up correctly.
The AutoRamp feature allows the machine to tell if you are asleep and if so, it will increase the pressure periodically. This makes falling asleep a lot easier for you.
You don’t have to worry about turning it on or off – the machine can sense your breathing and so starts automatically when necessary.
It is a very quiet option as long as the mask is properly in place. You can use all the accessories that came with the S9 range, so you don’t have to throw away extra filters if you decide to upgrade.
This model comes with a bag to make traveling with it easier, and it is nice and compact, though maybe a little broad. You can choose to have the computer remind you when it is time to start replacing the equipment.
It is not perfect – you have to be careful about placement because of movements while sleeping can affect the hose and consequently cause it to tip over. So, if you are a restless sleeper, this is probably not the ideal option for you to try.
Pricewise it is not a lot more than the previous range, but those were considered to be in the higher price range. This is not a cheap machine, but it has good features and should last well.
#3. Apex Medical iCH II Auto
Apex has took everything that was good about its previous device and added into a whole new, highly attractive package that won’t take up too much space on your bedside table. If you want the best CPAP machine for snoring and sleep insomnia, this is your best bet.
The features are great – there is a humidifier built-in, sound dampeners, pressure relief tech, a USB port, and space for an SD card. It is a little old-school in that it does not support the wireless or Bluetooth transfer of information but this has helped to keep the machine more compact.
It is useful also because you can transfer the data to the USB drive and take it straight to your medical practitioner. The SD card is necessary to store the data while it is being collected.
This machine runs whisper-quiet and is the best on the market in this respect. At 2.8 pounds, it is easily portable meaning that you can use it at home or on the go.
Most similar medical devices advise you about a pressure change, and then you have to decide what to do. This one actually does something about them. It makes use of an algorithm to determine what your normal pressure levels should be and then adjusts these when you inhale. You don’t even have to wake up.
You also don’t need to worry about needing to run to the doctor all the time for an analysis of the results. The machine will display it in basic terms so that you can read it without a medical degree.
The humidifier is capable of running for up to 8 hours at a time. It is easy to use and has sensors to alert you if there is leakage. And, as if that wasn’t enough, it can also function as an alarm clock.
This is a great option but is warned; it does come in higher on the price. You do, however, get a full two-year warranty on it.
#4. XT-FitCPAP Machine
This machine is different in that it can fit in the palm of your hand. This makes it extremely useful if you need to travel a lot. Don’t let the size fool you, though. This can tangle with the best of them.
It features a ramp-up function, a function to compensate for leaks, a clear LED display, and an optional heated humidifier.
It runs just about dead silent, so if you are a light sleeper, this is a good bet for you. It increases the pressure gently every five minutes over a period of 45 minutes.
The LED is backlit so that you can read it easily even in bad lighting conditions. This makes it simple to adjust settings as and when needed but it can be a little annoying at night. All you need to do to block out the light is to put a cloth over it, so it is an easy issue to solve.
It needs between 100V and 240 V AC power to operate and so can be used in a range of different areas. If you are going abroad, though, you will need to get an adapter for the plug.
If you live in a cold area, you can also purchase the heated humidifier so that therapy is a lot more comfortable for you. The heated tube fits in with the compact size of the machine, so it does not take up a dreadful amount of space.
This is a great little machine, excellent for traveling with and compact and effective. On the downside, you do have to sacrifice some features to save on space. In this case, this is the capacity to record data and the ability to auto-adjust.
Types of CPAP Machines
There are basically three types of CPAP machines. While they all do the same thing, they work in slightly different ways. So, you have the CPAP, the Auto CPAP or APAP, and the Bi-PAP.
Let’s see what the difference is.
CPAP: This stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, and it is the most basic type. With this option, you need to wear a mask, and the machine delivers a consistent supply of pressure, based on what has been programmed into it.
APAP: This stands for Automatic Positive Airway Pressure. Many of the models discussed above are of this type. They are generally a bit more expensive, but they can adjust the pressure supplied based on the individual patient’s needs at the time. To do this, they run algorithmic equations to determine what the patient’s current needs are.
Bi-PAP: This delivers pressure consistently but can alter the pressure for inhalation and exhalation. Upon inhalation, the pressure is high, upon exhalation the pressure is low. The advantage of this is that it makes it easier for the user to breath out because they don’t have to fight against the air pressure. These machines might need the most adjustment so expect regular visits to your doctor while settling in. These machines can either be set to timed changes, spontaneous changes or a combination of the two.
What to Consider Before Buying a CPAP Machine
Your needs will dictate what features are most important to you, but here are the features that should be present in all good machines:
1. Ramp function: This means that the air pressure is increased slowly instead of just in one fell swoop. It is important because the body needs to adjust to breathing in this way.
2. Leak compensation: Unless you have the breathing mask glued onto your face, there will always be some air leaking out. Good machines compensate for this and ensure that the pressure is maintained despite it.
3. Data recording: This is especially important when you are initially settling in because it highlights potential adjustments and lets you see if the device is actually helping reduce the number of incidents.
4. Mask alert: This is an annoying feature but one that is extremely useful. This alerts you when the mask slips out of place. Generally, the machine will beep until you fix the situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the quietest CPAP machine?
The CPAP machines that we have reviewed here today are all designed to run as quietly as possible, unlike their predecessors.
Modern CPAPs work on reducing vibrations and sound emissions to less than 30 dB. This is not very loud, even in the noisier options.
If you are very sensitive to noise at night, a good pair of earplugs will take care of that. Otherwise, you quickly get used to any sound produced by the machine.
How much does a CPAP machine cost?
The good CPAP machines are not cheap, but the investment is worthwhile. If you are on a tight budget, you could forego features like heated tubes until you have a bit more wiggle-room.
It is also important to check with your insurance before making the decision as many models are covered by your carrier.
How often should I change my filters and tubing?
For filters, experts advice that you change the disposable filters once you see them get fairly dirty. However, for foam reusable filters, you can rinse and let them air dry at least once a week.
For tubing, Medicare guidelines states that replace them after every 30 days.
Do CPAP machines come with a warranty?
This will depend on the company you are buying your CPAP machine but the usual warranty period is two years. You do need to remember that these machines will be used a lot and so there is a fair amount of wear and tear that won’t be covered.
You will, for example, need to replace the filters and masks every now and again. But, generally speaking, if you stick to a reputable model, there won’t be any need to undertake serious repairs for a long time to come.
Are CPAP machine portable?
Yes, they are plug and play devices, so all you need to do to set them up is to plug them in. If you are traveling outside of your home country, do check whether or not you need an adaptor or not.
Some of the best CPAP machine models are also battery powered, and this can be useful if you need to use them during the day.
Is there a maintenance schedule for my CPAP Machine?
Contrary to what experts say, no regular maintenance schedule is required to be performed except for the changing of filters, tubing and water chambers.
While sleep apnea is not necessarily curable, it is manageable as long as you seek treatment. This is not something that will go away on its own, and it can severely impact your quality of sleep and so to your life.
Depending on how severe your condition is, you could even be risking your life every time you go to sleep if you ignore the issue.
Now, I realize that the idea of sleeping with a mask on all night is neither sexy nor comfortable, but it is better than playing chicken with death, or walking through life like a zombie because you did not get enough sleep.
Any of the machines reviewed above are excellent choices for you because they have all the features that you need. If I had to narrow it down to the very best CPAP machine, though, the DreamStation Auto would come up trumps in terms of quality, features, and price.