CPAP vs APAP: Which Is Better for You?

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Are you one of the many people who struggle to stay asleep at night and use a device to help you get a good night’s rest? If so, you may use a CPAP or an APAP and wonder what the difference is between the two.

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Not to worry, this article will share an overview of both units along with the pros and cons you should consider about each.


A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP machine, provides you with a constant flow of air while you sleep so that you can inhale and exhale easily through a mask that is secured to your face.

A test taken by you and administered by a sleep doctor determines where your CPAP machine should be set in order to keep your airways from closing or obstructing during sleep.

By keeping your airway open, you are going to sleep better and wake feeling more refreshed.


  • CPAP machines are the most commonly prescribed sleep aid devices on the market. They have been used for many years and they have continuously proven to be effective by a wide range of patients.
  • The CPAP machine is generally cheaper and is often easily approved by insurance providers.


  • The CPAP machine can sometimes seem to be overwhelming and even cause claustrophobic sensations. While trying to exhale, there is a continuous flow of air pushing back at you. This

is something that can be adjusted, and if done properly, shouldn’t be a long term problem.

  • Additionally, the CPAP machine is only set to one pressure setting. This setting remains the same throughout the entire course of the night regardless of how much air you need.
  • It can also be inconvenient to make changes to your machine, as you will often have to visit a doctor.

Now let’s look at the APAP.


Like a CPAP machine, the APAP, or Automatic Positive Airway Pressure, device uses a mask secured to your face to help with better breathing during sleep.

The machine works by keeping a person’s airways open so that the throat doesn’t close up while they are trying to rest. The difference is, it makes adjustments to air pressure mechanically.


  • This device will automatically detect how much air pressure you need with each breath you take. The idea behind it is that you are not going to require the same amount of air all night. If you have a stuffy nose or if you change sleeping positions, your requirements for air are going to vary, and this machine will auto adjust.
  • If the APAP mode isn’t working for you, you can set the device to CPAP mode. This way, you get to try out the CPAP feature without switching devices.


  • The APAP machine can be a little more costly and it isn’t always covered by your insurance plan.
  • APAP devices are not standardized like the CPAPs are so it can be difficult for sleep experts to find the right fit if they are not familiar with the particular manufacturer.
  • Adjustments are sometimes a little slower than necessary, and that can cause disturbances in sleep.

Now you know the basics of both the CPAP and APAP machines. If you still have questions or want help in deciding, you should consult with a professional.

How to Choose

Our sleep experts will work with you and your doctor to ensure that you get the best possible sleep. We are knowledgeable on both CPAP and APAP machines so can advise you about both options.

Choosing the right device can make a huge difference in your sleep patterns and overall quality of life. Consult with one of our experts today by calling (504) 780-2400 or (888) 375-3378.

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