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Can You Use a Used a CPAP Machine?


Written by Garen Glazier

Reviewed by Dr. Michael Breus

Our Editorial Process

Table of Contents

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is considered the most effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Since the cost of a CPAP machine and accessories can add up, it’s normal to wonder if there are used CPAP machines available. Buying a refurbished CPAP machine comes with certain risks, but some authorized resellers do offer them for purchase.

When starting CPAP therapy, you’ll need to undergo a sleep study and work with your doctor to choose and calibrate your new CPAP machine. Even if you buy a used CPAP machine, it’s important to perform these steps to ensure safe and effective therapy. We’ll discuss where to source a used CPAP machine, how the process works, and what to look for when buying.

Is It Safe?

Using a refurbished CPAP machine is relatively safe if it has been properly maintained and thoroughly cleaned. You should always use your own new, unused CPAP accessories, such as the mask and filters.

It’s difficult to fully sanitize the internal parts of a CPAP machine, which may have accrued mineral buildup, pathogens, mold, allergens, or other potentially harmful contaminants during its time with the previous owner. Another risk of buying a pre-owned machine is that it may have defects or missing parts. For these reasons, you should only purchase used CPAP machines from authorized resellers.

Can You Buy a Used CPAP Machine?

Although it’s more common to buy a new CPAP machine, there are several places that refurbish and resell gently used CPAP machines.

Is a Used CPAP Machine Right For Me? 

While we generally recommend buying a new CPAP machine, a used device may be an option for shoppers on a budget or those who don’t have health insurance.

Pros of buying used:

  • Lower cost: Used devices are usually more affordable than new models.
  • Less paperwork: While some used CPAP devices qualify for reimbursement, the competitive price-points also make it attractive to buy used devices out of pocket.
  • Environmentally friendly: Reusing CPAP machines helps reduce the number of devices that end up in the landfill.

Pros of buying new:

  • Better selection: New CPAP machines sport the latest features, such as automatically adjusting pressure and ramping, software to track user hours for your insurance plan, and more ergonomic designs.
  • More sanitary: When you buy new, you can be sure the machine arrives clean.
  • Warranty coverage: New CPAP devices usually come with longer warranties and ongoing customer support, so you’re covered in the event of equipment failure. In the event of a recall, it’s also easier for the manufacturer to contact you if you bought from an authorized seller.
  • Easier to find replacement parts: Compatible parts for older CPAP models may be expensive or difficult to find.

Where Can You Get a Used or Refurbished CPAP Machine?

Authorized resellers online and in physical stores sell CPAP machines that have been professionally refurbished for use by a new owner. Buying online offers more choices and often better prices, but buying from a brick-and-mortar store allows you to inspect the device before purchasing. Certain programs also connect people in need with gently used CPAP equipment.

You may come across advertisements for second-hand CPAP machines on third-party sites like Craigslist, but you shouldn’t buy a used CPAP machine through these channels. Class II devices, including CPAP machines, must meet a set of stringent health and safety criteria set by the Food and Drug Administration, and purchasing from an authorized provider helps ensure that your used machine meets these criteria.

Do You Need a Prescription to Buy a Used CPAP Machine?

Just as you would when purchasing a new device, you need a prescription to be able to purchase a used CPAP machine. CPAP devices are sold with the understanding that people are working together with their doctors to set up and learn to use the machine, a necessary step to ensure therapy is as comfortable and effective as possible.

Never buy a CPAP device from a seller who doesn’t ask you for your prescription.

Will Insurance Cover a Used or Refurbished CPAP Machine?

Whether or not a used CPAP machine will be covered by insurance will depend on your specific provider and plan. Check your policy details or contact your insurance provider to see if your plan covers refurbished or used equipment. 

Retailers that sell refurbished CPAP machines often don’t partner directly with Medicare or other insurance plans. However, they may provide the codes and paperwork necessary for you to submit a claim for out-of-network reimbursement from your insurance company. You may need to prove that CPAP therapy is helping you and demonstrate regular use to qualify for coverage.

Can You Use an FSA or HSA to Purchase a Used or Refurbished CPAP Machine?

Flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts are designed to cover the cost of health care expenses, including medical equipment. These plans should cover the cost of a used CPAP device from authorized resellers, although it’s important to confirm the necessary process with both your plan provider and the CPAP machine reseller before purchasing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you do with your used CPAP machine?

If it is in good shape, you may be able to donate your used CPAP machine and receive a tax deduction. CPAP machines can also go to local recycling facilities or be sold to a licensed provider so they can refurbish it and give it a second life.

Is it legal to sell a used CPAP machine?

Legally, you can only sell a used CPAP machine to an authorized reseller. Since CPAP machines are classified as a class II medical device, it’s illegal to sell them to an end user without a prescription.

About The Author

Garen Glazier

Staff Writer, Product Testing Team

Garen is a health and lifestyle content creator. She realized the importance of sleep when her children made getting a good night’s rest more challenging. Garen is always learning something new about the wide world of sleep and sleep products. Married with two girls, ages 7 and 11, she is a book nerd and a lover of pop music, travel, and the Pacific Northwest.

  • POSITION: Side Sleeper
  • TEMPERATURE: Neutral Sleeper

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