The Benefits and Drawbacks of Using a Travel CPAP Machine for Sleep Apnoea

Travel-sized versions of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices are widespread for sleep apnoea treatment. The ResMed AirMini, Somnetics Transcend, and others are among these devices. What are the advantages and disadvantages of utilising travel CPAPs? Consider some possible benefits, and if the expense is justified for a gadget, you can use it more readily when travelling, including camping with an integrated battery.

What Size Is the Travel CPAP?

When contemplating portable CPAP equipment, the first thing that comes to mind is, “How large is it?” Fortunately, for the people who use a travel CPAP machine will see that the smaller size makes a significant difference. Many are the size of a clock or a smartphone. Here are some of the features of popular models.

  • The AirMini: is the most miniature model, at 5.4 inches long, 3.3 inches wide, and 2.1 inches tall. It weighs 10.6 oz.
  • DreamStation Portable: 5.9 inches long, 5.9 inches wide, and 2.3 inches tall. The extra battery adds 4.8 inches to the overall length. Without the battery, it weighs 1.88 pounds and 3.41 pounds with it.
  • Transcend: The dimensions are 6.1 inches long, 3.5 inches wide, and 2.8 inches tall. It weighs 16 oz (1 pound).
  • Z1: measures 6.5 inches long, 3.3 inches wide, and 2.0 inches tall. It is the lightest model, weighing just 10 ounces.

The Benefits of Using a Travel CPAP

Some advantages of travel CPAP machines may make them an appealing alternative for usage while away from home. Many have comparable design characteristics that are reminiscent of typical models. There have also been some positive developments:

  • They are silent. Newer technology has produced gadgets that make almost no noise. This is a significant improvement over previous versions and is shared by competitive manufacturers.
  • Slimline tubing is fashionable. Some devices include slimline tubing that is smaller than conventional travel CPAP machine tubing. It makes packing simpler. It may also increase performance and ease of movement while sleeping. It impacts the flow dynamics (smaller tubes increase airspeed and influence pressure). Thus, there is a programmed adjustment to account for this.
  • Some versions provide a variety of mask choices. You may use a prefered mask with regular tubing connections. Due to the humidifier design, the AirMini can only use a limited number of masks (particularly versions of the AirFit series). You can use any mask with the tubing used by the other devices. If you have a favourite cover, this may be the deciding factor.
  • Some versions include integrated monitors that make checking settings and consumption statistics simple. Though it affects the size, the visual display on specific devices removes the need for a smartphone app. This makes it easy for the durable equipment supplier, physician, and user to make modifications. It is often touch-responsive.
  • Get a battery and have it with you at all times. The majority of versions are built with an inbuilt battery. It may be taken on board without limitation.

The Drawbacks of Travel CPAP Machine

There are various reasons why you may want to avoid purchasing a travel CPAP. These might vary from minor annoyances to substantial disadvantages that may lead you to seek alternatives.

  • Pressures may not always be practical. The pressure variation and algorithm reactivity may indicate that the gadget may not perform as well as it should. To succeed, this may need a narrower range and even greater pressures. Consequently, you may need to pay more attention in the beginning. Setting adjustments will require the consultation of your sleep physician.
  • There may not be a humidifier. This may not be an issue for customers who have ceased utilising the extra water. This might be a deal-breaker for people who suffer from nosebleeds or chronic dry mouth. If the nasal saline spray cannot compensate, the dryness may jeopardise the treatment. There’s a reason these gadgets eventually included humidifiers in all conventional versions; their absence is a concern.
  • The responsiveness of the buttons is not guaranteed. Some models’ controls seem challenging to press at points and are imperfectly responsive. The toolbar may seem clumsy in specific models, particularly when compared to more streamlined systems.
  • The price—frequently between $500 and $900—might be a deterrent. There are various options available, ranging from high-end models to the low-cost (frankly unimpressive) lower end of the market. The convenience comes at a price, as it is more costly than many basic travel CPAP machine models. Insurance usually only covers new CPAP equipment every five years. Thus, the majority of this cost will be borne by the patient.
  • The device’s size, albeit lowered from the standard edition, may be too big to be an appealing travel alternative. Total weight may become an issue when the battery is attached. Some travel gadgets lose their allure because of the one quality that should make them stand out: mobility.