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Comprehensive Guide to Purchasing a Portable Oxygen Concentrator


Deciding to purchase a portable oxygen concentrator (POC) is a significant step towards improving your quality of life if you require oxygen therapy. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to make an informed decision, ensuring that you choose the right device to meet your needs.

1. Understanding Your Oxygen Needs

Consult with Your Healthcare Provider

Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate oxygen flow rate you need, which is crucial in selecting a POC. This rate is measured in liters per minute (LPM) and can vary depending on your activity levels and specific health conditions.

2. Key Features to Consider

Battery Life

- Importance: Battery life determines how long you can use the concentrator without needing to recharge. Longer battery life means more freedom to move around without interruptions.

- What to Look For: Choose a POC that offers a battery life that suits your lifestyle. Some models provide up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge.

Flow Rate and Maximum Level

- Importance: The flow rate indicates how much oxygen the concentrator can deliver per minute. It’s essential to match this with your prescribed needs. The maximum level ensures the POC can meet higher oxygen requirements if needed.

- What to Look For: Ensure the POC can provide the required flow rate at all times. Most portable units offer settings between 1 and 5 LPM, but some can go higher if needed. Understanding the maximum flow rate level gives you a clear indication of how well the device will cater to your needs.

3. Practical Considerations

Portability and Weight

- Importance: A lightweight and compact POC is easier to carry and handle, especially if you lead an active lifestyle.

- What to Look For: Check the weight of the concentrator and consider if it’s manageable for you. Many portable models weigh less than 10 pounds.

Noise Level

- Importance: A quieter concentrator can be used discreetly in public places and will not disturb your sleep.

- What to Look For: Look for POCs that are designed to operate quietly, typically below 40 decibels.

4. Usability and Maintenance

Ease of Use

- Importance: The concentrator should be simple to operate, especially if you have any physical limitations.

- What to Look For: Choose a POC with an intuitive control panel and clear display. Features like easy-to-change batteries and filters can also be beneficial.

Maintenance Requirements

- Importance: Regular maintenance ensures the concentrator works efficiently and lasts longer.

- What to Look For: Consider the frequency of required maintenance and how easy it is to perform these tasks. Some POCs have self-diagnostic tools to simplify this process.

5. Additional Features

Pulse Dose vs. Continuous Flow

- Pulse Dose: Delivers oxygen in bursts when you inhale, conserving battery life. Suitable for most active users.

- Continuous Flow: Provides a constant flow of oxygen. Essential for some patients, especially those with higher oxygen needs or those who use the concentrator while sleeping.

Warranty and Support

- Importance: A good warranty and reliable customer support can save you from potential issues down the line.

- What to Look For: Check the warranty period and what it covers. Ensure that customer support is accessible and responsive.

6. Financial Considerations

Insurance Coverage

- Importance: Understanding your insurance coverage can significantly reduce out-of-pocket costs.

- What to Look For: Consult with your insurance provider to see what part of the cost they will cover. Respocare is registered with all major medical aids, facilitating access to our services.

Cost of Ownership

- Importance:Consider the total cost, including initial purchase, maintenance, and potential replacement parts.

- What to Look For: Compare prices and consider long-term costs. Sometimes, a higher upfront cost can result in lower overall expenses due to better durability and efficiency.

7. Trying Before Buying

Trial Period

- Importance: Trying a POC before making a purchase can help you determine if it meets your needs.

- What to Look For: Some suppliers offer trial periods. Take advantage of these to test the device in various settings.


Purchasing a portable oxygen concentrator is a significant investment in your health and well-being. By understanding your oxygen needs, considering key features like battery life and flow rate, and evaluating practical and financial factors, you can choose a POC that enhances your quality of life.

Most Important Factors:

Battery life and flow rate (including maximum level) will give you a clear indication of how the portable oxygen concentrator will cater to your needs. At Respocare, our team is dedicated to providing you with the information and support you need to make the best choice.

Ready to Choose Your Portable Oxygen Concentrator?

At Respocare, we offer a range of high-quality portable oxygen concentrators tailored to meet diverse needs. Our team is here to support you every step of the way, from selection to ongoing maintenance.

Contact us today for a personalized consultation and find the perfect portable oxygen concentrator for your lifestyle.


This comprehensive guide covers the essential aspects of choosing a portable oxygen concentrator, emphasizing the importance of battery life and flow rate to help patients make an informed decision that aligns with their health requirements and lifestyle.

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