In this concise review, we will be looking at the top Oximeters available in terms of features and accuracy for personal and medical use
All of these are used by healthcare professionals such as nurses, doctors, as well as respiratory therapists.
While these top-of-the-line oximeters are only officially rated for home and sports use, it is important to note that hospitals set different standards and requirements. To ensure approved medical use, please make sure to consult with your doctor or the product’s manufacturer.
Without further ado, this is our exhaustive list of the Pulse Oximeters for home and medical use!
Here’s a shortlist of the Best finger Pulse Oximeters for Respiratory Therapists, Doctors, Nurses and Home Use:
- OxiMeter Pro™
1. OxiMeter Pro™
The first and best pulse oximeter in our list is the OxiMeter Pro™. It is currently one of the USA’s top-selling pulse oximetry units. It is used by local governments and businesses all over the country. It is also used to monitor the health of tens of thousands of homes and families nationwide. It’s safe to use for all ages!
The OxiMeter Pro™ is durable, lightweight, and compact. It’s designed to be for use on-the-go, for people from all walks of life such as sports enthusiasts, health-conscious peeps, and basically anyone who needs to obtain blood oxygen saturation levels and pulse rate at any time.
Alongside the high-contrast display with large, bright clear numbers, audio cues are also given to give you an accurate reading. This makes the OxiMeter Pro™ an ideal choice for those with impaired vision.
The high-contrast screen displays bright, clear numbers. This is coupled with audio cues that provide additional notifications to ensure that you’ll get the most accurate reading.
Each OxiMeter Pro™ order from ThermoDetectUSA is shipped directly via USPS from California, which ensures you’ll be able to monitor your shipment in real-time, and take advantage of fast US Shipping.
- Professional-level accuracy
- Made from durable materials
- Great value for money
- Readable screen in any condition
- Pocket pouch included
- Included battery needs improvement
2.OLED Finger Pulse Oximeter
The Finger Pulse Oximeter is an accurate pulse oximeter with a sensor that can check your blood oxygen saturation levels and pulse rate in real-time through a neat pulse bar graph.
It also has 6 display modes, 10 different levels of brightness, and will “warn” via an indicator when the pair of AAA batteries powering the device is almost empty. Bundled within the box are an instruction manual, an adjustable and detachable neck lanyard, a carrying case, and a pair of AAA batteries. It’s portable and ready out-of-the-box! The slim design also allows you to put this device in your pocket without much trouble.
While it is not FDA-approved for medical use, it is accurate enough to be used by sportsmen and aviators. It’s awesome for mountain climbers, trainers, athletes, and even pilots.
- As good as more expensive options
- Easy to read and operate
- Can be a bit slow
- A bit pricey compared to competitors
3.Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
The 2nd Generation of is a good upgrade from the first iteration and is a worthy addition to this list. Also rated for sports and aviation use, this device earns its 3rd spot due to its accuracy, portability, and its self-adjusting finger clamp.
The most obvious upgrade from the 1st generation device is a welcome one – it provides a reading at a high speed while retaining the accuracy that the Santamedical model is known for.
The bright LED screen also helps with viewing under any lighting conditions. The screen also displays the results in two ways so both the user and/or the patient can read the results easily.
The 2nd Generation of Santamedical’s Fingertip Pulse Oximeter has an added screw to the battery socket cover which adds a good amount of solidity to the build. It’s durable, and should survive low impact drops. It also comes with an additional wrist strap and a carrying case for portability.
- A worthy upgrade to the 1st generation model
- Good accuracy and reading speed
- May sometimes lack consistency in readings
4.Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
This is marketed as the most advanced oximeter, as it includes a Plethysmograph and Perfusion Index (PI) along with the regular pulse oximetry sensors. It means that this device can also measure your heartbeat rate and even your pulse strength. All of these features come in a slim and sleek design that would slide into your pocket with ease.
However, the instructions that come with the device state that it only provides approximate readings and should only be used to determine specifics after exercising. This may make buyers who want the greatest accuracy a little bit wary.
Of course, the additional bells and whistles means that it might be more expensive than equal or more accurate options in the market. Nonetheless, it provides great value and is a wonderful option worthy of the 4th spot in our list.
- Has additional Plethysmograph and Perfusion Index sensors
- Easier to use than sensors that come with mobile phones such as Samsung’s Heart Monitor
- Works a little worse with cold hands
5.Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
The 5th item in our list also serves as an upgrade to an older device which is also in this list – the . This model was created to be faster and more accurate than the older device, which primarily had issues with slowness, sensitivity to movement, and inaccuracy.
This pulse oximeter comes with an adjustable lanyard, which is good news for people who love running or hiking.
The good news is that you won’t have to worry about taking it outside as it’s also durable, with a build that could match more expensive alternatives. As a bonus, it comes with a silicone cover! And while it doesn’t offer too many additional features, it still provides great value for the amount that you pay.
- Solid and built to last
- Good to use right out-of-the-box
- Not too expensive, but not too cheap either
- Picky about finger positioning for the most accurate reads
6.Pulse Oximeter with Carrying Case
The 6th item on our list is the . While it does provide an accurate reading of your blood oxygen saturation levels, it does not have a blood pressure sensor like most of its contemporaries on this list.
However, the aforementioned speed and accuracy this device provides is enough to compare with professional-grade pulse oximeters, and medical professionals swear by it. However, it is officially graded only for sports and aviation use.
For actual medical use, you will still need to refer to your doctor or any similar medical expert.
- Fast and accurate
- User interface could use some work
- Not advisable for self-measurements
This device claims its 7th spot partly due to its good value for money. It is cheaper than most of the devices on this list, and it also allows you to read your heart rate. An included lanyard in the package also gives it some portability.
What makes special is battery conservation. It has an additional sensor that turns the oximeter off after 8-9 seconds of zero activity.
Also, while it is as accurate as most devices on this list, the readings are not as fast or as consistent.
- Good value for money
- Replaceable AAA batteries rated for 600 checks
- User-friendly instructions
- Can have difficulties with small fingers
- Build isn’t up to par with the others in this list
- Can be rather inconsistent
8.Finger Pulse Oximeter
An upgrade to an older model pulse oximeter from , this device is also famous for its value for money. While it has not much in the way of extra features, it delivers what most people want – the accuracy of the results, the speed at which the results are given, and the price of the device itself.
Of course, cheaper pricing means some sacrifices had to be made. One aspect that they could improve on is the build quality. It isn’t nearly as solid as most of the other devices in this list. The user interface and manual also leave something to be desired.
However, due to the current situation, the prices may vary and result in this device possibly being more expensive than its competitors.
- Another option with good value
- Decently fast and accurate
- Build isn’t solid
- Not very user-friendly
- Lack of additional features
9.Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
The is the predecessor of the 500DL, but it still deserves a spot in this list for its speed, accuracy, and portability. It is also stated to be designed only for home use, exercise, or travel. While it isn’t as fast as its newer, shinier sibling, it still holds its own in terms of reading accuracy and consistency.
A key feature worth mentioning is the auto-brightness setting similar to the one you find on modern smartphones and other mobile devices. This ensures great readability in any lighting condition.
Two AAA batteries also power this pulse oximeter, and it also powers off automatically when not in use. However, batteries are only rated up to 24 hours of continuous use, which is far from being the best in its class.
The ’s best selling point is its portability – it only weighs 50 grams, and it comes with a convenient travel case and a lanyard.
- Good accuracy
- Portable and lightweight
- Outperformed by its newer counterpart
- Not very power-efficient
- Cannot be used while in motion
The last spot on our list goes to the . A solid option for home-use, it is also sleek and minimalistic, with an incredibly portable form factor which means you can easily take it with you outside for emergency purposes.
While it is relatively inexpensive, it can provide results as quickly as any other competitor. However, it is far from being the most accurate or consistent in this list.
Another gripe that we had is that the screen isn’t as good as the rest of the oximeters in this list. Adults with bad eyesight or people in bright places might have a hard time viewing the results, and it is not very user-friendly either.
- Gives fast results
- Rather inexpensive
- Not very accurate
- Results may vary across multiple tests
- Not a medical-grade device
What is a Pulse Oximeter and why do You Need One?
Did you know that the blood in your body contains oxygen? This oxygen is distributed to your organs all over your body. A low level of oxygen in a person’s blood is hazardous and leads to disastrous health concerns.
Nowadays, people are more concerned about their health due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.. It’s a rather stealthy virus that hasn’t been fully studied yet. In fact, as of this writing, the World Health Organization just released a statement that the virus can spread through the air.
While it can be stealthy, the COVID-19 virus is more easily detectable during the onset of symptoms. One of the most common symptoms of exposure to COVID-19 is pneumonia, as the virus weakens the respiratory system of almost anyone who catches it. Thankfully, you can detect this early on by checking the amount of oxygen in your blood.
A Pulse Oximeter does just that – it is a simple, painless, and fast test that measures the user’s current oxygen levels or blood oxygen saturation levels. This determines if the user possibly has any possible concern with his or her lung health. Possible issues include, but are not limited to pneumonia, asthma, lung cancer, and many more.
In this day and age, we don’t know who’s affected by the pandemic and who’s not. That means we need some extra precaution – everyone is recommended to have one of these pulse oximeters as an early warning device.
Are there Multiple Pulse Oximeter Types?
There are two primary classifications of Pulse Oximeters – Medical Grade, which is primarily used by hospitals with the most stringent standards, and Sports and Home Use, which is easily accessible to any consumer looking for one in the market.
While the devices for Sports and Home Use may not be used as hospital equipment, it doesn’t stop thousands of medical practitioners all around the country from using this cheaper variant to supplement lab tests.
How does a Pulse Oximeter measure the Oxygen in Blood?
Pulse Oximeters primarily check how much percent of oxygen is currently in a person’s arteries. This is the current level of oxygen in a person’s blood, or more commonly known as blood oxygen saturation levels or SpO2.
In the same vein, any Pulse Oximeter can also detect heart rate, which is also a complement to SpO2. Some advanced Pulse Oximeters can also detect pulse strength.
How it works is simple. A Pulse Oximeter works on a very basic principle – the opacity of blood. One side of the Pulse Oximeter’s clip sends a beam of light with a wide spectrum through a person’s finger. The amount of light that passes through the blood differs depending on the amount of oxygen in the blood. This light is then received by a sensor on the other side of the clip. This sensor detects the wavelength of light that passes through, which is then calculated by the processor within the circuitry of the device.
A good Pulse Oximeter can compensate for finger size, environmental light, and movement. The best devices also contain a reference curve which is saved inside the memory of the Pulse Oximeter, which is similar to a tiny USB drive. This reference curve helps with the calibration and precision of the results.
How to Make the Most of a Pulse Oximeter
Using a Pulse Oximeter is utterly safe and painless, as it is a non-invasive device. Gone are the days when labs needed to draw a patient’s blood and perform several tests to determine how much oxygen is in a person’s blood.
Its use started around the 1980s, and since then, strides have been made to make the devices more reliable and ready for mass production. Hospitals nowadays simply use medical-grade or even consumer-grade Pulse Oximeters – as long as the device fits the hospital’s standards and regulations.
Getting a reading is quite simple – most Pulse Oximeters, especially the ones in this list, are basically clips for a person’s fingertips. Similarly, if the patient’s fingers are too small, the toes can be used as well. There are also more expensive surface probes that can get readings from the forehead or the chest.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind in order to make sure that the results are as accurate as possible.
According to a study from 2015, the best finger to use a Pulse Oximeter on is the middle finger of the right hand, followed by the thumb from the same hand. The study went through all of the digits, including toes, of multiple subjects. This may come as a surprise to clinical practitioners, as the same study also showed that 80% of the aforementioned practitioners use the patient’s right or left index finger.
Another thing to bear in mind is to minimize the movement of the patient. The diode that measures the light’s wavelength can be rather sensitive, and any movement might affect the accuracy of the reading.
Is there any Danger in Using a Pulse Oximeter?
Short answer: None. It is a non-invasive tool, after all.
Long answer: Still none. However, it is advisable to get your doctor’s opinion for the Pulse Oximeter that you are going to be using – if it passes your doctor’s standards, it should be fine. If you want to use one yourself, please take note of the tips we gave above – the only questionable factor will be the accuracy of the results, and you’ll want the best possible consistency and accuracy from your readings.
What are the Ideal Results for a Healthy Person?
According to a comprehensive 2002 study titled “Utility of Pulse Oximetry in Diagnosing Pneumonia,” getting a result of less than 94% blood oxygen saturation and/or less than 3% from your usual SpO2 levels is a strong indication of pneumonia or other respiratory diseases or infections.
Doctors and other experts mostly agree that 95% to 99% is the ideal range for those without an existing respiratory condition.
Do you Actually NEED Your Own Pulse Oximeter?
The Coronavirus pandemic changes things – we are currently dealing with what most people call the “new normal.” Even if things are slowly going back to where they were before, purchasing one for your own household or even your own business is worth it. After all, what price would you put on your own health and peace of mind?
Apart from COVID-19, a Pulse Oximeter would be incredibly useful if you have a family member or loved one with lung diseases such as COPD and asthma at home. This provides an early warning device or an indicator of whether the patient would need immediate medical attention or not.
If you wish to own one, be sure to check with your doctor if the Pulse Oximeter that you’re about to purchase or already purchased will work as well as intended.
Some Final Remarks
These are the absolute best commercially-available Pulse Oximeter for the regular consumer. In fact, respiratory experts, nurses, and other healthcare personnel use and swear by a lot of the devices in this list!
While you won’t go wrong with any of these, of course, you want the best one for your family. We would personally recommend the OxiMeter Pro™ as our top pick – it is the fastest and most accurate Pulse Oximeter that we’ve tested, not to mention it’s extremely durable and power-efficient as well.
Use OxiMeter Pro™ multiple times per day and give yourself peace of mind. Quite frankly, it’s worth far more than what you pay for – this will help you breathe easy!