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Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is an effective, first-line treatment to relieve the symptoms of sleep apnea. CPAP therapy requires a CPAP machine that pumps pressurized air, a mask that creates a seal around your mouth and/or nose, and a hose that delivers the pressurized air to your mask.
While most people put a great deal of time into choosing the best CPAP machine and mask, the CPAP hose is often an afterthought. However, your CPAP hose acts as the crucial conduit between you and your CPAP machine.
Not all CPAP hoses are the same. Different models vary in terms of compatibility and function. For example, most users opt for a standard hose, but a heated hose can be useful if you’re also using a CPAP humidifier. We’ll share our top picks for the best CPAP hoses and break down what you need to know when purchasing this important piece of CPAP equipment.
Sunset Standard CPAP Tubing
- Available in three lengths
- Standard 19-millimeter diameter is compatible with array of CPAP machines
- Corrugated surface enhances flexibility
- Not compatible with CPAP devices that require slim hoses
- 19-millimeter diameter is bulkier than average
Best for ResMed CPAP Machine Owners
ClimateLineAir Heated Tubing for ResMed
- Helps reduce dry mouth
- Built-in sensors help the tubing maintain comfortable temperature and humidity levels
- Flexible design accommodates different sleep positions
- Only compatible with ResMed AirSense 10 or AirCurve 10 devices
- Available in just one length
Best for DreamStation CPAP Machine Owners
Heated Tubing for Philips DreamStation
- Lightweight design has above-average flexibility
- Ergonomic cuff is easy to hold
- Adjustable heat level
- Available in just one length
- Only works with DreamStation machines that feature integrated humidifiers
Best for Travel
ResMed AirMini Tubing
- Small diameter offers lightweight and responsive design
- 5.5-foot length makes for easy stowing during travel
- Flexible construction helps keep mask in place
- Designed solely for use with the ResMed AirMini
- Mask connector sold separately
Watch Video: How to Choose the Right CPAP Hose
We’ll explore the ins and outs of picking the right CPAP hose to ensure you’re getting the best CPAP therapy from your machine.
How to Choose a CPAP Hose
When choosing a new CPAP hose for the first time, it can be hard to know which features are important and what’s simply marketing jargon. We’ll guide you through the purchasing process, including how to choose the right length and determine compatibility.
What to Consider When Purchasing a CPAP Hose
When shopping for a replacement CPAP hose, individual models may look quite similar. But different types of CPAP hoses can have unique specs, uses, and compatibility.
The best CPAP tubing for you will depend on your own unique needs, including your sleep style, type of CPAP machine, doctor’s recommendations, and comfort preferences. To help you on your search, we’ll highlight the most important factors to consider when shopping for CPAP tubing.
The standard CPAP hose length is 6 feet. This length works for most situations, especially if you have your CPAP unit sitting on a nightstand next to your bed. You can also find tubing available in shorter and longer lengths, such as 4 feet, 8 feet, and 10 feet, but these sizes are not as common as the standard 6-foot length.
Longer CPAP tubing provides more freedom of movement if you’re an active sleeper. However, increased length has disadvantages if you’re also using a humidifier and a heated hose. The longer length can cause the air to lose heat and humidity as it travels from your machine to your mask.
You should always check for compatibility between your CPAP hose, machine, mask, and humidifier. Most CPAP machines and accessories are designed for near universal compatibility.
While 22-millimeter diameter cuff connections are the standard, compatibility isn’t a guarantee. It is essential to compare the specifications of your CPAP equipment before purchasing a new CPAP hose.
Heated CPAP hoses are designed to work with CPAP humidifiers to improve the comfort of your therapy. If you live in a dry climate or are new to CPAP therapy, you may experience a dry nose and mouth from the constant flow of pressurized air into your airways.
CPAP humidifiers prevent dryness by adding moisture to your CPAP air. Heated CPAP hoses help make humidification more effective by increasing the amount of moisture in the pressurized air and preventing condensation from forming in your CPAP system.
The materials in your CPAP hose will affect its durability and its performance. There’s usually a fine balance between materials that are lightweight and comfortable and ones that are sturdy and durable. If you’re an active sleeper who needs freedom of movement, you may prefer a lighter, more flexible style of tubing.
CPAP tubing should be replaced frequently, typically every 3 months, to ensure your CPAP system stays sanitary and functioning properly. However, high-quality CPAP hoses, when well-maintained, can last up to 6 months. Reading verified customer reviews online can give shoppers a better idea of a hose’s expected lifetime.
For an item like a CPAP hose, which you’ll need to replace often, price can be one of the most important factors to consider. But you should try not to let price dictate your choice too heavily. We often find that quality and price aren’t always directly correlated.
While more expensive models are sometimes better, often the lower-cost option performs just as well. Several factors can help you decide whether a given model represents a good value for the price, including durability, construction, and additional feedback from online customer reviews.
A warranty will protect your CPAP hose purchase from defects in materials or craftsmanship. Warranty information is typically listed on the product page when shopping online. Otherwise, customers can reach out to the manufacturer directly to confirm warranty coverage. For CPAP hoses, a 90-day warranty is common.
If you’re a new CPAP user, or you are buying your first replacement hose, you may still have some lingering questions. We’ll cover some of the most frequently asked questions people have when it comes to CPAP hoses.
Frequently Asked Questions About CPAP Hoses
You can clean your CPAP hose using a mild detergent or soap and warm water. First, disconnect the hose from your mask and CPAP machine or humidifier. Then use a sink or tub to dilute a small amount of detergent into warm water.
Submerge the tubing in the soapy water and allow it to soak for a few minutes. Rinse thoroughly with plain warm water. Gently dab the tubing dry with a towel and let it air dry on a flat surface, but don’t place the CPAP tubing in direct sunlight.
Most standard CPAP hoses are inexpensive, with some options costing $10 or less. More specialized models, such as heated tubing, will generally cost between $30 and $60.
You will typically need to replace your CPAP hose every 3 months. Many components in your CPAP system have a limited usable lifetime and need to be replaced frequently.
While 3 months is the standard replacement schedule, CPAP hoses can last longer if taken care of properly. It is important to regularly inspect your tubing for signs of wear.
With repeated nightly use, CPAP hoses can form small holes and tears. This damage will prevent your CPAP machine from maintaining the right air pressure. Frequent replacement ensures that your CPAP system is functioning properly and that you’re getting the most from your CPAP therapy.
Most insurance providers, including Medicare and Medicaid, will typically cover the cost of your CPAP hose. If your plan covers “durable medical equipment,” then most of your necessary CPAP supplies will be covered.
If you’re not sure what’s covered under your current plan, you can contact your insurance provider directly to discuss the details of your coverage. Most insurance plans also cover the cost of ongoing equipment replacement. This includes CPAP hoses, which should be replaced every 3 months.
Heated CPAP hoses typically contain embedded metal coils that use electricity to generate heat, similar to a heated blanket. This specialized type of CPAP hose is designed to be paired with a CPAP humidifier.
Humidifiers increase the amount of moisture in the CPAP air to prevent uncomfortable symptoms like dry mouth, thirst, dry nose, and nosebleeds. CPAP humidifiers can make your CPAP therapy more comfortable, but sometimes excess moisture leads to condensation that pools inside of your CPAP tubing. By adding heat to your CPAP system, a heated hose allows the pressurized air to hold more moisture. This helps prevent condensation from forming and water from pooling in your CPAP hose.
CPAP hoses are usually not recyclable, but you can confirm this with your local recycling agency. Although CPAP tubing is constructed with plastic, manufacturers don’t typically use recyclable forms of plastic. Additionally, heated CPAP tubing contains embedded metal coils, making recycling difficult.