Portable oxygen concentrators have revolutionized the care of oxygen-dependent patients. With portable oxygen concentrators, patients are no longer bound to use their devices at home and can travel with their devices and live a more independent lifestyle.
Patients using portable oxygen concentrators enjoy the benefits of increased ambulation, which also contributes to their mental and physical well-being.
Most patients would find it challenging to choose the best portable oxygen concentrator on the market. This is because getting an oxygen concentrator is not just about selecting the best device. Rather, it is about getting a product that fits the patient’s health issue or condition.
Top Three Portable Oxygen Concentrators
PLAN - PRICE
Inogen One G4
Customer Rating: 4.2/5
Price: Under $2500
Wt: 2.8 lbs for the unit
Inogen One G3
Customer Rating: 4.6/5
Price: Under $2500
Wt: 5 lbs for the unit
Best Cont. Flow
Customer Rating: 4.8/5
Price: Under $2500
Wt: 16 lbs for the unit
Types of Portable Oxygen Concentrators
Pulse Flow Portable Oxygen Concentrators
These are the most common type of portable concentrators. These units provide a pulse of oxygen every time the user inhales.
Therefore a pulse flow portable oxygen concentrator only produces enough oxygen required to meet the user’s needs and can deliver between 450 to 1250 milliters per minute of oxygen in short pulses.
In general, a pulse dose device is usually recommended for patients with low oxygen needs, i.e., up to two liters of oxygen per minute.
These devices are mostly used during the day when patients are awake and active. Although some people sleep with a pulse flow device, most do not. If you plan to sleep with one, it is best you consult your doctor first so that they can determine whether this is good for you.
Also, note that plus flow devices won’t work with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or bilevel positive airway pressure machine (BiPAP).
Continuous Flow Portable Oxygen Concentrators
These units are designed to provide oxygen continuously, regardless of the user’s breathing pattern. Continuous flow units can deliver up to three liters of oxygen per minute. These devices work with CPAP and BiPAP and can be used 24 hours/7 days.
What to Consider When Buying a Portable Oxygen Concentrator
With the wide range of models available, it is no surprise that many patients do not know how to select an appropriate device. If this is you, the factors outlined below can help you narrow the search.
Your doctor will determine whether you need supplemental oxygen based on the results of a series of tests. They will determine the oxygen flow rate. Generally, any person who is prescribed more than two to three liters per minute is said to have a higher liter flow.
Note that although the setting on pulse oxygen concentrators reaches six, this is not synonymous to six liters per minute continuous flow. Some higher capacity devices can deliver up to 10 liters per minute.
If you do not require a high oxygen flow rate, you should opt for a smaller and less powerful device that can deliver one to five liters of oxygen per minute. This is where you should consider a model that will provide the ideal range of oxygen delivery to meet your needs and care.
Besides the size and weight, another factor to consider is the battery life of the device. Most portable oxygen concentrators use one battery that can last two and a half hours. In many cases, however, you can add a second battery.
Think of your daily routines, and how adding this device might alter them, if at all. So, when choosing a portable oxygen concentrator, think of your daily activities and how the use of the device might affect them.
When purchasing a portable oxygen concentrator, you should select a device that you can conveniently carry around. These devices come in a wide range of sizes and weights, so you have the option of choosing one that meets your needs.
Continuous flow oxygen concentrators are generally less portable than pulse dose units, with some weighing up to 18 pounds (excluding the weight of accessories). This is enough to warrant that you use a cart to pull the oxygen device.
Portable oxygen concentrators are economically priced compared to previous years. The latest offerings on the market are priced between $1499 and $3500.
Used devices cost anywhere between $800 and $2000 depending on the brand and model. Besides the initial cost of the device, users will have to spend on replacement batteries.
Budget is also important when making a purchasing decision because you should ensure the unit you purchase meets your oxygen delivery requirements.
While your current oxygen requirement is an important factor, you might have to consider your future needs, especially if you have chronic or unstable oxygenation requirements.
You wouldn’t want to purchase a device that has a maximum capacity of five liters per minute if you’ll require more in the future.
Therefore, it is imperative that you consult your doctor so that you have a better idea of your current and future oxygen requirements before purchasing an oxygen concentrator.
The Best Portable Oxygen Concentrators (2019 Reviews)
The oxygen concentrators listed here were chosen based on their functionality. What you finally settle for will depend on your needs, as determined by your doctor, and what your insurance provider covers.
Inogen One G4 Portable Oxygen Concentrator
Inogen One G4 Portable Oxygen Concentrator,G4 With 4 Cell Battery,Each,IS-400-NA – $2,495.00
Retail Price: $2,999.99
You Save: $504.99
from: Health Products For You
This pulse dose concentrator has three oxygen flow settings, and it is very effective in patients who regularly follow a physical activity. It can meet the increased oxygen demands of the patient during exercise physical activity by releasing a quick bolus or pulse dosage size, with each inhalation.
Inogen One G4 can detect when the patient’s respiration becomes shallower and react by delivering a wider bolus of oxygen to meet the patient’s breathing pattern and needs.
With the Inogen One G4, patients have the option between a single battery or double battery. In any case, the G4 has an acceptable battery life average, implying that you can use it for longer periods than you can with several other models.
Additionally, at 2.8 pounds, it is lighter than most portable oxygen concentrators and therefore more convenient to carry around.
Inogen One G3 Portable Oxygen Concentrator
Inogen One G3 Portable Oxygen Concentrator System,With 8 Cell Battery,Each,IS-300-NA – $2,495.00
Retail Price: $3,589.99
You Save: $1,094.99
from: Health Products For You
This powerful and efficient pulse dose device is a good fit for patients who require oxygenation on a 24-hour basis. The device comes with integrated batteries and power cords.
Like the G4, Inogen One G3 can detect changes in the patient’s breathing pattern and respond accordingly to match the patient’s natural breathing pattern.
O2 Concepts Oxlife Independence Portable Oxygen Concentrator,Oxlife Independence with 2 Batteries,Each,800-0001-2 – $2,332.97
Retail Price: $2,609.97
You Save: $277.00
from: Health Products For You
This is the best continuous flow device, although it has pretty much similar features to that of other portable oxygen concentrators. What makes it stand out from the rest is that it is equipped with DNA Technology.
With this technology, the Oxlife Independence sends information to your caregiver and oxygen provider through a secure network.
This smart continuous flow device sends data related to the use of your device, i.e., the frequency of use, oxygen setting, and respiratory rate. It can detect any issues and transmit them to your provider so they can fix the issues you might be facing as soon as possible.
Additionally, the DNA Technology makes the Oxlife Independence one of the most reliable oxygen concentrators in that it permits the device to learn and react to your usage patterns and environmental conditions.
Your carer can use these data to determine whether therapy is effective and whether there’s any need to make changes to your treatment plan.
This continuous flow unit has a high oxygen output. It comes with an integrated travel cart and is very durable. It
is very versatile and offers both continuous and pulse flow oxygen delivery, implying that it can meet the needs of most patients all year round. It can work with CPAP and BiPAP devices so you can use it during bedtime as needed.
You have the option of using one or two batteries at a time. Since this unit has a battery rating for pulse flow settings and another for continuous flow settings. The battery will run down faster when you use the device on continuous flow because the compressor and motor will be working continuously.
However, among other oxygen concentrators, the Oxlife Independence has one of the best battery life.
At 16 pounds, Oxlife is quite bulky. However, it is designed such that it can fit snuggly into tight spaces such as beneath a plane seat. Additionally, it has a foldable handle, which makes storage easier.
Respironics SimplyGo Portable Oxygen Concentrator
Respironics SimplyGo Portable Oxygen Concentrator,SimplyGo,2 Year Warranty,Each,1068987 – $2,995.00
Retail Price: $5,899.99
You Save: $2,904.99
from: Health Products For You
The Respironics SimplyGo is a reliable, easy-to-carry device that can provide both continuous flow and pulse dose therapy. In fact, it is the smallest portable oxygen concentrator weighing less than 10 pounds capable of working as a continuous flow and pulse dose concentrator.
SimplyGo was designed to provide optimal oxygen therapy to patients at all times of the day, during physical activity and social outings or while traveling.
When the user sets the device to Sleep Mode, it will detect the initiation phase of a breath–one of the four phases of a mechanical breath–it will release a pulse dosage of oxygen based on the setting.
In Sleep Mode, the Respironics SimplyGo is very sensitive and will detect changes in the patient’s breathing pattern. In the case where it doesn’t detect the patient’s breath, the device switches to continuous flow mode to ensure the patient gets the necessary oxygen.
The device comes with a fashionable carry bag, rechargeable battery, cart, power cords, accessory case, and an instruction manual.
Portable Oxygen Concentrator Carry Bags
You’re going to need a carry bag to go with your portable oxygen concentrator. Besides, the bag will also serve to store other accessories and your personal belongings.
These accessory bags come in various forms and styles. Most manufacturers offer users the option of choosing either a backpack or shoulder bag. It is important that you choose what you’ll be comfortable carrying around.
When looking for a bag, there are a few things that you should consider.
- Is your portable oxygen concentrator heavy, i.e., heavier than 15 pounds? If yes, you would need a mobile cart. Some designs come with a mobile cart. These concentrators are pretty bulky and are therefore not practical to carry in a bag.
- Would you prefer to carry your portable oxygen concentrator on your back, hang it over your shoulder, or carry it across your chest? Whatever your choice, you check to make sure that your preferred option is available for your model.
- What type of activities will you undertake? If you’ll be undertaking activities such as bicycling, you’ll need a backpack because a shoulder bag would get in the way or make you feel uncomfortable.
Inogen One G3 and G4 Bags
|Inogen One G4 Carry Bag,Carry Bag,Each,CA-400 – $26.95
Inogen One G4 Carry Bag provides a protective cover to Inogen G4 Oxygen Concentrator. The stretchable fabric at the base of the bag is expandable to allow for use with a single or double battery. There is a slim open pocket inside the bag to allow for minimal storage of items such as ID cards and currency.Note: Image is shown with Concentrator which is sold separately.
|Inogen One G3 Carry Bag,Carry Bag,Each,CA-300 – $55.95
Inogen One G3 Carry Bag provides a protective cover with a handle and adjustable shoulder strap to enable you to carry the Inogen One G3 Portable Oxygen Concentrator System (code IS-300-NA). No cart required.
|Inogen One G3 Backpack,14″W x 6″L x 17″H,Each,CA-350 – $108.99
Inogen One G3 Backpack is the perfect addition to the active oxygen user. It features a mesh shell with vents to ensure the G3 will not overheat. There are specially designed openings located on the top of the backpack that will allow the user to connect AC/DC power cords or cannulas without taking off the backpack.
Respironics SimplyGo Bags
|Respironics SimplyGo Carrying Case, Carrying Case, Each, 1082663 – $69.99
Respironics SimplyGo Carrying Case is the carrying case for SimplyGo Oxygen Concentrator to be either carried over the shoulder or pulled on a cart.
|Respironics Backpack For SimplyGo Mini Portable Oxygen Concentrator,Black,Each,1119894 – $133.99
Respironics Backpack For SimplyGo Mini Portable Oxygen Concentrator is designed as an alternative carrying case for the SimplyGo Mini Portable Oxygen Concentrator. It fits both standard and extended battery oxygen concentrators. This backpack features a main compartment for carrying the SimplyGo Mini concentrator and a zippered pocket for paperwork and accessories.
|Invacare Accessory Bag for XPO2 Portable Oxygen Concentrator,Accessory Bag,Each,XPO160 – $29.95
Invacare Accessory Bag is to be used with XPO2 Portable Oxygen Concentrator. It features convenient top handle and can hold AC and DC adapters and al batteries.
|Invacare Platinum Mobile Oxygen Concentrator Carrying Bag,Invacare carrying bag,Each,POC1-150 – $78.99
Invacare Platinum Mobile Oxygen Concentrator Carrying Bag for the Invacare Platinum Mobile Oxygen Concentrator can convert to messenger, handbag, or backpack style carrying while on the go.
Precision Medical EasyPulse Bag
|Precision Medical EasyPulse Portable Oxygen Concentrator Carry Bag,Carry Bag,Each,506707 – $45.95
Precision Medical EasyPulse Portable Oxygen Concentrator Carry Bag is intended to make the POC easier to transport, prevent movement due to vibration and protect the device from minor mishaps. The POC can be operated in an upright position with the carry bag and the POC can be operated lying on its back only while in the carry bag.
|GCE Zen-O Carry Bag for Zen-O Portable Oxygen Concentrator,Zen-O Carry Bag,Each,RS-00509 – $70.00
GCE Zen-O Carry Bag for Zen-O Portable Oxygen Concentrator is the accessory bag for Zen-O Oxygen Concentrator.
Although this post describes the best portable oxygen concentrators, your decision to purchase an oxygen concentrator should be driven by your doctor’s advice. Because oxygen therapy is a prescription, it is imperative that you follow the directions set out by your doctor.
Your doctor or respiratory specialist will determine how often and when you’ll need oxygen therapy, the ideal flow rate, and how long you need it every day. You can then use this information to help you select a concentrator that will best suit your needs.
If you have used any of these devices, we would be glad to hear about your experience in the comment section below. To find out about other devices that can help you do everyday tasks and activities more easily, follow Healthy Buddys on Facebook.