Portable Oxygen Concentrators

How to use a portable oxygen concentrator

How a portable oxygen concentrator works?

Travel with a portable oxygen concentrator.

The best portable oxygen concentrators (2022).

How to rent or buy portable oxygen

Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POCS)

Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POCS), are light, small and quiet devices that allow you to receive supplemental oxygen while out of the home.

Portable Oxygen Concntrators work by separating ambient oxygen from nitrogen and other gasses in the air and provide the user with oxygen at a concentration of more than 90 percent. POCs deliver oxygen by pulse dose in bursts. Some units can also deliver oxygen continuously at a steady rate. The pulse dose is delivered each time you inhale. Briefly store a small quantity of oxygen until the POC either senses the user’s inhalation and dispenses the oxygen (pulse technology), or delivers the oxygen in a continuous flow to the user.  They work similarly to home concentrators by extracting oxygen from the surrounding air and turning it into condensed oxygen for you to breathe.

There are several models of portable oxygen concentrators on the market.

There are some machines on the market that offer both continuous and pulse flow. These machines offer flexibility as they are great for nocturnal use, use with sleep apnea equipment and during the day on pulse dose.

The best solution is the one that keeps you healthy and covers your demands.

If you want to travel with oxygen by air, a portable oxygen concentrator is neseccary as passengers are prohibited from carrying compressed oxygen and liquid oxygen on board aircraft. In accordance with the HMR, devices containing compressed or liquid oxygen must bear certain identifying labels. POCs do not contain compressed oxygen and thus do not require the same level of special handling as compressed oxygen and are safe for use on board aircraft if certain conditions for their use are met.

Always consult your doctor if you have questions about your oxygen therapy prescription and using your oxygen device.

How to choose a portable oxygen concentrator

There are quite a few portable concentrators on the market and each one has a different set of features. Not all models are suitable for all home oxygen users and it is best to ask your healthcare team for help in selecting one that is right for you.
Having in mind that a portable concentrator may cost a lot new and cannot usually be returned or exchanged, it is well worth spending some time researching your options before you buy one. If possible, also try before you buy.

Most portable concentrators deliver oxygen in a pulsed dose, which means you receive oxygen when you breathe in, but not when you breathe out. This system is suitable for many people, but not everyone. Portable concentrators that deliver a continuous flow of oxygen tend to be heavier. Also, some machines can deliver enough oxygen for those requiring higher flow rates and others cannot. It is critical to test the portable concentrator you are considering (with the help of your healthcare team) before you purchase it, to make sure it will deliver enough oxygen for your needs.

Portable concentrators come in a range of different weights. Some can be carried on your back and others wheeled.
Test out the weight yourself at home. Put an equivalent weight into a backpack or onto a wheeling device and try carrying it around with you for a while.

Battery life will vary from model to model. Factors such as your flow rate and the number of breaths you take per minute will also affect how long your battery lasts for. If the battery on the concentrator is not long enough for you, what is the cost of purchasing a spare battery? How heavy is this spare battery and are you able to carry it around? with you? How long does the battery take to recharge?

How to use a portable oxygen concentrator

It might be daunting at first to get started with a new oxygen device, but with practice, you will gain confidence and adjust to life with oxygen therapy. Oxygen therapy may help you become more active and get you back doing the activities you enjoy. Staying active helps you stay healthy. 

If you use a humidifier bottle, start by filling it with distilled water and attach it to the oxygen outlet.

Oxygen can be drying to your nose so some patients use a humidifier bottle that can be attached to your home unit to help moisten the oxygen you inhale. To get started using your Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POCS), attach your nasal cannula.

Turn on the device and set the flow prescribed by your doctor. The flow rate, or number of liters per minute, is your prescription. Do not self-adjust your oxygen flow rate without consulting your doctor

You can look at the display to see how much battery life is remaining. Always carry an extra battery if you think you might be out of the house for a long time.

Wash the nasal cannula or face mask weekly with mild dish soap and warm water and let air dry . You can Clean them more frequently if you want . Be sure not to get water in the tubing and replace it if it is damaged. You can get replacement tubing from your oxygen supplier.

Clean your humidifier bottle every two days with warm water and mild dish soap. Make sure you rinse out all of the soap with hot water. Then soak it in a vinegar and water solution for a few minutes to help get rid of any extra bacteria. Dry the bottle with a paper towel, and then let it air dry.

Clean the machine’s filter once a month by removing the filter and dipping into a clean container filled with water and mild dish soap. Scrub the filter with a washcloth to remove any small pieces of dirt or dust and rinse it under water to remove all soap residues. Then set the filter on a clean, dry towel and let it air dry completely before putting it back in the machine.

You can wach the video from American Lung Association

How a portable oxygen concentrator works?

Portable oxygen concentrators take air from your surroundings, extract oxygen and filter it into purified oxygen for you to breathe.

Oxygen system ( PSA system ) is made by two cylinders filled in molecular sieves.
It separates N2 and deliver O2. The bigger two cylinders, the more molecular sieves.

More molecular sieves need more compressed air. The more compressed air, the bigger compressor and more oxygen coming out per minute. That is why big home unit could produce 5 liters 93% oxygen per minute. Because big machine has big compressor and big Oxygen system. Some cheap small potable units will mix normal air with oxygen when you turn up its flow above 1 liter.

Portable oxygen with Continuous Flow

The continuous flow machine emits oxygen constantly irrespective of whether the user is inhaling or exhaling.Air compressor compress normal air and deliver high pressure air into oxygen system.

Pulse Flow Portable Oxygen Machine

The pulse flow POC provides a ‘pulse’ of oxygen each time you inhale. Oxygen concentration processing won’t stop no matter continuous flow or pulse flow.
Pulse flow machine take full advantage of people exhale time.

Pulse flow has a storage system inside of machine. When people exhale, storage system will stock oxygen and stop delivering oxygen out. There is a sensor to detect people inhale action. When people inhale, sensor will activate and deliver storage oxygen out.

Your pulse dose may be different than your continuous flow setting, so make sure to check with your healthcare provider to ensure that your oxygen flows are meeting your needs.

A portable oxygen concentrator is useful for people who are suffering from respidory diseases like COPD.

Many patients find using Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POCs), to be helpful when needing supplemental oxygen away from home.

There are ways to do just about everything you love while using oxygen. A portable oxygen concentrator can help you stay active and get you back to doing the activities yoiu enjoy.

Many people with lung disease use oxygen during exersice, to run errands, to do chores and even when flying.

Travel with a portable oxygen concentrator.

No matter which means of transportation or destination you will choose, there are some things that you should do before you travel with portable oxygen, in order to have a safe and carefree trip.

  • Visit or talk to your doctor to inform him/her about your trip and the weather conditions there (humidity, temperature, altitude).
  • Make at least one copy of your medicine and oxygen prescription and always have it on you.
  • Do a research for doctors and hospitals at your destination in case you need it.
  • Make sure you have all the medicine you need.
  • Always have an oximeter on you and check your oxygen levels regularly.
  • Check your destination’s climate. High humidity, extreme cold, extreme hot and air pollution can make breathing even more difficult or/and can worsen your symptoms.
  • If you ‘re travelling abroad, check if your insurance covers you in case of emergency.
  • If you are using oxygen tanks, always have more than you will usually use.
  • Fully charge all your batteries.
  • Be sure you have the right power convertors/adaptors.
  • Take your cpap or bipap machine with you, even when you’ re not planning to stay the night.
  • If you want to travel with a Portable Oxygen Concentrator (POC oxygen) try to book a Seat/Cabin with Power Outlets. You will be able to plug your unit in and preserve your battery life.
    Always be prepared for possible delays and have extra oxygen/batteries with you.
  • Read our guides about travel with oxygen

Travel by air with a portable oxygen concentrator. 

Air carriers conducting passenger service must permit someone with a disability to use an FAA-approved portable oxygen concentrator (POC) on all flights (on aircraft originally designed to have a maximum passenger capacity of more than 19 seats).

In the United States, airlines are required to allow passengers to use battery-powered portable oxygen concentrators that have been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The device must meet applicable FAA requirements for medical portable electronic devices (M-PED) and display a manufacturer’s label that indicates the device meets those FAA requirements.

FAA Portable Oxygen Concentrators Acceptance Criteria

Rather than continuing to approve POCs on a case-by-case basis, FAA established acceptance criteria for POCs used on aircraft. The criteria are:

The POC is legally marketed in the United States in accordance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements as stated in Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR).
The POC does not radiate radio frequency emissions that interfere with aircraft systems.
The POC does not generate a compressed gas.
The POC does not contain any hazardous materials (hazmat), except as provided for in 49 CFR part 175, § 175.10 for batteries used to power PEDs, and that do not require aircraft operator approval for carriage as is the case for certain larger batteries.

Required POC Labeling.
All POCs that satisfy the acceptance criteria and are not previously identified in SFAR 106 must also bear a label with the following statement in red lettering:

“The manufacturer of this POC has determined this device conforms to all applicable FAA acceptance criteria for POC carriage and use on board aircraft.”

POCs With Manufacturer’s Labels.

The passenger and the aircraft operator can determine whether the POC conforms to the acceptance criteria through a visual inspection of the device to locate the manufacturer’s label indicating such conformance.

POCs Without Manufacturer’s Labels.

If the device does not bear the required label, the passenger and the aircraft operator may determine compliance by identifying the manufacturer and model name and confirming that the POC appears on the list of devices contained in §§ 121.574, 125.219, and 135.91.

Best Portable Oxygen Concentrators of 2022

You will find three different lists with the best portable oxygen concentrators for 2022.

  1. The forbes health editorial team
  2. Verywell Health
  3. FAA Positive results

To determine the best portable oxygen concentrators, the Forbes Health editorial team analyzed data on more than 30 products, ranking them based on:

  • Price
  • Product weight
  • Battery life
  • Power source options
  • Range of oxygen settings
  • Wearability
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval
  • Warranty details

Rate: 5.0

EasyPulse Portable Oxygen Concentrator 3-Liter

Price $1,579.00

Product weight 4.9 pounds

Standard battery life 5.5 hours

The Best Portable Oxygen Concentrators

Rate: 5.0

Precision Medical Live Active Five Portable Oxygen Concentrator

Price $1,993.75

Product weight 5 pounds

Standard battery life 6.5 hours

The Best Portable Oxygen Concentrators


Drive Medical DeVilbiss iGO2 Portable Oxygen Concentrator

Price $1,799.00

Product weight 4.95 pounds

Standard battery life 3.5 hours

The Best Portable Oxygen Concentrators


EasyPulse Portable Oxygen Concentrator 5-Liter

Price $1,726.02

Product weight 6.6 pounds

Standard battery life 4.7 hours

The Best Portable Oxygen Concentrators


Philips Respironics SimplyGo Mini

Price $1,899.00

Product weight 5 pounds

Standard battery life 4.5 hours

The Best Portable Oxygen Concentrators


3B Medical Aer X POC

Price $1,999.00

Product weight 4.25 pounds

Standard battery life 4 hours

The Best Portable Oxygen Concentrators


Invacare Platinum Mobile Oxygen Concentrator

Price $2,495.00

Product weight 5 pounds

Standard battery life 5 hours

The Best Portable Oxygen Concentrators


Oxlife Independence

Price $2,400.00

Product weight 16.7 pounds

Standard battery life 5.75 hours



GCE Group Zen-O Lite Portable Oxygen Concentrator

Price $2,395.00

Product weight 5.5 pounds

Standard battery life 4.5 hours



Oxlife Freedom

Price $2,495.00

Product weight 4.53 pounds

Standard battery life 4.5 hours

The Best Portable Oxygen Concentrators

Here are the 8 best portable oxygen concentrators on the market 2022

The list is according to verywealth.com

Top Picks

Best Overall: Inogen One G3 at Inogen.com
Best Continuous Flow: Philips Respironics SimplyGo
Best Small: Airsep Freestyle 3
Best Battery Operated: SeQual Eclipse 5
Best Pulse Flow: Precision Medical EasyPulse
Best Lightweight: Airsep Focus
Best Multi-System Delivery: Invacare Platinum
Best for High Altitude and Traveling: Oxlife Independence

The best portable oxygen concentrators (FAA Positive testing results)

Note: POCs identified in §§§ 121.574, 125.219, and 135.91 (see paragraph 9.2) may be used on aircraft without bearing a label. To help air carriers obtain positive testing results for SFAR accepted POCsFAA has contacted the manufacturers of FAA approved POCs and requested positive testing results regarding section 21, Category M of RTCA Document (DO) -160 testing. The FAA is making these documents available on FAA website.

Portable oxygen concentrators Positive Testing Results

Tips for leaving home with a portable oxygen concentrator

Portable oxygen equipment is designed to allow you to continue using oxygen outside
of the home.
Although it may take a while to get used to your oxygen equipment, try to get out of the
house and back into your everyday routines as soon as possible.

  • Don’t be too ambitious about your outings until you gain confidence.
  • Mentally walk yourself through every aspect of your outing so you can think through
    any potential problems before they arise. Think about where you are going to park the
    car, whether there are stairs to climb or a lift nearby, and if you can take your wheelchair
    or walker with you.
  •  Take note of how many
    minutes a typical battery is lasting.
  • Take a spare battery


Keeping active is good for your health. Regular physical activity is very important for those with lung disease to help you perform activities of daily living more easily. Activity does not need to be strenuous. Good activities include walking the dog, an outing, or even just doing jobs around the house. A pulmonary rehabilitation program can also teach you how to exercise more easily.

Travelling with oxygen equipment is possible and requires planning. Some of the things to check before booking a trip are: how to correctly transport your equipment, whether you can use your portable oxygen during the journey, and how to arrange an oxygen supply at your destination. You may also need a letter from your doctor stating that you are fit to travel.

How to rent or buy portable oxygen

Many companies offer long-term rental agreements for portable concentrators. This is often a good option for those planning to travel overseas or to be away from home for an extended period.

Because it is so important to test a portable concentrator before you buy it or rent it long-term, many companies offer a trial program or a short-term rental program. Some pulmonary rehabilitation or respiratory outreach programs use portable oxygen concentrators and are able to arrange short trials too.
If you have a choice of suppliers where you live, it is important to do a little research, so you choose a company that is right for you. Shop around for equipment, cost, service and local access that best suits you.

Second Hand
If the cost of a new portable concentrator is an issue, you could consider purchasing a second hand one. Each portable concentrator has a running meter which tells you how many hours it has been used. By comparing this to the hours the manufacturer expects the machine to last, you will get a clearer picture of how much longer the machine may last and when the battery may need to be replaced. If it is still under warranty, ask if the warranty can be transferred to a second owner. Before purchasing a concentrator, have it checked by an oxygen distributor to ensure it is in proper working order.

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