Which Is the Easiest and Most Convenient Travel CPAP Machine to Use?

If you’re one of the estimated 22 millions Americans who suffer from sleep apnea, a disorder that causes paused or shallow breaths when sleeping, then there’s a good chance you’ve been on the lookout for a mini CPAP machine at some time.

A small CPAP machine, short for continuous positive airway pressure machine, does the same job as a larger one, but it is more easily taken along when you travel.

It’s like a CPAP to go! If you’re using this treatment to control sleep apnea, then finding a mini CPAP can make it much easier to travel or even go camping.

Best Mini CPAP Machines for Portability

Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Mini CPAP Machines for Portability

This type of portable breathing machine was first available in the U.S. in 1980, and it allowed those suffering from breathing issues a way to live a better life without having to undergo surgery.

Today, large and small CPAP machines are still used mainly for sleep apnea but also to help doctors care for preterm babies whose lungs are under developed.

Users sleep with a mask or nose piece on while the compact CPAP machine supplies constant and steady air pressure to help them breathe easier and sleep better through the night. A travel CPAP can ensure that a person gets that same important air control during sleep, no matter where they are.

In this article, we will take a look at the six best portable CPAP machines to use when traveling and also go over some positives and negatives of using a battery powered CPAP as opposed to a larger electronic one.

By the time we’re done, you will have some great options for a CPAP machine for travel to make your next trip easier, including understanding the benefits and limitations of a battery-operated CPAP machine.

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

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

Top 6 Mini CPAP Machine Options| Brief Comparison & Ranking

Smap CPAP Machines

Estimated List Price





DreamStation Auto CPAP


Philips Respironics

ICON™+ Novo


Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

Transcend Auto™ Mini CPAP


Somnetics International, Inc.

XT Auto


Apex Medical Corp.

Z1 Auto®



Table: Top 6 Portable CPAP Machine Options | Above list is sorted alphabetically

Travel CPAP Machine FAQ | What Are the Pros and Cons of a Battery-Powered CPAP Machine?

When you’re looking for a mini CPAP machine for travel, you’ll want to understand the limitations a portable breathing machine has compared to a larger one. If they worked exactly the same, people would just choose the CPAP machine for travel and pay less for a smaller unit.

But that doesn’t mean a compact CPAP machine doen’t have its benefits. It provides freedom and a sense of well-being when you need a small-sized travel CPAP that can easily be packed in a suitcase or backpack.

mini cpap

Image Source: Breathe Easy with a Portable CPAP Machine

Below are a few of the limitations and benefits to be aware of when choosing a portable CPAP.

Portable CPAP Machine Limitations

  • May need to charge battery often
  • Might experience a difference in the “feel” of the air pressure
  • May lack features you’re used to from a larger CPAP
  • Could be louder when it runs
  • May need to set it on something for traction due to lighter weight

Portable CPAP Machine Benefits

  • Small CPAP size makes it easy to travel with
  • Battery can last 10 hours or more without need to charge
  • Light weight makes it easy to carry in a backpack for camping
  • Can have optional accessories similar to larger units
  • Allows freedom to use mini CPAP to continue positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy anywhere
  • Can be used as a backup battery-operated CPAP during home power outages

Travel CPAP Machine FAQ | Where Can I Find CPAP to Go Resources for New Users?

Sleeping with a “Darth Vader” mask, as some users lovingly call it, can seem like a scary concept to novice small CPAP machine users, but there are several resources out there to help you feel more comfortable with PAP therapy and using a portable CPAP.

Mayo Clinic

The Mayo Clinic has an excellent article on avoiding 10 common problems with a stationary or travel CPAP, such as how not to feel claustrophobic.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

If you’re new to using a small CPAP unit or just PAP therapy in general, this article provides an excellent overview and also includes some common side effects of the therapy.


Are you wondering what other new users are asking when they get ready to choose a portable breathing machine? You can find an extensive New User Basics FAQ at CPAP.com.

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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Mini CPAP Machines

Below, please find a detailed review of each product on our list of the best travel CPAP machines. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these small CPAP machines to score so highly in our selection ranking.

AirMini™ Review

The AirMini™ portable CPAP Machine is the only battery-powered CPAP on our list that is about to be released. We include it both because of the excellent reputation of manufacturer ResMed, a leader in award winning medical devices, and because it is promoted to be the world’s smallest compact CPAP.

ResMed has a full line of large and small CPAP machine options, and it has been working in the industry since 1989 to promote healthy breathing solutions to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a major subset of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB).

travel cpap

Image Source: AirMini™ | CPAP Machine for Travel

Highlights That Make the AirMini™ Stand Out on Our Top List of Mini CPAP Machine Units

ResMed has 7.1 million patients worldwide who are remotely monitored by their sleep, ventilator, diabetic, cardiovascular, or other therapy equipment. When an industry leader like this comes out with a new CPAP to go, you stand up and take notice because of their history in the industry.

World’s Smallest

The company is calling their new AirMini™ the smallest of battery-operated CPAP machines. If you can pack it in a space roughly the size of two pairs of sunglasses, then that really makes traveling easy.

They promote their new travel CPAP machine as different from others because it offers the same technology as larger machines, so you don’t have to choose between quality and convenience.

Enter to Win It Free

One benefit of a new “coming soon” mini CPAP machine is that they are doing heavy promotion ahead of the 2017 release. You can sign up on their site for a weekly giveway of a free mini CPAP plus $1,000 in a travel gift card.

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DreamStation Auto CPAP Review

The DreamStation PAP Therapy Systems by Philips Respironics are clinically proven for a “better wake-up” and the company states that 92% of consumers agree that the technology works for them, including their small CPAP units.

Their DreamStation Auto small CPAP machine offers a sleek, lightweight design with an easy-to-read display. This travel CPAP unit was designed to be 18% smaller than their typical unit and is 28% lighter, making it an easy portable breathing machine to take anywhere.

portable cpap

Image Source: DreamStation | CPAP To Go

Highlights That Make the DreamStation Auto CPAP Stand Out on Our Top List of Portable CPAP Machine Options

Philips’s DreamStation design won the iF Design Award for 2016, which is a testament to the company’s desire to make their travel CPAP design sleek and user-friendly. They really put the needs of their customer first when deciding on the shape and elements incorporated into their portable CPAP units.

Patient Driven Design

A big reason that Philips Respironics has won design awards for their devices is because their DreamStation is engineered to be patient-friendly. This compact CPAP unit is sleek and light and features easy-to-navigate menus and a display that is easy to read whether lying down or sitting up on a bed.

DreamMapper Tool

This mini CPAP machine comes with some excellent DreamMapper software and allows connectivity via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. This tool offers goal-setting, helpful videos, and ongoing feedback to keep portable CPAP patients motivated and engaged to further their treatment.

ICON™ + Novo Review

If you like a classic design in an electric or battery powered CPAP, then you may want to check out the ICON™+ Novo by Fisher & Paykel Healthcare. The company has been designing innovative products for repiratory care, like the mini CPAP, for nearly five decades.

Their ICON™+ Novo incorporates their forward-facing stylish design, while including many of their other smart technologies for flexible data communications within their portable CPAP machine.

portable cpap machine

Image Source: ICON™ + Novo | Mini CPAP Machine

Highlights That Make the ICON™ + Novo Stand Out on Our Top List of Travel CPAP Machine Units

All Fisher & Paykel Healthcare’s line of small CPAP machines are made to fit into a user’s lifestyle and provide a personalized therapy system; they even feature both alarm clock and musical play settings on their CPAP to go units.

ThermoSmart™ Technology

A great feature of the ICON™ + Novo small CPAP machine is that it includes the same ThermoSmart™ technology offered in all the Fisher & Paykel products.

This means that this portable CPAP machine has an advanced humidification algorithm and heated breathing tube that work together to provide optimal humidity while reducing condensation for easier breathing.

Easy Clean Design

This travel CPAP machine is made for easy cleaning and to stay clean. The water chamber is made of one piece, holds up to 420 ml of water, and can be washed in the dishwasher. It also has an air filter that helps keep out particles and dust from this small CPAP machine.

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Transcend Auto™ Mini CPAP Review

If you want a portable CPAP machine that you can hold in the palm of your hand, then the Transcend Auto™ Mini CPAP will be on your “hot list.” This small CPAP machine may be little, but it is also made to be mighty.

It is manufacturered by Somnetics International and is a fully featured portable breathing machine that weighs less than one pound. This battery-operated CPAP makes the perfect device to use for business or pleasure travel.

travel cpap machine

Image Source: Transcend | Travel CPAP Machine

Highlights That Make the Transcend Auto™ Mini CPAP Stand Out on Our Top List of Travel CPAP Machine Units

The Transcend Auto™ Mini CPAP machine was specifically designed with travelers in mind. Their travel CPAP devices are FAA-approved and made to be quiet for easy and discrete use inflight or on the road.

Super Small CPAP

This mini CPAP machine is one of the smallest that we’ve seen. It is roughly the size of a soda can and weighs less than a pound, making it very easy to take anywhere. Yet it still had all the features of a larger portable breathing machine.

Excellent Resources

When you buy this portable and small CPAP machine, you get the benefit of the company’s multiple resources. They are truly user-centric. Here are a few of the aids you can access:

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XT Auto Review

The XT Auto from Apex Medical Corp. is another of the palm-sized portable CPAP machine designs. It is also made to incorporate the same therapy options as larger units, including easy-to-adust ramp settings and automatic altitude adjustments.

Apex Medical Corp. has been around since 1990, and it is well-known throughout Asia, Europe, and North America for their innovative products in the medical industry, including their CPAP machine for travel and portability.

small cpap

Image Source: XT Auto | CPAP To Go

Highlights That Make the XT Auto Stand Out on Our Top List of Portable CPAP Machine Options

Apex includes an easy-to-use interface in their travel CPAP machine line, which makes it easy to set options and access your data later by SD card. They also use a clinically proven algorithm to make their XT Auto battery-powered CPAP even more comfortable for the user.

Ultra Quiet

One complaint that we saw occasionally from portable CPAP unit users was that the machines could be loud. But that is not the case with the XT Auto. This portable CPAP machine was made to ensure an ultra quiet noise level during operation, which is just above a whisper.

Built-in Power Supply

No one wants to pack extra batteries if they don’t have to when traveling, and Apex has thought of that. Their XT Auto small CPAP machine for travel has a built-in power supply so you don’t need to carry an extra external power supply.

Z1 Auto® Review

The last product on our list of the best portable CPAP machine options is made to be cordless for even easier pack-a-bility. The Z1 Auto® travel CPAP machine is both super small and totally integrated to be the best sleep companion for travelers.

This mini CPAP machine is made by HDM, which stands for Human Design Medical. They work to create devices that are smaller and faster, with improved usability and accuracy for the user.

mini cpap machine

Image Source: Z1 Auto® | Small CPAP Machine

Highlights That Make the Z1 Auto® Stand Out on Our Top List of Portable CPAP Machine Options

When you look at the Z1 Auto® mini CPAP machine, it looks as small as a short microphone. And even when it’s in the self-contained charging unit, it’s completely portable and totally travel-friendly.

Smart Breathing Technology

This small CPAP machine works hard while you’re sleeping. It adjusts itself thousands of times per night to learn your breathing patterns so it can deliver a more natural breathing experience.

Nitelog™ Mobile App

How would you like to have your sleep data in your pocket to easily share with your doctor? The Z1 Auto® can do it. This travel CPAP machine is fully integrated with the HDM Nitelog™ mobile app for both iOS and Android to keep your data synched wirelessly, allowing both programming and sharing from your battery-operated CPAP unit.

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Conclusion – Top 6 Best Portable CPAP Machine Options

Just because you’re one of the millions who deal with sleep apnea doesn’t mean that you have to limit yourself. There are several excellent travel CPAP machine options on the market that make it easy to keep up with your therapy with little inconvenience.

There are several benefits of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, including:

  • Feeling more rested
  • Having more energy
  • Less snoring
  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular issues
  • Lower blood pressure

These mini CPAP machine options make it possible to keep your nighttime breathing under control whether you’re traveling for business or going camping. Several of them are battery-powered CPAP units, allowing you to use them when you don’t have a direct power source, and then recharge them when you need to.

With small CPAP machine units that you can hold in one hand, technology has truly kept up twith he needs of sleep apnea patients. Many of these travel CPAP machine designs include all the benefits of the larger units, so you no longer have to sacrifice performance for portability.

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