Best Portable Oxygen Concentrators: If you have been recommended oxygen therapy by your doctor, you surely must have been worried that this would limit your activity. To continue with your oxygen therapy, you need an oxygen tank that would be able to supply pure oxygen directly via a cannula. Though oxygen tanks can be carted from one place to another, they aren’t quite suitable to be carried along wherever you go. You will need an aide to do that for you and it may not be possible to cart it everywhere. However, modern medical advancement has ensured that you no longer need to stay back at home just because you have been asked to go through oxygen therapy. You can now use a portable oxygen concentrator instead of an oxygen tank and reap the same benefits as that of an oxygen tank. The best part is that you can carry them with you anywhere you without having to ask anyone to cart around a big tank of oxygen. Portable oxygen concentrators or POCs work by drawing in the outside air and purifying it by extracting other gases like nitrogen as well as other air pollutants to supply pure oxygen to the user. This helps the user to breathe in almost pure air with maximum oxygen concentration. This helps the user to continue oxygen therapy at all times.
Who Should Use a Portable Oxygen Concentrator?
Portable oxygen concentrators are recommended by doctors to patients suffering from respiratory diseases and illnesses such as bronchitis, emphysema, COPD, asthma, pneumonia, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, cystic fibrosis, congestive heart failure, sleep apnea, etc. In fact, anyone suffering from an illness or disorder that leads to the low oxygen concentration in the blood may be suggested an oxygen therapy, preferably with the use of a concentrator. Oxygen therapy may also be suggested to the elderly whose lungs have become weak with age and breathing has become shallow over the years. A concentrator may help such people receive sufficient amount of oxygen as needed by the body.
How to Choose the Best Portable Oxygen Concentrator?
If you have been recommended to start oxygen therapy by your physician, it is best not to delay in purchasing a portable oxygen concentrator. But which one do you buy? There are many products in the market, but the choice of the best portable oxygen concentrator should be done based on the following factors:
Type: The very first point of consideration is the type of concentrator that you need. Concentrators usually offer oxygen in two different ways – continuous flow and pulse flow (also known as intermittent flow). In the first type, the flow of oxygen is continuous while in the second type, oxygen is supplied each time you inhale, thus saving some amount of oxygen. However, the decision about the type of concentrator to use will be taken by your physician who will suggest what type will be suitable for you. In the case of patients with very light breathing, the pulse may not be generated properly, thus causing the concentrator to fail in the supply of oxygen.
Size and Weight: Portable oxygen concentrators are pretty small in size and light in weight. That being said, you can find concentrators weighing somewhere between 2 -5 pounds and being a few inches to a couple of feet high. Smallest portable oxygen concentrator models are the best choice if you want to travel frequently with the concentrator. However, if you would like to use it mostly at home, office, or car, a slightly bigger and heavier model would do as well.
Noise Level: The amount of sound produced by the concentrator device must be factored in before you buy one. If the sound produced is similar to white noise that seems to be quiet enough, you can easily buy the product. However, if a much higher sound is produced, it can cause discomfort. That is why go through the Portable oxygen concentrator reviews to know how much sound does a particular product cause.
Sensitivity: If you are planning to buy a pulse mode concentrator that supplies oxygen with each inhales, you have to ensure that the pulse is sensitive enough to detect your breathing. This is important if you have shallow breaths. If the pulse is not highly sensitive, the concentrator will not be able to supply oxygen properly. The closer to zero the pulse value, the better is the sensitivity of the machine.
Power: If you are planning on buying a comparatively larger unit, you may have to plug it in to charge. However, small and compact models often run on both batteries as well as AC power supply. For running the unit while in your car, you will have to either buy a product that comes with an adapter or buy one yourself.
Battery Life: This is an important aspect to consider. The battery life of the different models can vary, depending on their price tags. Some batteries can power the concentrator for as long as 5 hours while others may need charging after about 2 hours. Unless you stay home most of the time, you would like to have a product with better battery life.
Control Panel: While looking for the best portable oxygen concentrator, see to it that the control panel is easy-to-read, and use, preferably with LED display. This makes the info on the screen easily visible, even in a darkness which is much required, especially in case of the elderly.
Maintenance: Try to go for a product that is easy to maintain. Products that require frequent cleaning aren’t quite convenient, especially to the elderly. Periodical maintenance is what you should be looking for. Also, understand very well the different parts that you would need to clean. If there is any requirement of periodic replacement of certain parts or components, that must also be noted.
Alerts: This is a much-needed feature in a good concentrator. The unit must be well equipped to send out alert signals for low battery, disconnection of the cannula, product malfunction, etc. The alert will let you know that there is some problem with the proper functioning of the concentrator which must be looked into.
Price: The last and final point of consideration is the price of the product. Portable concentrators are costly, the average baseline price being around $2000. However, the best portable oxygen concentrators may cost $4000 or even more.
Top Portable Oxygen Concentrator Reviews
1. Ikakon 1L Concentrator Generator Travel Car Use O2 Making Machine:
In case you are looking for a lightweight and compact oxygen concentrator, then this particular health equipment from Ikakon can be one of the best choices that you can make. Size wise this equipment is much smaller than the iPad which adds to its portability and makes it easier for you to carry it while you travel. This oxygen concentrator has the capacity to generate 1 LPM which is good enough for any patient to maintain his or her oxygen level. This equipment is operated by battery and comes with a programmable timer function. Hence if there is a recommended timer option for oxygen therapy, then this machine is perfect for you. Charging this device is also pretty much easy. Even when you are out on the road, you can just plug it in your car’s lighter socket and you are done. Irrespective of the fact that you are using a nasal cannula, a mask or snorkels, this equipment will work at its full efficiency.
- Capacity: 1 LPM
- Compact design, lightweight and perfectly portable
- Operated by batteries
- Can be charged while on the go
- Compatible with headset cannula, nasal cannula, snorkel, and mask as well
- Comes with programmable timer function which can be set to the desired timer as per the prescription
- According to the Portable oxygen concentrator reviews, the instructions included are not that good enough
- According to some users, customer service is not that efficient
2. Invacare IRC10LXO2 Platinum 10 Oxygen Concentrator:
If you are looking for a portable oxygen concentrator with light LPM, then this particular product from Invacare is what you are looking for. This equipment is capable of providing up to 10 liters of 95% pure oxygen. It comes with a front panel that includes the power button, outlet for cannula and the water level indicator. The only thing you need to start using this product is a proper prescription; otherwise, you won’t be able to buy this product from the manufacturer. This oxygen concentrator is recommended by many as it can provide sustainable oxygen to any patient who is having some breathing problems. Being a portable oxygen concentrator, you may expect it to be a bit more compact, but this concentrator does not have a compact design and is not one of those light weighted equipment either. But the equipment comes with wheels that make it really easy to make the transportations from one place to another.
- Maximum capacity of 10 LPM
- Comes with additional handle and wheels for increased portability
- Comes with front panel indicating the water level, power button, and the oxygen outlet
- Really easy to get going
- The plug-and-play machine set up helps the customers to be able to use the machine quickly at the time of need
- Durable and reliable
- As per the Portable oxygen concentrator reviews, this machine does not create much noise
- A lot heavy than you can expect it to be
- Does not have a compact design
3. TTLIFE Portable O2 Concentrator Generator – Home Air Purifier Machine:
If you wish to have a portable oxygen concentrator that can produce a substantial amount of oxygen, then this product from TTLIFE is the best that you can get. This plug and play oxygen concentrator is not only a portable machine that can diffuse 6 Liters of oxygen per minute but also makes sure you have at least 93% pure oxygen. This concentrator is designed to enhance user facilities and it also features a timer control which can ensure you a precise timing for the oxygen therapy. Apart from that, it has a sleep mode as well which ensures a lot more power saving than the other concentrators. It comes with an LED screen that is big enough to read the oxygen therapy settings and other parameters which are essential. You can also choose to monitor the voice broadcast, negative ion functionality, and the intelligent timing facility as well. To get going, you will have to find an electric outlet, plug it in and you can have pure oxygen supply in quick time.
- Capable of providing up to 6 LPM
- Lightweight, sleek and compact design
- Comes with increased user-friendly facilities
- LED screen included is large enough to monitor all the necessary settings and change in parameters
- If you go through Portable oxygen concentrator reviews you will see that it comes with negative ion functionality, sleep and timer controls
- Portable design for easy transportation
- Does not yield a lot of sounds
- Oxygen purity level does not match the 93% mark
- You can get at most 88% of pure oxygen
- The air flow is not that strong
- Does make some noise while starting the machine and stopping it
4. Vogvigo Home O2 Concentrator Generator, Adjustable Portable Machine:
Vogvigo presents to you one of the best portable concentrator machines that you can get. With a capacity of 6 LPM and facility to set your LPM level, this is truly the product you should be looking for. The sleek and compact design, lightweight and the facility to program some of the essential settings, make this concentrator one of the best that you can buy. The concentrator comes with a touch-screen LCD display that can help you read the different modes and also the timer and sleep settings. Since the concentrator does not make a lot of noise while in use, so you can enjoy a relaxing time while you are having the oxygen therapy. Apart from that, you get to use a remote control as well which ensure a swift control over the machine even when you are not close to it.
- Maximum capacity of 6 LPM
- Sleek and compact design
- Large touch screen LCD
- No noise at all
- Lightweight which adds to the portability
- Plug-and-play mode helps in quick get going
- Remote control to access the equipment even when you are not close to it
- The instructions are not complete
- You might have to go through a trial and error process before you can set the machine up
- No meter reading to know the oxygen concentration level
- The water tank is really terrible
5. Portable Oxygen Concentrator Oxygen Machine for Home and Travel Use:
DEDAKJ presents to you one of the best oxygen concentrators in the market. With a maximum oxygen flow of 6 LPM, adjustable oxygen level and 90% pure oxygen supply, this concentrator can surely be at the top of your list. The equipment weighs only 14.3 lbs which are really light and definitely adds to the portability. Also, you can easily carry it while traveling via a car with ease. It comes with a LED screen which can operate by touch or you can use the remote control which can be used from a maximum distance of 20 meters. This machine does not yield a lot of noise which makes it really easy for the users to go for oxygen therapy without any trouble. Whether you are at home or you wish to travel to some other place, this oxygen concentrator can surely be the right equipment to keep it with you. According to the Portable oxygen concentrator reviews, you get 1-year manufacturer warranty a well.
- If you are looking for a product that will be able to provide oxygen supply for a longer duration of time, then this is the oxygen concentrator that you should choose as it can run straight for 3000 hours
- Comes with a high-end configuration that can add to its benefits
- Makes a little noise really which ensure you get to enjoy your oxygen therapy without disturbing others.
- Comes with remote control as well
- Includes power saving mode which ensures you a lower electricity bill but a quality oxygen supply every time.
- Simple and stylish design with necessary control buttons. Irrespective of the fact whose operating the machine, you can rest assured that it will be really easy to work with.
- Comes with timer function which can be useful to set the timer for the oxygen therapy and also it can save some power consumption as well.
- Portable design ensures that you can easily carry it anywhere you want
- Comes with durable security, and metal oxygen nozzle
- Includes a high capacity negative ion distributor
- You might not get the level of oxygen promised
- The equipment seemed to stop working after someday
- It does not work like an actual concentrator
Important FAQs about Portable Oxygen Concentrator
Do I need a prescription to buy a portable oxygen concentrator?
- Yes. A prescription from a doctor is a must before you can buy an oxygen concentrator for oxygen therapy.
Is liquid oxygen used in the portable oxygen concentrator?
- No. There is no use of liquid oxygen. The concentrator uses natural air and supplies purified oxygen to the user.
How pure is the oxygen that I get?
- Most concentrators will supply oxygen that is 87 – 93% pure.
Why should I buy a concentrator when it is available on rent?
- Portable oxygen concentrators are indeed available on rent. But with a rented machine, you do not know its exact condition and whether it will fail soon. That is why buying one is a safe option.
Do concentrators come under insurance coverage?
- Yes, they do. Most private insurance providers will offer coverage for your portable oxygen concentrator. However, it is best to contact the provider before you buy one.
Will Medicare cover my oxygen concentrator?
- In short, yes. But Medicare only covers oxygen concentrator rentals and that too, for a period of 36 months. After this period, service coverage of 24 months is offered by Medicare.
How long can I use my concentrator?
- Though portable oxygen concentrators are expensive, they do not last for a long time. Most concentrators will offer good quality oxygen (purity > 80%) for 800 – 1500 hours, depending on the model that you buy. After that, you will have to go for a replacement.
Can I carry my concentrator on a plane?
- Yes, but you have to ensure that the concentrator is FAA approved. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be allowed to take it onboard.
How many batteries will my concentrator have?
- Most modern concentrators have either one or two batteries. Units that come with two batteries can also run one battery as well.
How long do the batteries take to recharge?
- Most batteries take about 2-4 hours to recharge, while some may need 8-9 hours.
Portable oxygen concentrators are a savior for anyone who needs to undergo oxygen therapy but doesn’t want to compromise their normal lives. It gives you the freedom to carry on with your day to day activities while you allow yourself to heal. However, make sure that you thoroughly go through the Portable oxygen concentrator reviews given above and then arrive at a wise decision.
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