CPAP, BiPAP, and APAP Hose Reviews

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Positive air pressure therapy, or PAP therapy, is used to treat sleep apnea, a condition that causes sleepers to temporarily lose breath during the night; sleep apnea is also associated with heavy snoring. Common types of PAP therapy include continuous positive air pressure (CPAP), bi-level positive air pressure (BiPAP), and automatic positive air pressure (or AutoPAP or APAP). PAP therapy involves delivering pressurized air to users. A portable generator (also known as the PAP machine) sucks in outside air using an electric fan, then pressurizes and humidifies the air before delivering it to the sleeper through a breathing mask.

PAP hoses, or PAP tubing, are essential to PAP therapy because they link the airflow generator to the face mask (which may be nasal or full face). Most PAP hoses are at least six feet in length, and are made from polyethylene and/or rubber. In addition to standard PAP hoses, some models come equipped with certain modifications, such as heated climate control and sensory lines. And unlike other PAP therapy components — such as the airflow generators, humidifiers, and face masks — PAP hoses do not require a doctor’s prescription.

This guide will explore common designs for PAP tubing, discuss cleaning and replacement procedures, share some tips for first-time buyers, and list our picks for the top PAP hoses sold today.

Qualities and Characteristics of PAP Hoses

PAP hoses attach to the airflow generator and user’s face mask using detachable ends known as ‘connector cuffs.’ While models vary somewhat, standard PAP hoses generally share the following characteristics:

  • Length: Six feet is the measurement for most standard PAP hoses, but models measure anywhere from four to 10 feet in length.
  • Diameter: In order to be compatible with all PAP face masks, the hose must have a connector cuff with an internal diameter that measures 22 millimeters (mm). For the internal diameter of the hose itself, standard models measure 19mm; slimmer hoses with an external diameter of 15mm have also been introduced in recent years.
  • Compatibility: PAP hoses with a connector cuff with an internal diameter of 22mm will be compatible with most CPAP, BiPAP, and APAP machines, as well as face masks. If smaller machines (such as travel-size CPAP machines) are used, a hose adapter may be required.
  • Composition: Standard PAP hoses are typically made from materials like polypropylene or polyethylene. The ends (or cuffs) are often made from rubber, as well.
  • Texture: Most PAP hoses are ridged on the outside, which makes them more flexible and easier to contort, but the interior will be smooth for optimal, non-resistance airflow.
  • Price: Standard PAP hoses are fairly inexpensive; most models cost $25 or less.

In addition to standard PAP hoses, shoppers may opt for models with the following customizations; please note that some tubing options may feature more than one of these customizations.

  • Heated: Some PAP machine manufacturers offer hoses embedded with copper coils, which are slightly heated to create a warmer temperature for the entire hose. This can improve comfort for users, especially during colder times of the year, and also help minimize ‘rainout’ (see next section for more information about this issue).
  • Sensor lines: Certain types of PAP therapy, including BiPAP and APAP, involve variable pressure settings based on the sleeper’s breathing patterns. Sensory lines are built-in adapters that monitor the user’s breathing patterns and, if needed, adjust the pressurization settings.
  • Short tubes: Modeled like standard PAP hoses, short tubes connect directly to stand alone humidifiers, not PAP airflow generators.
  • Collapsible: Collapsible PAP hoses, which match standard PAP hoses in terms of measurements and functionality, are designed for travelers; some models collapse to 10 or 11 inches.

The table below illustrates the differences and similarities between these PAP hose types.

PAP Hose Type Description Dimensions Average Price Range Notes
Standard Connects CPAP, BiPAP, and APAP machines with face masks 4 to 10 feet long
22mm connector cuff diameter
19mm (standard) or 15mm (slim) diameter
$10 to $25 Most are compatible with all PAP machines and face masks
Wide availability
Heated Standard PAP hose embedded with heating copper wires that increase the overall temperature 4 to 10 feet long
22mm connector cuff diameter
19mm (standard) or 15mm (slim) diameter
$35 to $60 Most are compatible with all PAP machines and face masks
Moderate availability
Sensor Line Standard PAP hose with built-in adaptor to adjust pressurization settings based on user’s breathing activity 4 to 10 feet long
22mm connector cuff diameter
19mm diameter (most not compatible with 15mm models)
$15 to $30 Most are only compatible with certain CPAP, BiPAP, and/or APAP machines
Low availability
Short Tube Shortened PAP hose used to connect directly with standalone humidifiers 2 feet or shorter
15mm diameter (most not compatible with 19mm models)
$5 to $20 Some are only compatible with certain CPAP, BiPAP, and/or APAP machines
Moderate availability
Collapsible Standard PAP hoses that can be broken down and easily stored for travel 4 to 10 feet long (when in use)
10 to 12 inches long (when collapsed)
19mm (standard) or 15mm (slim) diameter
$30 to $45 Most are compatible with all PAP machines and face masks
Low availability

Please note: many PAP hoses are sold as ‘CPAP hoses’ or ‘CPAP tubing.’ However, most are also compatible with BiPAP and APAP machines. Check the product information for any restrictions.

PAP Hose Care and Maintenance Tips

Properly caring for and maintaining a PAP hose can significantly extend the product’s overall lifespan. To ensure maximum durability, be sure to address the following issues.

Problem #1: Cold water has accumulated in the hose

Water may accumulate in the PAP hose if the user’s bedroom is excessively cold compared to the interior of the hose. This problem may also occur due to defects with the humidifier that generate too much moisture.

Address this problem with the following steps:

  1. Do not let any electric fans and/or air vents blow directly onto the hose at any part.
  2. Reduce the temperature of the humidifier.
  3. A lower humidifier temperature may resolve the moisture buildup, but some users complain of irritation in their breathing passages. If this occurs, consider investing in an insulating cover for the hose; these are usually sold for $20 or less.
  4. Alternatively, you may be able to resolve this problem by using a heated PAP hose, rather than standard tubing.
Problem #2: 'Rainout' has occurred inside the hose

‘Rainout’ refers to the buildup of water in the hose when warm, moist air condenses between the generator and the face mask. Rainout may be due to a defective humidifier and/or excessively low bedroom temperatures. In either case, the air in the tube releases moisture as the tube itself cools down; this results in condensation.

To reduce or prevent rainout, please follow these steps:

  1. Increase the bedroom temperature.
  2. Adjust the PAP machine so that it is level with your bed.
  3. Consider investing in an insulating cover for the hose.
  4. Decrease the humidifier temperature.
  5. Consider purchasing either a PAP machine with a ‘rainout reduction’ modification or a heated PAP hose.
Problem #3: Bacteria growth has developed inside the hose

For best results, detach and hang the PAP hose the morning after every use. Hang-drying the hose will reduce the spread of bacteria that can cause health issues for users. The best-practice method for daily detaching and hang-drying is as follows:

  1. Use connector cuffs to detach the hose from the machine, rather than pulling the hose itself.
  2. Hang the hose in a place where it will not come into contact with excessive moisture.
  3. Keep the hose away from pets and small children.
  4. Wash the hose every week; allow to air dry. Hose brushes are also available.
  5. If you are unable to detach and hang-dry the hose each day, you’ll need to replace the hose more often (multiple times per year in some cases).
Problem #4: The hose is showing signs of wear

PAP hoses generally last one year with proper maintenance, but users should replace them if they develop one or more of the following problems:

  • Cracked exterior lining or rubber ends
  • Marks on the tubing near the rubber that indicate excessive stretching
  • Mold
  • Punctures or tears in the hose material
Problem #5: The hose becomes tangled during the night

Tangles are usually due to hose and/or PAP machine placement in relation to the sleeper’s position. The hose can become tangles if it wraps around certain areas of the bed, as well. Tangling can cause early wear and tear, and also poses safety risks for sleepers. The following workarounds may help reduce hose tangling:

  • Invest in a CPAP bed pillow. Unlike standard pillows, these models come with recessed sides where the face mask and the hose can rest without bunching up or piling on the sleeper’s body. Some pillows have built-in hose clips, as well.
  • Run the hose behind or underneath the bed. If the machine is close to the bed, the hose may be long enough to place in areas around the bed where it won’t have too much slack. However, make sure there is not too much tension; this can result in discomfort, and may also affect or interrupt the airflow.
  • Invest in a hose suspension system. As the name implies, hose suspension systems elevate the hose off of the ground and hold it in a fixed position. These products are generally available for $50 or less.

Important Considerations for PAP Hose Shoppers

When shopping for a new PAP hose and comparing different brands and models, here are a few key factors to consider:

What is your PAP hose budget?

While all PAP hoses are generally affordable, the price-point for individual models may range from less than $8 to more than $70. Standard, non-modified hoses typically cost $25 or less.

What is the hose's internal diameter?

The interior of a standard PAP hose will measure 19mm in diameter. A significant number of ‘slim’ models measure 15mm in diameter; these can only be used with machines that are compatible with this measurement, as not all machines are.

Do you prefer a heated PAP hose?

A heated PAP hose can be beneficial because it improves comfort for CPAP users (low temperatures can make hoses feel excessively cold) and helps prevent rainout and water buildup. However, these models are slightly more expensive than standard hoses; the average price range for a heated hose is $35 to $60.

Do you receive BiPAP or APAP therapy?

If the answer is yes, then a hose with a sensor line might be a worthwhile investment; these hoses help adjust pressure settings based on the user’s breathing patterns. However, it’s important to note that most sensor line hoses are only compatible with select machines (typically, the same manufacturer makes the machine and the sensor line hose).

What is your ideal hose length?

Hoses may measure anywhere from four to 10 feet in length. The distance between the machine and your bed is an important consideration, as well as the location of fans and/or air vents in your room (the hose should not be placed near these air generators).

What is your ideal hose weight?

Keep in mind that heavier hoses can be more unwieldy than lighter hoses. That being said, most weigh six ounces or less.

What is the return policy for the hose?

Due to their personal nature, most hoses cannot be returned for a refund after they have been used; some manufacturers allow unopened hoses to be returned. Warranties for PAP hoses are fairly rare; in most cases, warranties for these products will not extend beyond one year.

Best PAP Hoses: Brands and Models

Next, let’s look at the top PAP hoses according to the people who use them. The following PAP hoses have received the top satisfaction ratings from owners and customers. To learn about purchasing these products, please visit the links found in the bottom row of the table. To ensure accurate rankings, we only considered PAP hoses for which we’ve verified at least 100 owner and customer reviews. Please note the following costs for the ‘Average Price’ category:

  • $: Less than $10
  • $$: $10 to $19.99
  • $$$: $20 to $30
  • $$$$: More than $30

Also note: due to insufficient customer and owner data for most modified PAP hoses, the table below only contains standard models.

Brand CPAP.com MARS Wellness Philips Respironics ResMed Roscoe Vaunn Medical
Model CPAP Hose Premium Universal CPAP Tubing Hose Pure White Slimline Tubing Lightweight CPAP Tubing High Performance CPAP and BiPAP Tubing
Average Price $ $$ $ $$$$ $ $
Length 6 ft. 8 ft. 6 ft. 6 ft. 8 ft. 6 ft.
Diameter 19mm (hose)
22mm (cuffs)
19mm (hose)
22mm (cuffs)
19mm (hose)
22mm (cuffs)
15mm (hose)
22mm (cuffs)
15mm (hose)
22mm (cuffs)
15mm (hose)
22mm (cuffs)
Weight 4.5 oz. 4.8 oz. 4.0 oz. 3.2 oz. 5.1 oz. 2.5 oz.
Heated? No No No No No No
Sensor Line? No No No No No No
Restrictions? Incompatible with machines that require 15mm hoses Compatible with most CPAP, BiPAP, and APAP machines Compatible with most CPAP, BiPAP, and APAP machines Only compatible with select machines Incompatible with machines that require 15mm hoses Only compatible with select machines
Return Policy None None None None None None
Available cpap.com Amazon Amazon Amazon cpap.com Amazon

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