CPAP therapy provides a constant airflow which holds the airway open so that uninterrupted breathing is maintained during sleep. It is traditionally provided through a nasal mask that seals around the nose to maintain the pressure level.
Why might I prefer an APAP machine?
Some CPAP users find it more pleasant to breathe with an APAP than with CPAP. The pressure delivered by an APAP machine automatically changes as needed to deliver the minimal pressure required to maintain the airway. The pressure delivered by a CPAP machine is set to a single pressure, the highest necessary to keep the airway open as determined during the sleep study. This is the case even when the higher pressure is needed only a fraction of the time.
How do I choose the machine that is right for me?
We provide our customers with many tools to make informed decisions about their machine purchases. Options include:
Calling a CPAP Expert Toll Free. 800.356.5221.
Comparison Charts. These charts compare available machines, feature by feature. If you don't know the meaning of a feature, click on the question mark for a definition. Click on the image or name of the product for more detailed product information, pictures and resources.
Browse Our Machine Product Categories. These categories show each machine our company offers, ranked by popularity. Popularity is determined by a mix of sales data and our in house opinion of the quality of the machine based on our experience and customer feedback. The best products float to the top of our categories.
We work very hard to provide many different ways for our customers to compare products. Here are the machine product guides we have created and maintain:
CPAP Machine Comparison Guide. This guide stacks up every CPAP machine we sell, feature by feature. If you don't know the meaning of a feature, click the question mark for a definition. The links below will take you to the most popular CPAPs, or all CPAP machines we sell.
Auto Adjusting Machine (APAP) Comparison Guide. This guide stacks up every APAP machine we sell, feature by feature. If you don't know the meaning of a feature, click the question mark for a definition. The links below will take you to the most popular APAPs, or all APAP machines we sell.
BiPAP, VPAP and BiLevel Comparison Guide. This guide stacks up every BiPAP machine we sell, feature by feature. If you don't know the meaning of a feature, click the question mark for a definition. The links below will take you to the most popular BiPAPs, or all BiPAP machines we sell.
Machines come with a six foot hose, power cord, at least one filter, and manuals. Most manufacturers include a carrying case which is designed specifically for their equipment. CPAP, APAP, and BiPAP machines do not come with a delivery system or mask. CPAP masks must be purchased separately.
To see the list of what specifically comes with each machine, you can Browse for a machine. Then on the product page, click the "Specs" tab to see a full list of what comes with the machine.
The ramp button on a machine is a feature that allows for a gradual pressure build-up to your prescribed pressure. The feature is enjoyed by those with high pressures because it eases up to their pressure.
What is exhalation relief?
Exhalation relief is a comfort feature which reduces the air flow at the time of exhalation, making the breathing process more natural.
The following are the different types of exhalation relief names by manufacturer.
Philips Respironics = C-Flex, C-Flex+, A-Flex and Bi-Flex
Resmed = EPR (Expiratory Pressure Relief)
3B Medical = RESlex
Apex Medical = PVA (Pressure Variation Algorithm) Pressure Relief
Curative Medical = EUT (Expiratory Unloading Technology)
DeVilbiss = SmartFlex
Fisher & Paykel = SensAwake Technology
Human Design Medical = Z-Breathe
Somnetics = EZEX
Here are some machines with an exhalation relief feature:
The only care a CPAP, APAP or BiPAP machine requires is to clean or change the filters at the air intake. This keeps the internal parts from accumulating dust. Fine paper filters should be changed out every 30 days, or when they appear soiled. Foam washable filters should be rinsed with clear running water once a week, allowed to air dry, and reinserted.
Here are some other suggested actions to care for your machine:
Keep the area around your machine clean by removing any dust from the area to improve the air quality delivered to your machine and to you.
Keep the air intake of the machine unblocked. Curtains, bedding, and papers can easily block the air intake of your machine, reducing the airflow.
If a humidifier is used with your therapy, do not pick up the machine with the humidifier attached. With most machines it is easy to spill water from the humidifier chamber into the machine causing damage. Manufacturer warranties are voided by water damage to the machine. To avoid this, remove the chamber from the humidifier and then remove the humidifier from the machine rather than transporting them together.
If a humidifier is used, empty the water from the chamber every morning. Accidents happen. If a family pet or family member moves the machine and humidifier with water in the chamber it is more likely that water could be spilled into your machine. Water damage to a machine voids the manufacturer warranty.
What data capable machines are available?
CPAP machines which record full data (such as AHI and leak info):
Cleaning and changing filters is the only maintenance required for a CPAP machine.
The filters are located at the back of the machine at the air intake.
How do I change the pressure setting of my machine?
When a physician orders a pressure change, or a patient moves to an area with a very different altitude and does not have an altitude compensating machine, there are a number of ways to ensure you are receiving CPAP therapy at the correct pressure.
Sleep laboratories and sleep disorder centers may be willing to make this pressure change. Just call a local hospital or ask your physician to recommend a sleep lab. Be sure to take your prescription.
A second way is to do it yourself. We sell manometers that are very portable, accurate, and simple to use. All the machines we sell come with instructions on how to set pressure to physician orders. Most patients have little trouble doing this themselves. If you need help we can talk you through the procedure. Contact us by phone at 1-800-356-5221.
Having the proper equipment is the biggest key to successfully operating the machine from a battery. For example, if your machine does have a DC outlet and you want to run your machine from a marine battery, be sure to get the correct DC cable for the machine, as well as an adapter cable with alligator clips that fits over the cigarette lighter plug.
CPAP.com sells complete battery kits with everything you need for many machines including the correct cables for those machines and batteries. You can see if there is a battery kit available for your machine Here. If you have questions about the specific power needs of your machine, review the 'Power' tab found on the machine's product page, or give us a call at 1-800-356-5221.
How do I prepare for power outages with CPAP?
There are a lot of back up battery choices out there that can give you peace of mind in case of a power outage. The Transcend Travel CPAP Machine has Battery Options available that can set up as a fail-over, back up battery. Review the 'Power' Tab on the machine page.
CPAP.com sells Battery Packs to accompany your machine if an integrated battery is not available. Visit CPAPtalk for more advice specific to your needs, or view this past thread on the topic here.
What is C-Flex?
C-Flex is a pressure relief feature that makes breathing back against CPAP pressure easier to do by reducing the pressure at the beginning of exhalation and returning to therapeutic pressure just before inhalation. Independent studies conducted by leading universities indicate that patient comfort, and therefore, patient CPAP compliance, is higher with machines that use C-Flex. C-Flex is a technology invented by Respironics, is proprietary, and is not available on other brands of CPAP machines.
C-Flex+ is an improved pressure relief technology over the previous C-Flex technology. Like C-Flex, C-Flex+ reduces the pressure at the beginning of exhalation. Like A-Flex, C-Flex+ softens the pressure transition from inhalation to exhalation to provide additional comfort in fixed-CPAP mode.
A-Flex is a form of exhalation relief which helps the air pressure from an APAP machine mirror a person's breathing. Like C-Flex, A-Flex provides flow-based pressure relief at the beginning of exhalation. Like Bi-Flex, A-Flex softens the pressure transition from inhalation to exhalation to provide additional comfort in an auto-CPAP mode.