Oxygen Machines Review Methodology
How we research and review oxygen machines
Oxygen machines like portable oxygen concentrators (POCs) and home oxygen concentrators (HOCs) are medical devices that provide supplemental oxygen for people with certain respiratory conditions, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema.  American Lung Association. Oxygen Therapy. May 5, 2023. Found on the internet at https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-procedures-and-tests/oxygen-therapy Our Reviews Team extensively researches and evaluates the oxygen machines that we recommend. As of this writing, our Reviews Team has spent over 1,000 hours researching oxygen machines. We’ve reviewed over 15 manufacturers, mystery-shopped five online retailers, and compared details like machine specifications, pricing, and customer experience.
Our methodology was informed by published research and interviews with medical experts. We consulted geriatric and respiratory care professionals, such as Betty Lyda, RRT, Amber Snow, MSN, and Jenny Sanford, PCNP, who also medically reviewed our content.
We used insights from real oxygen machine users to guide our recommendations. To better understand customer experiences, we surveyed 600 oxygen machine users and caregivers of oxygen machine users in July 2023. We learned that the top benefits of oxygen therapy include more energy, better sleep, and more activity.  NCOA Adviser Oxygen Therapy Survey. 600 respondents. Conducted using Pollfish. Launched Jul. 24, 2022. When researching oxygen machine manufacturers and retailers, we consulted third-party review sites such as Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot to understand customers’ positive and negative experiences.
The availability, quality, and safety of the products we recommend are a top priority, especially when the products are medical devices. Our comprehensive research is continually updated as new oxygen machine models are introduced and old models are discontinued. We keep up with current events in this category, especially when oxygen machine manufacturers are affected by safety recalls or product shortages. For example, we described the 2021 recall of Philips Respironics ventilators and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines in our review of the brand.
How we evaluate oxygen machines
In our survey of oxygen machine users and caregivers, respondents told us that the top five features they considered when buying an oxygen machine were:
- Size or weight of the machine
- Battery life
- Noise level
- Insurance coverage
We created a list of the best oxygen concentrators based on our findings from user surveys, medical expert interviews, and our research. We evaluated all the oxygen machines we researched based on the following factors:
- Weight and size: People use oxygen machines throughout the day, and their activities shouldn’t be limited by a large or heavy device. We liked HOCs that had wheels for easy transport around the home. We liked POCs that were light enough for everyday activities like trips to the store or a walk in the park. The average POC we researched weighed just over 6 pounds, about half the weight of a gallon of paint. We also considered whether oxygen machines came with any accessories that made them more portable, like carrying bags, backpacks, or carts. The POCs we recommended are all approved for air travel by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
- Cost: As of this writing, the average cost of the oxygen concentrators we reviewed is $2,436. The POCs cost between $2,600 to $3,200, with an average price of $3,013. Based on our research, POCs can cost up to $450 more if you purchase through a manufacturer instead of a retailer. The HOCs we researched cost between $700 to $1,700, with the average price being $1,283. We liked when oxygen machines were close to the average price and had valuable features. We looked for retailers that offered financing options and machine rentals to keep oxygen machines accessible.
- Power consumption: Since POCs are battery-powered, we compared the models by battery life and recharge time. These are important to minimize the chances of a disruption to someone’s daily oxygen therapy. We also noted each HOC’s power consumption, as it can range from 250 watts to 590 watts, about twice as much as a CPAP machine.  Appliance Energy Use Chart. Silicon Valley Power City of Santa Clara. Aug. 28, 2023. Found on the internet at https://www.siliconvalleypower.com/residents/save-energy/appliance-energy-use-chart
- Noise level: About two in five (39%) of our survey’s respondents shared that they were bothered by their oxygen machine’s noise level. The average noise output of the oxygen machines we researched was 44 decibels, with most models producing between 40 and 50 decibels. We looked for oxygen machines that operated below 50 decibels, which is about as loud as the hum of a refrigerator.  International Noise Awareness Day. Common Noise Levels – How Loud is Too Loud? Found on the internet at https://noiseawareness.org/info-center/common-noise-levels/
- Oxygen settings: Our Reviews Team considered the different settings an oxygen machine could have. Machines with more available settings can adapt to a person’s changing needs throughout the day. We looked for features like pulsed flow options, continuous flow options, the maximum oxygen output, the oxygen purity range, and the number of flow settings available.
- Availability: Oxygen machines are medical devices that require a prescription by a health care professional. We ensured our recommendations were available to readers in-store at a medical supply retailer or online.
We also considered factors such as warranty period, ease of use, the accessories included, company reputation, and the customer service responsiveness of both oxygen machine manufacturers and retailers.
Respiratory and geriatric medicine professionals review all our content to help ensure readers get appropriate and accurate information when shopping for oxygen machines.
- American Lung Association. Oxygen Therapy. May 5, 2023. Found on the internet at https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-procedures-and-tests/oxygen-therapy
- NCOA Adviser Oxygen Therapy Survey. 600 respondents. Conducted using Pollfish. Launched July 24, 2023.
- Silicon Valley Power City of Santa Clara. Appliance Energy Use Chart. Aug. 28, 2023. Found on the internet at https://www.siliconvalleypower.com/residents/save-energy/appliance-energy-use-chart
- International Noise Awareness Day. Common Noise Levels – How Loud is Too Loud? Found on the internet at https://noiseawareness.org/info-center/common-noise-levels/