Philips Respironics DreamStation Auto CPAP Machine review:

Sleek and powerful auto CPAP machine that connects patients and care teams

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philips respironics dreamstation cpap carousel image - Health Sqyre

$449 – $866*

*Depending on add-ons

MSRP: $868.00

(Manufacturer SKU: DSX500S11)

Health Sqyre Editors' Rating

The Good  /  The DreamStation is a smart auto CPAP machine that includes built-in Bluetooth connectivity that connects to the DreamMapper app so that you can track your therapy.  This machine is loaded with features such as mask on/off detection, mask fit check, and optional heated humidifier and heated tube.  Oh… it’s quiet too.

The Bad  /  You’re paying a premium for the DreamStation, which is one of the best machines in the market.  It’s lighter and quieter than it’s closest comparison machine by ResMed and for that, you’re going to pay top dollar for it.

The Bottom Line  /  The DreamStation’s smart, useful functionality makes it well worth splurging on this machine.  It’s arguably the best CPAP machine you can buy.

9.3Overall
  • Design 9.5
  • Features 9.5
  • Weight 9.5
  • Power 8.5
  • Sound Level 9.5

Philips Respironics’ is taking big swings with the new DreamStation Auto CPAP Machine with optional humidifier and heated tube. Some land square, some miss their mark. Altogether, this is a beautiful, powerful machine that almost every CPAP user will want.

The DreamStation is smaller and lighter than its predecessor, with Integrated Bluetooth connectivity standard on every device and even comes with optional Wi-Fi and cellular modems.  This makes it easy for patients to connect to Respironics’ DreamMapper app where patients can find helpful videos, self-manager therapy, and even set therapy goals.  The new DreamStation also has a boatload of additional advanced features incorporated in the machine including, SmartRamp, Mask Fit Check, A-Flex Pressure Relief, among others that we’ll discuss in this product review.

Pound for pound, this lightweight machine is one of the best that you can buy.  Philips Respironics was lagging with their previous machine, the PR System One, but have put out a winner in the DreamStation.  The DreamStation is light years ahead of the PR System One as the folks at Philips have leveraged their technology legacy to provide CPAP users with a machine that has both beauty and brains.

philips respironics dreamstation cpap by the bed couple on bed checking dreammapper cpap data on ipad - Health Sqyre

DreamStation Auto CPAP Product Features

The DreamStation is loaded with features.  You could say it’s the “Cadillac” of CPAP machines.  Ready to look under the hood?  Here we go…

A-Flex Pressure Relief and Opti-Start Technology

The DreamStation Auto CPAP monitors users on a breath by breath basis throughout the night, providing increased and decreased pressures as needed when events occur.  When an apneic event is detected the machine auto adjusts to increase pressure to suppor the airway.  Additionally, the DreamStation’s A-Flex Pressure Relief capabilities mimic natural patient breathing patterns by decreasing pressure during exhalation.  This softens the transition between patient inhalation and exhalation further creating a more natural breathing cadence.   DreamStation’s Opti-Start technology begins therapy at a decreased pressure from the previous session (90% of the previous session) to address any residual events that may occur.

SmartRamp

Traditional ramps increase pressure constantly over a set period of time.  SmartRamp does not because, well, it’s smart.  SmartRamp monitors the patient and only increases pressure if an apneic event occurs.  If the event requires the lowest pressure in the APAP range, the range will conclude.  Don’t worry, if you like the (not) SmartRamp you can also use the traditional ramp.

Intuitive, User-Friendly Software and Display

This machine has a front-facing beautiful color display with a large dial to make it easy to navigate various menus and settings.  There’s also an ambient light sensor on the top of the machine that adjusts screen brightness depending on the light levels in the room.  Anyone remember those awful hotel alarm clocks with the bright red numbers that would light the room when you were trying to sleep?!  Apparently Philips’ does and wouldn’t stand for it…  Yay!

GIF Below: Look how aesthetically pleasing the user interface is! 

Data, Data, Data!

Are you trying to get better at your CPAP therapy?  Of course you are…  The DreamStation provides patients with a plethora of data including AHI, Periodic Breathing, Leak Rate, and Therapy Hours.  It also shows the pressure the machine was at or below 90% of the time.

Bluetooth Connectivity

Integrated Bluetooth comes standard on every DreamStation device and Wi-Fi and cellular modems are optional upgrades.  This machines built-in Bluetooth makes it easy to connect to Philips Respironics’ app, DreamMapper (Android and iOS), which provides patients with a variety of helpful tools that include how-to videos, data, and goal setting to keep patients motivated and engaged.  Furthermore, each morning patients are shown a summary of their progress.  This machine makes it a breeze to monitor the effectiveness of your therapy if you’re competitive or if you just want to improve your therapy.  The display shows a trend of nightly hours that you used your CPAP, followed by a summary of the last 30 days where you used the machine for more than four hours.  Lastly, this machine can also connect to Respironics’ powerful Encore Anywhere patient compliance software so your phyisician can monitor your progress and help you achieve optimal results.

Philips respironics dreamstation data tracking dreammapper displaying on iphone and ipad - Health Sqyre

The new DreamStation is equipped with Bluetooth capabilities and DreamMapper.

 

Mask Fit Check

The DreamStations mask fit check will help you figure out if your mask is fitting properly or if it’s leaking.  The machine will provide airflow to the mask and let you know if leaks are detected in the mask.  The DreamStation can also detect if the user has their mask on or off and will stop therapy is the mask comes off for all of the active sleepers out there!

Optional heated tube and heated tube

The optional Heated Humidifier attaches directly to the DreamStation Pro. The humidifier snaps securely onto the back of the DreamStation device to form a single integrated unit that can be setup and adjusted from the machine’s primary LCD display.The DreamStation Heated Tubing provides extra protection from rainout and allows greater humidity levels than traditional non-heated tubing.

doctor holding ipad showing dreammapper data tracking for philips respironics dreamstation cpap - Health Sqyre

Physicians at Health Sqyre can help optimize your CPAP therapy.

DreamStation Auto CPAP Compared With…

There are a lot of CPAP machines on the market but only a handful are worth thinking about purchasing.  Here is how the DreamStation compares with a couple of other notable machines.

ResMed AirSense 10

The AirSense 10 AutoSet by ResMed is DreamStation’s closest competitor.  ResMed and Philips Respironics are the two heavyweight CPAP therapy product manufacturers and are in a constant battle to release the better product… great news for CPAP users!  Both of these machines are top of the line and have similar specs and features.  It is virtually a tie, however, it must be noted that the DreamStation is smaller, weighs less and is slightly quieter than the AirSense 10.

Fisher & Paykel Icon Auto CPAP

The Icon Auto CPAP is simply no match for the DreamStation.  The Icon loses to the DreamStation in every major category except for price.  The Icon Auto is nearly half the price of the DreamStation.  Essentially what it comes down to is if you’re strapped for cash or have a high deductible insurance plan then consider the Icon, but if you’re not then don’t.

Somnetics Transcend Auto CPAP

The Transcend Auto CPAP is also an unworthy opponent for the DreamStation.  It’s in the same playing field as the Icon Auto and really can only shine against the DreamStation when you’re looking at the pricetag.

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What CPAP Users are Saying About the DreamStation

The DreamStation Auto CPAP has received its fair share of accolades but none are more important than hearing them directly from CPAP users themselves…

I have a DreamStation and the noise level is “0”.  My wife doesn’t know if it’s on or off.
  – Dan B.

What’s the popular saying…  “Happy wife, happy life!”.  As CPAP users (and their partners alike) know, CPAP machine sound level is a big deal.  The DreamStation is one of the quietest machines on the market, with a sound level of 25.8 dBA for the machine alone and 27.9 dBA including the optional humidifier.  Not exactly “0”, but not far off.

I absolutely love mine! It doesn’t feel like you are in a wind tunnel.  It is 100% better than any machine I’ve ever used.
  – Nancy P.

Again, this machine is quiet!  I’m not sure what she was using before the DreamStation but it couldn’t have been pleasant.  CPAP technology has greatly improved over the past few years…  Yes, maybe even by 100% although we’d wager that the degree of improvement is even higher.

I’ve been on the Respironics DreamStation and my AHI went down to nearly zero most days and my headaches subsided.  I feel great!
  – Heather A.

The Philips Respironics team put together a winning product with the DreamStation and patients are clearly starting to reap the benefits.  This machine is one of the best in the market and is a functional workhorse that includes advanced features including SmartRamp, Mask Fit Check, and Bluetooth Connectivity.

I like that the screen goes on for a few minutes when you turn it on and then it goes off so you can sleep.
  – Jim D.

The DreamStation has an ambient light sensor on the top of the machine so it can turn off the display to further enhance your sleep.

It’s amazing!  You can’t really hear it and my pressure is maxed out.
  – Holly M.

Technology has finally taken form in the CPAP industry.  The DreamStation is super quiet even when it’s producing maximum pressure output.  We were impressed when we heard this from our patient.

DreamStation Auto CPAP Product Specifications

Price as Reviewed $828.00
Weight (machine only) 1.56 lbs
Dimensions 7.6 in W x 6.2 in L x 3.3 in H
Software DreamMapper (Android, iOS)
Data Card SD Card
Pressure Range 4-20 cm H2O, 0.5 increments
Operating Altitude Range 0 – 7,500 ft
Power Consumption 100 – 240 VAC, 50/60 Hz, 2.0-1.0 A
philips respironics front view turned on - Health Sqyre

Final Thoughts

The DreamStation Auto CPAP by Philips Respironics is at the top of its class.  If you want one of the best machines that you can buy it behooves you to consider this machine.  The other machine worthy of comparison is the AirSense 10 AutoSet by ResMed.  You will be paying a premium for this device but we believe that extra functionality and features that it’s packed with will pay for itself over the lifetime of the machine.

BEST AUTO CPAP MACHINES OF 2017

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ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet

Starting at: $758.00

The ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet is a premium auto-adjusting pressure device with integrated humidifier, cellular connectivity and advanced event detection.

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Philips Respironics DreamStation Go

Starting at: $799.00

The DreamStation Go Travel CPAP has 1/3 fewer components than other travel PAPs, and at half the size of our trusted System One and DreamStation platforms, it offers the same therapy and comfort features enjoyed by over 5 million PAP users.

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HDM Z1 Auto Travel CPAP

Starting at: $479.00

The Z1 Auto builds on the form-factor of the Z1 CPAP to deliver the world’s smallest, lightest, most integrated auto-cpap machine. At only 10 oz. the Z1 Auto is the best machine HDM has released and when integrated with the PowerShell, the Z1 Auto delivers an amazing night’s sleep on a single battery charge.

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