Oxygen concentrators have been used to provide oxygen therapy for different types of diseases. We usually see these in hospitals, which are connected either to oxygen tanks or centralized oxygen pipes. Even thought effective, this does not really provide mobility, since the users are just stuck in one place.
As technology continued to progress throughout the years, companies have also developed portable oxygen concentrators. These machines are designed to be small, lightweight, and easy to carry, thus allowing the user to travel to other places without the oxygen concentrator being a burden.
YOUR BASIS WHEN BUYING A PORTABLE OXYGEN CONCENTRATOR
Today, several companies provide portable oxygen concentrators to users all over the world. With so many options to choose from, it’s difficult to pick just one, and you might worry that you’ll invest on a POC that’s not worth its price. Here are some of the criteria you could use to help you decide when buying a portable oxygen concentrator:
The brand is like the company’s personal signature, and when you hear the name of the brand a lot of times, you can tell that their products are probably worth the look. Even though we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, we can use the brand name as one of the basis for buying a POC. However, we shouldn’t base all our decisions on the brand’s name alone, because some products may be popular in name but terrible in performance, while other underrated brands have better-performing products.
Portable oxygen concentrators usually cost around $800 – $2,000, so this is a pretty big investment even for the middle-class people. If you’re on a tight budget, you should also consider the price of the product when buying a portable oxygen concentrator. Some products can cost up to $3,500, but has a high-quality performance, so you should consider if you would invest a larger price for your POC. Plus, there are also additional accessories that can also cost quite a fortune, such as the double batteries or additional external batteries in other brands.
We buy portable oxygen concentrators for one main purpose: to have proper oxygen delivery. Therefore, the oxygen flow is the most important factor when buying a POC. Depending on the brand and model, a POC can have multiple pulse settings, where some can have as low as 2, and other brands have up to 6 pulse settings. Each setting will deliver different doses of oxygen, where the lowest is around 100 mL/min, while others can go up to 3,000 mL/min. Higher settings can also drain the portable oxygen concentrator’s battery faster, and they are usually more expensive, so make sure to check with your doctor to know the proper amounts of oxygen you need per minute.
Other than the setting speed of the portable oxygen concentrator, there are also two types of oxygen flow delivery: pulse flow and continuous flow. Pulse flow delivers oxygen in pulses, and this is the most common in POCs. It delivers less oxygen, but the motor is also smaller and more compact for mobility, and other models are also equipped with sensors to detect whenever you inhale.
Meanwhile, continuous flow delivers oxygen constantly, and this is usually used for people with higher demands of oxygen. Continuous flow settings can go up to 3 L/min, but they use up more battery and are more expensive. Other POCs also have pulse/continuous flow settings, so you can switch between them whenever you need.
Size and Weight
You will carry around your portable oxygen concentrator with you all day and wherever you go, so you would want this device to be small and lightweight so as not to be too much of a burden. This is why if you are buying a POC, make sure to check its dimensions and weight. Usually, when you buy the machine, they will also give you a carry bag with adjustable straps, so that you can carry it more comfortably with you. Moreover, the batteries can also add weight to your machine, and some products will offer an optional double battery, which will usually add a couple of pounds to the total weight.
TOP PORTABLE OXYGEN CONCENTRATORS
From the given criteria above, we have gathered some of the top portable oxygen concentrators in the market for each criteria:
Best Continuous Flow: Respironics SimplyGo
Several continuous flow portable oxygen concentrator reviews have stated that this one is their personal favorite. This oxygen concentrator comes in several different modes, and its continuous flow ranges from 0.5 to 2 liters per minute, so you can guarantee the best oxygen flow at any time with this machine.
Longest Battery Life: SeQual Eclipse 5 Mobile Unit
This product is known for its long intervals between changing or charging its batteries. It comes with two batteries, where one battery can last for up to five hours at the maximum oxygen pulse. Not only that, but these batteries were also designed to be as energy-efficient as possible, so there’s no need to change its batteries very often.
Smallest and Most Compact: Airsep Freestyle 3
If you want a portable oxygen concentrator that’s not too heavy or bulky, then Airsep Freestyle 3 Concentrator is perfect for you! It’s dimensions are 6.1” x 8.6” x 3.6”, and it only weighs a total of 5 pounds, including the batteries. This portable oxygen concentrator also has an adjustable strap that makes it seem like you’re only carrying a lunch bag, unlike the other products in trolleys that you have to drag around.
Best for Travel: The Oxlife Independence
If you are a person that likes to travel to different places, then you should get the Oxlife Independence. This concentrator can operate at altitudes of up to 13,123 feet, which is perfect even for plane rides. Plus, this device also comes with a cart and wheels for easy transport, and its batteries can last up to 4 hours in pulse mode, so you don’t have to worry about changing batteries while outdoors.
OVERALL BEST PORTABLE OXYGEN CONCENTRATOR
With so many portable oxygen concentrators listed above, it’s difficult to choose just one. However, if you’re looking for a machine that’s perfect for all situations, then you should get the Inogen One G3, which is one of the best in the market.
This concentrator has a battery-life of up to 10 hours, and can fully operate in altitudes of up to 10,000 feet. Not only that, but the Inogen One G3 is also one of the quietest concentrators available, and only weighs around 4.8 pounds. With these specifications, it’s no question that this product has already sold more than 300,000 units worldwide, so you should also get yours now!
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