Most CPAP machine manufacturers recommend using distilled water for CPAP machines, and the reason for this is simple. CPAP machines are designed to provide continuous positive air pressure for the user, so airways stay open at night. It is widely prescribed to those with sleep apnea, and "over 8 million people in the USA use these devices yearly, with an increase of about 8% a year." 1 Taking care of oneself is even more critical if suffering from sleep apnea, as it is also associated with other illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Distilled water is recommended for CPAP machines because it is free from bacteria, viruses, and nearly all known and unknown contaminants that can be found in tap water. No one wants to spend the entire night breathing in a mist of bacteria, lead, viruses, or other potential contaminants. Consider outbreaks of legionella, lead found in municipal water pipes, water mains that can break and mix with sewer lines causing bacterial contamination, or industrial dumping that has caused people to flock toward bottled water thinking that it is safer. But is bottled water safer?
Some consider bottled water to be the answer to their CPAP worries. However, many bottled water brands simply filter tap water. This water is still not clean or pure enough to be used in a CPAP machine. Bottled distilled water can suffer from the same quality problems as other bottled waters, and the plastic jugs can make the water seem dead and stale. This is the reason why many think distilled water isn’t for drinking, but that is incorrect. Distilled water is the best drinking water. Finally, bottled water or jugs are a hassle to purchase and bring home and not environmentally friendly. Did you know that only 9% of plastic gets recycled?2 There is no guarantee that bottled water will always be available in stores! Consider times when people are stocking up before a storm or even the most recent pandemic, bottled water was hoarded by some, leaving none for others. Having a home water distiller, is a way to take control of your own water supply.
You are likely familiar with the hard water buildup on sinks and tubs if you live in an area with hard water. Most get a water softener to reduce this buildup, but did you know minerals like calcium and magnesium cause that buildup? This same hard water causes crusty scale in teapots, irons, and CPAP machines. Using distilled water helps keep your CPAP machine free of this annoying buildup as the distillation process leaves hard minerals behind.
The price of distilled water per gallon is lower when you purchase a home water distiller. Moreover, there are so many great uses for distilled water! Most importantly, distilled water is so clean and fresh that most people find themselves drinking more water than ever before. As we all know, drinking water is the healthy alternative to soda, juice, or other sugary drinks. Distilled water is also used for cooking, soups, making crystal clear ice cubes, and baking. In addition to consumptive uses, distilled water is used for humidifiers, irons, and, of course, CPAP machines.
1 Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/danieldambrosio/2018/12/21/healthcare-startup-grows-2805-percent-in-7-years-with-cpap-sanitizer/#2292c7c85cfb)
2 National Geographic https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/07/plastic-produced-recycling-waste-ocean-trash-debris-environment/