Are CPAP machines noisy?

Snoring Alternatives

The most recommended and effective treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is CPAP therapy.

When you’re new to CPAP, there can be a lot to get used to, and often people ask, are CPAP machines noisy?

This page will let you know how loud CPAP machines are and how to make them quieter.

CPAP therapy

The first CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines were known to be loud. A common worry for new users is if they can sleep with a device if it’s noisy. 

The good news is many of the new CPAP machines created in the last 10 years are much quieter than their predecessors. 

The technology for breathing machine equipment has developed over the years, and brands have evolved.

If you’re new to CPAP therapy, you’ll be happy to know that most machines on the market are quiet. 

What is CPAP?

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure treatment includes a device, mask and tube that provides the user with a continuous flow of pressurised air. The pressurised air keeps the airway open and free from obstructions to prevent Sleep Apnoea symptoms.

Quiet CPAP machines

Are you looking for a new machine, or maybe you don’t know where to start your CPAP journey? Here are a few of the quietest CPAP machines on the market:

  • ResMed AirSense 10 Auto: ResMed is one of the most popular CPAP brands. The AirSense 10 is a great companion for first-time and current therapy users. The machine uses a whisper-quiet system, operating at just 26 dB. As well as being as quiet as a whisper, the device is simple to use with an intuitive automatic algorithm. The easy breathing system makes getting used to therapy simple. Add the myAir feature to view and manage your Sleep Apnoea treatment. 

Please note: that the latest ResMed AirSense 11 is currently unavailable in the UK. 

  • Sefam S.Box Auto: Created by Stark, who made Europe’s first CPAP device in 1984. The small device holds many features to make falling asleep easy. The modern S.Box is extremely quiet, reaching only 26 dB. When using this device, you can download the free Sefam Access app on your smart device to see day-to-day follow-ups and advice. 
  • Fisher & Paykel SleepStyle Auto: F&P have featured the latest CPAP technology in the SleepStyle, listening to patient feedback throughout the design process. The device comes with an integrated humidifier and reaches 28 dB in frequency. The exhalation relief and SensAwake features make using the machine comfortable. This device also comes with an integrated humidifier.
  • Portable ResMed AirMini Auto: This portable device uses ResMeds whisper-quiet feature; at only 30db travelling with CPAP is peaceful. 

Most CPAP machines have a two-year warranty; you should get around five years of use.

Still don’t know where to start? Contact us for guidance. 

How to make your CPAP quieter

Although CPAP therapy is not entirely silent, it doesn’t compare to loud snoring

You and your bed partner should not be kept awake by the noise of your device. Most machines have a ramp feature that gradually increases the pressure over 20 to 30 minutes to make falling asleep easier and quieter.

Move your CPAP machine

If your CPAP machine is too loud, it could be because it’s too close to you. Some tubing can be short and make it hard to move your device further away, but try to use a tube no longer than 12ft, as this can reduce the quality of your therapy. 

Place your machine on a flat surface like a bedside table, which will also help reduce noise.

You could also place your device on a towel to reduce rumbling or grumbling sounds.

Change your CPAP machine filters

Our customers often forget to change their machine filters; these need to be replaced regularly. 

Your filters are there to prevent dust and dirt from reaching your airway, helping prevent infections. 

Disposable filters must be changed monthly; otherwise, they can clog your machine and create noise. 

Check your hose

  • Consider a hose lift to get your tubing out of your way throughout the night and prevent tangling. 
  • If your hose makes noise, a hose fleece can help solve this and keep the air warm. 

Clean your CPAP supplies

To make your device last as long as possible regular cleaning is necessary to prevent dirt build-up from clogging your machine (increasing noise). 

Check your humidifier 

If you use a humidifier, you should only use distilled water to stop minerals from building up in the reservoir, causing it to be louder. 

Remember to clean your humidifier tub daily and always fill it with water before use. Failing to fill your humidifier will enough water will create loud noises as your device overworks.

How to make your CPAP mask quieter

If your CPAP is loud, it can be down to your CPAP mask and not the device itself. The exhalation ports of the mask can annoy your partner by blowing air into their face and creating noise.  

Here are some tips to make your CPAP mask quieter:

Adjust your CPAP mask

If your CPAP mask is making whining noises and keeping you awake, you can do some things.

Adjust your mask to fit your face comfortably, and ensure no room for air leaks. Use a sizing guide to get the fit you need. At Intus, we have a range of mask FitPacks; these come with multiple sizes included, so you don’t need to worry about using a sizing guide. Getting the best fit from your mask ultimately makes you stick to it.

Related page: How to be comfortable in your CPAP mask

Get the best CPAP mask for how you sleep

After a while, your CPAP mask will start to show wear and tear; after all, they aren’t meant to last forever. Your mask should accommodate how you breathe during the night; for example, if you only breathe through your nose, a nasal mask should be used. And if you breathe through your mouth, you should use a full-face mask.

Your sleeping position can also impact how your mask fits; for example, sleeping on your side requires a mask that supports this.

Related page: CPAP masks for side sleepers

Clean your mask

Your CPAP mask should last 3 to 6 months, provided you look after it.

Regularly cleaning your CPAP supplies is essential to get the most from your therapy and prevent discomfort. We recommend cleaning your mask every day to get rid of the bacteria. You could use the SoClean 2 CPAP sanitiser to make cleaning easier. 

Related page: Solving red marks and skin damage from your CPAP mask

Replace mask parts

If your mask headgear, cushion, frame or tube needs replacing due to damage, you should replace it. 

Replacing your mask parts can make your mask last longer and prevents purchasing a new mask.

Quiet CPAP masks

There is no need to use a louder mask when many are designed to be quieter! Here are some popular masks adapted for less noise:

Quiet full-face masks:

  • ResMed AirFit F20 – Made with a QuietAir-elbow to reduce noise by 89%, exhaled air leaves 70% gentler. 
  • ResMed AirFit F30 – Much like the F20, the F30 also uses the QuietAir diffuser to decrease noise. 
  • F&P Evora full-face – The new Evora is compact with breathable VentiCool technology and exhale vents that point down to prevent air from blowing in your partner’s face. 
  • F&P Simplus – Loved by many CPAP users because of its simple roll-fit feature and quiet nature. 
  • Phillips DreamWear full-face – Designed with a top-of-the-head tube connection to make sleeping in any position comfortable. Compared to the abovementioned masks. 
Phantom 2 and iQ2 CPAP Masks
Phantom 2 and iQ 2 Nasal Masks

Quiet nasal masks:

  • F&P Evora nasal – This new mask is designed with Cap-fit; it simply fits on as easily as a cap! 98% of patients found Evora easy to take on and off in the dark. Also, featuring radial-air flow to minimise noise and draft.
  • ResMed AiFit P10 – Part of the popular AirFit range, the P10 is 50% quieter and lighter than ResMed’s previous nasal pillows mask (Swift FX). 
  • SleepNet Phantom 2 & iQ 2 – The two newest masks by SleepNet feature a 45° Venting System for minimal noise and AirGel cushion technology for comfort. These mask cushions are also interchangeable with each other (pictured above). 
  • Phillips Nuance & Nuance Pro – Phillips Respironics created this mask with a quiet venting system and soft gel pillows. 

Take a look at our risk-free mask selection; each mask is guaranteed to fit. You have 28 days to get used to your mask, and if it doesn’t fit, you are entitled to a full refund. 

Helpful pages:

How to choose a CPAP machine and how to choose a CPAP mask.

Round up

Your CPAP machine shouldn’t be making a loud noise; if this has just started, it means something needs to be fixed. 

If you know someone with symptoms of Sleep Apnoea, they should take a sleep test

Contact us if you need any help or advice. 

Author Danielle Myatt