Can I Use My CPAP Without Water – Pros and Cons

  • By Clay Rollyson
  • /
  • /
Almost all of the home CPAP models come with a Heated Humidifier. Most of these are actually integrated with the CPAP machine itself. This means that no matter whether you are using the water or not, the humidifier system is there. So, you may be asking, “do I need to add water to my CPAP” or “can you leave the CPAP water chamber empty”. More than likely that is because you are trying to avoid the hassle of filling and maintaining the water chamber. Let’s take a look at whether that is a good idea for you as well as things to consider. Helpful links at the bottom of the blog page here.

Signs that you might can do without the water:

Deciding to use the CPAP with an empty water tank is most likely something you are considering making your life simpler. That is completely understandable. Here are some signs that it may be a good option for you.
  • You have never experienced dryness while using your CPAP.
  • The water tank always seems to be full in the morning and you aren’t dry.
  • You live in a humid environment.
  • You travel frequently and cannot lug distilled water with you.

Signs that you should stick with your humidifier:

While dealing with a CPAP humidifier can be something you would like to cross off the “to do” list permanently, it is not the right option for everyone. Here are some reasons that you should stick with the humidifier system.
  • You are dried out frequently when you wake up.
  • You take medication that gives you dry mouth as a side-effect.
  • You live in a dry region.
  • Your CPAP frequently uses a good bit of the water in the tank overnight.

Benefits of Using the CPAP without water:

You may have started by wondering if you even could go without water, but there are serious benefits to going dry:
  1. Less Maintenance- No more filling at night and emptying in the morning.
  2. Less chance of nastiness- The humidifier water chamber is the number one place that gets gross on a CPAP. That warm humid environment is a breeding ground for bacteria, mold and mildew.
  3. Easier to travel- You would not have to lug the distilled water everywhere with you on the road.
  4. Test drive for travel CPAP- Travel CPAPs typically do not have a heated humidifier. So, trying the home CPAP without water or with an HME is a great test drive for Travel CPAP.

Important things to remember if you leave the water tank empty:

If you are going to operate the CPAP without water in the water chamber, there are some things to keep in mind that will help you. Let’s detail that below.
  • Make sure that you disable the humidifier. In most CPAPs that means turning your humidity setting in the patient menu down to zero.
  • Keep the tank in the machine unless you have purchased a bypass adapter and installed it.
  • Keep some distilled water close in case this doesn’t work out well.

Helpful Links for CPAP without Water: