Summary Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is common in chronic heart failure (CHF), affects disease progression and presents a potential therapeutic target. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that there would be good agreement in diagnostic outcome between home limited sleep studies and in-laboratory polysomnography (PSG) in the identification of SDB in patients with CHF. We performed synchronous in-laboratory Embletta and PSG, and home Embletta studies, prospectively in 20 consecutive patients with stable symptomatic CHF (ejection fraction 33 ± 12%) on optimal medical therapy. Sleep efficiency was poor at 57 ± 21%. Unlike synchronous in-laboratory Embletta (kappa coefficient 0.63, P < 0.01), home Embletta showed poor agreement with PSG (kappa coefficient 0.27, P = 0.06). Positive and negative predictive values for home Embletta in detecting SDB were 83% and 57% respectively. In this relatively small study, agreement in diagnostic outcome between home Embletta and PSG, and negative predictive value for the home Embletta, were poor. We explore possible explanations for this, both technical and situational, which should be taken into consideration when considering potential screening or diagnostic tools for SDB in patients with CHF.