Choosing the Best Portable Oxygen Concentrator: Start with the Flow

The question I am most often asked is which portable oxygen concentrator (POC) is the best one. My answer: “The best POC is the one that is right for you – for your oxygen needs and lifestyle.” If you looking into purchasing a portable oxygen concentrator and you receive an answer that is different from this one, then you are speaking with a salesman trying to make a quick sale, instead of a respiratory specialist concerned with your oxygen needs.

Let’s back up and review just a bit from a prior post:

For oxygen on-the-go, portable concentrators are quickly rising to the top as the best source of oxygen. Portable oxygen concentrators are small and easy to carry or wheel on a cart. They work on electrical power in the home, use your car’s battery power when plugged into the automobile outlet, and even work on battery power for maximum portability. That means you can make those travel plans to Seattle to see your grandchildren, or even take that trip to the Rockies.

When considering which portable oxygen concentrator is best, the first thing you need to determine is whether you need a continuous flow of oxygen or if a pulse flow is sufficient.

Continuous flow means the concentrator is producing oxygen continuously whether you are breathing (inhaling) or not. All home/stationary concentrators provide a continuous flow of oxygen.

Pulse flow, also called pulse dose or on-demand, means that the concentrator produces oxygen only when it is triggered by the user’s inhalation (breathing in). When you inhale through the cannula it causes negative air pressure which triggers the concentrator to send a bolus (or puff) of oxygen right at that moment. The concentrator then rests while you are exhaling (breathing out). The concentrator is able to do this through the use of a built-in oxygen conserver, much like those used on oxygen tanks.

When used on an oxygen tank, a conserver does just what its name implies: it conserves the oxygen in the tank, allowing it to last three to five times longer than continuous flow. When placed in a portable concentrator, the conserver allows the machine to produce oxygen at a smaller capacity, but still providing an equivalent amount of oxygen at each setting. By placing a conserver inside an oxygen concentrator, manufacturers have been able to greatly reduce the size of the concentrator, thus allowing for portable oxygen concentrators; and in a portable oxygen that offers both continuous and pulse flow, choosing the pulse flow setting increases the usable battery time.

Most oxygen users find that pulse flow works very well for them during waking hours. However, some oxygen users require at least the option of continuous flow. If you plan to frequently use your portable oxygen concentrator while sleeping, you most likely will need the continuous flow option because people often breath too shallow to trigger the pulse or do not breath through their nose at all while sleeping. Also, if you will need to connect your portable oxygen concentrator to a C-PAP or Bi-PAP machine, you must choose a continuous flow concentrator. You may also need a portable concentrator with continuous flow if you typically breath through your mouth rather than your nose, or if you have high oxygen requirements (5 LPM or greater).

There are currently five portable oxygen concentrator models that provide both continuous and pulse flow options:

And there are several portable oxygen concentrator models that provide pulse only flow:

In our next post, we’ll dig a little deeper into how to choose the best portable oxygen concentrator.

About Allison Waters

I'm the Oxygen Gal, teacher of all things oxygen, sharing news and information about home and portable oxygen concentrators. I am passionate about helping others learn about oxygen concentrators so they can make the best decisions for their respiratory needs.

Comments

  1. i HAVE A TRAC IN MY THROAT FOR OXYGEN. i AM SEARCHING FOR A PORTABLE CONCENTRATOR THAT WILL DO CONTINUOS FLOW. i NEED THE SMALLEST ONE i CAN FIND. i’M AFRAID THE sIMPLY GO WOULD BE TOO HEAVY FOR ME . Any suggestions?

    • The SimplyGo is the lightest portable oxygen concentrator on the market that provides continuous flow. The other models available are even larger at 17-20 pounds. While the SimplyGo is a bit heavy for most people to carry for a long time, it does come with a wheeled cart for easy transporting.

      • Polly McGee says:

        I have a SimplyGo and the night feature on it is PULSE not continuous flow. I am trying to find one lighter weight and smaller that I can also use at night. The Simply Go is the size of a car battery and I am not able to carry it by the shoulder strap or lift it into my vehicle or into a shopping cart, and stores and restaurants don’t always have room to roll it around in. Have you ever tried to pull a 10 pound cart behind you while pushing a shopping cart through the grocery store? How can other companies make theirs so much smaller and lighter and still claim for night use? I also have 2 batteries and barely get 4 hours use even with both fully charged. Others have 8 hour usage. I have become a shut-in because of the issues I have with the Simply Go. I no longer go to church, or out to eat, or shopping. My medical supplier refuses to work with any other company so I have no say in what I have, it is Simply Go or nothing.

        • Yes, the Sleep Mode for the SimplyGo does provide a pulse dose of oxygen. This is beneficial for users who need more that 2 LPM. However, if you use only 1 or 2 LPM, then you can use the continuous flow setting for sleeping.

          All of the small POCs have some sort of sleep mode. This feature allows the unit to be more sensitive to shallow breathing and to a slower breathing rate. Some people are able to breathe consistently through their nose and trigger the pulse while sleeping. Others breathe too shallow or breathe through their mouth, so they must have a continuous flow setting. The SimplyGo is the smallest unit on the market that provides a continuous flow setting. The units that you see that are smaller and lighter are pulse only units and can only be used at night with consistent nasal breathing.

          The battery duration is dependent on the flow setting and your breathing rate. I don’t see that you mentioned what flow setting you use so I cannot determine if what you are experiencing with the battery time is consistent with the manufacturer specification. Regardless, it must be frustrating to not have the freedom you were seeking. Many people who are financially able choose to purchase their own portable oxygen concentrator so that they can get the model they really want.

  2. can i get protable gen that re-fills a tank

    • Unfortunately, no. Portable oxygen concentrators cannot be used to fill oxygen cylinders. However, since they continually produce oxygen while they are powered and running, cumbersome cylinders are not needed.

  3. I am trying to find a portable oxygen concentrator for my dad. He is on 5 liters 24/7. I called about the inogen and they said they don’t send them to people on that high of an amount because they might have to go higher. Any suggestions?

    • For higher volume requirements, I’d recommend a more powerful unit, such as the SeQual Eclipse 3 or DeVilbiss iGo. Both units provide up to Setting 6 on pulse flow, and the Eclipse 3 has even higher settings that are roughly equivalent to 7, 8, and 9. These units also provide a larger puff of oxygen per breath than a smaller, pulse unit like the Inogen.

      • Hi

        I think simplygo also goes up to 6LPM in the pulse mode? I can’t decide between simply go and elcipse.

        • Yes, the SimplyGo provides up to pulse setting 6; however, it will not be able to accommodate a fast breathing rate at that setting. If the user is prescribed setting 6, I would recommend the more powerful SeQual Eclipse or SeQual eQuinox.

  4. Need to find a portable oxygen concentrator that provides a continuous flow of at least 4 lpm. A can’t believe the only option available would be tanks

    • Unfortunately, 3 LPM is the highest continuous flow available on portable oxygen concentrators. In order to provide higher flow settings, the motor would have to be too large to allow the unit to have useful portability. However, I have seen a an interesting conserver, called the Oxymizer. It allows you to obtain higher flow settings: “Allows you to obtain the equivalent of 7.5 liters from a 5-liter concentrator.” When used with a portable unit that provides 3 LPM, such as the SeQual Eclipse 3 or DeVilbiss iGo, the Oxymizer may provide the oxygen you need.

  5. 84 year old, rather weak, emphysema suffering, non-smoking sufferer needs small portable concentrator. What do you recommend.

    • Depending on the flow setting needed, you may want to look at the smaller units, such as the Inogen One G3 or Inova Activox. These 5-pounds units are usually easier to handle for more frail oxygen users.

  6. dave willams says:

    Are POC`s suitable for people with Pulminary Fibrosis?

    • Only your doctor can determine the best source of oxygen for you; however, as an effective means of delivering oxygen with a purity of 90% and more, a portable oxygen concentrator is a very good option.

  7. Cathy Wingate says:

    Allison,
    I’m trying to find a portable O2 source for my father (86 with pulmonary fibrosis). He needs to be on 3-4 Lpm. Currently using the Sequal Eclipse, but it is cumbersome and a fall hazard. Is liquid O2 an option? If so, what companies would you suggest. What about compressed O2 refillable tanks?
    Thanks

    • Is your father able to use a pulse flow? If so, then the Inogen One G3 would be the smallest and lightest portable oxygen concentrator unit that may work for him. It is 6.25 pounds with the large battery, which lasts 6-7 hours on setting 3.

      You would have to contact a local home healthcare company in your area to obtain liquid oxygen, since it needs refilling a regular basis. The cylinders can be fairly small and some people prefer them over portable oxygen concentrators.

      The same is true for compressed oxygen tanks, unless you get a homefill system such as the Invacare HomeFill System, which allows you to fill cylinders from an oxygen concentrator.

  8. PILAR PARRA says:

    ¿ CUAL DE ESTOS TRES (3) EQUIPOS PRODUCE LA MAYOR CANTIDAD DE OXIGENO: RESPIRONICS EVERGO, INOGEN ONE G2, INOGEN ONE G3 ?

  9. Charlene Mullins says:

    Hello. I am a person with cardiac problems. In the past, when driving at high altitudes (above 5,000 feet) I have noticed I have difficulty breathing. We are planning to drive to the west coast and I’d Ike to go to some high altitude areas on the way. What would you suggest is the best type of oxygen equipment for me?

    • I am not a physician and cannot give recommendations on the best type of oxygen equipment for your personal medical needs. However, if you doctor approves, it sounds like a portable oxygen concentrator would meet your needs. Portable oxygen concentrators work on electrical power, battery power, and DC power in the car, so you would be able to make your trip out west without having to worry about running out of oxygen.

  10. Charlene Mullins says:

    PS. I have two artificial heart valves and a pacemaker

  11. Robert gotz says:

    I’am planing to travel by air and will need a concentrator .I’am on 0 sitting and 5 walking lpm. What would be a good poc for me?

    • You’ll need a unit that is a bit larger to accommodate your need for 5 LPM. Keep in mind that POCs only go up to 3 LPM continuous, so you would be using pulse flow at setting 5. The Inogen One G2 is a nice unit that provides up to setting 5 pulse. If you need a continuous flow option for sleeping, then you may want to consider the Respironics SimplyGo.

  12. Kathryn Kindopp says:

    Is there a model that can be used for transporting residents to/from appointments, such that it’s easy to disinfect between each user and would have multiple users for short periods of time in a long term care application?

    • Any unit could be wiped down with a disinfectant, taking care not to get water in the unit. You would also need to have a new cannula for every new patient. Since machines operate with positive air pressure, the machine itself will not be compromised. The DeVilbiss iGo comes in a wheeled carry bag, which will protect the unit itself from scratches and keep it looking new.

  13. I’m on a home concentrator 2 continous flow, doctor said 2 is fine on the portable pulse type as well. I would like to know what the lightest weight one is that also can charge in the car and has an option wheeled type unit available, I cannot carry even the 5 pound for a very long time, but I would need to be able to lift something into the motorized carts at the store and mall. Thank you.

  14. Supplemental message: In addition, is there also one that meets the above requirement that has the option of continous flow? If so I can do away with the co-pay of my home unit, that will make the purchase of my own unit more justifiable! Thank you…again!

    • The Respironics SimplyGo provides a continuous flow option. However, it is usually best to have a home unit and not rely only on your portable concentrator. Although, if you co-pay is high, you may just want to purchase a home unit. I’ve seen them between $600-$700 and some companies will give you a discount if you buy a home unit with the purchase of portable unit.

      • Michael kelly says:

        I am new to the whole oxygen scene. I am just now encountering the travel problems, especially going from high to low altitude (CO to MI). I was excited when I saw your posts about the SimplyGo POC. I cannot, however, find it for less than $4,000! You have indicated one could be purchased for $600 – $700. P-L-E-A-S-E tell me where.

        • I may have mentioned that the EverFlo home concentrator is available for $600 – $700, but the SimplyGo portable concentrator is much more than that. If you search around the internet, you should be able to find it starting around $2,300. Please note that providers are not able to advertise the low prices that they actually sell their products for.

  15. Tony Rogers says:

    Hi, i have COPD and the doc said he will start me on 2 liters a day. What are the best smallest and lightest POC on the market with both continious flow and pulse? The oxygen company wants me to rent one continious for sleep and pulse for daily activities. I think I would come out cheaper better buying just one rather than renting two, besides, I don’t want to sign a 3 year contract.
    Thank you for any help.

    • The Respironics SimplyGo is the smallest unit on the market that provides both pulse and continuous flow settings (up to 2 LPM). However, you may still want to purchase a home unit so you are not relying entirely on your portable unit. You can find home units for $600-$700 and some companies offer a discount when you purchase a home unit with a portable unit.

  16. Phil Delany says:

    My wife has been told by her doctor that she need oxygen therapy at 2 liters flow. We are overwhelmed by all the facts. We were leaning toward Inogen one or activox, but have been told by local dealers that POC’s are not reliable and are prone to failure. We live in a remote area, off the grid and need to conserve power. That’s one of the reasons for interest in POC’s. They use considerably less power. What are your thoughts on the long term use of POC’s? My wife thinks that she will not need oxygen while sleeping. Any help with this would be appreciated.

    • Portable oxygen concentrators certainly have more than can go wrong with them than a home oxygen concentrator does. For instance, they have computer chips and battery charging capabilities. So they are generally not recommended to have as your ONLY source of oxygen. However, I would not say that they are prone to failure. Inogen is well-known for making a reliable machine. Or if you want a continuous flow option, the Respironics SimplyGo also is quite reliable. I wouldn’t recommend using a POC long-term 24/7, but if you wife is only using it at times during the day, then I see no problem using it long-term. Though they may need repair once in a while, POCs are designed to last for years. If her oxygen needs increase to 24/7 need, then I would definitely recommend a home unit or oxygen tanks as a back-up.

  17. Noel Glucksman says:

    Allison – need some advice, please. My pulmonologist has suggested I get an oxygen concentrator for nocturnal hypoxemia. He suggests to start 2L/min overnight.
    I had a machine from a local provider which was so noisy I could not sleep. They then suggested that I drill a hole thru my bedroom wall and run the tubes thru it from another room. Not a viable option – I know there are machines out there with low decibles.
    Can you suggest a machine with low noise that will provide the oxygen I need?

    Thanks
    Noel

    • Homecare providers often provide older oxygen concentrators that are 50 pounds and 50 decibels. There are much smaller and quieter home units on the market today – as light as 30 pounds and 40 decibels. The Respironics EverFlo Q (Q stands for Quiet) is a small, quiet unit. The Invacare Perfecto2 W (W stands for Whisper) is also very quiet. Both of these units provide up to 5 LPM.

      If you are looking for a portable oxygen concentrator that you can travel with, then you can expect a little more noise. The Respironics SimplyGo is 43 decibels at 2 LPM continuous.

  18. I am a cancer patient with an oxygen need of 3ml cf. I don’t know at this point if this will be permanent or not. It has been im proving, so I am hopeful. However, I am interested in traveling overseas (about a 12 hour flight). What do you recommend and do you know iof it is even possible or if you can direct me to someone who has done it. Thanks

    • Portable oxygen concentrators runs much harder on continuous flow than on pulse flow, which wears down the battery quite fast. For instance, the SeQual Eclipse 3 will last 1.3 hours on 3 LPM continuous and 4 hours on 3 pulse. For a 12 hour flight, you would need 18 hours of battery time. On pulse flow, this would be 5 batteries, but on continuous flow you would need 15 batteries. I recommend you talk to your doctor and see if you can use pulse flow while on battery power and then switch to continuous flow when you are able to plug the unit into an electrical outlet.

  19. Jani fellows says:

    i RECENTLY MOVED TO CA. FROM COLORADO WHERE I WAS PUT ON OXYGEN FOLLOWIMNG LIUNG SURGERY AND HAVING COPD. I DO NOT NEED OXYGEN HERE EXCEPT NAS AN EMERGENCY BACK-UP’ I AM PLANNING A VISIT BACK TO CO AND WILL NEED OXYGEN AGAIN. ARE ANY OF THESE PRODUCTS AVAILABLE THRU MEDICARE? THEY DID FUND MY OXYGEN NEEDS IN CO. THANK YOU, LOOING FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU.

    • Medicare does not purchase oxygen equipment; they provide only for a monthly rental benefit. I recommend you contact the local homecare companies in your area to see what they are willing to provide under your Medicare benefit. Since you do not need oxygen 24/7 you may not qualify. Also, many homecare companies do not offer portable oxygen concentrators and many people need to purchase their own unit out-of-pocket.

  20. I HAVE A TRACH AND ON OXYGEN FOR COPD I USE A ROLLATOR AT REST IM ON 2 LITERS I WAS TESTED AT 0 LITERS FOR 15 MINUTES STILL AT 96% MY DOCTOR WROTE A PRESCRIPTION FOR A PORTABLE OXYGEN CONCENTRATOR FOR 5 LITERS THE RESPIRATORY COMPANY TELLS ME MY CLUNKY E TANKS ARE THE BEST THING FOR ME,IM TRYING TO TELL THEM THAT I CANT CARRY THE EXTRA TANKS THAT I WOULD NEED,AFTER WALKING UP AND DOWN THE HALLWAY FOR 20 MINUTES DROPPED DOWN TO 89% WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST

    • With a trach you would need a portable oxygen concentrator that provides a continuous flow of oxygen. Currently, the POCs that provide 3 LPM are larger, 17 to 20 pounds. These includes the SeQual Eclipse 5, DeVilbiss iGo, and Oxlife Independence. All of these units have a cart, though I am not sure if they are less cumbersome than your tanks. There is a new concentrator on the horizon, the SeQual Equinox. It will provide up to 3 LPM and will weigh less that 12 pounds. This new unit might be just right for your needs.

  21. CORRECTION MY OXYGEN WAS SET AT 3 LITERS WALKING

  22. Hi Allieon,

    I find that oxygen concentrators are good prophylaxis procedure for people. As I read a 10-15 minute session daily can provide good energy through out the whole day! That is better then drinking coffe, drinking energy drinks and so forth! I am thinking an opening a oxygen bar with aroma stations! Can you recomand a non-medical concentrator, and is it best to have just one concentrator or better to have 3-4 but to serve each person individually?

    Best regards!
    Stan Lubarsky.

    • Hi Stan,

      I am only familiar with medical concentrators and, unfortunately, do not have much information regarding concentrators for oxygen bars. I do know that SeQual makes a non-medical concentrator called the Regalia. That may be just what you need.

  23. Hello Allison, My husband was recently diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis, along with Lupus. We currently live part-time on both coasts and so fly frequently. He uses 2 lpm 24/7. It is okay for him to use pulse during the day but is required to use continuous for sleeping. Which pulse/continuous flow POC would you recommend for air travel? Thank you.

    • The smallest and lightest POC that will provide both pulse and continuous flow is the Respironics SimplyGo. This POC weighs 10 pounds and provides up to 2 LPM continuous. If you are looking for a unit that has a bit more power, then the current SeQual Eclipse 3 or 5 would be a great choice. Or if you are willing to wait a few months, the new SeQual Equinox is expected to be available soon. It will provide up to 3 LPM continuous and weigh about 12 pounds.

  24. Penny Parker says:

    I was in a bicycle accident, had 32 broken bones, 19 broken ribs, 5 broken vertebra, pneumothorax. I am very active, ride my bicycle still and hike mountains in Colorado. After my latest Pulmonary Function Test, I have been told I will need to move to a lower elevation as the damage to my lungs are permanent. I am on night oxygen at 2 and oxygen with exercise. Nebulizer,three times a day. Right now I just strap a small tank in my backpack and mountain bike, road bike and hike. My oxygen company said the tank is lighter. When I am on my bicycles, I can just strap something to my bike. Hiking at the elevations I hike is no longer an option for me. I am 52 and female. What is the best POC for me? Exercising at this elevation 6,500-13,000. I am going to move to lower elevation, I just have to sell my home. I have insurance too. I think these units are covered for me. I will have to check. My medical bills alone where over $1 million last year.

    • The Respironics SimplyGo might be a great unit for you. It provides 2 LPM continuous for night use and is small enough to strap onto a bicycle. In fact, you may find this story interesting – Mark Junge.

      Please note, the SimplyGo is effective up to 10,000 ft. If you have a need for higher elevations, then a larger unit, such as the SeQual Eclipse, would be most effective. I know Mark Junge has used this unit in the past.

  25. I have sickle cell anemia and require oxygen only when flying on planes. I recently got a job that will require me flying several times a month and renting a POC for each trip is no longer cost effective. I need 2 Lpm in flight only. I need a lightweight, reliable POC with at least 5 hrs per battery. The lighter and smaller, the better, as I will be traveling alone and prefer it nondescript, professional, and compact. Budget is unlimited. What do you suggest? Thank you so much.

    • You may want to take a look at the Inogen One G3 with the 16-cell battery. This is a small unit, weighing only 6.25 pounds with the 16-cell battery. The battery will last up to 8 hours on setting 2 so there is no need to fuss with changing a battery mid-flight.

  26. Debbi Lardinois says:

    I need constant flow of 3 litres during exercise (which I try to do) and while sleeping. I need to find a small unit that I can travel with (I live and travel in Colorado). Do you have a recommendation of a small portable concentrator that will work for me?

    • Currently, the units that provide 3 LPM continuous flow are 18-20 pounds. These would include the SeQual Eclipse and DeVilbiss iGo. However, SeQual will soon be introducing the new Equinox, which will have all the power of the Eclipse in a 12-pound unit. I do not know the release date, but it may be as early as next month.

  27. Elizabeth moore says:

    HI! MY DAUGHTER IS ONLY 12. SHE HAS SICKLE CELL TRAIT AND IS AN ATHLETE THAT WORKS OUT ALL THE TIME. SHE ALWAYS SEEMS TO HAVE MAJOR TROUBLES BREATHING WHEN SHE WORKS OUT HARD. WHAT PORTABLE MACHINE WOULD YOU SUGGEST SHE USE FOR JUST THOSE QUICK MOMENTS THAT SHE NEEDS OXYGEN AND QUICKLY AFTER HER RACES?

    • Unfortunately, without know what oxygen level her doctor has prescribed, I am unable to provide any assistance in helping you find an appropriate unit. If you provide me with more information, I can point you in the right direction.

  28. Mellissa esterhuizen says:

    Dear Allison,

    My father currently uses a large oxygen machine (continuous flow at about 2.5 lpm) at home for which the medical aid pays. It seems like the medical aid will only pay for an oxygen machine if it is the primary machine and (I think) does not exclusively work off of a battery. We are looking into getting a portable one for him and I was wondering if there is an all-in-one solution, i.e. a portable machine that can also replace large primary machine at home. I see even the Phillips SimplyGo machine is advertised along with the EverFlo which makes me think that you’ll need both. Obviously if these portable machines are made for constant and continuous use like the large primary machines, we’ll be forced to get both. But I simply don’t see the point of having 2 machines if one can do the job!

    We are based in South Africa and I can understand that options may be limited. Are these 2 in one machines available? Can you please make a suggestion?

    I really appreciate your assistance.

    • A portable oxygen concentrator that provides both pulse and continuous flow, such as the SimplyGo, may be used as an all-in-one machine. However, it is generally not recommended that you rely on a portable oxygen machine as your only source of oxygen for long-term use. Home oxygen concentrators have a much more robust motor that can withstand constant use. Most people use a home unit for sleeping and while at home, and save their portable concentrator for daytime mobility and traveling. The SimplyGo and EverFlo are a great combination.

  29. Hi, my 2.5yr old has been diagnosed with sleep apnea and has been put on 1L via nasal cannula while she sleeps (I am assuming at a continuous flow). We had to deal with larger concentrators when her lungs weren’t doing as well (she was a preemie and needed extra help) but we don’t want to have to live with what sounds like a run-down car running in the room next to her again. I’m wondering if any portable concentrator can be used on pediatric patients – I’d like something as small and quiet as possible. Our DME isn’t really helpful with suggestions, so I’d love to have some to run by them. Thank you for any suggestions you might have!

    • The larger concentrator you had in the past may have been an older 50-pound/50-decibel unit. The newest home oxygen concentrators are only 39-40 decibels, which is surprisingly quiet. No portable concentrator is quite that quiet, but the SeQual Eclipse comes pretty close. The home oxygen concentrators and the Eclipse will provide 1 LPM continuous flow for your daughter’s oxygen needs.

      • Thank you! I found the thread on concentrator sound levels and was wondering if you have a preference as between the EverFlo Q and the Invacare Perfecto2 Whisper? The latter looks to be heavier and require more frequent filter cleaning, but other than that are they similar in terms of servicability, frequency of technical issues, etc? Thanks again!

        • They are both good units are far as durability and serviceability. The most important aspect with regard to service is to make sure you purchase your unit from a reputable Authorized Dealer. The manufacturers do not take repair requests directly from an end-user, only from a dealer, so you want to be sure your dealer can be relied upon to provide service support, if needed.

  30. Hi! I am on 1-3 liters via pulse (depending on my activity level) and am looking for a reliable, but lightweight, portable concentrator with a long battery life. Is it possible to find all 3 of those things in one unit? I have been using the Airsept freestyle and it is light enough and has a great battery life, but unfortunately I have had unit after unit die on me in a short period of time. Not sure if I have just had bad luck or if Airsept is not as reliable as I had hear they were. Now I have no idea what brand to even try. Any help insight would be very much appreciated!

  31. Are there units available that you can put on your back and work with? I live and work in the mines as a cleaner, so I need clean air and protection from dirt, dust, coal, plus the chemicals we use on a daily basis.

    thankyou

    • Yes, there are portable oxygen concentrators that can be carried on your backpack. The LifeChoice Activox comes with straps that convert the carry bag into a backpack. And the Inogen One G3 has an optional backpack that can be purchased. Both of the units are 5 pounds.

      Apart from the requirement of needing a doctor’s prescription, my concern would be the environmental air. Since portable oxygen concentrators produce oxygen by concentrating the air that is sucked into the machine, the filter would be clogged quickly, and there could be internal damage. Not that an oxygen concentrator would not assist you in breathing cleaner air, but the machine itself may not last as long in such a rigorous environment.

  32. We are looking for portable oxygen for my mother, 89 years old, frail and weak, but mentally all there. We are trying to place her in an assisted living near our house that doesn’t have a LSN license and therefore are not allowed to handle her oxygen. She needs something that can get her through the 3 meals a day in the dining room, preferably something that could last for 2-3 days in case I am gone for a weekend. She is on 2 LPM continuous flow. Would an on-demand setting work when a person is eating? I would imagine you don’t breathe through your nose when eating and continuous flow might be needed? We would need to attach it to a wheelchair somehow. Thank you for such an informative website any help you may offer.

    • You would need to consult with your mother’s doctor for approval of a pulse flow; however, since the mouth is usually closed to chew food, breathing through the nose is quite normal during eating. Depending on how long her mealtime is, it is doubtful any battery would last long enough to handle 3 meals per day for 2-3 days. The Inogen One G3 has an 8-hour battery, which would be sufficient time if her meals were 45 minutes or less. Otherwise, all POCs come with rechargeable batteries that would charge automatically when the unit is plugged into an electrical outlet.

      If she must use continuous flow, then the SeQual Eclipse is a nice unit. The battery lasts 2 hours on setting 2, so it would have to be recharged between one of the meals. It also has an optional wheelchair holder. My concern with a larger unit is that your mother would not be able to take it our of the wheelchair holder on her own to plug it in. With a smaller unit, such as the Inogen One G3, she could probably keep it on the seat next to her and hopefully would be able to plug it in on her own when she returns to her room.

  33. Have opportunity to buy an aprox 4 yr old (purchaed in 2009)Sequel Eclipse 2 poc gently used ( about 4 times) from a friend. Its for my Mom who uses O2 nightly and wants freedom to fly vs drive. It comes with cart, ac/dc cords and extra battery. What is the life of these unitsmif taken care of properly? What is a fair price assuming it is in good condition? Thank you for your insight.

    • I have several concerns about an older concentrator that has had little use. First, the unit would be out of warranty, so any repairs would be an out-of-pocket expense for you. You should be able to get several more years out of the unit, but if repairs are needed, they may cost anywhere from a couple hundred to around one thousand dollars. This is something to keep in mind when you are negotiating a price. I have limited knowledge of pricing used equipment; however, I would think somewhere in the $500-$800 range would be appropriate for this unit.

      Second, concentrators are like automobiles – it is not wise to let them sit for months or years at a time without running them. The sieve, where the oxygen is concentrated, has a substance that can settle to the bottom and prevent the unit from maintaining proper oxygen purity. Before purchasing, I recommend that you run the unit on 3 LPM continuous flow for several hours. Go ahead and test the battery while you are doing this. If the Low O2 alarms sounds, then turn the unit upside down to see if gravity will help get things moving in the sieve. (I know this sounds crazy, but SeQual Technical Support recommends this.) If after several more hours the unit continues to give the Low O2 alarm then it would need repair. If it runs for several hours with no alarms and the battery is draining and charging properly, then you can assume you have a unit that is in good working condition.

      Finally, just a note, you can check to see how many hours an Eclipse has been run. To the left of the On/Off button is a picture of a No Smoking symbol. If you push that symbol, while the unit is running, the display will change. I think the first thing that comes up is the hours; it will say H=###, which is the number of hours on the unit. If you keep pressing the button, it will scroll through a number of settings that you should not change unless you know what you are doing. One of the screens will say Alarm=###. After the unit has warmed up, after 10 minutes or so, the alarm code should be 000, which is All Normal. If you get 008 or 004, then the unit has a Low O2 alarm, with the yellow light blinking for 008, or the red light blinking and the alarm beeping 3 times every 2 minutes for 004.

  34. Mary cehic says:

    Hi. I was looking on eBay and found a new home/travel/auto/physical portable oxygen concentrator generator s3 for a couple of hundred dollars. Can you please tell me if they are ok and what would be the difference between that and say an evergo. And why such a big price difference. Mary

    • The portable oxygen concentrators that I am able to find on eBay are made by Chinese manufacturers and sold by companies/individuals located outside the U.S. I would not expect these sellers to provide the necessary technical support and warranty support that is needed with the purchase of a portable concentrator. You would be taking a risk purchasing an oxygen concentrator from an auction site, such as eBay. Oxygen concentrators, such as the EverGo, are made by U.S. companies that have proper warranty support and service. These concentrators are also approved by the FDA and FAA.

  35. What about the SeQual Focus for shopping, lunches, air travel ?

    • The AirSep Focus is the smallest portable oxygen concentrator and provides a pulse setting of 2 only. For those who need oxygen at pulse 2, the Focus can be a great concentrator because it is so small and lightweight. Each micro-battery lasts 1.2 hours and two micro-batteries come standard with the Focus. For shopping or lunches, this unit would be great. However, for air travel you are required to have enough battery power for 1 1/2 times the duration of the flight. Therefore, you would need quite a few micro-batteries, or the AirSep AirBelt, for most flights.

  36. Pat Shotwell says:

    I am on Medicare only…I have heard that portable concentrators are uncovered by Medicare. Is this true? Are there any other options? I am on 24 hr oxygen. Thanks.

    • The answer is yes and no. Medicare does not purchase oxygen equipment; they only provide for a monthly rental benefit. Technically portable oxygen concentrators may be billed to Medicare under billing code E1392. However, Medicare only pays a fixed amount per month regardless of whether you are getting an inexpensive oxygen cylinder or an expensive portable oxygen concentrator. Therefore, home health care companies that handle Medicare billing usually cannot afford to give you a portable oxygen concentrator for the amount they are given by Medicare. Thus, while POCs are technically billable under Medicare, in the real world it is rare to find a company that will do the Medicare billing for a POC. Most people find they must purchase their own portable oxygen concentrator.

  37. Can you help, my good wife needs O2 for 24 hours day at 4 litres per minute. She has IPF and a bad case of nagging me to get the right oxygen for her to travel with. We live in the United Kingdom and need the right advice on what to buy so we can travel to my other home in the US of A….

    • Unfortunately, there are not any portable oxygen concentrators that will provide continuous flow oxygen at 4 LPM. The SeQual Eclipse is the most powerful unit on the market and it provides up to 3 LPM and pulse settings up to 6. The SeQual Eclipse would probably be a good unit for your wife, but you should confirm this with her doctor. The Eclipse is available in the UK. You can contact SeQual (the manufacturer) in Europe at Tel: +44 (0) 1344 403100 for dealer information.

  38. lIDIA JARDIM says:

    My brother needs a portable oxygen concentrator with 2 to 5 oxygen per minute. His work demands him to travel a lot by car, which machine would you recommend that would be more suitable for him?

  39. Robert Miller says:

    Are any of these units covered by medicare?

  40. you can get up to 6 lpm with a poprtable l.o.x unit

    • i ment 6 lpm continous

    • True! A liquid oxygen system does offer that higher level of oxygen. Liquid oxygen is a good option for those who have greater oxygen needs; but it has its limitations, especially for travelers. Since liquid oxygen must be refilled and is not FAA approved, it is best for those who stick close to home.

  41. Do you know when the SeQual Equinox will be released? My husband has COPD, pulmonary fibrosis and lupus and needs something very lightweight that provides both continuous and pulse flow. Thanks so much.

  42. looking for a smaller concentrator that I can purchase for sleep apnea. Presently have a Invacare Pefecto Concentrator 5 liter and is loud, water
    seeps through the tubes and very expensive when renting on a monthly basis. Only use the device at night and looking for something to buy so this one can be returned. Any suggestions…………………………. I like the ones that use H20, but do not leak through the tubes.

    • Water will seep through the tubing if the humidifier bottle is too full, or often during cold weather months if the tubing is running along a cold floor. The condensation can be somewhat prevented, but is not the fault of the concentrator. When you say “smaller concentrator” how small are you wanting to go? The lightest home concentrator is the AirSep Visionaire at 30 pounds, although it is not much smaller that the Perfecto2. There is also the SimplyFlo, which is a travel-sized concentrator that weighs only 8.5 pounds. However, it provide oxygen only up to 2 LPM.

      • David Wootton says:

        I have a humidifier bottle that also pushes water up the tube. It is irritating and problematic. I have a water trap that you empty that helps block the water from making it as far as the cannula but sometimes water gets by and the danger of aspirating some into the lungs becomes a real problem because I easily develop aspiration pneumonia. I have a good tight fitting hose and a carpet so I can’t figure out what is happening but if anyone has a possible answer for me I would appreciate it. I really need the humidity for my nostrils and sinus but not into my lungs.

        • Water in the oxygen tubing is a common problem, especially in colder climates because the air will condense faster in colder temperatures. If you are in a northern state where it is cold the tubing is probably still getting cold even with carpet. First, check your humidifier bottle. People often fill them too full so that they don’t have to fill them as often. It is best to keep the volume of water lower, even if you have to fill more frequently. That may solve the bulk of your problem. You can also try to keep the tubing warmer. Perhaps bump up the thermostat a notch or two, and make sure the tubing isn’t running across doorways where there may be a draft. Unfortunately, there are no perfect fixes to your problem, but hopefully these tips will help.

  43. David Wootton says:

    I hope to purchase a poc soon. I am having trouble decideing between the Inogen g3, the XPO2 and the Inogen G2. The company that I rent my home concentrator from flat out told me that no POC is reliable enough to use as they all are known to break down and I should just stick with tanks. I find this very difficult to believe. I would like your opinion. I can’t find actual testing and comparison sites on the internet that compares units independent of dealers or retailers. Also I see the importance you stress about buying from a reputable dealer. Do you have a link to a list of known reliable dealers. Thank you for providing this great service.

    • Obviously a portable oxygen concentrator is a machine and they can break down. There are a lot more components to a POC so the break-down rate will always be higher than for a tank, which usually only has a failure in the regulator/conserver. However, most people find the benefits of POCs far out-way the risks, though it is common to continue to keep a tank handy in the event of an emergency. The Inogen units and the XPO2 are all pretty reliable, with the G2 having the fewest service issues in my experience. With regard to a reputable dealer, I do not have a list of links, but have found that OxiMedical.com is perhaps the only dealer that meets all the requirements I recommend.

  44. Allison,

    My boss (a doctor) is thinking of buying a poc to use for his elderly patients – since this poc is not for a specific patient, how do we determine which one to buy. Please advise

    • Since there are so many variables that go into choosing the best oxygen concentrator for an individual, you won’t find a one-size-fits-all POC that could be used for all your boss’ patients. However, if you need a unit that provides continuous and pulse options, the Respironics SimplyGo is a good option. It only goes up to 2 lpm, but is small enough for most peoples mobility needs. If you are looking for a smaller pulse only unit, the the Inogen One G2 or G3 are good options, the key difference being the number of pulse settings each provides and the size and weight.

  45. g P Sinha says:

    Dear Allison,
    I am based in Mumbai, India. I have recently been diagonised with advanced ILD. I am required to be on oxygen throughout the night and for about 4 hours or as the case may be during day time. I am considering buying a poc like Eclipse 5. Will it work on continuous basis overnight supplying 2 Litres per minute or you would recommend buying a normal continuous flow OC together with something like Free Style pulse dose poc for outdoor use?
    Many thanks for your help.
    Regards
    GP

    • If you plan to do a lot of traveling, the SeQual Eclipse 5 is nice because it provides both pulse and continuous flow. It can be used for the 12-14 hours per day that you would require oxygen and still last for years. They drawback is that it is 18 pounds and is not as easily portable. However, if you do not travel, then it may be more convenient to use a home concentrator for your night use and have a smaller unit to carry during the day. The FreeStyle 3 is less than 5 pounds and it easy to pick up and go.

  46. Bill rhiner says:

    Have a inogen 3 when travel in airplane oxygen falls to 84 what can I do to keep it above 90 what machine to get???

    • Are you already using the maximum flow setting on your Inogen G3? If not, increasing the flow setting would be your first option; however, keep in mind that you may need additional batteries. If you are already using the maximum flow setting, then a more powerful unit would be necessary. If you are looking into a smaller unit, the Respironics SimplyGo may be a good option. If weight is not as much of a concern, the SeQual Eclipse 5 is the most powerful unit, providing the greatest amount of oxygen per breath.

      You may also find this article helpful for understanding how pulse flow settings differ among POCs.

  47. Dear Allison,

    Out of the list below of FAA approved POC’s for airplane travel, which ones you recommend as best ones? Patient just recently got her prescription for oxygen – dosage 2, usage 4-6 hours day/night. Patient is currently using the home oxygen tank for about 3 -4 hrs /day for about 5 days. Thanks so much in advance.
    Pat

    LIST:
    The AirSep “Focus,” manufactured by the AirSep Corporation
    The AirSep “Freestyle,” manufactured by the AirSep Corporation
    The AirSep “Freestyle 5,” manufactured by the AirSep Corporation
    The AirSep “Lifestyle,” manufactured by the AirSep Corporation
    Delphi Central Air, manufactured by Delphi Medical Systems
    DeVilbiss “iGo,” manufactured by DeVilbiss
    Inogen One, manufactured by the Inogen Corporation
    Inogen One G2, manufactured by the Inogen Corporation
    Inogen One G3, manufactured by the Inogen Corporation
    Inova Labs “LifeChoice Activeox,” manufactured by Inova Labs
    International Biophysics “LifeChoice,” manufactured by Inova Labs
    Invacare SOLO2, manufactured by Invacare Corporation
    Invacare XPO2, manufactured by Invacare Corporation
    OxLife “Independence,” manufactured by OxLife Incorporated
    Precision Medical EasyPulse, manufactured by Precision Medical
    Respironics EverGo, manufactured by Respironics Inc.
    Respironics SimplyGo, manufactured by Respironics Inc.
    SeQual Eclipse, manufactured by SeQual Technologies Inc.
    SeQual SAROS, manufactured by SeQual Technologies Inc.

  48. My daughter is on 2 lpm. We would like to buy a poc for travel of trips lasting 1-2 weeks. We would like to have the poc be the 24/7 unit while on the trip. which unit do you suggest? Also, in reading comments on this site I wonder which is the best way to purchase a unit: through a local medical equipment company or directly from a company on the internet?

    • Since your daughter will be using the POC 24/7, you would need a unit that will provide a continuous flow setting for night use. The smallest unit available that will meet her needs is the Respironics SimplyGo. It is a 10-pound unit that will provide up to 2 LPM continuous and has pulse flow settings up to 6. A local medical equipment will be able to provide the convenience of being nearby if a service issue arises; however, you can expect to pay considerable more money. An authorized internet dealer would not be local to you, but would have much lower pricing. If you do your homework, you can find reputable internet dealers that will provide great service. My article on warranties offers tips on what to look for in a dealer (applied to local or online retailers).

  49. Do you have any review or opinion of the EASY POC ?

    I think is kind of new and that’s why I havent been able to find any on the web. I have some doubts about it’s continuos flow. Does it work in the same WAY as the others (not refering to quality),

    I mean it seems to be that it uses some kind of new specific technology that sends u the air when u breath but im not sure, i know that pretty much sounds like pulse flow but Im not sure if in the case of this device that one is used for the continuous flow (something like a mix of both systems).

    Could you give me some light please?

    Also. Do you know of any retailers or providers that can send me their product to México?

    Thank you so much: I truly believe you are making many people life’s easier specially in difficult moments.

    Javier.

    • Do you mean the EasyPulse POC from Precision Medical? If so, then it is definitely a pulse only unit and does not provide a continuous flow setting. If you are referring to another unit, then I’m afraid I have never heard of it and am unable to find it on the internet.

      For service to Mexico I recommend contacting the manufacturer of the unit that interests you and they should be able to provide a list of providers.

  50. How do you know if you can use a pulse? I am on 3-4 liters continuous flow for at-home use, but maybe for going out a pulse would suffice if I get one that goes to 3. Where/how to try out?

    • Most people are able to use pulse flow during the day. The easiest way to test it if you currently use oxygen cylinders when you leave home is to request an oxygen conserver for the tank. You would first need to speak with your doctor who may be able to test your oxygen levels on a pulse flow in the office, or provide the order for a conserver.

  51. My son requires oxygen at night and breathes thru his mouth most of the time. He requires 4 leters how ever it is measured. We travel a lot and I saw someone with a portable unit and was wondering if there is one with 4LPM and can be used with electricity and battery?

  52. Bill Johnson says:

    I am looking for a POC and am not sure what to get. I presently use around 3 continuous on my home unit, but want a portable one to go places. I looked at the simply-go , oxlife independence and sequal eclipse 5. I liked the weight of the simply go but read the battery life on continuous is very short. Like .7 hours on 2. I use tanks now and usually have them on 4 pulse and it seem to work ok. We will go on vacation and I want to know if the simply go is going to be sufficient to take care of what I need. I have it on 3 at night also and the cannula usually comes off at night, but the blood/ox level is still around 90 when I get up. The doctor wanted me to do the test to see if I even need it at night, but hasn’t been done yet. Also the other 2 are on wheels and heavier, but longer bat life as the oxlife can take 2 bats. Do you think the new sequal would be a good idea for me to wait for it. I also am thinking about when I am riding lawnmower and in garden for what would be the less clumsy to haul around. Any comment would be appreciated. Thanks

    • If you are only using continuous flow at night when you have access to electricity, then the battery life would not be a concern. You would use the unit plugged in while on continuous flow and on battery power while on pulse flow.

      If you do need 3 LPM while sleeping, then the SimplyGo will not produce enough oxygen to meet your needs. Getting the sleep test that your doctor recommended would be important before making your final decision. If you can get buy without oxygen at night, or if you can reduce the setting to 2 LPM, then the SimplyGo would be a good option. During the day, while on pulse, you would get 2 1/2 to 3 hours on setting 4.

      The new SeQual eQuinox will be a nice unit – powerful enough to provide 3 LPM continuous and only 14 pounds. However, prices are being released and it looks like it has a starting price of $3,995.

  53. I’m on oxygen 24/7, currently @ 6 lit. continously. Are there any portable liquid units that go above 6 lit, either continious or pulse? If not, what is the solution for being able to get away, dr. appt. etc.?
    Looking forward to your reply.
    Jane Wolf

  54. hi, Im a biomedical engineer student and working in a project, I need to build an oxygen concentrator. i have been investigating and find out that almost all the oxygen generators work with zeolite bed, and the air pass trough these beds. but i don’t find the information about the air pressure that you need to apply in this beds to get concentrated oxygen. could you help me with this information? or could you provide me with some sources (books or webpages) where i can get this information?

  55. If a POC states 10,000 feet as maximum altitude, what can I expect at 12,500 to 14,000 feet ? This is very important to me and I really like the Inogen G2 but if it will not fit the bill, PLEASE ADVISE OF PROPER UNIT for my climb. Thank you, gary

    • As the air becomes thinner it becomes more difficult for a concentrator to produce oxygen purity above 90%. When above 10,000 feet, the Inogen will continue to concentrator the available oxygen, but will most likely give an Oxygen Low alarm indicating that the purity is below 82%. I do not know how low the purity will go, but perhaps Inogen will offer you more specific figures. A larger unit such as a SeQual Eclipse, though not easily portable, will assure oxygen purity above 90% up to 13,123 feet.

  56. I recently have gone on the Inogen portable and at a 5 setting but I have had three units so far and all have been faulty. This last one seems to be the best but I find in all three units when I drive up hill or make some turns my oxygen doesn’t go on when I take a breath. Is this common? Yesterday going up hill I took 7 breaths before I got oxygen. Fortunately when I am sitting my oxygen level is pretty good even without oxygen on but I am concerned with the machine. I love it as I can do more but the batteries only last me a couple of hours so I always have to have extras and I also had to rent my own large tank for emergencies like a power outage.

    • It sounds like there is a power issue with your car. When you go up hill or use other electrical features of your car, the car steals the power that is usually gives to your DC outlet and uses it for other electrical components. In the past I have only heard of this happening with larger units, such as the SeQual Eclipse. Assuming you have the battery attached to the unit, the unit should notice the lack of power through the DC cord and start using the battery power, but I’m not sure how quickly that happens and the car may fix itself before it can switch to battery power. Unless you bought the unit directly from Inogen, they will usually not talk to an end-user. However, this seems like an odd problem for that particular unit. I recommend trying it in another vehicle first if you have the opportunity to do so to see if perhaps your vehicle is the cause of the problem.

  57. Richard haynES says:

    I have a question about POCs and ventilators. My son has Muscular Dystrophy and just had a trach put in. He will need a ventilator 24/7 and will be on Spontaneous during day and SIMV at night. He needs between 1.5 to 2 L of Oxygen continuous. They suppliers want to get a stationary concentrator for home and tanks for outside the home. He loves outdoor time and so we are looking for a solution for the oxygen that will get us 6 hours of “freedom”. I am getting the line “Portable Oxygen Concentrators will not provide 2 L continuous and are very unreliable” for the supplier. However, when I look online I see units that can provide that amount and provide battery backup or could be hooked to his wheelchair. What are your thoughts?

    • Portable oxygen concentrator will absolutely provide 2 LPM continuous just like home concentrator. The SimplyGo is the smallest and lightest unit and will provide up to 2 LPM. The drawback is that the battery lasts only .7 hours at 2 LPM continuous. The DeVilbiss iGo has the longest battery time of 2.4 hours on 2 LPM continuous. Three batteries would give you the 6 hours of freedom you’re looking for and the unit would fit on the back of his wheelchair using the SeQual Eclipse Wheelchair Pack. Both of these units have a good track record for reliability, although you can certainly have a tank handy as an emergency back-up. I suspect your supplier doesn’t carry POCs and is trying to steer you away from them so they won’t lose your business.

  58. Hi,

    My Mother was diagnosed for IPF in 2012. Sometimes she feels problems during breathing and walking. Please suggest 2 separate “Portable Oxygen Concentrators” for “Home use” and “For Travelling” along with sources & costs.

    Regards.

  59. Nice Article.. Choosing the Best Portable Oxygen Concentrator is not easy. As a rule of thumb, all supplemental oxygen devices that are capable of continuous flow are designed and calibrated to deliver flow in liters per minute. This traditional designation has been used for well over 70 years. In the hospital you may recall seeing oxygen flow meters plugged into the wall outlets located at the head of the bed. These flow meter devices deliver continuous flow and are calibrated in liters per minute.

  60. I am on oxygen 24 /7 at 4 lpm. I can go down to 3lpm. While I’m sitting. I usually keep it at 4 because I’m always going up and down doing things around the house. I have a home concentrator and use a ventolator at night because I’m a mouth breather. i need a suggestion for s lightweight unit that i can handle on my own to go to stores etc.

    mouth breather. i would like a portable unit that i van handle

    • For your night use, as a mouth breather and a ventilator user, you would require a continuous flow of oxygen. Unfortunately, portable oxygen concentrators provide a maximum of 3 LPM continuous. However, I am not certain based on the information you provided if you require continuous flow during the day when you go out. Do you breathe through your mouth during the day as well? If so, then there is no lightweight solution. The new SeQual eQuinox is the smallest and lightest unit that provides up to 3 LPM; it is 14 pounds. Much less expensive, but 4 pounds heavier would be the SeQual Eclipse 5.

      If you can use pulse flow during the day, the Inogen One G3 is the smallest portable concentrator that will provide a pulse flow up to setting 4. Even better is the Inogen One G2, which provides up to pulse setting 6, but is a couple pounds heavier.

  61. Hi Allison,
    My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer a couple of mos ago. I used the Sequal 3 to bring her to my town, on Amtrak. I have become attached to it and hate switching to oxygen tanks or a different brand. The place I’m renting from has offered to sell it, along with the 2 batteries, at a “used price”, which would save me the week I’m about to pay for, and also the first weeks rent, which they will credit. Mother is on 2L. I have no idea how often we’ll be going out, probably not much, but I’m used to it, for Dr. visits. Plus it is backup if power goes out at Assisted Living. Sound like a plan? I have to decide fast.

    • Yes, it sounds like you have a good plan. Be careful of the price (you should be paying in the neighborhood of $1600 give or take a couple hundred for a used Eclipse 3). Even more, be careful of the warranty. Is the company providing a warranty with the unit? How long? Will they be available and assist you with warranty repairs? You might find my article on your dealer useful in making your final decision.

  62. Hi great blog and you are very helpful!

    Hopefully you can assist me as i am slighly confused by a few things.

    On an oxygen cylinder flow is labelled as liters per min.

    However pulse mode bolus on portable concentrators are labelled in numbers which correlate to a shot measured in ml

    The thing is, I for example am on 4 liters continuous sitting down. So what ML would that be as a bolus? Because every concentrator has different numbering for example level 5 pulse on one could be 42ml and on another level 5 could be 36ml etc how many ml shot is equal to X lpm?

    I am finding this very difficult to find out which concentrators fit my needs.

    Currently if im home all day i will use my concentrator on 4lpm continuous.

    But if im moving around or go outside i use an oxygen cylinder with a pulse conserver attached and it normally use it at 5lpm pulse shot when moving and max 6lpm pulse shot.

    I am allowed to stay on pulse the whole day if i wish to stay out etc so i dont need a continuous model i just need one that pulses that can do at least 5/6lpm equivalents in pulse. Also my body adapts better to pulse because on pulse i stay at 3lpm and that is equivalent to 4lpm continuous when monitoring o2 and id much rather be on pulse as it means i can get out more but my cylinders are very heavy and finish quickly and because i can only carry one at a time it isnt practical

    Is there anything that can do what i need or come fairly close whilst being light and small and having good battery?

    And lastly can you please explain to me what an oxymizer is as it sounds beneficial but not entirely sure what it does

    thanks !

    • It is confusing! You may find this article that I wrote helpful. If you are using 4 LPM continuous and you breathe an average of 20 breaths per minute (once every 3 seconds), you would receive only 1/3 of the oxygen. Since 4 liters is 4,000 mL, you are actually inhaling about 1,333 mL per minute. So if the concentrator provide a bolus of 42 mL and you breathe 20 times per minute, you would inhale 840 mL. When oxygen needs are lower, such as 1 or 2 LPM, the smaller mL delivery is usually not an issue and most people use the same pulse setting as they would continuous. However, when higher levels of oxygen are needed, the smaller bolus can have a impact. In your case, I would not recommend a small, pulse only unit because they provide a much smaller bolus at each flow setting. Instead, a more powerful unit, such as the SeQual Eclipse 5, is needed to provide a larger bolus. For instance, the Eclipse 5 at pulse setting 4 produces 64 mL per breath, which would be 1,280 mL at 20 breaths per minute. The Eclipse gives the closest equivalent to continuous flow at each setting.

      The Oxymizer is a continuous flow conserver. It receives a continuous flow of oxygen from the concentrator and holds it until you take a breath. This allows you to receive a level of oxygen that is higher than the unit is set to delivery. For instance, at 3 LPM, you would receive roughly 5 1/5 LPM equivalent. The Oxymizer will only work with a unit that is on continuous flow and does not work with pulse flow settings.

  63. You are brilliant! That makes a lot more sense now and everything is a lot clearer!

    I saw the one you suggested but that would be too large for me to carry around as ideally it has to be smaller and weigh the same or less than my cylinder.

    I read your review and saw the inogen one g2 and it seems perfect as it goes up to a 63ml bolus

    What do you think? So far its the only one i can see that meets a high bolus output and amazing size and weight?

  64. vIRGINIA oAKLAND says:

    I HAVE A HYPERSENSITIVITY TO MOLD REQUIRING THAT I STAY INDOORS. I AM AN AVID GARDENER AND LOVE WALKS IN THE WOODS WHICH ARE PROHIBITED BY THE DOCTORS BECAUSE OF A HYPERSENSITIVITY TO MOLD.
    A POC THAT FILTERS OUT THE MINUTE MOLE SPORE PARTICLES WOULD BE THE ANSWER TO A MORE NORMAL LIFE STYLE FOR ME. I REQUIRE OXYGEN AT LEVEL 2 FOR HIGH ALTITUDES AND OCCASIONALLY DURING THE HIGH MOLD AND POLLEN SEASON.

  65. caregiver says:

    Thanks for providing this forum and for all the helpful tips and resources. I’m a bit overwhelmed with all the data so would like to ask for your direct recommendation. My father is in his early 80s and requires 24/7 oxygen at 2LPM. He uses a walker at home and we push him in a wheelchair when we need to get him around quickly outdoors. Not sure if his prescription will change in the future. He can’t use pulse flow, only continuous flow oxygen. Typical outdoor excursion/appointments are for 2-5 hours duration and occasionally we have full day outings but never too far away from power source (car/wall jack). Looks like SimplyGo might be the best option for a lightweight, compact POC but I’m concerned he may need higher level of oxygen in the future. What do you suggest? I read somewhere SimplyGo has a short battery life so maybe 3 battery packs would be safer when he’s on the go. I think anything too much more than 10 lbs will be too heavy for my dad (he has a weak back and arthritic knees). Also what accessories do you recommend for my dad to use the POC while using a walker and while we push him in a wheelchair? He can not pull a cart; he already has trouble keeping himself in balance while walking. Also it looks like Medicare will only pay a very small portion of rental fee only so seems it will be more economical to purchase retail. If you can recommend any dealers that delivers to San Francisco, CA, that would be great. Please respond ASAP. Thanks!

    • The SimplyGo would certainly be the smallest and lightest unit that provides continuous flow at 2 LPM. The only drawback is the batteries last only 40 minutes at 2 LPM, so even 3 batteries would provide only about 2 hours. However, a larger unit such as the SeQual Eclipse 5 would weight 18 pounds, which seems to be too heavy for your father. I recommend you purchase a unit from a reputable dealer, such as OxiMedical.com, that offers a trade-in program in the event your father requires a higher oxygen flow in the future. I have also heard they have custom accessories for using a POC with a walker or wheelchair.

  66. Pamela Alexander says:

    I have an inogen POC it is very loud and I would feel like the whole store is watching me if I had to take it any where around people. Is there a more quiet POC?

    • I am guessing you have the Inogen One G3, which has a loud purging sound. If the additional weight would not bother you, the larger Inogen One G2 is very quiet – the quietest on the market, I think. If you are looking for a unit as small as the G3, then the LifeChoice Activox or AirSep FreeStyle 3 would be quieter options.

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