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How to Safely Put Essential Oils in your CPAP for Aromatherapy!

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In recent years, the use of essential oils has grown significantly, as more people discover the psychological benefits that range from stress reduction to improved sleep and more energy. Essential oils are oils that come from the stems, flowers, bark, roots, leaves, or other elements of a plant. They are highly concentrated, natural oils, and aromatherapy diffuses these oils into the air so people can enjoy their benefits.

For those who sleep with a CPAP machine, this has led to one specific question: can you use essential oils in CPAP machines safely?

Unfortunately, benefiting from essential oils and aromatherapy becomes a bit more complicated for CPAP users. Improper use puts your health and your machine at risk. Here’s a closer look at how you can still benefit from essential oils while using your CPAP machine safely.

Is It Safe to Put Essential Oils in Your CPAP Machine?

Putting essential oils in your CPAP machine is not safe. It does not matter if you put them in the machine itself, in the hose, on the mask, in the filter, or the CPAP humidifier.

A CPAP machine treats sleep apnea by using a considerable amount of air pressure to open the user’s airway. When using it, you are not just inhaling steam. The device propels air into your respiratory tract to keep your breathing steady while you sleep.

According to Dr. Randy Horwitz from the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, if you add essential oils to the CPAP machine, the device could propel droplets of the oil deep into your lungs. In an interview with Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Horwitz warns that “even a small amount might cause lung irritation.”

Due to the length of time, you may be using your CPAP machine, around six to nine hours per night, the period of exposure to the essential oils is longer, and more direct, than when used with a typical diffuser. 

Finally, putting essential oils in the machine risks damage to the machine itself. Only distilled water in the CPAP humidifier is allowed, anything else could damage it. 

Remember: essential oils are highly concentrated, use them safely to avoid adverse health risks, and it is not safe to place them directly into your CPAP machine. 

Is Using Essential Oils in CPAP Machines Possible?

While you cannot place essential oils directly in the CPAP humidifier, hoses, or water, you can enjoy the fragrance and other benefits of essential oils while using your CPAP with the right products.

Pur-Sleep has developed a CPAP aromatherapy system that safely works with your CPAP. Instead of placing oils directly in your machine, the Pur-Sleep system uses oil on diffuser pads to fill the air around the CPAP equipment with the fragrance.

These pads sit in a tray near the air intake on your CPAP machine. As the machine draws in the air, it also draws in the aroma, without any of the oil entering the machine.

Pur-Sleep’s diffuser kit provides a safe, effective option that will not put your health at risk or risk damage to your machine. If you want to enjoy the benefits of essential oils in CPAP machines, this is a safe, simple way to do so.

Benefits of Essential Oils

With the Pur-Sleep system, you can use essential oils safely for CPAP aromatherapy, but what are the benefits? According to Mayo Clinic, aromatherapy has many potential health benefits, including:

  • Relief from anxiety and depression
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved mood

Studies have found that aromatherapy creates psychological responses that reduce stress and anxiety levels. In a study by Ohio State University, the found that “aromatherapy failed to show any improvement in immune status, wound healing, or pain control among people exposed to two scents.”
However, the same study did show “that lemon (considered to be a stimulant) appeared to enhance mood.”

Getting Started with Essential Oils for Your CPAP

The CPAP Aromatherapy Basic Starter Pack from Pur-Sleep gives you everything you need to get started using essential oils with your CPAP machine safely. The starter pack includes diffusion pads, an aluminum and a paper diffuser tray stand, and 12 different sample bottles of popular essential oil scents. 

In the starter pack, you’ll receive six essential oil mixtures and six Air Candy scents, all of which are designed with sleep apnea patients’ needs in mind. The variety pack of scents will give you a chance to experiment to see which ones you like best. 

The essential oil mixtures include:

  • Clear: a mixture of peppermint, lime, and lavender essential oils, which is often used to clear mild congestion and improve sleep.
  • Spice: a mixture of clove, bay rum, and blood orange that provides a fresh scent.
  • Peace: a mixture of lavender, marjoram sweet, and clary sage, which stimulates relaxation.
  • Calm: a mixture of eucalyptus, lavender, and rosemary, with no camphor, this blend creates a natural, menthol cooling sensation.
  • Fresh: a mixture of tangerine and lavender that provides a fresh, invigorating sleep.
  • Deep: a mixture of lavender, sweet basil, and mint, which promotes a night of restful, relaxing sleep.

Our Air Candy essential oils include:

  • Peach: our most popular flavor in customer trials!
  • Dark Chocolate: satisfy chocolate cravings with this sweet fragrance.
  • Strawberry: indulge in the light, fresh scent of spring with this scent.
  • Bubble Gum: this reminder of childhood is simply a fun scent.
  • Black Cherry: black cherry creates a soothing feeling while you sleep.
  • French Vanilla: vanilla creates a relaxing state of mind.

Safe CPAP essential oil use is just one of the many benefits we offer at CPAP.com. To learn more helpful CPAP and sleep apnea information, or to receive savings on your next equipment purchase, subscribe to our newsletter today.

  • David Repasky

    David Repasky has been using CPAP treatment since 2017 and has first-hand experience with what it's like to live with Sleep Apnea. He brings the patient's perspective to the CPAP.com blog and has received formal training in CPAP machines, masks, and equipment.

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13 Responses

  1. So what about the device that attaches to your CPAP hose that has a diffuser inside you add oils to? That is marketed and sold by medical supply places as a way to get essential oils.

    1. Hi Vaughn, per the manufacturer, it is not recommended, to add the oil to any part of the machine, mask, or hose.

      The proper way to use Aromatherapy with a CPAP machine, is to put the oil on a diffuser pad and place it near the air in-take of the machine.

      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.

      Enjoy your day!

    2. I have used CPAP for about 4years. I have only ever used boiled water from the kettle but in no time at all the aluminium water vessel became quite thick with chalk?! even though I cleaned regularly every week. Scraping, scouring would not move this awful coating. Recently one evening I put a slice of lemon in the water – within a few nights the aluminium tank was like brand new again! The chalky crust simply fell away. I couldn’t believe it? So I now do this on the odd occasion now just to keep the tank sparkling clean. I have also in the past used a drop or two of Olbas oil in the tank to unblock one side of my nostril. (I use the nasal pillow) and I also tape my mouth to keep my mouth closed so I don’t snore. I have to say I get the best readings I have ever had. My consultant is happy with the results.

      1. Hey Brian,
        Thank you for sharing your solution with us for cleaning your water chamber. Please remember, per the manufacturers, it’s recommended that you use distilled water in your chamber, this will keep the build-up from occurring.

        Also, you can soak your water chamber in a vinegar and water mixture for about 20 minutes to remove build-up from your water chamber as well.

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

        Have a terrific day!

  2. I was going to put a drop of essential oil on the CPAP filter and put the filter back into the machine.

    I decided to take it out, replace the filter with a fresh one, and use the filter with the oil already on it as my ‘diffuser pad’.
    I used one of those office supply clips – I believe they are called Binder Clips – and pinched it to my ‘diffuser pad’ and turned it on its side. I placed it on my nightstand about 2 inches away from the air intake.

    (One drop is all you need!)

    1. Sounds like a great idea. I have put clove oil inside my hose, but like your idea better, as I don’t want to get oil into my lungs. Clove oil, less then a drop, seems to be curing my respiratory cold. Stops the cough. Which is a very big deal. My ribs and throat were so sore from the constant coughing. I put some clove, lemon, rosemary and eucalyptus in solution and sprayed the outside of a hospital face mask. Had the same results of stopping the coughing. I wish someone would really do a study about this. Thanks for sharing how to add the aroma therapy to my c-pap correctly. Cynthia Wilson

  3. Oh Carol! I am afraid I should have listened more at school! I have spent my 70 odd years under the misbelief that boiling water makes it distilled!!! Thank you for making me check this out on the internet.

    1. Hey Brian,
      That’s okay, for many years, I too was under the impression that boiling water turns it into Distilled water. We aren’t the first and most likely, won’t be the last to have this misconception.

      Anytime you have questions, or concerns, please feel free to give us a call at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may email us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      Have a wonderful day!

    2. If you collect the steam from boiled water, that is essentially distilled. Just heating it up doesn’t distill it.

  4. For almost 2 years I am using an “essential oil Diffuser” beside my CPAP machine, and I am very happy with it… and every time I use different scent (Tea tree oil, eucalyptus, rosemary, lavender … ) I bought the diffuser from Amazon.

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