While many people are familiar with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machines are another type of device used for positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy. BiPAP machines may be necessary for certain conditions, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) or sleep apnea, or for people who have tried CPAP therapy with unsuccessful results.
Your doctor will determine whether BiPAP therapy is necessary for your condition and diagnosis.
BiPAP machines are generally more expensive and less frequently prescribed than CPAP machines, so there aren’t as many BiPAP models on the market as there are CPAP models. Even with so few choices, it’s important to consider the options to understand which machine will best suit your needs. Our Reviews Team researched the top models to help you understand the features and functions of each device so you can make an informed decision when selecting a BiPAP machine.
Why you can trust our Reviews Team’s expert review
Our Reviews Team recommends products and services that we feel strongly about, and that we believe will truly benefit our readers. We’ve spent more than spent over 250 hours researching machines for PAP therapy to give you the most accurate review of each model and brand. To make our selections, we:
- Interviewed industry experts
- Consulted with a respiratory therapist to confirm the accuracy and integrity of our reviews
- Researched 15 manufacturers and 45 models across the category
- Read real reviews from verified customers on trusted third-party sites, including the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot
- Reviewed academic research to better understand the details and benefits of CPAP therapy and how the devices work
*a whisper is 25 decibels
Weight: 4 pounds
Noise level: 28 decibels
Dimensions: 10.04 inches long, 4.57 inches wide, 5.91 inches tall
Warranty: Two years
The ResMed AirCurve 10 VAuto is one of the most popular BiPAP models available. It is designed with features that offer maximum comfort during sleep and PAP therapy, which encourages treatment compliance by making therapy as comfortable as possible. This model comes with HumidAir humidification to keep air moist as it moves into your airway, which helps prevent dryness and irritation.
Its heated tubing keeps the moistened air warm to avoid condensation inside the tube. The tubing also has a sensor where the tube attaches to your mask, which helps maintain a steady air temperature when it leaves the machine and enters your airway. A swivel connector between the tube and mask allows for easy movement throughout the night without kinking, pulling, or breaking the mask seal.
The AirCurve 10 features ResMed’s Vsync technology to sense any air or pressure leakage from your mask.
If there are any leaks detected, the machine will automatically adjust the pressure to make sure the prescribed treatment pressure reaches your airway. A memory card stored in the unit keeps track of your treatments, which can be accessed by your equipment supplier and shared with your doctor as needed. You can also transfer data over an internet connection using the myAir app.
In addition to the machine and tubing, this unit comes with a power supply kit, an initial supply of filters, and a travel bag. This BiPAP machine comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty, which covers the unit, humidifier power supply, and any battery accessories. Manufacturer warranty coverage is only available to the original buyer of the machine. This is a shorter warranty period than some other brands offer.
ResMed Corp, listed as ResMed Shop on TrustPilot, has over 700 customer reviews with 4.4 out of 5 stars at the time this article was written. Most positive reviews mention helpful staff and excellent customer service. The company has an A- rating and 1.42 out of 5 stars on BBB, based on 12 customer reviews. Recent negative reviews on the BBB website mention problems using the warranty and missing machine data.
Weight: 2.75 pounds; 4.45 pounds with humidifier
Noise level: 26 decibels
Dimensions: 6.5 inches long, 8.4 inches wide, 6.4 inches tall
Warranty: Three years
The DeVilbiss IntelliPAP AutoBilevel is an excellent choice for frequent travelers. Its small size makes this BiPAP machine easy to pack and carry, and the humidifier chamber is simple to attach and remove for storage. With a noise level of 26 decibels, it is about as loud as a whisper and less likely to disturb others around you.
Being away from home and in different surroundings can make it difficult to use prescribed medical devices and technology. The IntelliPAP AutoBilevel features a simple control and display panel with three large, easy-to-read buttons that control nearly all of the machine’s functions. It also turns on automatically when you start breathing into your mask and automatically stops the air flow and pressure when the mask is removed.
This model comes with the SmartLink therapy management system that stores your therapy data on a memory card. Instead of transferring data between patient and doctor or supplier using an internet connection, SmartLink requires patients to transfer data using the physical memory card. This may make the machine easy to use for those who don’t like relying on an internet connection, but it also makes the transfer of data a manual process since it can only be done by providing the memory card in person. You will need to remember to bring the memory card with you to all appointments.
The IntelliPAP AutoBilevel comes with a three-year manufacturer’s warranty, as well as extra filters. It also includes an expandable carrying bag, which is ideal if you plan to travel with extra parts or accessories.
DeVilbiss Healthcare has an A+ rating on the BBB but is not accredited and doesn’t have any reviews as of the time this article was written. Drive Medical, the parent company of DeVilbiss Healthcare, has an average customer rating of 1.14 out of 5 stars from an average of seven reviews, but none of the negative reviews are about oxygen or PAP products.
Neither Drive Medical nor DeVilbiss are reviewed on Trustpilot.
Weight: 3.75 pounds
Noise level: 26 decibels
Dimensions: 10.4 inches long, 5.7 inches wide, 4.5 inches high
Warranty: Two years
When it comes to medical devices, ease of use is important, especially if you are new to BiPAP therapy. The React Health Luna G3 25A comes with advanced features but is simple to use. It has a built-in humidifier and comes with heated tubing to prevent airway dryness, which can make therapy more comfortable. It also features a preheat function, allowing the humidifier chamber to warm the water before you start using the machine. This can make the start of therapy easier to adjust to each night. The Luna G3 25A also features auto-ramp technology so you can begin your therapy at a lower, more comfortable pressure. The machine then slowly increases the pressure as you fall asleep.
This model is excellent for users who may have vision difficulties. It has an easy-to-read display with lighting that helps make it easy to see at night. The interface features one “home” button and a large dial to navigate the settings and features. You can set reminders to alert you to replace things like filters or accessories, eliminating the guesswork or the need to keep track of your supplies manually. Plus, wireless connectivity allows you to transmit your therapy data to your equipment supplier and doctor.
Reviews of React Health are hard to find. The company doesn’t have a profile on Trustpilot, and there’s only one review on BBB with an F rating and 1 out of 5 stars. The company is also not accredited by BBB.
What to consider when choosing a BiPAP machine
A BiPAP machine is designed to help you breathe more effectively, usually during sleep. Here are some of the factors to keep in mind when looking into different BiPAP models:
- Prescription: Your prescription and the availability of machines that can accommodate your prescription will determine which devices to consider. Most BiPAP machines have similar pressure ranges, but you’ll need to confirm with your doctor and equipment supplier that the machine you want to purchase is compatible with your prescription.
- Dimensions: It’s important to consider where you will be using your BiPAP machine most often, and whether it will fit in your bedroom. If you have a large table or nightstand next to your bed, you can likely use a machine with larger dimensions. If you plan to travel frequently and will need to bring your BiPAP machine with you, it’s a good idea to look for one that is compact and lightweight.
- Noise level: Consider how lightly you sleep, as well as whether you sleep with a partner. Most modern BiPAP machines are designed to be about as quiet as a whisper, around 25 decibels, but if you or a partner are easily awakened by sounds, look for the quietest model available. A few extra decibels may make a big difference.
- Mask compatibility: Many BiPAP machines are universally compatible with PAP masks. However, there are some masks that only work with certain machines and tubing. If you are an experienced PAP user and have a favorite mask, check with your equipment supplier or the BiPAP manufacturer to confirm compatibility.
- Warranty: Most BiPAP machines come with a manufacturer’s warranty, but you should clarify what the warranty covers before making a purchase. Some warranties will offer the same coverage for the unit, power components, and humidifier, while others have different warranty terms for different parts of the machine. Also, manufacturers’ warranties usually only offer coverage for the initial buyer. If you are looking at refurbished or secondhand machines, ask the retailer if they provide any warranty coverage.
- Limited choices: Compared with CPAP machines, there simply aren’t many BiPAP models available to purchase. A supplier or retailer that works with your insurance may only have one or two models to offer that work with your prescription, so be prepared for a limited selection.
- Insurance coverage: BiPAP machines are expensive, so if you have insurance, make sure you choose a model that’s covered. Call your insurance company before you begin the buying process to confirm your coverage. They’ll be able to provide you with details like which machines are covered and where to purchase your BiPAP.
How to buy a BiPAP machine
As durable medical equipment that requires a prescription for use, there are specific steps you must take in order to purchase a BiPAP machine.
Diagnosis and prescription for BiPAP use
To buy a BiPAP machine, you need a diagnosis and prescription. There are many reasons you may seek medical care for breathing-related issues. You may have noticed difficulty breathing during sleep or unexplained fatigue while awake. Or a partner may even observe your snoring or breathing abnormalities while you sleep. A common diagnosis requiring a CPAP or BiPAP machine is sleep apnea, but doctors may also prescribe BiPAP therapy for COPD, pneumonia, certain neurological disorders, and post-surgical breathing recovery.
Selecting a BiPAP machine and equipment supplier
In most cases, your condition and prescription will determine which machine is right for you. Your doctor may even recommend a specific machine. Once you know the machine (or options) you’re considering, you can decide where to shop.
Note that some insurance plans only offer coverage of equipment purchased from certain suppliers. It’s always important to check with your insurance and confirm coverage before trying to purchase a BiPAP machine. Buying online can offer more options, as online suppliers can ship BiPAP equipment to most locations in the United States. To purchase your BiPAP machine from an online retailer, have your doctor first confirm your prescription with the supplier.
Does Medicare pay for BiPAP machines?
Medicare does cover BiPAP machines, but there are specific terms and restrictions to Medicare coverage. In order for Medicare to cover your BiPAP machine, first you need to have a qualifying diagnosis from your doctor and a prescription for PAP therapy. Your doctor and the equipment supplier you choose must also be enrolled in the Medicare program for your therapy to qualify for coverage.
When you have a diagnosis and prescription for PAP therapy, Medicare covers the cost of BiPAP device rental plus any necessary accessories for a three-month trial period.
With this coverage from original Medicare, you will pay 20% of the cost of all equipment and supplies after you’ve reached your Part B deductible.
After the trial period, Medicare will require medical documentation that you still require therapy and that the therapy is helping you. Medicare covers a total rental period of 13 months, including the three-month trial period. When your rental period reaches 13 months, if your usage data shows you’ve used the machine consistently and as prescribed, you will own the machine.
How we chose the best BiPAP machines
Our Reviews Team consulted with industry experts to better understand the purpose and function of BiPAP therapy and CPAP and BiPAP machines. Based on our expert consultations and research, we determined the following factors to be important for our readers when shopping for a BiPAP machine:
- Noise level
- Weight and size dimensions
- Mask compatibility and comfort
- Customer service
We had all of our selections medically reviewed by an expert in the field to ensure that each brand and model is appropriate for our readers’ needs.
The most important thing to consider when shopping for a BiPAP machine is finding one that fits your PAP therapy prescription. Most retailers and medical suppliers have more CPAP machines to choose from than BiPAP machines, but it’s helpful to know beforehand which features may make your BiPAP therapy more comfortable and effective. Always discuss the available machines with your doctor to understand which ones will work for you.
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