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How to Buy a CPAP Machine


Written by Afy Okoye

Reviewed by Dr. Michael Breus

Our Editorial Process

Table of Contents

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is the best available treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, with proven benefits to health and quality of life. Learn the five simple steps to starting your CPAP treatment.

Receive a Diagnosis

CPAP is specifically designed for sleep-related breathing disorders like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), so it’s important to see a doctor and rule out other causes of your symptoms to make sure CPAP is the right treatment for you. During your first doctor visit, the provider will ask about your symptoms and history. 

Common signs of OSA include:

  • Snoring
  • Choking, gasping, or snorting during sleep
  • Morning headaches
  • Feeling sleepy during the day
  • Fatigue or tiredness

An OSA diagnosis also generally requires an overnight sleep study in a sleep clinic, though some people receive one after taking an at-home sleep test. In either case, you’ll be monitored with a variety of sensors while asleep, and a doctor will review the results to determine if you have obstructive sleep apnea.

Get a Prescription

After diagnosis, your doctor or sleep specialist may provide a prescription for a CPAP device. A prescription is required for purchasing any CPAP machine regardless of where you buy it. Discuss with your doctor any specific recommendations for the type of machine best suited to your needs. Your doctor can also recommend alternative treatment options.

Determine Your Insurance Coverage

Many private insurance companies cover CPAP. Be sure to review your policy details or call your insurance provider to learn about any restrictions or limits on CPAP coverage. With this information in hand, you can enter the buying process understanding exactly how much of the cost you’ll be responsible for. There are also out-of-pocket options for purchasing a CPAP machine without insurance. 

Medicare may cover CPAP for a three-month trial period. After that, coverage may continue if you meet certain criteria. Medicare and some other insurance providers may require documentation of your continued CPAP usage to extend their coverage.

Find a Retailer

You can buy CPAP machines in a variety of places. Your doctor’s office or sleep clinic may have a small selection for sale, but you can also find a wide range of options at online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores. 

While buying from your doctor allows you to work directly with your health care team, you may find better prices online. Traditional CPAP machines that operate at a single pressure level can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000, but other types of machines with more advanced features may cost up to $3,000.

Consider Accessories

In addition to the machine itself, you’ll need to purchase a mask for your CPAP therapy. 

  • Mask: There are many types of masks and it’s common to try several options before choosing the most comfortable fit for you. The most common masks cover your nose or both your nose and mouth. A chin strap may also be helpful to help you breathe through your nose if you are using a nasal mask.
  • Tubing: Your machine will come with a flexible hose connecting the CPAP machine to your mask, supplying airflow while you sleep. The tubing may be heated or unheated. Heated tubing can help reduce water buildup for systems with a built-in humidifier. 
  • Filters: A filter cleans the air before it enters your lungs. Some CPAP machines require disposable filters while others use reusable ones. Either way, you will need to purchase replacement filters as often as recommended by your machine’s manufacturer. 

You can buy these supplies at many of the same retailers and clinics that sell CPAP machines. Remember that CPAP takes time to get used to, so don’t get discouraged if you’re having trouble sleeping at first. If CPAP isn’t working for you, speak to your doctor to see if there are modifications that can be made to the machine or accessories to better suit your needs.

About The Author

Afy Okoye

Staff Writer, Sleep Health

Afy is a writer and creative strategist in San Francisco with a master’s degree in international health policy from the London School of Economics. She has written for VeryWell Health,, and Paste magazine and edited peer-reviewed journal manuscripts for Elsevier. Afy says her work with The Sleep Doctor is anything but “sleepy.” She enjoys the opportunity to learn new information and share knowledge that gives people the power to make better choices. Afy also likes to read non-fiction, do creative writing, and travel solo.

  • POSITION: Side Sleeper
  • TEMPERATURE: Hot Sleeper

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