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Discover the Best Pulse Oximeters of 2024: Perfect Accuracy at Your Fingertips

The pulse oximeter designed for home use is a convenient device for those who like to keep track of their pulse and blood oxygen levels. It measures the heart rate and blood oxygen saturation, which are important indicators for people with certain health conditions.

Additionally, the device’s data may be helpful to people who suffer from certain chronic heart and lung conditions and yet still would like to engage in physical activity. Wearing an oximeter may help them ensure their workout intensity is safe.

In this article, we provide an in-depth overview of some of our preferred pulse oximeters. We focus on the design and functionality, ease of use, price, and user experience to offer you guidance in choosing the best device for your needs.

Best pulse oximeter: a shortlist

  1. Oxiline — best according to customer reviews
  2. Simpro NatureSpirit — best reading display
  3. CAREX — best for all ages
  4. QARDIO — best budget-friendly pulse oximeter
  5. Innovo overall best

How we compiled our list of the best pulse oximeters

When putting together our shortlist of the best pulse oximeters we considered several criteria to make sure we provide you a detailed and helpful overview. Here is what our team looked at:

Design and functionalityEase of usePriceCustomer reviews
Weight, colors, display optionsEasy to control and understand the readings $34.99–70.69Average customer rating, personal experience
  • Design and functionality. We looked at the product's design not only from the aesthetical point of view (even though it may play a role in some customer's decision-making) but also from the practical perspective. Are the digits on the display clearly visible? How much does the device weigh? Does it have a strap or a casing? What other information does it provide besides the pulse rate and oxygen saturation?
  • Ease of use. Our priority is oximeters that are practical for everyday use at home: clear user instructions, easily understandable measurement results, long battery life, and simple maintenance.
  • Price. Of course, a high-quality device that doesn't drain your budget would be ideal, so we took into consideration the pulse oximeters' price, aiming to find options that combine good functionality and affordability.
  • Customer reviews. Users' feedback helps to understand what it is like to use the device in a domestic environment without a medical professional's help. The more reviews the product has, the easier it is to get a general idea regarding its convenience, durability, and general quality.

Best pulse oximeter: an overview

Since we are looking at a device designed mostly for home use by non-healthcare professionals, customers’ opinions were very important in compiling these reviews.

We tried to get a good idea of what it’s like to use each of these devices outside a medical facility environment and when the user is not a doctor.

We looked carefully through users’ reviews and considered aspects that matter in everyday situations, such as the convenient design of the oximeter, its dimensions, weight, clearly displayed results, and battery life.

1. Oxiline — best according to customer reviews

Oxiline Pressure 9 Pro

This pulse oximeter is black, and the readings are displayed in bright light-blue digits. It provides readings for oxygen saturation, perfusion index, and heartbeats per minute. According to the brand, the measurements are accurately determined in under 10 seconds.

The display is OLED and can be rotated. The oximeter is operated with one button and it comes with a user manual, a casing, and a strap.

The device weighs 0.2 lbs and runs on AAA batteries. Battery life is not indicated.

In the reviews, many users highlight the product’s sleek design: they like the interface, and customers mention that digits are clearly visible on the screen. Several users claim it’s as accurate as a medical oximeter. Many reviewers also praise its durability and resistance to impact, e.g., when the device is dropped or gets wet. On a less positive note, few customers complained about slow delivery.

The overall rating is 4.8 stars out of over 850 reviews.

The device costs $69, shipping is free of charge.

2. Simpro NatureSpirit — best pulse oximeter reading display

Simpro NatureSpirit OLCD Display Fingertip Pulse Oximeter

According to the brand, the device measures SpO2 (oxygen saturation) and pulse rate. The manufacturer says that the package includes a lanyard to put around the neck as well as a carrying case, however, no photos of these accessories are provided.

The precise weight or measurements of the device are not indicated on the product website, but the manufacturer claims it’s small enough to fit in a pocket. The pulse oximeter can take measurements for up to 30 hours continuously and shuts off automatically after 8 seconds of idle time.

The device is white, with a black OLCD display. The reading results are presented in different, clearly distinguished colors, with different colors for each factor. There is also a low-voltage indicator. Battery life is not indicated.

No customer reviews of this product are available at the moment of writing.

The regular price is $70.69.

3. CAREX — best pulse oximeter for all ages

Carex Finger Pulse Oximeter Oxygen Saturation Monitor

The device is bright blue with a black screen and reading results are displayed in red digits on an LED screen. According to the company, it measures pulse and blood oxygen levels in 10 seconds.

The brand emphasizes that the oximeter is suitable for all ages, including children, because the finger oxygen sensor clips comfortably to any finger, regardless of size. We think the bright cheerful color gives the device a toy-like appearance which may make it even more appealing to children.

The reading results can be displayed in two modes: self and caregiver use. The oximeter comes with a lanyard and batteries. The device weighs 1.8 lbs (with battery). Fully charged battery lasts up to 30 hours.

The device is rated 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon, with over 1,200 global ratings. Customers are mostly satisfied with the device's performance and do not mention any particular drawbacks. The less positive reviews mention fluctuating results or slow reading due to cold fingers.

The oximeter costs $34.99, and a one-year warranty is provided.

4. QARDIO — best budget-friendly pulse oximeter

QardioSpO2

According to the manufacturer, QUARDIO SpO2 is a clinically validated pulse oximeter compatible with iOS and Android devices. It can be used at home or by professional healthcare professionals.

The device is white with a black adjustable brightness screen, the reading results are displayed in blue. The oximeter needs 2 AAA batteries to operate which are included in the package alongside a carrying case. Maximum battery life is not indicated.

The product's website gives it a 5-star rating based on over 15+ customer reviews, however, assesements from different websites are not displayed.

The device weighs 42.5 g (0.9 lbs). 2 year warranty is provided.

The device costs $39.95.

5. Innovo — overall best

Innovo Deluxe iP900AP Fingertip Pulse Oximeter

The device measures three indicators: pulse rate, blood oxygen saturation, and perfusion index. The pulse oximeter is white and has a black OLED screen on which the readings appear in blue and yellow.

The upgraded iP900AP model includes an auditory alarm, pulse detection beeps, and adjustable display brightness. The display can be rotated and offers 6 different layout options.

The package includes 2 AAA batteries and a lanyard. The battery life is 40 hours. The device weighs 0.2 lbs and measures 2.5 in" in length), 1.35 in" in width, and 1.25 in" in height.

Customers rate it 4.7 stars out of 5 on Amazon.com with over 46,000 ratings. Many reviewers are particularly satisfied with the convenient design and how easy it is to use the device. A few reviewers mention that it takes a while to get the reading result.

The manufacturer indicates that the oximeter might not work on kids or adults with small fingers.

The oximeter costs $34.99.

Comparing the best pulse oximeter

BrandDesign and functionalityEase of usePriceCustomer reviews
OxilineBlack color, black screen, OLED display, adjustable screen orientation, 0.2 lbsOperates with one button, user manual included, portable, strap and casing included in the package$694.8 stars out of 5
Simpro NatureSpiritWhite, black screen, reading results displayed in multiple colors, LED display, exact dimensions and weight not indicated.Operates with one button. No information regarding battery type, device's weight, or size. No information if batteries are provided.$70.69No reviews available online
CarexBright blue, black screen, digits displayed in red. LCD screen, 2 display modes, battery life up to 30 hours, 1.8 lbsOperates with one button, provides reading in 10 seconds, portable (strap and casing included in the package). 40-hour battery life. No information if batteries are provided.$34.994.5 stars out of 5
QARDIOWhite with a black screen, reading results displayed in blue, 0.9 lbs, adjustable screen brightness, compatible with iOS and Android devicesOperates with one button, syncs with the Qardio App, batteries, and carrying case provided$39.955 stars out of 5 (no detailed feedback provided)
InnovoWhite with a black screen, reading results displayed in blue and yellow, 6 layout options, 0.2 lbsOperates with one button, batteries, strap, and carrying case provided, 40-hour battery life$ 34.994.7 stars

What is a pulse oximeter, and why use it?

A pulse oximeter is a small, non-invasive device whose function is to measure the person’s heart rate and oxygen level in the blood. It is designed to quickly detect fluctuations in blood oxygen levels.

The device is useful because it can forewarn the user about low oxygen saturation, which may occur if the person has certain health conditions, such as lung or heart disease. It also helps to see if, for example, oxygen therapy is effective.

The pulse oximeter is commonly used by medical professionals in clinics and hospitals, however, it can also be used by non-medics at home.

To read one’s pulse and oxygen level, the pulse oximeter needs to be attached to a body part, usually to a finger and kept for a certain amount of time. The readings are displayed on the device’s screen.

Benefits of using a pulse oximeter

Non-invasive and simple to use, the pulse oximeter allows you to monitor your health state at home and may safe an unnecessary trip to the doctor or give a warning when you may need medical attention. Here are some of the benefits of the device:

Helps to make sure you’re exercising safely

Sometimes healthcare professionals use pulse oximeters and similar devices to make sure physical activity is safe for people who have cardiovascular or respiratory issues, e.g. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Even if your condition is not grave and moderate exercise is considered safe for you, you may want to monitor your pulse and oxygen level just to be on the safe side. In this case, wearing a pulse oximeter while exercising may be a good idea. According to the device’s readings, you can adjust the intensity of your workout regime.

Alerts when oxygen level drops too low

There may be various reasons why a person’s blood oxygen level fluctuates, e.g., chronic cardiovascular or respiratory conditions, acute pulmonary infections such as pneumonia, prescription drugs that affect oxygen saturation and obstructive sleep apnea.

In all these cases, a device that can be used at home and warn the person about a severe dip in the blood oxygen level is useful as it helps prevent more serious health issues. It can also appease people with dangerous health conditions as they have a handy device that allows them to keep tabs on their pulse and oxygen saturation regularly.

Allows older adults to monitor their oxygen levels

As we get older, our body’s ability to intake oxygen and use it optimally may decrease as people tend to have more chronic respiratory and heart health conditions with age. This is why some older adults may have lower blood oxygen levels.

Regular use of a pulse oximeter is a relatively simple way to monitor one's heart rate and blood oxygenation at home, even if the condition is not grave. It can bring peace of mind to older people who worry about their health or simply want to keep tabs on their body vitals as instructed by a healthcare provider.

How to use a pulse oximeter effectively

  • Settle down comfortably and rest for a few minutes. If you are stressed or agitated, please make sure you calm down first.
  • If you are going to place the device on your finger.
  • Make sure your hand or any other body part you will use for measuring is warm, dry and the muscles are relaxed.
  • Place the oximeter on your finger. The device should feel tight enough to maintain steady contact but not squeezing or painful.
  • Stay still until the numbers are steady.
  • Record the numbers displayed: they indicate your heart rate and your blood oxygen level.
  • Remove the device and store it as recommended.

Common mistakes to avoid when using a pulse oximeter

When used correctly, oximeters are generally accurate. If you have a reason to believe your oximeter results are faulty, you may not be using it correctly. Here are some of the most common factors that affect the results:

  • Incorrectly positioned finger. The device should fit the finger snugly. When too tight, it may restrict blood circulation. When too loose, it may slide off or allow outside factors, such as light, to interfere with the reading.
  • Fingernail varnish or artificial nails. Nail varnish or dirt on the nail can absorb the light that comes out from the pulse oximeter and the test might be slightly less accurate.
  • Hand movement during the reading. Movement of the hand or movement of the device can lead to measurement inaccuracies. Keep the hand still and do not fiddle with the oximeter.
  • Skin temperature. Cold hands mean that the blood circulation in your hand is low and the oximeter may not detect a good pulse signal.

If you want to make sure your oximeter lasts its maximum lifespan and functions optimally, follow the manufacturer's instructions. Check the user’s guide, as maintenance recommendations for your current device may differ from the previous one. Here’s what we recommend:

Pulse oximeter care and maitenance

To ensure your oximeter lasts its maximum lifespan and functions optimally, follow the manufacturer's instructions. Check the device's user guide, as maintenance recommendations for your current oximeter may differ from the previous one. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Keep it clean. This prevents possible accumulation of any foreign organisms or debris.
  • Store in a safe place. Protect your oximeter from dust, dirt, corrosive substances, liquids, and explosives. Make sure the device is kept dry and at room temperature.
  • Change batteries when needed. Do so when the symbol indicating that the battery needs to be replaced appears on the display.
  • Check the warranty period. Generally, if your oximeter has passed its warranty it may be time to replace the device. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for replacement guidance.

Best pulse oximeter — conclusion

When used correctly, this device can be handy for those who like to keep an eye on their vitals. From alerting you about dangerously low oxygen levels to helping adjust the exercise intensity for people who have chronic diseases, it’s a convenient way to take better care of your well-being.

To make sure the oximeter serves you well, please read the user guide and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. If used correctly and well-maintained the device can be a helpful tool for monitoring your and your family members' health at home on a daily basis.


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