a laptop and a store with a circle magnifying CPAP supplies you can buy, face masks, distilled water bottle, tubing, filter

Best Places You Can Buy CPAP Supplies, Parts, and Spares

Once you’re diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you’ll be prescribed treatment—most likely a form of positive airway pressure (PAP).

PAP (such as AutoPAP, CPAP, or Bi-level PAP) includes a machine with tubing, a humidifier (usually built-in), a mask with cushion, and sometimes a carrying bag.

The machine itself is prescribed, as it delivers air pressure at a certain level. The FDA regulates this prescription for safety reasons, making it illegal for anyone to sell PAP to someone without a prescription.

However, aside from the machine purchase, you’re free to buy spare parts and supplies on the open market, with or without insurance, as these don’t require a prescription.

Factors to consider when buying PAP supplies and parts

Replacement and replenishment

Certain parts can break or wear out over time. It’s normal to replace:

  • Mask cushions
  • Machine filters
  • Tubing
  • Headgear
  • Humidifying chambers

Some need more frequent replacement than others. For instance, mask cushions and filters are replaced far more frequently than humidifying chambers. Tubing may last a long time, unless you have pets or small children who like to play with CPAP gear! Then, tubing may need to be replaced more often.

Supplies you may need to replenish regularly include:

You may want to keep spares of certain parts, just in case.  For instance, if you travel frequently, you’ll want to pack spares if your tubing or humidifying chamber cracks or a mask cushion tears while on the road. Or, you may have a second residence where you want to keep a separate stash on hand.

Features of a good PAP supplier

Because you’ll buy PAP gear with some frequency, it’s best to find a quality seller who can keep your PAP therapy functional without interruption. Look for sellers who are:

  • Reliable with replacement, maintenance, and replenishment purchases
  • Known for a quick turnaround in an emergency
  • Prepared to offer you built-in educational and patient support resources

For the best service and support, look for these features:

  • Overnight replacement policies
  • Free shipping
  • Knowledgeable service personnel (with medical credentials, especially!)
  • Frequent buyer discounts
  • Clearance pricing
  • Seasonal sales

Insurance versus cash pay

Some sellers handle insurance. If you have good insurance coverage, this may factor into your decision to choose them. They may require you to purchase parts through their network, so check with them first before you buy.

Other sellers offer cash-pay discounts for those who bypass insurance. Dealing with insurance can raise their overhead costs, so they offer discounts to avoid the cost of processing. It’s a win-win for both sides of the transaction.

4 resources for buying PAP supplies

Online sellers

Many online medical supply companies specialize in PAP equipment and supply sales. Some examples (by no means exhaustive):1-5

  • CPAP.com
  • The CPAP Shop
  • CPAP Supply USA
  • Sleep Direct
  • Direct Home Medical

You can also go to Amazon, but buyer beware: If you need first-time user services or guidance for future purchases, you won’t find it on Amazon.

Meanwhile, many dedicated online PAP supply dealers offer education and resources to help you navigate the complicated landscape of PAP therapy.

Also, check manufacturer home pages, such as:6-8

  • EasyBreathe store (ResMed)
  • HealthStore (Philips Respironics)
  • Fisher & Paykel Healthcare products

(Note: Drive Medical recently acquired DeVilBiss; as of this publication, they don’t offer an active online store.)

DME

Often, your PAP is purchased through the DME. They’re poised to supply you with parts, spares, and supplies, especially if they contract with insurance. These local businesses — usually brick-and-mortar — encourage you to meet with PAP specialists to discuss challenges you’re having with mask fit or pressure. They can also point you to new products meant to optimize your PAP experience.

Your sleep center

In some communities, the doctor’s office handles its own patients’ PAP machine and supply orders. (Or, the DME shares the same office.) This can easily streamline your replenishment and replacement needs if you have insurance. It’s also a great way to maintain a good relationship with your sleep physician.

Retail stores

You can now buy PAP products through a new retail franchise known as CPAP Store USA. Launched in late September 2020, it boasts locations in California, Nevada, and Texas.9

Other places to buy PAP supplies and parts in person include big box stores like Walmart and drugstore chains like CVS and Walgreens.

One final thought

Make it easy on yourself by keeping an information card that lists your machine brand and model, your current pressure, and the make and model of your mask. Tuck this into your PAP travel bag to refer to any time you need a new part to ensure you order the right one.

How would you describe your CPAP supplies buying experience? Have you tried more than one resource? Share with us in the comments below.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The SleepApnea.Sleep-Disorders.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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