The Best Travel CPAP for 2021 (and How to Choose)

Got a vacation coming up? Traveling to meet a client? You might be looking forward to a few days off, but sleep apnea doesn’t take holidays.

If you have OSA, traveling may feel like a no-win situation: Nobody wants to lug a bulky, heavy CPAP machine around in their suitcase. But if you don't pack your CPAP you'll feel tired and fatigued for the whole trip. 

That’s why you need to invest in a travel CPAP! Don't let the size of these lightweight, portable CPAP machines fool you. Their quiet operation and overnight battery still allow the same pressure power and features as their larger siblings!

We've put together a list of the best travel CPAP machines so when you're on the road you can put sleep apnea to bed!

The Best Portable CPAPs

Lightest Travel CPAP
Smallest Travel CPAP
Easiest Travel CPAP
Best Travel CPAP for Camping

Features to Look For In a Travel CPAP
Tips for Traveling with a CPAP

The Lightest Travel CPAP: Z2 Auto CPAP Machine

One of the lightest CPAPs on the market, the Z2 travel CPAP weighs only 10 ounces and fits in the palm of your hand!

Despite it's light weight and small size, the Z2 Travel CPAP is packed with features.  One of the coolest? HME waterless humidification uses the moisture in your own breath to soften the air! The Z2's auto-adjusting pressure uses an algorithm to keep you comfortable. And the Qtube muffler reduces sound for a quiet sleep.

  • Battery Life: 9 hrs*
  • Noise Level: 26 dB
  • Weight: 0.64 lbs
  • Humidifier: HME Waterless Humidifier
  • Warranty: 3 year limited manufacturer's

Other cool features:

  • Bluetooth connectivity pairs with the Nitelog mobile app so you or your doctor can review your sleep data.
  • Doesn't require a special mask, so you can use what you're already comfortable with!
  • The optional PowerShell with extended life battery promises to double the life of the integrated overnight battery, even at the highest settings

The Smallest Travel CPAP: ResMed AirMini

This mini cpap is perfect if your main goal is portability. The ResMed AirMini is one of the world's smallest CPAPs, and even though it weighs less than a pound it still includes many of ResMed's most popular features. Comfort settings like AutoSet, SmartStart, and AutoRamp can all be controlled from your smartphone with the AirMini app. This free, downloadable app also tells you how well you slept with a daily sleep score and 30-day history!

The ResMed AirMini does require you to use a compatible mask, but CPAP users can choose from a nasal mask, nasal pillow, or full face mask.

  • Battery Life: 13hrs (Sold separately)
  • Noise Level: 30 dB
  • Weight: 0.66 lb
  • Humidifier: HumidX Waterless Humidifier
  • Warranty: 2 year limited manufacturer's

Other cool features:

  • Expiratory Pressure Relief (EPR) lowers the pressure when you exhale for a more comfortable experience
  • Can be set to fixed-pressure CPAP or APAP

The Easiest Travel CPAP: Philips Respironics DreamStation Go

With fewer components, touchscreen controls, and click-connect tubing the DreamStation Go is the simplest CPAP device on our list. The USB charging port and micro-flexible tubing make this the perfect CPAP for tossing in your luggage.

The DreamStation Go is also compatible with the DreamMapper app so you can track your sleep therapy at home and on-the-go!

  • Battery Life: 13hrs (Sold separately)
  • Noise Level: 30.7 dB
  • Weight: 1.86 lb
  • Humidifier: Heated humidifier sold separately
  • Warranty: 2 year limited manufacturer's

Other cool features:

  • The ONLY travel CPAP with a USB charging port
  • Micro-flex tubing is 58% smaller than standard 22mm tubing, so it takes up much less space!

The Best Camping Travel CPAP: Somnetics Transcend 3 miniCPAP Auto

The Transcend 3 miniCPAP has a grippy silicone base and swivel nozzle that make it the most rugged and flexible travel machine on our list.

Weighing under a pound, and about the size of a soda can, this mini CPAP is easy to just throw in your bag, or use the included padded carrying case. In addition to the battery pack, the Transcend 3 also boasts an optional solar charger or DC power supply– so it's an awesome option for campers!

  • Battery Life: 7-14 hrs (Batteries sold separately)
  • Noise Level: 26 dB
  • Weight: 0.94 lb
  • Humidifier: None
  • Warranty: 3 year limited manufacturer's

Other cool features:

  • Compatible with ANY CPAP mask or tube that uses standard 22mm connection
  • Drying mode to help prevent mold and mildew growing on your mask and tube

What Features To Look For In a Travel CPAP

Obviously, the choice depends on your travel needs, so think about how and where you'll be using your mini CPAP machine.  If you'll be camping you may need a CPAP that can use an alternate power supply, such as a solar charger or a cigarette lighter. If you're going to be flying you may prefer a smaller machine, or one that comes with a travel bag.

Here are some of the criteria we used in picking our recommendations:

Weight: If the CPAP will be in your luggage and only carried for short periods of time it can be a little heavier. But if you’re back packing or carrying your CPAP for longer periods, you may want to go as light as possible. All of the machines on our list are under 2 pounds.

Battery Life: How long will you be away from a source of electricity? Do you need your CPAP to last for about 8 hours on a single charge or for multiple days at a time?

Power Options: All of our portable CPAPs are able to run off of batteries, but what about charging? Will you need an adaptor to use your CPAP in a foreign country? Will you need a non-standard alternative like a USB port or cigarette lighter?

Data Tracking: Some patients may need to show CPAP compliance for insurance or medical reasons. Others may just want to see how well they're sleeping! All of our recommended travel CPAPs have a method of recording your sleep data, whether on an SD card or via Bluetooth and a phone app.

Humidfier:Can you sleep without heated, humid air? Do you need a humidifier to prevent nasal irritation? Not all mini CPAPs are compatible with humidifier attachments.

Pressure Range:Make sure the CPAP you’re considering can be adjusted to your pressure settings. Higher pressure settings tend to range between 20 to 30 CWP.

Noise Level:Check out the decibel (dB) rating before buying your CPAP. 30 dB is about the sound of a whisper and may sound like a soft fan.

Auto Altitude Adjustment: All of our travel CPAP recommendations are FAA approved, but altitude can affect pressure settings. Choosing a travel CPAP machine with auto-altitude adjustment can be a life-saver for flyers or travelers to high-altitude destinations.

Can I Use a Mini CPAP for Everyday CPAP Therapy?

Many times insurance companies won't cover a second CPAP machine, so frugal travelers may wonder if they can use a travel CPAP as their primary machine. Although mini CPAPs offer many of the same features, travel machines are not typically recommended for daily therapy (outside of traveling), as they are not built for long-term use.

Patients that need higher pressures may notice a difference in the “feel” of the machine. The pressures may differ from their home CPAP, especially when using battery power.

Tips For Traveling With a CPAP

Be sure to pack these important CPAP supplies before your trip. Make a list of everything you need, then check it twice!

  • Bring a Battery: Even if you plan to plug it in, it’s important to bring your CPAP battery in case you find yourself somewhere with limited power sources. A backup battery is also good to have.
  • Pack a Back-Up Mask: Trust us, you want a second mask in case something happens to the first one. This way in the event of an emergency you won’t have to take a break from relaxing to hunt one down.
  • Don't Forget Cleaning Supplies: Don’t let a dirty mask hamper your trip. Bring your CPAP wipes or cleaning spray to keep it nice and fresh.
  • Bring an Adapter: You never know how you’ll need to power your mini CPAP machine. In the car, RV, spaceship, and more. Check ahead of time to see if you'll need international adapters, DC power supply, or even a solar charger.
  • Make a list: Make a list of all of the CPAP supplies you’ll need on your trip and tuck it in your travel case. That will help to make sure you don't leave anything behind!
  • Keep your CPAP close: Put your travel CPAP in your carry on bag so if you run into luggage problems, you won't have to skip a night of sleep. 
  • Empty the humidifier: Empty out your CPAP humidifier and dry the reservoir before you pack it so water won’t spill or leak in your bag.

Sweet Dreams on Vacation

Don’t let sleep apnea ruin your good time, or worry about lugging around a large CPAP machine. Invest in a travel CPAP to get the rest you deserve!

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