Difference Between a Disposable and Non-Disposable CPAP Filter

Topics: CPAP Device, CPAP Machine, CPAP Therapy

In sleep apnea, a rest disorder, patients experience pauses in breathing while resting at night. In order to correct this problem, it is necessary to prevent the collapse of the airway. For this, using the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is a recommended solution. The device delivers a constant stream of oxygen to your airway and prevents obstruction. It consists of a mask, tube, and filter and helps the patient breathe without extra effort. To help patients better understand the CPAP components, we will now delve into how CPAP filters work and the difference between reusable and non-reusable filters. Have a glance!

Difference Between Disposable an


What is a CPAP filter? What are its types?

A CPAP filter is an indispensable part of the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. It purifies the air before it is pressurised and sent to your airway. Getting rid of the pollutants before pumping the air into your respiratory system is essential as it protects the lungs and integrity of the CPAP machine.

The CPAP filters are primarily of two types, disposable and non-disposable filters. While the prior type needs to be discarded and replaced in some time, the latter can be taken out, washed, and reused. Factors like air quality, smoking habits, and shedding pets play a role in deciding how frequently a CPAP filter needs to be replaced. Ensuring periodic maintenance can help keep the machine functional for a longer duration.

What is the role of a CPAP filter? How does it work?

A CPAP filter helps get rid of pollutants like dust, mold, smoke, pet hair, pollen, and other allergens before they reach the lungs. In addition, it helps ensure that the sleep apnea treatment continues without posing a threat to respiratory health. Thus, as soon as the air enters the CPAP machine, it is purified using the filter. Next, the air is made to travel further where it is pressurised and passed through the tubing. The oxygen is then sent to the mask from where it enters your body.

Differences between the disposable and non-disposable CPAP filter

Several factors make disposable and non-disposable CPAP filters different from each other. These are as follows:

  • Based on material:

In most CPAP machines, at least one CPAP disposable filter is provided. Made of thin paper or paper-like material, it is electrostatically charged, which helps attract and catch the tiniest particles. The CPAP non-disposable filter, on the other hand, is made from absorbent foam and located at the back of the CPAP machine.

  • On the basis of use:

The disposable CPAP filters are made from paper and cannot be used again. Typically, they need to be changed every two weeks. If it begins showing signs of discolouration or residue, you will do well to replace it earlier. On the opposite, the non-disposable filters are reusable. Also known as pollen filters, they can efficiently catch larger particles. They need better maintenance than the non-reusable CPAP filters and should be cleaned every once a week.

  • Who should use it:

People with an allergy or sensitivity are recommended to use the CPAP disposable filter as they require less maintenance. However, the reusable filters are more suitable for people who need the air to be free of larger particles and are ready to clean it once every week.

Is there a way to use both filters?

The dual-filtration systems feature both disposable and non-disposable filters. In them, the non-reusable filter is fitted inside the reusable filter and aids in removing all the big and small particles. To ensure the CPAP machine works efficiently, you need to change the disposable filter once or twice a month and wash the non-disposable one on a weekly basis.


The CPAP machine helps people with sleep apnea catch a good night’s sleep. The device features a filter to provide clean and purified oxygen, so you don’t develop any breathing problems. While one of them is the disposable filter that is made of paper, the other is the non-disposable filter that you can wash and reuse.

Disclaimer: The solutions mentioned above are only suggestive and should not be taken as medical advice. The readers are advised to practice caution and consult a healthcare professional before initiating therapy. Asking a medical advisor about the correct maintenance of the device is recommended.

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