Non-invasive intermittent positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) at home is the treatment of choice for patients with chronic respiratory insufficiency secondary to severe kyphoscoliosis. Our aim was to compare clinical course, blood gases and lung function after one month of domiciliary NIPPV with two types of ventilator and to assess sleep pattern changes in patients enrolled in a prospective, randomized crossover study. Ten patients with chronic respiratory insufficiency due to kyphoscoliosis were enrolled and randomly assigned to the first device. After one month of use, the patients underwent clinical and functional examinations and polysomnographic studies while using the ventilator. The same protocol was applied with the second device after a ten-day washout period. Baseline polysomnographs showed fragmented sleep with low percentages of deep non-REM sleep and of REM sleep, as well as respiratory patterns characterized by very high frequencies coinciding with significant desaturations. In all cases symptoms and arterial blood gas improvements were significant, with no differences between the two treatment periods. The percentages of time spent with SaO2 below 90% of reference in sleep studies were significantly lower than baseline with both ventilators. All but one patient had better tolerance of the bilevel positive airway pressure (BIPAP) support mode than of the volumetric ventilator. Our study shows that NIPPV is equally effective for patients with kyphoscoliosis whether administered with a volumetric ventilator or a BIPAP device. Subjective response and tolerance seem to be slightly better with BIPAP.