Sleep apnea is a condition that affects millions, but relief is possible through Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy. Several brands are at the forefront of this treatment, but two devices have gotten a lot of buzz– ResMed’s AirSense 11 and the DreamStation 2 by Philips Respironics.
The AirSense line has a long-standing reputation and is often the top choice for CPAP owners. The DreamStation 2 offers a compact design with all the best features of any modern CPAP machine.
Today, we’re providing an in-depth comparison between these two machines so you can choose the one that best suits you!
AirSense 11 vs DreamStation 2
The DreamStation 2 and AirSense 11 share many of the same comfort features, and both come with dual CPAP/Auto-CPAP capabilities. However, most consumers feel the reliability and reputation of the ResMed AirSense line simply can’t be beaten, especially after the 2021 Philips Recall, which included the original DreamStation CPAP machine.
- ResMed AirSense 11: This CPAP machine is potentially the most popular device on the market. It is lightweight, easy to use, and quiet. Compared to the DreamStation 2, AirSense 11 has a wider range of heated humidity levels, can hold more water in its CPAP reservoir, and offers more timing options for the Ramp Function.
- DreamStation 2: Despite the previous recall of the original DreamStation, Philips’ DreamStation 2 has been cleared by the FDA and has a promising future. Philips put a lot of work into this CPAP machine. It has many of the same specs and features as the AirSense 11, but it’s available for a lower price.
|ResMed AirSense 11||Philips Respironics DreamStation 2|
|Available in CPAP, AutoSet, and Elite||Available in CPAP and Auto-CPAP|
|Lightweight Design Weighing 2.5 Pounds||Lightweight Design Weighing 2.29 Pounds|
|Measures 10.2” X 5.5” X 3.7”||Measures 10.78″ X 6.24″ X 3.34″|
|Quiet Technology Producing 27 Decibels||Quiet Technology Producing 27 Decibels|
|Costs Around $1,000 (Slightly More Expensive)||Costs Around $1,000 (Slightly Less Expensive)|
|Integrated Humidifier With 8 Humidity Levels||Integrated Humidifier With 5 Humidity Levels|
|380mL Humidifier Water Reservoir||325mL Humidifier Water Reservoir|
|Ramp Starting Pressure Is 4-10 cmH2O||Ramp Starting Pressure Is 4-10 cmH2O|
|Ramp Time Available in 5-Minute Increments Up to 45 Minutes||Ramp Time Available in 15-Minute Increments Up to 45 Minutes|
|3 Expiratory Pressure Relief Settings||3 Expiratory Pressure Relief Settings|
|Disposable Filters Must Be Replaced Every 6 Months||Reusable Filters Which Can Be Washed and Used Again|
|Get CPAP Readings and Support With MyAir App||Get CPAP Readings and Support With DreamMapper App|
How Do AirSense 11 and DreamStation 2 Compare?
Although they look a bit different, these machines perform similarly and have many of the same great features, but AirSense does seem to have an advantage due to the size and customizability of its heated humidifier.
Key Features of AirSense 11 and DreamStation 2
Let’s look at these CPAP machine features and see how they measure up between the two devices!
- Dual Mode Options: These machines are available in Auto Mode or CPAP Mode. They are capable of automatically adjusting the air pressure based on your breathing patterns, or they can deliver a constant flow of air set at a particular pressure. Your doctor must write a prescription detailing the specific mode you are allowed to use.
- Size: The AirSense 11 is only a tiny bit smaller than the DreamStation 2. However, the DreamStation 2 weighs about 2 ounces less. That said, there is a big difference between the carrying cases for each CPAP machine. The DreamStation carrying case is smaller and more conveniently shaped.
- Touch Screen Control: The touch screens work similarly. Both allow you to adjust control settings and view recent readings. The DreamStation 2 screen is located at the top of the machine and is very easy to access. Some people may find it harder to see the AirSense 11 control screen due to its placement at the front of the device.
- Noise Level: The DreamStation 2 and AirSense 11 feature Quiet Technology, which limits the sound of both machines to just 27 decibels. When compared side by side, they appear to produce similar levels of noise.
- Cost: You can find each of these CPAP machines for around $1,000. The ResMed’s AirSense tends to cost a bit more than the DreamStation by Philips Respironics.
- Heated Humidification: Both CPAP machines have integrated heated humidity. However, the AirSense 11 has a better system with eight humidity levels and a 380mL water chamber. DreamStation 2 features five humidity levels and a 325mL water chamber. AirSense is recommended if you often require higher levels of humidity.
- Ramp Function: Ramp function is another key difference. Both machines let you choose a starting ramp pressure between 4 and 10 cmH2O. But, the AirSense 11 allows for more control with the timer, letting you select from a 5 to 45-minute session in 5-minute increments. RampPlus, the DreamStation 2 ramp function, may be more user-friendly. However, it only lets you select a 15, 30, or 45-minute timer.
- Expiratory Pressure Relief: The Expiratory Pressure Relief feature is pretty much the same between the AirSense 11 and DreamStation 2. They both feature three pressure relief levels, which lower the air pressure delivered by your CPAP machine each time you exhale. EPR makes it easier to breathe while using CPAP.
- Tubing Options: Both machines offer heated tubing options. Also, the tubing port locations differ. AirSense 11 has the port at the back of the machine, while DreamStation 2 has placed its port at the front.
- Filters: The DreamStation 2 features reusable filters (ultra-fine and fine), which can be washed and reinserted into the front of the machine. AirSense 11 has disposable filters, which must be replaced every six months.
Similarities Between AirSense 11 and DreamStation 2
On paper, the DreamStation 2 and AirSense 11 CPAP machines are very much alike. Below are some of the similarities that we’ve noticed between these two products.
- Available in Auto and Continuous Modes
- Quiet Technology
- Comfort Features (Ramp Function and Expiratory Pressure Relief)
- Integrated Heated Humidifiers
- Apps to Access Support and CPAP Therapy Readings
Differences Between AirSense 11 and DreamStation 2
Most customers say they prefer the AirSense 11 because it has a few slight advantages. Still, many reviewers love their DreamStation 2. People often mention the following differences:
- DreamStation 2 Costs Slightly Less
- AirSense CPAP Machines Have a Better Reputation
- AirSense 11 Humidifier Is More Customizable and Lasts Longer
- Customers Have More Control With AirSense 11 Ramp Feature
- AirSense 11 Used Disposable Filters, DreamStation 2 Uses Reusable Filters
- ResMed Offers and Elite Version of AirSense 11
Most Customers Prefer AirSense 11 Over DreamStation 2
The Philips Respironics’ DreamStation 2 and ResMed’s AirSense 11 offer a lot of similar features and specs. However, reviewers often suggest going with the AirSense 11 because it seems to do everything that DreamStation 2 does, but just a bit better.
Read Our In-Depth Reviews for Both!
The AirSense line has a solid reputation for featuring the newest CPAP technologies and high-quality materials. With the release of the AirSense 11, ResMed continues to lead the way in CPAP machine sales. That said, people looking to save a few dollars or just simply want to try something new should feel safe and confident in choosing the DreamStation 2!