How To Choose The Best Pulse Oximeter?
Home health is an important part of taking proper care of yourself, especially when you suffer from a condition that requires consistent monitoring. If you have a condition that impacts breathing, such as COPD or asthma, monitoring your health with a pulse oximeter is one way to make sure you stay healthy and don’t have any complications. But, how do you find the best pulse oximeter to use?
When you’re looking for a home pulse oximeter, there are a number of important considerations to work. Many devices will work, but some are more up to the task than others. I want to teach you how to figure out which devices are the best and which ones you should avoid based on their features and your specific needs.
**Below, you'll find more detailed reviews, but you can also click links above to check current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.
How Do Pulse Oximeters Work?
A home pulse oximeter shows you your heart rate as well as how much oxygen is in your blood. It can detect the oxygen saturation levels by shining a bright light source from the top of the device down to the sensor at the bottom.
The light will shine through your finger, and depending on how much light reaches the sensor, the device can calculate how much oxygen is being carried around in your blood.
It’s important to note that some of the lower quality pulse oximeters cannot take a reading if you are wearing nail polish, if you have hot or cold fingers, if you use the wrong finger in the device, or if your skin tone is too dark.
Look for a high quality device that won’t give you these kinds of issues and will give you an accurate reading within just a few seconds.
How to Choose the Best Pulse Oximeter?
So, with all of that in mind, how can you choose the best pulse oximeter? Here are the factors you should consider when you’re looking at your choices. Not all of them will matter to you specifically, but it’s still a good idea to know what you can expect and what will work well for your needs.
- Verified accuracy
The best pulse oximeter models will be researched and verified by reputable medical sources. This will help you to know that the readings you’re getting from the device are accurate and useful. Regardless, you should still compare your reading with your doctor’s machine when you get it, just to make sure that it’s accurate.
- Type of oximeter
There are three main types of pulse oximeters: finger clips (the most common type), wrist wearables, and handheld devices.
- Does it work with all skin tones?
As I mentioned above, some lower quality pulse oximeters don’t work if your skin tone is darker. Make sure that you look for one that works with all types of skin tones so you can avoid this issue when you’re getting your readings.
- What size fingers does it work with?
Some finger oximeters are made to fit fingers of a specific size and will not work with just any hands. Measure your fingers to ensure you get a device which will fit you properly.
- Are there any guarantees or warranties?
Always get a pulse oximeter with some sort of warranty, guarantee, or return policy! That way if you test it and find that it doesn’t give an accurate reading, or if it doesn’t work with your hands, you can send it back and get a new one or buy a different model.
- Is it well-built and long-lasting?
Cheap pulse oximeters won’t last long enough to be worth the money, and they might start giving inaccurate readings after a short time. The best pulse oximeter is one that’s built to last for years.
- Is there a built-in alarm for low level readings?
Some of the better devices will sound a small alarm when your readings are below what they should be. This is a great help if you are not very familiar with what an average reading is versus a low reading.
- How readable is the device display?
Small displays are difficult to read and might cause you issues if your eyesight is poor. Check that the display on a device you want will be readable and not confusing. It should be quick and easy to check your readings.
- What kind of battery life can you expect?