Smallest Portable Oxygen Concentrator Illustration

What is the Smallest Portable Oxygen Concentrator? (2024)

by | Updated: May 19, 2024

Portable oxygen concentrators have revolutionized the way individuals with respiratory ailments maintain their mobility and independence.

The latest advancements in technology have brought forth smaller and more compact devices without compromising performance and effectiveness.

For patients reliant on oxygen therapy, the size and weight of their devices can directly impact their quality of life.

Among the myriad of options, the smallest portable oxygen concentrators stand out, merging functionality with portability while providing users the freedom to live unencumbered.

What is the Smallest Portable Oxygen Concentrator?

Smallest Portable Oxygen Concentrator AirSep Focus Portable Concentrator

The AirSep Focus is recognized as one of the smallest portable oxygen concentrators on the market. Weighing just about 1.75 pounds, it offers users a lightweight and compact solution for their oxygen therapy needs.

Its portability ensures users can maintain an active lifestyle without being encumbered by bulkier units.

Smallest Unit
AirSep Focus Portable Concentrator

As one of the smallest units available, the AirSep Focus delivers efficient oxygen therapy in an ultra-lightweight and compact form.

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Types of Oxygen Concentrators

Oxygen concentrators are medical devices designed to provide supplemental oxygen to individuals with respiratory issues or chronic lung conditions.

There are typically three main types of oxygen concentrators available: home oxygen concentrators, portable oxygen concentrators, and those that specialize in delivering pulse dose or continuous flow oxygen.

  • Home oxygen concentrators are stationary devices used primarily in residential settings. These machines provide a continuous flow of oxygen, but due to their size, they are not convenient for travel or mobility purposes.
  • Portable oxygen concentrators are lightweight, compact devices that grant patients the freedom to be active and mobile. They come in two main varieties: pulse flow and continuous flow models. Both types can provide oxygen while the patient is on the move, but each has specific features and benefits, which are important to consider when choosing the optimal device for the individual needs and lifestyle.
  • Pulse flow oxygen concentrators deliver oxygen only when the user inhales, making them more energy-efficient and typically extending battery life. Because of this, they’re often smaller and lighter than their continuous flow counterparts. Devices such as the Inogen One G4 are excellent examples of this type, offering a compact form factor and pulse dose oxygen delivery.
  • Continuous flow oxygen concentrators provide a steady stream of oxygen regardless of the patient’s breathing pattern. They are suitable for individuals who require a constant flow of oxygen, even at rest. Some popular models include the Philips Respironics SimplyGo, which offers both continuous and pulse flow functionality.

Summary: Oxygen concentrators come in various forms, each designed to meet the unique needs of patients with respiratory conditions. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable type of oxygen concentrator, taking into consideration factors such as mobility, flow requirements, and battery life.

Top Portable Oxygen Concentrators

The market for portable oxygen concentrators has seen significant advancements in recent years, offering users various options to suit their needs. Our top picks include:

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
CAIRE Freestyle Comfort Portable Concentrator

CAIRE Freestyle Comfort Portable Concentrator

  • Ergonomic design for enhanced comfort.
  • Advanced pulse flow delivery system.
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Philips Respironics SimplyGo Mini Portable Concentrator

Philips Respironics SimplyGo Mini Portable Concentrator

  • Compact design for easy portability.
  • Reliable and consistent oxygen output.
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Inogen One G4 Portable Concentrator

Inogen One G4 Portable Concentrator

  • Ultra-lightweight for ease of transport.
  • Efficient oxygen delivery even at high altitudes.
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Inogen One G5 Portable Concentrator

Inogen One G5 Portable Concentrator

  • Extended battery life for prolonged use.
  • Enhanced oxygen capacity to support varying needs.
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AirSep Focus Portable Concentrator

AirSep Focus Portable Concentrator

  • Among the lightest in the market.
  • Simple user interface for effortless operation.
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1. CAIRE Freestyle Comfort Portable Concentrator

The CAIRE Freestyle Comfort provides oxygen for up to 16 hours between charges, surpassing most other models.

Our Top Pick
CAIRE Freestyle Comfort Portable Concentrator

The CAIRE Freestyle Comfort combines ergonomic design with advanced oxygen delivery, optimizing both comfort and performance for users.

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It features ultra-sensitive breath detection, adjusting the flow to match your breathing rate. This can be especially helpful during sleep or for those with shallow breathing.

The device provides pulse oxygen flow delivery, meaning it provides oxygen every time you take a breath.

  • Weight: 5 pounds with 8-cell battery, 6 pounds with 16-cell battery
  • Dimensions: 7.3 inches wide x 3.1 inches deep x 10 inches tall with single battery (11 inches tall with double battery)
  • Delivery/flow type: Pulse
  • Battery life (Setting 1): 8 hours (8-cell battery), 16 hours (16-cell battery)
  • Max oxygen output: 1.05 liters per minute
  • Noise level: 39 decibels
  • FAA approval: Yes

2. Philips Respironics SimplyGo Mini Portable Concentrator

The Philips Respironics SimplyGo Mini is designed for clarity and simplicity, making it ideal for those new to oxygen concentrators.

Our Top Pick
Philips Respironics SimplyGo Mini Portable Concentrator

Tailored for active lifestyles, the Respironics Simply Go Mini offers a reliable oxygen flow in a sleek, compact design.

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Its user-friendly design relies on images and easy-to-follow instructions, making it especially attractive for first-time users.

  • Weight: 5 pounds with standard battery, 6 pounds with extended battery
  • Dimensions: 8.3 inches wide x 3.6 inches deep x 9.4 inches tall with standard battery (10.2 inches tall with extended battery)
  • Delivery/flow type: Pulse
  • Battery life (Setting 2): 4.5 hours (standard battery), 9 hours (extended battery)
  • Max oxygen output: 1 liter per minute
  • Noise level: 43 decibels
  • FAA approval: Yes

3. Inogen One G4 Portable Concentrator

The Inogen One G4 is one of the smallest and lightest portable oxygen concentrators available.

Our Top Pick
Inogen One G4 Portable Concentrator

The Inogen One G4 boasts a lightweight structure without compromising on oxygen output, making it a preferred choice for those on the move.

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It’s designed for active individuals who need supplemental oxygen but still want to maintain an active lifestyle.

The device can also be connected to a smartphone using the Inogen Connect app.

  • Weight: 2.8 pounds with standard battery, 3.3 pounds with extended battery
  • Dimensions: 5.91 inches wide x 2.68 inches deep x 7.2 inches tall with single battery (7.79 inches tall with double battery)
  • Delivery/flow type: Pulse
  • Battery life (Setting 2): 2.25 hours (single battery), 5 hours (double battery)
  • Max oxygen output: 0.63 liters per minute
  • Noise level: 40 decibels
  • FAA approval: Yes

4. Inogen One G5 Portable Concentrator

The Inogen One G5 is Inogen’s latest model, providing more oxygen output and longer battery life than the G4.

Our Top Pick
Inogen One G5 Portable Concentrator

Building on its predecessors, the Inogen One G5 offers enhanced battery life and oxygen capacity, ensuring longer, uninterrupted usage for patients.

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It’s ideal for air travel, ensuring passengers won’t be disturbed due to its quiet operation. The device is also compatible with the Inogen Connect app for smartphones.

  • Cost: $2,882–$3,586
  • Weight: 4.7 pounds with single battery, 5.7 pounds with double battery
  • Dimensions: 7.19 inches wide x 3.26 inches deep x 8.15 inches tall with single battery (9.03 inches tall with double battery)
  • Delivery/flow type: Pulse
  • Battery life (Setting 2): 6.5 hours (single battery), 9 hours (double battery)
  • Max oxygen output: 1.26 liters per minute
  • Noise level: 39 decibels
  • FAA approval: Yes

How to Choose the Smallest Portable Oxygen Concentrator

When choosing the smallest oxygen concentrator, there are several factors to consider to ensure it meets your needs. This includes the following:

Weight and Portability

A crucial aspect of selecting a small oxygen concentrator is its weight and portability. Lightweight models, such as the Inogen One G5 System, weigh as little as 4.7 pounds, making them easier to carry and transport.

When traveling, a portable concentrator should be easy to maneuver and fit effortlessly into your luggage or carry-on bag. Some portable oxygen concentrators also come with carrying cases and straps, adding convenience and ease of use.

Battery Life and Charging Options

Battery life is another essential factor to consider, as it determines how long you can use your oxygen concentrator while on the go.

Some models offer impressive battery life, like the CAIRE Freestyle Comfort, with up to 8 hours of use on a single charge. It’s crucial to select a concentrator with a battery life suitable for your daily activities and travel plans.

Charging options are also vital when choosing a portable oxygen concentrator. An external battery or additional battery packs can be invaluable for longer outings or trips.

AC power supply and DC power supply options allow you to charge your device at home or in your vehicle, providing flexibility and ensuring your concentrator is always ready to use.

Oxygen Flow and Output for Portable Oxygen Concentrators

When discussing the smallest oxygen concentrator, it’s important to address the oxygen flow and output related to such devices.

Oxygen therapy relies on the use of supplemental oxygen to help individuals maintain adequate oxygen levels in their blood. An essential factor to consider when choosing an oxygen concentrator is the maximum oxygen output, which is measured in liters per minute (LPM).

There are two main types of oxygen flow systems commonly used in portable oxygen concentrators: continuous oxygen flow and pulse flow settings.

Continuous flow provides a steady flow of oxygen, whereas pulse flow delivers oxygen in short pulses, typically as the user inhales. This distinction is crucial because patients may require different flow types based on their specific needs.

Portable oxygen concentrators (POCs) vary in their oxygen output, with some as lightweight as 1.75 pounds, while others offer a higher flow rate. For example, the Respironics SimplyGo portable oxygen concentrator is both small and lightweight, yet it can provide continuous flow and pulse flow settings.

In contrast, the AirSep Focus is even smaller and lighter at 1.75 pounds. However, this compact size may come with some limitations in terms of oxygen output when compared to larger concentrators.

Summary: It is essential to consider oxygen flow and output when selecting the smallest oxygen concentrator, as it should correspond with the patient’s specific requirements for oxygen therapy. The type of flow, whether continuous or pulse, and the maximum oxygen output rate will impact user comfort and therapeutic efficacy.

Oxygen Concentrator Price, Warranty, and Service

Portable oxygen concentrators can be a significant investment, with prices ranging from $2,500 to $4,500, depending on the specific concentrator and its features. However, it is possible to reduce the cost burden by exploring financial assistance options.

Patients with coverage through Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance may be eligible for partial coverage or reimbursement for their portable oxygen concentrator.

It is crucial to contact the insurance provider to determine eligibility and potential coverage.

In terms of warranty, manufacturers offer varying warranty periods for their portable oxygen concentrators. For example, some units come with a standard 3-year warranty, while others may offer an extended warranty of up to 5 years.

This indicates that the company is confident in the quality and lifespan of their product and gives the user peace of mind regarding potential repairs or issues.

When considering the service aspect, it is essential to verify that the manufacturer or supplier provides a strong support system. This may include responsive customer service, readily available replacement parts, and a reliable repair system.

Some companies even offer the option of renting a portable oxygen concentrator for short-term use or in case of emergencies, with rental costs as low as $35 per day.

For patients seeking financial assistance, some companies offer financing options, making it more manageable to pay for a portable oxygen concentrator over time. Inogen, for example, has a process in place to determine if a patient is eligible for coverage and will work directly with their doctor to obtain the required paperwork.

This can help ease the financial burden associated with purchasing a portable oxygen concentrator.

Final Thoughts

In a world where mobility is key, the innovation of the smallest portable oxygen concentrators has been nothing short of revolutionary.

These devices have empowered patients, allowing them to reclaim a sense of normalcy and maintain their active lifestyles.

As technology continues its forward march, we can only anticipate further enhancements, but for now, these compact units have set a remarkable standard in oxygen therapy.

John Landry, BS, RRT

Written by:

John Landry, BS, RRT

John Landry is a registered respiratory therapist from Memphis, TN, and has a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. He enjoys using evidence-based research to help others breathe easier and live a healthier life.

References

  • Duke T, Peel D, Graham S, Howie S, Enarson PM, Jacobson R. Oxygen concentrators: a practical guide for clinicians and technicians in developing countries. Ann Trop Paediatr. 2010.
  • Martin DC. Contemporary portable oxygen concentrators and diverse breathing behaviours — a bench comparison. BMC Pulm Med. 2019.
  • Hardavella G, Karampinis I, Frille A, Sreter K, Rousalova I. Oxygen devices and delivery systems. Breathe (Sheff). 2019.

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