When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Products or services may be offered by an affiliated entity. Learn more.

If you’ve recently received a prescription for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy to treat sleep apnea, you may be wondering how to go about finding a device.

CPAP equipment is increasingly available online, either direct from the manufacturer or through third-party retailers and durable medical equipment (DME) suppliers. Buying online follows many of the same steps as buying in a brick-and-mortar store, and you can expect the website to ask you to upload or send in your prescription at checkout.

We’ll go through everything you need to know about buying CPAP supplies online, what to look out for, and how this process compares to buying in-store so you can decide which is best for you.

Buying a CPAP Machine Online vs. In Stores

Many people enjoy the convenience of purchasing a CPAP machine online, where you can easily compare and contrast prices and models across different sources. CPAP retailers also offer a streamlined checkout process and often have a chat feature, in case you need more personalized advice. 

Because many parts of a CPAP setup need ongoing replacement, online retailers may offer a subscription plan where they deliver the parts to you on a set schedule, taking the hassle out of remembering to purchase them yourself.

By contrast, if it’s your first time trying CPAP therapy, you may feel more comfortable buying the device in a physical store or through your doctor. Buying in-person allows you to physically try the mask on and receive more hands-on guidance.

Whether you buy your CPAP machine online or in-store, be sure to only buy from a trustworthy retailer. Using a flawed machine or trying CPAP therapy without a prescription can be dangerous for your health, which is why the government regulates the sale of CPAP equipment.

OnlineIn Stores
  • Wider range of options
  • Access to better prices
  • Subscription options make it easy to keep up with replacement parts
  • Opportunity to try on CPAP mask before purchasing
  • Personalized help from a store assistant
  • May be easier to process insurance paperwork

How to Buy a CPAP Machine Online

Compared with other online purchases, buying CPAP equipment requires a few extra steps. Once you’ve found a model you like, consider gathering all your paperwork before starting the checkout process.

Get a Prescription

Whether you buy online or in-store, you must present a prescription to purchase a CPAP machine or a mask. When buying online, the retailer should include a step during the checkout process where you can email or upload a copy of your prescription. 

Specialized sleep apnea online retailers may sell an at-home sleep apnea test that you can perform yourself. You’ll still need to book an appointment to confirm the diagnosis with a licensed physician, but this simplifies the process so you can start your CPAP treatment faster.

Individual replacement parts such as mask cushions or headgear are sold over-the-counter.

Browse Online Options

CPAP retailers and online medical supply sites are some of the best options for buying CPAP supplies online. These sites offer an assortment of different brands so you can compare and contrast. Since they’re specialized in CPAP equipment, they may also offer advice for choosing the best CPAP machine or options for checking your insurance coverage.

Some manufacturers sell CPAP machines directly through their website, although it’s more common to redirect buyers to a third-party CPAP store.

Generalized retail sites such as Amazon sell a large selection at attractive price-points. However, as these sites don’t specialize in CPAP, they’re less likely to have in-depth knowledge of their CPAP products.

Consider Trials and Warranties

Some CPAP retailers offer short trial periods, which are a good way to test a new CPAP model before making a commitment. If your insurance covers you on a rent-to-own basis, another option is to rent a machine through a DME supplier instead of buying it outright.

Most CPAP devices are backed by a two- or three-year warranty. Accessories may come with a shorter warranty lasting several months.

Warranty policies vary in how they handle return shipping charges, repair versus replacement, and other details. The length of the warranty may also change if you buy through a third-party retailer. Depending on where you bought your CPAP equipment, you may file the warranty claim either through the retailer or directly with the manufacturer. 

Check Your Insurance Coverage

The price of a CPAP machine runs between $500 and $1,000 on average, with specialized options such as BiPAP costing up to $3,000. You may also need to add the price of the mask — between $50 and $200 — plus the ongoing cost of replacement parts. Medicare and many private plans offer insurance coverage to help offset these expenses.

If you’re planning to use insurance to pay for CPAP, double-check your policy and be very careful about where you purchase your CPAP supplies. For example, Medicare covers 80% of your CPAP therapy cost once you’ve met your deductible, but only if you obtain your supplies from a participating DME provider. Depending on your deductible, it’s sometimes cheaper to find a website with low prices and pay out-of-pocket.

Learn more about our Editorial Team

Learn More About CPAP

How to Camp With a CPAP Machine

By Logan Foley June 7, 2024

Can You Buy CPAP Supplies In Store?

By Logan Foley May 20, 2024

Can You Buy a CPAP Machine in Store?

By Logan Foley May 20, 2024

What Is a BiPAP Machine?

By Eric Suni April 30, 2024

What Is a CPAP Machine?

By Lucy Bryan April 29, 2024