Maintaining a healthy amount muscle mass is a constant struggle for many COPD patients, especially those in the later stages of the disease. COPD not only causes weight loss and loss of muscle mass, but it makes it more difficult to build muscle as well.
Living with a chronic lung disease like COPD means dealing with a lot of uncertainty. This includes small, everyday uncertainties (like “will my symptoms act up today?”) and broader unknowns about the long-term future of your health.
If you have COPD, then you know that all kinds of unexpected things can affect your symptoms and make them worse. Even minor respiratory irritants, like fragrances, air pollution, and dry air, can make it more difficult to breathe.
Many people don't realize that COPD is not just a respiratory disease, but a disease that affects many different parts of the body besides lungs. Because of this, there are many health problems and conditions that accompany COPD, including high blood pressure and heart disease.
If you’re a respiratory patient with a condition such as COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, or cystic fibrosis, you’ve likely accepted change as a normal part of your life. Being able to implement treatments into your life such as pulmonary rehabilitation, supplemental oxygen therapy, and an improved diet routine is never easy, but it is essential if you want to feel better and improve your long-term prognosis.
But it’s important to remember that COPD treatment rarely remains stagnant. There will likely be a time — whether it’s several weeks, months, or years down the line — when you’ll need to make adjustments to your routine. This could be due to your doctor discovering more information about your condition or it could be caused by a serious event such as a COPD exacerbation.
Either way, you’re going to need to be adaptable in the way that you approach your condition.
For example, if your doctor prescribes you 4 hours of supplemental oxygen a day, you might be tempted to get a cheap oxygen device that will simply “get the job done.” However, since COPD is a progressive disease, it’s safe to assume that you will eventually be prescribed more oxygen use by your doctor.
When this happens, you’ll be stuck in a difficult situation where you need to sell your old oxygen device and get a new one that better suits your long-term needs.
This is why we recommend small lightweight portable oxygen concentrators to the vast majority of people who need oxygen. Even if you don’t think you’ll be getting out of the house every day, portable oxygen allows you to have much more freedom within your own home.
LPT Medical's respiratory specialists will be able to get you the best deal possible on them. So give us a call or fill out the form at the side of the page to get your free oxygen concentrator guide.
In the meantime, we’re going to be taking a look at the smallest portable oxygen concentrators of 2022. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions.
Why is it Important to Have a Small Portable Oxygen Concentrator?
The term “portable oxygen” implies that the machine is lightweight, durable, easy to use, and most importantly — small. Just like how you judge the portability of your phone by how well it fits in your pocket, concentrators can be judged by how easily they can be carried on your shoulder. The smaller the concentrator, the easier it will be to carry it under your shoulder without interrupting your walking.
Another major benefit of small portable oxygen concentrators is that they’re much easier to store. If you ever need to put your concentrator in storage, you can rest assured you’ll find a place for it.
Also, since you don’t have to transport small portable oxygen concentrators on the ground, you won’t have to worry about not being able to put it on a table where it could spread germs. This is especially important during this time when people are trying to avoid coronavirus.
There are three different types of oxygen concentrators: home oxygen concentrators, continuous flow oxygen concentrators, and pulse dose oxygen concentrators.
The latter two are the only ones that can be labeled “portable” because they can actually deliver oxygen while you’re moving. Home oxygen concentrators, however, need to be connected to a wall outlet in order to put out oxygen.
The AirSep Focus
The AirSep Focus not only holds the title for the lightest portable oxygen concentrator but it holds the title for the smallest portable oxygen concentrator as well. Weighing in at only 1.75 pounds and with dimensions of 6.4” H x 2.5” D x 4.8” W, the AirSep Focus is truly a mini portable oxygen concentrator. In fact, this device is so small that you can even wear it on your belt!
The AirSep Focus has 2 pulse flow settings with a total oxygen output of 330 milliliters per minute (ml/min). This is not always enough for oxygen patients, so that will completely rule out this option even if you do like the idea of having an ultra-lightweight portable oxygen concentrator.
The AirSep Focus has less then average battery life compared to some other devices we talk about iin this blog. Battery life is what enables you to get out for longer without having to run home and charge your device, and the AirSep Focus only offers 1.5 hours per charge with the standard battery and 3.5 hours per charge with the 8-cell battery.
However, the purchase of an AirSep Focus comes with two micro-batteries, so you’ll get 3 hours of battery life right out of the box.
Since AirSep wanted to make the Focus as simple and small as possible, you won’t be able to adjust the flow rate or audible output settings. In fact, unlike most other portable oxygen concentrators, the Focus doesn’t even have an interface with controls on it. Simply turn the device on and you’ll start receiving oxygen. This makes for a very “bare-bones” experience that’s perfect for someone who isn’t looking for something too fancy.
AirSep Focus Specs
4.8” Wide x 2.5” Deep x 6.4” High
Pulse Flow Setting 2
Up to 3 Hours
The Inogen One G4
In a way, Inogen is like the Apple of oxygen concentrator manufacturers. While they haven’t produced medical equipment for as long as other companies like Caire Inc. or ResMed, their consistent drive to improve the freedom and independence of oxygen patients everywhere has put them at the forefront of the oxygen industry since the early 2000s.
The Inogen One G4 was released all the way back in May of 2016, but it’s still one of the most popular portable oxygen concentrators on the market. It weighs in at only 2.8 pounds and it has dimensions of 7.2” H x 5.91” L x 2.68” W, so it’s the smallest and lightest portable oxygen concentrator behind the AirSep Focus.
While the Inogen One G4 is not small enough to clip to your belt like the AirSep Focus, it is small enough to fit in a purse or handbag. However, we don’t recommend doing this because it could damage the machine and prevent it from processing oxygen correctly. Fortunately, the G4 comes with a convenient carrying case and adjustable strap so that you can sling it over your shoulder.
The only real limitation the G4 is that it doesn’t go beyond 630 ml/min of oxygen output or a pulse flow setting of 3. This is almost twice as much as the AirSep Focus, however, it still may not be enough for many oxygen patients. Before investing in the G4, make sure that your doctor approves of it first so that you don’t end up with an oxygen machine that doesn’t meet your needs.
Inogen One G4 Specs
7.2” H x 5.91” L x 2.68” W
Pulse Flow Settings 1-3
Up to 4.5 hours
The Inogen One G5
As we said, Inogen does not take their work lightly, and this is no different when it comes to their latest portable oxygen device — the Inogen One G5. Releasing in the summer of 2019, the G5 immediately seized the title of “the most powerful pulse dose portable oxygen concentrator” with 1,050 ml/min of oxygen output. As of right now, the only other oxygen machine to match that is the Caire FreeStyle Comfort which was released earlier this year.
All things considered, the Inogen One G5 is one of the best portable oxygen concentrators for people with high oxygen demands. It offers an outstanding battery life allowing you to get out of the house and stay out for longer, it’s under 5 pounds, and it’s compact and durable. Since it’s so new, you can expect it to be fully supported by Inogen and oxygen retailers for many years to come.
There are a number of accessories sold separately from the G5 that can help you make the most of it. For example, the 16-cell battery will effectively double your battery life, allowing you to stay out and about for up to 13 hours on a flow setting of 1! The G5 external battery charger is also a great option for people who are on the go and want to be able to charge batteries more quickly. Normally, batteries need to be connected to the unit in order to charge, but this device will enable you to charge one separately.
Inogen One G5 Specs
8.15" H x 7.19" L x 3.26" W
Pulse Flow Settings 1-6
Up to 13 hours
The Respironics SimplyGo
It’s not very often that we would mention a continuous flow portable oxygen concentrator on a list of “the smallest portable oxygen concentrators,” however, the Respironics SimplyGo is the one exception. Continuous flow machines tend to be much heavier and larger than pulse dose units because they have to put out a much larger volume of oxygen than their counterparts.
Unfortunately, not all patients are able to use a pulse dose machine, either because it doesn’t provide them with enough oxygen, or their doctor specifically advises them to use continuous flow. The Respironics SimplyGo is 10” H x 6” D x 11.5” W and weighs in at only 10 pounds making it both the lightest and smallest continuous flow portable oxygen concentrator on the market. While the SimplyGo can be carried using a shoulder strap, if you have chronic back pain or some other disability, it’s recommended that you use the rolling cart. Fortunately, this accessory comes with the device, so you won’t need to make any additional purchases in order to experience the freedom that you deserve!
If that was not enough, you’ll be happy to know that the Respironics SimplyGo also comes with a pulse flow option. There are 5 different settings with a maximum oxygen output of 2,000 ml/min and the standard continuous flow option will afford you between 0.5 and 2.0 liters per minute (LPM) of oxygen. Keep in mind that your battery will last longer on one charge when you’re using the pulse dose setting as opposed to the continuous flow setting.
Respironics SimplyGo Specs
10” H x 6” D x 11.5” W
Pulse Flow Settings 1-6
Continuous flow settings 0.5 - 2.0 LPM
Up to 6 Hours (Pulse Flow Setting of 2)
Up to 1.8 Hours (Continuous Flow Setting of 2)
Three Steps to Choosing a Portable Oxygen Concentrator
Still don’t know which oxygen concentrator is right for you? While there are many great devices to choose from, it’s important to find one that suits your wants and needs. Follow the steps below to get started.
If you’re looking for portable oxygen concentrators for sale, don’t hesitate to reach out to our respiratory specialists here at LPT Medical. There are many factors to consider when buying a new portable oxygen unit, but we’ll simplify it by walking you through each step of the process. All you need to know is what amount of oxygen you need. If you don’t have a prescription or proof of oxygen use, simply provide us with a doctor’s number and we’ll handle that all for you!
If you’re ready to get started, give us a call at 1-800-946-1201