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Updated onAug. 05, 2022

Best Portable Oxygen Concentrators In 2022

People who use supplemental oxygen and want access to oxygen therapy on the go should ask their health care professional about getting a portable oxygen concentrator. Many older adults develop conditions like COPD, heart failure, or ineffective oxygen perfusion while they feel otherwise strong and healthy. Portable oxygen concentrators allow you to get the oxygen you need to manage your condition, while enabling you to stay active and mobile.

Choosing the right portable oxygen concentrator depends on a few key factors, including your oxygen needs and specific health concerns. Other considerations include the size and weight of the unit, battery life, and whether you need a continuous flow or pulse unit.

Our experts have done the research to narrow down the best of the best in portable oxygen concentrators. We’ve broken down all of our top picks to help you make the best choice for your needs.

Top 5 Portable Oxygen Concentrators

Our picks for the best portable oxygen concentrators on the market today are:

Key Takeaways

  • A portable oxygen concentrator can meet the needs of active individuals, travelers, and anyone who wants the freedom of mobility while using supplemental oxygen.
  • The best portable oxygen concentrators combine portability with adequate and efficient oxygen output.
  • Portable oxygen concentrators offer a wide range of options and features, from minimal weight to extended battery life to operation through smart device apps.

What Is a Portable Oxygen Concentrator?

A portable oxygen concentrator (POC) is a compact, portable version of a regular-sized oxygen concentrator. These devices provide oxygen therapy to people with health conditions that cause low oxygen levels in the blood.

Oxygen concentrators contain compressors, filters, and tubing. A nasal cannula or oxygen mask connects to the device and delivers oxygen to the person who needs it. They’re tankless, so there’s no risk of running out of oxygen. However, as with any piece of technology, these machines can potentially malfunction.

Portable units typically have a rechargeable battery, which allows for use on the go, such as while traveling. Most can be charged via an AC or DC outlet and can operate on direct power while charging the battery to eliminate any potential downtime.

To deliver oxygen to you, the devices draw air from the room you’re in and pass it through filters to purify the air. The compressor absorbs nitrogen, leaving behind concentrated oxygen. The nitrogen is then released back into the environment, and the person receives oxygen through a pulse (also called intermittent) flow or continuous flow mechanism via a face mask or nasal cannula.

A pulse device delivers oxygen in bursts, or boluses, when you inhale. Pulse flow oxygen delivery requires a smaller motor, less battery power, and a smaller internal reservoir, allowing pulse flow devices to be incredibly small and efficient.

Most portable units offer only pulse flow delivery, but some are also capable of continuous flow oxygen delivery. Continuous flow devices churn out oxygen at a steady rate regardless of the user’s breathing pattern. 

Individual oxygen needs, including continuous flow versus pulse flow delivery, will be determined by your physician. Your oxygen prescription, combined with personal preferences and lifestyle, will help you narrow down which devices are appropriate for you.

Keep in mind that supplemental oxygen isn’t a cure for conditions that cause low oxygen levels. However, a portable oxygen concentrator may help you:

  • Breathe more easily. Oxygen therapy can help decrease shortness of breath and improve your ability to perform daily activities.
  • Have more energy. A portable oxygen concentrator can also reduce fatigue and make it easier to complete daily tasks by increasing your oxygen levels.
  • Maintain your usual lifestyle and activities. Many people with supplemental oxygen needs are capable of maintaining a high level of reasonable activity, and portable oxygen concentrators offer the opportunity and freedom to do so.

“Portable oxygen concentrators are most suitable for conditions that result in low blood oxygen levels. They work by supplementing naturally inhaled air to provide enough gaseous nutrition to vital cells and organs,” said Nancy Mitchell, a registered geriatric nurse and contributing writer for AssistedLivingCenter.com. “This can be beneficial for older adults who suffer from ailments like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). However, with the rising incidence of Obstructive Sleep Apnea and cardiovascular diseases like heart failure among older adults, POCs can be invaluable for individuals within this age group. The elderly body has a generally weaker, slower-responding immune system. Oxygen from a POC can help support some senior patients’ recovery from severe injuries and invasive operations.”

The Best Portable Oxygen Concentrators of 2022

Here’s a quick overview of the specs for our top portable oxygen concentrator picks.

COMPANY
CAIRE Freestyle Comfort
TYPEPulse flow
MAXIMUM OUTPUT1,050 ml/min
BATTERY DURATIONUp to eight hours
NOISE LEVEL39 decibels
WEIGHT5 pounds
FAA APPROVED?Yes
WARRANTY3 years
OxyGo Next
TYPEPulse flow
MAXIMUM OUTPUT1,260 milliliters per minute (ml/min)
BATTERY DURATION6.5 hours
NOISE LEVEL38 decibels
WEIGHT4.7 pounds
FAA APPROVED?Yes
WARRANTY5 years
Inogen One G5 System
TYPEPulse flow
MAXIMUM OUTPUT1,260 ml/min
BATTERY DURATIONUp to 6.5 hours
NOISE LEVEL39 decibels
WEIGHT4.7 pounds
FAA APPROVED?Yes
WARRANTY3 years
Philips Respironics SimplyGo
TYPEContinuous flow and pulse
MAXIMUM OUTPUT2,000 ml/min
BATTERY DURATION3.4 hours
NOISE LEVEL43 decibels at setting 2
WEIGHT10 pounds
FAA APPROVED?Yes
WARRANTY2–5 years
Belluscura X-PLOR
TYPEPulse flow
MAXIMUM OUTPUT800 ml/min
BATTERY DURATION2.5 hours
NOISE LEVEL39 decibels
WEIGHT3.25 pounds
FAA APPROVED?Yes
WARRANTY3 years

Who Needs a Portable Oxygen Concentrator?

The need for supplemental oxygen will be determined by your physician, and there are a number of conditions that are likely to cause low blood oxygen levels. You may already be using oxygen or have recently gotten a new prescription, and conditions that often require oxygen therapy may include:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 
  • Severe asthma
  • Sleep apnea
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Heart failure
  • Surgical recovery

Remember that oxygen concentrators, portable units included, are prescription-only devices. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns against using this medical device unless your doctor has determined that you need it and has given you a prescription. Using oxygen devices without a prescription can be dangerous—incorrect or excessive use of inhaled oxygen can cause symptoms like nausea, irritability, disorientation, coughing, and lung irritation.

Pros and Cons

The CAIRE Freestyle Comfort is a lightweight, quiet, and compact model that outshines competitors with its impressive battery life.

Pros

  • Maximum battery life of eight hours

  • Lightweight at just 5 pounds

  • Quiet operation at 39 decibels

  • Three-year warranty includes full three-year coverage of sieve beds

  • Ergonomic design fits comfortably against your body

Cons

  • Maximum oxygen output of 1,050 milliliters per minute may not be enough for users requiring higher-volume oxygen

  • Battery recharge time is average at 3.25 hours

Overview

If you’re looking for a portable oxygen concentrator that can keep you mobile for most of the day, the CAIRE Freestyle Comfort is a great pick. This model is capable of up to eight hours of battery life from a fully-charged single battery, offering unmatched freedom for day trips, work, air travel, and more. 

For even more unplugged hours, the Freestyle Comfort has an optional double battery available to purchase separately. The double battery provides up to 16 hours of operation on setting “1,” allowing for fully mobile days without the need to charge the unit. 

Besides maximum battery life, the CAIRE Freestyle Comfort’s other features were designed with activity and mobility in mind. The machine has an ergonomic shape, curved on the inside to hug the body and reduce bumping and rubbing during movement. CAIRE also has a backpack carrier available to keep the Freestyle Comfort secure and completely out of the way for physical activity. 

This model has a large, easy-to-read display with a colored LCD display and glow-in-the-dark keypad for easy operation in any light. While the interface looks basic, the Freestyle Comfort stands out for its smart technology in addition to its long battery life. 

The “autoSAT” and “autoDOSE” features enable it to automatically adjust the oxygen delivery to the user’s breathing rate and deliver pulse doses when no breath is detected. CAIRE’s “UltraSense” technology is able to detect even the slightest breath and administer an oxygen dose. 

Finally, the CAIRE Freestyle Comfort comes with the ability to connect to MyCAIRE, CAIRE’s telehealth solution for oxygen therapy. The unit can connect to a user’s smartphone or tablet through the MyCAIRE app, securely collecting usage information from the POC for effective remote patient monitoring at all times.

My family purchased a Caire Freestyle Comfort Oxygen Concentrator with a 16 Cell Battery for our mom, and she loves it! She could not handle using oxygen tanks, as they were too heavy for her, she couldn’t see to change out the regulator, and the tanks didn’t hold enough oxygen to even get through a day of going to meals or even a doctor’s appointment. Her oxygen concentrator gives her peace of mind, is easy for her to handle, and all she has to do is plug it in to recharge it. What a relief!…

—Laura, Oxygen Concentrator Store

Pros and Cons

This unit combines great battery life, compact dimensions, and modern features like an integrated app—all at a competitive price.

Pros

  • Designed for 24/7 use

  • Impressive maximum battery life of 6.5 hours

  • High maximum oxygen output of 1,260 milliliters per minute

  • Large, clear LCD display and controls

Cons

  • App may be confusing for some users

  • Medical-looking design

Overview

The OxyGo NEXT isn’t as well known as comparable brands, but it has quickly become a favorite among portable oxygen users. This model is consistently offered at an equal or lower price point than its competitors, but it manages to have all of the most desirable features and specifications in one unit.

In terms of portability, the NEXT, at just 4.7 pounds including the battery, is lightweight enough to easily go anywhere. The battery life is competitive at a maximum of 6.5 hours—in fact, it claims to offer the highest oxygen dosing capability per pound of any portable concentrator on the market.

Battery recharge time for the NEXT is average at about three hours, but recharging will be less frequent due to its extended battery life. For an unrivaled 13 hours of battery life, OxyGo offers a double battery available to purchase separately. 

The OxyGo NEXT is incredibly user-friendly with large, simple control buttons and a clear display. It’s even designed for 24/7 use if desired, meaning that it’s capable of managing your oxygen needs around the clock.

This model represents the newest generation of oxygen concentrators, coming bluetooth-enabled for connection to the “My OxyGo” app. Through the app you can monitor your NEXT’s function, receive maintenance reminders, and have access to exclusive content like troubleshooting tips, FAQs, and special deals and promotions.

To round out the NEXT’s competitive features, it comes standard with a five-year warranty. Compared to the average three-year warranties for most other devices, you can be sure that your OxyGo NEXT is guaranteed to last. 

The OxyGo NEXT is an excellent choice for anyone who wants portability, features, and flexibility without breaking the bank.

I have patients coming in to switch out for the OxyGo POC because of its battery life. And they love that they feel safer with the OxyGo POC because it shows exactly how much time is left to the minute rather than showing remaining time in percentages, which is what units competitive to OxyGo POCs do. Expressing remaining oxygen supply in exact minutes left is a big comfort advantage OxyGo has with patients.

—Reuben, OxyGo

Pros and Cons

Overall, the Inogen One G5 System is an excellent choice for travelers due to its compact size, above-average battery life, and ease of operation.

Pros

  • Quiet operation

  • Extra large buttons and display font

  • Under 5 pounds

  • Up to 6.5 hours of operation with a fully charged battery

  • Designed to accommodate 24/7 operation

Cons

  • Flat design isn’t ideal for a lot of movement or physical activity

  • Slower than average battery recharge time of four hours

Overview

Though the battery life doesn’t quite match the CAIRE Freestyle Comfort, Inogen’s G5 system features a long battery life for its size, making it an excellent option for travelers. The total unit including the POC and connected battery weighs in at just 4.7 pounds making it one of the lightest on the market. 

We selected the Inogen G5 system as the best POC for travel because of its size and battery life combining to offer maximum portability for extended periods of time, whether you’re traveling by plane or car. This model comes with a DC power cable to allow for operating the unit and charging the battery simultaneously, either in a vehicle or airplane with DC charging ports. 

It’s also pretty quiet at 38 decibels, which makes it ideal for use in confined spaces or shared travel areas with a lot of people. The Inogen G5 system connects easily to the Inogen Connect app, allowing users to monitor battery life and settings without having to move or see the machine directly—particularly convenient for travel situations, meaning the POC can be comfortably tucked or stowed close by and still be easily monitored. 

Additionally, the G5 comes with a convenient carrying case—another bonus for those who fly regularly. It offers a relatively average maximum oxygen output of 1,260 milliliters per minute, which is suitable for most users but may not be enough to accommodate high-volume oxygen needs. 

Perhaps the most travel-friendly feature of the Inogen G5 system is its 24/7 capability. Remaining one of the most trusted and innovative brands in home oxygen therapy, Inogen designed the G5 system to be portable while meeting your oxygen needs around the clock. This detail makes the G5 system the clear best choice for anyone who frequently travels and sleeps away from home.

See our full Inogen Portable Oxygen Concentrator Review.

I love my Inogen 5. It is small, easy to carry, the batteries last a long time. It’s my freedom to go places and do what I need to do. My advice is to get an extra battery so you can keep one charged up while you use one, or if you’ll be going a long distance. It doesn’t take very long to charge the battery. You get a car charger too so you can’t lose.

—Mary Ann, TrustPilot

Pros and Cons

This portable oxygen concentrator offers both intermittent flow and continuous flow at nearly half the weight of comparable models. 

Pros

  • One of the lightest continuous flow models available at just 10 pounds

  • Battery fully recharges in only 2.5 hours

  • Above-average maximum output of 2,000 milliliters per minute

Cons

  • Louder than many other models at 43 decibels during operation

  • More expensive than many pulse-flow-only models

Overview

Many continuous flow units are bulky and cumbersome—even portable ones. The Philips Respironics SimplyGo is a major exception. At a mere 10 pounds, it still delivers a maximum oxygen output of 2,000 milliliters per minute with delivery available in both intermittent flow and continuous flow. 

The battery life is a little limited compared to other continuous flow models at a maximum of 3.4 hours, but the lower battery life is the trade-off for this model’s impressively low weight and enhanced portability. Although the battery doesn’t last as long as others on the market, it fully recharges in a speedy 2.5 hours getting you back to freedom and mobility in no time.

The SimplyGo is a sleek and attractive model and comes with a stylish carrying bag. While the display contributes to the overall look of the unit, it’s noteworthy that the screen and controls aren’t as large and user-friendly as other models.

It may not be packed with features, but the SimplyGo is built to last. Its durable construction is designed to withstand daily use and mobility, as is the rolling cart it comes with. The cart is built with oversized wheels to keep it steady and stable, while the adjustable handle gives users the ability to attach other accessories like the accessory case and optional humidifier pouch.

Respironics is also one of the only portable oxygen concentrator brands offering warranty flexibility. The SimplyGo comes standard with a three-year warranty, but customers have the option to select a two-, three-, or five-year warranty at the time of purchase.

I have Pulmonary Hypertension. Dr. prescribed specifically this unit for several important reasons: it is a strong unit, portable, it is FAA approved to travel by air, and has continuous flow. It helps me a lot and improves my daily life…

—Vilma, Oxygen Concentrator Store

Pros and Cons

This is an ultra-portable device for those with an active lifestyle who want maximum transportability and minimal disruption from their portable oxygen concentrator.

Pros

  • One of the lightest continuous flow models available at just 10 pounds

  • Battery fully recharges in only 2.5 hours

  • Above-average maximum output of 2,000 milliliters per minute

Cons

  • Louder than many other models at 43 decibels during operation

  • More expensive than many pulse-flow-only models

Overview

The Belluscura X-PLOR portable oxygen concentrator is one of the smallest and lightest models on the market today, and it’s designed with physically active users in mind. Its small size and minimal weight make it easily portable, and its ergonomic curved shape keeps it close to the body to reduce unwanted movement during activity. Like the CAIRE Freestyle Comfort, Belluscura makes a backpack carrier (sold separately) to keep the unit secure, safe, and completely out of the way.

Although the X-PLOR is impressively small, it’s actually capable of 24/7 oxygen delivery. This feature may not be relevant in terms of its suitability for active lifestyles, but it’s a nice bonus. While it’s able to be used 24/7, it is important to note that use during sleep or extended time periods requires the unit to be plugged into a power source. 

The Belluscura X-PLOR features an aesthetically simple design, with a basic easy-to-read display and large buttons for power and setting adjustment. It also features a user-replaceable filter cartridge, making maintenance quick and easy.

A clear downside to this model is the limited battery life. At a maximum operating time of 2.5 hours for one single battery, the X-PLOR isn’t well suited for travel or extended outings. For a bit more time away from home there is an option to purchase a double battery to extend the maximum operating time to a maximum of five hours.

Combined with a five-hour battery recharge time, the X-PLOR’s battery life limits its usage slightly, but we found that its minimal weight and overall portability make up for that. This model is the ideal portable oxygen concentrator for active individuals with low-to-moderate oxygen needs, who are looking for an easy and inconspicuous device to use during activity.

If you need a flow setting between one and four and love staying active or traveling, you should consider this device since it’s lightweight, portable, quiet, and offers a decent battery life. Overall, the X-PLOR is an excellent option for active people who won’t let supplemental oxygen use hold them back from doing the things they love.

—Kristina Diaz, RRT, Oxygen Concentrator Store 

Things to Consider When Shopping for a Portable Oxygen Concentrator

Once you receive a prescription from a health care professional, you need to consider oxygen output, weight, flow type, noise levels, battery life, and price while shopping for a portable oxygen concentrator.

Oxygen Output

Oxygen output refers to how much oxygen the machine capable of producing, and this is the primary consideration for most people shopping for a portable oxygen concentrator. Each person’s needs will vary according to specific conditions and their severity, and the exact volume of oxygen output you need will be stated in your oxygen prescription.

When choosing a portable oxygen it’s important to ensure that an oxygen concentrator is able to produce enough oxygen to meet your prescribed dose, and even better if it can slightly exceed your dose in the event that your condition and prescription change.

Oxygen Flow Type

There are two options available for delivery method or oxygen flow type: continuous flow and pulse flow. 

Pulse flow is measured in milliliters per minute, with a specific amount of oxygen being delivered per breath. Pulse flow delivery is triggered by inhalation, so the dose is released as soon as you start to inhale. Pulse flow devices tend to be more efficient as they aren’t constantly producing and delivering oxygen, which means they can function with smaller compressors, have longer battery life, and weigh less.

Continuous flow on the other hand is measured in liters per minute, and delivers oxygen at a steady rate without regard for breathing pattern. Because they need to pump out oxygen continuously, they tend to have larger compressors, which makes them weigh more and use battery power more quickly. 

Some units can also deliver oxygen via both continuous and pulse flow.

Weight

Portable oxygen concentrators are designed to be just that: portable. However, size and weight vary depending on the type of device. Most continuous flow devices, even the portable ones, tend to be heavier, weighing in at around 20 pounds. Pulse flow devices are usually lighter, weighing between 4 and 12 pounds. Some have handy carrying straps.

If you’re in the market for a portable continuous flow unit, it’s worth noting that many feature rolling carts designed for easy transport. The weight of your portable oxygen concentrator will affect how mobile you can be while carrying it, and a machine that’s too heavy can even cause unnecessary exertion and increase breathing rate and demand for oxygen.

Quick tip: If you plan on traveling with your portable concentrator, make sure that it’s FAA-approved. 

 

Noise Levels

A benefit of portable oxygen concentrators is that they are quieter than their full-size counterparts. Most of them register under 50 decibels, and a few are even quieter. If you plan to use your portable concentrator to sleep, opt for the quietest unit that still fits your oxygen needs. 

Battery Life

Portable oxygen concentrators feature rechargeable batteries that allow you to use the units when you’re away from a power source. To choose a model with sufficient battery life, you’ll need to make an honest assessment of your needs and lifestyle.

Models with the longest battery life are great options for people who want to travel, leave home for much of the day, or rely on their portable concentrator as their primary oxygen source at home. 

On the other hand, models with shorter battery life are often smaller and lighter. These units are a great choice for people who need a compact device for short periods of time and who may frequently return home or elsewhere where charging is easy and accessible.

For users looking to extend the battery life of their portable oxygen concentrator, most models have the option of purchasing a “double” or “large” battery. The larger battery option essentially doubles the listed battery life. 

Having an additional or larger battery is particularly useful for people who travel often, especially by plane as many flights are longer than the maximum standard battery life on many models. For those using their portable oxygen concentrator in vehicles, most models come standard with a DC power supply that plugs into the vehicle outlet. With a DC power supply, your portable oxygen concentrator can run and recharge the battery at the same time. 

Note: We are referring to the standard/single battery when we discuss the battery life of each model, but many manufacturers actually use the specifications of the larger batteries when they advertise battery life.

Price

Because portable oxygen concentrators are prescription medical devices, not all retailers will make pricing information readily available. Additionally, insurance and other factors may impact the overall cost. 

Expect to pay at least $2,000 for most new portable oxygen concentrators. You can also buy or rent these devices used for a fraction of the cost.

Portable Oxygen Concentrator Rating Methodology

When selecting the best portable oxygen concentrators for our list, we took into consideration the following criteria:

  • Portability—We only included actual portable units that feature rechargeable batteries and are easy to carry around. Portable units are typically carried or sometimes wheeled on carts and are lightweight enough that most users can lift or move them without difficulty.
  • Oxygen output—Everyone’s oxygen needs are different, so we compared each machine’s ability to meet oxygen needs according to pulse flow setting range and maximum continuous flow delivery.
  • Battery life—Besides weight, battery life is the next most important factor affecting portability. Longer battery life is ideal to maximize mobility and freedom from being plugged in while receiving oxygen therapy. Battery life varies by setting and maximum values represent battery life when used at the lowest setting.
  • Battery recharge time—Recharge time affects the user’s overall freedom from being “plugged in,” although not to the same extent as battery life. For those using only one battery, this factor represents how long they have to wait before they can be mobile and “portable” again.

Frequently Asked Questions

We recommend the Inogen One G5 system for home use because it offers both pulse and continuous flow settings and a maximum oxygen output of 2,000 milliliters per minute. It’s a heavier than pulse flow-only units, but you can easily wheel it around the home thanks to its rolling cart design.

Pricing is accurate as of January 25, 2022.

WRITTEN BY

Ayla Girouard is a licensed nurse with clinical experience in geriatric rehabilitation and long-term care. She uses her knowledge and education to write about a wide variety of medical and health topics.