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The Best Travel CPAP Machines of 2022

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Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines can be one of the most effective treatments for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Traditional CPAP machines are great for those who don’t travel, but if you’re planning a trip or travel frequently, you may want to consider a travel CPAP machine to maintain your therapy while on the go. 

While several portable CPAP machines are available, you’ll usually have to compromise in one or more areas to find the best travel CPAP for your specific needs. One option might be the perfect size for you but is too noisy for you to get good sleep with. Another may have the automatic start/stop feature you’re after but doesn’t offer the humidification you need. Whatever the case, there’s usually something keeping you from the therapy you’re used to with a traditional CPAP.

Because of these compromises, finding the best travel CPAP can be difficult, which is exactly why we’re tapping into over two decades of product knowledge and expertise to bring you this guide to the best travel CPAP machines.

A Quick Look at the Best Travel CPAP Machines

We’ll get into the features, drawbacks, and reviews for each of these machines in just a moment. For now, let’s take a quick look at how these travel CPAP machines compare.

The Best Travel CPAP Machines Compared

ResMed AirMiniHDM Z2 Auto Travel CPAPSomnetics Transcend 3 Auto miniCPAP
Noise Level30 Decibels26 Decibels26 Decibels
Machine Weight0.66 Lbs0.65 Lbs1.09 Lbs
Operational Altitude0-8,500 Ft0-8,000 Ft0-8,000 Ft
Compatible Humidifier?YesBuilt-InNo
Dimensions5.4” L x 3.3” W x 2.1” H6.4” L x 3.3” W x 2” H7.4” L x 3.7” W x 3.7” H
Average Customer Rating4.5/54.3/53.6/5
AC Power Consumption100-240 V, 50/60 Hz100-240 V, 50/60 Hz100-240 V, 50/60 Hz
FAA Approved?YesYesYes

Key Features of a Travel CPAP Machine

As opposed to standard machines, travel-friendly CPAP machines are small, lightweight, and portable. If it’s your first time flying with a CPAP machine, you should know that travel machines are TSA friendly, and most are FAA approved for in-flight use. If your flight is short, a small CPAP machine makes disassembly, packing, and reassembly a breeze!

It’s important to understand how a mini CPAP machine is different from other devices. A portable CPAP device has some added benefits that will ease some of the stress while traveling. A good travel CPAP machine:

  • Can Plug Into a Cigarette Lighter to Draw Power From Your Car’s Battery
  • Can Be Used With a DC Cable Converter to Allow You to Sleep On-the-Go
  • Has Extended Battery Life—Perfect for Long Flights or Camping Trips
  • Is Small, Lightweight, and FAA Compliant—Safe for Use on a Plane
  • Can Still Deliver Quality Therapy Despite Its Small Size

Now that you know some of the standard features of a travel CPAP machine, it’s time to find the right one for you!

Best Overall: ResMed AirMini

Light Travel CPAP Machines

Machine Features

ResMed AirMini
Noise Level30 Decibels
Machine Weight0.66 Lbs
Operational Altitude0-8,500 Ft
Compatible Humidifier?Yes
Dimensions5.4” L x 3.3” W x 2.1” H
Average Customer Rating4.5/5
AC Power Consumption100-240 V, 50/60 Hz
FAA-Approved?Yes

Our Review

If you’re looking for a light and compact travel CPAP machine, then the AirMini by ResMed is currently the world’s smallest CPAP machine. Weighing in at just over three-fifths of a pound, this Auto CPAP makes traveling with a humidifier easy. ResMed has designed the HumidX™ Waterless Component to allow you to receive all of the benefits of a heated humidifier while leaving the distilled water at home.

This compact CPAP machine fits in the palm of your hand, which makes packing your machine hassle-free. With HumidX, the space-saving AirMini adds moisture while you sleep so that you can cross a humidifier off of your packing list as well. Want to continue tracking your sleep on the go? The AirMini connects to your phone via Bluetooth, so you can track your leak rate, usage hours, and events per hour while traveling.

If you’re looking for drawbacks to this travel CPAP machine, there are few. Some AirMini owners note that the machine isn’t as quiet as they’re used to, but it’s still quieter than some bulkier full-sized machines on the market. Some people have also complained about a lack of data compatibility between the MyAir by ResMed App and the AirMini by ResMed App as well as some shortcomings of the AirMini App’s reporting features. While the AirMini was previously only compatible with only a handful of specific ResMed masks, you now have the freedom of choice thanks to the Zephair AirMini Universal Adapter, which allows you to use any standard hose and mask with the AirMini device.

Overall, the AirMini is an industry leader in travel CPAP machines for a reason. We recommend this device for frequent flyers that don’t mind a higher price point or sleeping with white noise. 


Read Our Full ResMed AirMini Review


ResMed AirMini Features and Benefits:

  • Air Traveler and Camper Friendly
  • Bluetooth Connectivity Transfers Sleep Data to Your Phone
  • One of the Smallest Machines on the Market at Just Under 1 Lb
  • Waterless Humidification
  • Works in Altitudes Up to 8,500 Feet

Drawbacks:

  • Not Whisper-Quiet
  • Almost As Expensive as a Bedside Unit
  • App Integration Not Always Seamless

Compatible Humidifier: HumidX Waterless Humidification (For P10 and N20 Models)

Best Battery: Medistrom Pilot-24 Lite

Other Battery Options: 

Best on a Budget: Human Design Medical Z2 Auto Travel CPAP

Travel CPAP Machines

Machine Features

HDM Z2 Auto Travel CPAP
Noise Level26 Decibels
Machine Weight0.65 Lbs
Operational Altitude0-8,000 Ft
Compatible Humidifier?Built-In
Dimensions6.4” L x 3.3” W x 2” H
Average Customer Rating4.3/5
AC Power Consumption100-240 V, 50/60 Hz
FAA-Approved?Yes

Our Review

While the AirMini is slightly more compact, the HDM Z2 Auto Travel CPAP Machine is actually slightly lighter, weighing just 0.65 lb! It’s small and compact, making it the perfect travel companion. Also like the AirMini, the Z2 uses a proprietary waterless humidification system, allowing you to leave your bulky humidifier at home. 

What really makes the Z2 unique is the included Qtube CPAP Muffler, helping to reduce the noise from your mask and tubing. While a good travel CPAP will do its best to operate quietly, there are some fundamental limitations in sizing that prevent a portable CPAP from being as quiet as a traditional bedside CPAP machine. This additional commitment to a peaceful night’s sleep is what we love about the Z2. 

Instead of a traditional bulky humidifier, the Z2 also comes with a Heat Moisture Exchanger which uses the moisture from your breath to slightly humidify your therapy air. While this isn’t as effective as the humidification you may be used to, it’s better than no humidification for most people. Still, some may experience congestion and allergy symptoms after using waterless humidification, so it’s good to stick to what works for you. 

Overall, the Z2 is a quiet and reliable travel CPAP device that’s perfect for any traveler, backpacker, or camper and is easily one of the cheapest travel machines available. 


Read Our Full HDM Z2 Auto Review


HDM Z2 Auto Features and Benefits:

  • Auto Altitude Adjusting With a Max Altitude of 8,000 Feet
  • Built-In Bluetooth by Connecting to an App on Your Phone
  • Easy to Carry-On—Extremely Lightweight
  • Great for Camping and Backpacking
  • Great Price for Value-Conscious Consumers
  • Quiet Operation at 26 Decibels
  • Ultra-Portable—Tiny Machine Fits Almost Anywhere
  • Z-Breathe Pressure Relief

Drawbacks:

  • Limited Features
  • HME Doesn’t Capture Enough Moisture for Some People
  • HME Should be Replaced Weekly
  • Not Loud, But Operates at a Higher Pitch
  • Customer Reviews Agree That Pressure Doesn’t Feel Adequate

Best Battery: Z1 and Z2 Powershell Extended Life Battery

Other Battery Options: 

Best For Camping: Somnetics Transcend 3 Auto miniCPAP

Travel CPAP Machines

Machine Features

Somnetics Transcend 3 Auto miniCPAP
Noise Level26 Decibels
Machine Weight1.09 Lbs
Operational Altitude0-8,000 Ft
Compatible Humidifier?No
Dimensions7.4” L x 3.7” W x 3.7” H
Average Customer Rating3.6/5
AC Power Consumption100-240 V, 50/60 Hz
FAA-Approved?Yes

Our Review

The Transcend 3 Auto CPAP, like the Z2 Auto CPAP, has a max altitude of up to 8,000 feet above sea level. In addition, it has very flexible power options, including international plug adapters and the optional Transcend Multi-Night Battery. If you purchase from us, you will also receive a free carrying case, a charger with international plug adapters, and a CPAP hose!

Campers and hikers unite for the Transcend 3 Auto CPAP! The lightweight and tiny design with solar battery options make this machine ideal for throwing it in your rucksack and going on your way! There is a convenient drying mode available on the Transcend 3, effectively making it the best portable CPAP machine for camping. While it will use up a bit more power, it makes cleaning and maintaining the hygiene of your machine much easier off the grid. 

Outside of the basic design, there’s really not much to the Transcend 3 Auto. It’s a very low-frills high-functionality device that should be easy to operate and get the job done. Some reviewers have mentioned trouble with the included hose disconnecting from their existing CPAP mask and that this version is louder than the older Transcend unit they were used to. 

All in all, if you need something reliable that doesn’t break the bank and comes with its own travel case, look no further than the Somnetics Transcend 3 Auto. 


Read Our Full Transcend 3 Auto Review


Somnetics Transcend 3 Auto MiniCPAP Features and Benefits:

  • Auto-Adjusting for Fewer Doctor’s Appointments
  • Designed to Go Off-Grid With Optional Accessories
  • Flexible Battery Options for Every Travel Need
  • Great for Value-Conscious Consumers
  • Lightweight and Tiny Design to Easily Fit in Bags
  • Quiet Operation
  • Ramp-Up Feature With EZEX Pressure Relief

Drawbacks:

  • Limited Options for Viewing Data
  • Somewhat Noisy
  • Barebones Unit with Fewer Comfort Features

Compatible Humidifier: None

Best Battery: Transcend Multi-Night Battery

Other Battery Options: Somnetics Solar Charger for Transcend Batteries

Consider the Following Before Purchasing a Travel CPAP: 

Whether you purchase one of our recommendations or not, we think it’s important that you are at least armed with the knowledge to make the best purchase decision for yourself. For this reason, we’ve created a handy buying guide of things to consider when considering a travel-sized CPAP machine. 

Portability

The very first things you should consider are the situations in which you’ll most commonly be using your new CPAP machine. Frequent and infrequent travelers have different needs; some people may want a dedicated travel machine while others would simply prefer a decent bedside unit that happens to be easy to travel with. 

Most dedicated travel CPAP machines are FAA-approved for in-flight use, but more traditional units may not be. Finally, someone who does more camping than flying may prefer a more robust barebones unit than whatever is on the cutting edge.

Price

Of course, you should also be familiar with how much you’re willing/able to spend on a travel CPAP. Many insurance companies will not cover the cost of a second CPAP machine, so it’ll likely all be out of pocket for you. Factor in any extra batteries, inverters, and carrying cases you might be looking at and your travel CPAP purchase can easily cost as much as or more than a standard bedside unit. 

Doctor’s Recommendations

Since you can’t buy a CPAP machine without a prescription, you may have already talked with your healthcare provider about the best equipment for your needs. Whether there are specific machine settings or comfort features you require or a particular mask style that works best for you, be sure that the machine you’re considering will be able to deliver the therapy you deserve.

Sound Level

While CPAP technology has come a long way, there’s still some work to be done in getting travel machines to be as whisper-quiet as a full-sized bedside unit. There are certainly some quieter machines out there that won’t disturb moderate sleepers, but a light sleeper will likely be hard-pressed to find a suitable machine that operates at the right pitch, too. 

All things considered, it may be easier to not even worry about this selling point, buy whatever machine fits your budget, and invest the savings in a good pair of earplugs! 

Machine Type

If you’ve been using CPAP therapy at home on a different device, there’s almost no doubt that your travel CPAP machine will give you a different experience. Due to size constraints and engineering hurdles, a pressure setting on your bedside unit may not behave the same way on a travel machine. Even if both are set to 12 cmh2o, the experience will be different. 

For this reason, we recommend traveling with an APAP machine. It’s much easier to let the machine react to your needs than rely on a set pressure that may not be enough for you at the moment or feels weaker from your travel machine.

Comfort Features (Ramp, AutoStart, etc.)

Outside of doctor’s recommendations, you may personally prefer or even require specific comfort settings such as Ramp or Auto Start/Stop. Be sure that the machine you’re considering has all the features you need for the most restful sleep therapy. 

This also applies to humidifier usage; if you’re someone who requires a humidifier or if you’ll be traveling to a climate where you might need one, your options will be very limited.

Data Tracking

If data tracking is essential to you, you might consider a more high-tech option with real-time reporting to your phone and the ability to sync your travel data with data from your at-home machine. Some travel machines can’t sync or view data until you’re back home with your PC.

Accessories

Accessories for a travel CPAP device include things like external batteries for charging or operating your machine, a travel case or carrying bag, and an external humidifier if you use one. Most devices won’t come with these things, so if you require or prefer to have any of these things, you’ll want to be aware of your budget outside of the machine price, too. 

Warranty

Most travel machines have a 2-year warranty, though there are some longer and shorter exceptions. Be sure to check the manufacturer warranty for your device and whether or not it protects you in situations you may find yourself in while traveling. 

FAA Approval

As we mentioned earlier, most travel CPAP machines are FAA-approved and TSA friendly, though it never hurts to double-check with the manufacturer’s specifications. If you’re traveling with a standard CPAP, you may have a tougher time getting your machine through security in certain places. Some airlines will also have different rules/requirements than others, so be sure to inquire about any policies they may have regarding CPAP machine use in-flight.  

Power Consumption/Requirements

Most machines are able to run off of outlets in almost any country with the appropriate travel plug adapter. Still, it’s always a good idea to be familiar with where you’re traveling and the power draw of your machine. For camping and off-grid activities, it’s also important to know if you’ll need to run any adapters or inverters in your CPAP setup. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Do Travel CPAP Machines Cost?

Cheaper travel CPAP machines start in the neighborhood of $400 and can be as expensive as $1,200. On average, you’ll spend about $800, but there are many cost-effective options for under $600.

Does Insurance Cover the Cost of a Travel CPAP Machine?

While it’s always encouraged to check these specifics with your insurance company, most insurance companies will not cover the cost of a travel CPAP regardless of whether it’s a secondary device or the one you plan to use full time. 

Can I Use a Regular Mask With My Travel CPAP?

In most cases, yes! The ResMed AirMini, specifically, is a device that has very few mask options, but most other travel machines will feature a hose or mask adapter or be universally compatible. 

Can I Use a Travel CPAP at Home?

Yes. A travel CPAP machine is perfectly capable of delivering quality therapy as a full-time home unit. It is worth noting, however, that parts in your travel machine may wear more quickly than on a larger unit and will show their age more quickly. You should also consider how important a suite of comfort features is to you, as travel machines don’t typically have the same capabilities in that regard. 

Can I Use a Travel CPAP In-Flight?

Yes! If a device is FAA-approved, then you can use it during the flight so long as you meet the requirements of your airliner. Examples of some requirements would be requiring a 48-hour approval notice before the flight or requiring the device’s battery to have a capacity equal to or greater than 150% of the expected flight time. 

Final Thoughts

Wherever and however you’ll be traveling, there is a compact CPAP machine suitable for your trip! Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice a good night’s sleep without proper sleep apnea therapy.

Remember: the best travel CPAP machine is one that will give you therapy closest to what you’re used to getting at home. Traveling disrupts the usual cadence and rhythm of our lives, initiating a stress response from the body. By finding a semi-familiar product that will help you maintain your CPAP routine on the go, you’ll be setting yourself up for a healthier and happier trip overall. 

Safe travels!

Elevate Your Sleep Experience!

Catch Better ZzZs for less with our most popular machines, masks, and accessories. 

Table of Contents

21 thoughts on “The Best Travel CPAP Machines of 2022”

  1. Dr. Hamilton-Stubbs

    Hello Daniela
    Thank you for this review. Do you know it any of the portal machines are less efficient at delivering pressures greater than 10 cm water

  2. Thank you for providing the information and will be useful in determining my purchase. What is missing however are the negatives features of each type. I believe the level of noise and whether the hoses/mask accommodate all types or are proprietary are important to mention. Thank you very much

    1. We’re coming out with a series of posts soon that will address some of these concerns. Thanks for the feedback! We actually recently published a post on the quietest masks, if you navigate to our blog homepage you should see it.

  3. I have used the Z1 with the newer extended battery pack for camping and have been able to get 3 nights in warmer fall weather or 2 nights in colder weather with it. I keep the CPAP in my sleeping bag to keep it warm and the air that I am inhaling. The short hose is also helpful for keeping the overall weight and size down in my backpack.

    1. Hi Gail, most CPAP machines have the auto-adjust according to altitude feature built into the machine. In order for us to know for certain, if your machine has this feature, we would need to know which machine you have.

      Please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you can e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      Have a great day!

  4. I have the transcend machine and I think it works well for my traveling, which has taken us around the world in the last several years.

  5. Susan T Audette

    I have a Transcend mi ni and I feel like Darth Vader when I use it. It seems so loud, I don’t. Any suggestions?

  6. is the air mini usable on safari trips in AFRICA? do they work on cruise ships also?
    I am considering purchasing the air mini for travel and not sure about its working capabilities outside the USA.
    are their precaution needed for safety of the equipment?

    1. Hi Ann, yes. The AirMini, will work in Africa and on cruise ships. Please keep in mind that you will need a power adapter for the power outlet of the country you will be traveling to. Please see the link below to get a better idea as to what I’m referring to.

      https://www.cpap.com/productpage/World-Traveler-Power-Adapter-Plugs-CPAP

      Also, if you will be without power during your trip, you may consider adding a battery with your machine. Please see the link to view a battery that will work with the AirMini.

      https://www.cpap.com/productpage/medistrom-pilot-24-lite-battery

      Finally, keep in mind that you may have Bluetooth connectivity issues depending on the internet availability in the locations you’ll be traveling to. This will not interfere with your ability to use your machine, but your therapy data may not be available until you have access to internet connection.

      For further questions, or concerns, we can be reached at: 1-800-356-5221.

      I wish you safe travels!

  7. Hello- Is there a machine on the market that is good for everyday use as well as compact enough for occasional travel? I know the travel only machines are super compact, but I’m really looking for something smaller then my Resmed 10 home machine so I can travel easier with it. Any suggestions?

  8. What would prevent a CPAP user from purchasing a travel CPAP and using it at home and travel? What are the limitations, pros & cons?

    1. Hey Deb, the functionality, of the home and travel machine are the same. They both blow the same amount of air according to the pressure settings. The main differences between a home and travel machines are the size. Most of the travel machines are smaller than the regular machines, but keep in mind that for the most part the travel machines will be a bit noisier than the regular home machines.

      Also, most of the travel machines have an option for waterless humidification, but not a standard humidifier. There are a few travel machines, that have an option to add a humidifier, but they will add size to the unit, in some cases, making the travel machine almost the same size as the home unit.

      If you travel a lot, and are looking for a smaller machine and don’t require a standard humidifier, the travel machine would be a great option for you.

      If you wish to speak with us further regarding machine options, or anything else, please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221.

      Have a great day!

  9. Going to Africa and will be in the bush for several nights without power.
    How many nights does the multi night battery last?
    How can you re-charge the multi night battery? Cigarette lighter/DC? Solar?

    1. Hi Lisa,
      The manufacturer tested this battery with the several Transcend series machines and found it could generate approximately 14 hours of run time on a pressure setting of 14. Certain factors like altitude, pressure setting, temperature, machine type, and if you use humidification can all factor into run times. Individual results may vary.

      The battery is charged using the Transcend Travel machine’s power supply. The power supply is plugged into a wall outlet and into the battery.

      There is an option for DC charge by using the Transcend DC Mobile Power Adapter Second Gen and Solar is an option also with the Solar Charger for Transcend Batteries.

      For further questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      Have a wonderful and safe trip to Africa!

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