Oxygen concentrators come in many shapes and sizes, from heavy, wheeled units to lightweight handheld ones. While they all offer the same service, not all oxygen units are created equal. The best units are durable and quiet, and their batteries last for hours. We’ve created a list of the top six name brands for personal oxygen units, both portable and wheeled!
Pulse Dose and Continuous Flow
Some of the concentrators we’ll discuss offer a “pulse dose” oxygen delivery, while others give you “continuous flow.” Before reading about the best units for oxygen, it’s crucial to understand the difference between these oxygen delivery methods.
At its simplest, pulse dose delivery gives you oxygen based on your breathing patterns, customizing the delivery based on your inhalations and exhalations. Meanwhile, continuous flow provides constant oxygen and doesn’t change based on your breathing rate.
Pulse dose is usually best for users without severe conditions, and continuous flow is best when a patient requires more breathing assistance. While each option has its advantages, your doctor should determine the delivery method you need.
GCE is among the newest manufacturers to the oxygen concentrator game, but they knocked it out of the park with the Zen-O! This highly dependable unit provides both continuous flow and pulse dose delivery methods, making it adaptable to any circumstance. Its best feature? Dual battery slots. These allow you to double your device’s battery life, reducing the frequency of battery charging!
Depending on your settings, you could easily go eight hours without needing to recharge. Even with two batteries, the unit only weighs 10 pounds, so you don’t have to worry about a lack of portability. Finally, the Zen-O doesn’t get much louder than 40 decibels, which is the equivalent of average home noise.
Philips SimplyGo and SimplyGo Mini
Philips Respironics is known for their quality medical equipment, so it’s no surprise that their take on oxygen concentrators is a good one. Both the SimplyGo and the SimplyGo Mini offer portability with effective oxygen delivery.
The SimplyGo is the heavier of the two, but with that weight comes continuous oxygen flow. It’s a portable option at 10 pounds, but it still delivers the same oxygen quality as a heavy home oxygen unit with up to two liters of continuous flow per minute. This unit is great because it also has a pulse dose setting. No matter what O2 delivery method you need, the SimplyGo can provide it!
The SimplyGo Mini comes in at half the weight of its big brother, making it highly portable. While there’s no option for continuous flow, the Mini may be exactly what you need for travel and daily errands.
Weighing in at just under five pounds, the ResMed ActivOx is perfect for anyone hoping to stay active while on oxygen. This pulse dose device has four pulse settings, going all the way up to four liters per minute. Pulse dose devices offer better battery life than continuous flow units, and the ActivOx is no different—you can use this unit for eight hours before needing to recharge.
The ActivOx has an “auto mode,” which detects changes in your breathing patterns to quickly adjust oxygen based on your delivery needs. There’s also an “active-high” mode with quick, short pulses to match your breath during physical activity. “Rest mode” has a sensitive breath detector that gives you longer, shallower breaths while you sleep.
Oxlife Freedom/Oxlife Independence
The Oxlife Freedom and Oxlife Independence are the pulse dose and continuous flow options, respectively, from O2 Concepts. While the heavier Independence unit comes on a wheeled cart, the Freedom is about six pounds—perfect for easy transportation. Even with its heavier weight, the Independence isn’t too tricky to transport thanks to an intuitive handle that folds up when not in use.
Whether you choose the Freedom or the Independence, all O2 Concepts devices are connected to a secure network. This connection allows the O2 Concepts’ system to manage your oxygen usage, monitor your equipment’s status, and alert you if your device requires maintenance.
Invacare Platinum Mobile
Invacare has consistently ranked as one of the best brands for all medical products for decades, and their Platinum oxygen concentrator proves their capabilities. The Invacare Platinum Mobile has five flow settings, an excellent control panel, and some of the best power features we’ve seen. With its hot-swap capabilities, you can switch out your batteries without any interruption in your oxygen!
Also, you can connect your device to your iPhone or Android phone and view information on your battery capacity with an easy-to-use app. This device is built for portability and can stand up to bumps and scrapes—it’s even water-resistant! You can wear the case as a backpack, purse, or messenger bag—whichever you prefer.
The Invacare Platinum Mobile is also perfect for anyone living in areas that get extremely hot in the summer since it functions in environments up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
The one downside to Invacare products is a less-than-intuitive website, but we can help you there! We carry the Platinum Mobile on our site, among other refurbished portable oxygen concentrators, so you don’t have to deal with clunky website navigation.
The ResMed Mobi has a lot to love, including a helpful display that lets you know how much power your battery has left (which could be up to 13 hours). On top of that, the screen is user-friendly and requires only a single touch to get it going. Don’t worry about changing modes, since the Mobi can automatically switch between active and rest mode based on your breathing.
While the unit doesn’t offer continuous flow, it does come with excellent portability! The device is only five and a half pounds, and the Mobi is approved for use on commercial flights, making travel a breeze. If you’re planning on a road trip instead of a flight, the Mobi comes with a 12V DC adaptor that’s perfect for charging in your car.
Now that you know the top six name brands for personal oxygen units, talk with your doctor about whether pulse dose or continuous flow is right for you. Once you know, you can put this knowledge to use!