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Shopping for a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine can be a daunting undertaking, especially for someone with a new sleep apnea diagnosis.

If you’re at the point where you’ve researched the benefits of CPAP therapy and decided it’s worth it to take the leap and get a prescription, you’re likely already finding comfort knowing you’re on your way to better sleep.

Choosing the right CPAP machine is an important and complex decision whether you’re buying for the first time or shopping for a replacement. You want to find a machine that works best for your needs, and things like cost, size, noise, portability, and features vary widely between manufacturers. We break down all you need to know about finding a CPAP machine and getting it set up.

What’s the Best CPAP Machine?

The ResMed AirSense 11 AutoSet checks all of the important boxes when it comes to comfortable CPAP therapy. Highlights include automatic pressure adjustments based on your breathing, a heated humidifier, up to an hour of ramp-up time. Another important feature is MyAir, a digital assistant that helps first-time users navigate the device.

Simplifying Your CPAP Machine Purchase

Figuring out where to start in your sleep apnea treatment journey can feel daunting. To ease the process, we’ve put together this guide that covers everything you need to know about shopping for a CPAP machine. For a more complete review of our highest-rated cpap machines, read through the product profiles below.

In-Depth Reviews

The ResMed AirSense 11 AutoSet is a state-of-the-art device designed with comfortable breathing in mind. A heated humidifier, auto-ramp option, and voice-guided tutorials for first-time users elevate the machine over many of its competitors.

  • Pros

    1. Automatic pressure adjustments may increase therapy comfort

    2. Heated humidifier limits dryness and irritation

    3. Compatible with the myAir mobile app

  • Cons

    1. Slightly more expensive than the average APAP machine

    2. Advanced features are appealing but may not be necessary for all users




27 dBA

Most CPAP machines on the market today are fairly advanced, but the ResMed AirSense 11 AutoSet offers an assortment of features to help you breathe comfortably during sleep. As an APAP device, the pressure levels automatically adjust based on your breathing patterns. This is particularly beneficial for people who need higher pressure levels when breathing in, and lower levels when exhaling.

What Does It Do?

An auto-ramp feature also allows you to ease into your therapy with pressure that gradually builds to your prescribed levels. This can be set to increase pressure for up to 1 hour after turning on the machine. Another notable component is the built-in humidifier, which is heated to minimize condensation in your connective hose. Each device includes myAir, a digital assistant that provides voice-guided video instructions the first few times you use the machine. For the first month of therapy, you’ll receive check-ins and CPAP coaching based on your medical history.

Who It’s Best for

The heated humidifier makes this device a good option for people who frequently feel stuffy or congested after CPAP therapy. Thanks to this addition, uncomfortable rainout shouldn’t be an issue. We also recommend the AirSense 11 to sleepers who need different pressure settings when inhaling and exhaling, as well as those who feel more comfortable with an auto-ramp to slowly increase pressure levels as therapy begins. The user-friendly video instructions are also helpful for people who are new to CPAP.

U.S. customers who order their ResMed AirSense 11 AutoSet from The Sleep Doctor qualify for free ground shipping. Returns of unopened devices are accepted within 60 days of the delivery date, and those who keep their device also receive a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty.

For a CPAP machine with a relatively low sticker price, the ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet Connected with HumidAir and ClimateLineAir offers plenty of features and functionality. The FAA-approved device is also ideal for travel thanks to its lightweight design, slim profile, and quiet motor.

  • Pros

    1. Adjusts pressure automatically throughout the night

    2. Lower price-point than the AirSense 11

    3. AutoRamp feature helps you ease into your PAP therapy

  • Cons

    1. Not necessary for people who don’t mind standard CPAP therapy

    2. Some sleepers may awaken when pressure levels change during the night




27 dBA

Most CPAP machines represent a significant financial investment, but some are more affordable than others without sacrificing quality or performance. Take the ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet Connected with HumidAir and ClimateLineAir, which is loaded with helpful features but still falls well below average in terms of pricing. The machine is particularly inexpensive compared to other APAP devices on the market today.

What Does It Do?

Using the built-in AutoSet algorithm, the machine adjusts pressure settings to help you comfortably breathe in and out throughout the night. The device powers on as soon as breathing is detected and turns off when you remove your face mask. Ramp mode allows you to ease into your therapy with a lower pressure level that increases only after you’ve fallen asleep.

A built-in HumidAir heated humidifier warms and moistens the air prior to delivery, which can prevent rainout and reduce the potential for congestion. The machine comes equipped with ClimateLineAir heated tubing that can be programmed for specific temperature and humidity levels for added comfort when breathing.

Who It’s Best for

The AirSense 10 AutoSet’s extensive features make the machine appealing to a wide range of sleepers. People who are prone to congestion, those who struggle to exhale during standard CPAP therapy, and anyone who needs a ramp feature to fall asleep can all benefit from the device. Frequent travelers are also great candidates, since the machine is compact, light, relatively quiet, and FAA-approved for flights.

Customers in the contiguous U.S. who purchase their machine from The Sleep Doctor receive free ground shipping with their order. You may return the AirSense 10 AutoSet Connected with HumidAir and ClimateLineAir unopened and unused within 60 days. ResMed backs each machine with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty.

The ResMed AirMini is an FAA approved machine with a small design that’s perfect if you travel frequently. It also boasts other helpful features like an auto-ramp mode and a humidification system.

  • Pros

    1. Compact and exceptionally lightweight

    2. Equipped with a waterless humidifier for more convenient use when on the go

    3. Approved for use during flights

  • Cons

    1. Only compatible with certain ResMed masks unless you purchase a separate adapter

    2. Sound level of 29 decibels is slightly higher than other models




29 dBA

If you’re in the market for a travel-friendly CPAP device, the ResMed AirMini Auto Travel CPAP Machine is one of the most compact models on the market today. The machine weighs less than 11 ounces and measures 5.4 inches wide, so it will easily fit into most suitcases, duffles, and overnight bags without taking up too much space.

What Does It Do?

A built-in auto-ramp mode lets the machine start at low pressure levels and slowly build toward your prescribed rate, which can be handy if you’re experiencing jet lag. Another convenient feature is the machine’s humidification system, which does not require water or a bulky external humidifier. The HumidX system increases moisture in the air to prevent dryness and ease the breathing process. You can check your sleep data using the ResMed Mini smartphone app, which stores up to 30 day of your sleep data. The app also alerts you of any mask leaks.

Who It’s Best for

The AirMini has earned FAA approval for in-flight use, making it particularly suitable for frequent travelers. A whisper-quiet motor that reaches as low as 25 decibels means you won’t need to worry about disrupting your seatmates. The AirMini automatically decreases pressure levels to help you exhale more comfortably. People who have struggled with standard CPAP machines may have less trouble breathing with the AirMini. Customers should note the HumidX is only compatible with select face masks.

You can download the ResMed AirMini app to track sleep data and report information to your doctor. The app also includes a leak detection monitor to ensure your mask stays secure throughout the night. Every AirMini purchase comes with a 2-year warranty.

React Health’s Luna G3 Auto-CPAP Machine is loaded with features to help you get the most out of your CPAP therapy. A preheat function and heated tubing can be particularly beneficial for people who experience congestion during CPAP.

  • Pros

    1. Built-in humidifier with preheat setting may help with CPAP side effects like dry mouth and nasal irritation

    2. Wireless transmission makes it easy to send therapy data to your physician

    3. Lightweight design and whisper-quiet operation

  • Cons

    1. Frequent pressure changes may cause some sleepers to wake up

    2. Bulkier design reduces suitability for travel




<26 dBA

The Luna G3 Auto-CPAP Machine from React Health (formerly known as 3B Medical) is designed with your comfort in mind. A humidifier that can be preheated prior to bedtime, extended ramp time, pressure relief during exhalation, and an exceptionally quiet motor help ensure your CPAP therapy is effective and your sleep is disruption-free.

What Does It Do?

The G3 automatically adjusts pressure levels based on your breathing patterns. For most people, this means higher pressure during inhalations and lower pressure during exhalations. The device includes an integrated humidifier that can be preheated for up to 30 minutes before you go to bed. This helps ensure you can breathe comfortably as soon as your therapy begins. Heated tubing also reduces the potential for dry mouth, a runny nose, and other unpleasant CPAP side effects.

Your data is stored using four methods — Wi-Fi and cellular connections, a memory card, and a cloud-based platform — so complying with your physician is a hassle-free process. At less than 26 dB when delivering 10 cmH20 of pressure, the G3 is exceptionally quiet compared to the average CPAP machine.

Who It’s Best for

People who frequently experience congestion when using CPAP devices may find relief with the G3 thanks to its heated tubing and preheat function. The automatic pressure adjustment is also ideal for those who struggle to breathe out during traditional CPAP therapy. A slim, lightweight design makes the device travel-friendly, and the whisper-quiet motor should prevent disruptions for light sleepers easily awakened by noise.

The G3 Auto-CPAP Machine is available through various CPAP supply retailers. If you purchase the device through The Sleep Doctor and reside in the contiguous U.S., your order qualifies for free ground shipping. You’ll also receive a warranty covering manufacturer defects for up to 2 years. Unused, unopened machines can be returned within 60 days of the delivery date.

If you’re new to CPAP therapy, the ResMed AirSense 11 AutoSet Basic Bundle has you covered with a state-of-the-art APAP device, full-face mask, and a set of fresh filters. The machine is particularly beneficial for people who breathe more comfortably with automatic pressure adjustments and heated tubing.

  • Pros

    1. Bundle includes an APAP machine, face mask, and air filters

    2. Device automatically adjusts pressure based on your breathing patterns

    3. ClimateLineAir tubing can be adjusted for optimal heat and humidity levels

  • Cons

    1. Unnecessary for experienced PAP users who already own the essential equipment

    2. Somewhat expensive if you don’t mind standard CPAP therapy




27 dBA

New CPAP users can potentially face steep up-front investment costs. ResMed’s AirSense 11 AutoSet Basics Bundle includes one of the most sought after APAP machines on the market today, as well as the top-notch AirFit F20 Full-Face Mask and two air filters for the device. The bundle’s sticker price may seem steep at first glance, but given the asking price of each individual item, this is a high-value option for shoppers.

What Does It Do?

The AirSense 11 automatically adjusts pressure based on your breathing levels, making it more flexible than standard CPAP machines. An auto-ramp feature also helps you ease into therapy by gradually increasing pressure as you fall asleep, rather than starting your therapy at a high setting. This can be programmed for up to one hour after you turn on the machine.

The built-in HumidAir humidifier is heated to reduce condensation, and ClimateLineAir tubing can be customized for temperature and humidity levels for added rainout prevention. Your device includes the myAir digital assistant that provides voice-guided instructions during your first few therapy sessions. You can also receive CPAP coaching for up to one month after you begin using the device.

Who It’s Best for

APAP machines like the AirSense 11 are best suited to people who struggle to breathe comfortably when their PAP device is set to a specific pressure level. Since the machine automatically adjusts pressure based on your inhalations and exhalations, you shouldn’t experience any breathing-related sleep disruptions. The heated humidifier and tubing are also beneficial for people who frequently experience congestion. As a new CPAP user, you can lean on myAir to help you use the device for the first time. The full-face mask is also ideal if you’ve been prescribed high pressure levels for PAP therapy, or if you primarily breathe through your mouth.

The AirFit F20 mask is available in standard and “For Her” styles, as well as three cushion sizes. If you purchase the ResMed AirSense 11 AutoSet Basics Bundle with Full-Face Mask through Sleep Doctor and reside in the contiguous U.S., standard ground shipping is free with your order. The bundle’s components may be returned unopened within 60 days of the delivery date for a full refund.

What Types of CPAP Machines Are Available?

While CPAP is sometimes used as a catchall term for all types of positive airway pressure (PAP) machines, there are actually several different types of PAP devices that may be prescribed to treat sleep apnea and other sleep-related breathing conditions.

Machine TypeDescription
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)A CPAP machine provides a constant stream of pressurized air, and the amount of air pressure stays the same when inhaling and exhaling. CPAP devices are frequently recommended as the initial treatment if you are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) without other breathing problems.
Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP)A BiPAP machine can be set up to have two distinct air pressure levels, one for when you breathe in and another for when you exhale. Some BiPAP devices have more advanced modes that can provide breathing assistance if respiration gets too slow.

A BiPAP machine is most often prescribed if you have had difficulties using a CPAP machine or if you have OSA along with other breathing conditions like central sleep apnea (CSA).
Automatic Positive Airway Pressure (APAP)An APAP machine has built-in sensors that track your breathing, allowing the device’s algorithms to automatically adjust air pressure levels within a prescribed range to the lowest level needed to keep the airway open during sleep.

APAP machines can be prescribed as an initial treatment for OSA and may also be recommended if you have had difficulty tolerating the fixed pressure of a CPAP device.
TravelDesigned for portability, a travel PAP machine is generally light and compact. Travel devices may have both CPAP and APAP modes. These machines are easier to fit in a suitcase or use on an airplane and are often kept as a second therapy device by people who are frequently away from home.

What CPAP Accessories Should You Have?

To use a CPAP machine, you’ll need several CPAP accessories in addition to the device itself. Some accessories are absolutely necessary, while others are optional and are meant to increase comfort or convenience. 

Ask your doctor or your CPAP equipment provider which accessories will be included with your device. In most cases, the machine will come with standard tubing but a CPAP mask must be purchased separately. Optional accessories usually have to be bought separately as well.

Essential CPAP Accessories

CPAP MaskA CPAP mask delivers pressurized air to your nose or your nose and mouth. This is an essential accessory, and it must be compatible with your CPAP device. You may need to try more than one mask to find the best fit.
Mask CushionsNasal masks and full-face masks come with cushions — typically made from silicone but sometimes gel or memory foam — that seal against your face. Nasal pillow masks feature soft nasal inserts that seal just inside your nostrils. Most masks sold online come with cushions, though they can also be purchased separately.
HeadgearHeadgear holds your mask in the proper place while you sleep. Like cushions, masks generally come with headgear that can also be bought separately when it needs to be replaced.
FiltersFilters clean the air that flows through your CPAP device. Your machine should come with at least one filter for immediate use. Reusable filters should be cleaned regularly and replaced every six months, while disposable filters should be replaced about once a month. Both types of filters should be replaced immediately if they show visible signs of deterioration.
TubingTubing connects the CPAP machine to the mask. For a CPAP machine to work, you must have tubing that is compatible with both the device and the mask. Unheated tubing measuring around 6 feet long is normally provided with your CPAP machine, but it needs to be replaced periodically. If you want a longer hose or heated tubing, you may have to make a separate purchase.

Optional CPAP Accessories

BatteryIn most cases, a battery is not necessary because CPAP machines can be plugged into an outlet. However, some devices are compatible with a rechargeable battery that can be useful when traveling or camping. You will likely have to pay for an external battery yourself.
CPAP PillowCPAP pillows are specially designed to accommodate your head and neck when wearing a CPAP mask. These are not essential accessories, but they may make therapy more comfortable.
Hose HolderHose holders are optional accessories that can make your sleep setup more comfortable by holding CPAP tubing in a specific position.
Travel CaseIn many cases, your CPAP machine will come in a zippered case that has space for the device and several key accessories.

What to Consider in a CPAP Machine

There are a number of considerations to take into account when shopping for a CPAP machine, including optional comfort features like humidification and ramp settings. A CPAP machine is a medical device, and your doctor’s advice can help assure that you purchase a model that is medically appropriate for your situation. 

Pressure Range

For fixed-pressure CPAP machines, a single pressure setting is determined during a titration study at a sleep lab. The average pressure setting for people diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea is around 10 centimeters of water pressure (cm H2O).

Alternatively, your doctor may provide a prescription for an APAP machine with a prescribed pressure range. Since APAP devices have the ability to auto-titrate, the machine will determine the appropriate pressure level based on your breathing patterns while you sleep. Most CPAP and APAP machines have a pressure range of 4 to 20 cm H2O. 

Climate Control

Warming and humidifying the airflow from a PAP machine can reduce dryness and irritation in your mouth and nasal passages. Optional heated tubing can minimize condensation when using heated humidification. 

Most modern PAP machines include a heated humidifier, but we recommend double-checking a model’s product details to know if a humidifier is built into the device and whether it is compatible with heated tubing. 

Noise Level

The average sound level of a CPAP machine is a relatively quiet 30 decibels, which is roughly equivalent to a soft whisper. Some models produce only about 25 decibels of noise, which may be appealing if you are easily awoken.

Special Features

PAP devices record data about your usage and breathing every night. You often will need to share this information with your doctor, and different models offer differing ways to store and transmit nightly data. Some machines store therapy data on a removable SD card, while others are equipped with cellular modems for wireless transmission to a cloud-based platform.

Many PAP devices also offer a pressure ramp, which slowly increases the air pressure to help ease you into sleep. We suggest that you look closely at the product description to see exactly what pressure modification features are possible with the machine you are considering.

Recalls and Warranties

Before making a purchase, look for details about product recalls or warranties. Recalls are when a device is taken off the market because of a potential safety issue. Warranties provide a remedy if your device has defects in its materials or workmanship. Typical CPAP machine warranties expire after two years, but some last for up to five years.

Where Can You Buy a CPAP Machine?

CPAP machines can be purchased from authorized retailers in physical stores and online. Some sleep clinics sell CPAP machines as well. You will often find the best prices and largest selection through an online CPAP retailer.

Pricing, Prescriptions, and Insurance Coverage

The cost of PAP machines varies widely, with models running anywhere from $500 to $3,000 depending on the brand, type of machine, and features. APAP machines are generally more expensive than fixed-pressure CPAP models, while BiPAP machines command the highest price-points of the three due to their more advanced features.

A prescription is required to buy any form of PAP machine. In many cases, health insurance providers, including Medicare and Medicaid, will cover a portion of the device cost. Coverage may require providing compliance data showing that you are regularly using and benefitting from PAP therapy. Many online CPAP retailers do not accept insurance, so check with your insurance provider to see if they will provide reimbursement.

In-Depth CPAP Guides

If you’ve been prescribed a BiPAP machine or are seeking a travel CPAP machine to supplement your everyday device, check out our expert picks for these categories. We’ve also included links to our reviews of several popular machines if you’d like to explore these models in more detail.

Data-Driven Results You Can Trust

Our expert team is dedicated to bringing you reliable and actionable product recommendations. We draw on years of experience in the field of sleep health, and we personally research and evaluate every product discussed on our site. 

Our picks for the best CPAP machines were developed after carefully analyzing the range of devices on the market and how their features line up with the needs of typical CPAP users.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a CPAP machine do?

A CPAP machine works to promote steady and uninterrupted breathing by generating a stream of pressurized air that is sent through a hose and a mask into the upper airway. For people with sleep apnea, the flow of air is intended to prevent pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep.

How long does a CPAP machine last?

CPAP machines usually last around three to five years. The exact lifespan depends on the quality of the machine’s construction, how often it’s used, and how well it is maintained. 

Keeping a CPAP machine clean, following manufacturer directions, and only using compatible accessories can prevent premature damage to a CPAP machine.

Do you need a prescription for a CPAP machine?

A prescription from a licensed health care provider is required to get a CPAP machine. Any CPAP equipment company will need a copy of your prescription before they can sell you a device.

Can you buy a CPAP machine online?

You can buy a CPAP machine online, but you will need a prescription from a doctor before your order is fulfilled. When buying online, make sure to look carefully at details about shipping, returns, and customer support.

How do you clean a CPAP machine?

Being proactive about cleaning your CPAP machine can keep it operating optimally while also providing protection against germs. We suggest a few basic tips for cleaning: 

– Always follow the instructions from the manufacturer about approved cleaning methods and cleaning frequency.
– Lightly clean your mask daily and do a deeper clean of your mask and other accessories every week.
– If you use a CPAP humidifier, empty the water chamber daily and refill it with distilled water only. Clean the tank once a week.
– For most cleaning, use warm water and a mild liquid soap.
– Avoid bleach, harsh or abrasive chemicals, and cleaners that use ultraviolet light or ozone gas.
– Regularly check the tubing, humidifier tank, and filter for dirt buildup and clean or replace them as necessary.

Are there any side effects from using a CPAP machine?

Some of the most common CPAP side effects are dryness in the nose or mouth, discomfort from the airflow or mask, and skin irritation. While you may have some initial side effects when starting CPAP therapy, they may be eliminated or significantly reduced by working with your doctor.

Are there any alternatives to using a CPAP machine?

Potential alternatives to using a CPAP machine include using an APAP or BiPAP device, wearing a custom-fitted oral appliance during sleep, or having surgery for sleep apnea. 

These treatments are intended to eliminate breathing disruptions during sleep, but they only work in certain circumstances. Only a doctor can determine whether any of these alternative sleep apnea treatments may be a viable option for you.

Still have questions?

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Send an email to [email protected] with your questions and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

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