If you’ve owned a CPAP machine longer than a day, you’ve probably wished for a quick, hassle-free way to clean your all your supplies and accessories. CPAP cleaning machines promise to do that for you with the simple push of a button. But do they really work? Will they replace handwashing? And which is better, ozone or UV light?
Today, we’ll answer some of your biggest questions about CPAP cleaners, and who really needs one. Then if you decide a sanitizing machine is right for you, read on to explore the best CPAP cleaners available in 2023!
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Do I Need a CPAP Cleaner?
Do you really need a CPAP sanitizer or cleaning products? Brace yourselves, the answer may shock you: No. You don’t actually need to buy a cleaning device or special CPAP cleaning solution.
You DO need to commit to regularly cleaning your CPAP machine, though, or it will become a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, mildew, and other nasty pathogens. Washing supplies with warm, soapy water is generally enough to prevent the buildup of germs that can get into your airways and cause respiratory infections.
But most people fall short of the recommended cleaning schedule for their CPAP equipment. We get it; cleaning your mask cushion and tubing every day is a pain in the butt. It’s important to note that a CPAP cleaning device won’t fully replace regular hand-washing. This is because neither ozone gas nor UV light will remove skin oils, sweat, makeup, or dead skin cells. But a CPAP sanitizing machine can be a fast and convenient way to keep your supplies germ-free between cleanings.
If you’re one of the millions of CPAP users who don’t clean as often as they should, you might consider getting a CPAP sanitizer to ensure you’re getting effective sleep apnea therapy and better sleep.
Do CPAP Sanitizers Really Work?
Yes! CPAP cleaning machines use the same UV or ozone technology that many hospitals, schools, and restaurants use to disinfect their equipment. The FDA is currently working to test the effectiveness of these devices, but meanwhile, independent laboratory testing has shown that machines that use ozone or UV eliminate 99.99% of germs and potentially harmful microorganisms.
Ozone vs UV Light CPAP Cleaners
Ozone CPAP Cleaners
Ozone is a naturally occurring gas also known as activated oxygen or O3. It destroys germs and microbes from the inside. Ozone CPAP cleaners generate O3, then use an internal fan or your CPAP machine’s own blower to distribute it over your CPAP supplies. When the cleaning cycle is finished, most ozone sanitizers use a fresh air dry cycle and cartridge filters to turn the ozone back into ordinary oxygen.
Ozone CPAP Cleaner Pros
- Ozone gas can get inside the hard-to-reach areas of your CPAP equipment, where ultraviolet light can’t get go.
- You don’t have to disassemble your CPAP mask for it to get cleaned.
- Doesn’t require an additional device for your CPAP hose.
Ozone CPAP Cleaner Cons
- Requires a long wait time after the cleaning cycle. (A sanitizing dose of ozone can be harmful to your health, so it’s important that you follow all instructions and wait for the entire cycle to complete, including any waiting period recommended by the manufacturer.)
- Shouldn’t be used to clean anything but your CPAP supplies and accessories.
- Requires replacement filters and may require an adapter.
UV CPAP Cleaners
Most people have heard about ultraviolet light emitted from the sun. UV cleaners use special lamps or LEDs to emit this same high-energy UVB or UVC light that destroys microorganisms. The light in these devices is self-contained so it only affects what’s inside.
UV CPAP Cleaner Pros
- Disinfects your CPAP supplies in a matter of only minutes.
- Can be used to sanitize other household items, like toothbrushes, dentures, jewelry, etc.
- Doesn’t require replacement parts, like filters or adapters.
- No wait time after the cleaning cycle.
UV CPAP Cleaner Cons
- UV light can only clean what it can touch, and it cannot get inside your CPAP supplies.
- Requires an additional device to clean your CPAP tubing.
- Only cleans what will fit inside the chamber.
The Best CPAP Cleaners of 2023
There are a ton of CPAP sanitizers fighting for your attention these days, and choosing the right one can be confusing. We’ve selected a few of our favorites to highlight, based on which have the best features and functionality, along with a competitive price – so you can get the most bang for your buck.
Best Large Capacity CPAP Sanitizer - Paptizer by LiViliti
The LiViliti Paptizer has the largest capacity of any UV sanitizer currently on the market, so it can easily fit your CPAP mask, tubing, headgear, and humidifier water chamber all at the same time. And it features more LEDs than any other cleaner, so the 5-sided design can provide 360 degrees of sanitation and fully disinfects in only 3 minutes!
The UV-C LED technology means there are no mercury bulbs, and the lights come with a 10,000 hour lifespan.
- Largest internal capacity
- Eliminates 99.99% of germs in 3 minutes
- 2 year warranty
- Disinfects anything that fits inside
Best Portable Ozone CPAP Cleaner: Sleep8 Sanitizing Unit
The compact, travel friendly Sleep8 sanitizing unit and foldable filter bag designed can be easily packed for use on the go. Quickly eliminate 99% of germs, mold, and bacteria in as little as three steps! Avoid the higher risks of becoming sick with a dirty CPAP by instantly cleaning your mask, tubing, machine, and more with the power of activated oxygen.
- Designed with portability in mind.
- One of the quietest CPAP sanitizers on the market.
- Turn on with one click, the device stops automatically.
- Micro USB charging port.
- Cordless and waterless.
Best UV CPAP Sanitizer Combo - Lumin + Lumin Bullet by 3B
Put together, the Lumin CPAP sanitizer and Lumin Bullet (sold separately) are one of the most powerful combinations available. The secret is the Bullet’s unique ability to clean inside your CPAP tubing. While the Lumin will disinfect your mask, headgear, and CPAP accessories, the Lumin Bullet uses magnets and an LED probe to sanitize where other UV cleaners can’t go!
- Lumin sanitizes CPAP supplies in only 5 minutes
- Lumin Bullet sanitizes CPAP hose in as little as 2 minutes
- No need for filters or adapters
- 2 year warranty