Best Pulse Oximeter

If you find yourself on this page, there is a perfect chance you are looking to buy a Pulse Oximeter or, at least, just know more about them. If so, then you have come to the right place cause this article is going to be all about pulse oximeters and nothing else.

We all have heard of Blood pressure monitor and sleep tracker that we keep at our house so we can have all the stats from time to time. One such important device to keep at home is oximeter. With the advancement in technology, it is now very easy to use. Hence people can keep them at home also.

Pulse oximeters are non-invasive devices that help to find the amount of saturated oxygen in the blood. It is also used to check the pulse rate of the patient. It has become more common than blood gas tests due to their non-invasiveness.

A medical procedure is said to be non-invasive when no break in the skin is created, as is done by using a syringe.

An arterial blood gas test is a blood test that is done to determine the amounts of certain gases in the arterial blood. For an arterial blood gas test, a blood sample is drawn from an artery, such as from the wrist.

On the contrary, pulse oximeters do not need a blood sample to determine the amount of oxygen in arterial blood but rather depend on the absorption of wavelengths of light by oxygenated hemoglobin. Moreover, they are also capable of producing real-time results quicker, without compromising on accuracy, unlike arterial blood gas tests, which could take some time to produce the results.

Pulse oximeters have been observed to provide accurate results with a wide range of patients, regardless of sex and age. They are also very compact devices and are easy to use, and can be used by any person. Add to that how affordable they are, and it will not be a surprise as to why they are becoming more and more common these days.

In this article, you will find how a Pulse Oximeter works, its types of oximeter followed by Buyer’s guide and benefits to help you make the right decision along with answers to frequently asked questions and our list of Best Pulse Oximeters in India.

How a Pulse Oximeter Works

The probe of the pulse oximeter is clamped on a thin part of the patient’s body, such as a fingertip or an earlobe. The probe then sends two wavelengths of light through the body part to a photodetector, i.e., a receiver. Oxygenated hemoglobin absorbs one of the two wavelengths of light, while deoxygenated hemoglobin absorbs the other wavelength. The photodetector or receiver analyzes the two wavelengths after they have passed through the body part and determines the blood oxygen level.

Benefits of Using a Pulse Oximeter

  • Monitors the saturation of oxygen in the blood for those suffering from sleep apnea and severe snoring.
  • They help in warning the hospital staff in case the oxygen level in the blood of an infant or any vulnerable patient becomes dangerously low.
  • Helps in monitoring pulse rate and Spo2 during exercise or any other physical activity, especially for someone suffering from cardiovascular and chronic respiratory conditions.
  • It measures the saturation level of oxygen in the blood for those under anesthesia.
  • Notifies you when the readings are beyond the limits.

Types of Pulse Oximeters

There are five types of pulse oximeters that are available in the market. They are:-  

Finger Pulse Oximeters

Finger Pulse Oximeter

Finger pulse oximeters are also known as Portable pulse oximeters. As the name suggests, such oximeters are small and portable and are generally used on the fingertips. The oximeter is simply clipped on the finger, and the display screen is on the probe itself. When the oximeter is clipped on the finger, the results are shown on the screen, almost instantaneously.

Such oximeters are battery operated and are very useful to check blood oxygen levels at home. The easy use of such oximeters, portability, and affordability, makes it ideal for use at home, clinics, caregivers, or by patients themselves.

Handheld Pulse OximetersHandheld Pulse Oximeter

Handheld pulse oximeters are more sophisticated than finger pulse oximeters and are capable of producing more accurate results.

A handheld pulse oximeter has two parts, the probe and the display screen, which is a handheld screen. The two parts are connected via a cable. The probe is attached to the person’s finger; ideally, the index finger and the blood oxygen levels are shown on the screen.

Such pulse oximeters are capable of continuous oxygen saturation monitoring. They are mostly used in hospitals, ambulances, medical institutes, and emergency medical services (EMS).

Tabletop OximetersTabletop Pulse Oximeter

Tabletop oximeters are bigger than handheld pulse oximeters and are very similar to handheld oximeters. Like handheld oximeters, tabletop oximeters also have two parts, the probe, and the display screen, connected by a cable. They are generally used in hospitals, medical facilities, and home care centers/settings.

Some tabletop oximeters come with audio and visual alarms to warn people around when parameters like blood oxygen level and pulse rate fall below the safe range.

Most tabletop oximeters also come with plethysmograph display and are suitable for monitoring adults, kids, and neonate patients. They even come with a provision to store data or logs for several patients, even up to 100 in some cases.

Wrist Worn OximetersWrist Worn Pulse Oximeter

Wrist worn oximeters are just like the wrist watches that one wears. This type of pulse oximeter is used for continuous monitoring.

In many cases, the doctor may want to monitor your blood oxygen levels daily, or during your sleep, wrist-worn oximeters are ideal for such cases.

The probe is attached to the patient’s finger, and the readings are displayed on a screen that is worn on the wrist, just like a wrist watch. The probe and the screen are connected by a short cable, which will not be a hindrance as you go about your daily work.

Such oximeters are capable of storing data as well. Some oximeters even have wireless connectivity via Bluetooth for wireless data transfer, while others have USB connectivity for the transfer of data.

Pediatric Pulse OximetersPaediatric Pulse Oximeter

Paediatric pulse oximeters are oximeters specially designed for kids, especially infants below the age of 4. They are finger pulse oximeters but built and designed to cater to kids and their smaller fingers without any problems.

Regular finger pulse oximeters are bigger and cannot cater to the smaller fingers of kids. Hence, paediatric pulse oximeters are used to monitor the blood oxygen levels for children and infants.

Some pulse oximeters come with an alarm when the pulse rate or oxygen saturation level goes below the safe range. Some of these pulse oximeters even have an anti-motion feature, which will help you get an accurate result, despite the child moving his/her hand.

Pulse Oximeter Buyer’s Guide

In purchasing a pulse oximeter, there are certain things to consider. Putting these into consideration will get you the best pulse oximeter.

Cost:

In choosing the best pulse oximeter to use, its affordability must be taken into consideration. The best option is to choose an oximeter you can afford; high cost on an oximeter can attract a high maintenance fee, and also give you more durability while low cost can bring about small maintenance fee, and sometimes less durable products.

Warning System:

Most pulse oximeters come with a warning system. Therefore, it’s good to choose an oximeter with an excellent warning system. A suitable oximeter will produce an alarm warning you about your steady heartbeat and also your irregular heartbeat.  For those who rely on pulse oximeters for disease management, an indicator for a low battery to be able to maintain their health adequately.

Lightweight:

Some oximeters can be very portable and also bulky. Therefore, choosing an oximeter that is lightweight is a good buy. These lightweight oximeters can be kept in your pocket without feeling uncomfortable. Any individual suffering from hypoxia will need a lightweight oximeter, and it is almost impossible for a light weighted oximeter to get damaged or destroyed by careless management.

Durability:

Durability is an essential factor in choosing the best pulse oximeter to buy. A strong pulse oximeter will provide the best result at all times. So, selecting a pulse oximeter that is not durable will put your life at risk in several scenarios. A quality pulse oximeter should be able to withstand hard impact with the ground and possess a waterproof structure to prevent damage from water and humidity. The durability of an oximeter will avert the failure of the device and prevent inaccurate readings.

Visible display:

There are several pulse oximeters with different styles or display and font color. Therefore, it’s crucial to choose a pulse oximeter with the perfect display of your choice and right font size. It’s also essential to select a pulse oximeter with a beautiful backlit display. Under severe lightning conditions, some of the best pulse oximeters have adjustable brightness that is needed during these conditions. You can also look for pulse oximeters with multiple angle displays to improve your visibility during usage.

Popularity:

The popularity of a pulse oximeter is essential in purchasing the right oximeter. Some pulse oximeters are more popular than others, and this popularity is derived from user reviews. User reviews also help in choosing the best pulse oximeter as some of those reviews state the general satisfaction of consumers. Therefore, it’s vital to preview several user reviews before purchasing the product.

Accuracy and Reliability:

The very first thing that one should look for while purchasing a pulse oximeter is its accuracy and reliability.

The primary purpose of a pulse oximeter is to measure your blood oxygen level and pulse rate. The key is to find a pulse oximeter that can produce accurate results consistently and reliably.

Most pulse oximeters use the same mechanism to produce readings, and the only difference lies in the way they are manufactured. Unfortunately, the only way to check whether a pulse oximeter is accurate or not is by cross-checking the results it produces with another one, such as one at your doctor’s office or other medical clinics.

Most oximeters should be capable of producing results within a few seconds with an accuracy of ±3%.

The accuracy of the oximeter is affected by motion. So, if your hand trembles, find an oximeter that has an anti-motion feature, which will still be able to produce accurate results.

Ease of Use:

A pulse oximeter should be easy to use and should not need much technical or special knowledge.

Finger oximeters are very easy to use, and they involve just clipping the oximeter on your finger and pressing a button, and voila, there is your result on the screen. Also, a large screen will make life easier, enabling easy reading of the results.

Some oximeters even display the results differently, making them easier to read and understand. All these are added benefits that will make it a lot easier to use a pulse oximeter. And that’s the way a pulse oximeter should be- easy to use.

Size of Probe:

Check the size of the probe while purchasing a pulse oximeter and ensure that the probe fits on your finger snugly and comfortably. This is generally not an issue with the clip-on type of probes, where the probe can simply be clipped on to the finger without any fuss.

If you are looking to check the saturation oxygen for kids and infants, or even people with smaller hands or fingers, you could consider buying a paediatric pulse oximeter, which would be more suitable for that application.

Other Features:

Some other features that could be a bonus are features such as memory for storage of data and multi-person memory wherein data for more than one person can be stored.

Other features could include Bluetooth connectivity or USB connectivity to transfer data to a system, where it can analyze further.

Some oximeters are even capable of sending real-time data to your doctor, which could be very beneficial.

Short cables that would not create much of a nuisance would help. An oximeter, which is not very bulky and portable, would come in handy and can be easily stored as well.

Some pulse oximeters are even capable of generating other statistics such as a plethysmograph and perfusion index, which could also help in getting a better diagnosis.

1. Neclife Dr. Trust Finger Pulse Oximeter DR-50D 

Neclife Dr. Trust Finger Pulse Oximeter DR-50D
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Neclife’s DR-50D pulse oximeter is a portable and easy to use a device that can be used to check pulse rate and saturation oxygen even in professional environments.

It has a dual-core OLED display that displays pulse rate and saturation oxygen along with a bar graph and pulse waveform display.

It is widely used in clinics, hospitals, and first aid kits.

Main Features
  • Dual-core OLED display displays saturation oxygen and pulse rate.
  • Comes with a one year warranty.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Compact, reliable, and durable.
  • It has an automatic power-off feature.
  • Easy to use and portable.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • No alarms included.
  • Not very rugged or robust and has to be handled with care.
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2. Newnik Fingertip Pulse Oximeter PX701

Newnik Fingertip Pulse Oximeter PX701
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Newnik’s fingertip pulse oximeter is one of the best oximeters available in the market. It is designed to give quick, accurate, and reliable readings of blood oxygen level and pulse rate.

It is an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and CE (European Conformity) certified oximeter and comes with a one year warranty.

Main Features
  • Gives quick and accurate readings of blood oxygen saturation and pulse rate, along with profusion index and plethysmograph.
  • FDA and CE certified.
  • Comes with a one year warranty.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Comes with audio as well as visual alarm.
  • Has a high accuracy of ±2%.
  • Has an anti-motion feature, enabling it to produce accurate readings even during motion.
  • Water resistant.
  • Suitable for both adults and kids.
  • Auto on and off feature automatically switches it on and off when a finger is inserted or removed.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • No negative points observed so far.
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3. MEDITIVE Finger Tip Pulse Oximeter 

The Meditive Finger tip Pulse oximeter is capable of measuring pulse rate and blood oxygen saturation levels accurately that, too, within just six seconds. The rotatable OLED screen displays the readings in six different ways while the alarm function warns you when the readings are beyond the set limits. Moreover, the long battery life and compact size enable you to carry it to different locations.

Main Features
  • It comes with a rotatable OLED screen.
  • It displays the readings in six different ways.
  • The display brightness can be adjusted.
  • Comes with a sound and alarm function to notify you when your pulse rate and spo2 are beyond set limits.
  • Displays real-time readings within six seconds.
  • It automatically shuts off on removing a finger.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Light and compact design.
  • Has a long battery life.
  • Suitable for a wide range of finger sizes.
  • Ensures fast and accurate readings.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • The working of the product needs improvement.

4. PAXMAX OLED Display Fingertip Pulse Oximeter 

This oximeter provides accurate readings that are displayed on the large digital display while the dual OLED technology ensures a sharper and brighter view of the readings. The model also displays the pulse rate bar graph and Plethysmograph. It is easy to use and accommodates several finger sizes. It also saves power by automatically shutting off within 8 seconds of inactivity.

Main Features
  • Features a dual OLED display technology for a brighter and sharper image.
  • Displays the pulse rate bar graph and Plethysmograph.
  • It has a four direction display.
  • The fingertip oximeter determines the pulse rate and blood oxygen saturation level accurately.
  • Comes with alarm and sound functions to warn against irregular readings.
  • Readings can be displayed within 8 seconds.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Lightweight and compact design great to carry during traveling.
  • Fast and accurate readings.
  • Suitable for a wide range of finger sizes.
  • Power automatically shuts off after 8 secs of inactivity, so the battery is not wasted.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • No negative points observed so far.

5. HealthSense Accu-Beat FP 900 Finger Tip Pulse Oximeter 

HealthSense Accu-Beat FP 900 Finger Tip Pulse Oximeter
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The HealthSense Oximeter has a Hypoallergic finger chamber that ensures no microbial reactions while the universal design adapts to any finger size. The model comes with a large digital LED display that displays the accurate readings of your pulse rate and Spo2 with a red LED light so that it is visible even in low light. The light-weight design allows you to carry it to different locations, including sports events, while the fast reading of 8 seconds prevents you from having to wait long hours for the reading.

Main Features
  • Finger chamber is allergen and latex free so that there are no microbial reactions.
  • Comes with a red LED light that displays the readings even in low light angles.
  • Comes with an anti-motion technology.
  • Has a large digital LED screen.
  • Measures Spo2 and pulse rate within 8 seconds of activation.
  • The auto-off feature saves battery by automatically shutting it off after 8 seconds of inactivity.
PROS (What we liked)
  • It is universal and adapts to any finger size.
  • Features a single button that allows hassle-free operation.
  • Batteries can be removed easily.
  • Light-weight and portable design.
  • You get accurate readings even during hand and body movements.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • No negative points observed so far.
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6. Santamedical Generation 2 SM-165 Fingertip Pulse Oximeter 

Santamedical Generation 2 SM-165 Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
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This santamedical generation 2 SM-165 fingertip pulse oximeter measures pulse rates faster than most oximeters and produces accurate results on SpO2.

It is the right product with an excellent digital OLED display. It also comes with a rotatable multidirectional display that showcases your results in any direction you want.

Results ranging from pulse rate, pulse wave, SpO2 level, bar graph, and battery level can be displayed on the digital OLED. It can automatically power off itself after seconds of non-usage, and it also has a long battery lifespan.

Main Features
  • A digital OLED display screen with adjustable brightness.
  • It displays SpO2 level with pulse rate, including a pulse bar graph, and waveform.
  • A neck/wrist cord included with casing for secure handling.
  • It is packaged with two AAA Batteries.
  • Low-level battery alarm.
  • Comes with a one-year warranty and excellent customer support feature.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Excellent quality and good batteries.
  • Cheap and easily affordable.
  • Accurate readings in different views.
  • Simply easy to use.
  • Automatic power-off feature.
  • 30+ hours of continuous monitoring of pulse rate.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • It could disband if not appropriately handled.
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7. Dr. Morepen PO-04 

Dr. Morepen PO-04
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Dr. Morepen’s PO-04 pulse oximeter is capable of producing accurate readings almost instantaneously.

This pulse oximeter is suitable for both adults and kids as well.

The dual-color OLED display comes in 6 display modes and displays both pulse rate and oxygen saturation.

Main Features
  • Gives quick and accurate readings of both saturation oxygen and pulse rate.
  • Comes with a one year warranty.
  • Has a dual-color OLED display with 6 display modes.
  • Auto power-off feature enables it to switch off on its own when not in use.
PROS (What we liked)
  • ABS plastic and anti-shock feature ensure that it is capable of producing accurate results even after minor falls.
  • Capable of working up to 30 hours continuously.
  • Light and compact.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • No alarm included.
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8. Niscomed FPO-50 Pulse Oximeter 

Niscomed FPO-50 Pulse Oximeter
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Niscomed FPO-50 is a finger pulse oximeter capable of producing quick and accurate readings of saturation oxygen and pulse rate with an accuracy of ±2%.

It has a dual-color OLED screen with 6 display modes that come with a wider viewing angle, making it easy and clear to view from any angle.

Main Features
  • Displays saturation oxygen, pulse rate, and plethysmograph.
  • A dual-color OLED screen with 6 display modes.
  • Comes with a one year warranty.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Has a high accuracy of ±2%.
  • Comes with an automatic power-off feature.
  • OLED screen has 6 display modes and comes with adjustable brightness.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • No audiovisual alarms.
  • No anti-motion feature.
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9. ChoiceMMed MD300C2 

ChoiceMMed MD300C2
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The MD300C2 is simple, easy to use pulse oximeter from ChoiceMMed designed to produce accurate readings of saturation oxygen and pulse rate.

It is very simple to use and fits most adults without any problems. It is small and compact, which makes it very portable and handy.

It is widely used in clinics and hospitals, as well as a home.

Main Features
  • Displays saturation oxygen, pulse rate along with pulse bar, and waveform.
  • Dual color OLED display.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Small, compact, reliable, and durable.
  • Low power consumption.
  • Has auto power off feature.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • Not suitable for kids.
  • No alarms included.
  • No warranty included.
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does every pulse oximeter come with auto power off feature?

Most pulse oximeters are designed to save power by automatically turning off after several seconds off inactivity. But not all pulse oximeters come with this feature.

2. Do all pulse oximeters come with a graph that tells you if your heart is beating abnormally?

Not all pulse oximeters produced come with a graph displaying if your heart is beating abnormally. But it will be advisable to buy an oximeter of your choice that includes a chart to display if your heart is beating abnormally.

3. Is there any battery aside from the regular battery in the description?

All pulse oximeters use AAA batteries; it might be challenging to acquire an oximeter that doesn’t use AAA batteries.

4. Are there pulse oximeters for infants?

Yes, there are. Though not all oximeters are recommended for infant use, some oximeters can be used on an infant.

5. Is every pulse reading stable?

Yes, all pulse readings are stable. This can be achieved if you aren’t connected or close to a defibrillator or an oxygen source that will cause an incorrect interpretation.

6. Is it compatible with every location?

Why not? If it counts heartbeats/pulse rates the same way, I see no reason why it won’t work in every location.

 7. Do pulse oximeters measure co2 retention?

No, a pulse oximeter measures oxygen in blood and pulse rate.

8. Does it keep permanent records?

No, it doesn’t keep permanent records. As long as the power is on, it will keep updating oxygen and pulse rate readings, but once the power is turned off, the readings are lost.

9. What is the normal range of pulse oximetry?

The normal range of arterial oxygen is 75 to 100 mm of Hg. Anything below 60 mm of Hg is low and requires an oxygen supplement. The Oximeter readings range between 95 to 100 percent, anything below 90 percent is low.

10. What is Spo2?

This is known as blood oxygen saturation. It is the measure of the amount of oxygen-carrying hemoglobin in the blood relative to the hemoglobin, not carrying oxygen. If the Spo2 level is less than 95 percent, it is a sign of the poor level of oxygen in the blood; a condition called hypoxia.

11. Are pulse oximeters accurate?

Yes, most pulse oximeters ensure accurate readings. However, the readings could be less accurate if the person has cold hands, is wearing nail polish, artificial nails, or has poor circulation.

Conclusion

While buying an oximeter, it is essential to consider the application and the field where it has to be used.

If you are looking for something just to help you monitor your saturation oxygen, a finger pulse oximeter should suffice.

But if you are looking for something to be used in a hospital in critical wards, you should look for something more sophisticated like a tabletop pulse oximeter. Our first pick is the Neclife Dr. Trust Finger Pulse Oximeter DR-50D

However, if I had to suggest, I would go with HealthSense Accu-Beat FP 900 Finger Tip Pulse Oximeter for the sole reason that it carries no significant cons with itself and is an overall good product

Dr. Sachin Bille
 

Dr. Sachin is a medical content writer at reviews.in and has a keen interest to inform people about useful and effective medical gadgets. Apart from practicing medicine and writing, he loves to watch sci-fi movies & spend time with family.

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