Sorry for the late reply, I don't come here much. I have the ResMed AirMini and I love it! My family is in the Philly area and I work out of Chicago, so in addition to frequent business travel, I visit home with the AirMini, too, I probably have 30 nights on it in the last 4 months.
It's quiet--not as quiet as the AirSense 10, but still, quiet--a slight whine from the machine as it adjusts pressure (I has the AirSense technology), and the humidifying mask makes a little more air whoosh noise than the standard masks, but again, not much. For the size/weight form factors, the extra noise is a small price to pay. Does not bother my wife at all, to put it in perspective, it's quiet.
I find the HumidX Plus cartridges to do just fine for humidification for me. My mouth may be a little drier than with the AirSense 10, but I'm going to try a chin strap and see how that works. Since I sometimes wake up without dry mouth, and sometimes am dry as a bone, I think in some positions I may be leaking through the mouth a little bit. I get as good sleep out of it as I do with my AirSense 10, which is consistently good.
I cannot compare to other small CPAP devices, but there are Internet resources which do. I'd buy another AirMini in a heartbeat, if this one dies, I just love it.
I am no doctor [/disclaimer], but while AHI below 5 is considered "normal", if you are between 5-10 but feeling better and sleeping longer, I wouldn't sweat the numbers. You're having a better subjective experience than folks who may have lower numbers but more frustration.
I'm only at this for 2 months, but the first few weeks I was running 3-6 incidents per hour, on average, and over the last 2 weeks have been running 1-3 typically (unless I'm pretty lit before bedtime, but even then never more than 6). You are getting a good result, you're still new at this (as am I), and your number will most likely drop a little more as you get further along with it. But if the docs ignore anything under 8, and if you're feeling that much better and your sleep experience is that much improved, I sure wouldn't worry about your numbers.
I am like wiredgeorge. I have had absolutely zero issues adapting to CPAP over 2 months, now, and I feel lucky. But I determined right away that every time I laid down intending to get some sleep, even for 20 minutes, I would put the thing on. I figured it would reinforce the psychological/phisiological association of the CPAP machine with sleeping, and would help with adaptation to it.
In two months I can honestly say I've **never **slept without it, and I've had no trouble falling asleep even for a short nap.
Yeah, there is no canned answer to your question, we can't help you. You need to have done a sleep study with CPAP Titration portion to determine what pressure settings you need. The poster above me is set for 5-16, I'm set for 10-14. Even she or I could have our settings changed if we have a significant change in our weight or due to other factors.
If you just went out and bought a CPAP machine, you're flying blind. See a sleep specialist, nobody here is going to be able to help you with settings, it's too idiosyncratic.
I am perplexed at the issues people have adjusting to CPAP. For me it was literally immediate (slept like a rock during my CPAP titration study). Love everything about it, been getting comfortable all-night sleep since day 1.
I am very surprised and saddened to see so many people having so many serious issues with their therapy. I almost feel guilty I've had such immediate success with it. I have had obstructive sleep apnea for over a decade, I am now convinced, and I have both Atrial Fibrillation and Type 2 Diabetes which I suspect were largely due to this. Unfortunately I did not know the connection until after I had those conditions or I may have addressed it sooner--I thought it was just about snoring and nothing else.
Anyway, I had a sleep study done and was diagnosed with severe OSA. Very severe. Before my second study, the CPAP Titration Study, I talked with a couple friends on CPAP therapy to ask about their experience with it, and how long it took them to get used to it. Both of them said they took to it immediately, right at the sleep lab. I was used to getting up 3-4 times per night and sleeping very fitfully. My second night in the sleep lab, the Titration Study with the CPAP machine, even wired with all that stuff, I slept like a rock! I was using a ResMed AirFit P10 nasal pillow mask (don't know what machine they use), and woke up once at 3:30 to use the bathroom. At that point I switched to the ResMed AirFit N20 nasal mask just because I wanted to try both masks they had. They had to work to wake me up at 6:30! Best night's sleep I had had in years.
I was frustrated to have to wait a few weeks to get my own machine, a ResMed AirSense 10 Autoset with AirFit P10 mask, I have used it every night since getting it, all night, and can honestly say every one of the 21 consecutive nights I have used it, all night, I have gotten a better night's sleep than I was used to getting. I never get up more than once, and on at least a couple of occasions I have slept a full 8 hours non-stop. My worst iPhone MyAir score was my very first night, at 87. The next couple nights were 95-96, and from night #4 on my score has been 97-100 every night. My mask never comes off, I don't have dry mouth, and I only woke myself up once because my mouth was open and the air flow woke me. I took to this like a duck takes to water.
I can't for the life of me understand why it was so easy for me and so tough for some of you, but clearly there are success stories. My two friends I asked about it had similar experiences to mine. I do know because of talking to them I went to the CPAP Titration Test expecting to have a great night. That certainly would not affect mask fit, dry mouth, etcetera, but my only regret is I didn't do this a decade ago.
I thought my sleep lab was terrific, and my sleep doctor, a pulmonologist in suburban Chicago, is absolutely fantastic, and they have a full-time equipment coach who gets everyone set up, I could not be happier with my health care professionals. I wish you all who are having trouble the best of luck. Keep at it!