For seniors who have low oxygen levels in their blood for any reason, a portable oxygen concentrator is a very helpful little machine. They’re lighter and easier to use than standard oxygen tanks, provide a solution for people who travel or need an oxygen concentrator outside their home.
FYI: If you need a CPAP machine, then Medicare might be able to cover some of the costs. To learn more, read our guide to Medicare Coverage of CPAP.
Inogen Inogen makes small and sleek portable oxygen concentrators that are designed to be carried easily. They offer models that are generally lightweight and clinically validated.
Portable models: Current Inogen models include the Inogen One G1, G2, G3, and G4.
Flow type: Inogen’s portable models use pulse flow. Continuous flow is available via their Inogen At Home model, but that’s a non-portable at-home only concentrator.
Weight: Starts at a tiny 2.8 lbs, all the way up to around 8 lbs.
Battery life: Up to nine hours.
LPM: Up to 6 LPM on the Inogen One G2 model.
Notable models: The Inogen One G3 is a fantastic portable oxygen concentrator. It weighs less than 5lbs and requires very little maintenance, yet is powerful enough to run for up to four hours before needing a new battery (or up to nine hours if you opt for a 16 cell battery.)
Inogen models are designed to be small, modern, and easy to maintain and carry, making them a popular choice. To learn more about Inogen, read our full Inogen review.
If you’re looking for a portable oxygen concentrator that can go out and about with you easily with no need for a trolley or special carrying equipment, Inogen is a great choice.
The Oxygen Concentrator Store has been in business for over 18 years and carries a wide range of portable oxygen concentrators. Their staff is fully trained on each and every product, and ready to help you with any questions you have. If there’s a one-stop shop for all your oxygen concentrator needs, this is it.
Portable model range: The Oxygen Concentrator Store carries a wide range of models from companies including Airsep, Inogen, Respironics, and SeQual.
Flow type: All models are either pulse dose, or offer both pulse and continuous.
Weight: Some of the smaller models weigh as little as 2.8lbs, while some of the larger ones weigh around 10lbs.
Battery life: From as low as 2.5 on some of the Airsep models, all the way up to 8 hours on the Invacare Platinum.
LPM: Up to 6 LPM on some models.
Notable models: If you’re looking for something light and easy to take anywhere, you can’t help but notice the CAIRE Freestyle Comfort. This portable oxygen concentrator weighs five pounds, lasts for four hours on a single charge, and even features a wall adapter for continuous power. By using a 16 cell battery, you can also double its battery life.
Whatever your oxygen needs, the Oxygen Concentrator Store is well worth a look. They have a great range of options from most of the “big names” in oxygen concentrators, backed by knowledgeable staff. On their website, you can narrow your search by weight, flow type, battery life and LPM rating, and the individual listing for each unit is very helpful and informative.
Invacare offers portable oxygen units with high specifications that are suitable for the rigors of daily life. Invacare offers two main models – the Invacare Platinum and the Invacare XP02 ranging in weight from 4.8 to 6.4lbs.
Portable model range: Invacare has two main models – the Invacare Platinum and the Invacare XP02.
Flow type: Pulse flow.
Weight: The Platinum is 4.8lbs and the XP02 is 6.4lbs.
Battery life: The batteries last up to eight hours on the Platinum and up to five hours on the XP02.
LPM: The Platinum delivers up to 44 ml per minute, while the XP02 delivers up to 5 LPM.
Notable models: Both models have a lot to offer, but we especially want to mention the Platinum! This model was specifically designed to stand up to everyday wear and tear with a foam casing around the compressor and reinforced bumpers. It can withstand up to 10 minutes of direct rain – but it’s still light, quiet, and very portable.
Sturdy yet lightweight models that are easy to use and strong enough to take you through every day, Invacare is a great option for portable oxygen. Both Invacare models feature an easy to read interface/control panel so you can get them to do what you want them to go with minimum fuss.
Philips Everflo is perhaps one of the least portable concentrators on this list – that’s because it’s designed for stationary use at home. However, compared to other similar models, the Everflo is small and easy to move around.
Portable model range: In addition to the EverFlo, Philips also offers the SimplyGo and SimplyGo Mini, both of which are smaller in size.
Flow type: Continuous flow.
Weight: 31 lbs.
Battery life: Use while plugged in.
LPM: Up to 5 LPM.
Notable features: As far as stationary in-home models go, the Everflo is compact, easy to move, and designed to look modern and not like a piece of medical equipment. It’s quiet and durable, and small enough to move if you need to take it with you somewhere.
If you need a steady continuous flow model, this is a good choice. It’s robust but small enough to handle, and quiet enough to use without disruption. The Everflo is very low maintenance. It has a filter that needs replacing once every two years – and that’s all!
AirSep offers lightweight concentrators that are modern to look at and easy to carry. They’re designed to be very user-friendly, too.
Portable model range: The two most commonly seen offerings from this manufacturer right now is the FreeStyle 3 and the FreeStyle 5.
Flow type: Pulse
Weight: FreeStyle 3 weighs 4.9 lbs and FreeStyle 5 weighs 6.7 lbs.
Battery life: 3.5 on the FreeStyle 3 and 2.5 on the FreeStyle 5.
LPM: 500 ml per minute.
Notable models: Both models have a lot going for them, but let’s take a moment to talk about how versatile the Freestyle 3 is. It’s designed to operate in temperatures up to 104 degrees F, and yet it’s small, easy to carry, and very quiet. When you consider it’s also FAA approved for use on flights, it truly is a go-anywhere portable oxygen unit
Light but powerful and easy to use – the AirSep models are versatile and reliable. Both models offer simple one-touch operation for a user-friendly experience.
Pure Medical offers a carefully chosen range of quality portable oxygen concentrators. Their range includes models that are especially light, quiet, and portable.
Portable model range: Pure Medical offers concentrators from top manufacturers including Inogen, OxyGo, Invacare, EasyPulse and Respironics.
Flow type: Offers both pulse and continuous flow models.
Weight: Most are around 4lbs, but they do have a couple of models at 2.8lbs, and one heavier one at 10lbs.
Battery life: Ranges from a couple of hours all the way up to eleven hours (on the EasyPulse POC-3.)
LPM: Not listed for all models – the highest we saw mentioned specifically was 3 LPM.
Notable models: Many portable oxygen concentrators are pulse flow only, so it’s good to see a continuous flow option in the shape of the Oxlife Independence. At a little over 16lbs, this is heavier than the pulse flow models but has a sturdy yet ergonomic integrated mobile cart for ease of transport. The Independence can provide up to 5.75 hours of use per battery charge.
An excellent range of portable units, with options for both pulse and continuous flow, and some seriously light and mobile models. It’s worth checking out Pure Medical just for the supplementary information – they set out all the specs and design details of each model, without overwhelming the reader.
There are lots of reasons people need oxygen therapy. Conditions such as sleep apnea, COPD, anemia, or recovering from surgery can leave us with low oxygen levels. Particularly, a portable oxygen concentrator is an easy way to increase oxygen saturation in the blood.
Portable oxygen concentrators work by drawing in air, compressing it, and using a sieve bed to filter out nitrogen, leaving behind 95% pure oxygen which can then be inhaled via a mask or nasal cannula. When used under instruction from a doctor, a portable oxygen concentrator can allow people with oxygen deficiencies to continue living normal lives.
Portable oxygen concentrators mean you can go about your daily activities, even if you need a little extra oxygen support. With such a wide range of devices available, you’re sure to find the concentrator you need, whether you’re looking for something lightweight, quiet, or suitable for use overnight.
To learn more, be sure to check out our helpful guides:
Inogen, Philips, and Invacare offer some of the most reliable and affordable oxygen concentrators on the market.
Modern portable oxygen concentrators can be just as effective as other methods of oxygen delivery; however, some doctors have concerns that they are less effective than stationary concentrators during sleep.
Yes, Medicare will cover 80% of the costs of a portable oxygen concentrator rental after a person has met their yearly deductible. This is because oxygen concentrators are considered durable medical equipment.
In some cases, oxygen toxicity and other lung damage can occur from breathing in too much supplemental oxygen. This is why it’s important to use oxygen according to your doctor’s instructions.
In some cases, oxygen can cause people with COPD to increase carbon dioxide retention, which can cause drowsiness, headaches, and even death. Because of this, you should always consult your doctor before using supplemental oxygen.
For those who need oxygen therapy, purchasing or renting an oxygen concentrator is an effective way to deliver supplemental oxygen. In most cases, Medicare will cover much of the costs.