Understanding CPAP Prescriptions: When do I need one and why?

Understanding which CPAP items need a prescription and why will not only make you safer but also more informed when it comes to your CPAP therapy! Your CPAP therapy is very personalized to you and your needs, so making sure you are getting the right equipment is critical.

We’ve covered everything you need to know about prescriptions and your CPAP therapy. Read below to have your questions answered!


Do you need a prescription to purchase an APAP, CPAP, Bi-level, and/or travel machine?

Yes! You legally need a prescription to purchase any machine. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), machines are classified as Class II devices and Class II devices require a prescription to purchase.

If you ever obtain a machine without a prescription (i.e. gifted to you by a friend or relative), not only are you exposing yourself to the previous owner’s germs, but you could also be using the wrong prescription settings. The wrong settings are dangerous to your health and will not adequately treat your sleep apnea. Remember, your CPAP therapy needs to be personalized to you and your medical needs; you should never use someone else’s machine.  


Do I need a prescription for a CPAP mask?

Yes and No. If you want to purchase a mask that is assembled (the cushion, frame and headgear are already attached when you receive it) then yes you need a prescription.

If you purchase a mask kit, you do not need a prescription. A mask kit has the same items as an assembled mask, but the items are not put together before you receive it. You will need to assemble the items yourself once the shipment arrives. You can see all our mask kits here - https://www.cpapnation.com/collections/non-prescription-mask-kits.


Do I need a prescription for CPAP supplies?

You do not need a prescription for CPAP supplies. Cushions, cleaners, headgears, batteries, tubing, etc. do not require a prescription. You can see all our supplies here - https://www.cpapnation.com/collections/cpap-supplies and https://www.cpapnation.com/collections/cleaning-machines.


Why is a prescription important?

A prescription is critical to making sure you are getting the correct equipment you need. The sleep specialist or doctor will give their recommendation on which items you need and all the details for those items.

A prescription will include:

  • Your therapy pressure
  • Device needed (CPAP, APAP, BIPAP)
  • Your sleep apnea diagnosis
  • Recommended CPAP mask type
  • Replacement part schedule


How long is my prescription valid?

Depends on your prescription. Some prescriptions will say “Lifetime Need” or “99 months”, which means your prescription is valid as long as you need the therapy. Sometimes a prescription might show an expiration date, so your prescription is only valid until that date. Contact us to review your prescription if you have any questions.


How do I submit my prescription?

You can submit your prescription to use through email at info@cpapnation.com.


I had a sleep study, but I need a prescription, what can I do?

Visit your doctor to get a prescription, allow us to contact your doctor on your behalf,  or reach out to us (800-673-1220) to see if you qualify for a telehealth consultation for $40.


I got my prescription, what do I do next?

  • Check the see if your insurance can cover any of your CPAP supplies. Fill out this form, https://www.cpapnation.com/pages/patient-insurance-form, and one of our insurance experts will contact you ASAP to go over what options you have.  
  • Shop at CPAPnation.com for your CPAP items!


If you have any questions, please contact us today at info@cpapnation.com or (800) 673-1220. To see our full prescription policy, visit https://www.cpapnation.com/pages/prescription-policy

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