What are the Different Types of CPAP Machines?

What are the Different Types of CPAP Machines?

CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, is a form of therapy used to treat sleep apnea. Sleep apnea most commonly occurs when an individual’s airway is obstructed, and oxygen cannot travel to the brain. This results in episodes of paused breathing that can last for as long as ten seconds, and in severe cases, can occur more than 30 times per hour. CPAP machines use continuous, pressurized air to keep the airway open, allowing individuals to breathe throughout the night for a restful sleep. However, not all CPAP machines are created equal. There are a number of key features that separate the different types of CPAP machines.

Types of PAP Machines 

First, what are the different types of PAP machines? They are:

CPAP Machines

CPAP stands for “continuous positive airway pressure.”

Bi-Level & BiPAP Machines

BiPAP stands for “bi-level positive airway pressure.”

APAP Machines

APAP stands for “automatic positive airway pressure.”

Although most PAP therapy is referred to as “CPAP,” each type of machine is used differently. PAP machines provide airflow to the patient’s airway through a tube connected to a mask interface that the user wears while sleeping.

Be sure to speak with your doctor if you think you may have sleep apnea and require PAP therapy. PAP devices require a prescription from a licensed physician per the FDA.

How Do the Types of CPAP Machines Differ?

CPAP

Patients diagnosed with mild or moderate sleep apnea may wish to use a standard CPAP machine. These machines provide a single, fixed air pressure to the patient’s airway. This air pressure is determined by the doctor’s prescription and is the minimum amount of air pressure needed to keep the airway open throughout the night. CPAP machines deliver this air pressure between 4 cm of water pressure and 20 cm of water pressure.

APAP

APAP, or automatic PAP machines, are common among most sleep apnea patients. These machines deliver auto-titrating, or auto-adjusting, air pressure depending on the patient’s needs. For example, if an individual with sleep apnea rolls onto their back, this can put greater pressure on the airway causing it to further collapse. If the patient is using an APAP machine, the machine will sense that the breathing pattern has changed and increase the airflow to keep the airway open.

These machines are ideal as lifestyle changes such as weight loss have been shown to improve sleep apnea symptoms and possibly reduce the amount of air pressure needed during therapy.

BiPAP

Bi-level PAP machines are generally reserved for the most severe cases of sleep apnea. While CPAP and APAP devices use a single air pressure to provide therapy, BiPAP devices use two: one pressure setting for inhalation, and one pressure setting for exhalation. This dual pressure setting provides a more natural breathing experience for patients.

Some BiPAP machines even include spontaneously timed mechanical breaths, or ventilation. For example, if a patient experiences an apnea event and stops breathing, the device will trigger a mechanical breath after a programmed period of time. BiPAP machines have even proven helpful in patients with severe respiratory illnesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Types of CPAP Machines 

The CPAP Shop offers a wide variety of CPAP and BiPAP machines from the industry’s leading manufacturers. Here are a few of our recommendations: 

Standard CPAP Machines

dreamstation cpap machine

The Philips Respironics DreamStation CPAP offers a sleek design and user-friendly controls. Using the rotary knob, patients can access their comfort settings, view sleep reports and more. The DreamStation weighs less than 5lbs and delivers therapy quietly, providing you and your bed partner restful sleep. Users also have the option to add on a heated humidifier, providing moisture to therapy which is beneficial to patients living in drier climates.

Automatic CPAP Machines 

The ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet is one of the most popular APAP devices we offer. Unlike the DreamStation, the AirSense 10 comes with an integrated heated humidifier at no additional cost. Menu navigation is simple, allowing users to access their data and change settings. The ramp feature is a commonly used feature that allows patients to set their device to a lower pressure setting. As they fall asleep, the device will ramp up to their prescribed pressure. This feature provides a more comfortable therapy experience.

Travel CPAP Machines

The Philips Respironics DreamStation Go Travel CPAP delivers all of the same features at the standard DreamStation CPAP but in a more portable design. Travel CPAP machines generally offer both auto- and fixed-pressure settings and are ideal for patients who are constantly on the go. The DreamStation Go features a full color touchscreen for menu navigation and a simple one-touch button to start/stop therapy. A backup battery and humidifier are also available for this machine, making it one of the most versatile travel units on the market.

BiPAP Machines

The ResMed AirCurve 10 VAuto offers all of the same features of the AirSense 10 in BiPAP form. One of the features unique to the AirCurve over the AirSense is TiControl, which offers greater control over pressure setting timing to accommodate patients with complex conditions. The AirCurve relies heavily on its algorithms to ensure you receive accurate therapy every time.

Where Can I Buy CPAP Machine Online?

You can find these options and more at The CPAP Shop. Our knowledgeable customer care team is on hand to help you with your purchase should you have any questions. We always do our best to ensure fast and easy shipping, and some of our machines even offer a 15-night risk-free trial.

If you need help selecting the right CPAP machine for you, let us know. We can help you find the best CPAP machine based on your prescription. Call 866-414-9700 or email us at questions@thecpapshop.com.

CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, is a form of therapy used to treat sleep apnea. Sleep apnea most commonly occurs when an individual’s airway is obstructed, and oxygen cannot travel to the brain. This results in episodes of paused breathing that can last for as long as ten seconds, and in severe cases, can occur more than 30 times per hour. CPAP machines use continuous, pressurized air to keep the airway open, allowing individuals to breathe throughout the night for a restful sleep. However, not all CPAP machines are created equal. There are a number of key features that separate the different types of CPAP machines.

Types of PAP Machines

Most PAP therapy is referred to as “CPAP,” and each type of machine is used differently. PAP machines provide airflow to the patient’s airway through a tube connected to a mask interface that the user wears while sleeping.

Be sure to speak with your doctor if you think you may have sleep apnea and require PAP therapy. PAP devices require a prescription from a licensed physician per the FDA

CPAP Machines

CPAP stands for “continuous positive airway pressure" and is the most common treatment type. This type of machine provides one constant pressure as a user inhales to keep a user's airway open as they sleep. CPAP machines are equipped with various comfort features to comfort users as they fall asleep.

BiPAP & BiLevel Machines

BiPAP stands for “bi-level positive airway pressure.” This type of machine uses two separate pressues, one for inhalation and one for exhalation, designed for sleep apnea that is more severe. BiPAP machines switch bewteen a higher pressure as a person inhales and a lower pressure as they exhale. 

APAP Machines

APAP stands for “automatic positive airway pressure" and is also referred to as auto-CPAP. This type of machine can raise or lower the pressure based on the user's breathing patterns. APAP machines are ideal for those who move around in their sleep and change their sleeping position throughout the night.

Travel CPAP Machines

A travel CPAP machine works just as a home machine does, and delivers pressurized air to keep a user’s airways open, but in a smaller package designed for on-the-go treatment. Travel CPAPs can be brought on flights, cruises, or other forms of transportation. They are ideal for those who travel frequently.

How Do the Types of CPAP Machines Differ?

CPAP APAP BiPAP Travel
Patients diagnosed with mild or moderate sleep apnea may wish to use a standard CPAP machine. These machines provide a single, fixed air pressure to the patient’s airway. This air pressure is determined by the doctor’s prescription and is the minimum amount of air pressure needed to keep the airway open throughout the night. CPAP machines deliver this air pressure between 4 cm of water pressure and 20 cm of water pressure.

APAP, or automatic PAP machines, are common among most sleep apnea patients. These machines deliver auto-titrating, or auto-adjusting, air pressure depending on the patient’s needs. For example, if an individual with sleep apnea rolls onto their back, this can put greater pressure on the airway causing it to further collapse. If the patient is using an APAP machine, the machine will sense that the breathing pattern has changed and increase the airflow to keep the airway open.

These machines are ideal as lifestyle changes such as weight loss have been shown to improve sleep apnea symptoms and possibly reduce the amount of air pressure needed during therapy.

Bi-level PAP machines are generally reserved for the most severe cases of sleep apnea. While CPAP and APAP devices use a single air pressure to provide therapy, BiPAP devices use two: one pressure setting for inhalation, and one pressure setting for exhalation. This dual-pressure setting provides a more natural breathing experience for patients.

Some BiPAP machines even include spontaneously timed mechanical breaths or ventilation. For example, if a patient experiences an apnea event and stops breathing, the device will trigger a mechanical breath after a programmed period of time. BiPAP machines have even proven helpful in patients with severe respiratory illnesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Travel CPAP Machines are designed for use while on the go. These machines are FAA-approved for in-flight and are built in a more compact size so that they are easy to pack and travel with. A travel machine can be used on airplanes, cruise ships, in the car, while camping, on a business trip, and more. These machines offer the same effective CPAP treatment as other types but in a smaller size. 

Best-Selling CPAP Machines

The CPAP Shop offers a wide variety of CPAP and BiPAP machines from the industry’s leading manufacturers. Here are a few of our recommendations: 

AutoCPAP Machines

The ResMed AirSense 11 AutoSet CPAP Machine is an advanced CPAP machine that uses an integrated heated humidifier to deliver moisturized air for the prevention of CPAP side effects. It is comfortable to use and provides the best CPAP therapy with patient support and advanced detection features to recognize sleep apnea. The AirSense 11 is equipped with AutoRamp, Expiratory Pressure Relief, a user-friendly screen, and more. 

The React Health Luna II Auto CPAP Machine is an auto-adjusting design to fit every user's therapy needs. It includes many comfort features and RESlex Exhalation Relief that eases the exhalation process making it easier to breathe out against the airflow. Its LCD display is to see and manage your data and settings, and 

BiPAP Machines

The ResMed AirCurve 11 VAuto BiPAP Machine uses the trusted algorithm of the AirCurve 10 and the support features of all popular ResMed devices. Its digital health offerings are engineered to work together so patients can receive maximum benefits and adjusts air pressure in real-time for personalized treatment. It has a user-friendly interface, comfort features, and ensures a peaceful sleep for the user and their bed partner. 

The React Health Luna G3 BPAP 25A BiPAP Machine is a lightweight and whisper-quiet BiPAP machine, designed with an integrated modem, heated tubing, and humidifier with a preheat feature to provide a comfortable treatment. A user's sleep reports and settings can be easily accessed though the display screen and features like AutoRamp helps you ease in your therapy. 

Travel CPAP Machines

The ResMed AirMini Travel CPAP Machine is one of the smallest machines on the market, weighing only 10.6 ounces (less than a pound). This machine offers the same technology and quality therapy as the AirSense 10 and was built with travelers in mind. This machine supplies self-adjusting air pressure for high-end performance that responds to your individual rate of breathing to achieve a comfortable night sleep

The Transcend Micro Auto Travel CPAP Machine offers effective CPAP treatment designed with active users in mind. It is ultra-compact,  32% smaller and 26% lighter than the leading travel CPAP brand. It's equipped with a WhisperSoft Muffler to provide a quiet sleeping environment. It also includes many familiar comfort features including AutoRamp, EZEX Pressure Relief, and more. 

Where Can I Buy CPAP Machines Online?

You can find these options and more at The CPAP Shop. Our knowledgeable customer care team is on hand to help you with your purchase should you have any questions. We also always do our best to ensure fast and easy shipping. If you need help selecting the right CPAP machine for you, let us know. We can help you find the best CPAP machine based on your prescription. Call us at 866-414-9700 or email us at questions@thecpapshop.com

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.