As people get older their health can change and sometimes, they’re going to need supplemental oxygen on a daily basis. A portable oxygen concentrator frees you up to be more independent and enjoy the life you want to lead without restrictions.
As such, our team sprang into action and tested dozens of these devices to come up with this list.
How We Choose
These were the main criteria for making our list:
- Portability. Well, doh! They had to be easy enough to move around even over relatively long walking distances.
- Value for money. There’s a reasonable price range covered in our list but each concentrator had to represent value for money at their price point.
- Useful features. This varies depending on the size of the model, usually, but some have smart features or can offer two types of oxygen flow rate.
- Reliable air flow. Perhaps, the most important thing of all. You buy an oxygen concentrator for the oxygen flow. It has to be reliable.
Inogen One G3 Portable Oxygen Concentrator
If you need something quiet and super portable then you might want to give the Inogen One G3 a look. It has a stylish carry case which makes it look subtle and unobtrusive.
It monitors oxygen levels and breath output constantly during its four hour run time and when it sounds an alarm, everyone nearby will be aware of it.
1. This unit is super quiet, you won’t notice that it’s running
2. There’s a four-hour battery life which is enough for most uses
3. When it sounds an alert, you’ll definitely know about it
1. It doesn’t offer a continuous flow mode
2. It only uses a standard filter
3. It’s a little more expensive than other models
Airsep Freestyle 3 Portable Concentrator
The Airsep Freestyle 3 is a very portable concentrator which is super compact and easy to carry around with you. It’s one of the most popular choices in this category.
It uses a pulse-flow mechanism with an active user setting that can support up to 332 oxygen flow per minute. It can also be worn like a backpack using the harness (which is bought separately).
1. This is a very easy to use model
2. It’s got a distinct styling to it
3. It’s very light
1. Not so many features as most models
2. The battery only lasts for 3.5 hours
3. The harness isn’t the most comfortable thing we’ve used
Precision Medical EasyPulse PM4150
The best budget offering for an oxygen concentrator is probably this Precision Medical EasyPulse model as it costs around half what you’d pay elsewhere.
It’s also not that heavy at 6.6 lbs and it’s very easy to use. The battery life is decent and it’s one of the more energy efficient concentrators on the market.
1. You can’t argue with the price
2. The car adapter makes for really easy charging on the go
3. You can buy a sling to make moving this around comfortable
1. There are no intelligent/smart features on this product
2. To get the best battery life, you will need to carry a spare battery
3. It’s a bit heavier than the most portable concentrators
Invacare Platinum Mobile Concentrator
If you need a concentrator that can take a beating then this Invacare Platinum number is probably what you need. It is super durable and completely water resistant too.
It is also capable of withstanding the greatest temperature range and thus, might be ideal for business trips or vacations.
1. The most hard-wearing concentrator out there
2. It’s very quiet when in operation
3. It is completely water-resistant and temperature-resistant
1. It is altitude limited and may not be OK for use on a plane
2. There are no intelligent/smart features on the device
3. Maximum battery life requires purchasing a spare battery
Philips Respironics SimplyGo Portable Oxygen Concentrator
The Philips device offers continuous flow which is unusual for a portable concentrator, however, it does it at the expense of weight and a very short battery life.
There’s no doubt in our minds that a second battery is mandatory, as is a strong back or a trolley to push it on. However, it is great on planes and it’s smaller than some alternatives.
1. They include the second battery in the box
2. It’s highly durable
3. Offers continuous airflow mode
1. Battery life is less than an hour in continuous flow mode
2. It’s a very noisy device compared to other concentrators
3. It’s also fairly heavy
SeQual Eclipse 5 Portable Concentrator
The SeQual Eclipse 5 comes on its own cart and it needs to because it weighs nearly 20 lbs! However, there’s no doubt that if you need oxygen over long periods of time, it will deliver.
The battery can run for up to 5 hours. This model also offers AutoSAT monitoring for the oxygen delivery and it always gives a consistent amount in each breath.
1. AutoSAT technology
2. The battery life is excellent
3. The alarms can be easily heard
1. It’s huge and needs a cart
3. It’s quite noisy too
Airsep Focus Portable Concentrator
Airsep is a big name brand in this arena and their Focus Portable Concentrator has been fully FAA approved and it’s tiny! It weighs just 2 lbs.
Despite this, the battery will happily run for 3 hours and you can get 3 more if you use their battery belt pack, which straps round you – to save your cabin baggage weight allowance.
1. It doesn’t get smaller than this
2. Very easy to use
3. It’s the lightest we tested
1. It doesn’t provide as intense an airflow as other concentrators
2. You will need 2 batteries on longer flights
3. No intelligent/smart features
Oxlife Independence Portable Oxygen Concentrator
If you’re going above the clouds, then Oxlife’s Concentrator keeps working until 13,123’ which is about 3,000 feet more than the average concentrator can handle.
It weighs a ton though and you need the cart handle and wheels built into it to move it around. It does offer both continuous flow and pulse flow modes, though.
1. You can fly as high as you like with this
2. It’s very simple to move with the built in handle and wheels
3. It will last a long time
1. It’s noisy
2. It’s bulky
3. It’s heavy