Using a CPAP machine is supposed to improve your quality of sleep, but some CPAP owners find that the noise of their machine can actually make it more difficult to get the restful sleep they need. Fortunately, there are several quiet CPAP machines available in 2023, such as ResMed’s AirSense 10 AutoSet Card-to-Cloud, the quietest CPAP overall.
When looking online, how can you tell how loud a CPAP is? CPAP manufacturers use decibels to rate how much noise a CPAP makes. But since everyone perceives sound differently, it can be hard to compare decibel ratings to familiar sounds you hear in everyday life.
To help you relate the noise level of a CPAP machine to a sound you may be more familiar with, check out our detailed table below!
In this article, we’ll take a look at the absolute quietest CPAP machines on the market including auto-adjusting machines, fixed-pressure machines, and travel machines. We’ll also offer some advice and tips for reducing the sound from your CPAP machine, as well as reducing how much of the sound you’re exposed to.
In a hurry? The quietest CPAP machine currently available is the AirSense 10 AutoSet Card-to-Cloud, which operates at just 26 decibels. This whisper-quiet machine is backed by popular features like AutoRamp, SmartStart/Stop, and Expiratory Pressure Relief for a more comfortable therapy experience.
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
We’ll talk a bit more about the Airsense 10 and other quiet CPAP machines below, but for now, let’s start by taking a look at how loud CPAP machines are compared to some other noises we experience on a regular basis.
How Loud is a CPAP Machine?
Every CPAP machine comes with a decibel (dB) rating that’s specified by the manufacturer. Most CPAP machines are rated at about 30dB, which is comparable to the sound of a whispered conversation. While the difference between a machine that runs at 26 decibels and one that runs at 32 decibels may not seem like a big deal, consider that with every 10-decibel increase in volume, the sound is actually doubling in intensity. For reference, a 30 dB sound is twice as loud as a 20 dB sound and half as loud as a 40 dB sound.
To better illustrate this, we put together a table showing different noises most people will be familiar with and their corresponding decibel levels below:
|Decibels||Point of Reference||Typical Response|
|0-10||The Quietest Sounds Someone With Typical Hearing Can Hear||✔️ Safe Sound Level|
|10-20||Normal Breathing||✔️ Safe Sound Level|
|20-30||Rustling Leaves, The Quietest CPAP Machine||✔️ Safe Sound Level|
|30-40||Whispered Conversation, Average CPAP Machine Volume||✔️ Safe Sound Level|
|40-50||Moderate Rainfall||✔️ Safe Sound Level|
|50-60||Normal Conversation||⚠️ Sounds Start to Become Annoying|
|60-70||City Traffic||⚠️ Sounds Start to Become Annoying|
|70-80||Vacuum Cleaner, Noisy Restaurant||⚠️ Sounds Start to Become Annoying|
|80-90||Heavy Traffic, Lawn Mowers||⚠️ Hearing Damage Threshold (2 hours)|
|90-100||Shouting, Loud Motorcycles||⚠️ Hearing Damage Threshold (50 minutes)|
|100-110||Chainsaw, Leaf Blower||⚠️ Hearing Damage Threshold At (15 minutes)|
|110-120||Rock Concert||⚠️ Hearing Damage Threshold At (5 minutes)|
|120-130||Stock Car Racing||⚠️ Ear Injury|
|130-140||Gun Shots||⚠️ Ear Injury|
Of course, everyone experiences sound a bit differently, and a noise level that bothers one person may go totally unnoticed by another, and the same can be said about the different pitches at which CPAP machines operate.
When users switch to a new machine, it often sounds a lot louder at first even when it isn’t on paper. Every CPAP machine has its own sonic quality, so even though machines may have the same decibel rating, they still will sound a bit different.
The HDM Z2 Auto and Luna G3 CPAP machines are great examples of this.
On one hand, the Z2 Auto is actually the quieter machine at 26 decibels, but because it is a travel machine, some people may perceive the higher-pitched motor to be louder than the 30-decibel Luna G3. The Luna G3, while on paper is louder than the HDM Z2, may be perceived as quieter by some people because it is a lower-pitched hum with ‘more machine’ between you and the motor.
Sometimes it just takes a bit of time to get accustomed to the new sound, and background noise doesn’t have to be bad—white noise machines are quite popular, after all. You might even find that your new CPAP machine makes for the best white noise machine to help you sleep after you adjust to it! Only you know how sensitive you are to noises, so keep that in mind when planning for your new machine.
What are the Quietest CPAP Machines Available Today?
Whether you’re looking for a travel machine, one for regular home use, a fixed-pressure machine, or an auto-adjusting one, here are the quietest CPAP machines for sale right now that deliver therapy at 30 decibels or less:
The AirSense 10 Auto Card-to-Cloud is the quietest CPAP machine on the market at just 26.6 decibels. This machine is loaded with comfort features like SmartStart/Stop, AutoRamp, and Climate Control to help you ease into therapy that much smoother.
There is no shortage of 5-star reviews for this machine that specifically mention how quiet it is, which makes us confident in picking it as the most silent CPAP machine. If you don’t use a humidifier with your therapy, there’s also an optional side cover that can make the machine even quieter.
While the original AirSense 10 machine exited production when the AirSense 11 was released, ResMed re-released the machine without a wireless modem to meet a rise in demand for CPAP machines. Without the modem, you won’t be able to use the MyAir app to track therapy data or wirelessly transfer data to a healthcare provider.
The AirSense 10 Auto Card-to-Cloud does include an SD card for tracking therapy data, however, and will come with a more detailed view of your data enabled by default. While there are options with more advanced data tracking features, such as the AirSense 11, the AirSense 10 AutoSet Card-to-Cloud wins out in terms of volume.
Thanks to its inclusion of the Q-lite CPAP tube muffler, the Z2 Auto CPAP machine is one of the quietest travel CPAPs on the market today with a sound rating of just 26 dBA.
User reviews vary on the noise level, with some reporting they found it a bit loud, and others reporting that their partner found the noise a bit loud. Due to the smaller size of the machine, it may operate at a different pitch than you’re used to, making it seem louder.
I’ve used it at home for several nights, and I slept well. So thumbs up! It is certainly going to be a lot easier to pack for vacations than my regular machine! I appreciate that I can use my regular mask and did not have to buy a special one. I’m planning to order the battery pack for it, too! – Review from CPAP customer
Its low price and compact design for traveling still make it a great choice, and features like Auto Altitude Adjustments, Advanced Sleep Data Reporting, and the built-in screen and physical buttons make it an attractive option for those seeking a whisper-quiet travel machine. The Z2 Auto even offers an option for waterless humidification using a Heat Moisture Exchanger for those that prefer it!
While not the quietest CPAP machine around, the AirSense 11 IS still a quiet machine, clocking in at 27 decibels. It’s ever-so-slightly louder than the AirSense 10 but brings much more to the table in terms of features.
With the MyAir companion app, you’ll have access to ResMed’s new Care Check-In and Personal Therapy Assistant features which are exclusive to AirSense 11 owners. After filling out some basic information about your experience level with CPAP, the Care Check-In feature will periodically ask you questions about your therapy and offer advice and coaching to help you meet therapy goals. The Personal Therapy Assistant feature offers troubleshooting tips in video format to help you get your therapy back on track, too!
It also has the same great features you can expect from a ResMed machine, like AutoRamp, SmartStart/Stop, Climate Control, and automatic Over-the-Air software updates to ensure your device has the latest bug fixes and features as soon as ResMed releases them.
It isn’t the quietest CPAP machine out there and it isn’t even the quietest travel CPAP either, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of a mention. Clocking in at 30 decibels, the AirMini is a capable travel CPAP that delivers therapy at about the same volume as a whispered conversation.
The AirMini is a distilled travel version of the AirSense 10 and is backed by the same Auto-adjusting algorithm. It also carries over SmartStart, Ramp, and Expiratory Pressure Relief for a more comfortable therapy experience.
While it doesn’t support the use of liquid humidification, the AirMini does utilize HumidX for waterless humidification. Working much in the same way as our own nasal passages, HumidX captures moisture from your exhalation to then slightly humidify incoming air during inhalation. Lastly, there’s even an optional AirMini Bed Mount that allows you to mount your AirMini on the side of your bed, reducing the sound you’re exposed to at night.
If you’re looking for a modern, whisper-quiet, fixed-pressure CPAP machine for an affordable price, look no further than 3B’s Luna G3 CPAP Machine. At 30 decibels it is the noisiest full-sized machine on our list while still being no louder than a whispered conversation.
One thing we really love about the Luna G3 is its inclusion of a heated hose, standard with your purchase. It features an integrated heated humidifier and AutoHumidity control thanks to the heated tubing, which will reduce rainout and ensure you receive consistent humidification through the night.
Two other design features that set the Luna G3 apart include the humidifier chamber that can be filled without removing it from the device and an optional PM 2.5 filter. Most CPAP machines will require you to remove the humidifier chamber to fill it, but with the Luna G3 you simply need to open the lid and fill with distilled water.
On the other hand, the optional PM 2.5 filter is more efficient at trapping the same large particles that the standard filter will catch and it can also stop significantly smaller particles that would pass right through the standard filter. If you experience frequent allergy symptoms, the Luna G3 with a PM 2.5 filter may be the right choice for you.
Related reading: Looking for the best CPAP machine? We’ve got you covered! Read our review of the latest CPAP machines to find your perfect match!
6 Tips for Creating a Quiet CPAP Environment
Ideally, you’ll become more accustomed to the sound produced by your CPAP machine after using it. When we sleep, our brains are alerted by louder noises that exceed whatever our brain perceives as the ‘noise threshold’, but not necessarily by consistent loud noise. Once you’ve found a good routine, your brain should adapt to and expect the noise of your CPAP machine, allowing you to sleep more soundly. Thanks to Pavlovian conditioning, you may even begin to get tired just from the sound of your CPAP machine turning on!
However, if you’re still struggling to adapt to the noise or your machine seems louder than it should be, try one or a few of the following tips:
1. Change the Filter Regularly to Keep Your Machine Quieter
It’s important to change your filter regularly to reduce the noise level and improve the performance of your CPAP machine. If your machine seems to get louder, it may need a filter change. Not only will filter changes reduce the noise level so you can sleep more soundly at night, but a fresh filter also keeps the dust and dirt out of your machine motor and prolongs the life of your machine, too.
2. Keep Your CPAP Machine Away from Your Ears
In many cases, having your CPAP machine below ear level can reduce the noise. Some nightstands have roll-out shelves and compartments that are great for hiding your machine in, which can help reduce noise. Alternatively, you might be able to buy or make a simple bedside tray. A bedside tray will slide between your mattress and box spring, creating a stable platform for your CPAP machine that isn’t at ear level. You might consider just putting the machine under your bed, but this can wear your machine and filters out more quickly since beds tend to have collections of dust and pet hair beneath them, so we don’t recommend it.
3. Consider Using Ear Plugs
While it isn’t the greatest solution, some breathable foam earplugs may be a good fix for you if you can’t seem to get used to the noise from your CPAP machine. Silicone earplugs that completely seal the ears may not be ideal, as they tend to exacerbate feelings of tension and pressure in the ears and sinuses.
4. Pair Your CPAP Machine with a Quiet Mask
You may be surprised to learn that a lot of the noise you hear at night as air traveling through the hose and into your mask. While you may already have a CPAP machine that is pretty quiet, a quiet CPAP mask is equally important for those who are sensitive to sounds. The quietest CPAP masks have diffusion vents and often feature a more minimalistic design, so if you feel like you hear a lot of air noise coming from your mask or tubing, a new style may be worth considering.
5. Reduce Vibration and Sound by Placing Your Machine on a Soft Surface
Sometimes your breathing pattern or pressure settings may result in a louder machine. Lowering the intensity of the machine’s vibration by placing it on a towel or foam pad can reduce the noise. This silicone CPAPology Protector Mat is also a great choice because it catches spilled humidifier water for easy cleanup while also protecting your furniture from scrapes and dings.
6. Consider Using a CPAP Muffler to Help Reduce Hose Noise
Just like a muffler for your car, the Q-Lite Inline CPAP Muffler Kit helps dampen the sound of the air as it moves through the hose to your mask. This helps reduce the level of noise traveling through the tube so that it’s even quieter than what you may be used to. This product is great for anyone who’s extremely noise sensitive.
Although everyone’s perception of sound is a little different, it is possible to find a quiet CPAP machine that allows you and your partner to enjoy a good night of rest. Try some of our tips for quieter operation or consider upgrading to one of the industry’s quietest CPAP machines, like the AirSense 10.
To help choose your first or next CPAP machines, we’ve created the following comprehensive guide to the best CPAP machines. We hope you find the information helpful as you get on your path to CPAP success!