Consistent use is one of the keys to getting the most out of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. When prescribing this treatment, your sleep specialist will explain why it’s important to avoid skipping therapy, even if it’s for one night.
In most cases, following your nightly sleep apnea treatment isn’t an issue when you’re at home. CPAP machines can be plugged into the wall and will function through the night.
However, you want to make sure you’re prepared for anything that could interrupt therapy, such as power outages or traveling to areas where you don’t have easy access to a wall outlet.
This is why it’s always a good idea to have a battery backup handy. In this article we offer a practical guide to choosing the best battery backup for your CPAP machine.
Consider the Size of the Battery For Your CPAP
First of all, you will need to consider battery size, since each machine has different requirements. When shopping around for batteries, you will notice that they come in 12v and 24v, with power ratings ranging between 30 and 90 watts.
As a general rule of thumb, the more advanced settings your machine has, the larger size battery it will need. Pressure levels also affect power requirements, as do any accessories you use to make device use more comfortable, such as humidifiers or heated tubes.
We recommend checking your machine’s manual to see if it specifies wattage and voltage requirements. Alternatively, ask the battery provider if a given product will be enough to power your machine.
What Type of CPAP Batteries Do You Need?Next, you want to look at which type of battery you need. In most cases, you’ll have two options to choose from:
- Lithium-ion batteries, which are the most common type due to their portability and quick charging properties. Their downside is that they require charging more often than deep cycle batteries.
- Deep-cycle batteries, which are heavier and more powerful, but aren’t as portable and require a special setup to charge and use.
If you need a battery backup for travel or a plug-and-play option, lithium-ion batteries are the right choice for you.
Check if You Can Take CPAP Battery On an Airplane
If after reading the last section, you’re considering a lithium-ion battery, think about how often you fly and how much luggage you normally carry. Lithium-ion batteries cannot be transported in checked baggage, so you’ll need to make sure you have enough room on your carry on.
Please check the TSA requirements to familiarize yourself with the screening process for Continuous Positive Air Pressure devices and accessories.
We always recommend asking the airline about their specific requirements, and getting your sleep specialist to write a note saying the equipment is needed for medical reasons.
Is UPS Backup A Good Alternative?
In addition to their power capacity, batteries differ in how they work during a power outage. Some batteries function like an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) and automatically turn on when they detect an outage.
However, others require you to unplug the machine from the wall socket and manually switch to battery-powered operation.
If you live in an area where outages are common, you may want to go for the first type. This way, you will make sure you’re never caught without a reliable source of power for your continuous positive airway pressure machine.
Longer Battery Life & Quick Charge
Most lithium-ion batteries can run your machine for a few nights at a time. If you need to extend battery life, you may need to lower or turn off humidifier and RAMP settings, and switch to a non-heated tube.
Power inverter kits for deep-cycle batteries consume a lot of battery power, so don’t use them if you want the battery to hold its charge for longer.
Some batteries can be charged in as little as 2 hours, whereas others can take up to 9 hours.
How Much do CPAP Batteries Cost?
Prices vary significantly depending on specifications. Most backup batteries are priced between $200 and $600, although models in the lower price range tend to have a shorter battery life and take longer to recharge.
Check out SleepQuest’s CPAP batteries: https://shop.sleepquest.com/collections/power-supplies