Top Ranked Pulse Oximeters for Home Use: 2020 Reviews

Top Ranked Pulse Oximeters 2018

Oxygen is key to life. Without oxygen, you will see cells who depend on them start to decay and then die. This eventually leads to organ failure, and then death.

Oxygen enters the body and is then filtered through the lungs. From there, it is transported via red blood cells and distributed to the rest of the body.

A pulse oximeter is a medical device that is noninvasive, and it measures the oxygen level in your blood and your pulse rate. It is important to buy a model that gives accurate readings, as these are important vital signs.

We looked at over 10 models and selected the top ranked pulse oximeters for your consideration.

Update: Due to the covid-19 pandemic, most of the products below are out of stock. After doing some research, we found that some retailers such as Health Products For You and Vita Springs have a good supply of these products.

The Best Pulse Oximeters for Home Use: 2020 Comparison Chart

ImageProduct NameUsageRatingPrice
ATMOKO Pulse Oximeter Home, sports, recreational use, aviation4.6/5Check Price
FaceLake FL400 Pulse OximeterSports and aviation only4.3/5Check Price
Innovo Deluxe Fingertip Pulse OximeterHome, sports, recreational use4.3/5Check Price
Nonin Medical GO2 Achieve Personal Fingertip Pulse OximeterHome, sports, recreational use, aviation4.0/5Check Price
iHealth Air Wireless Fingertip Pulse OximeterSports and / or aviation3.6/5Check Price
View on Vive HealthVive Precision Pulse Oximeter Home and sports4.3/5Check Price on Vive Health

Why Use a Pulse Oximeter?

So, why use a pulse oximeter? There are a few really good reasons. The first is so that you can monitor oxygen saturation over a longer period of time. This allows for you to get a better idea of the health of an individual than if you just did one-off tests.

It also works extremely well with young children, especially babies. It alerts you immediately to low oxygen levels, and you can act before your child ends up in a dangerous situation.

Even if nothing serious is going on, it does wonders for keeping the peace of mind for people who suffer from respiratory problems, as you know you will always be alerted before something serious occurs.

Sometimes supplemental oxygen is needed if a person’s oxygen saturation levels are low, this can be life-saving in certain circumstances. The only way to know if you need supplemental oxygen on standby is if you use a pulse oximeter.

In addition to all this, it can be very useful to people under the influence of certain drugs. Doctors use it in the cases of administering anesthesia to a patient, as it helps monitor the patient’s levels while they are unconscious. People who take recreational drugs that can have negative respiratory effects can also benefit from regular pulse oximeter use.

Types of Pulse Oximeters

There are three main types of pulse oximeters.

Standard Pulse Oximeter

It is rather portable and suitable for at home use. In fact, most people generally use it at home regularly to keep updated on their levels. It comes in the same of a clip and needs to be put on either your finger or your earlobe.

There is an electronic screen on the clip itself that will show you the reading of the level detected. This oximeter works by using infrared light that is passed through the veins. This is how it can tell the difference between oxygenated blood cells and cells that aren’t oxygenated.

It’s important to note however that in cases of a blood clot, or if you have cold extremities where the clip is placed, you may get inaccurate readings.

Handheld Oximeter

This type of oximeter is mostly used by medical institutes and hospitals. The setup more sophisticated, with the clip being attached to an external screen using a cable.

The reading is a lot more in-depth than simply just the level of saturation, and doctors use this information to make decisions for the patient and with regards to the diagnosis.

It does work similar to the first type of oximeter discussed, as it also makes use of infrared rays in order to get the reading. Similarly, the clip portion can be attached to an earlobe, a finger or even a toe.

Pediatric Pulse Oximeter

As you can probably tell by the name, this oximeter is used for babies. More specifically, before they are born. Which is why it can also be referred to as a fetal pulse oximeter.

The reason this exists is because the other two pulse oximeters can sometimes make it difficult to use on a baby. So this special pediatric oximeter is needed.

It works by having a probe on the baby’s head and getting a reading from the skull using light rays. It gets to the unborn baby by traveling through the birth canal. It is very useful for alerting doctors to potential complications and helping them react much faster.

Top Ranked Pulse Oximeters for Home Use

ATMOKO Pulse Oximeter Review

The ATMOKO Pulse Oximeter is a reliable device that reads your blood oxygen saturation and your pulse accurately. It has a large display that is easy to read, and it can be used by the whole family.

You can use it for underlying medical issues or for your workouts, but it is recommended to use it before or after your workout, not during.

How Does the ATMOKO Pulse Oximeter Work?

This device is compact and lightweight, and it is very portable. It is accurate and can quickly provide a reading in as few as five to ten seconds.

It uses two AAA batteries, which will last for 600 measurements or 32 hours of use. It is easy to slide off the battery cover and replace the batteries as necessary.

To use this device, you simply turn it on, slide your finger in the silicone fingertip opening, push the button, and it will show your levels within 10 seconds. It works for all adults. It comes with four different layout options, so you can choose the one that is most convenient for you.

Overall, the ATMOKO Pulse Oximeter is suitable for use at home, before and after sports, and at different altitudes. It will automatically shut off after use, so it saves energy.

It uses a medical grade silicone finger mold, which is comfortable for your finger. The one button control makes it easy for anyone to operate.

When you purchase this device, it comes with a lanyard, a user manual, and one set of AAA batteries. This is a reliable product, and users are satisfied with their results.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Clear screen
  • Accurate readings
  • Alarm for low levels or oxygen or low pulse
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • You need to stay still to use it
  • It doesn’t come with a case

FaceLake FL400 Pulse Oximeter

Item Size: 3.3 x 1.3 x 1.2 inches | Item Weight: 4.0 ounces | Usage: Sports, and aviation only | Warranty: 1 year

This product is perfect for sports and recreation usage. It should not be used for any medical reasons, but so it does lose a little flexibility in terms of usage.

But for what it does, it does really well. Its 4.0 ounces, which is a little heavier than the traditional pulse oximeters but is still very light and easy to use.

Pros

  • Perfect for sports use
  • Inexpensive for its features
  • Can be used for aviation

Cons

  • Shouldn’t be used for medical conditions
  • A little heavier than other oximeters

Innovo Deluxe Fingertip Pulse Oximeter with Plethysmograph and Perfusion Index

Item Size: 3.2 x 3 x 1.8 | Item Weight: 2.7 ounces | Usage: Home, sports, recreational use | Additional info: Might not work on kids with small fingers | Warranty: 2 years

This oximeter is great for sports use, and if you are a fitness orientated person who wants to keep tabs on their body and how they are taking in oxygen, it’s great for you. It’s light and very easy to use.

It may not work with smaller children, as your finger has to be above a certain size for the clip to be effective. But for adults, it should work great.

Pros

  • Great for sports use
  • Very easy to use
  • Light and portable

Cons

  • Not suitable for children under a certain age

Nonin Medical GO2 Achieve Personal Fingertip Pulse Oximeter

Item Size: 2.8 x 1.5 x 1.1 inches | Item Weight: 1.28 ounces | Usage: Home, sports, recreational use, aviation | Additional info: Pediatric and adult | Warranty: 2 years

This pulse oximeter is for both adults and is pediatric, meaning it is suitable for children too. This adaptability of the product is a definite plus. It is really easy to use as you just clip it on your fingertip and wait for the reading. It is light, very portable, and relatively inexpensive.

Pros

  • Suitable for all ages
  • Very light and easy to use
  • Portable
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Reading takes a little longer than with other pulse oximeters

iHealth Air Wireless Fingertip Pulse Oximeter

Item Size: 7.3 x 4.5 x 6.1 inches | Shipping Weight: 8.0 ounces | Usage: Sports and / or aviation | Warranty: 1 year

This product has been clinically tested and is HIPAA compliant, meaning that you can be sure it is of really high quality. Not only does it measure your oxygen saturation levels, but it also measures your pulse.

It’s really effective to use pre-workout and then after your workout. It is also very effective when used during plane flights, and can be very useful if you are someone who needs to monitor their health regularly while on a flight.

Pros

  • Very high quality and reliable as it has gone through testing
  • Great for comparing pre-workout numbers to post-workout numbers
  • Can be used during plane flights to monitor oxygen saturation levels

Cons

  • Only a one year warranty

Finger Pulse Oximeter by Vive Precision

Item Size: 2.5 x 1.375 x 1.375 inches | Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces | Usage: Home and sports | Additional info: Suitable for all ages | Warranty: 1 year

This oximeter is suitable for all ages, meaning you can use it for anyone from your babies to your grandparents. It has a one year warranty which is a little short, but it is inexpensive so that makes up for that. Its ready straight out of the box, all you need is to put in batteries.

It has an alarm that will alert you in case of any bad results. Its readings come up incredibly quick, there is a very short waiting time between putting it on and finding your results.

Pros

  • Suitable for all ages
  • Ready to use out of the box
  • Has an alarm for bad results
  • Reading is generated quickly

Cons

  • Warranty could be longer

Pulse Oximeter Buying Guide

Pulse oximeters are available at different prices by different brands, so it can be overwhelming to determine how to choose a product.

When pulse oximeters were first made in the 1970s, they were very bulky and expensive. The cord that was attached to the sensor alone weighed around three pounds. They cost around $10,000.

The technology has come a long way with fingertip models being light and much less expensive. When you are buying a pulse oximeter, there are guidelines that you should consider. Take a look at the following things to consider when you are buying a pulse oximeter.

FDA Certification

The pulse oximeter is categorized as a class II device, and they must be registered by the FDA. Most of them are, but if you want to make sure, you can verify it by checking the FDA Medical Device Database.

When you sign on, you can search for the manufacturer’s name and make sure that your device is registered. This is important because the FDA has certain standards that these devices must meet so that they are accurate.

Reliability and Accuracy

When you buy a pulse oximeter, the most important characteristic is that it is accurate and reliable. The device will measure your oxygen saturation and your pulse rate, and it will not be of much use if it doesn’t give an accurate reading. Most decent pulse oximeters will have an accuracy of plus or minus three percent.

You can verify your pulse oximeters accuracy by comparing it to one at a hospital or at your doctor’s office. These devices only take a few seconds to give a reading, so you should have no trouble making a comparison.

Bear in mind that accuracy can be compromised by motion. If your hand trembles or moves, you should look for a device that has a higher tolerance for motion without compromising accuracy.

When you are looking for a device, make sure to check for these qualities to make sure that your pulse oximeter is accurate and reliable.

Easy to Use

Another consideration is how easy the device is to use. You should be able to stick your finger in the device and push a button.

You want the display to be big enough to read, and check how the data is displayed. Your pulse oximeter should be easy to use, and you should have no trouble reading the display.
Determine the Fit

The sensor should fit your finger comfortably. You should be able to slide your finger in easily, especially if this is a clip-on style of sensor. If you have small hands or you need a pulse oximeter for a child, you can look at pediatric pulse oximeters, they will be smaller.

Other Considerations

Once you are positive that your pulse oximeter is accurate, reliable, easy to use, and fits well, you may consider other features for convenience.

For example, some devices can save previous readings and timestamps. You will be able to generate statistics with these, which can be useful for collecting information.

In addition, if you have more than one person in your home using the device, you might look for one that has multi-person memory.

Some models will allow you to save your data to your computer. You can use software that comes with the device to download the data, save it, and share it with your medical staff.

Pulse oximeters come in different styles, so you might want one that has a particular look. In addition, make sure that you can easily store it.

Some come with accessories, including a storage case, a log book, or an extra battery. You should consider all of these features if they are important to you.

How to Choose the Right Pulse Oximeter

The most important thing is that you choose the right pulse oximeter for your needs. If you are buying it for an underlying health condition, you should consult with your doctor. You may have very specific needs.

If, on the other hand, you are buying it to monitor your workouts, you may want additional features, such as a heart rate monitor.

Most people will be satisfied with a fingertip or portable version of this device, but they do make handheld models as well. These are more likely what you find in a medical office, and they are considered to have greater accuracy and reliability.

They also make wearable devices that attach to your wrist. People with more serious conditions are more likely to want this type of pulse oximeter.

You should look through the features and select the device that best meets your needs. There are a wide range of styles, so you should find what you are looking for. Fortunately, the fingertip models are affordable, so you can find one that is reliable, accurate, and portable.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pulse Oximeters

1. What Is a Pulse Oximeter?

A pulse oximeter is a noninvasive medical device that measures light absorption in your finger to determine the oxygen saturation. It can also measure the pulse rate.

2. Why Do People Use Pulse Oximeters?

People with some conditions may use a pulse oximeter to check how well the blood is pumping oxygen through their bodies. Outside of the hospital, people may use one for the following reasons:

  • To make sure lung medication is working well
  • To evaluate whether someone needs help breathing
  • To assess ability to increase exercise
  • To assess how someone tolerates higher altitudes
  • To monitor oxygen saturation over time
  • To check oxygen levels of people with chronic lung or cardiovascular conditions

3. How Accurate Are at-Home Pulse Oximeters?

Today, at-home pulse oximeters are very accurate. Almost all of the top brands offer accuracy within plus or minus three percent. That means that if your pulse oximeter reads 93%, it could be as low as 90% or as high as 96%.

4. What Factors Can Affect Pulse Oximeter Readings?

Some models have a hard time taking accurate measurements if your hand moves or trembles at all. In addition, readings can be inaccurate during cardiac arrest or during heart rate extremes. Certain medications and fear can also affect the reading.

5. What Should the Pulse Rate Be?

For adults and anyone over the age of 10, the resting heart rate should be between 60 and 100 beats per minute. It can vary within this range.

6. What Is a Good Pulse Oximeter Reading?

A normal pulse oximeter reading is between 95% and 100%, but anything below 90% is considered low. You should talk to your doctor to find out what the target reading is for you. Keep in mind that your reading may have a plus or minus three percent margin of error.

Final Thoughts

Health is very important and when you can get a product like a pulse oximeter for a low price, it’s really worth it. The oximeter may be cheap but the price people pay for not having one can be very high.

For people with respiratory problems in their family, especially people who have children with these such problems, purchasing a pulse oximeter is an easy decision.

If you are looking to purchase a pulse oximeter, you should find the one that is best for you. There are a lot of different styles, and they are more common today.

If you need to measure the oxygen in your blood for underlying health issues, you should consult with your doctor and make sure that you buy a device with high accuracy.

Did you find this post helpful? Drop us a comment below.


Lisa

After earning a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering, Lisa A. Cusack traveled to a remote village in Ghana, where she worked as a voluntary worker for 18 months. She later moved to Antwerp, Belgium and now devotes much of her time to writing and creating helpful educational material for medical students and allied healthcare professionals. Visit our About page to learn about the contributors of Healthy Buddys.

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