Review: ResMed AirMini Portable CPAP Machine

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The AirMini and a traditional CPAP machine

The AirMini and a traditional CPAP machine

Although frequent travelers may want it to be their single CPAP machine, ResMed designed the AirMini to be a companion device. It therefore lacks some useful features found in the full-size ResMed machines. For example, a color LCD display on the AirSense 10 enables certain settings to be customized, including humidification level, and provides data about the user’s sleep for the past day, week, month, three months and six months. The AirMini has no such display, and instead leverages a dedicated app that offers much less customization and insight.

While the full-size ResMed machine is compatible with masks from many brands, and can be used with a heated tube that prevents humidity from becoming condensation, the AirMini works with only four ResMed masks (two of them full-face masks) and, presently, the humidification filter system won’t attach to the full-face masks, limiting their usefulness.

The DME (durable medical equipment) or HME (home medical equipment) provider that sells the AirMini performs the initial setup (of CPAP pressure setting, for example) according to the user’s prescription. Through the AirMini app, the user designates comfort settings such as ramp time (how long the machine takes to achieve the prescribed pressure) and auto start/stop. These settings are transferred once via Bluetooth and retained in the unit.

With auto start/stop enabled, putting on the mask or taking it off will control the machine. For manual activation a power button is available on the unit proper.

When purchased as a secondary machine, the AirMini won’t be covered by most (if not all) insurance policies; check with your insurance provider for specific coverage details. And the typical $880 price tag does not include the cost of accessories such as HumidX filters (which have a 30-day lifespan), air filters, masks, tubing, or carrying cases. (A travel pouch is, however, included with the machine.)

My family member used the AirMini during a recent weekend getaway and slept as well with it as with his full-size machine.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the AirMini is exclusively a CPAP machine, which provides a constant air pressure to the user during inhalation and exhalation. Unlike full-size machines, it is not available in a BiPAP (two pressures) version, and ResMed says a BiPAP AirMini is not on the company’s product roadmap.

BOTTOM LINE

The ResMed AirMini is a convenient alternative to a full-size CPAP machine while traveling because it’s small and lightweight and eliminates the need to obtain distilled water when in unfamiliar surroundings. But its very strengths are also its limitations, and that makes it a less than ideal stand-in for a full-size machine at home.

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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