CPAP Summer Guide: Staying Cool and Comfortable

CPAP Summer Guide: Staying Cool and Comfortable

Key Takeaways

  • When the temperature rises during the summer months, keeping up with CPAP therapy can be challenging due to uncomfortable heat and other factors. 
  • However, there are ways to combat heat during the summer to ensure sleep apnea patients are receiving their therapy optimally every night. 
  • Managing humidity levels, taking care of your skin, and staying hydrated are just a few of the ways CPAP patients can stay cool and comfortable in the summer. 

CPAP patients put their CPAP machine to use every night all year long, which means they sometimes encounter seasonal issues, especially during the summer months. Heat and humidity can cause discomfort when using the CPAP machine. Here are a few tips to stay cool, comfortable, and CPAP-compliant all summer.

Understanding Summer Challenges for CPAP Users

With summer heat and humidity, CPAP masks become sticky and uncomfortable. Sweating at the point of mask contact creates itchiness and skin irritation. With an uncomfortable mask, CPAP patients become less likely to engage in CPAP therapy, which means an increased risk of unhealthy sleep.

Choosing the Right CPAP Equipment

Summer-Friendly CPAP Machines

Choose a CPAP machine that makes summer use more comfortable. Dry air in the summer can leave you with a dry and irritated nose the morning after CPAP therapy. CPAP machines with built-in humidifiers help moisturize your dry CPAP air for a more comfortable experience.

On more humid days, the humidifier settings can be adjusted to help prevent rainout. Rainout occurs when ambient humidity causes a buildup of condescension in the tubing of your CPAP machine which can leave dampness on your face. Adjustable humidifiers can help prevent rainouts if you have a humid stretch of summer days.

You don’t have to restrict your summer plans because of home CPAP use. You can choose a portable CPAP machine to enjoy those summer excursions. Portable and lightweight CPAP machines make it easy to take therapy on summer road trips and camping trips. You don’t have to leave CPAP at home.

Summer-Friendly CPAP Masks

A comfortable, breathable CPAP mask ensures CPAP compliance, especially during the summer months. If you need a full-face CPAP mask, choose one that fits your face without needing too much pressure on your skin to secure the seal.

Other options for summer-friendly CPAP masks include those with almost no facial contact at all when hot, humid weather can make CPAP masks uncomfortable.  

Optimizing Your Sleep Environment

Cooling the Bedroom

Beyond selecting the proper CPAP equipment, there are other ways to make your CPAP therapy more comfortable during the summer.

  • Maintain an ideal sleeping environment with AC and fans. Cooling your bedroom can help you sleep better and reduce the discomfort of CPAP therapy.
  • Keep a dark and cool bedroom with blackout curtains and window treatments. Reducing long-day summer sunlight can also help you sleep better while reducing the heat.

Bedding Choices

Your bedding plays an important role in summer sleeping comfort.

  • Choose moisture-wicking bed sheets and pillowcases. They help absorb nighttime sweating and prevent a clammy summer sleep experience.
  • Look for CPAP-friendly pillows for summer sleeping. CPAP pillows augment your CPAP therapy. Find a CPAP pillow that reduces heat retention for better sleep. Learn more about the best CPAP pillows here. 

Managing Humidity Levels

CPAP Humidity Level Summer Setting

Humidity does not always have to be a problem for CPAP users. Try these tips for humidity control.

  • Adjust your humidifier. Your CPAP humidifier settings can be modified to prevent excess moisture so you can have a more comfortable CPAP experience. Find the setting that fits your comfort level.
  • Try a passover humidifier. Passover humidifiers pass air over a chamber of room-temperature water to humidify CPAP air. This technology helps regulate humidity better when conventional humidifiers do not solve your CPAP humidity problem.

Skin Care and Comfort

Preventing Skin Irritation

Mask irritation during summer CPAP therapy can be solved without changing your mask.

  • Reduce friction and under-mask moisture. Keep your mask clean to prevent dirt and sweat from irritating. Make sure your mask is adjusted to your face shape and size.  Also, make sure you are not allergic to or sensitive to silicone. If so, look for mask cushions that are silicone-free.

  • Use mask liners and barrier creams. Skin-friendly mask liners reduce skin irritation and can help make summer CPAP therapy more comfortable. You can also try barrier creams to reduce friction and contact with the skin for enhanced comfort.

Hydration and Health

Staying Hydrated

Hydration helps make CPAP therapy more comfortable. Hot summers can deplete moisture in the skin and aggravate mask irritation.

  • Drink plenty of water during the summer. Hydration helps your health overall and helps keep your skin more pliable for CPAP.

  • Become disciplined against dehydration. Dehydration can make sleep apnea worse. Set quotas for water consumption and don’t just rely on your thirst.

Traveling with CPAP in the Summer

Portable CPAP Solutions

Summertime means summer vacations, which for CPAP patients can mean forgoing CPAP therapy due to travel. Portable CPAP machines make CPAP easy on the go.

  • Choose a portable CPAP machine. The best portable CPAP machines are lightweight and compact. They are easy to pack into a suitcase and can be taken and used on an airplane. Look for a portable unit that has sufficient battery power and offers options for backup batteries to extend life when you are away from power sources.
  • Travel well with your POC. Your portable CPAP machine (POC) requires some special care when traveling in hot weather. Keep your machine away from water like swimming pools. Never leave your machine in the heat.


Summer shouldn’t mean CPAP discomfort. Take these simple steps to keep CPAP therapy cool and comfortable for summers at home or while traveling. With just a few adjustments during the summer months you can stay CPAP compliant and ensure healthier sleep.

Chris Vasta

Chris Vasta is the president of The CPAP Shop and an expert in sleep and respiratory therapy. He often provides insights on product design and functionality on various manufacturers’ prototypes and is frequently tapped to provide reviews on new releases.