Why Do People Need CPAP Machines or CPAP Alternatives?

There are a variety of reasons someone might need to buy a CPAP machine or find the best CPAP machine. A CPAP machine helps people keep their airways open while they’re sleeping. When a person suffers from a sleep disorder in which their airways close during the night, it’s called sleep apnea.

When someone has sleep apnea and their lungs can’t receive adequate oxygen, it can lead to minor issues and disturbances, such as waking up throughout the night or not being able to achieve REM sleep. It can also result in more serious problems, such as a heightened risk of heart attacks.

Best CPAP Machines on the Market Red Award Emblem

Award Emblem: Top 6 Best CPAP Machines on the Market

CPAP machine stands for continuous airway pressure therapy machines, and they work by increasing air pressure in the throat to prevent a breathing blockage.

Not only do CPAP machines help the person who suffers from sleep apnea, but they can also help the person’s partner achieve a better night’s sleep.

Most CPAP machines include certain CPAP equipment, and the basics are the mask that covers the user’s mouth and nose and adjustable prongs. In some cases, the mask may only cover the nose; that type of machine is referred to as an NCPAP.

The following ranking and reviews cover details of the best CPAP machine options, as well as details on the various CPAP alternatives you may have available, and the general CPAP machine cost for each product reviewed.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best CPAP Machine Options

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that CPAP machine):

Top 6 Best CPAP Machines | Brief Comparison

Best CPAP Machine

CPAP Machine Cost

Key Feature

iCH II Auto CPAP Machine with Built-In Heated Humidifier


Built-in heated humidifier and travel-friendly size and design
IntelliPAP Standard Plus with SmartFlex®


Advanced therapy tracking and SmartFlex technology
Respironics DreamStation BiPAP Pro with Heated Humidifier


Sleek design and top-mounted humidifier hose swivel
VAuto BiLevel Machine with HumidAir™ Heated Humidifier Review


Automatically adjusts inhale and exhale pressure on a breath-by-breath basis
XT Auto


One of the smallest, lightest CPAP machines available
XT Fit


Palm-sized with SD card data collection

Table: Top 6 CPAP Machines | Above list is sorted alphabetically

How Should You Choose the Best CPAP Machine?

If you’re newly diagnosed with sleep apnea, you may be wondering how to choose the best CPAP machine or CPAP alternatives.

top cpap machine

Image Source: Pexels

The following are some steps you should take to help you decide between CPAP machines and buy the CPAP machine that’s right for you.

  • A prescription is required for a CPAP machine. Before most people get a prescription for a CPAP device and CPAP equipment, they will need to be diagnosed by a doctor.This usually happens by sleeping in a clinic or hospital setting overnight, and there will be data and measurements taken during that time.
  • Once you get a prescription (which will usually include recommendations or a generic name of a CPAP machine), you can start shopping around and comparing CPAP reviews and the cost of CPAP machine options.You will have the option to shop online and offline, which can help you get the best value.
  • You’ll need to focus your attention on the mask component of the CPAP machine because that’s what’s going to determine how comfortable and wearable your CPAP device is.You’ll also need to find one with a mask that’s easy to clean.
  • You may want extra features, which can make the CPAP machine cost go up.Some of the additional functions that are popular when people buy a CPAP machine include a humidifier, hose extensions, and different types of memory chips, as well as Bluetooth capability.

The following list of CPAP reviews can be a good starting point to help you understand what you should be looking for when you buy a CPAP machine.

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Detailed Review – Top Ranking CPAP Machines

Below, please find the detailed review of each of the best CPAP machine options. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed each CPAP machine to score so well in our selection ranking.

iCH II Auto CPAP Machine with Built-In Heated Humidifier Review

The iCH II Auto CPAP Machine with Built-In Heated Humidifier is from Apex Medical, is very small, and is designed to combat moisture.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as a Best CPAP Machine

Specs and features of this CPAP device leading to its ranking on this list of the best CPAP options are highlighted below.  

Range of Pressures

This best CPAP option operates between fluctuating pressures throughout the night. This helps to ensure that varying levels of apnea events are addressed as the user sleeps, and the result is intended to be a more restful sleep. This CPAP machine and humidifier combination fits on a nightstand, and it has a very sleek, compact, and lightweight design.

Auto-adjusting technology allows the machine to operate between two pressure ranges, and it adjusts on a breath-by-breath basis to provide the optimal pressure level. The machine can also be set in CPAP mode as opposed to APAP mode, which provides a single pressure throughout the night.

Built-In Heated Humidifier

This CPAP device includes a built-in heated humidifier. When a sleep therapy machine is combined with a humidifier, research has shown it can help in the prevention of headaches and nosebleeds, as well as other symptoms of dryness that can accompany the use of a therapy device.

There are six levels of humidification that come with this leading CPAP machine for sale. If the user doesn’t want any humidification, this feature can be turned off.


Along with having a relatively low CPAP machine cost, this option is also ideal for people who regularly travel. The base covers only 7.8 in. X 6.5 in., and the sides are no higher than 7 inches from the side. This is an incredibly compact CPAP device, and it also has a small bag that can hold the necessary CPAP equipment to take it on the go.

It has a handle, which also makes it ergonomic and easily transportable, and an aesthetically pleasing design.

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IntelliPAP Standard Plus with SmartFlex® Review

The IntelliPAP Standard Plus with SmartFlex® is a fixed pressure best CPAP with an ergonomic design and advanced features for comfort and usability.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of 2017’s Best CPAP Machines

As compared to CPAP alternatives and other CPAP machines, the following are reasons the IntelliPAP ranks well.


For many people, particularly who don’t have insurance, or for whom insurance won’t cover the entire CPAP machine cost, the cost of a CPAP machine can be a key concern. The IntelliPAP is great because of not only the features and advanced capabilities but also the cost of the CPAP machine.

It’s only $395, which compared to many other CPAP machines, is a relatively low price. At the same time, it’s also well-ranked and has good CPAP reviews.

SmartFlex Technology 

One of the many advanced features available with this best CPAP machine is something not available on many CPAP alternatives. This is the SmartFlex technology. The SmartFlex technology is an exhalation relief function, with three customizable pressure reduction options, as well as six transitional rounding options. This allows users to have an easier time breathing against their exhalation pressure.

The user doesn’t experience problematic pressure changes as a result, so their sleep isn’t disrupted.

Therapy Tracking

The IntelliPAP, a leader among CPAP alternatives, features advanced therapy tracking of sleep data. This includes the recording of advanced data including apnea, snoring, and non-response. There is software that can be used to download data, or the Quick View feature shows preview data on the screen. There are also Quick View readings available through online reporting with Smart Code.

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Respironics DreamStation BiPAP Pro with Heated Humidifier Review

The Respironics DreamStation BiPAP Pro with Heated Humidifier is a leading piece of CPAP equipment that has top CPAP reviews. This CPAP machine for sale features user-friendly options and a sleek design.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as a Best CPAP Machine

Specific features of  Respironics DreamStation BiPAP Pro with Heated Humidifier are detailed below.

Sleek Design

The DreamStation, ranked as a best CPAP machine, is slim and sleek in its design, making it convenient and aesthetically pleasing. The SlimLine tube is 40% lighter and 14% thinner than traditional tubing, and the entire CPAP machine is 18% smaller than others, so it takes up less room.

It’s also 28% lighter than similar CPAP equipment, so it is easy to travel with. The low-profile design has all the features people need but is very easy to use thanks to its size.

Heated Tube Option

This best CPAP machine includes an optional heated tube that’s part of the humidification features of the unit. With the Heated Tube, the temperature of air delivered to the user remains consistent. This means rainout can be eliminated, even if the room temperature drops in the night.  

Other Features

Other features of the DreamStation, a leader among CPAP alternatives and CPAP equipment, include:

  • A mask fit check
  • Mask type resistance control
  • Self-management is available with the DreamMapper
  • Features an EZ start, which is a way to enact personalized, automatic adjustments to pressure
  • Daily progress feedback
  • Performance check
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Respironics DreamStation BiPAP Pro with Heated Humidifier - cpap machine

Image Source: Phillips

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VAuto BiLevel Machine with HumidAir™ Heated Humidifier Review

The AirCurve™ 10 VAuto BiLevel Machine with HumidAir™ Heated Humidifier is a bilevel, automatically-adjusting CPAP machine for sale.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as a Best CPAP Machine

As compared to many other CPAP alternatives, the following are specific reasons the AirCurve is ranked as one of the best CPAP machine for sale.

Easy-Breathe Technology

This CPAP device comes with something called Easy-Breathe technology. The pressure waveform of this CPAP equipment replicates normal breathing. This makes the overall use of this CPAP machine more comfortable. It adjusts the baseline pressure automatically as well to keep the airway open while maintaining steady pressure support.

Climate Control

Another advanced feature this best CPAP machine is equipped with is climate control. Each CPAP device comes with a built-in HumidAir heated humidifier. This makes humidification straightforward and integrated.

When the user takes advantage of the ClimateLineAir heated tube, they get an experience with automatic delivery of the ideal temperature and humidity for the utmost in comfort.

Additional Features

There are many other built-in features that you get when you buy this CPAP machine. The cost of the CPAP machine is higher than the others on this ranking, but according to CPAP reviews, consumers feel this is one of the top CPAP machines.

Additional features include:

  • Constant leak management
  • It’s compatible with up to 15 L/min of supplemental oxygen
  • Comfort is improved with continuous humidification
  • The room stays peaceful thanks to the Easy-Breathe motor
  • It has a built-in ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts to the brightness of the surrounding room

XT Auto CPAP Machine Review

The XT Auto CPAP Machine from Apex Medical is lightweight, travels well, and has excellent features for comfort and usability.

XT Auto CPAP Machine - cpap alternatives

Image Source: Apex Medical Corp

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as a 2017 Best CPAP Machine

Comparing the XT Auto to CPAP alternatives, and also considering CPAP machine cost, the following are reasons the XT Auto is ranked well.

Price and Size

First, the XT Auto features among the lowest CPAP machine cost of any of the other options on this ranking. If you are looking for a CPAP machine for sale that is low-cost, this is an excellent option.

In addition to the cost of the CPAP machine being low, when you buy this CPAP machine, you’re also getting the smallest machine on the market. Among CPAP alternatives, the XT Auto is lightweight, and the data recording machine can fit in the palm of your hand, but features aren’t sacrificed.


It’s not just the extremely small size that makes this best CPAP machine ideal for people who travel frequently. The power supply is built into the CPAP device, so there’s no bulky CPAP equipment for power that needs to come along.

It works with voltage ranges from 110 to 240 without the need to change fuses.

It also has a padded travel bag that holds the CPAP device and the CPAP equipment required for it, including the machine, hose, and mask, all of which are included with the purchase of the CPAP machine.  

Advanced Features

As mentioned, the CPAP machine cost may be low with the XT Auto, but there are plenty of advanced features. Some of the many features that come with this best CPAP include:

  • Auto-adjusting algorithm
  • PVA pressure relief
  • Leak compensation
  • Auto altitude adjustment
  • Alarm functions
  • LCD display
  • Operation is quiet
  • SD data card is included
  • Can purchase an optional heated humidifier

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XT Fit CPAP Machine Review

The XT Fit CPAP Machine is similar to the XT Auto Machine, but the CPAP machine cost is even lower for the Fit, and it’s also even smaller in size.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as a 2017 Best CPAP Machine

Features of the XT Fit that led to its inclusion on this list of CPAP reviews to be used as a guide when you buy a CPAP machine are below.


The XT Fit, as compared to many CPAP alternatives, is remarkably small. This CPAP machine is palm-sized, so it’s easy to travel with, and it can even be packed in carry-on luggage. It includes a built-in power supply, so with this leader among CPAP machines, there is no need to bring an extra external power supply.

The size is great, and the CPAP machine cost is just under $200, making the cost of this CPAP machine the least expensive on this ranking.

XT Fit CPAP Machine - cpap machine cost

Image Source: Apex Medical Corp

Ramp Setting

With this CPAP machine cost, you don’t have to sacrifice key features. The XT Fit includes a ramp setting, allowing for easing into therapy at night or before sleep. The ramp can be set from 0-45 minutes in 5-minute increments.

The ramp pressure can begin as low as 3 cm H20, or as high as 1 cm H20 below full therapy pressure.

Optional Heated Humidifier

A leader among travel-friendly CPAP machines, this CPAP device can include an optional heated humidifier to maximize user comfort. Heated humidification can reduce the side effects and irritation of dryness that can be caused by cold, dry air. The humidifier is specifically for XT machines, so it doesn’t add much to the size and profile of this CPAP device.

Conclusion—Top 6 Best CPAP Machines

For people with sleep apnea disorder, choosing the best CPAP machine is an important decision. Some of the factors that were weighed when determining the CPAP machines that would be included in this ranking and list of CPAP reviews included:

  • Ramp setting options
  • Size and weight
  • Quiet operation
  • CPAP machine cost
  • CPAP reviews from consumers
  • Travel-friendliness
  • Whether or not they had heated humidifiers

These are just some of the considerations used to create this ranking of CPAP machines. Each of the names on this list is a leader among CPAP alternatives, excelling in many areas, and making an excellent choice for a wide variety of people who need CPAP equipment or to buy a CPAP machine.

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