If you suffer from a lung or heart condition, you’ll greatly benefit from monitoring your blood oxygen saturation levels. With an oxygen monitor, you can quickly and conveniently do so from the comfort of your own home.
If you’re not sure how to choose the best oxygen monitor, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up our top five options to help you make the right choice.
Best Oxygen Monitor: Reviews
Wellue O2ring Pulse Oximeter
The Wellue brand specializes in developing healthcare wearables with medical-grade accuracy. For example, their O2ring Pulse Oximeter is perfect for extended monitoring.
The Wellue O2ring pulse oximeter allows you to continuously monitor your oxygen level, as it doesn’t require you to stand still. The monitor will start working as soon as you put it on, allowing you to carry on with your usual activities.
This helpful feature makes the monitor easy to use overnight, perfect for those suffering from sleep apnea or COPD. In addition, you don’t have to worry about your sleep schedule, as the battery life is 12 to 16 hours after being fully charged. The battery life indicator is displayed next to the percentage on the monitor.
Apart from everyday use, you can also travel with this portable ring. The oximeter doesn’t feel like a medical device due to its slick design. Light and compact, it’s made from soft silicone for maximum comfort. You can also adjust the ring’s size, accommodating different ring sizes and enabling multiple people to use this monitor.
Unfortunately, the adjustable band also has some durability complaints. After several months of use, some users noted that it broke, rendering the monitor useless. The consensus is that the manufacturer should improve the ring’s durability without compromising comfort.
What’s great about this Wellue oximeter is a vibration alarm that will alert you if there are any irregularities. For example, it will sound if your oxygen levels are too low or your heart rate speeds up or slows down. Note that you set the threshold for the starting vibrations. Thankfully, the O2ring has proven to be highly accurate.
This Wellue monitor comes with a compatible app you can download to your computer or connect via Bluetooth on your phone. The app allows you to track your heart rate and oxygen level percentage in real-time. However, it also stores the readings to use for long-term monitoring. Another helpful feature is sharing, exporting, or printing the data to show to your cardiologist or pulmonologist.
Individually, the ring stores four groups of 10-hour data. Once you sync the app, the data from your ring will automatically be uploaded. Sadly, some users experienced problems with the app connectivity. It won’t sync unless you give access to your location and some personal information. Not all users are comfortable with that, which only leaves them with the option to track the data separately.
- Lightweight and portable
- Doesn’t interrupt daily activities or sleeping
- Accommodates a variety of finger sizes
- Alerts you to irregularities
- App stores data convenient for medical reports
- Ring band is not durable
- Problems with syncing the app
Wellue SleepU Wrist Pulse Oximeter
The SleepU is a wrist pulse oximeter from the reliable Wellue brand. It is compact and perfect for recording blood oxygen saturation during sleep.
This device was made primarily for overnight readings and continuously monitors your oxygen levels for 12 to 16 hours when fully charged. In addition to oxygen, it also records your heart rate and body movements.
This oxygen monitor uses a proprietary Micro D charging cable. Many users have noted this as a significant downside. If you lose the cable, you can only order a replacement from the same manufacturer. Also, you don’t have an option to choose a shorter or longer cable if required.
This Wellue device is pretty straightforward, as it starts running as soon as you put it on your wrist. If you’d like to check the reading at night, simply turn your wrist, and the display will light up. You can also set an oxygen level limit. The oximeter will alert you if your blood oxygen drops below the set level.
The SleepU oximeter is incredibly comfortable to wear. This is one of the most crucial factors, as it’s intended to be used for a prolonged period. Still, it’s secure enough to wear during physical exercise.
A great thing about this device is that it comes with a free app and PC software; you can share or print the report to help your doctor determine the potential course of treatment.
However, Android users have reported issues with the app. For example, they claim that it asks for unnecessary permissions and doesn’t work if you deny them. Also, setting up the app and recording memory might be challenging if you’re not tech-savvy.
- Great for overnight readings
- Easy to use
- Bright and practical display
- Comfortable and secure
- The app helps you record and share your data
- Only uses Wellue charging cables
- The app is challenging to use on an Android phone
LOOKEE O2-Ring Sleep Oxygen Monitor
The O2-Ring Sleep Oxygen Monitor is a ring-type oximeter from the innovative LOOKEE brand. This product’s proven to be a lifesaver for individuals suffering from sleep apnea.
The LOOKEE oximeter accurately tracks your oxygen saturation level, heart rate, and body movement. It’s incredibly beneficial for people with sleep apnea as it vibrates as soon as the oxygen level drops below the set threshold. For that reason, this oximeter can serve as an excellent safety net for CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) failure. Alternatively, it can be a worthy placeholder until your CPAP arrives.
The ring is compact and light, and comfortable to wear while sleeping. However, some users complain about the size of the ring band. Unfortunately, it’s not adjustable. As a result, people with bigger fingers will either not be able to put it on or have a painful experience wearing it.
This device pairs with a free mobile app to provide more insight into your sleeping oxygen patterns. Sadly, Android users haven’t been able to take full advantage of the app. They claim the app regularly crashes, and a reinstall doesn’t help.
- Perfect for people suffering from sleep apnea
- Compact and lightweight
- The free mobile app allows better insight
- Tight ring band
- The app doesn’t work well on Android devices
EMAY SleepO2 Wrist Pulse Oximeter
EMAY aims to create intelligent and user-friendly healthcare products. For example, their SleepO2 model is one of the lightest wrist oximeters on the market.
This EMAY wrist oximeter is ideal for overnight oxygen tracking as it weighs under 1 ounce. In addition, the probe is made from soft silicone with excellent breathability, making it comfortable to wear.
The monitor is kept stable with a connecting ring. Unfortunately, many users claim this isn’t enough to keep the device on throughout the night. If it was up to the battery life, you’d be set for 12 hours. But the issues with the fit often make it hard to get through the night with the monitor on.
There is a corresponding app to examine your sleeping patterns in detail. The charts are easy to read and download. You can export the data, generate a report with crucial information, and share it with your physician. If you haven’t downloaded the app before first use, you can rely on the device. It stores data for 48 hours, giving you enough time to set up the app.
Keep in mind that setting up the device is not optional. Namely, the oximeter itself doesn’t include a display. Using the app is the only way to track your oxygen saturation level.
- The app generates excellent reports
- Built-in 44-hour memory
- Doesn’t stay on throughout the night
- No display on the oximeter
Zacurate 500DL Pro Series Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
Zacurate is one of the most popular manufacturers of pulse oximeters on Amazon. Their 500DL Pro Series Fingertip Pulse Oximeter is an incredibly affordable fingertip oxygen monitor.
The Zacurate 500DL oximeter is pretty straightforward to use and requires minimal setup. Simply turn on the power button to use it. Apart from oxygen, it also tracks your pulse rate and strength.
The device features a large black display with prominent red lettering. The results will appear in 10 seconds on the lower end for a fingertip oximeter. In addition, the monitor will signal when the battery life is low. This device operates on two AAA batteries that are included in the kit. On average, they last for 40 hours.
Many users found the batteries to be a downside to this product. They claim it occasionally stopped working and wouldn’t start up again, even with new batteries. Hence, the durability of this device has also been called into question.
This Zacurate oximeter boasts incredibly high accuracy, with a ±1% margin of error. The manufacturer suggests staying still during the reading to ensure maximum accuracy. Also, make sure your finger is warm before using the device.
In addition to being accurate, the 500DL is also comfortable to use, hypoallergenic, and latex-free. This device is primarily intended for adults, but it can accommodate a decent range of finger sizes. It should be able to test children over 12 and children with slightly larger fingers, in general.
The oximeter comes with a silicon shield to ensure protection against harsh lighting. You’ll also receive a lanyard to help with portability.
The best thing about this Zacurate oximeter is the price. At less than $20, it’s almost 10 times less expensive than other options on our best oxygen monitor list.
- Easy to use
- A great display
- Highly accurate
- Hypoallergenic and latex-free
- Incredibly affordable
- Operates on batteries
- Not durable
When buying this handy gadget, you should consider several factors to ensure you’ll buy the best oxygen monitor for your needs.
The accuracy of an oxygen monitor is the most crucial factor to consider, even if it isn’t officially intended for medical use. The accuracy is especially noteworthy, as these devices are meant to be used from home by individuals, not medical professionals.
Therefore, verify the manufacturer’s claim of accuracy. You can look for clinical trials or academic studies involving your chosen oximeter. Alternatively, you can check the accuracy with your doctor or other respiratory equipment you might have.
Another way to ensure your device is accurate is to look for the “FDA Approved” and “For Medical Use” labels.
The oxygen monitor can test your oxygen levels in various conditions, including exercising, outdoor activities, and during sleep. Whatever the environment may be, you should be able to read the display easily and quickly.
Adjustable brightness is a great feature to look for, as it allows you to read the results in any light conditions.
Displays with large digits might be best for elderly users or visually impaired individuals.
While the full scope of data oximeters provide can be highly useful, having too much information on the display can make it harder to read.
Depending on your needs, it might be best to look for a black display with red or green lettering, displaying the oxygen level percentage.
The faster an oxygen monitor displays the reading, the safer and more reliable it is. Most devices take a few seconds to show a steady number. Some oximeters can be set to display the result in as few as three seconds. However, the average time is generally around eight to 15 seconds.
Oxygen monitors with earlobe clips offer a quicker response time than the finger-clipped variety.
Durability is another essential factor when choosing the best oxygen monitor.
The device should have a sturdy construction from quality materials. Additionally, the oxygen sensor’s components must be tested for durability and accuracy. As for the display, try protecting the LED screen as much as possible to avoid difficulties with reading the results.
If you opt for a ring-like oximeter, check if the band is made from a durable material. While this type of monitor needs to be comfortable, it also has to be tough. Otherwise, it will become useless once the band stretches out or snaps.
If you intend to wear the oxygen monitor during sleep, try to find a device with good battery life. Even if you’re testing your oxygen level during the day, a low battery may lead to an inaccurate reading. To stay on top of this, look for an oximeter that clearly displays the battery life indicator. In addition, some devices use larger digits or additional light to make it easier for older or visually impaired individuals.
How Does a Pulse Oximeter Work?
A pulse oximeter is a device that measures your body’s oxygen saturation level without a blood sample or needles.
These devices typically have a sensor or a probe that you can place on your finger, earlobe, or toe. To test your oxygen levels, follow these steps:
- First, place the oximeter on the intended body part.
- Then, stand still and try not to move.
- Wait a few seconds.
- Remove the device when the screen displays a steady number.
- Write down the reading, so you can easily track changes.
The number on the screen reflects how saturated your red blood cells are with oxygen, and it’s displayed as a percentage.
This device works by shining a light through the designated body part. Next, it measures how much light is reflected from the sensor. Finally, oximeters use an algorithm to calculate the blood oxygen level.
How Accurate Are Home Pulse Oximeters?
Most home pulse oximeters provide accurate readings. However, various factors can influence the device’s accuracy.
One of the most common factors impeding an accurate oxygen level reading is nail polish. This product can absorb light, resulting in an inaccurate reading. Blue, green, and black colors have been proven to interfere with the reading the most. Still, it would be best if you didn’t take any chances, meaning you should remove the nail polish regardless of the color. The same applies to gel or acrylic nails.
Blood-related disorders like anemia or low blood pressure can also be risk factors. For example, the sensor might have difficulty reading the oxygenation level due to fewer blood cells or increased blood volume. Also, a low body temperature will constrict your blood vessels, making it harder for the monitor to get an accurate reading.
Individuals with more skin pigment might also have problems getting an accurate result using a home oximeter. This is because the skin coloring makes it harder to read the oxygen level.
There is one more factor to consider, even if nothing is in the way of an accurate reading. The lower your oxygen level, the less accurate the reading.
According to the FDA, a pulse oximeter is more accurate if your oxygen saturation is 90%-100%. At 80%-90%, the device’s accuracy is intermediate. If your oxygen levels are below 80%, the reading will have low accuracy.
What is the Best Oxygen Level?
The best oxygen saturation level depends on the individual’s health condition.
According to the American Lung Association, your oxygen level should be over 90%-92%. On average, healthy individuals range from 95%-100%, while people with lung conditions might have a reading below 95%.
Although the claims of what a healthy level is may vary, there is a unanimous agreement on what is not. If the oxygen saturation level falls below 90%, it’s considered a medical emergency. If this is the case, seek medical attention immediately.
However, it would be best not to rely solely on the oxygen monitor. Pay attention to other signs that may indicate low oxygen level:
- Shortness of breath
- A worsening cough
- Changes in skin color
- Irregular heart rate
- Tightness in the chest
Does Your Oxygen Level Drop When You Sleep?
Sleep affects and alters all body systems, including your lungs. Hence, it’s normal for your blood oxygen level to drop during sleep. After all, you don’t breathe as deeply as when you’re awake, which is reflected in blood oxygenation.
Typically, your sleep oxygen level shouldn’t drop below 88%, provided your waking level is above 94%.
Breathe a Sigh of Relief
Choosing the best oxygen monitor can be challenging, considering its importance. If you’re looking for a reliable and highly efficient device, we suggest going with the Wellue O2ring pulse oximeter. This is the only oximeter that won’t tie you to a chair while waiting for a reading. You can test your oxygen levels wherever and always receive accurate results. This helpful device will alert you to any irregularities in real-time. Plus, the app will help you compile long-term reports.
However, if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, consider getting the Zacurate 500DL oximeter. This highly accurate device has everything you need for under $20.
Hopefully, now that you know what to look for in an oxygen monitor, you’re closer to having greater peace of mind.