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Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. The most common treatment for the ailment is to use continual positive airway pressure therapy, or CPAP. CPAP machines require nightly use, and some of them can be a bit cumbersome due to their size and weight – particularly for travelers. Luckily, there are now mini CPAP machines that make traveling with your CPAP a lot easier. In this guide, we’ll go over the best mini CPAP machines on the market today!
What are Mini CPAP Machines?
A mini CPAP machine is simply a smaller version of a standard CPAP unit. If you need a refresher on basic CPAP technology, see our what is CPAP guide. Designed to be lightweight and compact, these smaller units make life easier for sleep apnea patients, particularly when traveling is involved.
The best mini CPAP machines are designed to deliver the same consistent air pressure as a full sized CPAP unit, and typically they have similar sets of features. To save space and weight, some mini CPAPs do not have humidifier chambers, or they have developed unique waterless humidification systems. We’ll explain more about the best mini CPAP machines in our comparison below.
Why Do People Use Mini CPAP Machines?
CPAP units are prescribed to people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea or central sleep apnea. Typically the patient will be given a full-sized unit, like the popular ResMed S9. These units work very well, but take up a significant amount of space. This leads some patients to be interested in getting a second, smaller CPAP unit, to use while traveling.
So, the primary purpose of mini CPAP units is to make life easier for sleep apnea patients when they travel. With that said, some folks also just prefer smaller machines. Some folks might not have much space on their bedside tables, in which case a mini CPAP might help. Or, some patients might want a smaller unit that is easier to put away in a drawer when friends or family visit. Regardless of the reason, it’s important to choose a good quality machine!
What are the Best Mini CPAP Machines?
As with just about anything these days, there are tons of options on the market when it comes to CPAP units. Below, we’ve put together a list of some of the best mini CPAP machines, based on a combination of their specifications, customer reviews, and our own experience with the units. Keep in mind that it’s difficult to name an absolute “best” unit, as each unit will have pros and cons, and will work differently for different people. We based a lot of our research on third-party customer reviews, taking the “wisdom of the crowd” approach to make our selections.
ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet CPAP
The ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet is a high end CPAP unit that builds on the success of the ultra-popular S9 AutoSet line. This unit features the same award-winning technology as the S9 AutoSet, yet it weighs 23% less. The main difference is that the humidifier is built in to this unit, allowing the design to be significantly smaller while still maintaining high operating efficiency.
- Weighs just 2.75 lbs
- Dimensions 10.04″ L x 4.57″ W x 5.91″ H
- Priced from $880
- Based off ResMed S9 Autoset technology
- 23% lighter than the S9
- Features built in humidifier
- Color LCD display
- Advanced data recording
- Made by ResMed
- Excellent customer reviews (4.9 stars out of 5 with 200+ reviews)
- Click here to learn more
This is one of the best-reviewed units out there. It’s not ultra-small, but it’s compact enough to take with you while traveling. To me, this machine serves as a great middle ground between the ultra-compact, yet less functional models, and the standard, full-size units. The AirSense 10 is a great choice for a primary machine, or a secondary travel unit.
Phillips DreamStation Go
The Phillips Respironics DreamStation Go is a new ultra-lightweight CPAP unit based on the popular DreamStation machine – but at about half the size. The machine does not offer a humidifier at this time, but one is in the works. DreamStation Go is also available with a portable battery pack, for cord-free operation.
- Weighs just 1.86 lbs
- Dimensions 5.937” L x 5.937” W x 2.315” H
- Priced from $850
- Based off Phillips Respironics DreamStation technology
- 1/2 the size of the original DreamStation
- Does not feature a humidifer
- Bluetooth built in
- Comes with ultra lightweight tubing
- FAA compatible for use on airplanes
- Compatible with Dream Mapper sleep-tracking app
- Available with an optional battery pack
- Made by Phillips Respironics
- Recently launched – reviews are good so far
- Click here to learn more
The Phillips DreamStation Go is a brand new device, just launched in 2017. Because of that, there are not many customer reviews for it – but the reviews we did find were largely positive. The unit is quite small, although it’s important to note that it does not offer a humidifier. One big perk of the DreamStation Go is the optional battery pack, which allows for 1-2 nights of use “off the grid”.
ResMed AirMini AutoSet
The ResMed AirMini AutoSet is the smallest CPAP unit on the market, weighing in at just 0.66 lbs. Its ultra-compact design makes it ideal for frequent travelers. The AirMini also features a unique waterless humidification system, named HumidX. However, keep in mind that this device is ONLY compatible with a select few ResMed masks, so you won’t necessarily be able to use it with your existing mask.
- Weighs just 0.66 lbs
- Dimensions 5.4″ L x 3.3″ W x 2.1″ H
- Priced from $880
- Features new technology from ResMed, a leader in the CPAP industry
- The smallest CPAP commercially available today
- Features HumidX Waterless Humidification system
- Features AutoSet auto-adjusting technology
- Bluetooth connectivity and compatibility with AirMini smartphone app
- Only compatible with certain masks: AirFit N20, AirFit F20, AirTouch F20, or AirFit P10
- No battery available at this time
- Good reviews, although some people report that it is noisier than other options
- Click here to learn more
If you wanted small, you got small: the ResMed AirMini is the smallest functional CPAP unit on the market, but a good measure. With that said, its waterless humidification system is only compatible with select mask types, so it’s possible you may have to get a new mask in order to use this. No battery is available right now, but ResMed is working on one to launch soon. This is a new machine, so customer reviews are limited.
If you have first-hand experience with travel-sized CPAP units, we’d love to hear from you. We are also happy to answer any questions you may have. If you’re looking for travel-friendly CPAPs, the mini units listed above are all great options – and you can also check out our tips on traveling with a CPAP to learn more.
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