A pulse oximeter is used in measuring the saturation of blood oxygen saturation, perfusion index, and pulse rate. It detects even the smallest change in the efficient distribution of oxygen to the extremities, such as the legs and arms, which are furthest from the heart. This small clip-like device is used for monitoring the current status of your cardiovascular health.
In this article, we will provide you with our top picks for the best pulse oximeters you can purchase. Plus, we have a buying guide reviewed by pharmacist Robi Uy that outlines what you need to know before purchasing a pulse oximeter! Further down, you'll get to learn a few tips about the proper usage of pulse oximeters.
Robi began his career in Watsons Philippines as the Senior Pharmacist in SM Mall of Asia Entertainment Mall branch. His experience as a Dispensing Pharmacist enabled him to become an expert in Community Pharmacy practice and the overall Retail Pharmacy operations. Currently, he is the Regulatory Affairs Senior Assistant Manager of Unilever Philippines. His knowledge about Pharmacy and related Regulations enables him to provide and share relevant information about regulated products such as food, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices to consumers.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
Experts featured in this article only reviewed the content of our buying guide. They had no part in the selection or ranking of products or services listed.
The products and services listed are ranked independently by the editorial team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide (as of 01-16-2023).
The medical industry has indeed revolutionized the monitoring of a person's blood oxygenation in a continuous, accurate, and non-invasive fashion without having to frequent a doctor's clinic, as shown by the variants of pulse oximeters you may now buy online.
A pulse oximeter, a small clamp-like device placed on the earlobe or fingers, passes a beam of light through the blood in the said body parts is a non-invasive test to measure the amount of oxygen saturation level in an individual's system. Any changes it detects correspond to the variations of light absorption in the deoxygenated and oxygenated blood.
Pulse oximeters also tell you about your heart and pulse rate by flashing it in the screen display, expressing the oxygen amount in the percentage and ratio of the blood coming from the heart.
The purpose of a pulse oximeter is to determine if your blood is well oxygenated. It is used to monitor the health of people with conditions that affect blood oxygen levels, such as during or after surgery or procedures that use sedation.
Other times are when patients are on lung medication or are on ventilation support so as to gauge whether those are working properly. Thirdly, people whose vitals are being monitored must also secure a handy pulse oximeter.
The same is true for individuals who suffer sleep apnea when there are momentary pauses in their breathing. Not only is a pulse oximeter relevant to patients with lung diseases and heart conditions, but it does also overall help any person maintain their most treasured health.
Here are some key points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
A pulse oximeter is a class II medical deviceーposes a moderate to high risk to the patient and/or useーwhich makes a Food and Drug Administration registration mandatory. You may refer to the U.S. FDA page and input the manufacturer name in the search field to verify this data. There are class II devices sold in both the U.S. and the Philippines, so this information is easily verifiable through the said source.
A way of knowing if medical devices can be trusted is whether or not the devices' safety and quality have been assessed and verified by both foreign and local national regulatory authorities such as the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippines Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for instance.
First and foremost, selecting a pulse oximeter involves inspecting its accuracy and reliability, which entails the key criteria: measurement range and margin of error of its readings. It is preferable to get a pulse oximeter with a wide measurement range so you can quickly detect any deviation from the normal levels. Hence, this will lead to quicker medical response if ever urgent care is needed.
The margin of error for pulse oximeters should be ±2 to 3, whether it may be the percentage of the blood oxygen level or pulse rate. This implies that any outlier from your sample batch must be rejected. Oximeters sold today, in general, share the same mechanism for reading data and differ only in how they are manufactured.
Light-emitting diode or LED displays operate through backlighting, while OLED or organic LED lights up the screen using minute pixels. The former's display is brighter, but the backlight affects the readability in some angles as compared to OLED, which provides a strong contrast to the black background. Do note that LED screens are often more affordable than OLED.
Just like almost any device or gadget, pulse oximeters need power from batteries. The most commonly used are 2 units of AAA-type batteries, which can be disposable or rechargeable. Disposable batteries may be cheaper, but rechargeable ones have a longer lifespan and reduce electronic waste. In relation, read the product description to know the quantity and type of batteries needed.
If your pulse oximeter has a built-in rechargeable lithium battery, you will need a USB connector, usually a Type C. This can be favorable since you need access to electricity to be able to charge. It is always preferable to purchase a set that already has AAA batteries or a USB connector, so it won't be a hassle to buy separately depending on their power supply.
Pulse oximeters have the same basic functions but differ in extra features. It scans and displays your SpO2 rating, perfusion index, and heart rate, but they can also show a pulse waveform or bar graph, and even the battery percentage. During emergency situations, the scanning process should preferably be activated by just one touch and give both speedy and accurate results in seconds.
The sensitivity to light sources is a drawback of pulse oximeters since they affect the accuracy of readings. Thus, get one that has a reduced light interference. For a more secure fitting, check if there are soft rubber pads to prevent the fingers from slipping. You can also read the product description if the pulse oximeter is suitable for adults, children, or both.
The rotating screen display is a helpful feature, so you don't need to turn the device around to read the results. Being able to record data for a period of time and transfer them to a device is practical for keeping track of your health. On the other hand, sound prompts serve as a signal that the scanning is done.
Last but not least, another important factor to consider is the warranty, usually given by the supplier or manufacturer. It assures you that if ever the pulse oximeter acts up or malfunctions, you can contact the seller regarding the process of replacement and repair of any of the parts. Ensuring that the device has a warranty is crucial to saving money from buying another pulse oximeter.
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Pulse Oximeter - NONIN
A High Accuracy Pulse Oximeter That Has an HD Display
Rechargeable Pulse Oximeter
Delivers Quick and Accurate Readings
Pulse Oximeter (Blue) - Premium
A Premium and Heavy Duty Pulse Oximeter That Lasts for 30 Hours Straight
A Multipurpose Pulse Oximeter That Caters to Different Finger Sizes
Tinted LED Display and Double Diamond Silicone Pad Provide Convenience and Comfort
SpO2 Oximeter Finger Tip Blood Oxygen Heart Rate Monitor
Enables Data Storing for Up to 24 Hours
Portable Finger Pulse Oximeter
The Full Screen Display Makes Reading Easier
A Simple LED Pulse Oximeter
Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
The Best Partner for Your Sporty Lifestyle
Colorful and Mini Oximeter Designed for Pediatric Use
This pulse oximeter detects three parameters in blood, such as saturation level, pulse rate, and perfusion index. The measurement ranges for SpO2 and pulse rate are 0% to 100% and 30 BPM to 250 BPM, respectively, with a margin of error of ±2% and ±2BPM. Meanwhile, the perfusion index can be deduced through the continuous bar graph that shows the pulse strength.
It has a high accuracy chip embedded in the system for precise results. At the same time, the TFT high definition OLED screen displays the readings clearly. The screen rotates in four different directions for easier access to results.
Besides its premium features, you will also get the best bang for your buck for the complete inclusions. The pouch and lanyard are favorable for portability and storage, while the user manual will guide you through the operating process. The pulse oximeter requires AAA batteries, but you don't need to buy separately because this already comes with two units.
This pulse oximeter uses a high-performance acceleration sensor and infrared technology that efficiently and accurately delivers the readings in just 8 seconds. Just one touch is enough to activate it to get your blood oxygen saturation, perfusion index, and pulse rate. With that, this product is ideal for emergency situations when you need to acquire results right away.
It consumes low power, so it lasts long without the need to charge. You can always keep track of the battery percentage because it is also displayed. The rounded edges and available neutral colors contribute to its simple and minimalist design. Aside from the pulse oximeter, a set includes a USB connector for fast charging and a pouch for storage.
This pulse oximeter from Indoplas has found its way into hospitals, homes, and sports treatment facilities because of its precision, quality, and price. The readings of blood oxygen saturation and pulse rate are guaranteed to be accurate thanks to the interference resistance against ambient light, measurement performance at low perfusion, and ±2 margin of error.
It consumes low power and has been tested to last for 30 hours of continued use. When you buy this pulse oximeter, you will also get a pouch and lanyard. Portable and power-saving, this is ideal for people who want to track their health for a long period of time, especially when sleeping. Not only that, the LED screen displays the results clearly so you can read them without difficulty.
From now on, you can monitor your whole family's health every day. Why is that? This pulse oximeter from iCare has a unique chamber design for its finger bed that accommodates varying finger sizes from babies to adults, without the hassle of switching between and purchasing two different pulse oximeters.
It is both fast and accurate in displaying results, making it ideal for checking your vital signs before, during, and after doing any sports, aviation, and outdoor exercises. This is built to work on 2 AAA batteries, so if you're outdoors, it is best to bring some extra with you apart from the batteries included with the package.
One of the downsides of LED screens is that the display can be difficult to view in areas with either low or bright lighting. That is not the case for Yonker's pulse oximeter, which has large font, high definition backlight display, and is treated with a special shading so that the results can be seen whether you're in a dark room or there is intense light.
Moreover, the built-in double diamond silicone pad that surrounds the finger bed contributes to optimum comfort so that it will not slip. Most of all, it boasts a slim margin of error of ±2% for the blood oxygen and ±1 BPM for the pulse rate.
Contec has masterfully crafted the pulse oximeter suitable for family and hospital use. Among health care and sports enthusiasts, the use of this device is highly recommended before and after grueling exercise routines. Great for both indoor and outdoor applications, it is also the go-to for individuals in the aviation industry.
A unique feature of this oximeter is it stores your readings for up to 24 hours. Plus, it can be connected via Bluetooth or USB cable to your phone or desktop so you can transfer the data. For added convenience, there is a sound prompt to indicate and confirm the actions from the over-limit prompt of the measured value, finger-out prompt, and low power prompt.
Sporting a full-screen OLED display with a rounded rectangle shape, this pulse oximeter is favored amongst sport-oriented individuals, households, and medical care facilities. The appearance does not only contribute to the modern and stylish flair, but it allows the text to take up more space within the screen for easier reading.
With a blood oxygen saturation measurement range of 70% to 90% and 30 BPM to 240 BPM for the pulse rateーboth of which have an accuracy of ±2% to 3%, this product is ever-reliable. Plus, it can provide results in a matter of 10 seconds.
Complete with a rechargeable lithium battery, low power consumption, adjustable brightness, and automatic power-off capabilities, this is truly a power-saver. It also automatically shuts down in 8 seconds of inactivity or no-finger signal.
For people who just want the basic functions of a pulse oximeter, then this model from Contec could be what you're looking for. The measurements of your blood oxygen saturation and pulse rate are displayed on a bright LED interface. You will also not have trouble operating this as it is activated just by pushing the button once.
In addition, the battery indicator and auto shutdown feature help track the remaining battery percentage and save power, respectively. However, this set does not include 2 pieces of AAA batteries, so make sure that you still have stock at home or buy them separately.
Built to work on rechargeable lithium batteries via a type-C cable, this brand is suitable for sports enthusiasts who consciously have to keep tabs on their blood oxygen saturation or SpO2 as they perform strenuous activities. For ease of viewing the display, its manufacturer devised that the data you need be shown in OLED, including a visual and audio alarm.
The alarm allows informs the user of any excess of the set value it has gathered over some time. Fashioned with built-in ring signal protection, it reduced light interference from outside to ensure the accuracy of the measurements.
With a battery capacity of 200mAh, it can be kept on for longer hours minus the sudden turning off due to its highly efficient and low-power consumption design. It also comes with a lanyard allowing you to wear it around your neck anywhere you may go to check your Sp02 real-time.
Children need as much care as adults do, so they will also benefit from using pulse oximeters. However, regular pulse oximeters may have a loose fit for their small and short fingers, which in turn, will give inaccurate readings. We bring great news as Yonker has developed an oximeter made especially for kids aged 1 to 12 years old.
With a 4-way rotating screen, alarm setting, pulse rate, and one-key start, it has got you covered when checking for your child's SpO2. Meanwhile, the large font display is definitely convenient. It turns off automatically within 8 seconds after removing your kid's finger.
The double-deck super-soft rubber pad snugly fits and secures a baby's finger without fear of it falling off. It is lightweight and easy to carry, especially with the lanyard that matches the bright and eye-catching colorway of the pulse oximeter - your kids will view this not as an evasive device but a playtime item.
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by the mybest team.
A pulse oximeter’s measurement range, the margin of error, and FDA certification are obvious indicators of accuracy. However, they are highly dependent on the exterior environment and your body conditions in order to ensure that you will get precise results.
Your body should be warm, calm, and rested for at least 5 minutes after any strenuous activity. The hand placement also matters and must rest lower than your heart. Any sudden movements will also affect When you have attached the device to your finger, wait until the numbers are stable before taking note of them. If all these conditions are met, then your results will be accurate.
Bear in mind that pulse oximeter readings are just estimates. For example, an SpO2 rating of 90% indicates that the exact number is between 86 to 94. Its accuracy is highest at ranges of 90% to 100%, medium at 80% to 90%, and least at below 80%. If your results are 80% and below, test again on at least one other oximeter to know if the numbers are consistent or your device is malfunctioning.
Using pulse oximeters is non-invasive, so even if you operate it on yourself multiple times a day, there is little to no risk and adverse side effects. If you want to keep track of your health consistently, two to three times a day will suffice. This is the same for those who contracted COVID-19. Do it in different positions like standing, sitting, and lying down.
They are useful to monitor your vital signs before, during, and after exercising as well. Some people even use a pulse oximeter overnight while sleeping. Just make sure that the pulse oximeter’s fit is not too tight as it might cut off circulation if worn for a long period of time.
The index finger is usually where a pulse oximeter is attached to. Likewise, it is recommended to use the middle finger or thumb of your dominant hand. However, the readings don’t have a stark difference, whichever finger you choose. Aside from the fingers, a pulse oximeter can also be clipped on any of your earlobes or toes.
In order to improve your blood oxygen level and overall health, a large factor would be engaging in regular cardio exercises. With equipment such as a treadmill, exercise bike, jump rope, and other home workout equipment you can achieve fitness goals and maintain an active lifestyle.
Author: A. Ugay
Re-editor: Patricia Catimpo
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
No. 1：Indoplas｜Pulse Oximeter - NONIN
No. 2：Indoplas｜Rechargeable Pulse Oximeter
No. 3：Indoplas｜Pulse Oximeter (Blue) - Premium｜Pulse Oximeter (Blue) - Premium
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