OSA health risks aside, we all know that disturbing our bed partners sleep quality with noise can also be hazardous to our health! The transition from loud offensive snoring in the bedroom to a semi-silent CPAP machine is a great step forward but how do we choose the right device for the balance between cost, portability & noise level? We are commonly asked, which CPAP machines are the quietest to use and there are many factors that can affect the "bedroom" noise level. For example, the decibel rating of a CPAP machine is one way however a CPAP machine with a lower decibel rating might sound louder in the bedroom if it has a higher pitch. Another factor to consider is that some devices are quieter at the machine end but louder through the exhalation port on the mask because the noise is 'conducted' noise that travels through the tube. Some machines emit the same noise level at one pressure and vastly different noise levels at other pressures. Some machines are noisier on inhale and silent on exhale meaning that the inconsistency is more annoying than a constant hum.
So we tested out the top CPAP machines on the market in the bedroom to get feedback from the user AND the bed partner. We've put together this guide for you to give you an idea of where we feel these devices sit on a star rating scale for bedroom noise noise efficiency. To give a true indication of the noise factor comparison in the bedroom, all devices in this experiment were autos set with a minimum pressure of 6cm and a maximum pressure of 20cm. Each participant used their own mask with each device and each device had to be placed in the same spot in the bedroom. Each device was tested for 2 consecutive nights before moving on to the next device.
Disclaimer * The below bedroom noise rating figures shown here are a guide only and purely based on the personal opinions of those who participated in the experiment. The mask / device / pressure setting combinations used may vary results. If you're unsure, we recommend hiring a device from CPAP Direct before making a purchasing decision.
Bedroom Noise Rating
5 star rating = quieter device & undisturbed partner | 1 star rating = noisier device & potentially cranky partner
ResMed AirSense 10
SmartMed iDisc Hybrid
SmartMed iDisc Travel
ResMed AirMini Travel
DreamStation Go Travel
Transcend II Travel
Tips to improving bedroom noise & reducing partner disturbance
- Placement - CPAP Device can be placed on the floor away from ear level (not the bedside table).
- The amount of water level in humidifier chamber may affect output noise level. Less water = more noise.
- Tuck the tube under the bed covers to reduce rainout (condensation) and/or tension on mask.
- A sock or small piece of clothing can be used to cover ambient light emitted from CPAP machine.
- If your device has a pressure relief feature enabled, the change in pressure upon inhale/exhale may emit noticeable noise.
- Use a fan to add background white noise.