Sleeping with Continuous Flow Oxygen Concentrators

Your ability to get adequate sleep directly influences your cognitive health. If you require a continuous oxygen concentrator throughout the night, the last thing you want is an obstacle to a good night’s sleep. In this blog post, we’re going to discuss continuous oxygen concentrators that are optimized for sleep.

To assist you choose, here is a list of common concerns that patients, caregivers, and clinicians have when choosing a concentrator that won’t disrupt sleep:

1. Noise Level
2. Continuous Oxygen Flow
3. Power Source
4. Energy Consumption
5. Weight of Unit

Eliminate Sleepless Nights with the Right Oxygen Concentrator

Before we get into the comparison discussion, there were a few guidelines we followed to narrow down the list. Each concentrator has at least two of the following features:

  • Continuous oxygen flow
  • 3 liters per minute (LPM) of oxygen output or more

Every concentrator in the list below meets these guidelines:
1. SeQual Eclipse 5 Concentrator (Portable)
2. Respironics SimplyGo Concentrator (Portable)
3. SeQual eQuinox Concentrator (Portable)
4. Oxlife Independence Concentrator (Portable)
5. Inogen At Home Concentrator (Stationary)
6. Respironics EverFlo Q Concentrator (Stationary)
7. AirSep VisionAire 5 LPM Concentrator (Stationary)
8. AirSep Companion 5 Concentrator (Stationary)

Noise Level

The most obvious concern is the noise level an oxygen concentrator can produce while you’re trying to fall asleep. Fortunately, most manufacturers have built their concentrators with low ambient noise levels. The average sound emitted is between 37 and 48 decibels.

Every other concentrator on this list is either 40 or 45 decibels. In the larger context, anything below 48 decibels will be quiet. However if you’re a light sleeper, you may want to go with the SeQual eQuinox Portable Concentrator to keep the noise level to a minimum.

The video below will show you the side-by-side difference between gradual changes in decibels. Start the video at (0:35) to hear the difference of a 5 decibel sound reduction and at (0:50) to hear 10 decibels of sound reduction.

The most dramatic difference is certainly the 10 decibel sound reduction.

The SeQual eQuinox Portable Concentrator has the lowest decibel level at 37 decibels. That’s quieter than a library or birds chirping outside your bedroom window.

The SeQual Eclipse 5 Portable Concentrator comes in at 48 decibels on continuous flow, an 11 decibel difference. The Eclipse 5 may appear to be loud, but one reviewer for this concentrator stated, "My friends and family have mostly commented on how much quieter it is…"

Continuous Oxygen Flow

For most people, continuous oxygen flow is the easiest way to manage daily oxygen needs. When you fall asleep, your breathing pattern is generally slower and shallower. But depending on how frequently you wake up (and if you have other health issues like obstructive sleep apnea), your oxygen needs may fluctuate throughout the night. And because you’re asleep, it’s hard to really know how much your oxygen needs fluctuate throughout the night. Using a continuous oxygen flow setting will safely get you the oxygen you need with minimal sleep disruption.

All of the portable concentrators above (1–4) can reach a maximum of 3 LPM on the continuous setting. If you don’t require more than 3 LPM, any one of these concentrators can meet your oxygen needs——and with a lower noise level as well.

However, if you need 5 LPM of oxygen, all of the stationary concentrators above (5–8) are capable of meeting your needs. The noise level will be a bit higher when you get to 5 LPM, but you’ll be able to safely maintain your higher oxygen needs during sleep.

Power Source

Another thing to consider when purchasing an oxygen concentrator for sleep is the source of power. If your power goes out and you’re asleep, you may not even notice it. For this reason, it’s important to have a backup plan for your oxygen concentrator in case this happens to you.

All of the portable oxygen concentrators listed above (1–4) have both AC and battery power sources.

The stationary oxygen concentrators (5–8) all run on home outlet power. Of these concentrators, only the AirSep VisionAire 5 LPM Home Concentrator and the AirSep Companion 5 Home Concentrator have a power failure alarm. That’s an important feature in the event of a power failure. If your power were to go out while you were asleep, you’d like to know right away so you could get a backup oxygen tank or a battery-powered concentrator.

Energy Consumption

Across the board, portable oxygen concentrators (1–4) consume less power. That’s because their maximum oxygen-flow output is 3 LPM. In general, the more oxygen flow you use the more power your concentrator will consume. The average power consumption for a portable oxygen concentrator is 145 Watts. Let’s see how that compares to the stationary concentrators.

The Inogen At Home Concentrator (Stationary) is the only stationary concentrator that beats all the portable concentrators on power consumption at 120 watts, even at higher liter flows. The other stationary concentrators all use anywhere from 250–350 watts of power. But again, lower liter flows will always require less power, even on the stationary concentrators.

Weight of Unit

The portable concentrators are the obvious choice here because they’re made to be transported easily. Every portable concentrator is under 20 pounds, with the SeQual eQuinox Portable Concentrator coming in with the lightest weight at 14 pounds.

The Inogen At Home Concentrator (Stationary) is also very competitive to portable units when it comes to weight, coming in at only 18 pounds. Most stationary concentrator weighs anywhere from 31–36 pounds.

If you want the lightest concentrator, your best option includes any of the portable concentrators or the Inogen At Home Concentrator.

Final Thoughts

There are certainly many things to consider when choosing an oxygen concentrator for your best night’s sleep and having a quiet and energy-efficient concentrator (that can safely meet your oxygen needs) will definitely help you sleep better at night.

If you have any questions about the concentrators on this blog post, please feel free to contact us directly at 1-877-774-9271.

About Scott Ridl: Scott joined American Medical Sales and Rentals in 2008 as a Web Manager and Content Writer. He is a writer and designer. He is extensively trained on oxygen therapy products from leading manufacturers such as Inogen, Respironics, Chart, Invacare, ResMed and more. Scott works closely with respiratory therapists and oxygen specialists to educate the community about oxygen therapy products, COPD, asthma and lung diseases. He writes weekly columns and is passionate about educating the community on oxygen therapy and respiratory issues.

9 thoughts on “Sleeping with Continuous Flow Oxygen Concentrators”

  • Constance Kerber
    Constance Kerber November 11, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Do your portable concentrator meet the Airlines Standards to take for travel ?

    • Danielle Jason

      Great question, Constance. Many of our concentrators meet FAA approval for travel. Which unit are you referring to? If you'd like you can view our full list of all FAA approved oxygen concentrators here:

  • replique bague bulgari b zero occasion
    replique bague bulgari b zero occasion January 12, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    I loved the matter-of-factness about generics.

  • Marié

    My dad is overweight and a smoker.
    At nights he does not sleep because he says he can not breath.

    • Corey Dyben

      Dear Marie,

      We suggest having your father see a physician. They can determine if he requires supplemental oxygen while sleeping.

      The AMSR Team

  • jim ueeck

    are there any portable units that will output 4 or 5 liters pm?

    • Ed Rodgers

      Hello Jim,

      Yes there a few that can do 4 or 5 LPM on pulse setting. As with any medical device your prescription and needs will influence which machine would be best for you. If you call our specialists at 888-616-6423 they can walk you through the different models their benefits beyond the liters per minute such as battery life, weight and ability to be either pulse or continuous oxygen. Good Luck.

  • Thomas E. Avery
    Thomas E. Avery June 26, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    I am currently on bottled medical oxygen and with the package I can run a continuous making oxygen machine to use for sleeping, but I don't need this machine that often. This is being paid for by workers comp from my former employer thru a lawyer. Rather than carrying bottled oxygen I want to get the Inogen One G4 unit.that is light weight.
    if I return the bottles and machine back to the supplier I will just have Inogen G4 unit. What can I use if I need to for oxygen.

    • Ed Rodgers

      Thomas, I am unsure of your question. Moving from both a concentrator and oxygen, you have 2 sources of oxygen. If you stop bottled oxygen, your G4 does deliver O2. But you will need to know if the G4 is the right machine for you based on your oxygen prescription. Best thing to do is give us a call at 888-743-0156 and walk one of our oxygen specialist through your situation and they can properly align your needs to the right machine. Good Luck.


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