Do CPAP Machines Make a Lot of Noise?



Today’s modern CPAP appliances make minimal noise, but they still deliver a certain level of noise. Many patients are extremely disturbed even by the lowest noise levels, but often times they might be disturbed because of the vent noise caused by their mask. When you purchase anew CPAP, the manufacturer displays the sound levels of the machine. You should carefully check out this section, and ensure you understand these noise levels.

Most top quality CPAP machines do not have such noise levels as to wake up the patient or their bed partner. So what are the main factors that cause sounds when using a CPAP machine? Firstly, there is the motor of the device. The CPAP works similarly to a vacuum cleaner, and therefore the noise levels of a CPAP could be compared to that of a vacuum cleaner.

Next, there is the sound caused by the air traveling through the tube. In the logical sense of the matter, the smaller the tubing, the higher the sound and the faster it will move through the tube the louder the sound. The air pressure is the main component of good quality CPAP treatment. Therefore, lowering the pressure in order to reduce the sound (noise) levels will only compromise the quality of your therapy.

Yet another type of sound is the one created by your natural breathing pattern. As you take a breath, you will basically push against the air that comes from the machine and this in itself will create a sound. It is important to mention that sound and noise are two different issues. The sound coming from the operating of a CPAP machine is a continuous one. Read carefully the specifications on the label and check the different sound levels expressed in Db (Decibels) that the machine has at different pressure levels. The higher the pressure setting, the louder the sound.

The sound of a CPAP is considered “white noise ”which is a soothing and comfortable type of sound that will not disrupt your sleep. In fact, this type of white noise helps many patients fall asleep comfortably and calms them down. The different variations in the main sound of the CPAP are actually caused by your breathing pattern. The “rhythm” of the sound is what makes many people feel extremely comfortable and helps them fall asleep fast and easy.

Such continuous, white noise sounds are quite comfortable to most people. Of course, older model machines were much louder and they created a problem when it came to the noise levels. The modern types of CPAP fans are much quieter, and today’s equipment comes with much better insulation of the motor and other internal parts. Then, there are different kinds of masks and some are louder than others. More sound is created by the types of masks that have very small vent systems so that air passes with more difficulty through those holes. When you purchase a new mask, make sure to ask about the sound levels it creates and the ventilation systems the mask is equipped with.

Poorly fitting masks can also create a certain degree of noise. However, you can fix the mask to fit much better and then the sound will become less disturbing as well. As you can easily note, CPAP noise is a combination of the sound created by the main unit and the sound levels created by the mask when you breathe.

For the majority of the patients, the sound levels do not represent an issue. The great benefits they get from therapy such as getting a good night’s and refreshing sleep outweighs the noise issues caused by the machine.

The quietest CPAP machines on the market

The best CPAP machines out there come with sound levels that do not exceed 30dB. This would translate to whispering or a soft clock ticking sound. In fact there are quite a few CPAP machines out there that operate at sound levels of 26dB, which are even quieter than whispering sounds. Such examples include the DreamStation Pro CPAP machines or the DreamStation Auto CPAP unit.

Then, the DeVillBiss IntelliPAP machine is yet another very quiet machine, operating at only 26dB sound levels. Both Philips and DeVilBiss manufacture automatic units as well, and these are considered some of the quietest ones available on the market. For example, DreamStation Auto operates at merely 25.8dB – much smoother sound even than whispering.

There are plenty of top quality and quiet travel machines available as well. If noise is an issue for you, choosing the AirMini travel CPAPs would help you enjoy a fully restful night of sleep wherever you are. Sound levels of these machines can drop even as low as 25dB, especially when connected to the P10 or N20 CPAP masks. However, when connecting the AirMini travel CPAP to the F20 mask, the noise levels are much higher as reported by some users.