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Last updated: September 12, 2021
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Restless and interrupted sleep can often manifest in other poor ways later during the day, such as fatigue, nausea, low energy, and less productivity. Moreover, it can lead to more dangerous consequences
Trusted SourceSleep Apnea | NHLBI, NIHSleep apnea can occur when the upper airway is blocked during sleep, stopping airflow. A breathing device can help prevent complications.
, such as heart attack, diabetes, and behavioral and cognitive disorders. Here, we have reviewed the best CPAP machines to help you choose the best one to help you tackle sleep apnea.
We carefully considered some basic features, such as the modes of the CPAP machine, the pressure range, the ramp time and humidifier, as well as the level of sound pressure and dimensions of the machine. These features tell you about the functioning and range of the machine, as well as how much space you would require to keep them on your nightstand. We also considered some extra features that set each machine apart from the other, providing buyers with a range of choices.
The ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet CPAP with HumidAir is our top pick because of its overall likeable features. This CPAP machine has two modes, including CPAP and APAP, with a pressure range of 4 to 20 cm H2O. It lets you set the ramp from 0 to 45 minutes, with 5-minute increments, or choose to set it on auto mode, which uses an algorithm to adjust to your breathing pattern flawlessly. The sound pressure level of the ResMed AirSense 10 is 26.6 dBA, and it comes with a built-in humidifier to keep the air around you clean and breathable while you sleep. The dimensions of this machine are 10.04 x 4.57 x 5.91 inches, which includes the humidifier.
This improved model comes with a unique “For Her” feature that is adept for the unique needs of women, making it one of the best CPAP machines for sleep apnea for women and men alike.
The ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet CPAP is better than other models because it identifies respiratory effort-related arousal and Cheyne-Stokes respiration events, which offer users valuable insights that medical professionals and health physicians find extremely useful when treating patients with sleep apnea.
It is best suited for people who like to track their sleep data, which is allowed through the smart technology that it employs. It also works very well for people who experience discomfort in exhalation during their sleep due to obstructive sleep apnea.
What are our favorite features?
This top-of-the-line CPAP machine with a humidifier has several unique features that make it one of our favorite picks. For starters, the dimensions and lightweight of this machine make it easily portable and suitable for carrying in a suitcase. The smart technology and comfort features make it one of the quickest CPAP machines and the sound is almost too quiet to notice, allowing better and more comfortable sleep. It has great extra features, such as an advanced detection technology that requires no manual setting, an LED color screen that is easy to read even in the dark, and an ambient light sensor that makes this machine more suitable for night-time use. It also comes with a 2-year warranty, making it a safe purchase.
What could be better?
Even though this machine is everything and more that we expect in a CPAP machine, there are some improvements that would make this machine a winner in the market. It does not come with a trial period that helps buyers decide whether this is the right product for them, which may deter some buyers from considering it.
The Devilbiss IntelliPAP Auto Bi-level Machine is a two-in-one CPAP and AutoBiPAP machine, which comes with an auto-adjust technology that makes it an excellent CPAP machine. It has a built-in power supply, along with dimensions of 6.4 x 6.5 x 8.4 inches that makes it lightweight and easily portable. It comes with a built-in humidifier that ensures clean and fresh airflow throughout the night. The pressure range of this machine is 3 to 25 cm H20, with 0.5 increments, as well as a ramp time of 0–45 minutes, with 5-minute increments. Along with some great performance features that we will discuss shortly, this CPAP machine has a sound pressure level of 26dB and comes with a 5-year warranty.
This model is equipped with top-of-the-line technology, like SmartCode Therapy, which is a monitoring system that reviews your sleep data almost accurately. The smart code displays sleep data on the LED screen, which comes in handy at doctor visits, for monitoring and regulating your sleep therapy schedule and technique. Moreover, the new AutoAdjust allows for the machine to use lower average air pressure, resulting in greater comfort as compared to other models and brands. The Devilbiss IntelliPAP Auto Bi-level Machine also uses a flow rounding and soft start technology that ensures a smooth transition during pressure changes.
This machine is suitable as an obstructive sleep apnea breathing machine. It can work for both obstructive sleep apnea sufferers and others who experience other breathing issues during sleep.
Why are we impressed?
This CPAP machine is a great pick for those who struggle with sleep apnea because it has a fast ramp speed that ensures high functioning, along with sound and weight features that make it a user-friendly product. It also comes with a heated and integrated 400-mL humidifier, to combat any stuffiness in the room, making breathing easier and comfortable. The automatic shut-off feature and altitude adjustment take environmental cues to adjust the machine so that it works just right according to the weather. Moreover, with performance features like SmartCode therapy and soft start technology, this CPAP machine tracks sleep information accurately.
What negatives must you be aware of?
Even though this model is a very high functioning and user-friendly one, it lacks some features of later models, such as event detection and SmartFlex exhale pressure relief, but overall it works great for most users. It is also one of the higher-priced picks, so it might not be the best option for those who are on a budget.
The Philips DreamStation CPAP Pro with Humidifier is our value pick, which offers excellent features at an even better price! It has two modes, including Fixed CPAP, CPAP-Check, and an excellent pressure range of 4 to 20 cm H2O. This machine has a ramp time of 0 to 45 minutes. The sound pressure level is not specified. The built-in humidifier is a well-liked feature that makes this one of the best affordable CPAP machines. Its dimensions of 11.4 x 7.5 x 3.1 inches make it slightly bigger and bulkier than other models. It comes with a 2-year warranty that ensures safe purchase and trust in the manufacturer.
This CPAP machine differs from other models in many ways and the main ones are its high-tech features. It uses C-Flex Plus comfort technology that includes flow-based pressure relief at the beginning of exhalation and incorporates an innovative A-Flex technology that softens the transition during pressure changes. The three different settings that the C-Flex Plus offers can be personalized, making this a more customizable pick than others.
Moreover, this machine features smart technologies that are automated and adapt to pressure and environmental changes. It also employs a resistance control technology that maintains just the right pressure for all kinds of masks. One feature that sets this machine apart from all previous models and other brands is the wireless Bluetooth connectivity that it offers, which allows you to connect the CPAP machine to your smartphone and enjoy easy control.
This machine is best for those who like easy technology, require an uncommon mask size, and have a bigger budget.
Why did it make our list?
This is an excellent model, with high-tech features that are sure to make you fall in love with this CPAP machine. We really liked the advanced data storage technology in this model, along with other very useful features like the EZ-Start acclimation algorithm and Bluetooth connectivity. Moreover, the C-Flex + technology allows for greater comfort, making it worth the price. This device comes with a 30-day auto trial period that lets users or potential buyers experience the machine’s functioning for a month before they make an investment. It allows humidity control and heat tubing, which is a unique and highly coveted feature of the Philips DreamStation CPAP Pro.
What is not ideal about it?
Even though the Philips DreamStation CPAP Pro won us over with its unique and smart features that use cutting-edge technology to revolutionize sleep therapy, there are some things that can be better. Firstly, the price of this model is quite high, which makes it inaccessible for those with a limited budget. Moreover, it does not have a built-in heated humidifier, which means extra costs will be incurred if this feature is purchased separately.
The Fisher & Paykel Sleepstyle CPAP machine is best known for its automatic adjustment features. This machine is 5.7 x 7.0 x 7.2 inches in size, making it easy to handle and operate. This easy-to-use CPAP machine has a pressure range between 4-20 cm H2O and a 28dBA sound pressure. Offering features such as built-in Bluetooth, auto-adjusting pressure, ideal ramp time, the sleep style is a must-have CPAP machine for those suffering from sleep apnea.
In comparison to its previous models, the sleep style advances on its technologies. This version features integrated Bluetooth which allows you to access the machine from your smartphone or computers. This latest feature allows you to remain up to date with your sleep data. This particular feature also allows for the smooth transfer of data, which is not available in other models.
What makes it stand out?
Ideal for sleep apnea patients, the SleepStyle is a machine that is user-friendly since it has been designed with the recommendation of real CPAP users. The machine is easy to operate due to its simple navigation system. Users can adjust the settings according to their own liking. The SleepStyle also comes with heated tubing that maintains temperature throughout the night. Not only this, but the CPAP machine is able to detect if the user's sleep is getting disturbed and therefore, adjusts the pressure automatically. This allows for you to sleep throughout the night, comfortably.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
While the machine does a great job at performing most of its functions, it has a few downsides. Firstly, the machine is not suitable for everyone's budget levels. This high-priced machine also requires a lot of time and energy for its maintenance which can be a nuisance for many people. The SleepStyle is also a bit large in size, which might not fit in all places.
The Philips DreamStation Go is an ideal CPAP machine for those who travel frequently. If you like to remain on the go but do not want to compromise on your sleep, then this is your go-to CPAP machine. Built around 11.6 x 5.9 x 2.3 in, this machine is compact and can fit travel bags easily. The machine also weighs less than 2 pounds, making it easy to carry around. This easy-to-handle machine is equipped with numerous features including automatic altitude adjustment, standard CPAP mode adjustments, Bluetooth connectivity, and so much more.
In comparison to other models, the dream station go is 65% smaller in size and 48% lighter in weight. This allows the machine to be easier to handle while carrying or operating. The Dreamstation Go also requires 33% lesser components for it to function, making the machine simple and easy to operate even when you are on the go.
Why is it special?
The Dreamstation Go has many features to its name. This lightweight CPAP machine has an ideal data management system that allows for smooth and reliable operation. The machine is also capable of automatic adjustments of any change in altitude or pressure, making it ideal for any environment that you take it to. The machine also comes with a smart humidifier that is able to maintain the moisture content and prevent any drying. The humidifier is easy to use and can be filled up with distilled water or even tap water.
What are the flaws?
While it comes with many useful features, the machine does have a lot of room for improvement. The machine can be a bit too loud which can affect sleep. The machine also requires many add ons. The add ons are expensive and increase the overall cost of the machine. Despite its great functioning, the machine is comparatively bigger than other travel-friendly CPAP machines.
The Apex XT Fit Manual CPAP Machine is an affordable option for those who want to remain within a certain budget. This lightweight machine is compact and ideal for those who want to take it along while travelling. With a small build of just 5.8 x 5 x 3.9 inches, the machine can be used anywhere and it still does not compromise on its features. Despite its palm-sized build, the XT Fit manages to deliver as good a performance as other larger machines mentioned above. The machine is able to deliver pressure between 4 to 20 cm H2O. With its numerous features, this machine aids in sleeping anywhere that you want.
Just like other Apex models, the XT Fit CPAP machine also comes with a built-in power supply that allows it to be compact. This helps eliminate the need for any extra parts while making sure that the machine itself remains travel-friendly.
The great thing about this machine is that it’s an extremely user-friendly interface. The bright LED screen also allows you to operate the machine easily, even in darkness.
What makes it special?
The XT Fit is also accompanied by a humidifier that can be heated and help reduce any irritation that can be caused by CPAP machines. The humidifier ensures that there is enough moisture in the air that can help prevent dryness or bleeding. The humidifier has been tested and approved for use.
What cons did we find?
Even though the Apex XT is a great machine that is ideal for travelling, it lacks some important features. For example, the machine lacks automatic altitude adjustment and has to be adjusted manually, which can be a hassle at times. The machine also fails to alert the user when there is low pressure. While the machine does a great job at performing its function, it can do with a pressure relief and pressure adjustment feature. This feature can help with sleep and monitoring more reliably.
Things to Consider
Those who suffer from breathing problems, such as obstructive sleep apnea find it difficult to get a restful and uninterrupted sleep. CPAP machines are a type of device that helps sleep apnea patients breathe better during their sleep, by sending a steady flow of oxygen to the nose and mouth. This helps sleep apnea sufferers keep their airways open and reduce breathing interruptions and snoring. Let’s have a look at how these machines function and what features you must consider before buying a CPAP machine.
What Is a CPAP Machine and How Does It Work?
A CPAP machine is like an air generator that comprises a compressor that generates a continuous flow of pressurized air, which is filtered and purified and directed towards a flexible tube. The flexible tube is connected to a mask that the user wears around their nose or mouth. The purified air, therefore, travels through the tube into the airways of the user, helping them receive a continuous stream of breathable oxygen throughout the night. These machines ensure that the airflow to your lungs is steady and prevents you from waking up at night due to breathing interruptions and disruptions.
Most models also come with a humidifier that helps regulate the air temperature and moisture, making sure that plenty of breathable air is available.
Type of Sleep Apnea You Have Is Important
The types of sleep apnea can vary. There are three types of sleep apnea machines that cater to different breathing and sleeping conditions. The two main types of sleep apnea are central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The best machine for OSA is a CPAP machine, which usually comes in after completing your sleep study. A physician prescribes CPAP machines for sleeping, with a particular pressure value to help you breathe smoothly throughout the night. These machines give you the right amount of oxygen, with just the recommended pressure to get your breathing and treat your OSA.
Important Features to Consider Before You Buy a CPAP Machine
CPAP machines are not the cheapest of devices you can buy, therefore it is always best to consider certain features carefully before you make an investment. These machines have several features that you need to take into account and decide which ones suit your needs the best. The most important consideration is the type of sleep apnea you have, which ultimately dictates which kind of CPAP machine will work best for you. Secondly, there are some main features like the modes available, the ramp time, sound pressure, and dimensions that need to be considered. Moreover, you can also look at some extra features that offer a personalized touch to your purchase.
Operating Pressure Range
Perhaps the most important thing to consider before buying a CPAP machine is to check the operating pressure range. This is important because it determines the amount of pressurized air a machine is capable of providing. Doctors recommend different pressures to different patients of sleep apnea, depending on their sleep study and the specifics of their condition. If a machine does not operate within the recommended range of pressure, it will be useless for you.
The sound pressure level is important to consider, especially if you prefer sleeping in stillness and silence. CPAP machines used to be noisy, which created a constant white noise throughout the night. This may not be a problem for some people who find white noise to be comforting and lulling, but others may find it irritating. Most new models of CPAP machines are made to have a very low sound pressure, which makes them less noisy and almost whisper quiet. If the sound is something that is particularly peeving to you, then make sure to check the sound pressure before you buy a CPAP machine for sleep apnea.
Humidifier Type And Capacity
Artificially breathing air through a CPAP machine can cause your throat and airways to dry up and cause irritation as well. This is why a humidifier is important. Most CPAP machines come with a built-in humidifier to combat this issue. You can also get a humidifier separately if your CPAP machine doesn’t have one; however, with the models in our list of the best CPAP machines, you get built-in humidifiers. You can also get detachable ones, which are easier to travel within case you don’t have space to carry the machine with you.
CPAP machines come with two types of filters, disposable ones, and non-disposable ones. This feature depends entirely on personal preference and the amount of time you are willing to spend on the maintenance of your machine. Some CPAP machines come with both filter options, while others can only accommodate either kind. Disposable filters require less maintenance but have a shorter life span, requiring frequent changes, while non-disposable filters may require cleaning every now and again.
Another issue with artificial breathing is that it takes a while to get used to. Wearing a CPAP mask and adapting to the sudden airflow can be difficult, especially for those with moderate sleep apnea because it usually requires a high-pressure setting. A ramp is a comfort feature that most users look for in a CPAP machine. A ramp allows you to get used to the air pressure gradually, by moderating the airflow and slowly building it up to the recommended air pressure.
Make sure to look at the ramp range and time to see if it is suitable for you personally and compatible with your prescribed pressure. Check on this before buying a CPAP machine.
The hose connects your CPAP machine to your mask. You wear the mask while sleeping and place the machine near the bed, preferably on your nightstand. The hose length has to be long enough to cover the distance from your nightstand to your bed or wherever you decide to place your CPAP machine. Just make sure that the hose is long enough to allow room for comfortable movement and does not restrict your mobility while sleeping.
Size, Weight, and Portability
Make sure to check the size, dimensions, and weight of your CPAP machine if you travel frequently because a bulky and heavy machine will not be portable. Some machines are bigger but lightweight, which may take up storage or luggage space but are still easier to carry, while others are travel-friendly and smaller in size, like the Philips DreamStation Go Auto Travel CPAP Machine with Bluetooth on our list. Make sure to also check that your machine is compatible with a range of plug-in adapters, or have a portable battery option because these features come in handy during traveling.
Newer models of CPAP machines, like the ResMed AirSense 10 above, come with a great feature of data recording. This is a useful feature to store and monitor your sleep information. Some CPAP machines record basic information like the duration of time you use the machine. However other more advanced models can record other information as well, such as the occurrence of apnea events, hypopnea events, certain changes in the pressure, instances of snoring, and leakage rates. This information is useful for your doctor or physician to track your progress and design new sleep regimes to improve your sleeping and breathing patterns during the night. You can also check daily, weekly and monthly averages using the data your CPAP machine records.
The rule of hand before making any purchases that are expensive is to check for a warranty. A warranty is basically buyers’ security and manufacturer’s guarantee in the quality of their product. It is best to look for a CPAP machine that comes with at least a 1-year warranty. This way if the machine gets damaged before time, you can get your money back or get it fixed. Some CPAP machine models also come with a trial period, so that the user can be more confident before making a commitment.
While both machines are used for sleep apnea treatment, they are different in the way they function. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP machines usually use air pressure that has been generated by the machine. This air pressure travels through the tube and into the user’s mask, allowing them to sleep comfortably. On the other hand, BiLevel Positive Airway Pressure or BiPAP machines also deliver air pressure to the user’s face, but they deliver two pressures: inhale and exhale pressures.
It is recommended that you replace the filter at least twice a month or after every two weeks. Once your filter starts discoloration, it will be time for you to replace the filter. With clean filters, your machine will be able to deliver clean and fresh air, that is free of any extra particles.
The humidifier will be able to run without any water but it will be unable to perform its humidification functions. Moreover, if you do not want to run your CPAP with water, then you can turn the humidification option off.
Ideally, you should be using distilled water for your CPAP machine humidifier. This is because distilled or filtered water is free from any minerals or particles that you could possibly be breathing in. Filtered water is not only better for your health but also increases the life of your CPAP machine.
Even though all the models on our list are top of the line, we have some favorite ones that win the race.
The best one is our editor’s choice ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet CPAP with HumidAir. It has excellent features such as smart technology, comfort features, an excellent warranty, lightweight, and an overall high functioning device.
Secondly, we have the premium pick, Devilbiss IntelliPAP Auto Bi-level Machine. This is a luxury option that comes with some great extra features, like whisper-quiet running, several automated features, SmartCode therapy, and soft start technology.