When your doctor tells you that it’s time to start oxygen therapy, you may look at them like they have two heads. That’s reasonable—there are a lot of oxygen concentrators out there, and it’s tough to tell the difference between them! But portable oxygen concentrators provide many benefits and can help you live your life in a comfortable and safe manner. There are many types of portable oxygen to choose from, including pulse dose or continuous flow. Read on to discover a guide to the different types of portable oxygen machines.

How Portable Oxygen Concentrators Work

Whether it’s a small device you can easily transport or a heavy wheeled tank, every oxygen concentrator pulls in air from the environment and changes it into oxygen.

The air we breathe in our homes and outside is actually mostly made of nitrogen—we breathe about 21 percent oxygen with each breath. Oxygen concentrators increase this number to about 95 percent, which is perfect for increasing the oxygen saturation in your blood.

Stationary oxygen concentrators were once the standard, but these tanks could weigh 50 pounds and were very cumbersome. Now, portable oxygen concentrators get the job done, and they can fit into a purse or handbag!

The only thing you should keep in mind is that portable concentrators have more limited oxygen delivery capabilities. Therefore, if your doctor tells you that you require more oxygen, a stationary concentrator is probably right for you.

Pulse Dose

There are two main types of portable oxygen concentrators: pulse dose and continuous flow. As the name suggests, pulse dose concentrators provide oxygen intermittently, only activating when you inhale. This type of device is generally recommended for COPD patients with limited oxygen requirements, as the amount of O2 that a pulse dose concentrator can deliver is relatively low.

Continuous Flow

The other option of portable oxygen machines is a continuous flow concentrator. This device can deliver up to 3,000 mL of oxygen every minute, while pulse dose devices tend to cap out at 1250 mL. Continuous flow devices are the go-to for most COPD patients, as they’re ideal for people who need two to five liters of oxygen a minute. 

If you’re looking for portable concentrators for sale, we have a selection of pulse dose and continuous flow devices. Now that you have this guide to the different types of portable oxygen machines, choose the best device with the help of your doctor.

You can explore our blogs to learn more about the types of portable oxygen available and our other products, like tubing and cannulas. Or you can contact us directly with any specific questions you might have.