CPAP humidifier being filled

Everything to Know About CPAP Humidifiers

This post was originally posted on October 21, 2021 and updated on November 9, 2023.

What is a CPAP Humidifier?

Dry pressurized air can sometimes lead to a sore throat or nasal irritation the next morning. CPAP humidifiers moisten the dry air of CPAP machines to reduce the side effects of PAP therapy. Moreover, they are a great feature in many machines to assist in giving users the best and most comfortable CPAP experience. Let's review what a CPAP humidifier is.

What Does the Humidifier Do on a CPAP Machine?

As pressurized air passes through the CPAP machine it flows through a chamber of water or the humidifier. Thereafter, the water in the chamber is aerated and mixed with the CPAP air as it flows through the tube into the mask, providing moisturized air for the user. This helps to prevent a sore throat, dry mouth, and even nasal congestion.

What are the Basic CPAP Humidifier Settings?

You can adjust the level of humidity for your pressurized air. Reducing humidity settings reduces the level of moisture in the air that you breathe. If you still experience dryness in the morning, you can increase humidity levels. It's important to determine your own comfort level and adjust your humidifier accordingly.

How to Work a CPAP Machine with a Humidifier

Some CPAP machines come with integrated humidifiers. So, you only have to fill the water chamber and switch on the humidifier to operate. To attach an external humidifier, connect the humidifier to your CPAP machine, then fill the water chamber. You can now begin PAP therapy with humidified air.

How to Work a CPAP Without a Humidifier

If you feel you do not need a humidifier, you can connect your mask and hose to the CPAP machine directly. A humidifier is not necessary if you do not experience any side effects from PAP therapy.

Are There Any CPAP Humidifier Side Effects?

If your humidifier generates heated, moistened air, you may experience “rainout” or condensation in your tubing and mask. You can reduce the temperature of your humidifier to help prevent rainout or use a heated tube.

What Water Do You Put in CPAP Humidifiers?

You can use distilled water or tap water in your CPAP humidifier. It is recommended to use distilled water to prevent calcification. Using distilled water makes it easier to clean your water chamber and improves the life of your CPAP humidifier.

Where Can I Buy CPAP Humidifiers?

CPAP humidifiers are available through medical equipment retailers. You can also shop from the comfort of your own home online at The CPAP Shop. Our staff is ready to assist you with your online purchase. We provide free shipping on orders over $99 and offer a full refund if you are not satisfied.

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.