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Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy not only helps reduce the number of pauses in your breathing, but it also helps make sure your body gets the oxygen it needs to function.

With CPAP therapy, you’ll have a small bedside machine that pumps air through a tube and into a mask you wear while sleeping.

If you have a condition like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), your doctor has likely recommended a CPAP machine to help you breathe while you sleep. You might’ve already tried one provided through your insurance but now want something else, or you might just be looking into your options independently.

The good news is that numerous CPAP options are available on the market. The bad news? Too many choices can make it difficult to determine which machine is best for you.

To help make your selection easier, we analyzed some of the most popular CPAP brands recommended by our medical review team, as well as anecdotal ratings online.

We then based our recommendations on some of the most desired CPAP features people look for in their machines.

Pricing guide

We provided general price ranges for our CPAP machine picks. Prices can fluctuate and vary between suppliers. The cost will also depend on your insurance coverage.

One dollar sign means a machine is less costly, while three dollar signs indicate a more expensive product, as follows:

  • $ = under $600
  • $$ = $600–$850
  • $$$ = over $850

Best overall CPAP machine

ResMed AirSense 10 CPAP

  • Price: $$$
  • Weight: 44 oz

ResMed is a well-known brand of CPAP machines, and their AirSense 10 is among the best-rated machines available. Like other modern machines, it has an LCD screen, so you can change the settings easily. But it’s smaller than most CPAP machines, so you can even travel on an airplane with it.

What sets the ResMed AirSense 10 CPAP machine apart is that it starts up on its own as soon as you breathe in — you don’t even have to push a start button. It also comes with a built-in humidifier to help prevent your mouth and nose from getting dry.

Another perk is the quiet motor. The ResMed AirSense 10 could be a good choice if you or your partner is a light sleeper.

Just be aware that ResMed machines and various parts have different limited warranty windows.

Quietest CPAP machine

Z2 Auto Travel CPAP Machine

  • Price: $$
  • Weight: 10.5 oz

This quiet machine features an in-line muffler to help deaden sound and keep the noise level at 26 decibels, making it a great pick for light sleepers.

The Z2 provides auto-adjusting pressure that adapts to your breathing needs while you sleep. It’s compact enough for travel purposes and weighs only 10.5 ounces.

It also features a waterless humidification system and a heat moisture exchanger for maximum comfort. This helps make it less likely that you’ll wake up with a dry mouth or a headache.

A standard 2-year warranty might give you peace of mind if you choose this CPAP machine.

Best CPAP machine for travel

ResMed AirMini AutoSet Travel CPAP Machine

  • Price: $$$
  • Weight: 10.56 oz

Marketed as “the world’s smallest CPAP,” this miniature machine weighs only 10.56 ounces and fits in the palm of your hand. It’s so portable that you can take it with you on an airplane. At 30 decibels, it’s also fairly quiet and won’t disturb nearby travelers.

It works with multiple masks and features a waterless humidification system. The companion app allows you to retrieve and review data from the device, like sleep and CPAP therapy progress reports.

The ResMed AirMini machine includes a 2-year warranty.

Best budget CPAP machine

Luna II Auto CPAP Machine with Humidifier

  • Price: $
  • Weight: 64 oz

The Luna II CPAP Machine offers comparable features to other units but with a more affordable price tag. It has generally positive reviews, with most customers rating it 5 stars.

The Luna machine automatically adjusts pressure and has a built-in humidifier to prevent mouth dryness and make you more comfortable while you sleep. It also has mask leak detection, which notifies you if your mask isn’t fitted properly.

You can access your data by scanning a handy QR code, and you also have the option to send data to your doctor via Wi-Fi or cellular connection. The downside to this machine though? It’s fairly heavy.

Best smart CPAP machine

Somnetics Transcend Micro Smallest Smart Auto Travel CPAP Machine

  • Price: $$$
  • Weight: 7.68 oz

This round-shaped, compact device doesn’t look like your run-of-the-mill CPAP machine, thanks to its sleek, modern design. It’s one of the smallest CPAP machines out there — about the size of a baseball — and works in tandem with the brand’s handy smartphone app, which allows you to track your sleep.

It’s quiet, lightweight, and comes with a 6-foot flexible hose. A built-in muffler inside the mini CPAP helps dampen sound.

You can use it at home or while traveling (it’s FAA-approved) with either the AC adapter or the built-in battery. It also has a 30-minute drying mode to help control humidity.

Bonus: You can use it with any CPAP mask. Although, one drawback is that the device isn’t compatible with standard tubing.

ResMed AirSense 10 CPAPZ2 Auto Travel CPAP MachineResMed AirMini AutoSet Travel CPAP MachineLuna II Auto CPAP Machine with HumidifierSomnetics Transcend Micro CPAP Machine
Weight44 oz10.5 oz10.56 oz64 oz7.68 oz
Noise level25 to 35 dBa26 dBa30 dBa28 dBa27 dBa
Warranty2 years 2 years2 years2 years2 years
Prosintegrated humidifier, data trackinglightweight, portable, quiet motorultra-portable, Bluetooth-enabled data trackingeasy to set up, great value, quietultra-compact, lightweight, sleek design
Consheavy, pressure is fixed and not adjustableno data tracking availabledoesn’t work with non-ResMed masks, not wirelessheavyincompatible with standard CPAP tubing

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A CPAP machine is designed to make sure you keep breathing while you sleep. But how does it actually do this?

All CPAP machines have a motor that helps generate pressurized air that flows through tubing and into your mouth via a mask. Between the motor and your mouth, there’s also a filter to ensure the air you’re breathing is clean.

Because the air produced by a CPAP machine is pressurized, it’s capable of forcing its way into your body. That means it can get past physical obstructions, like your tongue, that might be impacting your breathing during the night while you sleep.

Though you may be able to purchase some CPAP machines from a supplier or retailer at a cheaper price than buying directly from a manufacturer, keep in mind that you still need a prescription from your doctor.

You may also miss out on warranties if you buy your CPAP machine from someplace other than a manufacturer.

CPAP machines aren’t available through large retailers. But you may be able to buy batteries and accessories from some online sellers, such as Amazon. Check your product instructions for additional details.

Some manufacturers might offer occasional sales. It’s best to stick with a reputable brand, such as Philips or ResMed, rather than selecting a cheaper machine that might not work as well or come with customer support over time.

Manufacturers and retailers may sometimes offer financing for CPAP machines. You might need to make down payments if you choose this option.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when deciding on a CPAP machine.

Which type of machine will work best for you?

There are multiple kinds of machines on the market, including CPAP, APAP, and BiPAP devices.

An auto-adjustable positive airway pressure (APAP) machine may be right for you if you need different pressure rates throughout the night. This can occur if you sleep on your stomach, sleep very deeply, or use sedatives.

A CPAP machine may be right for you if you have obstructive sleep apnea and are on a budget.

A bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machine delivers different pressure, depending on whether you’re inhaling or exhaling. This type of machine might work for you if you need high pressure on inhalation and find CPAP therapy uncomfortable for exhalation. BiPAP is also useful for people who have:

  • respiratory conditions that result in the retention of carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • chronic progressive neuromuscular disorders that result in the retention of CO2
  • a hard time tolerating CPAP

What comfort and convenience features will help you use your CPAP machine?

CPAP machines are much more user-friendly than in the past, with most versions offering digital screens and Bluetooth access. Other features you might consider include:

  • the type of mask — you may choose a full-face or nose-only mask, depending on your comfort level
  • overall size if you travel frequently
  • a built-in humidifier, which may help prevent dry nose and mouth
  • motor noise, especially if you or your partner is a light sleeper
  • warranties, return policies, and overall customer support
  • data tracking — some machines may be able to connect to your smartphone and track your machine usage

What recommendations do doctors have?

Your doctor or other healthcare professionals will likely make specific product recommendations.

Keep in mind your desired features and needed functions as you shop around. This way, you and your doctor can narrow down a machine together before you get a prescription for a single product.

How do you know what the settings for your prescription should be?

Air pressure, airflow, and the timing of these are all important settings when using a CPAP machine for your specific condition. Working with your in-network healthcare team should take the guesswork out of it.

If it’s been a while since your condition was monitored, consider scheduling a checkup to determine the settings you need now.

What will insurance cover?

Another important consideration is your medical insurance, which might cover only certain CPAP machines. If you have insurance, you can call or chat online with your insurance company to see if the choices you like are covered.

Depending on the features you want — as well as your budget — you might need to decide how much you’re willing to pay out of pocket for your CPAP machine.

Finding the right CPAP machine is important, but it’s just as vital that you use your new machine properly. Discomfort is a common complaint, especially for people who are used to sleeping on their sides. You may need a small mask to make your CPAP experience more comfortable.

If you find that you can’t sleep comfortably with your CPAP, you might consider asking the manufacturer for a different type of mask attachment.

Another option is to use the manufacturer’s warranty and return your machine so you can get a different one altogether.

It’s important to save all receipts, instructions, and boxes that come with your machine in case you have questions and need to contact the manufacturer or return the device.

It’s important to make sure you find a comfortable device if you want to get the most out of your CPAP machine. When used properly, CPAP therapy can help reduce long-term complications of OSA, including heart disease and stroke.

However, CPAP machines can also raise some safety concerns. Follow all cleaning instructions to reduce the risk of mold and mildew buildup, so your CPAP doesn’t make you sick.

Sometimes, CPAP can cause dry mouth, nasal congestion, and skin rashes after use. You can help minimize these side effects by making sure your face and nose mask fit tight enough to keep you from breathing through your mouth. And be sure to clean your attachments after each use.

Many insurance companies cover the cost of CPAP therapy machines. But, if you have insurance, you should still get in touch with your insurance provider to double-check coverage information.

Coverage may depend on what you need the machine for. You may also need special documentation (e.g., a referral) to make a claim.

Some insurance companies won’t pay for the full upfront cost of a unit and instead require you to rent one. They may also ask you to prove that you’re using the device for at least a certain amount of time per week.

Coverage for supplies, like replacement masks and tubing, may be included in your coverage. But, again, always ask and get the details from your provider before purchasing anything.

Medicare typically covers a portion of the cost of a 3-month CPAP therapy trial if you have a diagnosis of sleep apnea. If your doctor reports that the therapy is helping, it’s possible for coverage to be extended — but this isn’t guaranteed.

How long do CPAP machines last?

On average, CPAP machines last between 3 to 5 years.

How do you clean a CPAP machine?

Before cleaning it, make sure the device is unplugged.

Remove all the tubing and hoses and thoroughly rinse them out with warm, soapy drinking-quality water. Let parts dry by placing them on a towel after rinsing. Ideally, you should do this once per week.

You should also clean the humidifier tub (if your machine has one) once per day.

Can you travel with a CPAP machine?

Absolutely. However, some models are better suited to travel.

If you’re a frequent traveler, look for a CPAP machine that’s:

  • lightweight
  • compact
  • easy to power-up (e.g., it has a long battery life or power cable, can be charged in your car, or uses a USB port)
  • Federal Administration Association (FAA) compliant

Are CPAP machines uncomfortable?

They can be.

Discomfort is one of the main reasons people stop CPAP therapy. It can take some time to get used to sleeping with a mask, for instance. Try wearing it at other times during the day, so it feels more natural at bedtime.

It’s important to properly adjust the mask so that it fits just right. You may need to try different types of masks to find one that’s comfortable.

Some people also say that CPAP therapy makes them feel congested. Using saline spray before bed can help with this type of discomfort.

Can I purchase a CPAP machine on my own?

No. You need a prescription to purchase a CPAP machine.

Do I need insurance to buy a CPAP machine?

You don’t need insurance, but since CPAP machines can be expensive, it’s a good idea to talk with your insurance provider about coverage qualifications. Many insurance companies cover some of the cost of a CPAP machine. But parts and accessories may not be covered.

Left untreated, OSA can become a life threatening condition over time.

CPAP can help you minimize long-term cardiovascular risks while also improving your quality of life. It may help you sleep better, which could, in turn, increase your energy level.

The current CPAP market is vast, and some people are turning to these machines for uses other than OSA. Identifying which aspects of a CPAP machine are most important to you can help you filter your results.

You can discuss our roundup of CPAP machines with your doctor before you talk with your insurance company about your options.