How loud is a CPAP Machine

 

All CPAP Machines have a motor which makes a noise as it blows air.

 

Sound is measured in decibels (dB). The higher the number, the louder the sound.

To give you some idea;

20dB: Rustling leaves. Ticking watch.

30dB: Quiet whisper at 1 metre. Library.

40dB: Quiet residential area. Park.

50dB: Quiet Office. Quiet Street.

60dB: Normal conversation at 1 metre.

BMC manufacturing requirements is for machines to operate at a sound level of less than 30dB measured with a calibrated sound meter, at a pressure of 10cmH20 at a distance of 1 metre measured in an anechoic sound chamber. (Padded room with no external sounds and no sound reflections) 

 

When asked the question "How loud is a CPAP machine?" the best way we can describe it is like having a fan or air conditioning running.

We have produced a short 40 second YouTubeTM video to help answer this question.

We tested the BMC Luna CPAP Machine as follows;

  1. CPAP Machine Pressure: 10cmH20
  2. Sound meter Distance: 80cm

Important Notes:

  • The room sound was measured at 33dB without a machine running.
  • The room sound level increased by 20dB when the BMC Luna machine was running.
  • The sound meter used was a phone app with 10 million downloads and a rating of 4.2 our of 5.
  • We have no way of knowing how accurate it is but 10 million people is a pretty good endorsement of the app.

BMC Luna Sound Video - Click to watch and listen

Please watch the video and try to hear the sound of the BMC Luna CPAP machine as it operates at 10cmH20 of pressure.

surprise Hint: Turn up the volume on your computer

 

How loud does it compare to other CPAP Machines?

This can be subjective. Some customers have said the BMC is louder than their trial ResmedTM machine, others have told is they think the BMC is quieter.

Note: The latest generation BMC Luna CPAP and Auto Machines are noticeably quieter than the older style RESmart models.

If noise level is important to you, then we highly recommend selecting a model from the BMC Luna range.

We think you will be pleasantly surprised, so please watch and listen, then you can judge for yourself.

 

Do you know of any independent objective sound testing?

Yes. In February 2016, an independent company specialising in sound and vibration was asked to test the noise level of five (5) new CPAP devices at their premises in Sydney.

All CPAP Machines were set to the same pressure level (10cmH20) and the sound was measured at the same distance of 1metre. 

The CPAP Machines tested were;

  • Resmed Airsense S10
  • Philips DeamStation
  • Transcend II Travel
  • BMC Resmart
  • BMC Luna 3.5

Of the five (5) CPAP Machines tested, the BMC Luna 3.5 Auto produced the lowest noise.

Download the Sound Test Report.

 

What do BMC CPAP Machine owners say?

Here are a couple of testimonials from customers who commented specifically on the noise level on the older model BMC RESmart machines.

Almost no noise

CPAP Noise low. Service is Incredible

 

Are the small Transcend Travel machines louder?

In my experience, yes.
Small machines have small motors which have to run faster to produce the same volume of air.
The smaller the machine, the smaller the motor.
 

I personally use a Transcend Auto machine when I travel because it is more convenient. I notice a difference in sound level compared to my home machine, but accept this is a compromise for convenience and portability.

 

Do masks make a noise?

Yes. All masks have an exhaust vent. The sound level from this vent varies. The quietest mask exhaust vent I have come across so far is on the Resmed Airfit series. Unfortunately these masks can be relatively expensive at around $279~$299 (Note: we do not sell Resmed products. Typically, all masks and machines these days are interchangeable)
 
Sometimes the expelled air from this vent reflects from pillows and bed covers which increases the sound level. Repositioning the bedding can be a quick fix for this. Sometimes mask leaks can also contribute to increased sound levels. Mask leaks can occur for many reasons, including;
  • Headgear straps not tight enough
  • Headgear straps worn out
  • Forehead support needs adjusting
  • Mask too old (silicon ageing)
  • Incorrect size (usually too big)
  • Pillow pushing mask away from face
  • Facial hair interfering with seal
  • Mask style not compatible 
 
  • Last updated: 28th October 2016

 

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