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How To Make A Quieter CPAP Mask And Machine

Picture this. You’re all ready for bed in fresh pajamas and clean sheets fresh from the dryer. Your bedroom is the perfect temperature, not too cold or too hot with the perfect amount of darkness for sleep. But once you lay down to relax and close your eyes, all you can hear is one annoying sound that keeps you awake! What is the noise is from your CPAP? What do you do if the noises made while inhaling, exhaling, or the whirring of air is too loud? Well, you can take the steps to create a quiet CPAP mask and device.

Quiet CPAP Masks And Machines

It’s important to note that your CPAP device will make a little bit of noise. It won't be completely silent. As air continuously cycles through your machine it should sound like a soft fan. Most CPAP manufacturers list their decibel (dB) ratings for each device and the average CPAP noise is rated at 30dB, which is about as loud as a whisper. They should not keep you awake. If you’re being kept awake your mask or machine may need a little adjusting.

Decible Examples:
  • 30 dB - A whisper
  • 40 dB - A quiet library
  • 50 dB - Moderate rainfall
  • 70 dB - Traffic or a vacuum cleaner
  • 80 dB - An alarm clock

My CPAP Mask is Loud

If your CPAP mask is loud while inhaling or exhaling air there are a number of things you can do to make it quieter. Just keep in mind that the port on the front of your mask is designed to release carbon dioxide, so it will be continuously released while you sleep.

Adjust Your CPAP Mask

Often times loud CPAP masks are due to having the incorrect fit. If your mask too loose or too tight it may loudly leak air. Remember that your mask should be snug, but not too tight. It should cradle your facial features but not cause any pain or pressure.

After adjusting the fit, if your mask is still leaking, then you might have the wrong size. Consider switching cushion sizes or headgear for a better fit or a different style.

Change CPAP Mask Types

You may have the wrong type of mask for your pressure settings. For example, if you have a high CPAP pressure setting it’s best to use a full face mask to disperse the air across your nose and mouth.

If you have a nasal CPAP mask, but you’re a mouth breather you may snore or exhale loudly, disturbing your partner.

However, nasal and nasal pillow CPAP masks are beneficial because they take up less space. Because the full face mask creates a bigger seal, it has a higher potential to leak.

Change Your CPAP Cushion

Change your CPAP cushion for a quieter CPAP mask

As you continue using your CPAP mask night after night for better sleep, your cushion goes through a lot. It comes into contact with oil from your skin, bacteria, dead skin cells, and more, that actually break down the mask materials over time.

As the cushion breaks down it can crack and lead to leaks, so if your CPAP mask suddenly begins making a noise that it didn’t make before it could mean that it’s time to change your cushion. It should be regularly replaced as well as your other CPAP supplies according to their replacement schedule to ensure optimal performance.

Clean Your CPAP Mask

As air cycles through your CPAP and you breathe into it, debris starts to collect. Dead skin cells, bacteria, allergens, moisture, and more can build-up. Remove this gunk by regularly cleaning your CPAP mask and supplies to help them last longer.

Some CPAP Masks Are Quieter Than The Others

Don’t settle for a noisy CPAP mask when a variety of new options specifically designed for user comfort to try! Take a look at the best CPAP masks to quietly enhance your sleep apnea treatment.

The ResMed AirFit F30 Full Face Mask - The AirFit F30 has a lightweight, minimal design to provide freedom and comfort during the night with a soft seal to prevent pressure and red marks. This mask uses a QuietAir elbow to quietly disperse air for peaceful sleep without disturbing your partner.

Respironics DreamWisp Nasal Mask

The Respironics DreamWear Nasal Mask -  The DreamWear has an innovative design that places the tubing connector at the top of the frame instead of on the nasal bridge, so incoming air is placed further away from your ears. As you exhale, carbon dioxide is quietly vented out of the mask with less pressure against incoming airflow.

The Fisher & Paykel Simplus Full Face Mask - The Simplus has a lightweight and flexible design that allows the mask to move with you during the night without having to worry about leaks. Plus, the mask has a built-in diffuser so air is quietly dispersed without keeping you up all night.

The ResMed AirFit F30i Full Face CPAP Mask features a top-of-head tube connection so you have the freedom to move about while still getting a reliable seal. This keeps your tubing out of your face, and allows you to comfortably and easily switch sleep positions during the night. That makes the F30i a popular choice for active sleepers. A hollow frame design keeps the mask light and comfortable, while allowing the airflow to pass freely to your mask cushion from the top of the head. If one side of the air tube becomes blocked, the air simply redirects through the other side of the frame!

My CPAP Machine is Loud

If your CPAP is whistling or sounds louder than a whisper then you may have to pinpoint the exact source of the noise by checking on the individual components.

Replace Your CPAP

It’s recommended to replace your CPAP machine every five years for effective treatment. This is because CPAPs experience a lot of wear and tear over time. If you hear any grinding or loud whirring parts, it might be time to upgrade to a new device.

If you hear whistling feel the main body of your machine to detect any cracks leading to air leaks. A loud consistent hissing noise could also indicate that your machine has a crack.

Move Your CPAP

Make your CPAP quieter by moving it

You might not be able to sleep when your CPAP is right next to your head on the nightstand. So, you can move your it a little further away. Just be sure to avoid placing your machine on carpet or it could loudly clog the vents.

If your machine vibrates or rumbles, you can place it on a soft surface such as a towel or foam pad to reduce the noise. Just make sure that the vents aren’t blocked.

There are CPAP hoses in varying lengths to allow you to position your machine in the best possible spot. Do not use a hose longer than 12 ft or your CPAP won’t be able to provide effective pressure.

Check Your CPAP Hose

Maybe you have a quiet CPAP machine. Have you checked your hose for whistling or hissing sounds? Make sure that the hose is correctly attached to your mask and machine. Then run your hands along the entire CPAP hose to check for any leaks.

Before bed straighten out your CPAP hose to make sure there are no kinks and bends that could cause pressure to build up. Also, if the air is too loud as it passes through the hose you can muffle the sound with a hose cover.

Change Your Filters

Your CPAP filters help catch dust, allergens, and debris to lower the chance of inhaling pathogens. But they need to be changed and cleaned regularly to operate at peak performance. Otherwise, they can become clogged and your CPAP will have to work harder and louder to cycle air.

Check Your Humidifier

If you have a CPAP with humidifier then your machine does a little bit more work by adding moisture to cycling air, especially if it’s heated. If the water level in the reservoir gets low you may start to hear burps and gurgling. Also, make sure the lid is secure.

Only use distilled water in your CPAP humidifier. Unfiltered water contains minerals that can build up in the reservoir and the machine, causing it to work harder and louder.

Get A Quiet CPAP Machine

When browsing for a new device remember to look up CPAP reviews to consider which option is best. Actual sleep apnea patients will let you know if the device is loud, silent, easy to use, cheap, great for compliance, and much more.

ResMed AirSense 11 AutoSet CPAP Machine

The ResMed Airsense 11 APAP, like its predecessor the Airsense 10 Autoset, produces very little CPAP noise, clocking in at just under 27 dba when used with humidification, and 25 dba with the side panel in place instead of the humidifier.

Luna G3 Auto CPAP Machine with Heated Humidifier

Winning the value category in our 2023 best cpap machines list, the Luna G3 APAP boasts not only quiet operation at just 26 dba, but an impressive set of comfort features.