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Respironics DreamStation vs ResMed Airsense 10: Here’s What You Should Know in 2022

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Illustration of airsense 10 and dreamstation machines compared

If you’re not aware, a lot has changed for both of these CPAP machines in the last year, so we’ve updated this comparison article of the Dreamstation and AirSense 10 to reflect our current recommendations.

The Philips DreamStation was discontinued, following the debut of the DreamStation 2, and the AirSense 10 is now available as the AirSense 10 AutoSet Card-to-Cloud. We highly recommend the AirSense 10 Card-to-Cloud to anyone looking to replace their recalled DreamStation CPAP.

Airsense 10 C2C

Introducing the quietest CPAP machine on the market—the light-sleeper-friendly AirSense 10™ Card-to-Cloud is quieter than a whisper at only 26 decibels to not disturb you or your partner. 
Read AirSense 10 Review

In 2020, the DreamStation vs. AirSense 10 debate was in full swing. The race, for many, seemed too close to call. Admittedly, these machines were quite similar in many regards, as good competitors should be. Unfortunately, the CPAP world (and indeed, the world itself) has seen some drastic changes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was further exacerbated when Philips announced the largest CPAP machine recall to date. 

We’ll break down exactly how the world of CPAP has evolved in the following section, but what you need to know for now is that the DreamStation CPAP machine is no longer a viable option for those seeking a new sleep apnea device. Alternatively, the AirSense 10 AutoSet is only available as the budget-friendly “Card-to-Cloud” model and no longer supports wireless data tracking or ResMed’s MyAir companion app, but the AirSense 10 Card-to-Cloud does come with an SD card to monitor your therapy data and compliance.  

While the AirSense 10 AutoSet remains our top pick between these two devices, we’d still like to offer an unbiased comparison for DreamStation owners that may be contemplating a new ResMed machine. 

In this article, you’ll find a feature-by-feature breakdown of what each machine offers and which is better in each category. 

First, however, let’s take a closer look at the Philips CPAP recall and the return of the AirSense 10 (Card-to-Cloud).

In a hurry? Skip to our comparison chart of these two machines below.

What’s Changed?

The DreamStation CPAP machine was an absolute favorite and industry leader for years, but in 2021, it was involved in a global CPAP recall that left millions of people questioning the safety of their therapy devices. All models of the DreamStation and DreamStation Go were recalled, leaving the AirSense 10 AutoSet as the only machine out of the two that we feel comfortable recommending in 2022.  

On top of the Philips CPAP recall, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic manifested as supply chain disruptions and widespread shortages. Most notably, a semiconductor chip shortage hampered production efforts across multiple industries and also led to a shortage in the supply of CPAP machines.

During this time, Philips Respironics released the DreamStation 2 (which was unaffected by the recall), and ResMed released the new AirSense 11 AutoSet, marking the official end of the AirSense 10. 

However, Philips is not expected to resume regular production until 2023, so at the time of writing this article, it’s nearly impossible to get your hands on a DreamStation 2 CPAP machine while Philips repairs and replaces devices impacted by the recall. 

To get CPAP machines into the hands of those in need, ResMed also temporarily revived the AirSense 10 AutoSet, electing to remove its wireless modem to reduce the need for semiconductor chips. The AirSense 10 AutoSet Card-to-Cloud tracks therapy data on an SD card rather than using the cellular modem to wirelessly transmit it to your care or insurance provider. It’s also a more affordable option compared to the newer and more advanced AirSense 11, making it an attractive machine for those that aren’t concerned with regular compliance reports. 

Now that you’re up to speed, let’s take a high-level overview of what each machine brings to the table. 

Philips DreamStation vs. ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet Card-to-Cloud

AirSense 10 Auto Card-to-CloudDreamStation
Noise Level26.6 dBa25.8 dBa
HumidificationBuilt-InOptional
Comfort FeaturesSmartStart/Stop, Humidifier Warmup, Ramp/AutoRamp, Pressure Relief, Mask FitAuto Start/Stop, Humidifier Preheat, Ramp/SmartRamp, Pressure Relief, Mask Fit
Weight With Humidifier2.75 lb3.16 lb (1.56 lb Without Humidifier)
Size With Humidifier10” L x 4.6” W x 5.9” H11.7” L x 7.6” W x 3.3” H (6.2” L x 7.6” W x 3.3” H Without Humidifier)
DesignSleek Black Design With a Tall, Thin ProfileGlossy White Design With a Short, Boxy Shape
Therapy Tracking Ability?Yes via SD CardYes
Heated Tubing Available?ClimateLineAir Heated TubeHeated Tube for DreamStation Machines
Optional BatteriesMedistrom Pilot-24 Lite, Portable Outlet UPS, EXP96 Pro, EXP48 Pro, Freedom V2 Travel Battery, Zopec Power Outlet 2, & ResMed Power Station IIMedistrom Pilot-12 Lite, Freedom V2 Travel Battery, EXP96 Pro, EXP48 Pro, Respironics Travel Battery, Portable Outlet UPS, & Zopec Power Outlet 2

Sound Comparison

Are you a light sleeper? Is your CPAP machine’s sound output one of the most important qualities to you and your sleeping companion? Since you are using your machine while you’re sleeping, you would ideally want the quietest CPAP machine possible. Both the AirSense 10 and the DreamStation are classified as whisper-quiet.

The sound level of the AirSense 10 is slightly higher at 26.6 decibels. The DreamStation had a sound level of 25.8 decibels. However, they are close enough that this feature is not a standout for one machine over the other. The AirSense 10 Card-to-Cloud is currently the quietest CPAP machine on the market, making it ideal for light sleepers. If you want to make it even quieter and don’t use the built-in humidifier, you can purchase the optional AirSense 10 Side Cover to reduce your CPAP machine noise even further.

Humidification

Hot or cold air humidification can be an important factor in your sleep apnea therapy. Humidification benefits you by encouraging mucus production and helping your body keep from drying out from the consistent flow of pressurized air. It can make CPAP therapy much more comfortable and approachable, though it’s not a requirement for successful therapy. 

When choosing your ideal CPAP machine, note that some units are designed with humidification systems built-in (like the AirSense 10 Card-to-Cloud), and some are only available as an add-on for an additional cost (DreamStation). Both machines feature adjustable levels of humidification and optional heated tubing. To customize your CPAP therapy to your specific needs, the AirSense 10 has eight levels of control whereas the DreamStation only had five. 

A key selling point of the AirSense 10 Card-to-Cloud is the built-in HumidAir Humidifier, which provides a humidification element in the standard footprint of the machine without needing to attach any other equipment, making it more travel-friendly and cost-effective. The humidification system can help ease any dryness you may be experiencing in your nose, throat, or mouth. Both the temperature and humidity are automatically set for maximum comfortability, but they can also be adjusted to fit your specific needs. 

On the other hand, the DreamStation’s humidifier was optional, an additional cost, and needed to be separately attached. The humidifier nearly doubled the length of the machine, resulting in a bigger footprint on your nightstand or in your travel bag.

Weight

Here’s where having a built-in humidifier sets the AirSense 10 Card-to-Cloud apart from the Philips DreamStation. The AirSense 10 Card-to-Cloud weighs 2.75 pounds with the built-in humidifier while the DreamStation weighed 3.16 pounds with its optional humidifier. This means that with humidification, the AirSense 10 wins when it comes to weight. 

However, if humidification is not an important feature to you, the DreamStation did weigh over a pound less than the AirSense 10 at just 1.56 pounds without the humidifier attached. If you’re someone who plans to travel with your machine and you want the added benefits of humidification, the AirSense 10 is the winner.

Size

When it comes to traveling, the compact size of your machine matters. The AirSense 10 Card-to-Cloud measures 10” L x 4.6” W x 5.9” H and the DreamStation measured 6.2” L x 7.6” W x 3.3” H without the humidifier installed. The DreamStation with the humidifier was 11.7” L x 7.6” W x 3.3” H.

If having the smallest size machine for travel without humidification is at the top of your CPAP wish list, then the DreamStation without the humidifier was the more compact option. However, if you want the added benefits of humidification, the AirSense 10 is an overall more compact package with its integrated humidifier.

Design

These machines offer a stark contrast when it comes to the overall design of each unit. The AirSense 10 features a tall and thin profile with black body panels and a small overall footprint. On the other hand, the DreamStation was short, wide, white, and flat. The AirSense 10’s integrated humidifier seamlessly provides humidification for those that prefer it, but if you did want to use humidification with your DreamStation device, it would have nearly doubled in size. 

Ultimately, it comes down to your preference for humidification, regarding if the machine design would be altered and whether or not you want to use it with your therapy. Both machines use a rotating dial and color LCD to access the menus, and both offer an optional heated hose as well. 

Pressure Relief Features

The ResMed AirSense 10 Card-to-Cloud comes equipped with a pressure relief feature, using an algorithm called Expiratory Pressure Relief (EPR). The DreamStation also features exhalation relief in the form of A-Flex. Both systems work to reduce the pressure you’ll feel when exhaling, allowing for a more natural breathing experience by not having to breathe against your air pressure. 

The Respironics DreamStation included a physical button to activate the Ramp feature for added convenience. For the AirSense 10 AutoSet, the Ramp feature is accessed through the menus, which may be a challenge when using the device at night or when you are groggy. Both machines feature automatic pressure adjustments and will automatically start and stop your therapy when you put on or remove your mask. 

Therapy Tracking

The DreamStation had Bluetooth capability, which allowed you to track your therapy through the DreamMapper app. Your data from your previous night of sleep was transferred immediately to the app and showed your pressure, leak rate, and AHI. In addition, it would detail your number of apneas and hypopneas.

While previous iterations of the AirSense 10 used the MyAir app to help you track your therapy data, the Card-to-Cloud model is only able to track your therapy data via the included SD card. However, the Essentials Plus view will be enabled on the Card-to-Cloud machines, allowing you to view your comprehensive sleep apnea therapy data on the machine itself. You’ll still need to get your SD card to your healthcare provider for compliance reports and check-ups. 

Battery Options

If you’re planning on taking your machine on the go, CPAP batteries give you more freedom and flexibility when it comes to powering your CPAP machine. In the event of a power outage, battery backups, like the Portable Outlet UPS Battery, can help you keep your therapy up and running by automatically switching to battery power. However, not all batteries have this function.

The DreamStation operated on a 12V current, making it compatible with the largely popular, Medistrom Pilot-12 Lite. The Respironics Travel Battery Kit is also available and was specifically designed for the DreamStation series of machines. 

Though it operates at 24V instead of 12V, the AirSense 10 Card-to-Cloud is not without battery options. The AirSense 10 AutoSet is compatible with the Medistrom Pilot 24-Lite, which is specifically designed to provide battery power for 24V CPAP machines. There’s also the ResMed Power Station II, a proprietary battery for ResMed machines

In terms of universal options, both the DreamStation and AirSense 10 can be powered by the Zopec Power Outlet II, Portable Outlet UPS Battery, EXP96 Pro, EXP48 Pro, and Freedom V2 Travel Battery. 

Related Reading: Best CPAP Batteries

Final Thoughts: ResMed AirSense 10 or Philips Respironics DreamStation?

On paper, the Respironics DreamStation and the ResMed AirSense 10 Card-to-Cloud are very similar and capable machines. Both come equipped with several automated features, including automatically adjusting air pressure, a Ramp feature, and heated humidification—all while operating at under the whisper-quiet 27 decibels. Both machines are also universally compatible with all CPAP masks and standard tubing—with options for heated tubing as well.

In conclusion, the DreamStation was a part of the global Philips recall and is no longer available for purchase. The AirSense 10 Card-to-Cloud is the only machine out of the two that is still on the market in 2022. Luckily, the AirSense 10 isn’t just the winner by happenstance and is backed by industry-leading comfort features, build quality, and reliable performance. 

If you’re in need of a compact top-notch, feature-packed, and easy-to-use CPAP machine, we can’t say enough good things about the AirSense 10 AutoSet Card-to-Cloud. 

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15 thoughts on “Respironics DreamStation vs ResMed Airsense 10: Here’s What You Should Know in 2022”

  1. ResMed is the worst machine you can purchase. My doctor prescribed a different face mask and ResMed would not help in getting the correct face mask. The machine has terrible pressures! I think my air compressor in my shop would be more comfortable than Resmed pressure blowing the mask off your face every night I used it. It’s nothing but a paper weight since Resmed won’t help in resolving any issues with their terrible machine!!! Buy another brand if you want any customer service!

    1. Hi Larry, i’m sorry that you haven’t had a good experience with your ResMed machine. The experience that you’re having with your machine is isolated, as the manufacturer usually, releases great quality machines. Perhaps, the machine that you have is defective, or maybe the issue isn’t with the machine, but rather the mask.

      If you would like troubleshooting assistance, we’d be glad to help you. Please reach our customer service department at: 1-800-356-5221.

      Have a great day!

      1. Resmed it the BEST machine on the market today. AND the customer service is amazing, When patients experience issues withe machine or mask, that is not on Resmed. That is on the DME provider. It is their job to ensure you are happy and most importantly comfortable in the mask. As for the machine itself, Resmed has a 2 yr warranty on cpaps/bipaps. All the DME has to do is call and let them know what is going on with the CPAP, they will send them a RMA and have it mailed to them to be looked at. NOW it is the DME providers job to make sure you have a cpap during that time. Finding a GOOD DME provider is key when becoming a cpap/bipap patient. As for pressure problems, once again that is on the DME and yourself to get with the doctor and see what can be done. Monthly downloads are important, that is what helps the DME better provide for the patient, and lets them know if anything needs to be brought to the doctors attention.

        AND finally!! It is very very important for the DME to take time to educate each patient on the use of the cpap/bipap and to make sure the patient is fitted properly with the right mask for them.. Resmed and other cpap companies, have a 30 day guarantee on their mask, so once again that falls on the DME for not providing that service to you when the mask doesn’t feel right or is uncomfortable.

        Just my 2 cents or 10

    2. I wish your statement held merit, but I wholeheartedly disagree with you. Besides the author being slightly biased towards Respironics; couldn’t just say that the Resmed is smaller for traveling and at least another subtle suggestion, I have been using CPAP for over ten years. I have had a couple of each. Not only is my preference the ResMed, I have never had one break down. Just the System One I use now, the reservoir cover has busted twice. On top of that, the humidity control is constantly changing higher. The problem with it is that when you push the button to start, you can accidentally turn the knob shrouding the on button. There is nothing more irritating than waking up to water in your mask on a regular basis. Getting up in the middle of the night to turn the humidity down sucks, as it takes me forever to fall back to sleep. No, all around the ResMed is far superior in build and reliablitiy in my experience.

  2. Dave has a bias toward Respironics and here is why I think that. I have been using CPAP for over ten years and therefore more experience. I also have an oxygen concentrator and need a sleep aid to fall asleep. I have had a couple of each of the CPAPs. Not only is my preference the ResMed, I have never had one break down. Just the System One I use now, the reservoir cover has busted twice and is built so poorly, even with the lid coming off it is a pain to clean. On top of that, the humidity control is constantly changing higher. The problem with it is that when you push the button to start, you can accidentally turn the knob shrouding the on button. There is nothing more irritating than waking up to water in your mask on a regular basis. Getting up in the middle of the night to turn the humidity down sucks, as it takes me forever to fall back to sleep. Another issue that is not an issue, though Dave makes it appear a hassle, is the ramp. I have never talked with anyone who has the option and turns it on and off. They either like it or they don’t. Since any decent unit has variable APAP, ramping is yesteryear. Even my OLD ResMed S8 that only had full air, was always set to no ramp. I tried it, but I found it is just a gimmick that did not help at all. When I want air, I want air. It’s not like it will blow your mask or buds off. It it does, then I would guess the air flow is too high or the mask is too loose. So, pushing a button to turn the ramp on or off is another non starter, though David thinks otherwise; please. No, all around the ResMed is far superior in build and reliability in my experience. The only reason I have Respironics is that was what ALL the biased providers offered at the time, plus I got a dirt cheap, barely used one on C-List. Don’t get me wrong, Respironics is still a quality system, I just find that ResMed is better. I just had a sleep study to find out if I still need an Oxygen Concentrator; I don’t, and they actually had a high end ResMed. I asked them why the didn’t have a Respironics like everywhere else I had been. The technician mentioned they have experienced less issues and more reliability with the ResMed products. I concur. I generally purchase my products new online and backup units on used sites. I have Blue Cross, but with a prescription in hand, I have saved so much money bypassing ripoff companies like Pacific Pulmonary or overpriced insurance co-pays. I have tried many, many, many face masks and the like. The worst for me are the nose buds. They blow air into my nose, down my throat and out my mouth. I have used CPAP.com many times in the past and find it is very competitive. I even purchased a Devilbiss Oxygen Concentrator (OC) that I believe I got from them. I had it 5 years before it needed a rebuild and just bought another. It was far cheaper than the Respironics at the time. I was paying a copay of $75 a month for that system. I asked my Dr. for a prescription and purchased online. In less than 10 months I owned my OC.

    1. Hey Chris, thank you for sharing your experiences, we’re sorry if it came across to you that the author had a bias towards one manufacturer over the other as this was not the intention of the article.

      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 day!

  3. Ive been using CPAP for 25 years. Ive had both resmed and respironic equipment. Neither of the resmed machines lasted more than 2 years. My first Respironics unit lasted 6 years and died because it was accidentally dropped into a bucket of water (don’t ask). The replacement has lasted 13 years and I plan to replace it with a dreamstation. Resmed is a close second to respironics in features and functionality but (at least in my experience) they are not in the same ballpark in terms of durability.

    1. Hey Thomas, i’m sorry to hear that your ResMed machine didn’t last very long. Our experience and most of our customers report great success and longevity with ResMed manufactured machines. I do however, agree with you that Philips Respironics has great quality products also.

      Thank you for sharing your experience with each of the manufacturers equipment and we wish you the best!

      For questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221.

      Have a great day!

  4. I have had an A10 for 9 months. Resmed seems to be spending all their money on software and communications and not enough on their product. The reservoir is too small and breaks very easily. My machine has begun making wheezing, whining noises when turned on. It continues all night long, making it hard to go back to sleep and stay asleep. Then, the reservoir runs dry.
    From the comments I’m not sure if I can get it fixed.
    I will not buy another ResMed machine.

    1. Hi Anne, i’m sorry to hear about the problems you’re having with your ResMed machine. Usually, the water chamber holds enough water to last for the night. Please make sure your humidity setting is manual and decrease the humidity level, this should lessen the possibility of your water chamber running empty during the night.

      What are you cleaning your water chamber with? I would recommend you wash your water chamber, with a mild detergent and warm water and your chamber should last 6-12 months. Also, please make sure you are using distilled water, to avoid build-up in the chamber which can cause cracks/leaks.

      In reference to the noise, have you confirmed that the noise is definitely, coming from the machine? If so, please make sure there aren’t any cracks in the chamber, make sure the seal is installed in the chamber properly and its pushed all the way in the humidifier. Have you changed your filter within the last 30 days? If not, please do so to see if this helps with the noise.

      Are you hearing the wheezing, whining noise when you inhale/exhale, or both? If upon exhalation, please adjust your exhalation relief (EPR), to see if this lessens the noise. Are you using any type of Ozone sanitizer with your equipment?

      Also, if you purchased your machine from CPAP.com, please keep in mind that it was sold with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty. Please feel free to contact us at: 1-800-356-5221 for further assistance.

      We wish you the best!

  5. i’m new to CPAP and my sleep doc prescribed the resmed autoset s10. i’ve had it 2weeks now and wish the tech had told me the “for her” version had a diff algorithm. i was told the design was the only difference. also, i think the additional clinician options were automatically added. i had to go into the settings and allow the extra pressure relief settings and reporting options. i think the EPR really makes the machine more comfortable.

    i’ve reached out to resmed, but their customer service site is a joke. there isn’t a way for the patient to access their sleep data. even fitbit allows patients access to their health data without jumping through hoops. very annoying

    those being said, i’m following manufacturer recs and cleaning and maintaining my equipment and it makes noise. super noisy. i think it’s the rainout in my tube even though my i have a climatelineair tube. wish there was an option to test out both the respironics and resmed for a week each before making a decision.

  6. Re: Comments from Anne Gome and Customer Service Expert Carol, above.
    Hello! I have a brand new Resmed AirSense 10 for her, and am having similar issues to Anne (see posting above). The trial machine from my local sleep clinic was very quiet, but the new one that I have purchased (exactly the same model as the trial machine) is so noisy that it prevents me from sleeping. It is definitely the machine, and seems to be related to air flow within the machine. I can hear the air puffing within the machine, as if it is not blowing at a constant rate. Also, with every inhalation the machine also makes a loud inhalation sound. It sounds like another living creature is breathing right beside me. Can anyone provide advice on this particular issue?

    1. Hi Angela,
      I’m very sorry to hear you’re having problems with your CPAP machine. Do you have an APAP (auto-adjusting), or CPAP (constant pressure)?

      Also, you mentioned you’re using the exact same machine as the one in trial, but are the settings on your new machine the exact same as the settings on the trial machine?

      The AirSense 10 is normally, a very quiet machine. Please make sure you have the water chamber and your filter installed properly.

      If the noise persists, you should contact the company who supplied you with your machine for warranty information.

      Please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, for over the phone troubleshooting, or further concerns.

      Best Wishes!

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