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Last updated: September 15, 2022
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If you have a sleep disorder like obstructive sleep apnea, you require a continuous positive airway pressure machine to get a sound sleep every night.
Although one can have a CPAP machine in their home, it’s a bit difficult to find a trusted and high-quality travel machine that you can take even when you’re on the move. When compiling this review of the best travel CPAP machines, we considered a variety of factors and chose the top four. We also included a buying guide to help you select the CPAP machine that works for you.
Here’s a breakdown of our top travel CPAP machines.
Otherfeatures: setup kits for F20, N20, and P10 mask; EPR (Expiratory Pressure Relief); Bluetooth; leak compensation; waterless humidification; AirMini app
The first item on our list of the best travel-size CPAP machines is the ResMed AirMini Auto, which impressively comes at the size of a smartphone. The lightweight design makes it easy to carry this groundbreaking machine from place to place, and it supports three operative modes, making it as comfortable as a home machine.
The ResMed AirMini Auto Travel CPAP machine is well-known as a bestseller, as it’s the smallest CPAP machine in the world. The device was designed only for travel use and can be used on Apple and Android devices. It also provides whisper-quiet operation and three modes depending on your needs. It offers expiratory pressure relief and a feature where you start at low pressure before moving to higher pressures.
What are its best features?
The small size and widespread compatibility for Bluetooth and all devices are the main pluses when using this CPAP machine. It can also be used with different mask fits, and it comes with a convenient carrying case for easy travel. The machine automatically adjusts to compensate for air leaks or altitude if you’re in a plane or anywhere else high up. You can easily view your sleep data with your phone and waterless humidification for ease of use.
What could be improved?
On the downside, the ResMed AirMini Auto can only be used with masks from the same brand. You also cannot use the machine without a power outlet, and it’s a bit loud when you place it close to you while sleeping. It does not come with a battery, except you purchase one separately.
We named the Fisher & Paykel SleepStyle Auto CPAP our Premium Pick, as it is well-known for being very easy to use. The innovative machine has a modern design and compact shape that you can easily carry from place to place while you travel. The Arthritis Foundation also singled it out for being the easiest CPAP machine to use.
What makes this stand out among other best portable CPAP machines is how it is designed for easy use. The device incorporates technology like SenseAwake, which reduces the pressure when it senses you are about to wake up. The ThermoStart Tubing feature would also maximize the right temperature throughout the night while you use the CPAP machine. The water chamber was redesigned to fit only one side of the machine, making it convenient for use.
What are our favorite features?
The ease of use of the Fisher & Paykel SleepStyle Auto CPAP machine is the main benefit, as it offers easy navigation and is fitted with larger buttons so that you can easily adjust the settings. It can also be easily operated in the dark, so anyone can set up the machine and go to sleep. The lightweight machine can be easily tucked in your bag while traveling and looks like a sleek alarm clock when you place it on your bedside table.
What could be better?
Although the machine offers ease to use and maintenance, its tech features might be a downside, as some customers have reported software issues and bugs concerning Bluetooth connectivity. There is also the possibility of mask leakage while using the machine, so you must monitor this.
Next on our list of the best travel CPAP machines is the HDM Z2 Travel Manual machine, known for its updated and impressive design that separates it from its predecessors. It features a very lightweight design that makes it perfect for traveling and can be used with any mask. It can fit in any backpack or suitcase and takes little space when you bring it out.
The highlight of this travel CPAP machine is the silent operation. Unlike its predecessor, it uses a quieter and improved motor that makes you feel comfortable while you sleep. It is also fitted with a free Q-Lite, which would muffle the noises from the tube while it delivers your sleep therapy. Asides from the quiet operation, it also comes with an integrated and optional battery for off-the-grid travel.
Why are we impressed?
If you need humidification, the HDM Z2 Travel Manual CPAP Machine features tank-less humidification to make sleeping more comfortable. It includes the Z-Breathe Exhalation relief function, which makes it easy to breathe against incoming air. The heat moisture exchanger is another top feature that sets it apart from other CPAP machines, and this uses no extra power.
What negatives must you be aware of?
On the downside, this CPAP machine does not have software capabilities like an accompanying app or Bluetooth connectivity, which is a bit discouraging. The small size might also make this machine less durable and flimsy, so you should be careful while handling it. Asides from these few cons, the CPAP machine is convenient to use altogether.
Otherfeatures: 30-night risk-free trial; optional extended warranty; FAA approved for in-flight use; Superior Pressure Relief; ramp; automatic altitude adjustment
Another device on our best travel CPAP machine reviews is the Transcend 3 Mini Auto. As the name implies, it features a very lightweight design that makes it convenient for travel. It is an updated design from the Original Transcend Auto and comes with upgraded features that promise you a good night’s sleep every night.
The design of this CPAP machine is one feature that sets it apart from its predecessor, offering a flat base with silicone for improved stability. There is also a fitted swivel that allows you to move freely while you sleep. The highlight here is that it can be connected anywhere with universal outlet connectors and a battery pack, allowing you to operate the device in places you can’t plug it in. It features a rugged design for all situations and is FAA-approved to use while traveling by air.
What makes it stand out?
A significant benefit of using the Transcend 3 Mini Auto CPAP machine is the user-friendly PC software. It can be connected to your computer if you want to transfer, analyze or store your sleep data. It also makes it easy when you need this data for your physician. The machine is compatible with any mask, whether it comes from the same brand or not. It also comes fitted with the ramp feature and a 30-night risk-free trial.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
This travel CPAP machine is not an excellent choice for those looking for a quiet operation, although it isn’t too noisy either. You also have to pay extra for some power options, and there are no high-tech or software capabilities.
Things to Consider
Before purchasing any travel CPAP machine, it’s essential to check and ensure that the one you’re buying is ideal for you. Thus, one has to consider several factors and also know the basic information about CPAP machines.
A CPAP machine, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine, is used to treat sleep apnea. It works by delivering a stream of oxygenated air into your airways through a tube and a mask. The oxygenated airstream would push against all blockages so that your lungs receive a lot of oxygen while you sleep. You don’t have to wake up repeatedly to resume breathing when you use this machine.
In this section, we will give you all you need to know before purchasing a CPAP machine.
How to Choose the Best CPAP Machine
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Trusted SourceDefend Your Sleep with Aaron Taylor | AASMAmerican Academy of Sleep Medicine and Super Bowl champion Aaron Taylor are teaming up to help you “Defend Your Sleep” by tackling obstructive sleep apnea.
, over 30 million adults in the US are affected by obstructive sleep apnea. Thus, it’s not surprising that many people need a travel CPAP device.
When shopping for the best travel CPAP machine, it’s essential to consider the models that offer a balance between impressive performance and lightweight designs. The device should provide the same benefits and features that a home machine offers typically. It should also be compatible with different integrations and power options. Let’s take a closer look.
The first thing you should consider is the type of CPAP machine that you’re going for. While some CPAP machines offer fixed pressure, others operate with an auto-adjust mechanism. There are also battery-operated CPAP machines, while others can only be used when they are plugged in. You can also get those that offer the two, like the Transcend 3 Mini Auto CPAP Machine.
Size and Weight
If you’re planning on moving from place to place with the CPAP machine, then the size and the weight are significant to consider. It’s essential to purchase a device that can be easily carried around or fit in your bag, like our Editor’s Choice: ResMed AirMini Auto CPAP Machine, which is as small as a smartphone.
Besides being lightweight, the size also matters so that it doesn’t take up a lot of space while you use it. Whether you’re keeping it in a bag or suitcase, or at your bedside or in a tent, it should be small enough. Even with this, the CPAP machine should not sacrifice a small size for durability.
Air travel with CPAP machines is allowed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the agency that oversees the security for the U.S. travel industry.
Another essential factor is buying a CPAP machine that the Federal Aviation Administration approves for in-flight use. Only those that are approved by the FAA can be carried while you travel by air, like the Transcend 3 Mini Auto CPAP machine.
It’s also important to ensure that the machine can be operated with a battery if you cannot plug it in while you’re on the plane.
Sound Pressure Level
The amount of noise that a travel CPAP machine makes is essential if you’re using it to enjoy a good night’s sleep. If the machine’s sound is too high, it can disturb your sleep and that of your partner. While some devices usually give off between 20 and 30 decibels, others might be a bit louder.
If you specifically want a very quiet machine during operation, the HDM Z2 Travel Manual machine offers whisper-quiet and muffled operation. This makes it comfortable to use while you’re sleeping.
Most portable CPAP machines can run with a battery, but it becomes even better when they can be plugged into any outlet around you. It’s important to purchase those that are fitted with a universal power outlet so that you can plug them into any household outlet around you.
The HDM Z2 Travel Manual machine is a great option, as it comes and an integrated and optional battery that comes in handy when you’re off the grid. The Transcend 3 Mini Auto is similar, featuring plug-in and battery operations.
If the travel CPAP machine you purchase has a battery, like the HDM Z2 Travel Manual machine or Transcend 3 Mini Auto, it’s essential to ensure that it can promise long battery life. The ideal value is eight hours or more, and it should come with an optional removable battery too. This factor is vital if you need the CPAP machine for off-the-grid use, like when you’re on an airplane, mountain, camping, and the like.
The optimal pressure provided by a CPAP machine depends on your health needs and sleep pattern, but most machines offer a pressure range between 4 and 20 centimeters of water.
You should consult with your doctor about what pressure level works best for you before purchasing.
It is also helpful to have additional features, like expiratory pressure relief found in multiple CPAP machines, including the ResMed AirMini Auto. The Fisher & Paykel SleepStyle Auto CPAP also has a unique feature where it reduces the pressure after sensing that you are about to wake up.
Most CPAP machines include comfort settings like a humidifier, which many people need while they sleep. It prevents you from having a dry nose or sore throat and would come in handy when you travel to dry climates.
A machine that is fitted with ramp options would start with a lower pressure so that you can fall asleep before moving on to higher pressures gradually. This also prevents your upper airway from collapsing once you sleep.
The ramp options are sensitive but also helpful to have, so you can check whether the machine you have your eye on includes this before you purchase. The Transcend 3 Mini Auto has a ramp, which is another feature that makes it best for off-the-grid use.
Data Tracking App
HDM Z2 CPAP Machine comes with a Nitelog app that can be downloaded on any smartphone.
It’s a major plus if the CPAP machine that you purchase comes with a downloadable app where you can track and analyze your sleep patterns. It also allows you to make adjustments when necessary and store the information for a long time before you communicate it to your doctor or necessary healthcare provider.
Travel CPAP machines can cost as low as $400 and go as high as over $1000, depending on the machine that you go for. It’s best to set a budget range for yourself before you start shopping and expect the travel brands to be more expensive than the home models since they offer high performance in small cases.
Some brands also offer free trial times and warranties that make using the travel CPAP machine even better. Although they are expected to be expensive, you shouldn’t sacrifice the quality and essential features you need for a low price. Since sleep apnea must be treated immediately
Trusted SourceDon't lose sleep over apnea, but treatment is crucial | CNNThe Los Angeles medical examiner listed sleep apnea as a factor in the “Star Wars” actress’ death.
, it’s best to buy a high-quality machine with your health in mind.
Transcend 3 Mini CPAP machine comes with a power adapter, CPAP tubing, and CPAP manual.
Most CPAP machines come with either integrated or add-on options, like an inbuilt battery, waterless or external humidifier, and a carrying case for convenience. You can also find some that come with accessories like tubes or disposable masks. In some cases, you have to buy these accessories separately if you need them.
Tips for Traveling with a CPAP Machine
Before traveling with your CPAP machine, there are a few things you need to keep in mind that would make your trip easier.
Come with a Battery and Adapter
It’s important to pack an international adapter, solar charger, or DC power supply adapter, as you never know where you would have to plug your CPAP machine. Even if you plan to plug it in, you also need to carry a battery if there is no place to plug it in.
Bring Cleaning Supplies Along
Come with your cleaning spray or CPAP wipes to keep your mask fresh before you use it. It would be uncomfortable and unhealthy to use a dirty mask.
Check the Humidifier
If your humidifier works with water, you should empty it before you travel with it. This way, the water won’t leak or pour into your bag or carrying case.
Bring a Backup Mask
In case anything happens to your first mask, it would help to have a backup option. This way, if you lose your mask or it’s too dirty, you can use the backup one that you brought with you.
Keep your CPAP Close to You
Don’t keep your CPAP machine in your luggage, but in your carry-on bag, suitcase, backpack, or any other bag that you would keep close to you. Thus, if you run into a problem with your luggage, you won’t end up with an uncomfortable night’s rest.
Make a List
Before you start packing, make a list of everything you need to carry and check concerning your CPAP machine before, during, and after travel. Ensure you tick everything off the list so that you can rest assured that you’re traveling properly with the machine.
Before buying a CPAP machine, you should first set your budget range. You also have to consider the power options, sound level, pressure range, battery life, ramp options, and whether it comes with a data tracking app. It is also helpful to purchase those with compact-sized designs if traveling a lot with the unit. It should be FAA approved and feature a humidifier for a more comfortable sleep.
Yes, you can, but only if it is FAA approved for in-flight use. You should check before you purchase the CPAP machine to see if you are allowed to use it while on an airplane. If you plan on traveling by plane a lot, you will do good with the Transcend 3 Mini Auto, which is FAA-approved for in-flight use.
Travel CPAP machines are usually considered non-essential, so there is a low chance of them being covered by insurance. It doesn’t hurt to ask your medical provider either way.
After reviewing multiple travel CPAP machines on the market, we brought to you the top four. Although they excel in different areas, they still offer all-around comfort while you sleep.
The ResMed AirMini Auto CPAP machine we named as our Editor’s Choice would impress you with its compatibility with all mobile devices, Bluetooth, and downloadable apps. There is also the Fisher & Paykel SleepStyle Auto CPAP which combines tech-forward features with bulky buttons and easy navigation for convenient use. Finally, we were impressed by the Transcend 3 Mini Auto CPAP machine, which we named the best for off-the-grid use; it is fitted with universal power outlets, batteries, and FAA approval for in-flight use.
With our buying guide, you can decide which is the best travel CPAP machine that works for you. You can feel at ease wherever you travel because you have this convenient device that easily fits into your backpack so that you can sleep without worry.
Defend Your Sleep with Aaron Taylor | AASM
American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Super Bowl champion Aaron Taylor are teaming up to help you “Defend Your Sleep” by tackling obstructive sleep apnea.