How to Make a Cpap Machine Quieter

There are many people that are affected by sleep apnea and are not diagnosed.  There are the select few that actually know they have sleep apnea but do nothing about it. 

There’s an even smaller percentage of these people who actually take action and use a cpap machine to help with their sleeping problems.  The main issue with a cpap machine is that it has a tendency to make a lot of noise.

From sucking, gurgling, and air noises, a cpap machine can be quite an annoyance when trying to sleep at night.  It’s kind of ironic since a CPAP machine is used to help you sleep better. 

The person using the machine may sleep better, but their partner will be the new person suffering from sleeping problems from all the extra noise. 

Here are a few tips on how to make a cpap machine quieter so you can both get a good night of sleep.

Reposition Your CPAP Machine

Sometimes excess noise issues can be resolved by finding a good place to keep your CPAP on at night.  Try to position your CPAP machine away from you below ear level. 

It is advised not to place your CPAP on the floor that has carpeting as the carpet can obstruct the airflow from the air intake area. 

Make sure you place your CPAP machine in an area that is clean and free from dust and dirt.  Remember, wherever your machine is placed is the type of air you will be breathing in.

Placing it underneath the bottom of a dusty nightstand may cause irritation to your lungs, throat, and nose from the dust.  This can be even worse if you have allergies, as dust is one of the most common forms of allergy carriers. 

A very good idea to lower the amount of noise your cpap machine makes is to place a folded towel underneath it. 

The towel will help dampen the sound of the machine by absorbing and shock or impact noise it may have from vibrating.  Just be careful not to block the air intake portion of your machine.

Check Your Cpap Machine for a Leak

A leak in your cpap machine can cause it to make excess noise.  The most common type of leak regarding a cpap mask is a seal leak. 

This happens when the air inside the mask starts to leak out between the mask and your skin.  A leak in your mask can significantly affect the air pressure. 

If the leak is bad enough, your cpap machine may not be able to deliver enough air pressure.  Sufficient air pressure is needed to keep your airway open. 

Without enough air pressure coming through, it will render the machine practically useless.

A leak can even throw off your machine’s ability to detect what is going on with your body and won’t respond to your needs properly. 

Another thing a leak may do is cause dry eye.  You may notice that one of your eyes is dry upon waking, and this is caused by the leak blowing into your eye.

So how can you prevent or fix a leaking mask seal?  If you notice that air is leaking out of your mask, you can simply fix this by slightly pulling the mask away from your face and then gently lowering it back down. 

This will help get rid of any creases or wrinkles that may have formed on the silicone part of your mask.  You may need to do this a few times to get it just right. 

Another way you can try to fix a leak is to move your mask around slightly until you feel the mask seal to your face properly.

Don’t over Tighten the Mask

One mistake that a lot of people tend to make is tightening their masks.  They think that a tighter mask will create a tighter seal which can, in fact, have the opposite effect. 

Sometimes tightening the mask may fix the leak if the mask is too loose, but over-tightening the mask can also cause a leak in itself, so this needs to be handled with caution.

Another reason your mask may be leaking is that it is just old and worn out.  An old mask will generally start to leak and must be replaced. 

It’s good practice to replace the masks every six months or so.  If you are planning on purchasing a new mask, make sure that you choose the correct size. 

Wearing a cpap mask that is too big or too small can also cause leaks.  This is also another reason that causes users to over-tighten their masks. 

They try to compensate for a big mask by over-tightening it, which is the wrong way to go about it.

Check the Humidifier

If your cpap machine has a humidifier, then you may want to check it for any issues.  The humidifier may be making noise if it is not sufficiently filled with water. 

Over time a humidifier will slowly lower the water level during use.  The main job of a humidifier is to help keep your airways from drying up. 

When the water is not completely filled to the fill line, it may start to make gurgling noises due to a low water level.  Some cpap machines will have a built-in humidifier while others will require you to purchase it separately.

Another thing to check is the hose from the humidifier to your face mask.  Make sure all the hose connections are tight, or you may experience a slight hissing or sucking noise. 

Make sure to check for any kinks or bends in the connection, as well as this can obstruct airflow and cause increased pressure inside the humidifier.  Increased pressure can also cause the water in a humidifier to start bubbling or gurgling.

Use a Cpap Pillow to Prevent Leaks

The hardest part about sleeping with a cpap machine is being comfortable and keeping your mask on your face properly. There are special pillows designed especially for people with a cpap machine. 

This cpap pillow is designed for people using a cpap machine due to suffering from sleep apnea.  The main difference between this pillow and a traditional pillow is the slopes that are built into it. 

The slopes allow for the user to sleep comfortably with a cpap mask without obstruction or disturbing the seal from your mask to your face.

This specific pillow is made of memory foam and will adjust to each user’s head specifically. 

You can use a normal pillow case you have at home, or you can use their custom cpap pillow case that you can purchase separately.

This further encourages a comfortable sleeping position without compromising functionality.  This pillow provides support for many of the most common cpap masks on the market. 

It is compatible with c-pap, bi-pap, and APAP mask types.  Be sure to check what type of mask you have before purchasing a pillow to make sure that it will work properly.

Use a White Noise Machine

A white noise machine is a good way to get your attention off of a noisy cpap machine.  What exactly is a white noise machine? 

A white noise machine is a device that plays a noise in the background to help distract or drown out other noises. 

There are mainly two different types of white noise machines.  There’s the expensive machine, and then there is the inexpensive machine.

A budget white noise machine will only have a few different options for the types of sounds you will be able to choose. 

Usually, some sort of fan noise, a humming noise, or maybe a forest sound.  These are usually nice and compact, which makes them good for traveling. 

These types of machines are also very popular to help reduce noise in a baby’s room.  There is nothing wrong with using a cheaper noise machine, but if you are willing to spend a little extra money, you will get a higher-end product that is proven to help drown out the noise and encourage sleep.

An expensive sound machine has a lot more work put into it.  By work, I mean engineering.  Countless hours are spent trying to perfect these machines. 

These machines are usually tested in a clinical setting to try and treat different types of sleeping problems.  This is usually done through trial and error and can cost a lot of money during the research phases. 

The sounds are specially designed and outfitted with an assortment of different acoustic sounds.  These sounds that are engineered by professionals are proven to help drown out the noise.

Common types of background sleep noises that are generated from a white noise machine may include sounds like these:

  • Thunderstorm
  • Roaring surf
  • Train
  • Rain
  • Waterfall
  • Rainforest
  • River or stream
  • Wind
  • Night-time forest sounds


Purchase a Quiet CPAP Machine

If you have used all the tips discussed above but are still unhappy with how loud your cpap machine is, then it may be a good idea to buy a quieter cpap machine. 

This quiet cpap machine from amazon is specifically designed to be quieter than the average machine.  This machine is one of the smallest and most compact machines, which makes it very quiet.

It’s also perfect for travel since it is very portable and will be able to fit.  The only downside is that this version does not come with a humidifier. 

You can purchase this humidifier which is specifically designed for this model.  It is up to the user whether or not they want to use a humidifier with their cpap machine.  A humidifier has a few advantages over not using one.

Adding a humidifier to your cpap therapy can help enhance the airflow quality that your body receives.  A humidifier does a better job than what your body can humidify on its own without one. 

Using a humidifier can also reduce the number of times a user will wake up with a dry, burning sensation in their nose due to intense snoring, which is usually a common symptom of sleep apnea.

Final Thoughts

Suffering from sleep apnea is not easy.  There are many things that you need to worry about when trying to get a good night’s sleep. 

There are many things that you will encounter when using a cpap machine when you are a new user.  Things like air leaks, dry airways, and annoying noises are just some of the things that will come up as a regular cpap machine user. 

If you are new to a cpap machine, be sure to always store your cpap machine away from you as well as below ear level to help reduce the noise. 

Be sure the area you place your cpap machine is free from dust, dirt, and debris to ensure clean airflow going into the filter.

The next thing to do is to make sure there are no leaks in your cpap machine.  This includes all areas of your cpap machine. 

Check the hose for any kinks or bends, as this can damage the tubing.  Make sure the hoses are secure in all of the attachment areas. 

Be sure your humidifier is always filled properly to the fill line.  Having too much or too little water may cause gurgling noises. 

Use a pillow specifically designed for cpap machine users.  These pillow help keep your mask on properly, which will make sure there are no leaks.

Purchase a cpap machine that is designed to be less noisy.  Less noisy cpap machines are normally smaller in size and are great for traveling.

Use a white noise machine or have your partner use ear plugs if the noise is still bothersome.  A white noise machine is a great way to deter the sound coming from your CPAP machine. 

A white noise machine essentially replaces unpleasant noises with more pleasant sounds to help promote sleep. 

Having your partner use ear plugs should probably be the last step you take since it’s not always comfortable wearing something in your ears when trying to sleep, but nonetheless this is an option.