If you were a ResMed S9 user in the past, you may love the new, advanced AirCurve™ 10 VAuto BiLevel Machine with HumidAir™ Heated Humidifier.
This model automatically adjusts on a breath-by-breath basis to deliver separate air pressures for inhalation (IPAP) and exhalation (EPAP). Users of the S9 machines may appreciate some upgraded humidification options ResMed has added by integrating its HumidAir™ heated humidifier—which can auto-adjust humidity levels based on the temperature of the room air—and the ClimateLineAir™ optional heated tubing.
In addition, the AirCurve™ 10 offers pressure relief technology to help mimic natural breathing and offers a special, advanced tool to help people with chronic breathing problems like COPD: the TiControl feature, which monitors the pattern of inhalation and exhalation to help prevent cycling.
These are just a few of the top-shelf features this sophisticated and popular machine offers. A whopping 37% of our BiLevel machine buyers select this model, for good reason: it comes with great comfort and convenience options and users say it provides an excellent night’s sleep. Says one user, “This is a huge improvement over the S9 series.” Another says, “I was a little hesitant to replace my S-9 VPAP, but this machine performs flawlessly and exceeded my expectations.”
To learn more about the ResMed AirCurve™ VAuto BiLevel Machine and whether it might be the right BiLevel apnea machine for you, keep reading for a breakdown of the details and features.
Optimized Humidification with Climate Control
Humidified air is important to keep therapy comfortable and sinuses healthy. Recognizing this, ResMed designed the AirCurve™ 10 machines to include a built-in humidifier. Users can choose whether or not to use the humidification system and can use the display screen on the machine to adjust the humidity level, with 8 different levels to choose from. To further enhance the therapy by warming the air during delivery, ResMed offers an optional 78-inch (6.5-foot) ClimateLineAir™ Heated Tube.
These options are helpful, but what really sets the AirCurve™ 10 machines apart from other BiLevel machines with humidification is the automated Climate Control system. Just select “Auto” on the screen and the AirCurve™ 10 will optimize humidification with minimal rainout condensation, based on readings it takes of the room air temperature. You won’t need to wake up in the night to add or reduce humidity—the machine will take care of this for you.
Advanced Pressure Relief and Comfort Options
Another nice benefit of the AirCurve™ 10 machines is that it’s designed to deliver optimal therapy along with optimal comfort. ResMed uses an algorithm to monitor user breathing during therapy, so inhalation pressure and exhalation pressure can be adjusted automatically while users sleep. This feature, common on autoset BiLevel machines, gets a boost from a few extra comfort features to aid easier breathing:
- Pressure relief system. If you’re using your machine in CPAP Mode, Expiratory Pressure Relief (EPR™) aids exhalations to bring your sleep breathing closer to natural rhythms. It adjusts pressure relief levels based on settings you choose (Level 1, 2, or 3), or you can shut it off.
- Ramp. If you’re using CPAP Mode, ramp will incrementally increase air pressure until it reaches the prescribed pressure, so you can fall asleep naturally without feeling any discomfort. In the BiLevel and auto modes, the expiratory pressure will start low and increase gradually to the prescribed pressure.
- Easy-Breathe. When used in S mode, AirCurve™ 10 offers an optional Easy-Breathe function that mimics the user’s own natural breathing pattern.
And to monitor for leaks, Vsync Technology checks your mask seal throughout the night and compensates by adjusting pressure as needed.
Special Settings for Respiratory Disorders
Perhaps one of the more unique features of this BiLevel apnea machine is the TiControl feature, which monitors users’ breathing patterns and can detect early or delayed changes from inspiration to expiration (called “cycling,” which leads to inefficient breathing). The machine sets a minimum and maximum time limit on inspiration, which helps to prevent cycling. If the user’s breathing is irregular or slow, the machine will alter its timing to deliver air pressure at a different cadence in order to get the user back within set limits. Users with COPD and obstructive lung disease can get more effective and comprehensive respiratory therapy as a result.
Great Choice for Gadget Geeks
Perhaps one of the biggest selling points of the AirCurve™ 10 VAuto is how it feels as an integrated package. Without the humidification chamber attached, the machine itself measures a neat 8”x4”x6”. The rounded front dial, color LCD display, and “Home” button make it resemble a bedside stereo more than a traditional CPAP or BiPAP. Design fanatics won’t be fooled, but this is a sleeker-than-average model, and users frequently comment that it’s more attractive than apnea machines they’ve used in the past.
The color LCD display is a user-friendly addition, with easy to use menus and an easy-grip dial. Navigating and selecting the settings if easy and intuitive. For example, the Mask Fit seal check gives you the “all clear” with a green smiley face or a “try again” red frowny face. You can choose a Leak Alert from the menu of options, and a SmartStart™ function enables therapy to begin as soon as the machine senses you breathing into the mask. These bells and whistles may not be necessary to a good therapy experience, but for users who value instant feedback and guidance about the process, they certainly make the process of adapting to apnea therapy more fool-proof (and more fun).
As for data tracking, the AirCurve™ VAuto records all therapy data on the machine’s onboard memory, which you can download to the included SD card. The machine holds a full year’s worth of compliance stats and keeps detailed data for the past 30 sessions, so users can check on their previous night’s sleep right from the machine’s display.
As one customer points out, “I like that the display gives me immediate feedback on my sleep the previous night – average number of events, number of hours of sleep, data about mask leaks, etc. And if I want to delve deeper into this data, I can log into MyAir and view more detailed data. No more pulling the data card and using ResScan!” Data is also uploaded automatically to the sleep clinic so your physician can review your information.
Considerations (Possible Drawbacks)
Are there any downsides to selecting a ResMed AirCurve™ BiLevel Machine for your sleep apnea therapy instead of a competitor’s BiLevel or BiPAP?
We’ve looked through dozens of user reviews, combined with customer service feedback and the manufacturer’s information. After a full review of the literature, we’ve compiled the following list of factors to consider:
- The cost. Retailing at $1726, this is one of the more expensive BiLevel apnea machines on the market. However, as customers frequently point out, this machine has “all the bells and whistles,” so you do get what you pay for. Fortunately, you can pay on a monthly payment of $79.64 a month, which makes the cost seem more manageable. The product also comes with a 2-year warranty, which is good news when you’re plunking down so much. (As usual, check to see what insurance will cover.)
- The control screen isn’t very bright. While most customers like a control screen that doesn’t contribute to ambient light in the room, a few customers have complained that this screen doesn’t function well as a nightlight.
- Operating instructions may be confusing. Most customers love the advanced features and controls of this model. However, some point out that instructions for options like Airline Mode may be confusing. Fortunately, you can call CPAP.com customer service or use the 24-hour CPAPtalk.com Support Forum to help troubleshoot these issues.
On the whole, users report loving this machine, for good reason; it comes equipped with a host of advanced comfort and convenience features, plus it delivers excellent, effective therapy. Though some may nitpick about the finer points of features and whether or not they’re necessary, for the most part, nearly every review and feedback we’ve seen have emphasized that users—even those who’ve used other CPAPs and BiPAPs in the past—slept better after trying this machine for a few days. Is it worth the high price? As one customer points out, since “you spend about 1/3 of your life sleeping, you might want the best possible.”
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.