Where Can I Buy CPAP Supplies?
Choosing where and how to buy a CPAP machine and supplies can feel overwhelming. However, there are lots of options that may make the process easier.
The 3 most common methods are buying from a durable medical equipment supplier, purchasing online, or buying from “big box” chain stores. There are pros and cons to each method, so understanding the differences can help you make the right choice for your needs.
What should I know before buying?
Before you can decide where to buy your CPAP machine, you need to know what type to buy. Your doctor may have recommendations, or you can search for one on your own. Choosing the right mask is the most important step. Comfort and the right fit are key for a good night’s sleep.1
You may also want to think about noise, a humidifier option, and portability. Some machines also have alerts if the mask has fallen off during sleep. You can talk to your doctor about other options, like data recording and exhalation pressure relief. The data may be important to understand if your CPAP is working well for you. Some people with sleep apnea find it difficult to exhale against the pressure of the CPAP. Exhalation pressure relief can make it easier to breathe out.1
Buying CPAP supplies from durable medical equipment suppliers
Durable medical equipment (DME) refers to the tools and machines that are needed to treat a medical problem. Examples are walkers, braces, and CPAP machines.2
DME suppliers can be a good place to buy CPAP machines and any needed supplies. They often work with sleep centers and doctors’ offices. One downside to DME suppliers is that they tend to be more expensive than other options. However, they can be very helpful for those using CPAP for the first time.2
DME suppliers often have support teams available by phone, online chat, or email at all times. They can help you set up your CPAP and assist with any issues or questions that pop up. Though they are more expensive, the extra cost may be worth the extra support.2
Buying CPAP supplies online
Online shopping can be very convenient, especially if you are already comfortable with online shopping. Many people appreciate shopping from home on their own schedule. Often, online sites have lower prices and may have a wider selection of supplies than retail stores. You also have the benefit of reading reviews from real customers.3
However, there are downsides to online shopping. It may be hard to be sure that the online supplier you have found is reputable. Also, not all online retailers work with insurance companies. You also may find very high shipping costs or have to wait a long time to receive your supplies. If you are buying a CPAP machine and supplies for the first time, you will not be able to try on any masks if you are shopping online.1,3
If you are familiar with the products you are buying and the online site you are buying from, online shopping may be a good choice.
Buy CPAP supplies at retail or chain stores
Many large retail and chain stores now also sell CPAP machines and supplies.
These retailers often have more affordable options, and you do not need to wait for shipping if you are buying in-stock products. However, many retail and chain stores may have limited product selections. Also, these retailers may not offer the same support resources that many DME and online stores do. Retail stores are often a good place for replacing small parts or restocking supplies.4
What to avoid when buying CPAP supplies
Your CPAP machine is an important piece of equipment. Avoid unreliable sellers. Buying from suppliers that are not trusted may mean that you receive a CPAP machine or supplies that are less than their best. Also, avoid buying any second-hand pieces. These may not be cleaned properly or may not work reliably.1
If you have more questions about your CPAP machine or supplies, reach out to your physician or sleep clinic.
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