An oximeter is a non-invasive medical instrument that measures the amount of oxygen in your blood (spO2) and monitors changes in blood volume in the skin, as well as monitoring your heart rate. They are very useful for people who suffer from cardiac and breathing issues, and also very helpful for monitoring patients with sleep disorders such as apnea and hyponea. If you or a member of your family suffers from any of these conditions, you may have an oximeter in your home
Finger pulse oximeters use electrical sensors to measure the your blood oxygen levels. While this might sound incredibly high tech, there are a number of very affordable finger oximeters available for home use.
How does a Pulse Oximeter work?
In simplified terms, these oximeters measure the oxygen in your blood by shooting infrared lights through the translucent parts of the human body, such as the fingertips or the earlobes. The as the absorption of this light is effected by the amount of blood oxygen, so the main then calculates just how much oxygen is in our blood by measuring the wavelength of the light. Deoxygenated blood allows more light to pass through, so the stronger the wavelength of the infrared light, the less oxygen you have.
Oximeters can be very advantageous as they give fast readings, are very simple to use, and are non-invasive. They can easily be used by patients at home, and mainly athletes, pilots and climbers who work at high altitudes keep one on hand to check blood oxygen levels.
Our Picks – Best Blood Pulse Oximeter 2018
CMS 50-DL Pulse Oximeter
This is an FDA-approved oximeter designed to provide an easy and accurate way for spot-checking your blood oxygen saturation levels and pulse rate. It gives you very accurate readings in just 8 seconds
Anyone who requires frequent oxygen saturation monitoring, such as pilots and mountaineers, will find that the CMS-50DL is the perfect choice for on-the-go readings that fit with their lifestyle. It works easily at the touch of a button, and a small size coupled with a soft carrying case makes it a great travel companion that can be taken anywhere. It also has a strap that can be worn on the wrist or round the neck, making it easy to take climbing.
This oximeter is designed for sports and aviation use, and is not a medical device.
- SPO2 Range: 0% – 99%.
- SPO2 Resolution: +- 1%.
- Pulse Rate Range: 30-250 bpm.
- Pulse Rate Resolution: +- 1bpm.
- Alarm Feature
- One size fits all
Innovo Deluxe Finger Pulse Oximeter
Although this might look like a snazzy snap open cell phone, don’t be fooled as this is an awesome finger heart rate monitor. Unlike many other oximeters, this one tells you if you are making bad readings, such as when your fingers are too cold or if they are not in the right position. This not only helps you get the most accurate measurements you can, but saves you second guessing or making errors. It also has a handy alarm to warn you when your SpO2 and Pulse Rate are beyond set limits and you may need medical attention.
This Sp02 monitor is perfect for sports fanatics like mountain climbers, skiers, bikers, hang gliders or anyone else who needs to measure their blood oxygen levels and pulse rate in their busy work or play.
- SpO2 Range: 35% – 100%
- Accuracy: ±2%
- SpO2 Resolution: ±1%
- Pulse Rate Range: 25-250bpm
- Accuracy: ±2bpm
- Pulse Rate Resolution: ±1bpm
- Perfusion Index: 0.1% – 10%
- Battery Life: 40 Hours
Two Way Display Finger Pulse Oximeter
Take the hassle out of measuring your blood oxygen with this quick and easy oximeter. It can quickly determine your SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation levels) and pulse measurements, displaying them conveniently on a large digital LED display. This model has a unique two way display feature, which lets you flip the display upside down at the touch of a button, so you can always read the screen no matter what way you are facing. It can also display the figures in numbers or a bar chart
The finger chamber of this oximeter is made of hypoallergenic medical grade silicone, so you can be confident that it won’t irritate your skin or give you a rash. This is prefect for sportsmen and women or pilots.
- Parameters : SpO2, PR, Pleth bar.
- SPO2 Measure Range : 35-99%
- Resolution : ±1%
- Accuracy : 75%-99%:±2, 50%-75%:±3, 0%-50%:unspecified
- Range : 30-254 BPM
- Resolution : ±1bpm
- Accuracy : ±2bpm
Zacurate 500DL Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
Accurately and reliably keep track of your sp02 levels, pulse rate and pulse strength with the 500DL from Zacurate. All it takes is 10 seconds to give you your measurements. This one stands out in that it has been manufactured to meet medical standards of the CE and FDA for oximeters, and as such will be good for high-altitude sports and home use.
What’s really special about this one is that there’s no deviation on the readings depending on whether you use it in natural light or in a dark room, unlike most other sp02 monitors. So if you think you might need to take readings in the dark, perhaps in a tent on a mountaineering trip, this might be the one for you.
- SpO2 Range: 0% – 100%.
- SpO2 Resolution: +/- 1%.
- Pulse Rate Range: 30-240 bpm.
- Pulse Rate Resolution: +/- 1 bpm.
- Measurement Performance: Oxyhemoglobin and Pulse value can be shown accurately when pulse-filling rate is 0.2%.
Vive Finger Pulse Oximeter
Athletes, aviators and health enthusiasts looking for a portable and easy way to keep track of their blood oxygen levels should look no further than this Vive device. It is ready to go right out of the box and is guaranteed to give you fast and accurate measurements. Each device is individually tested to ensure that it works before they are shipped.
This is a very lightweight little sp02 monitor, and can easily be slipped into your pocket or handbag and go wherever you need to take it, whether that is on a plane or up a mountain. It comes with two AAA Batteries and a lanyard included.
Zacurate Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor
Taking your pulse rate and sp02 levels is literally at your fingertips with this simple yet effective oximeter. Just pop your finger into the chamber and the machine will do the rest for you, giving you a reliable reading within seconds.
This sp02 monitor was designed with health and sports enthusiasts in mind, athough the device has been calibrated to meet CE and FDA standards. This one also has a handy auto-shut of function to preserve battery life.
- Pulse Rate Resolution 1 bpm
- Accuracy 70% to 99% ±2%
- Suitable for all ages
- Automatic shut off
Acc U Rate 430-DL Fingertip Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor
The next generation of oximters is here wit the Acc U Rate 430-DL. This is the companies premium model, and it has vastly improved LED sensors which gets fast and reliable measurements measurement even at low blood perfusion. This also comes with many accessories, including a silicone cover, batteries and a lanyard, making it great value for money.
What is really crazy about this one is that although FDA and CE standards only require oximeters to have SpO2 accuracy of ±2%, this oximeter barely deviates more than 1% under lab conditions. So if accuracy is top of your list of concerns in a sp02 monitor, we may have just found the right one for you.
- Accuracy deviation of +/- 1% (under lab conditions)
- Contains Plethysmograph Waveform Technology
- Advanced ABS Plastic for Infrared Shielding
- Improved LED light and sensor
Santamedical Generation 2 OLED Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
This newly upgraded and FDA approved pulse oximetery monitor is a charming and easy to use solution for those who, for whatever reason, need to measure blood oxygen levels. This no-nonsense machine will give you quick and clear spo2 readings at the touch of a button, and everything is displayed very clearly on its OLED display, meaning that its good even for those with poor eyesight.
This is light and compact, so you can take it on that mountaineering holiday if you like, and best of all, it has an auto shut of function to help with battery life. Comes with batteries included too, which is always nice
- Neck/Wrist Cord
- OLED display
- real time Pulse Rate, Pulse Rate Bar and SpO2 level
- User Manual
- 2-AAA Batteries
- no-hassle 1 year warranty
AccuMed CMS-50DL Finger Pulse Oximeter
It is designed to fit finger sizes for anyone over the age of four, and you’ll get a highly accurate and dependable reading in between 8 and 10 seconds.
This also comes in a range of different colors, from blue and yellow to hot pink, so if for some reason you really need an oximeter that fits your color scheme (perhaps your mountain climbing kit?) this might be the product for you.The manufacturers also included a carry case, a silicon case for the machine itself and s battery, all of which are handy.
- Box Contents: 2 AAA Batteries, Lanyard, Silicone Cover, and Travel Case
- Available Colors: Black, Blue, Pink, White, and Yellow
- Display: Digital Tube
- Screen Information: Shows SpO2, Pulse Rate, and Pulse Intensity
- Battery Life: 24 hrs.
- Screen Brightness Adjustment: No
- Auto Power Off: Yes
Our Top Pick:
To be honest, it was hard to choose a top pick here as almost everything we looked at was so similar. However, we resisted the temptation to simply choose one in our favorite color.
While all of the oximeters we found all said that they were intended for sports and flying, not for medical use, it was the Zacurate 500DL that really stood out to us because it has been manufacturer and calibrated to meet CE and FDA standards for oximeters, so it is obviously a cut above the rest in terms of standards and accuracy. Aside from that, it has all of the features that other oximeters had, and Zacurate has a reputation of making great home medical appliances, so this one gets out top pick.
If you’re on a bit of a budget but still want to get a great sp02 monitor, the CMS 50-DL is almost half the price of the other oximeters on this, list, but it doesn’t compromise at all in terms of quality. If your simply looking for the best bang for your buck, go with this one.
How to use a Finger Pulse Oximeter
- Make sure that your oximeter has working batteries inside
- Put your finger inside the oximeter. Some will turn on and start working automatically, while others may need to be manually turned on or activated.
- Wait for a few seconds while the machine does its work. You will then see the readings displayed on the LED screen
- Write the results down or take a snap shot of them with your cell phone
Most oximeters will give you two numbers. The first is the spO2, which is the blood oxygen level, and the other is your pulse rate, which is usually marked ‘PR’.
Oximeters and Altitude Sickness
Many climbers and athletes use oximeters to determine whether or not they might have altitude sickness. What is altitude sickness? Also you go higher up into earths atmosphere, the pressure of the air drops and there is less oxygen available to you. People who live in high altitudes are often used to this, and those who climb up slowly may become accustomed without feeling sick. However, if you go to a high altitude too quickly, your lungs might have trouble with the lack of oxygen. Even if you do climb up, sometimes it is unavoidable. Symptoms include
- Fatigue and loss of energy
- Shortness of breath
- Problems with sleep
- Less appetite
Luckily, most symptoms clear up in around 24 hours for most people, as their body makes the necessary adjustments to the new air pressure. However, if symptoms are severe and show no sign of abating, you may need medical attention urgently.
If you are planning on going on a climbing trip or holiday to a high altitude area soon, you might want to look into the benefits of altitude training. Certainly, you should pick up an oximeter before you go, especially if you are climbing up a very high mountain.