Over the last few years, pulse oximeters have become more popular. The devices were first available to consumers in the early 1980s. However, their prices were quite high, which made many people shy from buying them.
With recent improvements in technology, the medical devices have become cheaper and more accurate. Today, you will find the best pulse oximeters for under $100.
How Do Pulse Oximeters Work?
Pulse oximeters are small devices that measure the amount of oxygen sent to different parts of your body, for example, the legs, arm, heart, etc. Some pulse oximeters work like heart rate monitors in that they can also calculate the heart rate.
To use a pulse oximeter, you have to place it on a thin area of your body, usually the earlobe or fingertip. The pulse oximeter has a light emitter inside the probe that sends out two streams of light; one infrared and one red.
The hemoglobin in the blood responds differently to these lights. The pulse oximeter will calculate the amount of hemoglobin in the bloodstream at these two different light wavelengths to determine the amount of oxygen in your blood.
The amount of oxygen in the blood fluctuates from time to time depending on what a person is doing. There are also some factors that can affect how the pulse oximeter works. For example, using the oximeter on a finger with acrylic nails or nail polish can lead to inaccurate results. Hand movements, a weak pulse, and cold hands can also lead to inaccurate readings.
A healthy person’s oxygen reading should be over 97 percent. Normally, the reading should not fall below 92 percent.
You may not need to measure the amount of oxygen in your body during workouts. However, serious athletes may want to monitor their oxygen levels when undertaking strenuous exercises. Pulse oximeters are also useful to mountain climbers or hikers whose oxygen levels may decrease as they go up higher altitudes.
Nurses may also need to measure the oxygen levels of patients with certain medical conditions or those recovering from surgery or other illnesses. The devices can be used to measure the health of a person with conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, asthma, lung cancer, anemia, heart failure, and heart attack. There are specific pulse oximeters for nurses that are recommended for medical use.
Read on for reviews of the best pulse oximeters on the market.
Best Pulse Oximeter – Reviews
With the Withings Pulse 02, you can keep tabs on your daily activities such as calories burned, elevation climbed, distance or steps walked, and so on. The device stands out for its Optoelectronics sensor that allows it to measure your blood oxygen levels and heart rate. Using the device is as simple as pressing your finger against the HR light sensor at the back of the device.
The Pulse 02 may not have the most gorgeous design but offers good value for money considering its many features. This pulse oximeter provides all the functions you would get in a fitness tracker.
iHealth is a reputable health and fitness gadget manufacturer known for its smart blood pressure monitors, smart scales, and fitness trackers, and oximeters.
The iHealth Air Wireless oximeter is approved for use by the FDA and provides fast and accurate vital signs readings. With the device, you can track and view the levels of oxygen in your blood on the LCD display. You can also install iHealth MyVitals app (Android or iOS) on your smartphone to view your readings.
Using the wireless pulse oximeter is easy; simply charge it, download the iHealth app on your smartphone, and take your reading. The device will automatically detect your tablet or smartphone.
On the iHealth MyVitals app, you can view a history of your data and share the information with your caregiver, doctor, or family member. The app also records and stores your data to iHealth cloud, which is secure and HIPPA compliant. The readings are evaluated and charted to give you a clear picture of your current wellness levels. The results are then graphed against previous readings to show your trends at a glance.
Check the video below for an overview of the iHealth Wireless Pulse Oximeter:
The Facelake is a lightweight, portable device that can measure your blood pulse strength, pulse rate, and SpO2 oxygen.
The device works like other oximeters in this review; simply place your finger into the chamber to get your measurements on the large digital LED screen. The oximeter is lined with a screen protector to prevent it from getting scratches. The finger chamber is lined with an antimicrobial vinyl sensor and can accommodate finger sizes of both children and adults.
The Facelake oximeter has been approved for use by the FDA and surpasses CE standards. The medical gadget is powered by 2 AAA batteries and has an automatic power OFF function for saving power.
The pulse oximeter is sold with a 1-year warranty and comes with a neck lanyard and a nylon carrying case.
The ZacUrate oximeter has been upgraded to provide pulse strength, pulse rate, and SpO2 readings. The oximeter is more accurate, quicker under indoor lighting, and can read SpO2 up to 100%.
The oximeter’s finger chamber is fitted with a SMART, Self-Adjusting Spring System. The chamber can accommodate both adult and children fingers. The blood oxygen readings are displayed on a large digital LED display. A reading takes only 10 seconds.
The ZacUrate Pro oximeter batteries can last for up to 30 hours of continuous use. Therefore, you will not have to replace the batteries often.
The Deluxe SM-110 comes with a number of improvements that its predecessor did not have, including a two-way display. The display faces the user by default. You can make it face away from you with the simple touch of a button.
The Deluxe SM is approved for use by the FDA for heart and oxygen readings. The device is powered by 2 AAA batteries and has to be put on the finger to get the readings. This pulse oximeter is an excellent choice for bikers, skiers, hikers, mountain climbers, and any other person that would like to know their blood oxygen levels.
The Deluxe SM oximeter can take blood oxygen level readings of both adults and children as it accommodates all finger sizes. The device is sold with a mesh case with a neck cord and belt loop. We love this device for its accuracy, portability, and affordable price.
The SantaMedical SM-165 finger pulse oximeter accurately measures your blood oxygen saturation levels and pulse rate. The affordable oximeter has a self-adjusting finger clamp and one button for operation. This small medical device is easy to handle and carry around.
The finger pulse oximeter has a bright digital LED display and can run for 30+ hours on one set of batteries. Other features of the device include automatic power OFF, low battery level indicator, Pulse Rate and SpO2 bar, and others.
The finger oximeter is powered by two AAA batteries and comes with a hanging wrist/neck strap if you would be using it while on the move. You can use the oximeter at home to check your blood oxygen saturation level and pulse rate. The device can also be used for high-altitude activities such as running or outdoor activities such as mountain climbing.
The Innovo Deluxe oximeter has both a Plethysmograph and Perfusion Index (PI). This pulse oximeter for doctors and nurses produces accurate measurements of your oxygen levels fast.
You can see a visual representation of your heartbeat through the Plethysmograph. Each heartbeat is depicted by a wave while the amplitude shows the amount of blood in your blood vessels. When there is a good flow of blood in your body, the waveform will be consistent.
The strength of your pulse is numerically represented through the Perfusion Index. This representation ensures that you have accurate readings. If the PI value is less than 0.2%, this shows that you have placed the pulse oximeter improperly or your hands are too cold.
The Innovo Deluxe Fingertip pulse oximeter shows your Pulse Rate as well as SpO2. The combination of the two sensors above ensures accurate readings.
One of the best pulse oximeters on the market is the Acc U Rate Pro 500DL. The device is manufactured according to recommended FDA and CE standards for doctors and other health professionals. This small and portable device is designed for fitness enthusiasts but can also be used by nurses, GPs, and community workers.
The Acc U Rate Pro Oximeter is easy to use. To take your oxygen measurement, you simply need to push a little button on the top and clip the oximeter on your finger. The device will correctly determine your SpO2, pulse strength, and pulse rate in 10 seconds. The reading will be displayed on its large digital LED screen.
The device can accommodate different finger sizes and, hence, can be used to measure the oxygen levels on both children and adults. When you remove your finger, the device will automatically shut off after 16 seconds to save power.
The Acc U Rate Pro oximeter is small and, therefore, easy to carry. The device has a silicone cover that protects it from damage and dirt and is powered by two AA batteries. The oximeter also has a lanyard for convenience.