This post was updated: 2/28/2018
Well, 2017 has wrapped up and I think we can all agree that it's be one crazy year, even in the oxygen industry... We've seen some groundbreaking technology get released, we've seen a couple of brand new concentrators get released, and that's just the tip of the iceberg when we look forward to 2018.
With the new units being released and the new technology being released, we want to take a look back on 2017 and look forward to 2018 with a review of the best portable oxygen concentrators on the market.
In this post we will cover the best overall pulse flow portable oxygen concentrator, the best overall continuous flow portable oxygen concentrator and then some "best in-class" units as well.
Here are the best portable oxygen concentrators for 2017-2018:
Best Overall Pulse Flow Portable Oxygen Concentrator: Inogen One G3
Although the Inogen One G3 was not released in 2016, it has been a staple in the portable oxygen community since it hit the market. That's partly attributed to the Inogen name, but in all honesty, this portable oxygen concentrator is well built and extremely reliable.
What Makes the Inogen One G3 the Best Pulse Flow Portable Oxygen Concentrator?
The Inogen One G3 is almost in a class all of its own when comparing it to other units. It's small and light weight, it gets great battery life, and it's easily one of the most reliable portable oxygen concentrators on the market.
The single most important factor to consider when purchasing or renting a portable oxygen concentrator is the oxygen ouput of the machine. The Inogen One G3 offers the highest oxygen output of any pulse flow portabl eoxygen concentrator.
It offers pulse flow settings 1-5 and it's equipped with intelligent oxygen delivery to ensure the machine detects your breath. This means the G3 will accommodate more oxygen patients with its large range of oxygen settings and it can also be used for nighttime oxygen delivery as long as you don't use a CPAP or BiPAP machine.
Size and Weight
The Inogen One G3 is one of the smallest and lightest units on the market today. With the 8-cell battery the G3 weighs a mere 4.8 pounds and stands just 8.25" H x 8.75" L x 3.0" W.
When you're battling a respiratory disease like COPD or cystic fibrosis, the size and weight of your oxygen concentrator can make a huge difference on a daily basis. Larger, heavier concentrators can be difficult to transport and may require a lot of your energy, but not with the Inogen One G3. Weighing less than 5 pounds, the G3 requires very little energy from you to carry and it won't wear you out as easily as a 10 pound concentrator.
The G3 comes with a custom carrying case that is equipped with shoulder and handle straps for easy and convenient transporting. However, it also has an optional custom backpack available that can make using and transporting your concentrator more comfortable.
Battery life tends to be one of the most important deciding factors for our patients and the Inogen One G3 gets some of the best battery life on the market. It has two different battery options available, the 8-cell battery and the 16-cell battery.
The 8-cell battery gets up to 4 hours of use on a single chage and keeps the Inogen One G3 at a true 4.8 pounds. While the 16-cell battery gets up to 8 hours of use on a single charge and only adds 1 pound to the total weight of the machine.
With multiple battery options and up to 8 hours of use on a single charge, the Inogen One G3 is perfect for anything from everyday tasks to traveling across the country.
There were a couple other concentrators that came close to being named the best pulse flow portable oxygen concentrator, but the Inogen One G3 is the total package. Here are the two other concentrators that the G3 beat out for the title of "Best Pulse Flow Portable Oxygen Concentrator"
2nd Place- LifeChoice Activox 4L
3rd Place- Respironics SimplyGo Mini
Best Overall Continuous Flow Portable Oxygen Concentrator: Oxlife Independence with DNA Technology
When it comes to continuous flow portable oxygen concentrators, they all have similar features and the unit specs are comparable across the board. So picking the top unit in this category wasn't easy, but the Oxlife Independence with DNA Technology barely edged out its competitors.
What Makes the Oxlife Independence the Best Continuous Flow Poratble oxygen Concentrator?
The Oxlife Independence has quietly risen to the top of our list this year. Mostly because of the brand new DNA Technology that O2-Concepts recently released. We will go more in-depth on that in a little bit, but the Oxlife is a great all-around unit. It has a high oxygen output, it's equipped with an integrated travel cart, and its extremely durable.
DNA (Dynamic Network Analysis) Technology, the program that turned the Oxlife Independence into the world's first "smart" oxygen concentrator. With DNA Technology, the Oxlife Independence is connected to a private and secure network and it will communicate with your care giver and your oxygen provider.
It actually sends a lot of helpful information to your oxygen provider and care giver. It can tell your provider if you're using your concentrator on the right oxygen setting, how long you use it every day, what your breath rate is, and it will communicate any issues the concentrator might have so your provider can quickly assess and fix any problems you might be experiencing.
Not only will the Oxlife communicate with your oxygen provider, but the DNA Technology gives the Oxlife Independence the ability to learn and react to your usage patterns and your environmental conditions. All of this data can be used to ensure your disease treatment plan is working, and it will help you determine if any changes should be made.
As of right now, the Oxlife Independence is the only concentrator on the market that is equipped with DNA Technology. You can read more about DNA Technology here.
The Oxlife Independence offers both continuous flow oxygen delivery and pulse flow oxygen delivery meaning it can accommodate the majority of oxygen patients 24/7/365. It is compatible with CPAP and BiPAP machines so you can use it for nighttime oxygen delivery anytime you need.
It offers continuous flow settings 0.5-3.0 LPM and pulse flow settings 1-6 making it perfect for everyday use, traveling, and anything inbetween! As stated above, you can use this machine 24/7/365 as long as you can plug it into the AC or DC power supply or as long as you have charged batteries. When the Oxlife is plugged into the AC or DC power supply it can provide you with an endless supply of oxygen, making it the perfect unit to use for your nighttime oxygen.
Size and Weight
When it comes to continuous flow units, the majority of them weigh over 15 pounds. This is because a larger compressor and motor are needed to produce a continuous flow of oxygen. With that being said, the Oxlife isn't the smallest or lightest continuous flow portable, but it's very similar in size to most continuous flow units.
Standing 20.2" H x 10.9" W x 8" L , the Oxlife is designed to fit perfectly underneath the seat on an airplane to make traveling as easy as possible. The integrated travel cart makes it so you never have to deal with the hassle of taking your unit on and off of a travel cart. And the foldable handle makes storing the Oxlife a breeze.
The Oxlife Independence can operate using one or two batteries at a time. Without any batteries the Oxlife weighs 16.7 pounds, with one battery it weighs 18.05 pounds, and with two batteries it weighs 19.4 pounds.
With continuous flow portables you have two different battery ratings; one for pulse flow settings and one for continuous flow settings. When using the machine on continuous flow, the compressor and motor are constantly running, which uses more battery life.
The Oxlife Independence is one of the top continuous flow portables in terms of battery life. This is partly because it can operate using two batteries. Here is a chart with the expected battery life of the Oxlife Independence:
|Flow Rate||Pulse Flow (1 Battery/2 Batteries)||Continuous Flow (1 Battery/2 Batteries)|
|0.5||Up to 3.25 Hours/Up to 6.25 Hours||Up to 2.75 Hours/Up to 5.75 Hours|
|1.0||Up to 3.25 Hours/Up to 6.00 Hours||Up to 2.50 Hours/Up to 5.25 Hours|
|1.5||Up to 3.00 Hours/Up to 6.00 Hours||Up to 1.75 Hours/Up to 3.50 Hours|
|2.0||Up to 3.00 Hours/Up to 5.75 Hours||Up to 1.25 Hours/Up to 2.50 Hours|
|2.5||Up to 2.75 Hours/Up to 4.75 Hours||Up to 1.00 Hours/Up to 2.00 Hours|
|3.0||Up to 2.00 Hours/Up to 4.00 Hours||Up to 0.75 Hours/Up to 1.50 Hours|
|3.5||Up to 1.75 Hours/Up to 3.50 Hours||N/A|
|4.0||Up to 1.50 Hours/Up to 3.00 Hours||N/A|
|4.5||Up to 1.50 Hours/Up to 2.50 Hours||N/A|
|5.0||Up to 1.25 Hours/Up to 2.25 Hours||N/A|
|5.5||Up to 1.00 Hours/Up to 2.00 Hours||N/A|
|6.0||Up to 1.00 Hours/Up to 1.75 Hours||N/A|
Although there aren't as many continuous flow portables as there are pulse flow units, this was still a hard decision to make. The Oxlife's features like DNA Technology, dual battery operation, and the standard 5 year warranty made it the clear winner. Here are the two other machines that were in contention for the "Best Overall Continuous Flow Portable Oyxgen Concentrator":
2nd Place- SeQual eQuinox
3rd Place- Respironics SimplyGo
Best New Pulse Flow Portable Oxygen Concentrator: GCE Zen-O Lite
The GCE Zen-O has been a extremely popular portable oxygen concentrator in Europe and has just recently been released to the US market in the last year and a half. But GCE didn't stop there as they just released their brand new and lightweight alternative, the GCE Zen-O Lite
If you've been searching for a portable oxygen concentrator that combines a small and lightweight design, with an impressive battery life then the Zen-O Lite is exactly what you've been searching for!
What Makes the GCE Zen-O Lite the Best New Pulse Flow Portable Oxygen Concentrator?
The GCE Zen-O Lite is one of the smallest and lightest portable oxygen concentrators that are currently on the market today! Even when compared to popular oxygen concentrators such as Inogen, the GCE Zen-O Lite holds its own!
Furthermore, the Zen-O Lite is the ultimate in portability that is quiet and discreet so you never have to worry about being disruptive while at a restaurant or in a movie theater.
When searching for your portable oxygen solution it's imperative that your strictly follow the flow rate that you are prescribed on your medical oxygen prescription. The GCE Zen-O Lite is a strictly pulse flow oxygen concentrator.
The available pulse flow settings range from 0.5-5, all of which can be quickly adjusted by using the intuitive and patient-friendly design of the on-board control panel.
Size and Weight
Two aspects of a portable oxygen concentrator that are of the utmost importance to oxygen patients such as yourself are both the size and weight of the unit.
With the GCE Zen-O Lite that weighs just over 5 pounds, it will be ready to go wherever you go! Say farewell to the restrictions of cumbersome oxygen tanks and start living an life of freedom and independece with the lighweight GCE Zen-O Lite.
Measuring in at 9.25" H x 9.8" W x 3.8" D, portability is further simplified with the included purse sized carrying case with a comfort boosting padded shoulder strap.
Pulse flow portable oxygen concentrators are able to provide extended battery life than continuous flow oxygen concentrators due to a smaller compressor.
With that being said, the GCE Zen-O Lite provides some of the most lengthy battery durations that are available today!
You also get to enjoy even longer portable operation since each purchase of the Zen-O Lite includes two batteries instead of just one.
Below you can find the full battery specs for the Zen-O Lite:
|Pulse Flow Rate||Battery Life|
|1||Up to 4 Hours|
|2||Up to 4 Hours|
|3||Up to 3 Hours|
|4||Up to 2 Hours and 15 Minutes|
|5||Up to 2 Hours|
Best New Continuous Flow Portable Oxygen Concentrator: GCE Zen-O
Now that the GCE Zen-O has hit the US market, all the current top continuous flow portable oxygen concentrators on the market now have a new high velocity competitor.
The GCE Zen-O is the perfect combination of a small, lightweight, and durable design that is paired with the best battery life in its class of continuous flow oxygen concentrators.
With all of this combined into the GCE Zen-O, this is a portable oxygen concentrator that is ideal for active oxygen patients!
What Makes the GCE Zen-O the Best New Continuous Flow Portable Oxygen Concentrator?
Seeing as the popularity of the GCE Zen-O has transferred into the US market, this is by far our favorite continous flow portable oxygen concentrator of 2018.
By combining both pulse and continuous flow oxygen settings, into an easy to transport oxygen concentrator with the best battery life in its class, it's no suprise that this tops our list in regards to continous flow machines.
We have barely scratched the surface about the benefits of this POC, but don't worry we will discuss this amazing unit in more detail below.
When it comes to the GCE Zen-O you have the ability to run both continuous and pulse flow oxygen settings. Allowing this outstanding oxygen device to satisfy your respiratory demands 24/7/365!
Even if you are required to use a CPAP or BiPAP machine in addition to your oxygen therapy, the Zen-O is compatibly with both types of sleep therapy devices.
When it comes to continuous flow settings you are able to choose from 0.5-2 LPM. On the other hand, the pulse flow settings range from 1-6.
When the GCE Zen-O is plugged into the AC or DC power supply you can enjoy and endless supply of oxygen, making this an ideal option for your nighttime oxygen treatment.
Size and Weight
When it comes to portable oxygen concentrators that deliver a continuous flow of oxygen, the compressor and motor are required to be larger in order to produce that continuous flow oxygen. But unlike many other continuous flow units that weight 15 pounds or more, the GCE Zen-O is smaller and more lightweight than similar POC's.
The Zen-O measures in at just 8.3" W x 6.6" D x 12.3" H, making this an ideal companion when traveling as it can easily be stowed underneath the seat on an airplane.
Traveling is further simplified thanks to the included wheeled traveling cart, allowing the full weight of the unit to be supported by the cart, reslulting in you expending less energy.
Unlike the majority of portable oxygen concentrators that can only run one battery at a time, the GCE Zen-O is different in that fact that you can choose to use 1 or 2 batteries.
When using a single battery setup the GCE Zen-O weighs 10 pounds. But if you are using the 2 battery setup to enjoy extended portable operation, the Zen-O will weigh just over 11 pounds.
As the GCE Zen-O portable oxygen concentrator offers both pulse flow and continuous flow oxygen delivery, you will have two different battery settings depending on the flow type.
Just a forwarning that when using a continuous flow setting, the machine is constantly running and as a result the battery life is shorter when compared to pulse flow.
Whether you choose to run 1 or 2 batteries, the GCE Zen-O delivers the best battery life in its class!
You can view the full battery specs for the GCE Zen-O in the chart below:
Pulse Flow Battery Specs:
|Pulse Flow Rate||1 Battery||2 Batteries|
|1||Up to 4 Hours||Up to 8 Hours|
|2||Up to 4 Hours||Up to 8 Hours|
|3||Up to 3 Hours||Up to 6 Hours|
|4||Up to 2:15 Hours||Up to 4:30 Hours|
|5||Up to 2 Hours||Up to 4 Hours|
|6||Up to 1:45 Hours||Up to 3:30 Hours|
Continuous Flow Battery Specs:
|Continuous Flow Rate||1 Battery||2 Batteries|
|0.5||Up to 3 Hours||Up to 6 Hours|
|1||Up to 1:45 Hours||Up to 3:30 Hours|
|1.5||Up to 1:15 Hours||Up to 2:30 Hours|
|2||Up to 0:45 Hours||Up to 1:30 Hours|
Best of the Rest!
Those are just two of the many portable oxygen concentrators that are available. And this post isn't meant to knock the other concentrators on the market. With that being said, here is a short list of portable oxygen concentrators that deserve consideration when you are in your decision making process:
- Best Overall Pulse Flow Portable Oxygen Concentrator:
- Best Overall Continuous Flow Portable Oxygen Concentrator:
- Smallest Pulse Flow Concentrator:
- Smallest Continuous Flow Concentrator:
- Pulse Flow Concentrator w/ Longest Battery Life:
- Continuous Flow Concentrator w/ Longest Battery Life:
- Pulse Flow Concentrator w/ Highest Oxygen Output:
- Continuous Flow Concentrator w/ Highest Oxygen Output:
Even though this post highlights the best portable oxygen concentrators of 2017-2018, you should be extremely objective when deciding which unit will work best for you. Your primary use of the concentrator should play a major role in your decision making process. Whether you plan to use your concentrator every day, for traveling only, or for special occasions you need to find the one that will best suit your needs.
We also have a couple different blog posts you can check out to help make it easier to find the best unit for you:
You can download our FREE portable oxygen concentrator comparison cheat sheet and easily compare every concentrator side-by-side. Or you can always give us a call and speak with a respiratory specialist to get all of your questions answered!