How to Choose the Right Portable Oxygen Concentrator for You

Whether it’s options your physician offers or the units available at your local homecare provider, there will be a point in this process when you ask yourself, “How do I know which portable oxygen concentrator’s right for me or my loved one?”

The right option for you will not be obvious as you look at the available products at your homecare provider. Let us help.

Among the top considerations when choosing a portable oxygen concentrator are: liter flow, battery life and size.

Liter Flow

Your doctor will recommend a liter flow as part of your medical oxygen prescription. You will either be prescribed:

  1. Pulse flow
  2. Continuous flow

Pulse flow delivers oxygen as you inhale.  Continuous flow delivers oxygen at a constant rate, regardless of your breathing pattern.

Some portable oxygen concentrators such as the PM4400 EasyPulse TOC offer both flows. This benefits those who can take advantage of pulse flow throughout the day while they are awake, but will need a continuous flow when they’re catching zzz’s.

Many portable oxygen concentrators can only deliver oxygen one way, so it is important you begin your search by looking for a unit that meets your specific need.

Battery Life

Do you travel often? Do your weekends often consist of several hours of errand-running? Do you enjoy taking long walks in the morning followed by sitting on your porch for several hours with a good book?

Your lifestyle does not need to be dictated by the fact that you have been prescribed medical oxygen. It must, however, be a consideration when choosing the right portable oxygen concentrator for you.

A larger battery will allow for more time away from outlets, either in your home or your car.

A smaller, lighter battery may be all you need if the amount of time you spend away from home is infrequent or in short spurts.

The size of the battery will also determine recharge time, or the number of hours it takes for you to completely recharge the battery via a power outlet. The larger the battery, the more time it will need to recharge.

Size

It may come as a surprise that there are no standards for the size of a portable oxygen concentrator. You will see portable oxygen concentrators in different shapes and sizes.

It’s important to consider the height, weight, and depth of a unit as it relates to transporting the machine. Is it small enough that it will fit in your favorite handbag or backpack? Does it fit in the basket of the mobility scooter you may be using?

The biggest consideration when it comes to size is weight. Depending on battery size, among other features, a portable oxygen concentrator can weigh as few as three pounds or as many as twenty.

Consider what is manageable for you on a daily basis, whether you will carry your unit over your shoulder, carry it on your back, or wheel it on the ground beside you.

What else should you consider when looking for a POC?

Additional considerations may include whether the portable oxygen concentrator is approved for in-flight use via the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or what the manufacturer’s warranty on the portable oxygen concentrator is.

An easy user interface is also an advantage. Who wants to fiddle around with confusing electronic controls?

Yes, there are a lot of options. But the right portable oxygen concentrator for you is out there.

Want our advice on the best unit for you or a loved one? Send us a message.