cpao vs apap vs bipap

CPAP vs APAP vs BiPAP – The Ultimate Guide

Obstructive sleep apnea can be a serious condition. You may hear many new terms, such as the various types of machines available to treat it. Having a severe sleep disorder such as sleep apnea can be stressful enough. However, learning about the different treatment options for CPAP vs BiPAP vs APAP machines can make it even more overwhelming. Many people suffering from sleep apnea are asking themselves the big question: Which treatment is best? CPAP therapy or APAP therapy? We’re here to help you choose the right machine for you.

Airway pressure ways

The first thing you should know is that the main three machines used to treat sleep apnea are all “PAP” machines. This stands for Positive Airway pressure therapy. Each machine provides a certain amount of pressure to help your body breathe properly and continuously while you sleep.

These are the acronyms and definitions of the three machines that provide positive airway pressure therapy.

  1. CPAP: Continuous positive airway pressure
  2. APAP : Automatic positive airway pressure
  3. BiPAP/VPAP – Bilevel/variable negative airway pressure

APAP and CPAP are the most popular and most effective machines. Let’s look at the differences between them.

What is the difference between an APAP Machine and a CPAP Machine?

The most important difference between CPAP machines & APAP machines lies in the air pressure settings. APAPs adjust automatically to your pressure requirements throughout the night, unlike CPAP machines that have preset settings.

CPAP Machines

CPAP machines offer continuous, steady air flow at a preset pressure. Preset pressure settings allow you to set the pressure that will prevent your airway from becoming blocked while you sleep. This machine is ideal for people whose breathing patterns are stable. During a PAP titration, your doctor will determine if the machine is adequate for you to treat sleep apnea.

APAP Machines

APAP machines adjust the pressure level throughout the night. These machines employ algorithms to detect changes in air pressure and adjust them as needed. These machines monitor your breathing activity and are beneficial for those who have irregular breathing patterns or change in their position during sleep.

APAP is a more convenient choice than manual adjustment of air pressure settings. They are automatically adjusted as you sleep. APAP can also be used as a CPAP machine. This allows it to function at a constant pressure.

APAP machines may not be suitable for everyone. Because of the constant fluctuations in air pressure, APAPs should not be used by people with respiratory problems or cardiac conditions. APAP machines are more expensive than CPAP machines. APAP machines can provide long-term benefits, which CPAP machines cannot. These include better insurance coverage, fewer visits to the doctor and many other benefits.


So APAP and CPAP which is better?

Although CPAP machines are the most popular form of treatment for sleep apnea, it is often recommended that you use an APAP machine to best suit your needs. It is important to remember that there are pros and con’s to every type of medical treatment.

APAP Pros and Cons


  • The machine’s algorithms automatically adjust the pressure so there’s no need for you to manually change it.
  • They are more comfortable for those who don’t want to wear the masks required for CPAP therapy.
  • These are great for those whose breathing patterns change throughout the night.


  • The APAP mask is more likely to leak air than the CPAP masks.
  • Users who require constant airflow and pressure may not be able to get the treatment they need. A CPAP machine provides the same pressure all night.
  • APAP machines are more expensive than CPAP machines. Prices range from $450 to more than $1,000 depending on the features and sizing.

The Best APAP Machines

Ventmed DS 7 / ST25

VENTMED DS7 is the most loved APAP machine! It has an advanced algorithm that delivers the lowest possible pressure for treatment. This allows it to balance comfort and effective sleep therapy.


  • Both APAP- and CPAP-based modes are available
  • Pressure adjustments are natural and more gentle.
  • Whisper quiet at 26 dBa
  • Humidifier with built-in heating

Auto Travel CPAP

The ventmed DS6 is a small, lightweight APAP that weighs only 5 ounces. It still delivers the power PAP therapy you need. Although it is considered a travel APAP the ds6 offers advanced comfort features that larger CPAPs can’t match.


  • Auto Start/Stop With Breath Detection
  • Comfort on the go with waterless humidification
  • FAA compliant in-flight usage

Purchase the DS6 Auto Travel, CPAP


Final Thoughts on CPAP vs APAP

You should always seek out your doctor if you feel the treatment you are receiving is not working or ineffective. Keep up to date with the most recent developments in CPAP or APAP machines, so that you get the best possible sleep apnea treatment.

There are many options available to help you sleep well, safely, and comfortably. It’s just a matter finding the right one for you. You can see some of the most highly-rated CPAP and APAP machines today!

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