How can I get a CPAP machine?

To obtain a CPAP machine, you must first be diagnosed with Sleep Apnea. Here's how!

How can you or your partner obtain a CPAP machine?

Sleep Apnea is a sleeping disorder in which there are several pauses to your breathing during your sleep. Breathing cessations occur when your airways collapse and cause a blockage. This results in air not being able to reach the lungs effectively.

This can result in symptoms including choking/gasping during your sleep, snoring, and excessive daytime tiredness

It is believed that OSA affects approximately 4% of the male population and 2% of the female population in the UK, with figures rising year on year.

If you are unsure whether or not you are suffering from sleep apnea, then it is worth having a look at our dedicated sleep apnea symptoms article.

If you have already had a sleep study done, you can click here to skip the first bit of information. If you haven't, read on!

How can I get diagnosed for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?

If you want to have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) confirmed, you will need to conduct a sleep study. A CPAP machine cannot be provided without this study being conducted, but do not worry - they are not invasive and can even be done in the comfort of your own home.

Should you doing a sleep study privately or through the NHS?

If you have have decided you want to do a sleep study, you have two options; you can either have this done via the NHS, or you can take matters into your own hands by going privately.

For many, the first choice is to go via the NHS. Your GP will first need to refer you to a local sleep clinic. They will conduct a sleep study, which may require you spending a night at the clinic, and then issue you the therapy equipment if suitable.

The positives of this are that it is heavily subsidised so the costs are kept to a minimum, and if you are unsure then you will be guided throughout the process.

The downside is that this process can often take several months; a referral might require several GP visits before being issued, and then depending on your location, the wait for a test, and subsequently your results, it can take several months. You would also have little say in the equipment you are subsequently provided with.

The other option is to go privately. This is notably more expensive; a sleep study is typically around £100. The study is always conducted in your own home, however, and you typically receive the results within 7-10 days of receiving the study equipment. The study is still analysed by NHS-trained sleep technicians using the same equipment, so the results would typically be identical - but you get them far more quickly this way. You would then have the option to purchase the equipment of your choosing; this will typically be around £650 in cost.

Ultimately, it is a choice between paying money in order to the get the equipment within 2-3 weeks, or being happy to be patient in order to avoid that expense. If your career depends on driving for example, or your OSA is affecting your life on a daily basis, then for a similar price for a weekend break or a new TV you could get your sleep sorted out in a very short period of time. If your condition is not too urgent, then the NHS route is likely to be the better option.

It is therefore very advisable that if you are suffering from symptoms of OSA and believe you are at risk, that you consider a confidential at-home sleep study as mentioned above. This is usually the common option to take as it dramatically speeds up the process of getting treatment. Once you have your sleep study results confirming your diagnosis of OSA and your suitability to use a CPAP machine, then you will be able to find a full range of CPAP equipment at

If you would prefer to go through the NHS, then the Sleep Apnoea Trust Association have a comprehensive list of sleep clinics throughout the UK which you can find here.

I have never been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, but I want to obtain a CPAP machine as soon as possible?

If you have never been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea but would like to obtain a CPAP machine quickly, then you can order a private and confidential at-home sleep study. These at-home sleep studies are fully confidential, and can provide you with fast results in 10-14 days.

I have done a Sleep Study - what do I need in order to purchase a CPAP machine?

Buying your own CPAP machine gives you more choice Buying your own CPAP machine gives you more choice

Many OSA patients choose to buy their own CPAP machine, even if they have been provided one by the NHS. CPAP machines provided by the NHS can sometimes be bulky, noisy or fiddly to use. Choosing an alternative machine is often a worthwhile purchase if your current one is proving unsuitable.

To obtain a CPAP machine, you do need some form of written documentation stating your diagnosis of OSA. The documentation also needs to state your suitability to use a CPAP machine to treat your sleeping disorder effectively.

Typically this would be a prescription, a letter from your sleep clinic or GP. It might also be another form of written document that shows are suitable to start using, or indeed already using, a CPAP machine. If you have something like this but are unsure, then why not contact us. We can then let you know if it would be sufficient or not.

If you have conducted a sleep study but have not got anything in writing, download this form for your consultant or GP to complete. Once done, this will allow you to purchase a CPAP machine.

If you are not sure which CPAP machine would be right for you, then you can read the CPAP Machine Advice section of our website to guide you through your options.

Need more information about getting a CPAP machine?

If you have any questions, or simply need some guidance on getting a CPAP machine, then you can Contact Us and we can give you the information you need directly.