Inogen offers a leg up on the competition when it comes to creating quality portable oxygen machines for seniors. For seniors who are on the go frequently, these lightweight machines are your best bet, ranging from 2 to 8 pounds.
They don’t take up much space at all, and they have a sleek and modern look. There are four different models to select from, and three are portable while one is for at-home use. They’re quiet, almost silent, and energy-efficient.
There are some perks with Inogen machines. You don’t need any extra accessories, trolleys, or racks to lug your portable oxygen around. This definitely feels like a weight off your shoulders.
Downsides of using Inogen include a shorter battery life (around four hours), but as stated before, these work well for travel purposes.
When it comes to the oxygen flow type, it’s pulse flow. There are also different flow settings with each tank.
Accessories come included, such as a storage bag and rechargeable battery. If battery life is important to you, Inogen offers a model that can offer up to 10 hours of battery life. It’s really dependent upon your budget and the features you want.
The G4 and G5 models are also FAA approved, so if you’re a traveler there are definitely the models you’ll want to look into.
If you’re looking for an at-home device, the user-friendly stationary Inogen device is still lighter in weight than many models, coming in at less than 20 pounds, making it simple to carry from room to room when needed.
It’s quiet, continuous, and also energy-efficient so you may find your electric bills are lower than usual with this at-home machine.
Essentially, choosing a model depends your needs. The G4 has a compatible app, which can certainly come in handy. This is the budget model, and perfect when you need a basic model without a ton of features.
The G5 is also portable and has more flow settings, along with a bit longer battery life than the G4.
Invacare portable oxygen concentrators bring something to the table that not all do: they’re water-resistant and heat-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about taking them out on a summer day or to the pool or beach.
Small and lightweight, their most popular model, the Platinum Mobile, is priced at $2,100 and is known for efficiency and a battery life of about five hours.
There are two models of this tank. The main differences are battery life and and LPM. Other than that, they’re both a great value for the features they offer and the sturdy construction.
There’s also a compatible mobile app for added convenience. The app can tell you how much battery life your tank has, for instance.
Also meeting FAA standards, seniors are free to fly with this oxygen tank. It’s also a pulse tank, and it’s known for ease of use for seniors who aren’t exactly skilled at using any type of machinery.
Invacare not only offers water resistance, but your oxygen sits in its own carrying case with a shoulder strap handle that keeps it protected and makes it a breeze to carry with you.
The carrying case comes included in the price, but you will pay more for an additional battery. It also comes with an AC charger and a car charger.
Invacare offers a high level of technology. It gives you the oxygen you need based on something called Sensi-Pulse Technology, which means it’s customized to your specific breathing patterns, which is pretty cool and very useful.
You don’t have to worry about adjusting your own oxygen levels based on your activity; the Invacare does it for you. You can’t beat a feature like that.
At under 5 pounds, the Platinum is one of the lightest models out there. The XP02 is around 7 pounds.
The control panel is super easy to read and manage for seniors on both models. They’re also both very quiet and good for travel, and for seniors who aren’t the most graceful, they’re built strong and durable.
Philips is a name-brand in the realm of technology, and their portable oxygen tanks are no exception when it comes to the quality the brand is known for.
The two portable oxygen tanks by this brand include the SimplyGo and the SimplyGo Mini. What’s the difference between these two quality oxygen tanks?
It essentially comes down to weight. Though they’re both meant to be portable, the Mini is light enough that you can sling it across your shoulder in its case, while you may need a cart or trolley to take the regular SimplyGo along with you.
You can change the settings to either pulse flow delivery or continuous delivery, giving you the option for either depending on your particular health issue and circumstances.
This device is the only device of its kind to offer both options to seniors.
The SimplyGo weighs in at around 10 pounds, but the 5-pound Mini packs a punch that not many other portables do. In fact, it is known for offering the highest oxygen output of any portable on the market.
The regular SimplyGo comes with a carrying case, a cart, and charging cords, while the Mini comes with a carrying case and charging cords. The carrying case has pockets to hold everything you may need while you’re out and about with your Mini.
You have the option of two different batteries when you use Philips oxygen tanks. This includes either the regular battery or the extended life battery, which is a bit heavier than the regular battery but can boost your life by about five hours or so.
Both of these are also meant for durability and made with parts that are impact-resistant.
Safety alarms alert you when the battery’s low, oxygen is impure, and a range of other issues to keep you updated, and the control panel is user-friendly enough for seniors to operate themselves.
It can take up to three hours to charge batteries to 100%.
CAIRE offers a lot of power in a petite package. It’s a small and lightweight oxygen concentrator that delivers up to eight hours of oxygen on one charge.
The FreeStyle unit offers pulse oxygen dosing and weighs in at a small and light 5 pounds. It’s ergonomic, user-friendly, and mid-priced at around $2,500.
The design of the FreeStyle isn’t bulky or weird against your body, it’s meant to simulate the natural curves of your shape so it fits comfortable against you, making it feel like a part of you.
It has a carrying strap that’s long enough to wear across your shoulder, and the LCD screen is super simple to read. You’ll be able to see how much battery power you have left at a glance.
There are five different settings with the FreeStyle unit. This gives you some freedom when you’re out and about.
You can choose from two different battery types. One gives you eight hours and one gives you four. Either way, it’s a pretty good deal for such a comfortable and easy to use machine that’s so versatile.
Want to hop a plane to see your grandkids? It’s no problem with the FAA-approved FreeStyle machine.
The machine comes with everything you need, including the carrying case and charger. The carrying case doubles as a smaller bag with handles, or you can attach the larger strap to use it as a shoulder or crossbody case.
This company is also very reputable, and it’s the largest producer of oxygen therapy products, so you know you’re getting a premium product since this company is quite well-known and recommended by many professionals.
If you’re looking for other oxygen concentrators, CAIRE is also known for its wide range of portable and at-home oxygen products so you can custom-create your own selection of oxygen dispensing items from their expansive selection.
The ResMed LifeChoice Activox weighs less than 5 pounds and is a high-performance oxygen delivery device.
You can carry it on your back as a backpack or as a shoulder bag, giving you freedom of movement and versatility.
The best perk yet? You can get up to (or in some cases, more than) 10 hours of oxygen depending on the setting you use. That’s one of the longest-lasting batteries on the market.
Oxygen is delivered via a pulse system, and you can even charge it while it’s in use, making it all the more versatile.
It’s FAA-approved, and has an Auto Mode that customizes settings based on the patient’s breaths.
The Mobi is the other ResMed portable device that’s a newer version and also feature-packed for seniors on the go who need oxygen.
The Mobi is updated with Pulse-Wave technology that senses your breathing patterns and adjusts oxygen delivery accordingly. This is based on your levels of activity.
The battery life of the Mobi is eight hours, but you can also add an external battery and get an extra four hours of life.
You can travel with the ResMed Mobi without worry, and like the LifeChoice, you can wear it in an unobtrusive backpack if you like.
The user-friendly interface makes it easy to adjust and use your portable Mobi without worry. The Mobi comes with everything you need, including a lightweight, versatile carrying case, AC power adapter, and an extra battery.
You’ll even receive mounting straps if you want to attach your device to your wheelchair without hassle.
So what are the costs of these devices? The Mobi costs around $2,200.
What Are Portable Oxygen Machines?
Oxygen therapy is required for some seniors who are managing illnesses such as COPD, sleep apnea, bronchitis, asthma, and lung or heart disease.
These diseases can leave you with low levels of oxygen, meaning you need to have oxygen delivered to you to keep your levels safe and consistent so you can enjoy the same quality of life you are used to.
They deliver purified oxygen to you regularly throughout the day so you don’t have to struggle to breathe. Oxygen therapy can not only help you literally breathe easier, they can allow you to live longer.
Using a portable oxygen machine has numerous benefits for seniors. Having normal oxygen levels keeps your energy up, can help you sleep better, and help your mental faculties stay sharp.
Now that machines are so lightweight, seniors aren’t relegated to staying at home or even toting a heavy, cumbersome cart with a giant oxygen machine on it.
Portable machines have changed seniors’ lives and allowed them to keep up with a normal, active lifestyle that includes running errands, traveling, visiting with friends, and maintaining a social life.
Portable oxygen is discreet, lightweight, and easy to maintain and use so seniors can keep their independence and not rely on a caregiver or someone else to help them get the oxygen they need on a daily basis.
There are many reputable brands to select from, so you do have to weigh some considerations as you decide which one to choose.
Portable Oxygen Machines Buyer’s Guide
Factors to Consider When Buying Portable Oxygen Machines
Though to be honest, most portable oxygen machines cost around the same, even a few dollars can make a difference if you are a senior on a super tight budget.
When you’re looking at cost, weigh the features against the price to ensure you’re getting the best value.
Some machines that cost more may not even be worth the extra money. You may find more value with a mid-priced machine that you can add-on items to customize later on down the line if you desire.
Machines range from around $1,500 upwards to $3,500 and even higher.
For seniors who travel frequently, having an oxygen machine that’s FAA-approved is very important. Most machines today are, but you want to double-check when you’re shopping just to make sure.
How Long is the Battery Life?
This may be a make or break for you when you’re shopping. Some portable machines deliver a few hours’ worth of battery life, while some go the extra mile with eight or more hours.
It may be worth it to you to pay extra to get a longer-lasting battery, or you may be interested in a machine that you can add a larger battery to in order to gain the versatility of longer life if needed on a particular day.
Customized Air Flow
Some machines are ‘smarter’ than others; they get to know your breathing patterns and adjust air flow accordingly. Some are meant to be set manually. Take this into consideration as you shop for the right machine for you.
Size and Shape
For a petite senior, a large machine can be overwhelming. Since most of these portable machines are small, they’re usually easy to carry.
However, there can be a big difference between a 4-pound machine and a 7-pound model for a 100-pound woman. Ensure you get the size that’s easy for you to carry when you’re out and about alone.
Continuous Oxygen or Pulse?
There are two ways oxygen is delivered via these machines; continuously or pulse.
Depending on your existing issues, you may need one or the other, so it’s likely best to discuss this with your doctor before you decide on the machine for you.
Are you using it overnight or just during the day?
You may need a more high-performance machine for 24-hour use.
Can you use it by yourself?
You’ll need to make sure you can lift it, change out the battery, charge it, and carry it without issue. Otherwise, you’ll have to rely on someone to always be with you, which can negate the issue of retaining your independence.
Which Device Should You Buy?
Now that we’ve looked at some of the benefits of various machines, it’s time to get down to the nuts and bolts of which machine is right for you.
Looking for the lightest weight machine that still offers all the quality and features you need? Look to Inogen.
Want the choice of pulse or continuous oxygen delivery? Philips gives you the versatility of either option.
Are you a small-framed person who wants to wear your machine with ease? CAIRE designs their ergonomic oxygen machines with your body shape in mind.
Hate the idea of slinging your machine over your shoulder? Put a ResMed oxygen machine on your back as a backpack for hands-free use.
Want to go through your day without worrying about adjusting your oxygen levels? Invacare adjusts them for you.
Is battery life what’s most important to you? Inogen offers a model that gives you up to 10 hours of battery life, and so does ResMed.
Do you need a lot of oxygen saturation but don’t want to lug around a huge machine? The Philips Mini may look small, but it offers the highest amount oxygen than any other portable on the market.
Frequently Asked Questions About Portable Oxygen Machines
Do I need a prescription to get an oxygen machine?
Yes, you need to talk to your doctor and receive a prescription to purchase these machines.
Will Medicare cover the cost of my portable oxygen machine?
In some cases, yes! Medicare may cover your expenses when you’re looking for an oxygen machine. Contact them for more details and have your prescription and information handy.
If you don’t have Medicare but you do have another type of insurance, most insurance companies do cover these, as they’re considered durable medical equipment.
Does my oxygen machine come with a warranty?
Yes, it’s typically standard for these machines to come with a warranty. When you go to buy one, discuss how long the warranty is and what exactly the warranty covers.
Can I use my machine in the car as well as an airplane?
Yes, it’s safe to use portable oxygen machines when traveling by car.
What if I don’t like my machine? Can I return or exchange it?
The return policy will vary by the manufacturer. Make sure to ask before you purchase what the policy is in case you use your machine and it just isn’t right for you.