CPAP Equipment: CPAP Supplies
Filters, tubing and mask cushions are the items that most often need to be replaced. Filters help to clean the air generated by the CPAP machine. In general, fine filters should be replaced every four weeks. People living in homes with smoke or pets will need to replace CPAP filters more frequently. Tubing should be replaced every 12 months. There are different types of hoses and some, such as heated hoses, are specific to the manufacturer. The life expectancy of mask cushions and nasal pillows vary based on the care and cleaning of the products, generally lasting three to six months.
CPAP Supplies FAQs
- Do all CPAPs use filters?
- Yes, all CPAPs use at least one filter that is usually a type of foam material and washable. Some CPAPs offer finer filtration with the addition of a disposable paper filter.
Cleaning and changing filters is the only maintenance required for a CPAP machine.
The filters are located at the back of the machine at the air intake. The image below shows the black foam filter at the back of the Everest 3 CPAP Machine.
- What are the different types of filters?
- There are five types of filters used with CPAP machines: reusable foam filters, disposable white fine filters, standard disposable filters for ResMed machines, hypoallergenic disposable filters for ResMed machines and bacteria filters.
Reusable Foam Filters. Reusable foam filters are placed at the air intake of the machine and are designed to catch larger particles. These filters can be lightly washed with a mild detergent to remove any particles that have collected. It is suggested to replaced a foam filter every 3 months or when the filter starts to break down. If a foam and disposable filter are used in a machine, the foam filter should be on the outside.
Disposable Filters. These filters cannot be washed. There are three types of disposable filters:
- White Disposable Fine Filters. Ultra fine filters collect much smaller particles and are useful for those with allergies or sinus issues. These filters are not meant to be cleaned, but rather discarded when dirty. This filter is placed at the air intake for your machine and is used with a reusable foam filter. It is placed inside the machine first with the foam filter on the outside. This filter should not be washed and is suggested to be replaced every month, or more often with a more dusty environment.
- Standard Disposable Filters for ResMed machines. Disposable standard filters clean large particulate matter from the air as it enters the CPAP or BiLevel machine. This filter is placed at the air intake for your machine and is used by itself for ResMed machines. For the S8 machines, one side is colored, usually yellow or blue, and the other is white. It is placed with the color side facing out. For the S9 machines, they are all white and it does not matter which side faces into the machine. These filters should not be washed and it is suggested to be replaced every month, or more often with a more dusty environment. These come in different shapes depending on the machine. Below are examples of the standard disposable filters for the S8 and S9 machines.
- Hypoallergenic Disposable Filters for ResMed machines. Hypoallergenic filters are made of a combination of two different density filter materials in order to block both the fine and large particulate matter. This filter is placed at the air intake for your machine and is used by itself. Hypoallergenic Disposable filters are available for the S8 and S9 ResMed machines if you want more filtration than the standard filter. This filter should not be washed and is suggested to be replaced every month, or more often with a more dusty environment. These come in different shapes depending on the machine. Below are the hypoallergenic filters for the S8 and the S9 machines.
Bacteria Filters. Bacteria filters are fine enough to remove some bacteria and are clinically indicated when a CPAP machine is used by more than one person. However, many CPAP users find them helpful in reducing the occurrence of sinus infections and other nasal issues. Bacteria filters can be used with an CPAP/APAP/ or BiPAP machine.
They may be used with humidifiers, but should be removed and allowed to air dry during the day. This filter is placed at the air outtake for your machine if you are not using a humidifier. If you are using a humidifier, it is placed at the air outake for your humidifier. The bacteria filter is placed in the air outtake and the CPAP hose is placed on the other end.
The entire housing is disposable and should be discarded as soon as matter becomes visible. A clogged bacteria filter may affect the amount of air delivered by the CPAP.
- In what order do I insert the filters?
- If using both a foam and paper filter, the white paper filter is inserted into the filter area first. Some paper filters use the same material on both sides and either side can face into the machine. Other paper filters may have a plastic mesh side and a soft, fuzzy side. Insert the mesh side facing into the machine and the fuzzy side facing out of the machine as shown in the image below.
If the paper filter has a tab, fold it facing out of the machine for easy removal. The foam filter is inserted into the filter area after the paper filter is installed. The foam filter will catch the larger dirt particles first.
If you are using a two colored filter, the colored side faces out as shown in the image below.
- How often should I clean my filters?
- Washable foam filters should be cleaned as soon as they become discolored. Manufacturers recommend foam filters be rinsed weekly under clear running water and allowed to air dry before being reinstalled in the machine. If the machine is used in a very dusty environment, the foam filter may require more frequent cleaning.
Disposable filters are not intended to be cleaned but rather changed out, disposing of the used filter. Manufacturers recommend changing the disposable filter once a month, more frequently if used in a very dusty environment.
- How often should I replace my filters?
- Reusable foam filters should be replaced when they deteriorate and begin to fall apart, much as a sponge does. The foam filter should be washed with a mild detergent monthly and should be replaced every 3 months or more if the foam is torn.
Disposable fine filters should be discarded as soon as they become discolored or at least every 30 days.
Standard disposable filters for ResMed machines should be discarded every month or more often if the machine is in a dusty environment.
Hypoallergenic Disposable Filters for ResMed machines should be discarded every month or more often if the machine is in a dusty environment.
If you live in a house with pets or smoke, you may need to replace the filters more often.
- How can I find replacement parts for my CPAP machine?
- Wondering which filters work for your machine? Or trying to find the right replacement power cord? To find what parts are compatible with your machine or to find what parts of your machine are replaceable you can:
- What comes with my machine?
- Machines come with a six foot hose, power cord, at least one filter, and manuals. Most manufacturers include a carrying case which is designed specifically for their equipment. CPAP, APAP, and BiPAP machines do not come with a delivery system or mask. CPAP masks must be purchased separately.
To see the list of what specifically comes with each machine, you can browse for a machine. Then on the product page, click the "Specs" tab to see a full list of what comes with the machine.
- What maintenance is required on machines?
- The only care a CPAP or BiPAP machine requires is to clean or change the filters at the air intake. This keeps the internal parts from accumulating dust. Fine paper filters should be changed out every 30 days, or when they appear soiled. Foam washable filters should be rinsed with clear running water once a week, allowed to air dry, and reinserted.
There are some other suggested actions to care for your machine:
- Keep the area around your machine clean by removing any dust from the area to improve the air quality delivered to your machine and to you.
- Keep the air intake of the machine unblocked. Curtains, bedding, and papers can easily block the air intake of your machine, reducing the airflow.
- If a humidifier is used with your therapy, do not pick up the machine with the humidifier attached. With most machines it is easy to spill water from the humidifier chamber into the machine causing damage. Manufacturer warranties are voided by water damage to the machine. To avoid this, remove the chamber from the humidifier and then remove the humidifier from the machine rather than transporting them together.
- If a humidifier is used, empty the water from the chamber every morning. Accidents happen. If a family pet or family member moves the machine and humidifier with water in the chamber it is more likely that water could be spilled into your machine. Water damage to a machine voids the manufacturer warranty.
- How can I find replacement parts for my CPAP mask?
- Replacement parts such as: mask cushions, headgear, headgear clips, and others are available for many masks.
To find parts which are compatible with your mask, or to find which parts of your mask are replaceable, do the following:
- How do I care for my mask?
- Masks should be washed daily with warm water and gentle soap or baby shampoo. Let the mask air dry. Never use antibacterial soap as it will break down the silicone of the mask cushion. Avoid soaps that include lotion which can coat the mask and cause it to lose its seal. A safe cleaner is the Control III Disinfectant CPAP Cleaning Solution. Remember, going to bed with a clean face will improve your seal and protect the lifespan of your mask.
The best time to clean your mask is in the morning after use. This removes the oils left behind from your skin which can reduce the lifespan of your mask. We recommend using mask wipes to make daily morning cleaning easy. The mask wipes are made from materials that will not break down your mask.
- How often should I replace my mask?
- Medicare allows for mask cushion replacement every three (3) months, and a complete mask system replacement every six (6) months. CPAP manufacturers and vendors suggest these replacement schedules as well.
In our experience, most mask cushions begin to deteriorate after about six months of use. The cushion eventually becomes too soft to hold a seal. The headgear straps lose elasticity and must be tightened more and more to get the same quality seal.
We strongly suggest replacing cushions and pillows as soon as they start to soften. Air leaks may reduce the effectiveness of CPAP therapy and headgear that is too tight may cause facial sores at pressure points. In most cases, replacement headgear is available if it is stretched out or the Velcro worn out.
To see what parts of your mask are replaceable refer to our Replacement Part Finder. Just search for your mask to see all of the replaceable parts.
- Does this product contain BPA?
- Yes, all CPAP masks and CPAP humidifier chambers either contain BPA or their manufacturer has not released a statement calling their products BPA free. Here is a statement released by Respironics:
Government of Canada Takes Action on Another Chemical of Concern: Bisphenol A
April 25th 2008
To Whom It May Concern
This document represents Respironics' position regarding the use of Bisphenol A in Respironics Sleep and Home Respiratory Devices. On April 18, 2008, the Government of Canada, banned the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in polycarbonate baby bottles, claiming that the exposure to BPA on newborns and infants up to 18 months of age, could potentially present a health risk to this patient group when the polycarbonate baby bottles are exposed to high temperatures.
At this time, we are able to provide the following information to our customer: NONE of our Sleep and Home Respiratory products which are either breathable or skin contacting are intended for use with newborns or infants under 18 months of age. Therefore, Respironics is in compliance with Health Canada's position for exposure for the identified at risk patient population.
Although Health Canada's restriction for BPA does not include products used for ages above 18 months at this time, Respironics is evaluating its product portfolio and will take the appropriate actions to determine and mitigate any potential risk from use of its products or potential exposure to BPA. It should be noted that NOT all polycarbonate resins contain BPA. In response to the direction provided by Health Canada's device licensing division, Respironics will be evaluating all of our Class II and III medical devices to determine if the resins used in the manufacturer of its products contain BPA.
Further, none of our products or accessories using polycarbonate are labeled for exposure.
In closing, it is Respironics position that our products do not pose any increased risk of exposure to BPA for our users and thus our products remain safe for use.
If you have any further question regarding this topic, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 724-387-4120.
Zita Yurko Director, Regulatory Affairs Sleep and Home Respiratory Division Respironics, Inc.
- What is CPAP tubing / CPAP hose?
- CPAP tubing and CPAP hose are interchangeable terms. CPAP hoses / tubing are used for two main purposes: to connect a CPAP or BiLevel machine or a humidifier to a mask, or to connect the machine to a humidifier.
Machine to Mask Hose. A hose is connected to the air outlet of either the machine or humidifier and it connects to the CPAP mask to deliver the airflow to the mask. In the past, the hose used to connect a machine to mask was a standard size. Today, there are a number of different hose options. There are three types of machine to mask hoses:
- Standard / Performance Hose: A long hose or tubing is included with each CPAP / BiLevel machine purchase. The connections on all CPAPs, humidifiers and masks are a standard size, so a standard CPAP hose will fit on all. Standard hoses are also available in 8 foot and 10 foot sizes. There are lighter hoses available that were designed to be more flexible and put less pull on the CPAP mask.
- Heated Hose: A heated CPAP hose contains copper coils embedded in or wrapped around the length of the hose. These coils conduct a constant temperature through the hose. The majority of heated hoses are specific to the machine.
- Hose with Sensor Line: A few auto-titrating CPAPs and Bilevels require a pressure line sensor fitted into the hose to detect breathing patterns and pressure needs but the majority of those machines are no longer in production. (Machines which use the tubing pictured below have been discontinued by the manufacturer.)
Humidifier Hose. Humidifier hoses connect a CPAP or BiLevel machine to a stand alone humidifier. Humidifier hoses are shorter than standard hoses. They come in either 18 or 24 inches.
- How can I get help from a CPAP expert?
- By Live Chat: Click on the Chat now field in the lower right hand corner of the CPAP.com page. If after hours, click Leave a message to enter your question and we will get back in touch with you.
- By Phone: 800.356.5221 (8 AM - 10 PM CST Mon-Fri; 8 AM - 6 PM CST Sat)
- Email Us: email@example.com
- Ask A Question: Question Submission Form
- By Fax: 866.353.2727
- What Might be Wrong When the Mask Will Not Connect to the Hose?
If a new mask will not connect to the hose, it could be a sign that the swivel or elbow from an old mask may be stuck inside the tube. Often, the swivel or elbow which extends from the mask can become lodged in the hose after use.
There are two ways to determine if the swivel or elbow is inhibiting a new mask from connecting with the hose:
To Determine By Reviewing the Hose:
- Collect the hose to compare against the product page details on CPAP.com.
- Open the product page to review images that correspond directly with the hose.
- The end of the hose should not have an additional piece protruding from the connecting attachment.
- If there is a clear piece that seems to be integrated into the hose, pull to remove the segment.
To Determine By Reviewing the Previous Mask:
- Collect the mask to compare against the product page details on CPAP.com
- Open the product page to review the replacement parts that correspond directly with the mask.
- Locate the swivel piece as a replacement part to compare.
- If the elbow is not attached to the mask as demonstrated on the site, the swivel or elbow may have become lodged in the tube.
Here is a video highlighting a few reasons a CPAP hose might not properly connect to a CPAP mask:
- Are all CPAP hoses the same?
- In years gone by, the answer to this question would have been "yes", but today not all hoses are the same and some machines use different hose types. All CPAP hoses / tubings serve the same function: directing the air stream from the machine to the mask.
Historically, a standard CPAP hose is six feet long, has an internal diameter of 19mm and a connector cuff with an internal diameter of 22mm. Today some hoses are 6 feet long, others are 4 foot long, 8 foot long and 10 foot long. Some hoses have an internal diameter of 19mm (standard) and others have an internal diameter of 15mm (thin or slim style). To use a slim 15mm hose, the machine must have a menu option setting to accept the narrower diameter of a 15mm hose and still deliver the prescribed pressure to the mask to ensure effective therapy.
All hoses have a 22mm connection cuff and fit on all CPAP masks.The connection ports on all CPAP, APAP and BiLevel machines, humidifiers, and masks are a standard size, so a standard CPAP hose will fit on all. Some of the very small machines use a hose adapter between the machine and the 22mm cuff of the hose.
Some manufacturers offer a heated hose option designed to work only with their machines. To read more about heated hoses see the "What is a heated CPAP hose?" article included in this FAQ section.
A few auto-titrating CPAPs and BiLevels require a pressure line senor to detect breathing patterns and pressure needs. The sensor may be in the form of an adapter with narrow tubing attached or the narrow tubing is threaded inside the six foot hose. In both cases, one end of the narrow tubing is plugged into the machine. Those machines will not operate without the pressure line sensor.
- Why is there water in the six foot CPAP hose?
- Water collects in the six foot hose when the ambient room air is much colder than the heated CPAP air, or when there is too much moisture being produced by the humidifier.
First, be sure that no vents or fans blow directly onto the CPAP hose.
Next, try turning down the temperature on the heated humidifier. If that alleviates the problem but causes irritation to the nasal passages, return the humidifier to the previous setting and add an insulating cover to the hose.
If neither response works, try using a heated CPAP hose.
- What is rainout?
- Rainout is the accumulation of water in a CPAP tube due to warm moist air cooling and condensating on its way from your CPAP machine to your CPAP mask.
The image below from Fisher & Paykel explains how rainout is formed. Warm moist air leaves the heated humidifier and travels down the CPAP tube. As the air travels down the tube the room temperature cools the tube and thereby cools the air traveling down the tube. As the air cools, it releases its moisture and condensation occurs, otherwise known as rainout.
Solutions to rainout include:
- Raising the temperature of your bedroom.
- Keep your CPAP machine at the same level as your bed.
- Insulating your tubing with a hose cover like Snugglehose.
- Reduce the tempurature setting on your heated humidifier.
- Purchasing a CPAP machine with a rainout reduction comfort feature.
- Some machine systems offer a compatible heated CPAP hose which maintains the temperature from the machine all the way to the mask reducing the occurrence of rainout. The list of available heated hoses can be found here: Hoses With Heating Coils.
- If your machines uses a standard hose, consider the ComfortLine Heated Tubing Kit.
- What is a heated CPAP hose?
- A heated CPAP hose contains copper coils embedded in, or wrapped around, the hose. These coils are gently heated to conduct a constant temperature throughout the length of the hose. This enhances the comfort of the therapy and reduces or eliminates rainout caused by the water condensating as it travels through the hose to the mask.
Heated hoses are more expensive alternatives to cloth tubing insulation, but they prevent rainout in nearly all cases. The ComfortLine Heated Tubing Kit is a stand alone option that can be used with any machine to prevent rainout and increase delivered humidification.
Some manufacturers have developed heated hoses to work specifically with select machines in their product lines. The ClimateLine Tubing is used with S9 and H5i Climate Control System machines.
The following video shows how to install a ClimateLine hose on a S9 Series Machine with H5i Heated Humidifier:
The PR System One Heated Tube is used with PR System One 60 Series CPAP Machines.
The ThermoSmart Heated Hose is used with Fisher & Paykel 600 Series machines.
- What is a hose cover?
- A hose cover is placed over the hose in order to insulate the hose and to make the hose more comfortable. The simplest and most cost effective way to insulate a CPAP hose is to wrap it in an insulating fabric. This enables the hose to remain flexible and adds little weight.
Companies such as Snugglehose provide a cost effective tubing insulation available in several colors and styles. Not only will the covers reduce or eliminate rainout, they also provide a more personal and less institutionalized appearance. An example of a Snugglehose is shown below.
- Why would I want to insulate my CPAP hose?
- Cool air holds less moisture than warm air. If warm air from a heated humidifier cools while moving through the CPAP hose, water will condense inside the hose rather than travel to the user. The condensation that accumulates inside the CPAP hose is referred to as "rainout."
Insulating the CPAP hose will help maintain the moisture in the airflow all the way to the mask.
- How do I clean a CPAP hose?
- Your CPAP hose will last longer if it is detached every morning and hung to air dry.
Drying the hose each morning will also prevent bacteria from growing in the damp interior and help reduce the possibility of colds and other health issues. Remember, what is in the hose goes into the airway.
If you are not drying the hose daily, then be sure to replace the hose very frequently as negative health issues will result!
Hose care tips:
- Remove the hose by gripping the end or cuff, not the hose itself
- Hang the hose to dry after each use
- Wash hose weekly to avoid residue and maintain health
- Protect the hose from curious pets
Hose care tools:
- A Hose Quick Connect helps the tube to easily disconnect from the humidifier
- The Tube Cleaning System is a tube care kit to rinse, soak and dry the hose.
- The CPAP Tube Brush Second Gen is used to scrub the inside of a tube. It is available for both slim line and standard diameter hoses.
- A SnuggleHose Cover wraps the length of the tube in soft fleece material. Although its intention is to help reduce rain out (water collecting in the tube) many CPAP users report it deters pets from using the hose as a chew toy. The SnuggleHose is available for 6 foot; 8 foot and 10 foot hoses.
- How often should I replace my CPAP hose?
- CPAP hoses can last a long time, sometimes up to a year if taken care of properly.
Signs of wear include dry, cracked places on the inside lining or on the rubber ends; "stretch marks" near the rubber ends; mineral deposits or mold from water left inside the hose; or a visible puncture or tear in the material.
- How do I avoid getting tangled in CPAP hoses?
There are a few ways to keep from getting tangled up in your CPAP tubing. Try running your CPAP hose behind the headboard of your bed. Also, there are several types of suspension systems we carry here at CPAP.com. You can see the different types of Hose Management Systems under our Comfort & Cleaning section. One example is the HoseBuddy Tangle Free CPAP Hose Suspension System:
Other examples of Hose Management Systems are:
- What is the purpose of a chinstrap?
- Nasal delivery devices are the preferred mode of delivering CPAP air. They are smaller, lighter and usually more comfortable, with many styles and sizes to choose from.
When using a nasal device with a CPAP, it is imperative that the mouth remain closed for the pressure to be maintained and the therapy to be effective. Most people will automatically keep their mouth closed while on CPAP, but some are unable to do so, at least in the beginning of the therapy.
Use of a chinstrap is the first response to opening the mouth during sleep. It is worn in addition to the CPAP mask to hold the jaw up and help keep the mouth closed.
Even with the use of a chinstrap, some people are still able to breathe through their teeth and lips. If so, a full face mask is an option worth considering.
- What styles of chinstrap are there?
- A basic chinstrap cups the chin and has narrow straps that connect at the top of the head, usually with Velcro. It works best for those who sleep on their side and who do not open their mouth very much. The straps may fall forward or backward on the head if not held in place by the mask headgear. An example of this type of chinstrap is the Sullivan Chinstrap.
For greater strength, a wider chinstrap is available. The width of the strap is sufficient to cup the chin, and narrow straps are available to attach across the forehead to keep the chinstrap from falling back, as well as across the back of the head to keep it from falling forward. This style of chinstrap is more stable, but it will cover the ears. An example of this type of chinstrap is the Premium Chinstrap.
Another style of chinstrap is a series of straps that cup the chin at a lower angle for greater support, and include the stabilizing straps in the design. An example of this type of chinstrap is the CPAP.com Deluxe Chinstrap.
- What are the CPAP, BiPAP and Sleep Apnea related CPT or billing codes?
- A7034 is Nasal Mask
- A7034 is Nasal Pillow Mask
- A7030 is Full Face Mask
- A7027 is Hybrid Mask
- A7044 is Oral Interface Mask (Oracle)
- A7035 is Headgear for Mask - Any Style
- A7036 is Chinstrap - Any Style
- A7032 is Replacement Nasal Mask Cushion
- A7033 is Replacement Nasal pillows
- A7031 is Replacement Full Face Mask Cushion
- A7028 is Replacement Hybrid Mask Cushion
- A7029 is Replacement Hybrid Mask Nasal Pillow
- A7046 is Replacement Humidifier Chamber
- A7037 is Tubing / Hose - Long & Short Tubes
- A4604 is Heated Tubing
- A7038 is Disposable Filter (White / Paper)
- A7039 is Washable Filter (Gross Particle / Foam/ Black)
- E0601 NU is CPAP Purchase
- E0601 NU is APAP Purchase
- E0470 NU is BiPAP Purchase
- E0470 NU is BiPAP Auto Purchase
- E0471 NU is BiPAP ST Purchase
- E0471 NU is BiPAP Auto SV Purchase
- E0562 NU is Heated CPAP Humidifier
- E0561 NU is Passover or Cool CPAP Humidifier
- E0601 RR is CPAP Rental
- E0601 NU is APAP Rental
- E0470 RR is BiPAP Rental
- E0470 RR is BiPAP Auto Rental
- E0471 RR is BiPAP ST Rental
- E0471 RR is BiPAP Auto SV Rental
E1399 is Miscellaneous and is used for other CPAP items.
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Did You Know, CPAP Supplies
- Mask cushions should be replaced every three to six months!
- Using old equipment can cause unfavorable side effects. Keep your equipment up to date.
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