Quality sleep is crucial for good health and an energetic day. When we fail to get adequate rest, we may be prone to plenty of fatigue, unproductiveness, and an unfortunate likelihood not to get work done.
For some sleepers, the quality of rest is compromised when conditions are inhibiting continuous sleep. Such conditions include sleep apnea, which affects one’s breathing while asleep and causes disrupted slumber. This can be an even bigger nightmare when you have traveled and do not have access to aids such as nasal masks.
For such people, portable Positive Airway Passage machines such as a BiPAP are recommended. Numerous brands are coming up in the market today that promise comfort and portability. Of course, the BiPAP machine’s best choice boils down to a user’s specific needs and other considerations such as the budget.
Nevertheless, we have compiled a list of our top 7 travel BiPAP machines, how they work, and why they are so great in creating comfort for their users.
Our Top 7 Picks for BiPAP Machines
1. Editor’s Pick: ResMed AirCurve 10 VAuto with Humidifier
The ResMed AirCurve 10 stands out amongst other BiPAP machines. It offers excellent comfort to the user and packs fantastic perks.
With creative innovation, ResMed AirCurve 10 takes rest treatment to another level. Suitable for patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
ResMed AirCurve 10 is light and compact, which makes it portable and will easily fit into any luggage you need to take with you on business or recreational trips.
It features auto-ramp technology where at the onset of the BiPAP therapy, the machine delivers lower air pressure to help a patient fall asleep easier and more smoothly. When the patient is asleep, it automatically goes back to the prescribed air pressure.
The TiControl feature allows a user to set the minimum and maximum time limits on the device’s period during the inhalation process. These time limits are set at the patient’s best voluntary inhalation time, so they enjoy maximum breathing during the therapy.
Climate control technology enables the machine to adapt to the surrounding temperature and humidity conditions. This then allows it to deliver the ideal temperature and humidity to the mask for optimal breathing conditions.
ResMed AirCurve 10 boasts innovative data management that captures useful data on a user’s sleeping patterns. The data is instantly uploaded to a shared storage system and can be accessed by the patient or physician for review.
This device can store data summary of up to 365 days
ResMed AirCurve 10 can differentiate OSA from CSA. It delivers variable pressure to a patient with CSA and fixed pressure to an OSA patient.
- Light, compact and portable
- Automatic pressure adjustment
- Adapts to surrounding temperature and humidity
- Sleep data collection
2. Runner’s Up: Philips Respironics Dreamstation
This device is a masterpiece that is preferred by numerous sleep apnea patients. It is designed to include innovative features such as data storage and Digital Auto-Trak Sensitivity.
The device offers adequate air pressure to give a user smooth, comfortable, and restful sleep. Its mechanism automatically adjusts the pressure to allow a patient to drift into sleep with ease.
The Dreamstation tracks and collects data on sleep patterns and stores it within its storage system. By downloading the Philips Respironics app on your phone and connecting it to the machine’s Bluetooth, you can have direct access to the data and can share it with your physician for review.
Sometimes, the mask will leak or come off during sleep, especially where it does not fit right. Aside from making you uncomfortable, this will get in the way of successful sleep therapy. To overcome this, Philips designed this handy device such that it detects the slightest leakage and adjusts the pressure to manage it.
Best of all, it is light and portable. You’ll hardly notice its weight among your luggage. As an assurance of its quality and for insurance, it comes with a 2-year warranty.
There is no doubt that Philips got it right with this one.
- Automatic pressure adjustment
- Data collection and storage
- Leak-resistant and responsive
- Light and portable
- 2-year warranty
3. Also Great: Devilbiss IntelliPAP Auto BiPAP with Humidifier
This baby is a winner if you seek a restful night without having to fiddle with too many technicalities. The DevilBliss BiPAP machine comes with bi-level technology and auto-adjust technology. The auto-adjust algorithm adjusts pressure automatically to suit the needs of the user.
The ramp technology enables you to set up the machine to provide lower pressure at the onset of the therapy and then adjust back to normal with time. Moreover, it is so quiet that its workings will hardly interrupt your night.
The large LCD screen allows a user to read the information and make the necessary settings easily. Isn’t this great news to those that no longer have to squint?! In addition to the screen, the machine is operated using three large buttons that anyone would be hard-pressed to miss.
It collects and stores data in its software for easy review by the user or doctor.
The machine has a detachable humidifier that provides extra comfort while you sleep.
It is compact and will fit nicely in a sizable luggage compartment. Ideally, it sits perfectly on a bedside table. It comes with a 3-year warranty.
- Automatic pressure adjustment
- Data collection and storage
- Easy to use
- Compact and portable
- Humidifier present
- 3-year warranty
4. Best for Intensive Data Collection: RESmart BiPAP with a humidifier
The ReSmart BiPAP is terrific if you are more of a tech and data enthusiast or you require more intensive data. The cloud-based iCode feature accommodates full data reporting to allow you to make any necessary amendments to your sleep and treatment. It allows you to store or transfer this data to an SD card for further use.
The machine features three tracking systems in place to ensure comfortable and correct therapy treatment throughout your rest.
The eco-heating technique and dual-chamber come in handy for temperature and humidity control to optimal levels. The device also has four sensitivity settings that further aid in keeping you snug with more individualized treatment.
Besides being compact and light, it is aesthetically designed to look like anything but a treatment device. It will easily rest anywhere, even as a decor piece to your bed space. It will fit in your luggage without a fuss.
This device is, without a doubt, a fantastic addition to your sleep therapy if you need close monitoring of progress.
- Intensive data collection for monitoring
- Temperature and humidity control
- Sensitivity settings for comfort
- Compact, light, and portable.
5. Best Value: Respro BiPAP with Humidifier
This BiPAP is your best bet if you are seeking comfortable rest at a great value. Its auto-ramp technology is designed to deliver varied pressure as you drift off, to allow you to fall asleep easier.
It has a good data collection and storage facility with inbuilt internet connectivity that allows the device to link with your phone. This will allow you to review your sleep patterns and adjust them as need be.
The LED screen makes this gadget easy to navigate, even for elderly users or those suffering from sight challenges. The heated humidifier helps to maintain moist air to avoid a dry throat.
The device is so compact; traveling should provide no challenge. As a bonus, the package comes with a carrier bag, making it all the more portable.
- Auto-ramp technology to automatically adjust pressure.
- Data collection and storage
- LED screen for easy navigation
- Heated humidifier
- Compact and portable
6. Best for Long Term Therapy: Respironics BiPAP A40
This BiPAP machine is designed for long term therapy for OSA patients. For patients enduring continuous respiratory challenges, this little device is a welcome relief. Providing 5 hours’ worth of uninterrupted back-up power when needed, it will have you sleep smoothly through the night.
Fitted with the latest data storage innovation such as DirectView and EncorePro software, you and your doctor can track your sleep patterns and make changes for improvement. The user interface is relatively easy to use for a smooth therapy session.
It is small, light, and able to fit on your bed stand or in your luggage without a struggle.
- Ideal for long term therapy
- Uninterrupted power back-up supply
- Data storage innovation
- Small, light, and portable
7. Best Ease of Use: Philips Respironics BiPAP Pro Bi-Flex
This handy gadget is excellent for therapy treatment all around. Its simple design is easy to navigate and will be great for any user.
The machine has effective event detection and can keep track of your sleeping patterns. Data is collected in an SD card, and the device is fitted with a WiFi connection to allow you to review the information quickly.
The heated humidifier provides warm, moist air that will prevent a dry, scratchy throat and add to a user’s overall comfort.
It is small and compact and will be easy to travel with, fitting into any luggage compartment.
- Simple design
- Effective data tracking and collection
- Heated humidifier
- Small and compact
What is the difference between a CPAP and a BiPAP Machine?
Both a Continuous Positive Airway Passage (CPAP) and a BiLevel Positive Airway Passage machine are designed to help manage sleep apnea. As the name suggests, a CPAP machine provides a non-stop flow of air while you sleep. Some patients, however, struggle to exhale against this continuous pressure.
In this case, a BiPAP is a suitable alternative. It provides two pressure settings: inhalation and a lower level for exhalation.
The components of the best travel BiPAP machine
A BiPAP machine is fitted with these components to allow it to function fully and deliver optimal air pressure:
- Airflow Generator
The purpose of this generator is to collect air from the environment, pressurize it, and then deliver it to the user. The generator is usually enclosed in a box that has a motorized fan. The fan runs the system and keeps it going.
- A Hose
The hose connects the airflow generator to the mask through which the pressurized air is delivered to a patient.
A sleep apnea patient must get access to air that is free from dust or pollen particles. A BiPAP machine is fitted with a filter that traps these contaminants as the air is delivered to the user.
Once it is dirty, it ought to be replaced to not compromise on the air quality. If it is reusable, it should be washed regularly and thoroughly.
When the air is too dry, it may cause a patient to have a dry throat or be uncomfortable. If you’re one of these, you probably need to inhale moist air.
A humidifier is an optional addition to a BiPAP machine that adds moisture to the pressurized air so that a user’s airway is more comfortable and not too dry. It is a small reservoir holding water, and when the machine is on, the air is first pulled inside it and humidified.
The humidifier can be in-built or detachable.
The Types of BiPAP Masks
Pressurized air from a BiPAP machine is delivered to the patient’s system through a mask fitted to their face. There are three types of masks for this.
i) Full Face Mask
A full-face mask covers the bridge of the nose and extends to beneath the mouth. Also has a tight seal designed to prevent any air leakage. Adjustable straps wrap around the face to keep the mask in place throughout the night.
The mask is ideal for patients that require higher pressure settings. It will be comfortable even for users that breathe through their mouths. It will not be suitable for stomach or side sleepers as the mask is more prone to slipping off in these positions. Moreover, it will not be the best option for someone likely to be claustrophobic.
ii) Nasal Mask
A nasal mask will cover the bridge of the nose to the upper lip. It forms a tight seal to keep the mask airtight and avoid leakages. A chin-strap keeps a user’s mouth closed, so they maximize the inhalation.
The nasal mask is well-suited for sleepers that need a higher air pressure setting. Side-sleepers and those that turn a lot during the night will be comfortable as it runs a lower risk of coming off than a full face mask. However, a mouth breather should not opt for this type of mask.
iii) Nasal Pillow
This is perhaps the most comfortable type of mask as it covers the tip of the nose to the upper lip. The fitting is into both nostrils while its cushioning prevents irritation around the nose,
Fantastic for patients that wear glasses, have thick facial hair, turn a lot in their sleep, and need lower air pressure settings. It will also be great for claustrophobics who cannot stand to have something over their face.
As such, it will not be ideal for mouth breathers or users needing higher air pressure. As a relief, it will also not leave any marks on the face as would be left by full-face masks.
Considerations when buying the best travel BiPAP machine
a) Data collection
A challenge with sleep apnea is that you may not even be aware that you have it, or its extent. To this, it is essential to collect data on sleeping patterns for review, especially with your doctor.
The latest BiPAP machines are fitted with technology that allows them to record data and then automatically provide air pressure based on your needs. Some have extensive storage facilities that store this data for up to a year.
b) Pressure range
The job of a BiPAP machine is to provide healthy sleep therapy through air pressure as needed by a sleeper. Different machines come with different pressure ranges. To avoid trouble with the pressure settings, match the pressure range with the needs of the patient.
c) Automatic prompts and alerts
A good BiPAP machine should immediately and automatically alert the patient when there are emergencies. Such alerts will be helpful when the mask falls off or if there is water leakage. This is crucial because a smooth, consistent air pressure delivery is necessary for the treatment to be beneficial.
A humidifier is an optional element of a BiPAP machine. It will, however, be handy if dry air is uncomfortable or leaves your throat dry. The humidifier may be built into the machine or detachable. They also come in different capacities- A higher capacity will allow the humidifier to function for a more extended period.
Noise is a huge sleep disruptor, especially if you are a light sleeper. As you choose a BiPAP machine, bear in mind that they will likely produce sound as they go about their nightly duties. Some machines are loud, while others are quieter. Based on your preferences and budget, you are not limited on what to choose.
When it comes to a travel BiPAP machine, portability is critical. You want something light, compact, and that does not pack a lot of weight. Smaller sized gadgets have the best experience. Get something that complements your available space, whether the bedside table or your luggage bag.
Budgetary constraints will go a long way in determining the BiPAP machine you purchase. They are relatively pricier than CPAP machines because they are a notch higher in pressure delivery options.
Based on your other needs, choose a machine that will compliment you and add value to your rest. As a strategy, you could start saving up for your ideal BiPAP early and take advantage of any discounts and offers that may come with it, such as a free travel case.
A warranty is an insurance that you can have your BiPAP machine fixed or replaced in case of any faults. Check the warranty period of the machine you desire before purchasing it. Some have a 2-year warranty while others have up to 4 years’ worth.
We all want to have our beauty sleep and quality rest so we can wake up recharged. Sadly, sleep apnea patients do not have it that easy. This, however, does not mean that they cannot achieve comfortable sleep.
With innovation, BiPAP machines are becoming more and more accessible to any user that would rely on the dual-pressure provision to sleep. They come in varying shapes and sizes, and mercifully, travelers have not been forgotten in these designs.
The best travel BiPAP machine will combine all the functional features into a light and compact gadget that will fit into your luggage or on the bedside table. Look out for the components such as a detachable vs. built-in humidifier and other factors such as the pressure range and data storage facilities.
With a good BiPAP, you will be well on your way to a happy, healthy, restful lifestyle.
- Who needs a BiPAP machine?
BiPAP is recommended for any sleeper struggling with sleep apnea, only other respiratory conditions. It is ideal where a CPAP machine is not offering effective therapy, especially where a patient struggles to exhale against the continuous pressure. The BiPAP will step in to provide two pressure levels, a higher pressure during the inhale and a lower pressure during the exhale.
- Are BiPAP machines more expensive than CPAP machines?
BiPAP machines are relatively more expensive than CPAP machines. This is, however, not to mean that such a gadget will be entirely out of your price range. Given that more and more brands are entering the market, it is possible to find one that works for you within your constraints. Of course, you have to strike a balance between what you need and what you can afford.
- How long can someone live on a BiPAP machine?
Generally, use the BiPAP until you are entirely able to breathe adequately on your own. Monitor the progress with your doctor’s help to determine how much you need the machine and for how long.