The Great Debate: BiPAP Machines vs CPAP Machines

Elderly Snoring

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Zzzzz has become synonymous with snoring. We all know someone that snores! As the medical field has progressed, we have found that there is more likely than not a reason behind why people snore. It’s not your spouse’s fault! Want a restful night sleep for both of you? Enter the BiPAP and CPAP machines. What’s the difference you ask? Let me tell you!

Click the item in the table below to skip to your most pressing question, or continue to read the whole article. Don’t have time for either? Check out my favorite BiPAP machine on Amazon now by clicking here! 

What is a BiPAP machine?

The BiPAP machine stands for bilevel positive airway pressure. After you have visited with your healthcare practitioner, they will give you a prescription for pressure for inhalation and pressure for exhalation. They may determine you need a BiPAP machine over a CPAP machine.

BiPAP machines are different than CPAP machines because they have two different pressure settings. They use both the prescribed inhalation and exhalation pressure your practitioner gave you. These two settings facilitate more air to go both in and out of the lungs.

Another great feature of the BiPAP that the CPAP does not have is that it tracks your breaths per minute. If you aren’t reaching the standard, the machine will actually make you take a breath.

What is a CPAP machine?

The CPAP machine stands for continuous positive airway pressure. Sounds familiar right? It is! Remember, these two machines are closely related and we are trying to find out which one is best for YOU.

The CPAP machine works similarly to the BiPAP machine in that it prevents a person’s airway from collapsing. Again, your practitioner will need to prescribe the amount of pressure you will need. You can then set your CPAP machine to that pressure and enjoy constant pressure all night long.

While the CPAP cannot have two levels of pressure like the BiPAP, some machines do actually start at a lower pressure and build up to the pressure your health care provider has prescribed. This makes it much easier to tolerate!

What they BOTH do

Both of these machines keep your throat muscles from collapsing. That’s a BIG deal. They each  help you breathe easier so you can sleep well at night. So, which one is for you?

When is a BiPAP machine preferred?

Well, most commonly this machine is used when a CPAP machine just won’t cut it. They still can be used for sleep apnea though. The biggest complaints about CPAP’s is that some users have a hard time exhaling in the conditions it creates.

Also, these machines tends to be more useful for patients with: congestive heart failure, lung disorders (COPD, pneumonia, asthma), and certain neuromuscular disorders.

When is a CPAP machine preferred?

The CPAP is known for use in treating sleep apnea. Most people have heard of sleep apnea and actually associate the CPAP with just that. Someone you know has one and uses one every night. I remember seeing my grandma using one for the first time. I had no idea what it was but I was sure glad her snoring stopped!

Which BiPAP and CPAP machine is best?

Philips Respironics makes an amazing BiPAP. The Bipap Avaps S/T, C Series, Heated Tube is the best machine available in the market.

Head over to Amazon now to find out more by clicking here.


Philips Respironics are cutting edge and provide quality products you can count on. It has all the add-ons you may need including the heated tube humidifier should you desire it. It really is miles ahead of most other machines.

Looking for a CPAP machine? Surprise! Philips Respironics does it again! I would highly recommend looking into purchasing a CPAP machine through this company as well. There are many different varieties.

Purchase Options

First and foremost, make sure to check with your primary physician prior to purchasing! They will get you both the prescription you need and let you know which machine will work best for you.

I would highly recommend purchasing the BiPAP Avaps S/T, C series, Heated Tube through Amazon by clicking here.

As far as the CPAP machine goes, it is not available on Amazon yet from what I can see. So, I would go directly through the Philips Respironics webpage.

The Verdict

The answer to the great debate is….? Spoiler alert- I can’t tell you which one is better. The reason? It’s pretty clear that each machine works differently and for different people. Do you have a cardiopulmonary disease? Then the BiPAP is for you! Do you have sleep apnea? Then the CPAP is for you!

What I can tell you is this. If one of these machines have been recommended to you, I strongly suggest getting a Philips Respironics BiPAP or CPAP machine. Stop elbowing your spouse in the night! Both of you can get a good night’s sleep with a new BiPAP or CPAP machine.


Author: Kristine Thiessen

Kristine has been interested in caring for the others since her early teen years. She started out by getting her CNA license at 16 and taking college medical related classes while still in high school. From there, she went on to nursing school where she decided needles and shots were just not for her. Changing tracts, she finished her bachelor's degree in biology with the hopes of helping others. While in college, she shadowed, worked along side, and interned with several different medical offices. After graduating, she worked in a couple of healthcare positions before settling in to managing a home health care company. This is where she found her real passion. She loved everything from the increased and lengthened independence to the one-on-one care. Seeing all the different medical fields opened her eyes to the benefits and drawbacks of different ways of helping others and treating them. Her main focus now is creating a safe environment in client's homes to help keep their independence as long as possible. Through Home Health Gear, you will find numerous articles pertaining to medical equipment you need in your home to handy gadgets to make life just a little easier for the elderly and disabled. These are accompanied by opinion pieces by Kristine and medical professionals guest posting.

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