Summary of Oxygen Concentrator Liter Flows

The oxygen provided by home and portable concentrators is measured in LPM (liters per minute) for continuous flow or the equivalent thereof in ml/min (milliliters per minute) in pulse dose oxygen. If you require oxygen therapy, your doctor will prescribe you a given oxygen flow rate such as 2 liters per minute. An oxygen flow rate of 2 LPM means the patient will have 2 liters of oxygen flowing into their nostrils over a period of 1 minute. Oxygen prescriptions generally run from 1 liter per minute to 10 liters per minute with 70% of those patients being prescribed 2 liters or less.

Continuous flow oxygen always flows from the cannula and never stops until the unit is turned off. Pulse dose oxygen is released in puffs of air, often referred to as a "bollus". Many portable models only have pulse dose settings, while some also offer continuous flow in lower settings.

Below is a summary of various liter flows for home and portable oxygen machines.

Portable Oxygen Concentrator Liter Flows

3 Liter/LPM Portable Oxygen Concentrators

The AirSep Focus and AirSep Freestyle are two very small yet powerful portable oxygen concentrators. Even though they're tiny, they can put out up to the equivalent of 3 LPM of pulse dose oxygen. They are also ideal for those who need oxygen therapy while exercising, and those who do a lot of traveling.

4 Liter/LPM Portable Oxygen Concentrators

The Inogen One G3 and the Lifechoice Activox by Inova Labs are two more portable oxygen concentrators in the more lightweight category. Since they are a little bigger than the models previously mentioned, they are capable of having a higher oxygen output.

5 Liter/LPM Portable Oxygen Concentrators

The larger and slightly heavier models, The Inogen One G2, AirSep Freestyle 5 and Invacare XPO2, have a maximum output of the equivalent of 5 LPM. The Freestyle 5 is a great portable concentrator because it still manages to stay small while still delivering this amount in the pulse dose equivalent.

6 Liter/LPM Portable Oxygen Concentrators

These larger portable models have a total maximum capacity of 6 LPM (equivalent) – The Respironics EverGo and SimplyGo (pulse dose only), Sequal Eclipse, and the Igo by DeVilbiss. The Eclipse, for example, is one of the portable models that also features continuous flow settings up to 3 LPM. They also feature a high purity rate.

Home Oxygen Concentrator Liter Flows

2 Liter/LPM Home Oxygen Concentrators

Our one 2 LPM stationary oxygen concentrator, is the Respironics SimplyFlo. It only has two settings, 1 LPM, and 2 LPM, but if this is all you need for a few hours daily or overnight, you can enjoy the small size and light weight of this concentrator, which weighs less than 9 lbs.

5 Liter/LPM Home Oxygen Concentrators

With the 5 LPM stationary oxygen concentrators, the Respironics EverFlo, Invacare Perfecto, and AirSep Visionaire, we're getting into the larger and heavier stationary oxygen concentrators that can only be used at home, while plugged into an AC power source. These are the concentrators necessary for those who need a higher dose of oxygen.

10 Liter/LPM Home Oxygen Concentrators

Sometimes it's necessary for a patient to receive anywhere from 5 LPM to 10 LPM of oxygen therapy, and that's where the AirSep Intensity 10, The Respironics Millenium 10, and the Invacare Platinum 10 come in. These powerful stationary models often offer other features, such as the ability to run a nebulizer as well.

Page last updated: October 26, 2018

About Nick Vannatta: Nick joined AMSR in 2007 and is the Lead Oxygen Specialist. He is factory-trained by Respironics, DeVilbiss, Inogen, Invacare, and SeQual. He is also certified to repair select oxygen concentrators and other sleep therapy products.

41 thoughts on “Summary of Oxygen Concentrator Liter Flows”

  • Jonathan A. Hines
    Jonathan A. Hines May 11, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    My wife is at end stage copd. She needs between 5 and 8 liters of oxygen depending on her activity. Do they offer machines that produce more than 10 liters ? That is as high as her machine will go.

    • Danielle Jason
      Danielle Jason May 16, 2017 at 5:58 am

      Unfortunately, we do not offer any units that produce more than 10 liters however, there is a possible solution. We can tether 2 concentrators together to produce the higher flow that your wife requires. If you'll give our Oxygen Specialists a call at 877-774-9271 they'll be able to work with you to find a solution.

  • tsubasa ozora

    My grandmother needs 6-7 ltrs oxygen so we've merged two months concentrators together At what setting does the airsep visionaire concentrator give max O2 output %? Is it 3ltr, 3.5ltr or 4ltr?

    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your comment. If you'll give our Customer Service Department a call at 877-303-9289, they'll be able to work with you to better understand concentrator tethering.

  • Barry Drske

    Hi. I have an InogenOne G3 and have been told by a friend in the UK that the highest setting gives only 2Lpm. Is that true? On an American site it says 1050ml. What is that equivalent too?
    Barry Drake

    • Danielle Jason

      Great question, Barry. The Inogen One G3 manual indicates that it delivers roughly 14ml per bolus per flow setting at 15 breaths per minute so approximately 210ml/min per flow setting. Depending on your model, if the settings go up to a flow setting of 5, it can deliver upwards of 1050ml.If you'd like to know more about the specifications and specifics of the machine, feel free to view the online user manual here:

      • john vasey

        In order to help a confused rather simple non technical person can you please say if 3lpm equivalent is possible from inogen one g3 yes or no?
        with thanks JV

        • Margaret Goodman
          Margaret Goodman March 30, 2018 at 4:55 am

          Thank you for your inquiry, John. I have passed along your information to a specialist who will reach out regarding your request. For more immediate assistance feel free to give our specialists a call at 888-360-9628 or if you prefer email [email protected]

  • MASiddiqui

    I am prescribed 4LPM (continuous) at what setting should I set respironics simplygo so that the pulse setting will be equivalent to 4LPM continuous.

    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your question, MASiddiqui. The Respironics SimplyGo can only perform up to 2LPM on the continuous flow setting. You will not be able to achieve 4LPM with your machine's continuous flow.

  • Jacky

    How do you no how many liters to run my wife's o2 at night goes from low 80s to 99 while sleeping

    • Danielle Jason

      That is something your doctor would have provided you when you received your prescription. Your prescription will indicate how much oxygen you require.

  • kinley

    is it possible to have 15lpm oxygen concentrator.

    • Danielle Jason
      Danielle Jason March 1, 2018 at 1:36 am

      Thank you for your inquiry, Kinley. We do not curretly offer any concentrators that produce 15 LPM of oxygen, however, it is possible to tether two concentators together in order to produce the high level of oxygen you require.

  • Lacy

    I have someone that needs continuous flow oxygen. She is currently at 2 liters continuous. She must stay on continuous as the conserving devices do not keep her oxygen saturations high enough. Do you have a machine that would support her oxygen need but that is light enough to carry?

    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman March 7, 2018 at 6:13 am

      Thank you for your inquiry, Lacy. I have passed along your information to a specialist who will reach out regarding your request. For more immediate assistance feel free to give our specialists a call at 888-360-9628 or if you prefer email [email protected]

    • Gerald Miller

      The 4 luggable pocs may have a setting that is equal to a LPM setting, the rest of them and almost all the conservers do not. Get one that goes at least 2 settings above the highest setting you may want to use. you will need to go between 1.5 to 3 poc settengs above what you need in Liters Per Minute. Encourage the Food and Drug Administration to begin regulating poc settings and make them equal to LPM.

  • Alana Forsyth
    Alana Forsyth April 2, 2018 at 4:46 am

    Can you create a chart that shows what bolus equals what LPM?

    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman April 2, 2018 at 6:57 am

      Unfortunately, bolus size does not directly relate to LPM. Here is a little background information that may be helpful.

      Bolus size (in oxygen lingo) refers to the size of the “puff” of oxygen delivered to a
      patient via a pulse delivery system. Most pulse delivery machines provide between 12 - 30
      “puffs” in a minute based upon the setting. The higher the setting, the larger the bolus size and the fewer of them delivered per minute.

      Liters per minute (or LPM) on the other hand, refers to the flow rate of continuously flowing oxygen via a continuous (or traditional) oxygen delivery system. Many people are familiar with the terminology of 2 or 3 LPM flow.

      The relationship between the two is as follows: Pulse delivery systems have settings (typically
      1-2-3 etc) which ROUGHLY correlate to the amount of oxygen a patient on a continuous flow machine using continuous flow would require. For example, if a patient typically uses 2LPM on a continuous flow machine, MOST doctors would recommend a patient start with a setting of 2 on the pulse delivery machine. It is very important to note that a setting of 2 on a pulse delivery machine DOES NOT mean
      2 LPM is flowing (or even available from the machine) and that actual settings are both patient and disease dependent.

      Although bolus size is machine dependent (i.e. different machines have different bolus sizes),
      all manufacturers are consistent in that the bolus size INCREASES with the setting (i.e a setting of 2 has a larger bolus than a setting of 1).

      If you have specific questions, feel free to contact one of our oxygen experts or customer support for additional information.

  • Patricia Lapinski
    Patricia Lapinski June 22, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    Is there a device that can regulate o2 flow at the cannula easily

    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman June 25, 2018 at 8:03 am

      There is a device called an Oxymizer that can help with this. I have passed along your information to a specialist who will reach out regarding your request. For more immediate assistance feel free to give our specialists a call at 888-360-9628 or if you prefer email [email protected]

    DANIEL R RUSIECKI October 19, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    Should the flow setting on a continuous home concentrator produce a blood o2 concentration at 90+?

    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman October 22, 2018 at 9:06 am

      Oxygen saturation level is ideal at 87% or higher. A properly working O2 machine should produce this for you if you are on the correct setting for your needs.

  • Theresa

    My mother is currently on 5 lpm in home but 6 lpm continious flow while she is out of the house. She is having a hard time getting around and is having to cart E cylinders. Is there such thing as a portable unit that possibly goes up to 8 lpm that's on the lighter side for her to venture out with?

    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman November 12, 2018 at 3:39 am

      Theresa, unfortunately at this time there is not a portable oxygen concentrator on the market that goes to that high of a setting on continuous flow. There is a machine that will go to a pulse dose setting of 6 if she can do continuous flow.

  • Steve G

    I am a former athlete who is now disabled by hemidiaphragm paralysis. I still attempt to bike or ski but I feel like I am suffocating as my SpO2 drops into the mid-low 80s. When I exercise, my respiratory rate maxes out at 60 before my O2 sat drops. Can an Imogen G4 accomodate a resiratory rate of 60 breaths/minute? Could a small portable oxygen concentrator help me?

    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman November 12, 2018 at 4:24 am

      Hi Steve, I have passed along your information to one of our oxygen specialist who will be reaching out to you shortly. To make sure that you are getting the best unit for your needs they will talk with you about your activities as well as your oxygen requirements. In the meantime feel free to contact us at 888-360-9829 or if you prefer email [email protected] We look forward to helping you with your oxygen needs.

  • Werner

    My mother received one of your machines but they never told her on which strength to use it. She used it on 5 for a day now with no problems. However a friend now told her that it is dangerous to use it at such a high setting as her lungs may freeze?
    On what setting should she use it?
    Her oncologist prescribed the machine as she has cancer in her lungs.

    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman January 18, 2019 at 9:11 am

      Your prescription will tell you what setting to put the machine on. If you can't find that call your doctor to confirm.

  • Paddy Tristram
    Paddy Tristram June 7, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    Suffering from life long sinusitus I am unable to maintain a flow of O2 through a cannula because my 70 year moutb breathing habit cannot be overcome continuously. Nobody seems to supply equipment for a mouth and nose mask as it needs very high o2 flows. Solutions?

  • Jennifer

    Im caring for my brothernlaw and his hospital dismissal dr order was he needs 1liter of oxygen,what #should his continuous home concentrator be set on? Thank you

    • Ed Rodgers

      Hi Jennifer, Did the they indicate if he was needing continuous or pulse? also since each machine and manufacturer has different delivery levels (at each setting). You should consult the machine he is using and ensure that he is ok to use a pulse delivery. Good luck and hope he has a speedy recovery.

  • Michelle Stagner
    Michelle Stagner August 14, 2019 at 7:45 am

    I have COPD. Dr set oxygen at 5 liters. Is there anything I can do to decrease the liters of oxygen to a lower number?

  • DL

    My Mother in law has been on 2l- 2.5l of continuous flow E cylinder O2 for 8 yrs. She wants a smaller unit, but the 6 min walk she did to ‘see’ if she qualifies for one, her pulse ox was 88. Is there a smaller unit that would accommodate a continuous flow, at the 2.5l to 3l?

  • Costa Duplessis

    I am trying to locate a continuous flow portable or not portable that has the lowest setting possible for my loved one. She is currently at .25 lpm. I am having difficulty finding some. Is there anyway you can assist me?

  • Gary Dunkinson
    Gary Dunkinson March 28, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    hi i suffer from many things a real train wreck, to start with amyloidosis, severe copd, asthma, and a few other lung issues, even had a pe issue back in may. and finally now they have me on home therapy oxygen delivered by use of a large at home concentrator at a flow rate of 1lpm to 2.5lpm at rest and up to 4.5 if there happens to be some activity, cant walk far so really not to much activeity. bu tlately i seem to be up and down on the flow meter depending on my sat levels, is there a concentrator out there that can auto adjust for my needs, i am also interested in a portable machine that i can go out with to the doctor appts and such what do you have and unfortuneately cost is a big issue

    • Sanket Jain

      I have passed along your information to an Oxygen Specialist who will reach out regarding your request. Also, we can quickly answer your questions over a phone call. Please reach us out at 888-387-5914.


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