Consumer Reports Oxygen Concentrator

best oxygen concentrator

Without Oxygen, there is no life for humanity. It is therefore sad that many people find themselves handicapped when it comes to breathing properly. From mild to severe, breathing difficulties are widespread and modern technology has produced a solution, The oxygen concentrator. While traditional cannisters are effective, they are heavy and difficult to replace. The oxygen concentrator, being electronic, is much easier to use. Consumers will benefit from educating themselves on what is involved in the process of oxygen usage before making a purchase. Let us consider this along with the factors that make oxygen concentrators unique.

The 5 Best Oxygen Concentrators in 2020

ECH Portable Oxy-gen Con-centrator O2 Concentrat_or Generat_or O2 Bar Machine, 1-6L/min Adjustable Machine for Home and Travel Use 110V
8 Reviews
ECH Portable Oxy-gen Con-centrator O2 Concentrat_or Generat_or O2 Bar Machine, 1-6L/min Adjustable Machine for Home and Travel Use 110V
  • [Adjustable]: Ox-ygen con-centration: durative flow 1-6L/min adjustable; portable and...
  • [Durative]: (AC 110V ) It will be working 24 hours if you do not set timer. If you set...
C1 Home use Protable O2 Concentrator Machine110V
3 Reviews
C1 Home use Protable O2 Concentrator Machine110V
  • Intelligent Time Accumulation Function: 0-180 minutes timer range, easy to record oxygen...
  • Long Work Time: Continuous 24 hours of continuous O2 supply, it is recommended to rest...
COXTOD O2 Concentrator, Portable O2 Concentrator 1-5L/Min Adjustable Oxy Machine Use for Home Use, AC 110v Air Purifier
5 Reviews
COXTOD O2 Concentrator, Portable O2 Concentrator 1-5L/Min Adjustable Oxy Machine Use for Home Use, AC 110v Air Purifier
  • 02 Concentration: 40%( standard atmospheric pressure),Noise below 45dB.It can work...
  • Each time you add water, do not exceed the maximum water mark. Normally it can be used...

Know What is Required

Choose Your Tube

It is important to understand that there are two distinct types of tubing that can be connected to the portable oxygen concentrator to deliver oxygen directly to the user. The first is a face mask; this fits over the nose and mouth, covering both completely. The second is a nasal cannula; this does not attach to the mouth at all and instead has two curved nasal sprouts that provide oxygen directly into the nostrils. The one chosen would be down to individual preference and medical requirements. However, this is relevant because these same preferences and requirements can correspond with the functions of a portable oxygen concentrator. If the portable oxygen concentrator is required for travel, then it would be ideal to complement it with a nasal cannula because it will allow for ease of movement and is cheaper to replace. A face mask, on the other hand, may be better suited for those that require a portable oxygen concentrator for long periods of stationary oxygen therapy such as while sleeping.

Travel Convenience

One of the main reasons why people are interested in portable oxygen concentrators is because of their travel capabilities. The best portable oxygen concentrator is made to be light and easy to carry around. Generally, their cables are long to allow for plugged in use while stationary as well as having strong battery packs to provide power during transportation. They can also come with specially designed trolley bags to make transportation very simple. The Respironics Simplygo is a great example of a portable oxygen concentrator that was designed to be used while travelling.

Types of Flow

With portable oxygen concentrators, there are two distinct ways through which the oxygen can be delivered. One way is via what is known as a pulse flow. This is where the portable oxygen concentrator releases oxygen in time with every inhalation. In other words, the user taking in a breath acts as a trigger for the concentrator to pump oxygen. It is important to bear in mind that pulse dose settings can vary considerably depending on the brand of portable oxygen concentrator. Separate devices from different brands could both be set to provide the exact same amount of pulse dosage but there could nevertheless be subtle differences in breath detection time and output rate between them. If a puffer is all that a purchaser is looking for, then it might be simpler and cheaper to choose a device that only offers a puffer. The Inogen One G3 and the Inogen One G4 are both good quality portable oxygen concentrators that are pulse-only.  The other way that oxygen can be delivered is via a continuous flow. This is where there is a constant stream of oxygen being supplied without the need for breath detection technology. While this is more common with stationary oxygen concentrators, it is now becoming commonplace with portable ones as well. The one thing to bear in mind is that using a continuous flow on a portable oxygen concentrator will drain a lot of battery life so it would be better to choose a device with a high battery life to compensate for this. It is worth noting that the best portable oxygen concentrators on the market right now offer a combination of pulse flow and continuous flow. This means that it could be possible to alternate between the two modes where necessary in order to prolong battery life. If the user’s health does not permit this then It would be more cost effective to select an oxygen concentrator that exclusively offers the type of oxygen flow that is required.

How Much Oxygen?

It is crucial to select an oxygen concentrator that can provide the required amount of oxygen flow. This is measured according to a flow range of oxygen litres per minute (LPM). Every person will have a different requirement, as prescribed by a doctor. However, for general use a setting between 1 to 2 litres per minute would provide a mild intake of supplemental oxygen that would not be overwhelming to use. It would be a good idea to check and make sure that the flow settings on the oxygen concentrator are not capped at an amount that is not enough for the user. Some oxygen concentrators have flow rates that are so high, approximately 3 to 4 LPM, that it would be possible for two people to use the machine simultaneously with the use of additional tubing. This would be a cheaper alternative for circumstances where two people in the same household both require an oxygen concentrator. It would also be worth checking to see if the oxygen concentrator will include a pulse oximeter. This small device attaches to the finger and keeps track of the oxygen saturation levels to make sure they do not go too low. While they can be bought separately, it would be convenient to purchase both together as it can be very useful to keep track of oxygen levels while the oxygen concentrator is in use, particularly for users that have greater difficulty breathing.


A key thing to bear in mind is that a portable oxygen concentrator does necessitate regular maintenance. For example, the cabinet air filter on any device would have to be cleaned on a weekly basis. If this is not done at the right time, it could lead to an increase in the noise level while switched on. It would also be required to conduct other checks regarding concentration levels, the compressor inlet filter and the power-loss alarm. If these tasks seem confusing, then it may be best to invest in a brand that has a reliable customer service process such as Philips Respironics. This would ensure that the oxygen concentrator is well maintained so that it may always run smoothly.

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