The 8 Best Portable Oxygen Concentrators of 2020

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First Look

Best Overall: Inogen One G3 at inogen.com

"It boasts an operational altitude of 10,000 feet, and the case looks more like an outdoorsy lunch bag than a medical device."

Best Continuous Flow: Respironics SimplyGo at respshop.com

"It’s approved for use up to 10,000 feet, where it’s able to keep up a pulse dose setting of one to six."

Best Small: Airsep Freestyle 3 at oxygenconcentratorstore.com

"This specific model is designed for the active user with quiet, efficient pulse flow that goes up to a setting of three."

Best Battery Operated: SeQual Eclipse 5 mobile unit at oxygenconcentratorstore.com

"It’s hands down one of the most energy-efficient models available, but it’s also on the heavier side."

Best Pulse Flow: Precision Medical EasyPulse PM4150 at vitalitymedical.com

"It is half the price of many competitors and only has one filter, which makes cleaning a breeze."

Best Lightweight: Airsep Focus at oxygenconcentratorstore.com

"This FAA-aproved device is one of the lightest on the market weighing in at a mere two pounds."

Best Multi-System Delivery: Invacare Platinum at oxygenconcentratorstore.com

"This model is incredibly quiet in both of its modes and emits one of the highest oxygen purity levels, exceeding 95%."

Best for High Altitude and Traveling: The Oxlife Independence at o2-concepts.com

"Unlike other models that top out at 8,000 - 10,000, this one can keep up at high altitudes and comes with wheels and a cart handle."

Everyday life changes when you need supplemental oxygen on a regular basis. As such, portable oxygen concentrators are life-saving and life-changing little machines. “People with emphysema or COPD need oxygen,” says Dr. Kimberly Langdon, MD, obstetrician, gynecologist, and VP product development and research at Physician Integrative Laboratories. “COPD is generally from tobacco and cigarettes. Any pulmonary disease such as pleural effusions from cancer may need to be on oxygen. Pulmonary hypertension is another reason.”

For these conditions and anyone who requires medical oxygen, portable oxygen concentrators are the answer. They give you the freedom and independence to do as you please, all while breathing in the oxygen-rich air you need.

For the unfamiliar, oxygen concentrators work by pulling air in through a filter and compressing it into one of two zeolite towers. “It is a way to extract oxygen from the air and remove the nitrogen so that the concentration of oxygen is higher than ambient air which is 21%,” says Dr. Langdon. “These are safer than traditional pressurized oxygen tanks and more economical and convenient—easier to transport because they aren’t as bulky or heavy.” 

Dr. Langdon explains that normally, the air around you is composed of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 1% other gases. However, after passing through an oxygen concentrator, which separates and filters out the nitrogen, what comes out is oxygen at a much higher concentration (up to 95%). 

What’s more, units can hook into a DC jack and be used in the car for easy breathing on road trips and the best even offer hours of oxygen concentrating power on one battery charge. That portability is key, according to doctors. “Weight of the machine, length of time it can go without needing to be recharged,” are all important factors to consider according to Dr. Langdon.

With that being said, take a look at some of the best portable oxygen concentrators on the market, and find a machine that best suits your needs.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Inogen One G3

Inogen One G3

 Courtesy of OxyPam

The G3 is one of the quietest portable oxygen concentrators available, but this efficient device has a lot more going for it. It boasts a four-hour battery life and an operational altitude of 10,000 feet, and the carrying case looks more like an outdoorsy lunch bag than a medical device.

The G3 also always puts your health first with audible alerts in case of a power outage, no breath detected alarms, and oxygen purity checks. Rest assured, if your oxygen level ever falls below required purity levels, you will know immediately.

Best Continuous Flow: Respironics SimplyGo

Respironics SimplyGo

 Courtesy of Respshop

The Respironics SimplyGo has a continuous flow up to 54 minutes and comes with two rechargeable batteries, so you can always have a charge going while your POC is in use. At 10 lbs and with a modern design of less than 12 inches wide and tall, it is one of the smallest POCs with continuous flow. It’s approved for use up to 10,000 feet, where it’s able to keep up a pulse dose setting of one to six and continuous flow setting between 0.5 and two.

Best Small: Airsep Freestyle 3

Airsep Freestyle 3

 Courtesy of OxygenConcentratorStore

The Airsep Freestyle 3 weighs only five pounds and is very small, as in mix-it-up-with-your-smartphone small. Airsep is leading the category in compact oxygen concentrators with this model. This specific model is designed for the active user with quiet, efficient pulse flow that goes up to a setting of three. It has a Max Pulse Setting of three and has a max oxygen of 332 per minute. The Freestyle can be worn over your shoulder with a carrying bag or add on the optional harness to convert into a backpack, which frees you to do your favorite activity.

Best Battery Operated: SeQual Eclipse 5 mobile unit

SeQual Eclipse 5

 Courtesy of OxygenConcentratorStore

If energy efficiency is priority number one, you can do no wrong with the SeQual Eclipse 5 mobile unit. It’s hands down one of the most energy-efficient models with long-lasting batteries available, but it’s also on the heavier side. It weighs 18 pounds and comes with a cart that easily wheels it around. You can also sling it over both shoulders and carry it as a backpack. 

The battery lasts up to five hours and has a pulse dose of one to six LPM for precise and predictable 90% oxygen with each inhale. SeQual's AutoSAT technology really sets it apart. It helps maintain the same amount of oxygen consistently, even as breath rate varies.

Best Pulse Flow: Precision Medical EasyPulse PM4150

Precision Medical EasyPulse PM4150

 Courtesy of Vitality Medical

For pulse-flow POC, it is impossible to beat this Precision Medical model in price, ease of use, and performance. It's half the price of many competitors and only has one filter, which makes cleaning a breeze. The EasyPulse PM4150 will keep humming along on one battery over three hours at setting two and it comes with a car adapter for on-the-go charging needs. If that’s not quite enough, extra batteries are available as is a sling for easy transportation.

The 6.8-pound concentrator is also highly efficient, as the oxygen volume adjusts automatically to breath rate, maintaining minute volume so not a bit of oxygen-rich air is wasted.

Best Lightweight: Airsep Focus

Airsep Focus

 Courtesy of OxygenConcentratorStore

This FAA-approved device is one of the lightest on the market, weighing in at a mere two pounds. It’s so light and petite, you’d barely notice carrying it on your shoulder or pocket. The Airsep has microbatteries that last up to three hours and an additional supplemental battery pack belt for an additional three and a half hours of battery life. It has a pulse dose rate of two LPM, so what you gain in featherweight class, you will notice a decrease in airflow ranges.

Best Multi-System Delivery: Invacare Platinum

Invacare Platinum

 Courtesy of OxygenConcentratorStore

This model shines all around just like its namesake precious metal. It’s incredibly quiet in both continuous and pulse dose mode and emits one of the highest oxygen purity levels and weighs under five pounds. It may be compact, but it is rugged, durable, and water resistant, and it can withstand extreme temperatures. It has a pulse dose range of one to five LPM. One happy customer raved, “I have used Invacare oxygen machine in the past and this one is far and away the best one I have used. I highly recommend this unit for anyone looking for a portable concentrator.”

Best for High Altitude and Traveling: The Oxlife Independence

The Oxlife Independence

 Courtesy of O2 Concepts

The Oxlife Independence is excellent for traveling due to its operational altitude of 13,123 feet. Unlike other models that top out at 8,000 or 10,000, this portable oxygen concentrator can keep up even up high and it comes with wheels and a cart handle for easier transportation. The pulse dose setting ranges from one to six LPM. It also has a continuous setting of one to three LPM for precision oxygen. The battery keeps both pulse dose mode chugging for up to four hours and up to 1.5 hours operating in the continuous mode.

Final Verdict

Inogen One G3 at Inogen comes in as best overall because it’s lightweight, powerful, and reliable. An alternative, and still top choice, is the Oxlife Independence due to its petite size, multi-system delivery modes, and excellent performance at altitudes, far surpassing competitors.

What to Look For in a Portable Oxygen Concentrator

Weight: These devices are meant to be used wherever you want to go, so size and weight are major considerations as is your chosen transportation method. Generally, oxygen concentrators with more power and higher output are heavier and larger. That doesn’t have to be a deterrent for an on-the-go lifestyle, though. Many also feature a convenient rolling cart or strap system for transporting easily.

For reference, a continuous portable device weighs in around 20 pounds. The pulse flow device tends to be significantly lighter, ranging from 3 to 10 pounds in total.

Delivery/Flow Type: There are two main types of units, a pulse flow and continuous flow, based on the delivery of oxygenated air. The pulse flow machine delivers air to the patient as short puffs timed to each inhalation. As a result, no oxygen is wasted. “The pulse flow or demand flow delivers oxygen only when the patient is inhaling. This can help with power consumption. Nighttime use is more commonly pulse-flow. Some operate continuous flow with the added feature of pulse-flow as needed,” says Dr. Langdon.

In contrast, the continuous flow unit does just that. It produces a continuous stream of oxygen. “One to five liters per minute of continuous oxygen flow is a common way to deliver oxygen continuously whether the patient is inhaling or not,” says Dr. Langdon. These devices tend to have larger compressors, and there is likely some oxygen waste.

Both emit a similar low hum, equivalent to a refrigerator. Portable units are quieter than the at-home versions and can also vary based on settings.

Battery Life: You can expect portable oxygen concentrators to do their thing on a single battery charge for up to four or five hours. The smaller, lighter units generally have shorter battery charge-spans. Though many of the devices come with extra batteries that can double that off-the-grid lifespan and charging options in cars. All of that adds up to more freedom.

Why Trust Verywell

As a seasoned health writer, Jennifer Nied understands how vital quality product recommendations are for treating symptoms safely and effectively at home. For over 10 years, she has reviewed products, interviewed experts, scrutinized ingredients, and pored over research studies and claims, to help readers like you understand what works for your specific conditions. Every product in this piece was selected taking into account recommendations from doctors, published research, and real customer reviews.

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