If you suffer from asthma, COPD or congestive heart failure, a fingertip pulse oximeter can help you keep an eye on your heart rate and the oxygen level in your blood. Much like how a glucose meter checks blood sugar levels in diabetics, a pulse oximeter checks your oxygen levels so that you can take swift action to take control of your condition.
Most at-home fingertip pulse oximeters aren’t made for medical use, but many doctors and nurses still use them in the workplace. These units are portable, affordable and easy to use. And while there are many models to choose from, we’ve found four that stand out in the crowd. Find the right fit for you by reading our pulse oximeter reviews below:
The 4 Best Pulse Oximeters in 2019
The following fingertip pulse oximeters have been tested for accuracy and durability. The 4 following models are really inexpensive and great for those that need to carry one around for medical reasons. I hope the following reviews help you find the one that suits your needs.
1. Zacurate Pro Series 500DL Pulse Oximeter
The Zacurate Pro Series 500DL can accurately measure your SpO2 levels, pulse strength and pulse rate in just 10 seconds. A large LED display on the top of the reader makes it easy to see your levels, so you can take action if necessary.
The large screen, which is easy to read even in low-light environments, displays your blood oxygen levels on top and your heart rate on the bottom. A graph indicator on the right side of the screen indicates the strength of your pulse.
The LED display faces you, the user, so that you can easily see your reading without having to contort your fingers and hands.
The Pro Series 500DL model is manufactured to FDA and CE standards for oximeters used by doctors. This is the only LED pulse oximeter that can display 100% for SpO2 levels, and accuracy is at an impressive +/-2%.
The unit itself features a medical grade silicone finger chamber that’s hypoallergenic. It’s durable, too, and the battery chamber is easy to get to. Just snap off the back cover and replace the battery in seconds.
The unit runs on 2 AA batteries, and is small enough to take with you on the go.
- Measures your oxygen levels, pulse strength and pulse rate in just 10 seconds
- Easy-to-read LED display
- Medical grade silicone to prevent allergies
- Small and lightweight
- Comes with a lanyard for easy carrying
- Silicone cover slips off easily
The only drawback with this unit – and it’s a minor one – is that the silicone cover slips off pretty easily. Unless you’re working in a fast-paced trauma unit, you shouldn’t run into any issues with the cover.
Otherwise, the Zacurate Pro Series 500DL does exactly what it says it does: measure your blood oxygen levels. This model is used by healthcare professionals, so you can be sure that it’s accurate.
In our opinion, the Zacurate Pro Series 500DL pulse oximeter is the best fingertip pulse oximeter you can buy in 2019.
2. Concord Sapphire Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
The Concord Sapphire fingertip oximeter has a sophisticated display, easy operation and quick, accurate readings. In seconds, this unit will measure your oxygen saturation level of your blood, heart rate and pulse strength.
Along with the numbers themselves, this unit will also display the reading in waveforms (plethysmograph) and a bar graph. The graph lets you know whether your heart rate is strong or weak.
The pulse range for this unit is 30bpm-250bpm.
The rotating OLED display allows you to view the reading from any direction or angle. You can also adjust the brightness level of the display for easy use in outdoor and indoor environments.
This pulse oximeter comes with a carry case and neck/wrist cord for easy use on-the-go. It’s also backed by a lifetime product replacement guarantee.
- Easy to use
- Display rotates for easy viewing at any angle or direction
- Brightness adjustment for outdoor and indoor use
- Wide pulse range
- Multiple display options
- Cover slips off
Just like with the previous model, the Concord Sapphire meter seems to have issues with its cover. Again, this really isn’t much of an issue unless you work in a fast-paced trauma unit. In the manufacturer’s defense, they do state that this device is not intended for medical use.
As far as accuracy and ease-of-reading goes, this unit is a great option. It’s easy to use and the readings are on par with units used in professional healthcare settings.
3. Santamedical Generation 2 Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
The Santamedical Generation 2 Fingertip Pulse Oximeter looks a lot like the Concord model. The dual-colored OLED display shows your oxygen level, heart rate and strength of your heart rate. This unit also has a battery indicator so that you know when it’s time to recharge, and you can adjust the screen brightness level.
The unit will even tell you if you’re taking your pulse and SpO2 rate properly. And it offers a visual representation of your heartbeat (plethysmograph).
Like with the Concord Sapphire unit, the Santamedical Generation 2 oximeter has a multi-directional display that rotates for easy viewing from any angle or direction. If you’re worried about latex and other allergies, the hypoallergenic finger chamber is made of medical grade silicone
An auditory alarm will let you know if your pulse is beyond your set limit, and there are auditory beeps for every detected pulse.
The Santamedical 2 actually comes with 2 AAA batteries, so you can use the unit right out of the box.
- Rotating display that’s easy to read
- Finger chamber is made of medical grade silicone
- Comes with batteries
- Screen brightness can be adjusted
- Auditory alarms for when your heart rate is too high
- Readings take a while
Readings take a little bit longer than you’d expect with the Santamedical Generation 2, but the unit is easy to use and comes with additional, helpful features.
4. Zacurate 500BL Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
Most fingertip pulse oximeters are designed for either adult or child use, but the Zacurate 500BL can be used by people of all ages. Like other Zacurate units, this model is made to FDA and CE standards.
The large, easy-to-read LED display indicates your blood oxygen levels and your pulse rate. The display faces you, the user, for easy reading.
The 500BL is small, lightweight and easy to carry. It even comes with a lanyard for neck/wrist use. Zacurate includes 2 AAA batteries, so you can use this unit right out of the box.
- Lightweight and compact for on-the-go use
- Can be used by people of all ages
- Batteries are included
- Manufactured to CE and FDA standards
- LED display is easy to read indoors and outdoors
- Does not measure pulse strength
While not a deal-breaker, we did notice that this unit does not measure pulse strength. This appears to be a standard feature with most fingertip oximeters. The 500BL is also one of the most affordable models on the market, so this additional feature, which isn’t absolutely necessary, may have just been excluded.
If you want a fingertip oxygen monitor that offers accurate readings without all of the bells and whistles of more expensive units, the 500BL may be a good fit for you. It’s easy to use, durable and highly accurate.
Allie has worked in care facilities for the last 15 years providing mobility and health care to seniors of all skill levels. She is passionate about senior advocacy and is and loves to spend her free time in the outdoors.