How Long Do CPAP Machines Last?

The information in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. [Read our full health disclaimer]

Updated on February 16, 2023

Accessories for CPAP machines deteriorate with time and stop functioning properly after a while. This has an impact on the life expectancy of the machine, but a CPAP machine’s life can be prolonged with proper cleaning and maintenance.

Ultimately, that’s why the question of how long will a CPAP machine last is one of the most commonly asked questions among users.

The short answer for CPAP machine life expectancy itself is three to five years. However, all the other components like the mask, for instance, which itself has many constituents, have different equipment life spans. It depends on different factors like the oil secreted from your skin and how regularly you clean your CPAP machine. Constant cleaning, on the other hand, can also result in wearing down the mask.

What Is a CPAP Machine and Why Is It Used?

First and foremost, a CPAP machine’s most popular use is treating sleep apnea.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

There are three types of sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea, complex sleep apnea syndrome, and obstructive sleep apnea. The most common type – obstructive sleep apnea – results in intermittent pauses of breathing during sleep. It is often left undiagnosed since its signs occur during sleep and they’re often brief, so patients with sleep apnea fail to notice those. The most common symptoms of sleep apnea are general fatigue, snoring, daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, and the like.

woman in white robe sitting on chair

The risk factors for this sleep disorder are the following:

  • Obesity
  • Anatomical factors like small jawbones or tonsils
  • Family history of sleep apnea
  • Being male and older or middle-aged
  • Large neck
  • Nasal congestion
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease

What Do CPAP Machines Do?

CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. This piece of equipment is designed to alleviate sleep apnea by helping open your airways and sending a continuous flow of oxygen in your throat and nose, which allows you to sleep peacefully.

In order to do so, it contains a motor that sends a continuous stream of pressurized air. This air is then passed through a filter for purification.

Woman lying on her side on bed

After that, the purified air moves through a flexible tube and reaches the mask that’s sealed around your mouth and nose area.

This whole system allows you to sleep normally and prevents you from waking up in the middle of the night because of disturbed breathing. CPAP equipment improves your quality of life and sleep health.

CPAP Machine Lifespan

Can you use the same toothbrush throughout your lifetime? Of course not! Similarly, CPAP machines also have a specific life span, and you can’t use them more than that.

In terms of how long can a CPAP machine last, the approximate life span is five years.

Besides, its life expectancy also depends upon the specific model and brand. Here are some machine types and their life expectancy:

The good news is that most insurance companies like Medicare give you the opportunity of getting a new CPAP machine.

Should You Repair Or Find A Replacement of Equipment?

When it comes to deciding whether to repair or replace your CPAP machine, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, the cost of repair can sometimes be more expensive than replacing the machine altogether. This is especially true if you have an older model that may require parts that are no longer available or difficult to find.

Additionally, you don’t want to be without your machine for a number of weeks while it is being repaired. The benefits of nightly treatment fade quickly when you don’t use your CPAP on a nightly basis and unfortunately your symptoms will return.

Therefore, when considering whether to repair equipment or replace your CPAP machine, it is important to weigh up the cost and time involved in both options. If you have an older model that requires parts that are no longer available or difficult to find then replacing the machine may be the best option.

However, if the cost of repair is not too high then this could be a viable option as well. Ultimately, it is important to make sure that you are getting the best value for money and ensuring that you get back on track with your nightly treatments as soon as possible.

Should You Routinely Replace Your CPAP Machine?

Replacing your CPAP machine on a regular basis is an important part of maintaining your sleep apnea therapy. Not only does it ensure that your machine is working properly and providing the best possible care, but it also allows you to take advantage of new technological advancements that can improve your sleep therapy experience.

woman in blue and white floral shirt lying on brown wooden floor

You can get the following comfort features after investing in a new CPAP machine:

  • Better Humidification The issue with most old humidifiers is that they are quite difficult to clean and fill. But this is not the case anymore since new integrated humidifiers are light and compact. They not only take less space but the process of filling and cleaning them is also quite easier. Improved heated tubes are also yet another upside that prevents water condensation.
  • Quiet Performing Accessories Masks and motors in newer models come equipped with multi-directional openings and built-in diffusers. These help the CPAP machine operate quietly so you and your partner can enjoy sound sleep without any disturbance.
  • Lower Pressure Another great feature of some of the newer CPAP models is auto-ramp. This is such an amazing feature since it’s designed to lower the pressure automatically when it detects that you’re awake. But once you fall asleep, it will automatically increase the pressure and adjust it as per your prescribed level.
  • Quick Sleep Stats Some CPAP machines come with wireless connectivity and are quite easy to use. These send your sleep data directly to your health care team. They also allow you to see your sleep stats on your mobile or computer screen, which can be useful, as it gives you an idea of how well you slept the night before. On top of that, some machines also provide certain tips for improving your sleep quality.

Replacing your CPAP machine regularly is an essential part of maintaining good health and ensuring that you get the most out of your sleep apnea therapy. With all the new features available, there’s never been a better time to upgrade!

How Long Should A CPAP Mask Last?

As we already mentioned, the lifespan of a CPAP mask will depend on how well you maintain and clean it. The mask can last between two to six months, and the different components of the mask have their own life expectancy.

How Often Should I Replace My CPAP Mask?

This will depend on the type of mask you’re using. Nasal pillows have about two months of usage life while full face masks last from three to six months.

Photo of Sleeping Man

Can You Just Clean Instead Of Buying A New CPAP Mask?

It is important to keep your mask and filters clean in order to ensure that they are functioning properly. Regular daily cleaning will make your mask more comfortable to wear by removing the facial oils and sweat that build up on it nightly.

Cleaning can also remove the smells that can collect inside your mask, caused by exhalation and any materials (for exam, nasal mucus) that might be blown into the cushions after a good night’s sleep. However, even if you clean it every morning, this equipment is not designed to last longer than a few weeks. Eventually, the material of your mask will become too soft to hold a tight seal and should be replaced.

Therefore, while cleaning your mask regularly is beneficial for comfort and hygiene purposes, it is important to remember that masks are not meant to be used indefinitely. If you find yourself needing to replace your mask more often than usual, consider investing in higher quality masks or filters which may last longer than cheaper alternatives. Ultimately, regular cleaning of your mask is important but should not be relied upon as a substitute for replacing worn out masks or filters when necessary.

Headgear and Mask Cushions

The headgear that comes with a CPAP machine can be used for six months, but consider replacing it if it becomes loose before this period has passed.

Mask headgear cushions also wear out quickly. To improve your cushion’s life span, tighten your mask to keep it firmly in place every time you use it.

How to Decide If You Need a New CPAP Device?

White Bed Linen

You should immediately contact your provider if you see that your CPAP machine has stopped working. Furthermore, if you notice that your sleep apnea symptoms are not getting better, you should contact your sleep therapist or medical professional for an earlier replacement schedule of your CPAP. Most CPAP machines have a manufacturer warranty period of at least one year.

Also, be mindful of the timeframes when CPAP supplies and components are at their best. It’s ill-advised to keep using them past their expiration date

Where To Get A New CPAP machine?

If you are in need of a new CPAP machine, the first step is to check with your insurance provider to see if you are eligible for one. Depending on your coverage, you may be able to get a new CPAP machine at no cost or at a reduced rate.

Your doctor can provide you with the prescription and other necessary forms that will need to be taken to your home medical equipment provider or ResMed Shop. Once all of the paperwork is completed, you should be able to receive your new CPAP machine within a few days.

It is important to note that some insurance providers may require additional information from your doctor before they will approve the purchase of a new CPAP machine. This could include documentation such as sleep studies or other medical records.

If this is the case, it is important to make sure that all of the necessary paperwork is provided in order for the insurance company to process your request quickly and efficiently. Once all of the requirements have been met, you should be able to get your new CPAP machine in no time!

How Do You Know If Your CPAP Machine Needs To Be Replaced?

If you’re using a CPAP machine to treat your sleep apnea, it’s important to pay attention to any changes in the way it operates. One sign that it may be time to replace your CPAP machine is if it makes excessive noise when inhaling.

Woman Lying on Bed Covering Her Face With a White Blanket

This could indicate that there are air leaks in your mask or cracks in the tubing, which should be replaced every 3 months and usually has insurance coverage. If these parts have been replaced and the noise persists, it could mean that the motor is failing and you may not receive the proper air pressure for your therapy.

It’s also important to check for other signs of wear and tear on your CPAP machine such as fraying or cracking of the tubing, loose connections, or water damage. If you notice any of these issues, then it’s time to replace your machine.

Additionally, if you’ve had your CPAP machine for more than five years, then it’s probably time for an upgrade since technology has improved significantly over this period of time. Replacing your CPAP machine regularly will ensure that you get the most out of your therapy and can rest easy knowing that you are receiving optimal treatment.

Your Humidifier Doesnt Need To Be Refilled That Often

Humidifiers are an important part of many CPAP machines, as they help to keep the air moist and comfortable. Unfortunately, if your humidifier isn’t working properly, it can cause a lot of discomfort and even lead to health problems. If you find that your humidifier doesn’t need to be refilled as often as it used to, it’s a sign that something is wrong.

The first step is to disconnect the humidifier from the machine and see if it works without it. If so, then you may need to replace the humidifier itself. This is usually less expensive than replacing the entire machine, but you will need a current prescription in order to buy a new one.

You Still Snore

Photo of Person Holding Alarm Clock

Snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea, but it shouldn’t be happening when you’re using your CPAP. If you’ve started snoring again, it means that the pressure from your machine isn’t strong enough to keep your airway open. Before you blame the machine, there are some other fixes you should try first.

Checking your CPAP mask is a great place to start. Make sure that the seal is tight and that there are no cracks in the cushion or stretched headgear. You should also try sleeping on your side instead of your back as this can help prevent airways from becoming blocked.

If these tips don’t work, then it may be time to look into adjusting the pressure settings on your CPAP machine or replacing parts like the mask or headgear.

Symptoms Still Persist

If you’ve been using a CPAP machine to treat your obstructive sleep apnea, but find yourself still feeling tired during the day, it could be that your CPAP machine is not delivering adequate sleep therapy.

It’s important to rule out any other factors that may be contributing to the loss of air pressure, such as snoring or lifestyle changes. If you’re still struggling with excessive daytime sleepiness, it may be time to replace your worn-out CPAP machine.

It’s also important to talk to your doctor about the return of any symptoms of your obstructive sleep apnea. They may recommend adjusting the pressure settings on your CPAP machine or addressing other lifestyle factors that could be causing fatigue.

Your doctor can also help you determine if there are any underlying medical conditions that could be contributing to your fatigue and suggest treatments accordingly. Taking these steps can help ensure that you get the best possible results from your CPAP therapy and wake up feeling refreshed and energized each morning.

How To Dispose Of Your Old Sleep Apnea Machine

If you’ve recently purchased a new CPAP machine, you may be wondering what to do with your old one. Fortunately, there are several options available to you. If your old machine is less than 6 years old, you can donate it to the American Sleep Apnea Association’s CPAP Assistance Program or similar charities in your area. This program helps provide CPAP machines to those who cannot afford them and would otherwise go without treatment for their sleep apnea.

litter signage

If your machine is older than 6 years, then recycling it is the best option. You can recycle it the same way you would other electronics like a computer or a TV. Contact your local recycling center for more information on how to properly dispose of your old CPAP machine.

It’s important that you don’t simply throw away an electronic device as this could potentially harm the environment and cause safety hazards. Be sure to consult with your doctor if you have any questions about disposing of medical equipment safely and responsibly.

FAQs

Takeaway

Ultimately, CPAP machines are crucial when it comes to tackling obstructive sleep apnea and improving sleep quality. Once you start experiencing any and all side effects, such as congestion from the nasal mask, skin irritation, or dry eyes, you would do well to seek medical advice and see whether you’re due for a replacement.

While knowing the “life expectancy” of your machine and its components is beneficial, issues like mask leaks or air leaks are common and can occur at any time. The humidifier and air filter should also be checked frequently.

Sleep therapy or CPAP therapy, just like any therapy, will help you only if you don’t get complacent. So, if there’s one last piece of advice we can give to CPAP users, it would be to not postpone checking out any and all issues with their CPAP machine.

Article Sources

  1. Hukins, C., & Duce, B. (2021). Asset life span in a government funded CPAP device program. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 17(3):375-380. https://jcsm.aasm.org/doi/full/10.5664/jcsm.8862
  2. Willman, M., Igelström, H., Martin, C., & Åsenlöf, P. (2012, July 30). Experiences with CPAP treatment in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and obesity. Advances in Physiotherapy, 14(4):166-174. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/14038196.2012.704944
  3. Fung, C.H., Martin, J.L., Igodan, U. et al. (2013) The association between difficulty using positive airway pressure equipment and adherence to therapy: a pilot study. Sleep Breath 17:853–859. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11325-012-0779-y
  4. Skiba, V., & McLellan, B. (2022). Safe use of donated positive airway pressure devices to increase access to treatment for obstructive sleep apnea: a clinical outreach program. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 18(5):1455-1457. https://jcsm.aasm.org/doi/abs/10.5664/jcsm.9900
  5. Turnbull, C.D., Stradling, J.R. (2022, April 28). The Role of Education and Support in CPAP Adherence. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-93146-9_5
Bree Taylor - Lead Editor

Lead Editor

Bree is an interior designer with a passion for helping people improve their sleep quality.

She specializes in creating comfortable and functional bedroom spaces that promote a good night’s rest.

When she’s not testing mattresses or helping people get the best rest possible, Bree loves to travel and explore new cultures.

Related Posts

Jar full of colorful dreams

How to Induce Lucid Dreams

Have you ever felt like you could control the narrative of your dreams, come up with fantastic scenarios, and consciously create wondrous spaces, all while

Newly furnished modern bedroom with cupboard

How To Break In A Mattress

On average, people spend about 26 years sleeping in their lifetime and about seven years trying to obtain a good night’s sleep. That is why