The 10 Best Pulse Oximeters

Updated October 26, 2017 by Chase Brush

10 Best Pulse Oximeters
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 40 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. These pulse oximeters are ideal for athletes monitoring their fitness levels and people keeping an eye on their health. They enable at-home monitoring of your oxygen levels for managing conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, congestive heart failure, and other issues related to the heart and O2 saturation. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best pulse oximeter on Amazon.

10. Masimo MightySat

The Masimo MightySat utilizes hospital-grade technology to quickly and precisely measure blood levels in a wide variety of patients, and is not easily affected by motion or low perfusion conditions. It also features Bluetooth capability, so you can use it with your phone.
  • includes free personal health app
  • backed by 4-year warranty
  • extremely expensive
Brand Masimo
Model 9900
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. Quest OXM-PC 60B

The Quest OXM-PC 60B features both audio and visual alarm functions. It accurately measures a person's SpO2, pulse rate, and perfusion index, and it's marketed for use in at-home blood checks, so if there's any cause for a health concern, it will find it.
  • single-button operation
  • dim display is hard to read
  • backlight doesn't stay on long
Brand Quest
Model OXM-PC 60B
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. ChoiceMMed 2-in-1

This compact offering from ChoiceMMed 2-in-1 doubles as a pedometer, measuring both O2 levels in the blood and number of steps. It's ergonomic and easy to use, with a comfortable finger stall, but you should note that this is more of an athletic than medical device.
  • strong lanyard included
  • battery provides 10 hours use
  • doesn't work well on cold fingers
Brand ChoiceMMed
Model CG519
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Concord Health Supply BlackOx

The Concord Health Supply BlackOx is a well-rounded option that accommodates adult and pediatric fingers alike. It flips 180 degrees for two display modes, meaning easy readings when it is used by a caregiver or when you operate it yourself.
  • batteries come included
  • shock resistant cover
  • not as accurate as other models
Brand Concord Health Supply
Model CCI-BlackOx
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Innovo Deluxe

With a detailed plethysmograph and perfusion index, the Innovo Deluxe is a highly capable unit that beeps for each pulse, as well as when your pulse rate and SpO2 levels are beyond normal limits. It's been clinically tested for accuracy and reliability.
  • low power consumption
  • stylish black and white design
  • somewhat slow to process readings
Brand Innovo
Model CMS50DL
Weight 3.2 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Acc U Rate CMS 500DL

This newly-upgraded Acc U Rate CMS 500DL is able to read blood oxygen levels up to 100 percent. It's perfect for the serious athlete, for the responsible pilot, or for anyone prone to SpO2 issues, and it comes with a carrying case and its own batteries.
  • large red led display
  • fits children's or adults' fingers
  • hypoallergenic finger chamber
Brand Acc U Rate
Model 10430-BKO
Weight 0.8 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Elera Starhealth Sh-c2

This Elera Starhealth Sh-c2 has a two-color OLED screen, making it easy to read results even from the opposite side of the device. It will work for 50 continuous hours, and offers fast and accurate real-time spot checks whenever you need them.
  • adjustable 4-direction display
  • low voltage indicator
  • visual alarm function
Model SH-C2
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. iHealth Air

Designed to be compatible with the iPhone, the iHealth Air can track trends and organize records, giving you a more comprehensive view of your body. It's suitable for training and athletic purposes, but also for monitoring a patient's health over time.
  • expensive but high quality
  • shares results with others
  • small and portable
Brand iHealth
Model PO3
Weight 7 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. AccuMed CMS-50DL

The AccuMed CMS-50DL's monitor comes with a wrist or neck cord for convenient portability. The display is easy to read, and powers off automatically. It accommodates fingers of all sizes, from children to adult, and is marketed for sports enthusiasts and casual users.
  • includes batteries
  • comfortable finger placement
  • backed by 1-year warranty
Brand AccuMed
Model CMS-50DL-Blue
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Santamedical Generation 2 SM-165

Newly updated and FDA approved, the Santamedical Generation 2 SM-165's winning feature is its bright, multi-direction display that shows pulse rate, a bar graph, and battery level. You don't have to worry about using it in the hospital, since it's rated for that purpose.
  • includes complete user manual
  • satisfaction guarantee
  • automatic power off after 10 secs
Brand Santamedical
Model SM-165
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Benefits Of A Pulse Oximeter

A pulse oximeter is an effective way to measure blood oxygen saturation and pulse rate. Oximeters are mainly used in hospitals and operating rooms, but they are also used in physical therapy clinics and for home monitoring. Oximeters give accurate readings within seconds, which is especially important in an emergency situation.

Pulse oximeters are most beneficial for patients with asthma, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and other respiratory conditions. Patients with serious respiratory problems need to have their blood oxygen levels checked regularly, so having a pulse oximeter on hand is vital.

Patients with serious cardiac conditions regularly experience low oxygen levels. Pulse oximeters help them monitor their blood oxygen levels and use supplementary oxygen as needed. Pulse oximeters can also show the change in blood volume during a pulse of the heart, which is often a good indication of the heart's general condition.

Doctors often recommend exercise to improve the physical stamina and overall fitness of patients with respiratory disease. However, exercise can also result in the patient being more short of breath. Patients can monitor their oxygen saturation with pulse oximeters while exercising, adjusting the pace as their blood's oxygen saturation decreases. Utilizing proper breathing techniques during rehabilitation can increase the levels of oxygen in the bloodstream. Many patients with low oxygen levels are able to increase these levels using simple breathing techniques such as pursed lip breathing.

Pilots, mountain climbers, and people working in high altitudes also use pulse oximeters to help guard themselves against cerebral hypoxia. A pulse oximeter can also help athletes gain lung endurance or train for high altitude exertion. The reduction in oxygen level increases the number of red blood cells in athletes and helps to increase their endurance levels.

The Function Of Oxygen In The Body

It is easy to forget the important functions of oxygen in the body until being forced to monitor it with a pulse oximeter. Oxygen is one of the key elements in the metabolism of all the cells in the body, and helps to not only nourish but also remove toxins from the various tissues.

At any given time, the body is almost two-thirds oxygen. It acts to power cells in the body, as well as eliminate metabolic wastes produced by these cells. If proper levels of oxygen are not maintained, toxins can build up within the cells, leading to oxidative damage, cell death, inflammation, and even cancer. On the other hand, proper levels of oxygen have amazing effects on the body, such as activating T lymphosites, which help eliminate cancer cells and improve overall survival rate in patients with ovarian cancer.

When exercising, the muscles require much more oxygen. The cells in the overworked muscles begin shedding waste matter at a rapid rate, consuming oxygen just as quickly. The heart responds by beating faster, and the breathing increases to raise the levels of oxygen in the blood. This lets the body quickly energize itself while simultaneously releasing waste matter; avoiding any cellular malfunction.

The brain consumes around 20 percent of the oxygen in the bloodstream, more than any other organ. The main reason for this high level of consumption is the fact that there are so many processes happening in the brain all at once. When a muscle contracts, cells require oxygen to actually create the motion of contracting. This process is relatively simple.

In the brain, however, things are much more complex, as the brain is in charge of consciously controlled actions, such as moving the eyes to read words on a page. It is also tasked with controlling unconscious actions, such as interpreting the characters which make up those words. The brain is also charged with supporting the state of consciousness itself. Unlike many other areas of the body, the brain is constantly working and therefore it must constantly be fed with fresh supplies of oxygen.

Increase Your Oxygen; Increase Your Life

As oxygen is one of the most important elements required to sustain life, it is important to ensure the body has enough of it. Without oxygen, the health suffers. Utilizing tools such as pulse oximeters can keep a patient on track to inhaling enough oxygen for their bodies to thrive.

Weak cells lose their natural immunity, becoming susceptible to pathogens and oxidative damage which can lead to serious health problems. In addition to its importance in the respiration of cells, proper oxygen levels can reduce the harmful bacteria in the body without affecting necessary beneficial bacteria levels. Without natural eliminators such as this, the body is left prone to attack from various environmental stress factors.

Industrialized society increases the amount of stress in the body. The effects of various chemicals in the breathable air, pathogens or chemical exposure in food, and even emotional stresses experienced throughout the day can all contribute to oxidative damage in the body. As free radicals latch onto oxygen cells, they cling on to the various organ tissues, throwing the body out of homeostasis. By increasing the amount of oxygen in the body, we help to eliminate this toxic buildup that leads to chronic disease.

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Last updated on October 26, 2017 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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