Therapy Equipment

The Best Travel CPAP Machines Reviewed & Compared

Updated: April 22, 2019

What Are the Best Travel 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. Most are even FAA approved for in-flight use. They are easy to disassemble, pack into a carry on bag, and reassemble at your destination.

Are you planning a vacation or weekend getaway? Now is the best time to shop for a great travel CPAP machine. Why? No matter what kind of travel you most like to do, there’s a travel CPAP for you. If you’re a frequent flyer, a frequent camper, a backpacker, or even a cross-country hiker, there’s a mini CPAP for you. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the world of portable CPAP machines, explain the key features, and help you discover our most popular models.

Let’s dive in!

Key Features of a Travel CPAP Machine

It’s important to understand how mini CPAPs are different from other devices. Portable CPAP machines have some of the following features:

  • Extended battery life—perfect for long flights
  • Ability to plug into a car cigarette lighter and run off the car’s battery
  • Small, lightweight, and FAA compliant—safe for use on a plane
  • Can be used in cities with high elevation

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:

  • The best travel CPAP machines are almost all APAP machines, with a few CPAP models available.
  • They all offer a “ramp-up” feature, a tool designed to help you fall asleep by temporarily reducing the machine’s pressure, making it easier to breathe while you start to drift off to sleep. Most ramp features are on a 45-minute timer, meaning you’ll likely be asleep by the time it reaches full pressure.

More About APAP Machines

APAP machines 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. This way, if your pressure needs adjusting, your machine can figure out what you need and automatically adapt. This means fewer trips to the doctor and fewer sleep studies, saving you money in the long run.

For our more traditional users or patients with specific CPAP needs, each device is also equipped with a CPAP mode, so you can still go back to CPAP if you’d prefer.

More About Ramp Features

The “ramp-up” feature of a CPAP machine increases comfort and makes it easier to sleep in an unfamiliar environment– something you may need when traveling. When the ramp cycle begins, the pressure is at its lowest possible point, usually a setting of 4 or 6. At such a small level, you may not even notice the machine is running. Over 45 or 60 minutes, the pressure slowly increases, eventually getting you to the target set by the device. By that time, most people are asleep.

The ramp function is especially appreciated by beginning CPAP users, who may not be used to the feeling of a CPAP or APAP machine. For these new users, ramp can help them get adjusted and on track with therapy, so they’re off to a great start to beating Sleep Apnea.


While ramp is great at helping you get to sleep, there’s a hidden benefit to APAP machines you may not know about. In choosing the correct pressure, APAP machines attempt to give you the lowest possible setting that will work for you. This means you’ll never be stuck at a pressure setting that’s higher than what you actually need, making it more comfortable and easier to stay asleep.

Philips Respironics DreamStation Go

DreamStation Go

Best for Air Travelers!

One of the newest travel machines to hit the market 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.

Ideal For:

  • Air travelers
  • Anyone who likes simplicity.
  • People looking for the latest tech

Quick Facts:

Noise Level: 30 decibels

Humidifier: DreamStation Go Heated Humidifier

FAA Approved? Yes.

Best Battery for This Travel CPAP: DreamStation Go Overnight Battery

Other Battery Options for This Travel CPAP: Medistrom Pilot-24 Lite with DreamStation Go Adapter Kit, Portable Outlet

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
  • User-Friendly Touchscreen Helps You Track Sleep Statistics

DreamStation Go Benefits:

  • Compact and Lightweight – Easy to Carry
  • Fully Functional Touchscreen – Simple to Operate!
  • FAA Certified – Designed for Frequent Air Travellers

DreamStation Go Drawbacks:

  • Somewhat noisy – 30 decibels
  • More expensive – Cost includes Machine Only


Overall, many people are very happy. This machine is currently priced between $850 – $950.

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Resmed AirMini

resmed airmini

World’s lightest CPAP machine!

The AirMini by ResMed is currently the smallest on the market and, rest assured, 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.

Ideal for:

  • Frequent air travelers
  • Campers
  • People looking for the best quality

Quick Facts:

Noise Level: 30 decibels

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

FAA Approved: Yes.

Best Battery for this Travel CPAP: Medistrom Pilot-24 Lite

Other Battery Options for this Travel CPAP: Portable Outlet CPAP Machine

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

ResMed AirMini Benefits:

  • Currently World’s Smallest CPAP Machine – Fits in the Palm of Your Hand
  • CPAP.com Bundle Deal Comes with a Free Mask and a 30-Day Guarantee
  • Waterless Humidification Works Well for Some People

ResMed AirMini Drawbacks

  • Few Battery Options
  • A Little Noisy – 30 decibels
  • Only Works with Select CPAP Masks

ResMed AirMini Giveaway

Currently priced at around $850, the AirMini includes a mask (when you buy from CPAP.com) and has a 30-day risk free guarantee. If you don’t like it or it won’t work for you, return it and get a full refund.

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HDM Z1

Z1 Auto Travel CPAP from Human Design Medical

Best Value!

Say goodbye to your fears of lugging heavy bags through the airport because the Z1 Auto CPAP model is currently one of the lightest CPAP models 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 its reasonably priced at around $500.

Ideal For:

  • Camping
  • Backpacking
  • Value-conscious consumers

Quick Facts:

Noise Level: 26 decibels

Humidifier: None.

FAA Approved? Yes.

Best Battery for This Travel CPAP: Z1 Powershell Extended Battery

Other Battery Options for This Travel CPAP: Medistrom Pilot-12 Lite with Z1 & Z2 Mixed Cable Kit, Portable Outlet

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 Decibels

HDM Z1 Auto Benefits

  • Extremely Lightweight – Easy to Carry
  • Ultra-Portable – Tiny Machine Fits Almost Anywhere
  • Great Value – Costs Only Around $500

HDM Z1 Auto Drawbacks

  • Quiet, But Some People May Not Like the Sound it Makes
  • Few Features
  • Somewhat of an Older Machine

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somnetics transcend auto

Transcend Auto Travel from Somnetics

Great for campers who go off-grid!

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. It’s available in CPAP mode-only, so if you prefer CPAPs to APAPs, you should definitely check it out. You can buy the Transcend CPAP for your next trip for around $500.

Ideal  For:

  • Campers
  • Hikers
  • Value-conscious consumers

Quick Facts:

Noise Level: 26 decibels

Humidifier: Transcend Heated Humidifier.

FAA Approved? Yes.

Best Battery for This Travel CPAP: Transcend Multi-Night Battery*

* This battery can run your CPAP machine for up to anywhere from 14-16 hours when fully charged, depending on pressure. 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.

Transcend Auto miniCPAP™ Machine with EZEX

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

Transcend Auto miniCPAP Benefits

  • Designed to Go Off-Grid with Optional Accessories
  • Lightweight Can Go Anywhere!
  • Extremely Affordable

Transcend Auto miniCPAP Drawbacks

  • Limited Options for Viewing Data
  • Some People Don’t Like the Pitch Made by the Motor

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Final Thoughts

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 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!

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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, CPAP.com customers, and members of other CPAP communities online.

11 Comments

  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.

  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.

  4. DreamStation Go now has a humidifier which in my opinion makes it the best choice.

  5. Gail Phillips Reply

    In airplanes flying above 8,000 ft. Is use based on adjusted cabin pressure?

    • 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!

  6. 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.

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