A basic CPAP setup consists of a CPAP machine, hose and CPAP mask. The CPAP machine and CPAP mask are attached to either side of the hose. The CPAP machine blows air into the hose and through the mask to you.
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. CPAP therapy is the most commonly recommended, and the most effective, treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.
A CPAP machine provides air at a constant prescribed pressure. The air is delivered to the person through a tube and a CPAP mask. CPAP therapy provides a constant airflow which keeps the airway open so uninterrupted breathing is maintained during sleep. The air stream eliminates Sleep Apnea events and allows the person to get a restful sleep.
The level of air pressure required to maintain your airway is determined during your sleep study. Your doctor will write a prescription for a CPAP machine set at that pressure.
CPAP therapy is delivered through a nasal mask that seals around the nose or nasal pillows which seal at the nasal opening. Full face masks are available for a person who breathes through both the nose and mouth. Many innovative and comfortable options are available and advances in the delivery of CPAP therapy are continually occurring.
For instance: Some machines offer a comfort feature such as FLEX or EPR technology. It provides exhalation relief, a slight drop in pressure at the time of exhalation to help make therapy more natural. APAP, BiPAP and BiLevel machines offer various levels of pressure throughout the night.
We work very hard to provide many different ways for our customers to compare products. Here are the machine product guides we have created and maintain:
We provide our customers with many tools to make informed decisions about their machine purchases. Options include:
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 / BiPAP / APAP 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.
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:
Most CPAP and BiLevel machines today are designed to operate on both AC and DC battery currents. In the United States, the AC current from a wall outlet is 110 volts. Overseas, the AC current is usually 220 or 240 volt. Most batteries produce 12 volt DC current.
We include information about the power needs and capacities on the CPAP.com pages our products. Please see the "Power" tab on any machine product page for this information. You can also see a summary of the voltage range and whether it is DC capable on our Compare Charts.
Here is a video explaining differences in power cords and power supplies of various CPAP 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:
Humidification adds moisture to the CPAP air, reducing irritation to the nasal passages caused by the increased airflow.
CPAP air is an irritant - to one degree or another - to everyone. In some cases the irritation dries out the nasal passages and may cause bleeding. It may also cause swelling, excess mucous, congestion or sneezing. The irritation may create a very fertile ground for infections to begin. The irritation may be cumulative, building up over time. The only way to reduce the irritation is to add moisture.
Humidification is therefore a critical part of CPAP Therapy.
Yes. Federal law requires we have a valid prescription on file before we ship your mask, machine and/or humidifier.
We provide many easy ways to get your prescription:
All CPAP masks work with all machines.
Like our machine comparison chart, we have created a CPAP Mask Comparison Guide to help you compare different masks. This guide stacks up every mask we sell, feature by feature. If you don't know the meaning of a feature, click the question mark for a definition. The links below will take you to the most popular masks, or to the different types of masks we sell.
Compare Most Popular Masks
Compare All Nasal Masks
Compare All Full Face Masks
Compare All Nasal Pillow Masks
Compare All Nasal Prong Masks
Compare All Hybrid Masks
Compare All Oral Masks
Compare All Total Face CPAP Masks
We provide our customers with many tools to make informed decisions about their mask purchases. Options include:
Masks should be washed daily with warm water using a very gentle soap or baby shampoo, and left to 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.
For many masks there are parts that are replaceable such as the mask cushion, headgear, headgear clips and other parts. To find parts which are compatible with your mask, or to find which parts of your mask are replaceable, you can:
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.
The answer to this question depends on the mask. In most cases, the mask frame will only accept cushions or pillows made for that specific mask. There are a few exceptions to this. For instance, there are two masks by ResMed the Mirage SoftGel Nasal CPAP Mask and the Mirage Activa LT Nasal CPAP Mask, in this case the cushions are interchangeable between the two masks. You can buy one of these masks and use the same sized cushion in the other model of mask on the same mask frame. The EasyFit line of masks by DeVilbiss offeres different cushion types which are interchangeable between the mask frames.
As to whether or not you can use different sized cushions for a specific mask on the same mask frame, this also depends on the mask. Some mask frames are compatible with multiple cushion or pillow sizes and other mask frames will fit only the cushion of the same size. This information is provided on the product pages. Please review the page of the specific product you are interested in to learn if you will need a different size mask frame for each size of cushion or pillow. For assistance, contact us at 1-800-356-5221.
Philips Respironics is the market leader in the CPAP Therapy market. They are known for their high end CPAP, BiPAP and APAP Machines.
Additionally, Respironics invented and introduced BiPAP machines to the market with its BiPAP S. Other Respironics innovations of note in include C-Flex, Bi-Flex, and A-Flex easy breathing technology which makes breathing with a CPAP machine mimic natural breathing.
ResMed is traded publicly under the ticker symbol RMD. Its Mirage Nasal Mask was a breakthrough in Nasal Masks and it continues to be known for its Nasal and Full Face Mask offerings.
ResMed created EPR (Expiratory Pressure Relief) to make breathing with their machines more natural. ResMed is also known for having some of the quietest machines on the market.
Fisher & Paykel is traded on the NZSX and ASX under ticker symbol FPH.
They pioneered heated humidification in CPAP Therapy with their HC100 Heated Humidifier and continue to lead the industry in heated humidification innovation. They are also well known for the quality of their Full Face Mask offerings.
Fisher and Paykel
DeVilbiss is a privately held company. They are known for their quiet and sleek designed IntelliPAP CPAP Machines.
They also developed SmartCode technology. Instead of needing to buy option software, the IntelliPAP displays a SmartCode which is used to return sleep metrics on your sleep therapy. The code can be entered into the IntelliPAP Auto CPAP product page to return graphs of your results.
Covidien was spun off from Tyco Healthcare Puritan Bennett in 2008 and now trades on the NYSE as ticker symbol COV.
They were the first to bring to market a truly effective alternative to traditional Nasal and Full Face Masks, the Breeze Nasal Pillow System.
They also produced the first Travel CPAP line, which has gained a wide following from CPAP patients paying in cash due to its incredibly small size and very reasonable prices.