How Often Should You Replace CPAP Equipment and Supplies?

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It may seem wasteful to replace your CPAP supplies when the equipment looks perfectly fine, but new equipment helps keep the device clean and functioning at its best. How often should you replace your CPAP supplies may be determined in part by your insurance company, and there are some general guidelines that can be followed. 

A woman wearing a CPAP mask for sleep apnea
Juanmonino / Getty Images

Your durable medical equipment provider may keep you on schedule for the replacement of your supplies, which is very convenient. It is recommended that you replace the parts as often as insurance is willing to pay for these replacements.

However, in your effort to become a well-informed patient, it is also important to understand the anticipated lifespan of your equipment and how often to swap it out.

If you use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or bilevel to treat your sleep apnea, you may need to replace:

  • The mask
  • Headgear
  • Chinstrap
  • Tubing (heated or standard)
  • Filters (disposable or reusable)
  • Humidifier water chamber
  • CPAP device

Let the following information based on the Medicare replacement schedule be your guide.


Replace your mask every three months. The mask is the harder plastic portion of your interface. Replace the softer plastic cushion insert or pillows that actually touch your skin more often.

Mask Cushion and Pillows

Replace the mask cushion or nasal pillows as often as two times per month. This is the part of the mask that actually touches your face. If it is a piece you can separate from the rest of the mask’s harder plastic framework, chances are you will replace it independently.

If you have a full-face mask, plan to replace this cushion once per month.


In general, replace headgear every six months. Neoprene is the stretchy material that helps to accommodate the shape of your head to ensure an optimal mask. As it repeatedly stretches, it may start to give too much and not keep a proper seal.

In addition, oils from your skin or hair may also accumulate. If the headgear appears discolored or no longer holds a seal, it is time to replace it.


Replace your chinstrap every six months. Much like the headgear that keeps the CPAP mask in place, a chinstrap may gradually weaken and become overly stretched. The Velcro may also become less effective over time.


Replace CPAP tubing, whether it is heated or standard, every three months. Tubing gets dirty over time, with condensation increasing the risk of contaminants that could enter your lungs. Small holes that form as the plastic of the tubing breaks down reduce the treatment's efficacy.


Your CPAP machine may have two types of filters, both of which require regular replacement. Keeping these relatively inexpensive components as clean as possible will ensure the purity of the air you breathe as well as the long-term functionality of your device.

The older Respironics machines have a gray foam filter you should rinse often and replace every six months. Beneath it, there is a white paper filter you replace every two weeks. The newer DreamStation has two integrated filters that can be replaced with this same frequency.

The ResMed AirSense machines have a white-colored filter you replace every two weeks

Humidifier Water Chamber

Replace the water tank that functions as the humidifier every six months. If your CPAP has an integrated or attached heated humidifier, clean and occasionally replace the water chamber. Not using distilled water may lead to further problems with keeping the water reservoir clean. 

Your CPAP or Bilevel Device

Typically, insurance will pay to replace the entire PAP device every five years. If you change insurance or pay out of pocket, you may be able to replace the unit sooner.

If there are problems within the first two to three years, it may be replaced or repaired under the manufacturer's warranty. A malfunction that occurs between the third and fifth year of use may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by your supplier.

There may be some variability in how often you are eligible for supply replacement, so speak with your durable medical equipment provider, board-certified sleep medicine physician, or insurance company to clarify your schedule as needed.

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  1. ResMed. Knowing when to replace your supplies.

Additional Reading

By Brandon Peters, MD
Brandon Peters, MD, is a board-certified neurologist and sleep medicine specialist.