Philips Respironics is a subsidiary of Royal Philips Electronics, a Dutch multinational tech company that has been around for more than a century. Philips acquired Respironics Inc., a Philadelphia-based manufacturer specializing in sleep therapy devices, in 2007. As a part of the Philips Electronics North America Corporation, Philips Respironics is associated with a A+ Rating from the BBB.
Today, Philips Respironics has become a leader in therapy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a sleep disorder that causes breath to continually stop and start during sleep. The company manufactures CPAP machines in addition to sleep therapy masks and accessories.
CPAP — or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure — devices are a considered the most effective tools for treating OSA. Philips Respironics offers four models of CPAP machines, including the Philips Respironics DreamStation Auto, Pro, Original, and Go. All are four are powerful technologies, but each DreamStation model comes with different features, special considerations, and price points.
A CPAP machine represents an important and costly investment, so — as with any major purchase — it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the brand and model before making a buying decision. If you are considering purchasing a CPAP device from Philips Respironics, this guide will walk you through the details of the different options to help you determine which model is best for you.
The newest addition to the DreamStation line, the DreamStation Auto CPAP sets itself apart from the other DreamStation models with its auto-adjusting functionality. During the night, the DreamStation Auto automatically adjusts to your optimal pressure based on your breath throughout the night, as opposed to sticking to a single pressure setting like a fixed machine would.
Monitors breath during the night to automatically increase or decrease pressure as needed
Bluetooth connects to DreamMapper mobile app to deliver detailed data, goal-setting tools, and other handy resources
MaskFit system monitors sleep mask to detect leaks and other issues
Optional heated humidifier attaches to machine to create single unit
High price point
Philips Respironics DreamStation CPAP Pro
In terms of tech, features, and functionality, the DreamStation Pro and the DreamStation Auto are virtually identical — aside from one key difference. Unlike the Auto, the DreamStation CPAP Pro is a fixed pressure machine, which means it will remain at a set pressure rather than automatically adjusting pressure according your to breath during the night. However, it does include a 30-day trial when it functions like an auto CPAP, monitoring and adjusting to your breathing while you sleep. At the end of the trial, the device will tell you the pressure level you used for the majority of the 30 days, allowing you to fix the pressure on the recommended level moving forward.
Includes nearly all of the features of DreamStation Auto, including bluetooth connectivity, optional attached heated humidifier, and MaskFit detection
30-day auto trial assesses optimal pressure based on breathing habits over month-long period
Lower price point
Ceases to offer auto-adjustment functionality after 30-day auto trial
Philips Respironics DreamStation CPAP
The original DreamStation CPAP is the original and least expensive of the DreamStation line. The original Dreamstation CPAP machine boasts similar capabilities as the later editions, minus a few features like CheckMask and Advanced Event Detection.
Includes many of the same features of the newer models, including SmartRamp, auto altitude compensation, and bluetooth connectivity
Lowest price point of the DreamStation models
Does not include auto-adjustment or initial trial period to assess optimal pressure levels
Lacks extra features like CheckMask, Advanced Event Detection, and Flow Waveforms
Philips Respironics DreamStation Go
Just under two pounds, the DreamStation Go is designed to be a compact, travel-friendly CPAP machine that doesn’t sacrifice power or special features. The DreamStation is available in both auto or fixed pressure-adjusting models.
Includes nearly all the features of the full-size models, including user-friendly color touchscreen, bluetooth connectivity, and Advanced Event Detection
Designed with travel-friendly innovations like built-in power supply, USB charging port, and micro flexible tubing (12 mm in diameter, compared to the 15 mm diameter of the full-size models)
FAA-approved for air travel
Most expensive model
Travel case not included
Which Philips Respironics machine will work for me?
If you tend to travel a lot, the powerful, portable DreamStation Go is an obvious choice. Otherwise, as the four DreamStation CPAP models offer much of the same features and technology, budget may be biggest factor when determining the best Philips Respironics device for you. The more you’re able to pay, the more advanced functions — like self-adjusting pressure and mask fit detection — you’ll enjoy.
Wondering whether the DreamStation Auto or DreamStation Pro is right for you? Because studies have found no significant clinical benefits of using an auto-adjusting CPAP over a fixed CPAP, choosing between the two may come down to your sleep habits and preferences. An auto CPAP may be more suited to those whose pressure needs vary more often throughout the night, such as:
Multi-sleep position individuals. People who tend to switch positions while sleeping may need higher CPAP pressure while sleeping on their backs, but lower pressure if they switch to their side. An auto CPAP would be better able to adapt to accommodate these changing pressure needs.
Allergy sufferers. Sleepers who suffer from allergies or certain nasal conditions may need higher pressures during certain times of the night or during different seasons, thus making the DreamStation Auto a better choice.
Alcohol and medication users. You may require a higher level of pressure after drinking alcohol or sedative medications. Those who consume alcohol or take select medications may benefit from the auto-adjustment capabilities of the DreamStation Auto.