<img src="//bat.bing.com/action/0?ti=5773290&amp;Ver=2" height="0" width="0" style="display:none; visibility: hidden;">

Respiratory Resource Center

The Best Portable Oxygen Concentrators of 2020

Nov 5, 2019, 4:48:07 PM / by Daniel Seter

The Best Portable Oxygen Concentrators of 2020

Around this time each year, friends and family all across the country come together to celebrate the Holidays. It’s the perfect time to make plans for the new year and give thanks for everything that’s happened in the past year.


One of the things we’re thankful for this year is the immense progress and innovation in the development of oxygen concentrators and other medical equipment that help respiratory patients live more productive and meaningful lives. With a
portable oxygen concentrator at their side, COPD patients have been able to go places and do things they never thought possible.

 

However, with so many concentrators being released and so many wonderful accessories to boot, we completely understand if you missed out on something this past year. That’s why we’re going to take a look at the best portable oxygen concentrators you can purchase in the coming year.

 

Keep in mind that just because we feel these are the best concentrators for you to purchase in 2020, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best ones for your needs. There are many portable oxygen concentrators on the market and we’re committed to finding the best one for you. If you have any questions about the following concentrators, get in touch with us today.

 

How We Rate The Top Portable Oxygen Concentrators

As you can imagine, ranking the top portable oxygen concentrators is no easy task. As with any other device, POCs can be ranked on a number of traits, each of which may have varying degrees of importance to a COPD patient. While there will always be some degree of subjectivity to choosing a unit, we’ve compiled a list of the factors that we deem important, including:

 

  • Weight and size
  • Battery life
  • Dependability
  • Reputability of the manufacturer
  • Ease of use
  • Oxygen output
  • Adaptability


Pulse Flow vs. Continuous Flow

Another important distinction to make before we get started is the difference between pulse flow and continuous flow units. A pulse flow portable oxygen concentrator is one that delivers oxygen in puffs of air called “boluses.” A bolus of oxygen is only administered when the patient is inhaling. A continuous flow unit, on the other hand, produces a constant stream of oxygen irrespective of the patient’s breathing rate.

 

Inogen One G4 on a table with an apple next to it.

 

Because these methods of oxygen delivery are so different, it’s difficult to compare pulse flow concentrators and continuous flow concentrators without dividing them into two separate categories. Pulse flow units tended to be much lighter, allowing you to carry them on your shoulder or in a bag while continuous flow units are heavier but offer more options and often much higher oxygen output. 


The Best Pulse Flow Portable Oxygen Concentrator: Inogen One G5

 

Inogen One G5

Since their inception at the start of the millennium, Inogen, Inc. has quickly become the leading manufacturer of portable oxygen concentrators. Patients and manufacturers alike anticipate the release of Inogen products because they set the standard for all products that come after. And this year, they didn’t disappoint with the release of the Inogen One G5 Portable Oxygen Concentrator.

 

The Inogen One G5 is the latest concentrator in Inogen’s G series of products. Like previous iterations, the G5 is designed with portability, weight, and ease-of-use in mind. While many concentrators on the market focus on in-home use, the G5 proves that portable oxygen concentrators are the way forward for manufacturers.

 

Lightweight and Ergonomic

The primary selling point of the G5 is its size and weight. While there are many lightweight machines on the market, few are able to pack as much technology into such a small space. In fact, when people first see the device, they often don’t recognize it because the pictures make it look bigger than it really is.

 

The G5 weighs in at just 4.7 pounds, about the weight of a milk jug. Additionally, the weight is distributed nicely making it even easier to carry. Whether you’re taking a quick trip to the grocery store or you’re taking an extended trip, you can have the G5 at your side the whole time while hardly knowing it’s there.

 

Long Battery Life

Symbol indicating a full battery.

There’s nothing worse than having your portable oxygen concentrator run out of juice while you’re on the go. This can throw a wrench in your plans and even put you in a dangerous situation. Fortunately, the G5 packs enough battery life to keep you going all day. With the single battery that comes with the device, you can expect to see up to 6.5 hours of battery life and with the double battery, you’ll have up to 13 hours of freedom! Below is a breakdown of battery life depending on your flow setting.



Flow Setting

Single Battery

Double Battery

1

6 1/2 hours

13 hours

2

5 hours

10 hours

3

3 1/2 hours

7 hours

4

2 1/2 hours

5 hours

5

1 hr 51 mins

3 hr 48 mins

6

1 hr 26 mins

2 hr 58 mins


High Oxygen Output

While there are many things that go into making a great oxygen concentrator, the most important by far is the amount of oxygen the machine can put out. 

 

The G5 offers flow settings 1 through 6 affording you ample options to customize your oxygen therapy according to your doctor’s specifications. If you are exercising or experiencing an exacerbation, the flow setting can be increased using the simple-to-use control panel. What’s more, Inogen products like the G5 are equipped with Intelligent Delivery Technology®, a mechanism that delivers oxygen as efficiently and effectively as possible.

 

Proprietary conserver technology found in the G5 ensures that oxygen is delivered within the first 400 milliseconds of inspiration. What this means is that oxygen is delivered during the “critical period” of gas exchange, instead of having a delay like other concentrators on the market. 

 

Application logo for the Inogen Connect.

Advanced Connectivity

While many people these days have a love hate relationship with their smartphones, it’s hard to deny the benefits of staying connected wherever you are. Each G5 unit is equipped with Inogen Connect, a bluetooth-enabled technology that allows you to track information such as your battery life, column life status, and other information all from your smartphone.

 

If you’re someone who’s on the go frequently, you’re not going to want to take the time to stop and check your portable oxygen concentrator. Inogen Connect gives you the peace of mind that your device is working as it should so that you can worry about living your life. The app also tracks the condition of your device and lets you know when it needs to be maintenanced.

Inogen One G5 Specifications

Weight

4.7 Pounds

Dimensions

8.15" H x 7.19" L x 3.26" W

Flow Settings

Pulse Settings 1-6

Sound Level

37 dBA @ Setting 2

Expected Battery Life

Up to 13 Hours (double battery)


The Best Continuous Flow Portable Oxygen Concentrator: SeQual Eclipse 5

 

One of the biggest downsides to continuous flow portable oxygen concentrators is that they tend to be much heavier and bulkier than their pulse flow counterparts. However, if your doctor recommends continuous flow or you don’t mind using a carrying cart to transport your concentrator, continuous flow machines are sure to provide you with a number of benefits that you can’t find anywhere else. The SeQual Eclipse 5 is our pick for the best overall continuous flow portable oxygen concentrator.

SeQual Eclipse 5

 

The best way to think of portable oxygen concentrators like the SeQual Eclipse 5 is as a sort of “hybrid” unit. While Inogen continues to break boundaries by making pulse flow units smaller, lighter, and more compact, continuous flow units continue to offer COPD patients the widest range of options without sacrificing portability. That’s not to say, however, that the SeQual Eclipse 5 is heavy. It’s still one of the lightest continuous flow POCs, weighing in at just 18.4 pounds.

 

High Oxygen Output

Let’s face it, not everyone has the same oxygen demands. While the majority of patients need around 1 LPM (liters per minute) or a flow setting of 2, that doesn’t tell the full story. Patients with stage 3 or 4 COPD may require more oxygen than this, and you can rest assured that the SeQual Eclipse 5 will deliver.

 

While set on continuous flow, the SeQual Eclipse 5 delivers between 0.5 liters to 3 liters per minute of oxygen. The SeQual Eclipse 5 also has a pulse flow setting that goes up to a setting of 9. That’s the highest pulse flow setting offered, offering much more freedom than many other portable oxygen concentrators on the market. Below is the expected battery life for each flow setting.

 

Continuous Flow Settings

1 LPM

Up to 3.7 Hours

2 LPM

Up to 1.8 Hours

3 LPM

Up to 1.3 Hours

 

Pulse Flow Settings

1

Up to 5.4 Hours

2

Up to 4.4 Hours

3

Up to 3.4 Hours

4

Up to 2.6 Hours

5

Up to 2.3 Hours

6

Up to 1.8 Hours

 

Size and Weight

As aforementioned, the SeQual Eclipse 5 is one of the lightest continuous flow units, but it also has a very small form factor with a height of 19.3’’ a length of 12.3’’ and a width of 7.1’’. This is significantly less than other continuous flow concentrators like the Oxlife Independence.

 

With a small size and lightweight design, you’ll be able to carry your SeQual Eclipse 5 with you wherever you go without worrying about it fitting in storage. You’ll be able to take it on a plane, in the car, and even on a crowded bus.

 

Designed For 24/7 Use

One thing many people are concerned about when purchasing a portable oxygen concentrator is the durability and longevity of the unit. This is a legitimate concern as many people are unaware of how frequently they will be using their device in the future. If you condition progresses, you want to be assured that your machine won’t give out on you when you need it the most.

 

Woman with an Inogen One G4 talking with her friends.

 

Fortunately, with the SeQual Eclipse 5, you’ll have nothing to worry about! The compressor inside the unit is set to last 20,000 hours and better yet, it was designed for people who plan to use it 24/7 meaning you can even use it while it’s plugged into an outlet, charging. The SeQual Eclipse 5 is also CPAP and BiPAP compatible and can be used with a humidifier to make oxygen therapy more comfortable.

 

Hassle-Free Batteries

One important factor to consider when purchasing a portable oxygen concentrator is the convenience that it offers you in your daily life. A device that’s difficult to operate is not going to offer you the kind of convenience you need, and if you’re out and about, you probably don’t have time to fiddle with things, you just need everything to work as it should. Fortunately, the SeQual Eclipse 5 was designed with simplicity in mind. 

 

A great feature of the SeQual Eclipse 5 is its front-loading battery port. Unlike other portable concentrators, especially pulse flow ones that require you to lift the device and remove the battery from the bottom, SeQual Eclipse 5 batteries can be removed from the side. What’s more, the battery can be removed while it’s still on the cart with the simple push of a button. To put in a new battery, simply put it in place and push. The battery will click in and stay securely in place.

 

Woman with portable oxygen concentrator standing with her husband.

 

Another great feature of the SeQual Eclipse 5 that many patients enjoy is the multilingual voice interface. Unlike other devices that solely have visual notifications when your battery is low or the device needs maintenance, the SeQual Eclipse 5 has audible notifications and can be silenced at any time. These are some of the things your device will notify you about:

 

  • Warnings about low battery life
  • Warnings when oxygen purity is low
  • Alerts you to unit malfunctions
  • Tells you your flow rate setting when it's changed
  • Multiple language options, including English, Spanish, French, and more!

 

SeQual Eclipse 5 Specifications

Weight

18.4 Pounds

Dimensions

19.3” H x 12.3” W x 7.1” D

Flow Rates

0.5-3.0 LPM continuous flow, pulse flow settings 1-9

Battery Life

Continuous Flow Up To 2.0 Hours

Pulse Flow Up To 5.1 Hours

Power

100-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz; 12V Nominal

FAA Approved

Yes

Warranty

3 Year warranty

 


The Lightest Portable Oxygen Concentrator:

Inogen One G4

 

One of the greatest things about being an Inogen One customer is that their products never become irrelevant. You can rest assured that any Inogen product you purchase will be supported for years to come despite the release of new portable oxygen concentrators — this has never been more true than with the Inogen One G4.

Inogen One G4

The G4 takes pride in being the lightest portable oxygen concentrator ever produced. This is no small feat considering the fact that most patients attest to this being the most important factor in finding the right concentrator. What makes the G4 such a great unit is that it doesn’t sacrifice other great benefits you can expect from other Inogen products.

 

 

The Best Value Portable Oxygen Concentrator: Inogen One G3

 

If money is a concern, there’s no system that will provide you a better value than the Inogen One G3. Despite being released in 2012, it remains one of the greatest portable oxygen concentrators out there. And since it’s a little bit older than other units we have on this list, you can also expect to see a lot of great deals on it.

Inogen One G3 Portable Oxygen Concentrator

The Inogen One G3 Portable Oxygen Concentrator was a big deal when it was released nearly a decade ago. Unlike the G2 that came before it, the G3 didn’t come with a carrying cart. Why? Because it didn’t need it! While the G2 weighed in at only 7 pounds, Inogen managed to shed that down to 4.8 pounds with the G3, making carrying carts a thing of the past for pulse flow portable concentrators.



Pulse Flow Portable Oxygen Concentrators Compared

Yellow boxes indicate the best in each category*

 

 

Inogen One G3Inogen One G3 Portable Oxygen Concentrator

Inogen One G4Inogen One G4

Inogen One G5Inogen One G5

Oxlife Freedom

Oxlife Freedom

Respironics SimplyGo MiniRespironics SimplyGo Mini POC

ResMed Mobi

ResMed Mobi POC

Pulse flow settings

1-5 Pulse

1-3 Pulse

1-6 Pulse

1-5 Pulse

1-5 Pulse

1-4 Pulse

Weight

4.8 Pounds

2.8 Pounds

4.5 Pounds

5.88 Pounds

5 Pounds

4.8 Pounds

Height

8.25 inches

7.2 inches

8.15 inches

9.4 inches

9.4 inches

7.875 inches

Length

8.75 inches

5.91 inches

7.19 inches

3.4 inches

3.6 inches

4.38 inches

Width

3 inches

2.68 inches

3.26 inches

9 inches

8.3 inches

9.05 inches

Noise level

39 Decibels

40 Decibels

38 Decibels

40 Decibels

43 decibels

44 Decibels

Battery duration on a setting of 2

8-Cell: Up to 4 Hours; 16-Cell: Up to 8 Hours

Single-cell: up to 2.25 Hours

double-cell: up to 4.5 Hours

Single-cell: 5 hours; double-cell:

10 hours

Up to 4 hours

Single-cell: up to 4.5 hours; Double-cell: up to 9 hours

Internal battery: up to 6 hours; With external: up to 9

Battery recharge time

8-Cell: 5 Hours;

16-Cell: 8 Hours

Single-cell: up to 3 hours; double-cell: up to 5 hours

Single-cell: up to 4 hours; Double-cell:up to 8 hours

2 hours

Single-cell: 4 hours; double-cell: 8 hours

Internal: 3.6 hours; external: 1.8 hours

 


Continuous Flow Portable Oxygen Concentrators Compared

Yellow boxes indicate the best in each category*

 

Respironics SimplyGo

Respironics SimplyGo

Oxlife IndependenceOxlife Independence

 

SeQual eQuinox

SeQual eQuinox

 

SeQual Eclipse 5SeQual Eclipse 5

 

GCE Zen-O

GCE Zen-O

Pulse Flow Settings

1-6 Pulse

1-6 Pulse

1-9 Pulse

1-9 Pulse

1-6 pulse

Continuous Flow Settings

0.5-2.0 LPM

0.5-3.0 LPM

0.5-3.0 LPM

0.5-3.0 LPM

0.5-2.0 LPM

Weight

10 Pounds

19.4 Pounds

14 Pounds

18.4 Pounds

10 Pounds

Height

11.5 inches

20.2 inches

13.6 inches

19.3 inches

12.3 inches

Length

10 inches

10.9 inches

10.6 inches

12.3 inches

8.3 inches

Width

6 inches

8 inches

7.4 inches

7.1 inches

6.6 inches

Sound level

43 dBA

40 dBA

37 dBA

40 dBA

37 dBA

Battery duration on a setting of 2

PF: 3 hours

CF: 0.9 hours

PF: 3 hours

CF: 1.25 hours

PF: 2.78

CF: 1.21

PF: 4.4 hours

CF: 1.8 hours

PF: 4 hours

CF: .75 hours

 

Conclusion

With 2020 just around the corner, it’s time to look into which portable oxygen concentrator you’ll be investing in. The Inogen One G5 is our top pick if you’re interested in a pulse flow unit because it’s incredibly light, powerful, and reliable. The SeQual eQuinox is our top pick for continuous flow units because it provides patients with plenty of options while still being light and portable.

 

If you have a unique concern that’s not listed here, we want to make sure you get the exact unit you’re looking for. Give us a call and we’ll help you narrow down your options. 

Topics: Medication and Treatment, Respiratory Resource Center, Portable Oxygen, portable oxygen concentrator, G5 oxygen concentrators, oxygen therapy

Daniel Seter

Written by Daniel Seter

Download Our Official Guide to Portable Oxygen Concentrators