Therapy Equipment

What You Need to Know about the Best Travel CPAP Machines

Summer is the season for travel! And whether you’re traveling domestically or internationally, by air or by land, there’s one thing you can’t go without on your trip – a good night’s sleep. With CPAP therapy being an ever-increasing form of treatment for Sleep Apnea, new technology has brought several new travel CPAP machines to the market.

Travel-friendly CPAP machines differ from your standard machine in just a few key ways. One of the biggest advantages is they’re portable! They’re designed to be small and lightweight and are even TSA friendly. Some are even FAA approved for in-flight use. They are easy to disassemble, pack into a carry on bag, and reassemble at your destination.

Now that Summer 2018 is finally here, it’s the best time to shop for a great travel machine. Why? Because there’s never been as many good travel machines to choose from. The launch of the DreamStation Go from Philips Respironics has added another quality machine to the field. The DreamStation Go offers Philips Respironics customers an elite travel machine.

It’s no surprise that the DreamStation Go is positioned to compete with Resmed’s AirMini. While we’re excited about the DreamStation Go, it’s not the only machine worthy of buzz in 2018. We’ll do a deep dive into the world of travel CPAP machines, highlighting some of the best travel machines for 2018.

Key Features of a Travel CPAP Machine

  • Some Offer Extended Battery Life – Great for Long Flights
  • Some Plug Into a Car Cigarette Lighter and Run Off the Car’s Battery
  • Many Can Be Used in Cities With High Elevation
  • Many Are Small and FAA Compliant – For Use on a Plane
  • Small and Lightweight — Can Fit in Small Spaces

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

Best Travel CPAP Machines and Capabilities

Before we break down our best travel CPAP sellers, let’s talk about what they all have in common. Firstly, the best travel machines are all APAP machines, which means it will provide the ideal pressure through automatically adjusting on a breath by breath basis and blowing only the minimum amount of pressure needed to keep your airway open throughout the night.

For our more traditional users or patients with specific CPAP needs, each device is also equipped with a CPAP mode. Finally, they all offer a ramp feature, which allows you to start at a lower pressure and build up to your ideal pressure within 45 minutes, making it easier to fall asleep!

The ramp feature of a CPAP machine adds to comfort and makes it easier to sleep in an unfamiliar environment. Outside of these basic features, each model offers its own unique features that may help you choose the best fit.

Philips Respironics DreamStation Go

DreamStation Go

The newest travel machine to enter the travel CPAP market in 2018 is the DreamStation Go. The DreamStation Go is a tiny and lightweight Auto CPAP machine that is almost perfectly square. It’s designed to be the ultimate travel machine. Here’s a quick run-down of some of the best features:

DreamStation Go Features:

  • Smaller Tubing for Increased Portability
  • Optional Overnight Battery Allows for up to 10 Hours of Therapy
  • FAA Certified for Use In-Flight
  • Lightweight and Easily Portable
  • Touchscreen Helps You Track Sleep Statistics and Control the Device

You can take it almost anywhere– even camping– and use it off the grid. The DreamStation Go represents the next evolution in Philips Respironics’ popular DreamStation line. While its compact size doesn’t allow for a built-in humidifier, the DreamStation Go is compatible with many brands of standalone humidifiers to suit your needs. Overall, many people are very happy. This machine is currently priced between $850 – $950.

Resmed AirMini

The AirMini by ResMed is currently the smallest on the market and, rest assured, that big things come in this small package. Weighing just under 1lb, this Auto CPAP makes traveling with a humidifier much easier. ResMed has designed the HumidX™ waterless component, allowing you all of the benefits of a humidifier while leaving the distilled water at home, making this a mess-free portable CPAP.

ResMed AirMini Features:

  • Currently One of the Smallest Machines on the Market – Weighs Just Under 1lb!
  • Humidification Using Waterless HumidX Technology – No Need for an Extra Humidifier!
  • Bluetooth Connectivity Transfers Sleep Data with Your Phone
  • It Works in Altitudes Up to 8500 Feet
  • AutoSet APAP Adjusts Pressure on a Breath-By-Breath Basis

The AirMini App, allows you to adjust comfort settings and monitor your sleep data, such as events per hour or 30-day sleep score. The only downside is it doesn’t have a battery option, so if you’re traveling to the great outdoors and won’t have a power outlet, this may not be for you.

It does, however, have a DC adapter that you can use to plug in when on the go. While not a true battery, it gives you the ability to use it in a car or a boat. With all of these other great features, the ResMed AirMini is currently priced around $850 – $950.

Z1 Auto Travel from Human Design Medical

Say goodbye to your fears of lugging heavy bags through the airport because the Z1 Auto CPAP model is currently the lightest CPAP model available, weighing just 10 ounces! It’s small and compact, making it the perfect travel companion, and has the option of utilizing a Powershell with battery for 9+ hours of continuous use. It has a max altitude capability of 8000 feet and, the best feature of all, it’s reasonably priced at around $500.

HDM Z1 Auto Features

  • Small and Compact – Easy to Pack
  • Built-In Bluetooth – Connects to an App on Your Phone
  • Z-Breathe Pressure Relief
  • Auto Altitude Adjusting
  • Quiet Operation at 26 Decibles

The Z1 has a lot of great features that are commonly found on more expensive machines, so the $500 price is a great value. The Z1 is well-loved by many of our users, and it’s easy to see why.

Transcend Auto Travel from Somnetics

The Transcend Auto CPAP, like the Z1 CPAP, has a max altitude of 8000 feet above sea level. In addition, it has very flexible power options, including international plug adapters and the optional Transcend Multi-Night Battery.

This battery will run your CPAP machine anywhere from 14-16 hours when fully charged. It also can be solar charged in direct sunlight and operate for 12 consecutive hours, making this portable CPAP the perfect companion for your next nature adventure. You can buy the TranscendCPAP for your next trip for around $500.

Transcend Auto miniCPAP™ Machine with EZEX

  • Auto-Adjusting APAP Technology
  • EZEX Pressure Relief
  • Quiet Operation
  • Flexible Power Options
  • Email Compatible Sleep Data
  • Easy Maintenence Filter

The Transcend Auto is a great choice for anyone who is looking for a quality budget machine. It’s slightly bigger than a pool ball and great for wherever travel takes you!


Wherever you’ll be traveling this summer, there is a CPAP machine suitable for your trip! For the sake of your trip, and those around you, don’t sacrifice a good night’s sleep without the proper sleep therapy. Thanks to new technology, traveling with CPAP equipment doesn’t have to be difficult, but we understand that choosing the right model can be challenging.

If you need help deciding, or have other questions about CPAP equipment, reach out to our team! Also make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to be among the first to hear about our CPAP deals and other great tips. Wherever your summer journey takes you, make sure your therapy goes with you. Happy trails!

Daniela has researched and published over 60 articles covering topics that aim to inform and empower people living with Sleep Apnea. As an avid reader and researcher, Daniela continues to grow her knowledge about Sleep Apnea and CPAP therapy everyday with the help of coworkers, customers, and members of other CPAP communities online.


  1. Dr. Hamilton-Stubbs Reply

    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

    • 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.

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