Who Actually Needs a CPAP Cleaner? (Plus, the Best CPAP Cleaners of 2022)

If you’ve owned a CPAP machine longer than a day, you’ve probably wished for a quicker and easier way to clean your supplies and accessories. CPAP cleaning machines promise to do that for you with the simple push of a button, but do these sanitizing machines 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 CPAP cleaner is right for you, read on to explore the best CPAP cleaners available in 2022!

Do I Need a CPAP Cleaner?

Do you really need a CPAP sanitizer? Brace yourselves, the answer may shock you: No. You don’t actually need to buy a CPAP cleaner. You DO need to clean your CPAP machine regularly, though, or it will become a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, mildew, and other nasty pathogens. However, frequent cleanings with warm, soapy water are generally enough to prevent the buildup of germs.

So why do people buy CPAP cleaning machines? Because 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. And while a CPAP cleaning device won’t fully replace regular hand-washing (neither ozone gas nor UV light will remove skin oils, sweat, makeup, or dead skin cells) they can be a fast and convenient way to keep your CPAP supplies germ-free between cleanings.

 So while we don’t recommend skipping 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.

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 alongside manufacturers to test the effectiveness of these devices, but meanwhile, independent laboratory testing has shown that both UV and ozone are around 99.99% effective at eliminating 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 works by oxidizing germs and microbes, destroying them 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 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 in.
  • 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 their sealed compartments.

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 2022

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 New CPAP Sanitizer - Paptizer by Liviliti

The 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 LED technology means there are no mercury bulbs, and the lights come with a 10,000 hour lifespan.

Highlights

  • Largest internal capacity
  • Eliminates 99.99% of germs in 3 minutes
  • 2 year warranty
  • Disinfects anything that fits inside

Best Integrated Ozone CPAP Sanitizer - SoClean 2

The SoClean 2 is the most popular CPAP cleaner hands down, because it integrates with your CPAP or BiPAP machine. That means that you connect it once, and then leave it connected to your CPAP device! It’s also completely automated, so you can set it to sanitize in the morning, and your CPAP supplies will be fresh and ready by the time you go to sleep. 

Highlights

  • Sanitize your CPAP machine and supplies without taking your equipment apart
  • Completely automated
  • 2 year warranty

Buy the SoClean 2 CPAP Sanitizer

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! 

Highlights

  • 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

Buy the Lumin CPAP Sanitizer

Best Portable CPAP Sanitizer - Clean-Z by Motif

The Clean-Z is one of the safest, most effective, and most affordable ozone sanitizing solutions, all in a compact and portable design! The Clean-Z doesn’t connect directly to your CPAP machine, so there’s no worries about your ResMed or Philips Respironics warranty. Simply place your CPAP mask and other supplies and accessories in the provided sanitizer bag, and press the button. The Clean-Z powers itself, while the cartridge filter uses activated charcoal to turn the ozone back into natural oxygen. 

Highlights

  • Ultra-portable and weighs less than 5 ounces
  • Costs a fraction of the price of other ozone CPAP cleaners
  • Self-powered, so it doesn’t rely on your CPAP for cleaning CPAP equipment
  • Whisper quiet operation

Buy the Clean-Z Sanitizer

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