CPAP Therapy Treatment and Tips

A beginner’s guide to CPAP therapy: Humidification


If you use a CPAP machine to help you sleep better at night, you might benefit from using a CPAP humidifier. CPAP humidification can help many therapy users feel more comfortable using their machines. But what exactly does a CPAP humidifier do, and how can you get the most out of it?

Let us answer all those questions you might have as someone just starting out on CPAP. 

What is a CPAP humidifier?

One thing to consider when using CPAP therapy is the potential for getting a dry nose and throat. This is where a CPAP humidifier comes in.

A CPAP humidifier helps avoid this by adding moisture from a heated tub of distilled water into the air you breathe from your CPAP machine. It can be a simple way to make your CPAP therapy more pleasant and comfortable.

CPAP machines such as our ResMed AirSense™ 10 and AirCurve™ 10  machines come with a built-in CPAP humidifier. 

What does a CPAP humidifier do?

A CPAP humidifier is designed to help prevent you from getting a dry mouth and dry or runny nose. It does the simple job that your nose usually performs on its own.

Our noses act as humidifiers, warming up the inhaled air so that it’s more comfortable for us. Air coming through a CPAP machine can benefit from its own humidification because it’s entering your airway faster than your nose can warm it. 

What kind of water can i use in my CPAP?

We recommend the water tub be filled using distilled water. Tap water contains impurities that can build-up and lead to poor performance.

How often do i change the water in my CPAP?

On average, people go through an entire water chamber every one to two nights. However, this may vary depending on factors such as the:

•    Temperature/humidity of your bedroom
•    Length of time your machine is being used for during the night
•    Pressure settings of your machine
•    Humidity level of your machine

Your device will work normally if it runs out of water in the tub, but it will no longer provide humidification. If you find that the water in your humidifier is empty in the morning, consider adjusting some of things mentioned above.

Can i use my CPAP without water?

Your machine works without water in the tub, but you need to insert the tub into the machine and turn humidification off in the My Options menu on your AirSense 10 or AirCurve 10 machine. If you don’t want to use the humidifier, you’ll need to insert a side cover into the device. 

How do i clean my CPAP humidifier?

To get the best possible therapy, it’s important to clean your CPAP humidifier on a regular basis. To keep your humidifier in good working order, follow our tips below on how to clean your humidifier weekly: 

•    Wash your humidifier tub in warm water using only mild detergent 
•    Rinse the tub thoroughly and place on a flat surface, on top of a towel, to dry. Avoid placing in direct sunlight

You should also be regularly checking the water tub for any damage:

•    Inspect the water tub for wear and deterioration
•    Replace the water tub if any component has cracked, becomes cloudy or pitted or if the seal is cracked or torn 
•    Clean any white powder or deposits in the water tub by using a solution of one part household vinegar to ten parts water

You can refer to our user guide for detailed advice on cleaning your specific type of device and its components. 

How often should i replace my CPAP humidifier?

It's important to keep your humidification tub in good condition to ensure it works properly. Over time, these tubs can become damaged or build up with bacteria if not cleaned regularly. 
To improve the lifespan of your tub, use distilled water to avoid the mineral deposits that tap water leaves behind. 

It's a good idea to inspect your humidification tub for wear and deterioration once a month. We recommend you replace your tub every year to ensure it continues to work effectively. If you don’t have the time or you’re unsure of what to look out for, you can always take it to your local ResMed store/ authorised dealer  for assistance.

How do i prevent CPAP rainout?

Humidification is key to CPAP comfort for many therapy users. But one uncomfortable side effect that can occur is rainout - that is, when heated air cools in your tubing and reaches your mask as water, causing you to get a damp face. A few ways to avoid rainout include:

•    Use heated tubing: A heated tube can sustain the optimum air temperature in your tube until it reaches your mask (learn more about ResMed’s ClimateLineAir™ tubing ). 
•    Get a tubing wrap: A tubing wrap  is a smooth, insulating wrap for your standard tube. It helps keep the tube temperature above room temperature to reduce the amount of condensation. 
•    Adjustments are key: It’s important to ensure that the air in your humidifier and tubing is heated but not too heated. If your water tub or tube is too hot, the air can lose moisture giving you a dry mouth.

Keeping up with all the cleaning and maintenance of your CPAP equipment may seem overwhelming, but there are ways to simplify the process! One easy tip is to inspect your mask every time you clean it and to check your device every time you change your bedding.

Always refer to the User Guide provided with your CPAP for further instructions.
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE. You should speak to your doctor about your symptoms and whether a CPAP device is suitable for you.


Sign up for the latest news & offers
Stay up to date with the latest products, news, offers and tips for Sleep Apnea, Snoring, Insomnia and overall good Sleep Health.
More articles
8 simple ways to protect your hair when using CPAP
Our top 5 most popular CPAP accessories in 2023
Our top CPAP masks for 2024

Good sleep is essential to good health

Awaken your best with the 14 night sleep challenge

Take part in this fun sleep challenge where you will learn some great tips and habits to help you improve your nightly routine and get a more restful sleep.
Ready to take the challenge?

Take the sleep challenge

Sign up for the latest news & offers

Stay up to date with the latest products, news, offers and tips for Sleep Apnea, Snoring, Insomnia and overall good Sleep Health.

Please enter the required field.

Please enter the required field.

Thanks for signing up.