CPAP machines can do a lot of good for people who have breathing issues while sleeping. Not only does it help the individual, but it helps to eliminate snoring so that others can rest in peace as well.
The unfortunate truth is that too many CPAP machines eliminate snoring, but produce a somewhat annoying sound of their own. When that happens, there aren’t a ton of benefits for those sharing the same bed as a CPAP machine user. It is simply exchanging one annoying sound for another.
What can be done about a noisy CPAP machine? Let’s take a look at how things work, and if there are ways to make them operate a little more quietly.
How Loud Are CPAP Machines?
The average CPAP machine tends to be rated right around 30 decibels. That means that they operate fairly quietly, and should be white noise for the most part. Very light sleepers might have a bit of an issue, but everyone else should be fine. Remember, these measurements are taken close to the machine, not hidden in some way like a lot of users treat them.
The decibels are significantly lower than snoring, which can sometimes go up towards 80 or 90 decibels. CPAP machines were originally designed to make sure that people breathe properly when sleeping, and it just so happens to also help with snoring. Even if snoring is not eliminated, it is silenced a bit.
Of course, not all machines are created equally. Some CPAP machines sound very loud in the beginning, and then they tone down a bit. Others get louder as they are used more and more, and that might be due to a machine starting to show its age.
Another thing to keep in mind is the pitch of the sound of a CPAP machine. Even if two devices have the same decibel rating, the pitch of the sound might make the two sounds vastly different. Some people have a hard time handling high-pitched sounds, while others aren’t affected by it nearly as much.
Whenever a new CPAP machine is purchased, it takes a while to get used to the unique sound. No device should be judged on the very first day because there will always be an adjustment period. If the noise continues to be a problem weeks after the initial purchase, that is when the issue should be explored a bit more. (source)
Ways to Make a CPAP Machine Quieter?
There is no definitive answer when trying to control how much noise a typical CPAP machine makes. That is because every sound is caused by something different. The most important thing to do is troubleshoot where the sound is coming from, and then take the best solution that could address that situation.
1. Regular Filter Replacements
Never fall behind in replacing the filter on a CPAP machine. There is a reason why they only last for a set amount of time. If a person is using a CPAP machine every single night, the filter is going to start collecting dust and dirt in a hurry. A dirty CPAP filter can also be very hazardous to your health. (source)
Not only does replacing the filter help reduce noise levels right away, but it can keep the machine running smoothly as well. A filter that needs replacing desperately could make the machine a bit noisier as it tries to overcompensate.
The good news is that this is a pretty easy fix, as long as the person just stays on top of things. Buying a new filter and replacing it on a regular basis is pretty inexpensive. Considering the fact that it should benefit a person’s life overall, it seems like a no-brainer.
2. Placing the CPAP Machine in a Strategic Area
There is at least a little bit of wiggle room when it comes to CPAP placement. Most people try to place their machine away from their ears to make sure that they do not hear any of the noise. Placing it below a bed is perfect in many cases, because it is not on the level of the ear, and there is a barrier to kill some of the sounds.
If the hose won’t be able to reach, invest in a longer one for even more freedom. Getting a longer CPAP hose is usually pretty inexpensive, and it will definitely provide a huge benefit in the end. The only drawback to a longer hose is that there is an increased chance of condensation of the humidified air building up.
This phenomenon is known as going through a rain out, and it actually is pretty risky if a person is not careful. That is why some people stay away from longer hoses, but as long as the set up is solid, a person is putting themselves at minimal risk.
3. Invest in a CPAP Muffler
A few companies produce CPAP mufflers that are beneficial for people who just can’t take the sound that the machine makes. It works the same way as a muffler on a vehicle, as the goal is to dampen sound instantly.
These mufflers actually work very well, and they are relatively inexpensive. It might be the perfect solution for people who have tried other options, and nothing seems to work.
Maybe it seems like a bit overkill for some, but a muffler can prove to be pretty beneficial. It does make the machine a bit bulkier, so do keep that in mind if it is usually placed in a fairly tight spot. A new space might need to be found if that is the case.
4. Place Something Soft Underneath the CPAP Machine
If a CPAP machine is placed on a hard surface, it could be the vibrations causing a lot of issues. All it takes is putting it on a softer surface to cut those out right away. People have been doing this for noisy machines for years, and it works perfectly well with a CPAP machine.
Most CPAP machines are pretty durable, so no one has to worry about them being in a vulnerable position. Since that is the case, just make sure it is on something soft, and let it do its work without any issues.
5. Switch to a Different Mask
The machine itself makes some noise, but a lot of the noise comes from the mask. Maybe a mask is just noisy overall, or perhaps it needs replacing after quite a bit of use.
Whatever the case is, try looking for a mask that is billed as quiet overall. It is going to allow people to enjoy their night a bit more, which is all that many people are looking for in the first place.
If a person really just wants to use the mask they have because it fits perfectly, try to see what exactly is causing the sound issues. Maybe there is something loose, or there is a slight hole in the machine. Get it fixed if it needs to be fixed, because it could be hurting performance.
Shop for a Brand New CPAP Machine
This is the most expensive move to make, but if a person is in the market for a brand new CPAP machine, this might be the way to go. Technology is always improving with these machines, so they are getting quieter and quieter. There are some that focus a lot on making the quietest option out there, so that is another reason why so many people are drawn to them.
This is not the most extensive list in the world, but it is a good starting point for people who are looking for something that is reasonably quiet overall. They are all pretty affordably priced as well and have great all-around reviews. It does not make much sense to buy a CPAP machine that is quiet but doesn’t perform at a very high-level.
ResMed AirSense 10
Many reviewers see this as one of the most popular CPAP machines on the market right now. It just so happens that it comes in with a very high rating for keeping the sound down, averaging around 25 decibels when in use.
The sound, or lack there of, its just the tip of the iceberg for why people are gravitating towards the machine. Features such as automatic pressure adjustments, an outstanding, efficient humidifier, advanced data options to keep users safe, and more make this a very solid solution.
Many are turning to the CPAP machine to use for the very first time, and it is built to last for years and years. It obviously takes some regular maintenance, but other than that, things are good to go.
DreamStation Auto CPAP machine by Phillips Respironics
The sleek, modern design of the DreamStation Auto CPAP machine by Phillips Respironics is just part of the reason why people are gravitating towards the device. As one might expect, it is billed for people who want all the latest features, and they all work well to monitor a person’s health.
The machine comes in as one of the quietest on the market today. It might be only a decibel or two lower than some of the other options on this list, but it really does become something that is hard to hear operate at all.
The beauty of the Dreamstation is that is truly built for both the user, and the bed partner. Both people can get a much quieter sleep, and a healthier sleep as well. The controls are simple, the technology and data are great, and people feel safe using this machine all the time.
It runs a little expensive, but people are paying for all the features it includes. They also have a robust warranty that covers the machine for years to come. After upgrading to this option, a person won’t have to buy another CPAP machine for a while.
Transcend auto mini CPAP machine
Some people like to pack lightly when they are using a CPAP machine. One of the best ways to keep things pretty light overall is to go with a travel-friendly option. The Transcend auto mini CPAP machine is exactly that, fitting in a small bag to go anywhere.
One might think that a smaller CPAP machine would have to make a few sacrifices, but noise certainly is not one of them. It’s very quiet when in operation, allowing people to enjoy their sleep.
It doesn’t have quite as many features to make people gravitate toward it as their number one machine they use every single day, but it is a good secondary option for people who want to keep things light.
It’s a common complaint that a lot of CPAP machines are bulky to travel with, and it is one of the reasons why people might go without them went on the road. This ensures that there is never that opportunity to make that move.
It is unhealthy to go without a CPAP machine when it is recommended by medical professionals, so taking that excuse away is essential.
Why It’s Important to Deal With a Noisy CPAP Machine
There is no doubt that part of the reason why people invest in a CPAP machine is to have a quieter night in general. If it becomes too noisy, one of the major benefits goes away instantly. Do not be afraid to try a few different options before going with something that might be a little more permanent.
Manufacturers understand that a noisy CPAP machine is just not going to sell. Just make sure that the noise is not being caused by something that can easily be changed out without much of an effort. Sometimes, people overlook some of the more obvious things, and a simple change can make a huge difference.
Remember that this machine is put directly on the face for hours each day. Keep it clean, and it will last a long time. Do not neglect regular maintenance, because it could be a big reason why it becomes noisier than anyone wants.