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Best Portable Cpap Machine for Sleepers

Candace Osmond

CPAP machines are devices that aid people who suffer from sleep apnea. Breathing irregularly can cause a number of serious issues that range from the inability to stay asleep, to altering one’s mood for the upcoming day. Let’s dive deeper into what sleep apnea is, and whether or not a CPAP machine is a viable solution to this problem.

1. TRANSCEND EZEX™ MINI CPAP – Editor's Choice

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  • Dimensions: 9 x 5.5 x 4.7 inches
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs.
  • Power Options: Solar battery + DC adapter
  • Warranty: 3 years

2. Philips DreamStation Go

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  • Dimensions: 5.9 x 5.9 x 2.31 inches
  • Weight: 1.88 lb.
  • Power Options: Power cord + optional battery pack
  • Warranty: 2 years

3. Apex XT Auto

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  • Dimensions: 5.8 x 5 x 3.9 inches
  • Weight: 1.76 lbs.
  • Power Options: Universal power supply
  • Warranty: 2 years

4. ResMed AirMini

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  • Dimensions: 5.4 x 3.3 x 2.1 inches
  • Weight: 10.6 oz.
  • Power Options: Power cable
  • Warranty: 2 years

5. HDM Z1 Auto CPAP

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  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 3.45 x 2.25 inches
  • Weight: 10.4 oz.
  • Power Options: Power adapter + optional PowerShell
  • Warranty: 3 years

Top Portable CPAP Machines

1. TRANSCEND EZEX™ MINI CPAP – Editor's Choice

Highlights

  • Dimensions: 9 x 5.5 x 4.7 inches
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs.
  • Power Options: Solar battery + DC adapter
  • Warranty: 3 years

Pros

  • Two power options.
  • Built-in humidifier.
  • Accurate data management.
  • Portable and lightweight.
  • Five heat settings.
  • Quiet operation.

Cons

  • Expensive.

In terms of features, you’ll not find a portable machine that beats the Transcend Ezex. It includes some pretty amazing functions, such as built-in heated humidifier, and a data management app that can track the progress of your sleep apnea. This data can easily be shared with your doctor, giving them a full understanding of your sleep evolution.

The Transcend has two battery options: one of them is a mobile power adapter, while the other is a solar-powered battery. Since the device only produces 26.6 dB of sound, it’s perfect for nocturnal use without the slightest chance of the motor waking up anyone who is sharing a bedroom with you.

The heated humidifier integrated with this device has five different heat settings, with a design that’s meant to sustain the compactness and portability features of the unit.

2. Philips DreamStation Go

Highlights

  • Dimensions: 5.9 x 5.9 x 2.31 inches
  • Weight: 1.88 lb.
  • Power Options: Power cord + optional battery pack
  • Warranty: 2 years

Pros

  • LCD color touchscreen.
  • Sleep data storage for one year.
  • Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Altitude adjustment.
  • Flex breathing technology.
  • Programmable ramp time.

Cons

  • Overnight battery sold separately.

Philips has always been a market leader that invested in research and innovation, and the DreamStation Go is here to prove just that. This portable CPAP machine, while not capable of replacing a home station, gathers all the features that one could hope for in a portable device.

Despite its simplistic design, the unit comes with an LCD color touchscreen, which is quite special and useful, even if it’s rather small. You also get the DreamMapper data card that can store your sleeping information for a period up to a year.

While the product is delivered together with a reusable filter, the user manual, a power corn and micro-flexible tubing, some items are options and need to be purchased separately, such as the battery pack, the microSD card, or the disposable fine filter.

3. Apex XT Auto

Highlights

  • Dimensions: 5.8 x 5 x 3.9 inches
  • Weight: 1.76 lbs.
  • Power Options: Universal power supply
  • Warranty: 2 years

Pros

  • Comprehensive sleep reports.
  • Integrated heated humidifier.
  • LCD display.
  • SD card included.
  • Built-in power supply.

Cons

  • Tubing in noisy.

If you’re ready to see innovation at a good price, then you’re ready for the Apex XT Auto CPAP machine. It is one of the smallest and most compact devices of its kind, but there’s so much more to this little guy than meets the eye.

It provides an ultra-quiet operation, not exceeding the 30 dB threshold. This is always a feature to look out for in devices that are meant for night time use. It comes with an integrated humidifier, which can be used when the air inside the room is too dry and could cause discomfort.

It also gathers data that could be significant in tracking the evolution of your sleep. Through comprehensive mapping and reports, the sleeper can give their doctor accurate information, so that all medical advice can be given based on the most precise facts and statistics.

The package itself is very generous, and everyone who order the Apex XT Auto will receive the device itself, a carrying bag, plus important accessories such as an USB cable, SD card, user manual, power cord, a filter, a six feet CPAP hose, humidifier, extraction tool, water chamber, and a manual that teaches the used how to maneuver the humidifier.

4. ResMed AirMini

Highlights

  • Dimensions: 5.4 x 3.3 x 2.1 inches
  • Weight: 10.6 oz.
  • Power Options: Power cable
  • Warranty: 2 years

Pros

  • Waterless humidification system
  • App controlled.
  • Sleep data access.
  • Auto start and shutdown options.
  • Portable and lightweight.

Cons

  • Masks and tubing sold separately.

Known as the most portable CPAP machine on the market, the ResMed AirMini weighs only 0.66 pounds, and is compact enough to fit into just about any travel bag. The system features a waterless humidification technology integrated inside the tube.

It integrates the AutoRamp option, which means that you can benefit from CPAP therapy with low-pressure settings that can gradually rise to the desired rate. In order to make the sleepers feel more comfortable, the machine can also set itself to a low-pressure setting which facilitates exhalation.

The AirMini app is a downloadable program that gives the sleeper Bluetooth access to the device, so that one can easy fiddle with the settings from a comfortable resting position. The AirMini is only compatible with masks manufactured by RedMes.

5. HDM Z1 Auto CPAP

Highlights

  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 3.45 x 2.25 inches
  • Weight: 10.4 oz.
  • Power Options: Power adapter + optional PowerShell
  • Warranty: 3 years

Pros

  • Compatible with most standard tubes.
  • Lightest and most compact CPAP machine.
  • Silent motor.
  • FAA flight approved.
  • Compatible smartphone app.

Cons

  • PowerShell sold separately.

Measuring just 2.25 inches in height and 10.4 ounces in weight, this shaving device lookalike is the most compact and portable of all devices we’ve reviewed today. The motor itself is so small, it barely makes any noise.

What’s really awesome about the Z1 is that it can fit any mask that you are comfortable with, but note that masks that were specifically designed for a particular brand will not be compatible with the Z1. The PowerShell integrated battery pack can be of assistance when you’re looking for maximum portability.

It’s FAA approved for airplane use, which is another cool feature you don’t see in other portable CPAP devices. Nitelog is a mobile app that you can download on your phone and pair with your Z1. It grants you access to important information that can be shared with your doctor.

Understanding Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can be a serious sleeping disorder, which is caused by irregular breathing. Some of its most common symptoms are loud snoring, and the inability to get a good night’s rest. There are three main types of sleep apnea:

  • The most common one of them is when the throat muscles relax. It’s called obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Central sleep apnea is characterized by improper signals sent by the brain to the muscles which are responsible for breathing.
  • There is also the complex sleep apnea syndrome, which is basically a combination of the two forms of sleep apnea we mentioned earlier.

While loud snoring could be a first sign of this condition, there are also other symptoms to look out, for such as dry mouth, headaches in the morning, insomnia, hypersomnia, the inability to focus while being awake, and a constant irritated mood.

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

To get a better understanding of this condition, it’s important to analyze the main causes. A person who suffers from obstructive sleep apnea has muscles in the back of the throat that over-relax as they are supporting the soft palate. When these muscles relax, the sleeper’s airways will narrow down or close as the person is trying to breathe.

The sleeper doesn’t get enough air, which lowers the blood oxygen levels. The brain then picks up these signals and recognizes the inability to breathe, causing the sleeper to wake up so that the airways may reopen.

However, the awakening process is very short, so a lot of people don’t remember it. If the sleeper awakens, they will experience a brief sense of choking or gasping. This is a repetitive pattern that can happen up to 30 times every hour and it eventually impacts the ability to reach a deeper phase of sleep which, in turn, causes a decrease in the quality of sleep.

Central sleep apnea, on the other hand, is characterized by the brain’s failure send signals to the muscles responsible for breathing. For a short period of time, the sleeper makes no effort to breathe, which causes shortness of breath, and the difficulty to stay asleep.

What Is a CPAP Machine?

CPAP is the abbreviation for “continuous positive airway pressure”. CPAP devices are normally used as a treatment option for people who suffer from sleep apnea. This condition is a very concerning matter, especially since it affects a person’s breathing pattern.

The CPAP machine is considered to be a sleep aid, and it functions on the principle of blowing pressurized air through a hose that’s attached to a mask placed on the sleepers face. There are three main components that make up a CPAP machine:

  • The first one is the motor, which is actually a small compressor the takes the air from inside the bedroom and regulates the pressure to deliver what is needed to the sleeper. Depending on the model chosen, the CPAP motor comes with different accessories, such as replaceable filters that gather the particles and impurities found in the air. More advanced CPAP machines use a water tank to humidify the air intake that the sleeper receives. These types of CPAP machines are particularly useful for people who live in very dry areas, because they have these built-in humidifiers. The best CPAP machines are those that have extremely quiet motors, which are basically undetectable when they are running.
  • The second most important part of a CPAP machine is the hose. The hose is a channel that delivers the pressurized air to the mask placed on the sleeper’s face. Naturally, the length and diameter of the hose will depend on the brand of the machine you’re using. If you buy a CPAP machine that has a built-in humidifier, you may find one that has a heated hose which reduces water condensation.
  • The third most important part of a CPAP machine is the mask. Since this device was created to provide comfort for the sleeper (amongst its other uses), masks are available in different shapes and sizes, so that everyone can find one that’s suitable to their own needs. In general, CPAP masks have three variations: full-face masks, nasal masks, and nasal pillows.

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Benefits of Using a CPAP Machine

CPAP machines have become quite a popular sleep aid amongst those who suffer from sleep apnea. So, what are some of the major benefits of using this device?

  • One of the most important benefits of using a CPAP machine is that it can adjust your breathing pattern. We cannot stress enough how important it is for breathing to be regular and without any interruptions.
  • A CPAP machine can also work towards lowering the blood pressure, both when you are sleeping, as well as when you are awake.
  • The CPAP machine can increase the quality of your sleep. You will wake up feeling rested, and having higher levels of energy during the day. In turn, this can help improve your focus at school or in the workplace, can make you more alert, and out you in a more positive state of mind.
  • A CPAP machine can also help prevent some health conditions, such as strokes or cardiovascular diseases.
  • Another main benefit of CPAP machines is that they can reduce snoring, because they keep your upper airways opened.

Disadvantages of Using a CPAP Machine

There is no doubt that a CPAP machine is very useful for people who have sleep apnea. However, one must also be aware of the disadvantages and possible risks of turning to such a device.

  • If you suffer from allergies, you need to consider the fact that a CPAP machine actually forces air inside your airways. If the air inside the room has allergy triggers, then they will most likely end up in your passages, cause congestion, an irritated throat, and can worsen any allergies that you might be suffering from.
  • Of course, probably one of the biggest disadvantages of using a CPAP machine is the fact that you actually have to get used to it. With a CPAP machine, sleeping automatically becomes more uncomfortable, since you have to wear a mask the entire time. If you’re a stomach sleeper, you can say goodbye to your favorite sleeping position.
  • Some people that use a CPAP mask will have difficulty in getting used to the air cycle, mostly because there is an actual machine that is pumping air inside their mouth. The feeling itself is very strange, so there are people that can’t get used to the forced air flow intake.

You may want to read: How to Use a CPAP Machine?

Having a portable CPAP machine is a must-have for people who travel on a regular basis. Since such a machine is often a doctor’s recommendation and should be used at all time, home units do not provide the low-weight and compactness needed for travel. We’ve brought together the five most brilliant portable CPAP machines, and here’s what you can expect from them.

Bottom Line

Choosing a good portable CPAP machine can be quite a large investment. Some machines even require a medical prescription to use. However, all of the units we’ve included in today’s round up are the best ones in their category, so you can rest assured that money is well spent.

Always take into account the primary features you’re looking to benefit from, and look for products with generous warranty coverage, so that you get replacement devices in case of manufacturing defects that affect the functionality of the product.