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)
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.
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.
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.
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.