It’s a great time to buy a CPAP machine. There are many very capable models on the market. Many of which offer you a wide range of features and abilities to suit your unique needs.
Before I review the best CPAP machines available let me first help you make a decision by letting you know what features you should be looking for when choosing which machine to buy.
Because Sleep Apnea affects different people in different ways some features may be more important to you. For example, if you struggle to breathe out against a fixed pressure you should look to get a CPAP machine with a ramping ability.
Other features, such as altitude compensation or power failure restart may be important to you depending on where you live or where you intend to use your CPAP machine.
So it’s important to base your purchase decision not only on my recommendation but also on which features will help your condition the most.
|Model||Respironics DreamStation Auto CPAP DSX500||ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet|
|Heated Humidifier||Yes - Optional||Yes - Optional|
|Heated Tubing||Yes - Optional||Yes - Optional|
|Exhalation Pressure Relief||Yes||Yes|
|Auto Switch On/Off||Yes||Yes|
|Ramp||0 - 30 min||0 - 45 min|
|Pressure Range||4 - 20 cm H2O||4 - 20 cm H2O|
|Noise Level||26 dBa||27 dBa|
|Mask Leak Compensation||Yes||Yes|
|Mask Off Alarm||Yes||Yes|
|Voltage Range||100 - 240 VAC||100 - 240 VAC|
|Can be run on Battery?||Yes||Yes|
|Size with Humidifier||11.69" x 7.59" x 3.3"||4.6" x 10.0" x 5.91"|
|Size without Humidifier||5.5" x 7.6" x 3.3"||Same|
|Weight + Humidifier||4.37 lbs||2.75 lbs|
|Weight without Humidifier||2.94 lbs||Same|
|Data Transfer||SD Card||SD Card|
|Warranty||2 Years||2 Years|
|Full Review||Click For Review||Click For Review|
What to look for when choosing a CPAP Machine
The biggest hurdle you are likely to struggle with when you first start using a CPAP machine is the discomfort affecting your ability to sleep.
You can make using a CPAP machine more comfortable by making sure you buy one with the following features:
A humidifier ensures the air you breathe is warm and moist. This helps a lot in preventing sore nasal passages, sore throat and greatly reduces congestion. All of which makes for a much more comfortable nights sleep.
Some CPAP machines have an intelligent humidifier that automatically adjusts the humidity of the air you breathe depending on the humidity of the room. This ensures you’re breathing air at exactly the right humidity level for maximum comfort.
A pulse humidifier only provides humidity to the air when you breathe in and not when you breathe out. This has the benefit of reducing condensation in the tubing, otherwise known as rainout. When this condensation builds up it can find its way back to your mask as you breathe in and wet your face.
When this condensation builds up it can find its way back to your mask as you breathe in. Unfortunately, this can spray and wet your face, which is not a nice feeling! A pulse humidifier can help prevent this.
If you have moderate to severe Sleep Apnea (AHI above 15) then you will need your CPAP machine to deliver a higher pressure. You may also need a higher pressure for anatomical reasons.
Either way, it can be hard to get used to breathing against the high pressure needed to stop your sleep apnea. Ramping can help make it a lot easier. It works by allowing you to fall asleep whilst breathing at a comfortable low pressure.
Once you are asleep the machine ramps up the pressure to the required therapeutic amount. This can happen either on a timer, or most machines now have a sensor that can tell when you are asleep and begin the ramp up.
As you are trying to get to sleep the last thing you need is the sound of a loud air pump keeping you awake! Fortunately, the majority of CPAP machines currently available are very quiet. However, some are better than others and it’s a good idea to pay attention the decibel level to make sure you won’t be keeping yourself or your partner awake.
It’s also much easier to sleep if your CPAP machine makes a constant noise rather than any sudden intermittent noises. In this way, it acts like a white noise machine and can even help you sleep.
How easy is it to clean?
It’s very important to keep your CPAP machine clean. Because the air it pumps contains moisture, it’s easy for water to be retained in crevices and hard to reach parts which can lead to stale water and mold growth.
To prevent this you should look for CPAP machines that have easy to remove accessories and replaceable filters. Good machines will be well designed to enable easy access to parts susceptible to moisture build up.
Because your CPAP delivers humid air it’s easy for condensation to form inside the tubing, so called ‘Rainout’. This is especially likely if the ambient room temperature is low.
As this condensation accumulates, it can pool and end up being sucked back into your mask which can result in an unpleasant feeling of being sprayed with cold water! Not what you want at 3 am!
Thankfully there’s an easy fix for this. Some CPAP machines have a tubing that contains a gently heated wire that’s just enough to keep the temperature of the tube high enough to prevent condensation forming.
If you live somewhere at a very high altitude or if you travel between places of very different altitudes then you should definitely choose a CPAP that has the ability to adjust an altitude setting that will make it much easier for you to ensure you’re getting the correct measure depending on your ambient conditions.
If you plan to take your CPAP machine with you when you travel then how easy it is to pack and use away from your home will be very important.
You might think you’re not much of a traveler so portability isn’t important…
But how often you spend just one night away from home?
How much better that time would be if you could take your CPAP machine with you without any hassle?
You can see that buying a machine that’s easy to take with you is a big benefit and could help you improve your quality of life greatly.
Portability isn’t just about size and weight, although they are both important.
A CPAP machine that’s good for traveling with also be flexible in terms of power requirements. If you’re going to take it camping or into the boonies where mains power is limited then you will need a CPAP machine that can run on batteries.
If you are going to take it abroad it will need to be able to run on international power.
CPAP machines are robust but they will need to be protected well when taking them with you in luggage in a car, train, bus or plane.
Ideally, you should carry your CPAP in a properly designed case that will protect it from impacts and temperature changes. Many good CPAP machines that are designed for traveling come with their own case designed for just such a purpose.
A CPAP machine that is TSA approved will mean the airline will allow you to take your CPAP on board. Importantly this also means it won’t count as part of your luggage or carry on.
When running on battery power you will not be able to use a humidifier with your CPAP because it uses too much power. A good CPAP will allow you to remove the humidifier and leave it at home.
CPAP machines come with a whole host of extras that are not as essential as some of the features I’ve mentioned above. But none the less may make your life a little easier so are worth looking out for.
Since you’re going to have your CPAP machine next to you every night, why not make it double up as an alarm clock?
If you’re like me, the type of person that loves to know their stats and pressure readings, then an LCD display can do all this and more.
However, if you prefer to just press the power button and not worry about the science then there are plenty of simpler CPAP machines that offer that too.
Intelligent Smart Functions
Finally, many of the most recent CPAP machines have introduced intelligent functions. These are able to monitor your health and other external factors such as ambient room ambient conditions and then deliver a CPAP function that is absolutely the best for the present conditions.
Such ‘smart’ functionality can have real benefits for your condition and make a big difference to the speed of your progress.
Power Failure Restart
If you live in an area that’s prone to frequent short power outages, for example, due to extreme weather or old wiring then power failure restart is a must. This function knows when your CPAP unit has lost power and resets the machine when power returns, restarting it at the last setting.
If you have frequent long power outages then you should invest in a battery backup system which will keep your CPAP machine running throughout the night for hours if mains power isn’t restored.
Expiratory Pressure Relief
Most CPAP machines deliver a positive air pressure whether you’re breathing in or out. You may find it hard to breathe out against this pressure. And so some CPAP machines are able to reduce this air pressure as you breathe out. This makes it a lot easier and more comfortable.
Because everybody’s face is different you may find that it’s hard to get your CPAP mask to fit with an airtight seal to your face.
CPAP machines with Leak Detection can monitor how much air is being leaked by your mask and compensate by delivering more airflow.
This ensures no matter how poor your mask fit you are always receiving the correct air pressure to stop your Sleep Apnea.
CPAP machines with alarms can warn you when your mask has fallen off, your oxygen levels become too low or your breathing rate becomes too high or too low.
This is really useful if you tend to move around a lot when you sleep and accidentally knock your mask off.
If you suffer from both CSA and OSA (Central and Obstructive Sleep Apnea) types of Sleep Apnea. Then CSA detection can allow your CPAP machine to deliver the correct airflow dosage depending on what type of Sleep Apnea event you are suffering from. It can literally change the airflow dosage for each breath.
A short low-pressure air pulse is sent through your mask and acts like a kind of sonar, if you have OSA then it will be bounced back and detected by a sensor.
Your machine can then boost the air pressure delivery on OSA events and reduce on CSA ones.
This can also provide your doctor with useful data on your condition.
The latest CPAP machines can log all sorts of measurements that can be used to determine the severity and progress of your Sleep Apnea condition. From the amount of time you have used your CPAP machine per night to the quantity of sleep apnea events.
This data can be recorded by the machine to build up a picture of your condition. This can be used by you doctor and your insurance company to determine how much progress you have made in improving your condition and what can be done to help improve it.
Philips Respironics DreamStation Auto CPAP DSX500
The Dreamstation 500 is one of the most advanced CPAP machines you can buy today. It’s packed with all the essential features you are likely to need as well as many advanced smart features. You’ll soon wonder how you ever did without the excellent and useful smartphone app. This is the Rolls Royce of CPAP machines!
- Modern sleek design.
- Easy to read LCD display with auto dim.
- Easy to clean design with removable filters.
- Auto-adjusting pressure.
- Heated Adaptive Humidifier.
- Heated Tubing.
- SmartRamp pressure ramp up.
- A-Flex Pressure Relief.
- Advanced Data display of Mask leak rate, AHI, Hours used, and Periodic breathing.
- Bluetooth connectivity to DreamMapper app (iPhone or Android) to track your therapy stats.
- Travel bag, 110V power supply, SD Card included.
The DreamStation 500 is one of the best CPAP machines available.
It offers all the features you are ever likely to need and will provide you with the best possibility of improving your Sleep Apnea.
It consistently receives positive reviews from owners who find little to fault with it. And it has an excellent reputation for reliability. This is a CPAP machine that will last you many years.
ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet
The AirSense 10 AutoSet is the latest premium auto-adjusting CPAP machine from trusted brand ResMed.
It has all the features necessary to give you fully automatic and comfortable therapy.
- Unique modern look (I think it looks like an iPod dock!)
- Built-in Humidifier to prevent dryness in your airways.
- Heated tube to prevent rainout.
- Autoset algorithm adjusts pressure automatically to give you the optimum airflow.
- Expiratory Pressure Relief increases your comfort by reducing airflow when you breathe out.
- LCD color display that dims according to room light.
- Auto Ramp to help you fall asleep before higher pressure is reached.
- Advanced data stats including Usage time, events per hour, mask leakage and AHI
- Unique cloud-based data system AirView works via built-in Wifi.
- SmartStart starts the machine as soon as you breathe into your mask.
- Ultra quiet motor that won’t interrupt your sleep.
- CSA detection ensures air flow is only delivered during OSA events.
The AirSense 10 is all about making life easy for you. From the initial setup to daily use to routine maintenance. Every aspect of the AirSense has been designed for ease of use.
For most people, you can set everything to auto and let the advanced algorithms and sensors choose the best airflow delivery for your condition.
If however, you find the auto settings aren’t quite right for you, maybe you need a little more airflow than it’s providing or you find the ramp up not gradual enough then you can easily change any aspect of the pressure delivery.
The menu system is incredibly intuitive to use. The dial input and clear icon-driven menu system lend a quality iPod feel to it so you will feel confident changing settings from your first use.
This is a high-quality CPAP machine that will provide you with every functionality currently available.
The advanced features and thorough data analysis available from the AirSense will give you the best possible chance of improving your Sleep Apnea.