Why is a pulse oximeter so crucial to medical professionals? Well, mainly because it is a tool used daily in hospitals to measure the oxygen hemoglobin in a person’s blood supply. As for the name, the device measures the pulse as a part of a medical checkup. You can get the device for home use. Also, you can monitor your oxygen levels as and when required. They are also an excellent product for sports personnel to monitor the pulse rate during a workout.
Doctors need to analyze the human body thoroughly during the examination to determine the health of the individual. The human body requires oxygen to function, and it is vital to know if there are any problems related to the same. To clarify, none of the organs of the human body can survive without oxygen-rich blood. The brain especially requires oxygen and deprivation, which could lead to long term problems with the body. The Pulse Oximeters measures the amount of oxygen in the body for doctors to determine if the person is healthy. It is used after surgery, and also to check if a medication is working.
If oxygen levels in your blood are of concern, you will need a pulse oximeter to determine the accurate reading of your blood oxygen level. The device is easy to use, and results come in quickly. To get the best, you will have to purchase the top tool in the market, and we have a list to help you through the rough.
- 1 What are ‘Pulse Oximeters’?
- 2 How Does a Pulse Oximeter Work?
- 3 Types of Pulse Oximeter
- 4 Best Pulse Oximeters – Our Top 10 Recommendations
- 5 Best Pulse Oximeters for Sports Enthusiasts.
- 6 Best Finger Tip Pulse Oximeters for Quick Reading
- 7 Best Pulse Oximeters for Respiratory Therapists
- 8 Best Pulse Oximeter for Sleep Apnea
- 9 Best Pulse Oximeters for Nurses
- 10 Best Pulse Oximeter for Overnight Monitoring
- 11 Best Pulse Oximeter for Doctors
- 12 Best Pulse Oximeters for Home Use
- 13 Best Wrist Pulse Oximeter
- 14 Best Pediatric Pulse Oximeter
- 15 What Are The Normal Ranges for Pulse Oximeter?
- 16 Benefits of Using a Pulse Oximeter
- 17 Precautions and Warnings When Using Pulse Oximeters
- 18 Buying Guide For The Best Pulse Oximeters
- 19 Additional Features The Pulse Oximeters Must Have
- 20 FAQS
- 21 Conclusion:
What are ‘Pulse Oximeters’?
A Pulse Oximeter is a device that measures oxygen saturation in a person’s body. By this, we mean that it measures the level of oxygen in the blood without the need for invasive means. You can clip the device on your finger, toe, or earlobe. It is a handy device for athletes who continuously monitor their heart rates. Especially during a workout, these athletes can see when they are pushing themselves over the limit. Many experts suggest constant monitoring, especially while mountain climbing and other adventure sports activities.
When blood flows from the heart to different parts of the body, it carries fresh oxygen along with it. If there is insufficient oxygen in the blood, your organs and tissues will not be adequately oxygenated. Consequently, it could lead to health issues. The device is vital to individuals who receive oxygen from an external source like concentrators or tanks. Knowing how much oxygen is needed to avoid hazardous health issues is the primary goal of this device.
Besides the primary function, you can check heart rate status and blood flow. You can also check the pulse rate of patients quickly. Hence, this device allows Doctors to substitute blood gas tests with Oximeters. Furthermore, medical experts no longer need to use invasive measures to check the oxygen level in the blood. Thus, for basic health monitoring, you must check out the best pulse oximeters available online.
If you are looking for similar premium products to keep your health in check, take a look at our list of the best ECG monitors you can purchase for home use.
How Does a Pulse Oximeter Work?
The principle that the device works on is the wavelength of light that goes through the blood. From here, the Pulse Oximeter analyzes this wavelength and determines how much blood has been oxygenated and de-oxygenated (The ratio between both is called oxygen saturation). Also, it measures the percentage of arterial oxygen carried in the blood known as SpO2.
The clip part of the device is attached to the most transparent parts of the body, i.e., the ear lobe, finger, or toe, and the light source emits a broad spectrum of light. Deoxygenated blood absorbs more red light, and oxygenated blood absorbs infrared light. The receiving end calculates the wavelength of light and processes the components and provides results.
Many factors can affect the result, such as ambient lights, the size of the individual’s finger, and the ability of the tissue to absorb light. But the device can calibrate the readings and provide a precise result. Additionally, the Heart Rate is simultaneously calculated and allows doctors to carry out a complete examination.
Types of Pulse Oximeter
1) Wrist Pulse Oximeters
Just like wristwatches, these are worn around the wrist and monitor the beats of a person’s pulse. They are the best choice for patients who need to be monitored by doctors throughout the day, especially during sleep. Doctors attach the probe to the patient’s finger, and it displays the result on the watch screen. These devices are very convenient. Most of them have USB connectivity and Bluetooth.
2) Finger Pulse Oximeters
These devices are clipped on the fingers of the user and are very convenient and portable. The display screen is on the probe itself. As a result, it shows results instantly and continuously. It is usually battery operated and suitable for home use. Many doctors use them on patients as well to check blood oxygen levels.
3) Handheld Oximeters
The biggest of the three is the handheld pulse oximeter. The device has a probe and a handheld display screen. The probe is placed on the person’s finger, and the blood oxygen levels are shown on the screen. A cable connects both parts. The results are very accurate. Because of this, the device is used in primary medical services like EMS, medical institutions, ambulances, hospitals, and other medical departments.
Best Pulse Oximeters – Our Top 10 Recommendations
Now that you know the basics, here’s our list of the top 10 Pulse Oximeters available online:
- No products found. – A Sports enthusiast’s best friend, This Oximeter is precise and very useful for adventure sports. It is light and convenient to carry around.
- Wellue Fingertip Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor with Alarm for Wellness Use – A fingertip Pulse oximeter that works so easily with the push of a button. This device can be used in any environment.
- Buyter Finger Tip Pulse Oximeter, Heart Rate Monitor – The Buyter Pulse Oximeter comes with brand quality and is a product of expert recommendations, for instant and accurate results.
- Wellue WearO2 Wearable Health Monitor – A device that brings you reliability, convenience, and accuracy. It also provides a Heart rate reading and is very quick.
- Santamedical Generation 2 Fingertip Pulse Oximeter – With a unique pulse bar graph, this device is recommended for doctors and nurses.
- No products found. – A device that you wouldn’t even feel when it’s on your finger and the best choice for the elderly.
- No products found. – If you can send a little more, this is the best device out there with everything you need in an Oximeter.
- Viatom Handheld Pulse Oximeter for Adults and Baby –For instant results and the most accurate readings, Viatom pulse oximeter is an incredible piece of equipment.
- BodiMetrics O2 Vibe Sleep & Fitness Monitor - Oxygen & Heart Rate Recorder - Wearable Health & Activity Tracker – With audible and visual alerts, this easy to use the device is great for medical and sports professionals.
- BabyO2 Baby Oxygen Monitor Foot, with Alarm in APP, Track O2 Level & Heart Rate, Wearable Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor Bluetooth, Fits Babies 0-36 Months – Another top of the line device from Wellue, this one is perfect for babies and children.
Best Pulse Oximeters for Sports Enthusiasts.
1) LOOKEE O2-Ring Oxygen Monitor Tracker
The first on our list of the best pulse oximeter is the Lookee O2 monitor, specifically, for sports enthusiasts. Hence, if you like skiing and mountain climbing, then this is the best Oximeter for you. In particular, we liked its compact size that makes the device convenient to carry. Additionally, its soft finger ring sensor makes it very easy to use. As a result, you simply slide it into your finger and get your O2 levels. However, make sure you only use the digital oxygen sensor before and after working out.
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- The device is reliable and durable. It has consistent monitoring and provides accurate readings.
- It can not only read your SpO2 level, but also the pulse rate. Also, the device can easily be used on your finger and is excellent for doctors and nurses.
- Besides, it has an alarm and beeps when it detects the pulse.
- Next, it comes with a free mobile app for insights into the various readings.
- It also is very convenient to use for sleep monitoring.
- Above all, it comes with a 1-year warranty.
- Hence, it is excellent for sports, especially high altitude adventure sports.
- The device is very small. Make sure you not moving while using the device.
No products found.
No products found.
Best Finger Tip Pulse Oximeters for Quick Reading
2) Wellue Fingertip Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor with Alarm for Wellness Use
Another high-quality product for quick reading of your blood oxygen level is the Wellue fingertip monitor. Not only does the device have a large screen display, but it can also help you analyze the readings through an app. Both sports enthusiasts and health care professionals can use the tool and expect great results. While its memory feature surely caught our attention, we specifically liked its data presentation capacity. In effect, you can store and retrieve 12-groups of O2 and pulse readings. Also, requires two AAA batteries and provides 24 hours of readings.
Moreover, if you are a medical professional look for similar products, take a look at this article on the best medical gloves you can purchase online.
- It has a sound as well as a visual alert for above normal/below readings. Hence, it is suitable for children and adults.
- Secondly, this Oximeter monitors your blood oxygen levels quickly and efficiently. Additionally, the device measures pulse strength in 8 seconds flat.
- Then, it has a large LED screen.
- The tool is easy to use because of its single-button turn off and on.
- It also has an automatic shut off feature.
- Clean your finger thoroughly before using the device
Best Pulse Oximeters for Respiratory Therapists
3) Buyter(TM) Finger Tip Pulse Oximeter and Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor with Lanyard Color in Random
If certification is everything, this device is number one on the list of pulse oximeters. Not only is this device safe, but it provides an accurate reading every single time. Nurses, doctors, and even respiratory therapists prefer to use the Buyter Fingertip pulse Oximeter because of its reliability and brand quality. If you are looking for more premium medical products and money is not a limitation, take a look at our list of the most expensive hearing aids available.
- Not only is this Oximeter useful for asthma patients, but is also precise in its reading.
- The device is light and requires AAA batteries to operate.
- You can also use this tool for sports and other activities.
- Above all, registered respiratory therapists have certified the device.
- The device can be used for children as well as adults.
- The device does not come with batteries.
- The reading will not be accurate if you have nail polish.
Best Pulse Oximeter for Sleep Apnea
4) Wellue WearO2 Wearable Health Monitor
Another high-quality product from Wellue, that will never fail, is present on our list of the best oximeters. Since it has non-slip soft ring sensors, it is perfect for monitoring your overnight O2 levels. Additionally, the device is compact and very convenient to carry around. It is an excellent choice for sports enthusiasts and respiratory therapists. Similarly, it is excellent for doctors and nurses as well. It also comes with a handy cord to keep it from getting lost. If you are looking for more products to help improve your medical equipment at home, start with our list of the best tens units available online.
- The device has a super bright LED screen. Hence, you can view the result in any environment.
- You can easily use the device by clipping it on your finger.
- Also, the device shows accurate results.
- It is a waterproof device.
- The Oximeterter is small and convenient to carry.
- With built-in memory and an app that comes with it for free, it can help analyze your readings.
- Make sure it is fully charged to last throughout the night for sleep monitoring.
Best Pulse Oximeters for Nurses
5) Santamedical Generation 2 Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
When the brand offers you a money-back guarantee, you know the product is right. While Santamedical’s Pulse Oximeter is a one of a kind blood oxygen monitor, it has a single OLED screen that works in any lighting. The device is not only accurate and durable but is also lightweight at just 10.6 ounces. It also has a rotating display which is great for nurses. If you are looking for similar quality products, take a look at our list of the top ankle braces available.
- Automatic power-off in 10 seconds.
- The measurement is precise as well as fast. So fast, that it takes only 6 seconds to get a reading.
- Most importantly, the readings appear in four different directions.
- The Oximeterter uses AAA batteries and runs for 30 hours.
- One year warranty
- The device does not have an alarm system.
Best Pulse Oximeter for Overnight Monitoring
6) ViATOM Wrist Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor
Super light and super accurate are two ways to describe the Santamedical Oximeter. While this device rechargeable, it is convenient to carry around because it fits in your pocket. Not to mention, its soft patented silicon ring sensor that we found to be a real game-changer in the world of oximeters. Because of its unique design, it never slips from your finger during the night. It is also not too tight on your finger to make it numb. Another product much like this pulse oximeter is the back brace. If you are looking for the best back braces for lower or upper back pain, click on this link!
- The device is very light, with a weight of just 50g.
- Rechargeable batteries that can work for up to 2 nights on one charge.
- An OLED display on the top provides a sharp display of the readings.
- Viberation alerts.
- Syncs with a free app to record and share readings.
- The device is not suitable for children.
- Though it is tiny in size, it is easy to misplace.
No products found.
No products found.
Best Pulse Oximeter for Doctors
7) Wellue Oxyfit Fingertip Health Monitor
Doctors need a Pulse oximeter that can run for a long time. The Wellue Oxyfit can handle long hours of uninterrupted measuring and give you accurate readings. Besides this, the device is very portable, and it comes with a sensor. The features we found to be specifically suitable for doctors are the rechargeable battery and built-in memory. While one saves you the uncertainty of the device shutting down unexpectedly, the other helps you keep record of the readings. Similar to this product, for sports professionals, we recommend going through our list of the best knee braces available online.
- The device is known not only for its portability but also durability.
- While it is quick, it also provides continuous readings.
- It operates with as well as without the app that comes with it.
- Though it does not have an in-built reminder function, the app can be used for the same.
- Efficient in any environment – sports as well as medical use.
- Not suitable for sports
No products found.
No products found.
Best Pulse Oximeters for Home Use
8) Viatom Handheld Pulse Oximeter for Adults and Baby
Viatom once again takes the cake with this handheld Pulse Oximeter being easy to use and convenient for home use. It can record up to 580 hours of readings which can help while a doctor is examining the patient. It is a simple device with two operating buttons. Above all, we were quite charmed by its auto-rotate feature and the oximeter base. While auto-rotate helps in easy viewing, the base works as a holder as well as a charger for the oximeter. If you are looking for premium products similar to this one, take a look at our list of the most expensive first-aid kits money can buy!
- Firstly, the device has a loud alarm for alerting warnings.
- Since it comes with 580 hours of data storage, it’s very useful for doctors and other medical personnel.
- Because of its ability to create up to 16-user IDs for data storage, this one is perfect for home use.
- Specific accessories are available for different age-groups.
- While the device comes with a charger stand, it also has 7-language display options.
- Above all, it has a free PC software for creating professional reports
- Has different modes for different age groups.
- The device is too bulky for sports, especially if you are running or climbing.
Best Wrist Pulse Oximeter
9) BodiMetrics O2 Vibe Sleep & Fitness Monitor – Oxygen & Heart Rate Recorder – Wearable Health & Activity Tracker
Since you can wear this device on your wrist, the Bodimetrics O2 is a great monitor for sleep and fitness. This is because it is convenient and has a thumb clip. The readings are very accurate, and the device is very light. Additionally, it is compatible with Android and IOS, and it is excellent to keep you in check with your fitness goals. Another great product to help you improve your health is the posture corrector, and we have listed the best posture correctors you can find on the internet.
- This device is very light and one of the best tools in the market.
- The SpO2 monitor is comfortable to use, and Bodimetrics has a patent over the thumb sensor.
- ThOximeterter can measure track steps pulse rate and has a digital clock to display time.
- The monitor vibrates when your pulse rate drops below the threshold while exercising.
- The device is recommended for sleep apnea and recording pulse rate during sleep.
Best Pediatric Pulse Oximeter
10) BabyO2 Baby Oxygen Monitor Foot, with Alarm in APP, Track O2 Level & Heart Rate
Not only is this BabyO2 perfect for babies, but can also be used for older children. Its soft adjustable band makes it very comfortable for the child as well as makes it easy to wear. Additionally, in case the device falls off or there the O2 levels fall below threshold, the alarm alerts you immediately. Above all, it comes with two sizes for soft wraps for different age groups.
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- The device is small. However, it provides a reliable and accurate reading.
- It is, particularly, very suitable for children.
- Not only does it have a strong velcro ring, but it is also very soft and comfortable. Additionally, it can be wrapped around the foot, wrist, or even finger.
- It can monitor the baby’s O2, heart rate as well as movement throughout the night.
- The Oximeter has a sound alarm and adjustable brightness.
- It syncs with an app for data storage and analysis.
- However, the device is not suitable for sports.
What Are The Normal Ranges for Pulse Oximeter?
There are a few things to keep in mind –
- Firstly, consider the age of the person using the device. The device will have a different reading for old and young people.
- Secondly, we should keep in mind the activities in which the individual is involved, such as sports or fitness activities, etc.
- Lastly, the health and surroundings of the person using the device
With these in mind, the normal ranges of a human being are:
- For Heart Rate – 60 – 100 BPM
- Oxygen Saturation – 90-100 %
Benefits of Using a Pulse Oximeter
1) For Adventure Sports Activities
The pulse oximeter should be attached to you so it can alert you when oxygen-deprived. High altitude activities such as mountain climbing, skydiving, hand gliding, and other related sports can lead to a lower oxygen level in the blood—the device can monitor this.
Undeniably, if you have COPD, you need this device at all times. Since it is crucial to make sure your lungs are providing enough oxygen to your body, this device can help monitor the same. Moreover, it helps doctors get alerts for patients that need medication and is a great way to monitor their SpO2 Levels.
Patients can get alerted before the attack takes place and keep their inhaler ready.
4) Sleep Apnea
The device can monitor the blood saturation level and is a great way to combat severe snoring.
In the event of an emergency, the device can alert doctors and nurses in a hospital when there is a problem with the patient’s oxygen levels.
Precautions and Warnings When Using Pulse Oximeters
There are no side effects of using a Pulse Oximeter. As long as the device provides an accurate reading, you are in good hands. But there are certain elements to consider, such as:
1) Dark Skin
Tests have revealed that the devices overestimate the concentration of blood oxygen. As a result, these tests have confirmed that people with darker skin tones have a different reading than people with lighter skin tones.
2) Toe and Finger Nail Paint
Paint on nails can alter the readings and cause problems for the device. In the end, the SPO2 reading may not be on point.
3) Bright light
Sunlight or direct light falling over the device can alter the reading and disrupt the accuracy. So make sure the room is dim for accurate results.
The tool cannot calculate the carbon dioxide level in the blood. Therefore, you should use gas-blood analysis to determine the spike in carbon dioxide levels in the blood.
Also, make sure the patient is not Shivering as it could result in a wrong reading.
You should go to the emergency room if your SPO2 level is less than 80%. Moreover, if the results are repeated, it may prove fatal. Make sure the device does not have any scratches or damage because it could deter the device from accurate readings.
Buying Guide For The Best Pulse Oximeters
Here’s our 20 point rule to purchasing the right Pulse Oximeter for you –
Device Physical Features
1. Battery Life
Battery life is critical in providing readings, especially for continuously monitored people. The best Pulse Oximeters have a long battery life, and this is crucial when you are travelling or using it over a long period before you can recharge the device.
2. Warning Systems
Three vital warning systems that your device must indicate are irregular heartbeat rate, Low SpO2, and low battery.
In particular, your Oximeter should withstand Cracks, scratches, and water. Especially, if you use the device for outdoor activities, scratches are bound to happen. Pick a strong pulse oximeter than can last long and comes with a cover.
Small tools are more comfortable to carry around and are more convenient for the traveller and for people who constantly engage in sports. Thus, the size of the device is essential when you consider purchasing a pulse oximeter.
It’s ok to choose a device that isn’t boring. Look for fancy tools that you can take along when you go outdoor. Many sports personalities use stylish accessories while exercising or performing activities.
Light devices allow you to move freely without any restrictions. For sports, the lighter the equipment, the better the range of motion. Even if the patient is on a bed, a light device will not cause much of a disturbance.
Make sure the screen is bright enough to read in any circumstances. The screen must also state the required components for a proper examination and give a good idea of the reading.
8. Warranty And Support
Make sure the company or brand you purchase offers excellent support and warranty for the product. Having instant help when you need it can be crucial at certain times.
Features That Make It The Best Pulse Oximeter
Make sure you find a device that provides an accurate reading. This reason is important because it is the most obvious reason to buy OximeterOximeter. The Best Pulse Oximeters can give a reading as close as ±2% of the actual blood oxygen level. As a result, the reading can provide sufficient details about the blood that can help check if your SpO2 level is average or something to be of concern.
2. Response Time
Calculating your blood oxygen level should not take more than 10 seconds. Newer models of the device are around this corner. The best ones mostly work within the 10-second time frame. The older models take about 30 seconds, which might sound ok, but it is a bit of a wait.
Undeniably, a suitable pulse oximeter should tick off portability from your list. Particularly, if you love traveling and adventure sports, having the device with you at all times can prove to be useful. Find an excellent case for your device and purchase one that is the right size, which you can carry around easily.
The FDA approved devices are certified and more reliable. These devices are medical appliances and, thus, are essential. Do not ignore FDA approval.
5. Easy To Use
The best Pulse Oximeters are automatically activated. Once you clip them on, they start working, provide the reading, and switch off either with the push of a button or automatically. Some of them monitor for a longer time and have easy ways to set alarms, etc.
Choose a device that has a useful review as well as bought by many people. Above all, never underestimate a helpful review. Sometimes devices might be cheaper but have better functionality. Hence, a review quickly determines this factor.
Additional Features The Pulse Oximeters Must Have
Having a loud alarm in place is essential. Make sure the device is loud enough to hear from all parts of your home. This feature is not mandatory for people who use the tool for sports-related activities, but rather for older individuals who need constant care and attention.
If you pay more for your product, you can expect better and easier functions. Also, be open to spending a little more on your product as you should never think twice about purchasing health-related equipment.
3. Receptacle Size
Different people have different finger sizes. Because of this, you need to make sure that the one you use is more adapt to your finger. It makes it easier if you can try out the device before using it. Purchase an oximeter that is adaptable to different finger sizes to avoid the issue from arising during use.
Make sure the device can store information about earlier readings, so you have one single place to look when you need it. This feature is convenient and allows doctors to compare readings whenever necessary.
Purchasing a device that is compatible with other devices is another excellent point when buying your Oximeterter. Since some Oximeters have Bluetooth, they allow you to sync up to your smartphone. Because this feature enables you to move freely, do not ignore it during your purchase.
At the end of the day, satisfaction is king, and you need a device that does the job with the least amount of effort. It is a combination of all the above points and expert’s advice. Choose the right tool from the list above and make the right choice when buying your Pulse Oximeter.
1) Why do I need a Pulse Oximeter?
A) If you have started a heavy workout routine, or are feeling discomfort while breathing, tOximeterter is a great way to keep your heart rate in check and monitor yourself for overworking your body. The device is also great if you want to check your oxygen level in your blood and should not be ignored if you have Hypoxemia.
2) What is Hypoxemia?
A) If your blood oxygen level dips below the healthy range, it is called Hypoxemia. Because of its name, it is easily confused with Hypoxia, which means the SpO2 has fallen to a level that indicates possible death.
3) Which finger should I use for the reading?
A) It is standard to use your middle finger. The reading is usually precise, especially if you are using one of the best pulse oximeters available.
4) What are the risks involved when using a Pulse Oximeter?
A) There are no risks involved when using the device. But you should use a reliable tool to avoid getting an incorrect reading.
Choosing the right device should be a lot easier with our analysis. Also, make sure you follow the guide and pick a brand that you can trust. Remember – never choose a device just because it is expensive, check the features first.
Dr. David Taylor is a medical professional and an avid blogger. He holds an M.D. from Drexel University & a Ph.D. from Indiana University School of Medicine.
Dr. David loves to utilize technology to improve healthcare and he does it daily through BestRatedDocs.com. He founded the company in 2016 with the vision to make the discoverability of the best healthcare facilities & best products simple and easy. His passion for informatics and using technology to empower healthcare professionals and the patients they serve is unmatched. He regularly blogs about technology, health IT, medical products and other healthcare topics at bestrateddocs.com.
Last updated on 2021-12-01 // Source: Amazon Affiliates