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A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is often prescribed as a treatment for sleep apnea. CPAP machines are used in conjunction with a mask, tubing, and other accessories to help those with sleep apnea breathe more normally throughout the night.
CPAP supplies allow users to make adjustments to their CPAP treatment. A better-fitting mask cushion, lightweight tubing, or a specialized pillow may help users sleep more comfortably while undergoing CPAP therapy. These supplies need to be properly cared for and replaced regularly.
We’ll cover all the basics to help you find the best CPAP supplies, including what’s necessary, what’s optional, how often your supplies need to be replaced, and how to choose the right accessories for your needs.
Best CPAP Cleaner
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The Sleep8 CPAP Cleaner uses ozone gas to help sanitize your CPAP accessories. It is important to note that the FDA has not approved ozone gas or UV-based CPAP cleaners, and there are potential risks to these types of cleaners that shoppers should consider. The Sleep8 CPAP Cleaner takes certain measures to reduce the risk of ozone leaking out, including a sealed bag for the mask and tubing, one-way gas check valves, and a sealed charging port.
The Sleep8 CPAP Cleaner system comes with the Sleep8 unit, one filter bag, and a charging cable. To clean your CPAP accessories, place them into the filter bag, connect the bag to the Sleep8 unit, and power on the device. You may hear some noise as it runs, but the Sleep8 unit is fairly quiet. When the cleaning is complete, the Sleep8 unit will beep and then automatically turn off.
The system is compatible with most CPAP masks and tubing, including both heated and non-heated tubing. The CPAP supplies must be able to fit comfortably in the bag in order for the Sleep8 CPAP Cleaner to help sanitize them. Your accessories, especially any water chambers, must be dry before being placed into the Sleep8 filter bag. The Sleep8 system is not designed to clean your CPAP machine itself.
The Sleep8 CPAP Cleaner operates wirelessly and comes with a rechargeable battery and a mini USB connector. Its compact and rechargeable design makes the Sleep8 useful for keeping your CPAP accessories clean while traveling. You can also charge and run the Sleep8 system at the same time.
The filter bag should be replaced once every 3 months, but Sleep8 offers a subscription service that discounts the price of each bag. Sleep8 offers a 90-day warranty for the bags, a 12-month warranty for the charger, and a 24-month warranty for the unit.
Best CPAP Humidifier
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The Philips Respironics Dreamstation Heated Humidifier helps provide moisturized air during CPAP therapy to prevent a dry mouth and nose. Unlike standard humidifiers, the Dreamstation warms the air to help improve comfort for those prone to dryness.
The unit comes with the DreamStation Heated Humidifier and a water chamber. It offers both a fixed heating mode as well as an adaptive heating mode. With the fixed heating mode, the user can set the heat and humidity level and the DreamStation Heated Humidifier will maintain the setting throughout the night.
The adaptive heating setting automatically adjusts the heat and moisture levels during the night. The Dreamstation Heated Humidifier monitors the ambient humidity and temperature of the air and adjusts its settings as needed. This helps maintain optimal heat and humidity while avoiding the buildup of unwanted moisture throughout your CPAP system.
The Dreamstation Heated Humidifier is compatible with heated tubing. Although heated tubing is optional, it can provide additional warmth and condensation prevention.
Overall, the Dreamstation Heated Humidifier offers an advanced and easy to use humidification system at a competitive price-point. It’s main drawback is its lack of compatibility. The Dreamstation Heated Humidifier can only be used with Philips Respironics Dreamstation series CPAP machines.
Best CPAP Hose
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If you’re an active sleeper, or you don’t want to feel heavy CPAP tubing as you sleep, Ultra Lightweight CPAP Tubing is worth considering as an improvement to your CPAP therapy. Many CPAP machines and masks come with standard weight CPAP tubing, which can be stiff and heavy. This may disrupt your sleep if you tend to toss and turn frequently throughout the night.
The Ultra Lightweight CPAP Tubing is an affordably priced upgrade for your CPAP equipment. This tubing is made from durable materials that provide greater flexibility and freedom of movement to the user.
The Ultra Lightweight CPAP Tubing features a helical wall design that prevents the tubing from collapsing. This light and sturdy design is suitable for those who travel frequently. Its clear and smooth inner design makes cleaning easy.
The Ultra Lightweight CPAP Tubing is protected by a 90-day warranty and is available in a wide range of sizes, from 1 foot to 10 feet. It features cuffs that fit into the standard 22 millimeter connection size, and it is compatible with CPAP masks and machines that fit standard tubing. However, there are some exceptions. CPAP machines with built-in pressure sensing tubes, including the Puritan Bennett GoodKnight 420S and 420E CPAPs, and the GoodKnight 425 and 425ST, are not compatible with this tubing.
Best CPAP Battery
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The Portable Outlet CPAP Battery is a 155-watt rechargeable lithium-ion battery that is universally compatible with all CPAP and BiPAP machines and can charge other portable electronics. The battery’s 110-volt input port is the same type of input plug used on the walls in your bedroom. Though it has a more expensive price-point, it is a highly versatile model.
The Portable Outlet CPAP Battery has a fairly long run time, as a single charge can power most CPAP machines through 8 hours of operation. Some models can run up to 14 hours on a single charge, though your run time will depend on your CPAP unit, pressure settings, and whether you’re using heated humidification or powering additional devices.
The Portable Outlet CPAP Battery comes with a wall charger and a micro USB cable. The battery unit contains an LED power indicator that tells you how much charge is left on the battery. In addition to the 110-volt input port for your CPAP machine, the battery also has two USB ports. This allows you to charge other electronic devices including your smartphone, tablet, e-reader, or Bluetooth speaker.
Measuring 7 inches in length, this lightweight battery can fit into a purse, backpack, or other carry-on bag, making it ideal for CPAP users who travel often. The Portable Outlet CPAP Battery recharges in approximately 4 hours, and should provide a lifetime of over 500 charge cycles. The battery is protected by a 1-year warranty against any defects.
Best CPAP Chinstrap
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The ResMed CPAP Chinstrap helps hold your mouth closed during CPAP therapy. A chin strap can be beneficial if you’re using a nasal mask or nasal pillow but tend to sleep with your mouth open. Mouth breathing can make your CPAP therapy less effective. It can also lead to dryness in the mouth and throat. A chinstrap can help prevent these symptoms.
The ResMed CPAP Chinstrap features a simple design. Its single strap is made from a soft neoprene material that fastens at the top of the head with a velcro system. The velcro makes the chinstrap easy to adjust. The large chin cup is designed to reduce pressure from the strap.
The ResMed CPAP Chinstrap is machine-washable. Its low profile design is compatible with most CPAP mask headgear and mask styles. The strap is 27 inches in length without stretching, making it suitable for most head shapes and sizes.
It may come as a surprise that your CPAP machine doesn’t come equipped with everything you need to get started. Depending on your machine and treatment plan, there are several necessary supplies that you may need to purchase before you can begin your therapy.
Deciding between different medical devices can be overwhelming. Working with a doctor or medical professional is important when selecting medical equipment. It can also be helpful to understand the different supplies available and what to look for when making a purchase. We’ll break down the most important factors to consider when shopping for CPAP accessories.
Materials, price, and product warranties are important considerations for any sleep accessory. However, with medical equipment such as CPAP supplies, it’s also crucial to consult with a doctor and confirm compatibility with the CPAP machine manufacturer before making any supplemental purchases. Each accessory should also be evaluated in the context of your unique CPAP therapy requirements, comfort preferences, and sleep style.
A CPAP machine is prescribed by a doctor, who should be able to recommend CPAP supplies to complement the CPAP unit. As a medical professional, they can speak with users one-on-one and help them decide which items are needed. They’ll also have professional insight regarding the best CPAP supplies for each unique situation.
After consulting with a doctor, shoppers may want to look for recommendations from the CPAP machine manufacturer. While the manufacturer won’t be able to recommend which accessories are best for an individual’s needs, they’ll confirm which accessories will work with the machine itself. This will help prevent the purchase of items that aren’t optimized for a specific CPAP unit.
Although many CPAP machines and accessories use universal fittings, machine compatibility should still be confirmed before purchasing additional CPAP supplies. For example, CPAP tubing is fairly standardized across the industry. However, heated CPAP tubing may not work with all CPAP units.
High quality materials can improve the fit and durability of CPAP supplies. For effective treatment, it is essential that these supplies fit comfortably and stand up to nightly use. The materials used will depend on the product. CPAP masks tend to be made of silicone, while tubing is typically made of plastic. Headgear and chin straps can have thin elastic or sturdier, cushioned bands. High quality materials will resist cracking, stretching, or losing shape.
While CPAP accessories need to be replaced regularly, durability should still be considered. Well-made CPAP supplies will last through their intended lifespan and contribute to how effective treatment is. This is especially important for longer lasting items, such as CPAP mask frames, headgear, and pillows.
Though it can be difficult to gauge the lifespan of a specific product, the materials, construction, and online reviews can give shoppers an idea of what to expect in terms of durability.
For CPAP supplies, the level of insurance coverage will likely play a role in budgeting. If your insurance plan covers 100% of the cost of certain CPAP supplies, price may not be a concern.
However, if you have to pay out of pocket, price can be a determining factor. Keep in mind that price is not the only indication of quality, and affordable CPAP supplies can still perform well and meet your needs.
A warranty protects your purchase against defects in the item’s materials or workmanship. In addition to warranty coverage, shoppers may want to confirm the company’s return policy before purchasing. Shopping online can present difficulties, especially when shopping for medical supplies that you cannot try before purchasing. A return policy and warranty coverage can give additional peace of mind.
Aside from your CPAP machine, you’ll need several accessories for CPAP therapy. Some of these items are necessary for the functioning of your CPAP unit. Others are optional, but may help make your CPAP treatment more comfortable and effective.
CPAP Mask Frames: CPAP masks are built around a frame system that acts as the core of the mask. The mask frame holds the mask cushion in place and attaches to the headgear straps. They can be made with hard plastic, but mask frames made from soft materials like flexible silicone often provide cushioning and a secure seal.
CPAP Mask Cushions: This component represents the main interface between you and your CPAP machine. The mask cushion is the CPAP accessory responsible for creating an airtight seal around your mouth and/or nose. CPAP mask cushions come in different styles including full face, nasal, and nasal pillow. They’re typically made of soft materials like silicone, gel, foam, or memory foam. The best CPAP mask cushion for you will depend on your breathing pattern, preferred sleep position, and CPAP pressure prescription.
CPAP Headgear: CPAP headgear refers to the stretchy straps that ensure your mask stays in place and creates a tight seal. Most headgear is made from soft, elastic material. Headgear that includes cushioning or wider straps is generally designed to be more comfortable.
CPAP Hoses: A CPAP hose, also called tubing, is required to attach your CPAP machine to your CPAP mask or humidifier. Some CPAP machines come with a length of CPAP hose, but you may need to buy your own. CPAP tubing is standardized to fit in nearly all CPAP machines, masks, and humidifiers. It’s typically available in lengths of 6, 8, and 10 feet. If you’re an active sleeper who tosses and turns frequently, you can also find tubing made of lighter, more flexible material that gives the hose greater freedom of movement.
CPAP Filters: This accessory is important for cleaning the air that circulates through your CPAP machine. CPAP filters are designed to remove dust, mold spores, and other contaminants from the air before it passes through your CPAP mask and into your airways. CPAP filters are available in three varieties: disposable, reusable, and bacterial. Most CPAP machines require either a disposable or reusable filter while bacteria filters are optional.
CPAP Humidifiers: A CPAP humidifier connects to your CPAP machine and uses a tank of water to add moisture to the air before you breathe it in. This device is optional, but may be beneficial if you live in a dry climate or are sensitive to dry air. Without a CPAP humidifier, your CPAP therapy may dry out your mouth and nose, causing nosebleeds and dry mouth when you wake up.
CPAP Humidifier Chambers: This is the component of the CPAP humidifier that holds the water needed to add moisture to your CPAP air. Humidifying units should last several years, but, over time, the water chamber can become discolored, pitted, or cracked, and may attract bacteria. You can purchase replacement CPAP humidifier chambers separately.
CPAP Chinstraps: Chinstraps are flexible, circular, elastic straps that help hold your mouth closed by wrapping around the bottom of your chin and the top of your head. If you’ve chosen a nasal or nasal pillow mask, it is important that your mouth stays closed as you sleep. Otherwise, air can escape through your mouth and your CPAP therapy will be less effective.
CPAP Cleaners: Regular cleaning is crucial to keeping your CPAP machine hygienic and functioning properly. Cleaning your CPAP machine with warm water and mild soap is generally recommended. There are waterless CPAP cleaners available, but these products are not approved by the FDA and there are potential risks to using them that shoppers should consider. CPAP cleaners are designed to sanitize CPAP supplies with ozone or UV light. However, these cleaners may degrade or damage your equipment, and pose health concerns for users.
CPAP Batteries: If you travel frequently, you may need to use your CPAP machine when you don’t have access to a power outlet. This requires an auxiliary battery. The most common type of CPAP batteries are lithium-ion, similar to the batteries found in other electronics, like smartphones. This type of battery is generally lightweight, charges quickly, and can typically power a CPAP unit for one or more nights.
CPAP Pillows: CPAP pillows are designed to help make side and stomach sleeping easier while undergoing CPAP therapy. They typically have a unique shape that contains cut-outs on either side of the pillow to help accommodate a CPAP mask and hose. When choosing a CPAP pillow, consider your preferred sleep position and how easy the pillow is to clean.
CPAP Heated Hoses: This is a specialized type of CPAP hose that is most often combined with a CPAP humidifier. It typically contains copper coils that can be heated electrically to keep the tubing warm. This helps prevent condensation from forming in the tubing when you run your CPAP humidifier. Check for compatibility when shopping for heated hoses, as not all CPAP machines will accommodate this style of tubing.
As CPAP supplies are used nightly, you’ll need to replace them regularly. Replacement frequency will depend on the type of CPAP accessory. CPAP machines have longer lifespans, typically up to 5 years, but CPAP supplies and accessories need to be replaced more often.
CPAP filters and mask cushions require the most frequent replacement, around every 2 to 4 weeks. Filters can become easily clogged with dust and dirt over time. Replacing your mask cushion regularly is important for cleanliness, as well as ensuring your mask maintains a secure seal. In contrast, CPAP pillows are similar to standard pillows and should be replaced every 1 to 2 years.
If you’re unsure whether your mask components or other accessories need to be replaced, look for the following signs:
We’ll cover the general guidelines for replacing various CPAP supplies. For the most accurate replacement guidelines, check your CPAP owner’s manual or the accessory manufacturer’s website for specific details.
|CPAP Supply||Replacement Recommendation|
|Mask Cushions||2 to 4 weeks|
|Mask Frame||3 to 6 months|
|Mask Headgear||6 months|
|Humidifier Water Chamber||6 months|
|CPAP Battery||When it can no longer hold a full charge|
|CPAP Pillow||1 to 2 years|
CPAP supplies fall under the category of medical devices, which can make the purchasing process more complicated. In addition to getting an official diagnosis for sleep apnea and a prescription for CPAP therapy from your doctor, you’ll need to choose a model that suits your CPAP pressure prescription and comfort needs.
Other necessary steps include communicating with your insurance company about coverage, checking compatibility of supplemental supplies, and ensuring that any accessories fit and function properly.
A formal prescription from a doctor is required for the purchase of most CPAP supplies. The prescription can be used to purchase a CPAP machine, as well as CPAP accessories and supplies from a sleep clinic, pharmacy, or online retailer.
Keep in mind that when ordering CPAP supplies online, a physical or digital copy of your prescription will need to be uploaded to the retailer’s website. Also note that not all CPAP supplies require a doctor’s prescription. Many CPAP mask cushions, pillows, tubing, filters, and water chambers can be purchased without a formal prescription.
Unlike many medical treatments prescribed by a doctor, CPAP therapy can be personalized to suit your needs and preferences. However, navigating the various types of CPAP supplies and accessories can be an intimidating task. Your doctor can help you decide which items you need, and which ones you don’t.
You may also want to consult with your doctor about different CPAP accessories. They’ll have a better understanding of which accessories may work best for your prescribed pressure settings, CPAP machine model, sleep apnea severity, and sleep preferences. Your doctor may also recommend specific products.
Once you receive your CPAP supplies, your doctor can help you with the initial fitting and assembly to make sure your CPAP unit works properly with any new accessories.
Before purchasing supplies, check with your health insurance provider. Some insurance plans cover part or all of the cost of certain CPAP accessories. You can check by looking at the details of your specific health plan. CPAP accessories are typically listed under the durable medical equipment category in your insurance benefits.
You can also consult directly with a representative from your health insurance provider. They can help you determine which items are eligible for reimbursement. Your insurance is more likely to cover necessary items, such as CPAP filters and mask components, as opposed to optional items like CPAP pillows and batteries.
Also remember to consider coverage for replacement items. You’ll need to replace certain supplies such as CPAP mask cushions frequently, but your insurance plan will likely have its own replacement schedule you’ll need to follow to receive reimbursement.
Where to Buy
CPAP supplies can be purchased through your doctor, sleep specialist, sleep clinic, pharmacy, or online. Options such as your doctor’s office or pharmacy allow you to look at CPAP accessories in-person before you buy, but the selection will be limited. Online vendors tend to have the most extensive selections, and many offer returns or exchanges if you’re not satisfied with your purchase.
Purchasing CPAP supplies can be overwhelming, and it’s common for shoppers to have questions about the process. We’ll break down answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, though consulting with a medical professional is recommended prior to making any purchases.
Most private and public health insurance plans will cover at least part of the cost of CPAP supplies. However, coverage will vary between plans.
To get a better understanding of which CPAP supplies your insurance covers, search your benefits for “durable medical equipment.” If it’s included, your insurance plan will likely cover necessary CPAP supplies, such as masks, filters, tubing, and headgear.
Replacement schedules will vary slightly by plan and provider, but they tend to correspond with the reasonable lifetime that you can expect from your CPAP supplies. Private health insurance plans usually cover reusable filter replacements every 90 days, mask and tubing replacement every 6 months, and machine replacement every 5 years.
You can buy CPAP supplies online, or through your doctor, sleep specialist, pharmacy, or nearby sleep clinic. While shopping for CPAP supplies in-person can be useful, online retailers often have a broader selection of products.
CPAP machines typically come equipped with a power cord, 6 feet of standard CPAP hose, one or more filters, and a user’s manual. Some units also come with a carrying case. To confirm which items are included with the purchase of your CPAP unit, carefully read the product description or speak with your retailer.
While CPAP machines include some of the necessary equipment you’ll need for CPAP therapy, they do not include a mask and other important accessories. In addition to a mask, you’ll need to purchase replacement filters and other accessories, such as a CPAP humidifier and pillow, separately.
Most CPAP hoses or tubing are standardized. Unless otherwise noted in the product description, CPAP hoses are typically 19 millimeters in diameter and have universal 22-millimeter connection cuffs that fit into all CPAP masks and machines. Standard hoses are usually 6 feet in length, but you can also find longer and shorter hoses.
Although specialized CPAP tubing isn’t necessary, you may choose to buy tubing with extra features depending on your needs. Lightweight hosing is more flexible and may be more comfortable if you’re an active sleeper. Heated tubing is also available to help prevent condensation from forming when you use a CPAP humidifier with your CPAP unit.
A charged CPAP battery will typically last one or two nights. CPAP batteries can be a good option for traveling, in the event that you aren’t able to connect your CPAP machine to an outlet. Most lithium-ion CPAP batteries will get you through one night’s worth of sleep before requiring a charge. Battery run time can vary depending on your machine model, pressure setting, and whether you’re also using a humidifier. You can extend your battery’s run time by forgoing humidification.
CPAP humidifiers can help prevent dryness in your nose, mouth, throat. CPAP users often experience dryness in their airways. Dyness can be especially pronounced in new users who are still adjusting to their new CPAP therapy, and may lead to nosebleeds, congestion, chapped lips, and increased thirst. A CPAP humidifier adds moisture to the air that flows from your CPAP machine to your mask, alleviating dryness in the airways.
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