Tips for Bathing While Using an Oxygen Concentrator

If you need to use your oxygen concentrator for many hours each day, you might find that you'll need to be able to take a shower or bathe yourself while using it. Even though your oxygen concentrator cannot get wet or be around a lot of moisture in the air, you can still enjoy a nice shower or bath while getting your oxygen therapy.

Here are some tips for taking a shower safely while using your oxygen concentrator, as well as somethings you will need to have in your bathroom to make it much easier.

Things You'll Need

An exhaust fan. You should have an exhaust fan in your bathroom, that works well to suck the moist air out of your bathroom. It would be damaging to your oxygen concentrator to take in steam produced by the hot water of your bath or shower.

A shower chair. If you want to take a quick shower, a shower chair makes it easier and reduces fatique. It was also help ensure that water is not dripping down onto your oxygen concentrator.

A detachable showerhead attachment. This is simply a must. You'll have control over where the water is going, so it doesn't get on your oxygen concentrator, or on your nasal cannula. It could be on the end of a hose, or a showerhead arm.

Grab bars in the shower. You should have some grab bars installed on the walls of the shower, and on the walls next to the toilet, or on the wall opposite, to brace yourself and avoid injuries from slipping and falling in the shower.

A clear, thin plastic sheet. You position a clear plastic sheet over the concentrator, so that it is loose enough to allow it to breathe without overheating. This will offer extra protection to the concentrator to keep it from getting wet, just in case it accidentally gets sprayed or splashed.

Educate yourself with our Free Oxygen Therapy Guide

Shower Safety Tips

Be sure that your cannula tubing won't get tangled, or dip down in your bathwater. Go slow, and make sure the cannula tubing is behind you, and the length is short between you and the concentrator. Turn on the exhaust fan and cover the concentrator with the plastic sheet. Make sure it isn't tight against the machine, and the plastic isn't covering the vents.

If you're using a small portable model that isn't on a mobile cart, try to place it up higher on a table, but not near an edge where it could fall off. If this is the case, make sure you can't easily pull on the cannula, which would cause it to fall.

Be mindful of your cannula tubing while you wash yourself, or while you use the showerhead attachment. Also make sure the spray isn't getting anywhere near the concentrator.

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.

14 thoughts on “Tips for Bathing While Using an Oxygen Concentrator”

  • Rachelle

    Does it matter if the tubing is in the tub and I'm still on my oxygen

    • Danielle Jason

      As we mention in the blog, it is best to keep your tubing out of the water and take the proper safety precautions to protect your oxygen concentrator.

  • Toni Wilson

    I have a long cord is that ok because I have very bad experience in the shower

    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your comment, Toni. You should not have any electrical cords in the shower. If the cord you are referring to is a cannula just be sure to abide by the safety tips above, ensuring it is behind you, and the length is short between you and the concentrator. Be sure that your cannula tubing won't get tangled, or dip down in the water. Turn on the exhaust fan and cover the concentrator with the plastic sheet.

  • Sue


    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your inquiry, Sue. It is imperative that you review all of your individual machine's safety precautions in the user manual. The user manual will walk you through where possible dangers and misuse can occur.

  • Steve

    Can I take my Oxygen Tank in to a steam room or sauna

    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman April 13, 2018 at 6:25 am

      You should not take your concentrator in a steam room or a sauna. The steam room will contain far too much moisture and will be like taking it into the shower with you. The sauna is far to hot for the unit.

  • Judith A Martin
    Judith A Martin May 4, 2018 at 6:56 am

    Thank you for this vital information. Just went on O2 and was afraid to get into shower or tub. Now l know what to do.

  • Mary Ann

    I have a swim spa that I like to go in just to walk around and do a little exercise. I have a oxygen concentrator with a 50’ cord and a portable one. Can I go in the water and keep the cord off to the side not in the water?

    • Ed Rodgers

      As long as the concetrator is well away from the water and does not get wet this sounds fine and shouldn't be an issue.

  • Linda Kovar

    Can I use a tanning bed with the portable oxygen concentrator!
    Thank you

    • Ed Rodgers

      This is a new one Linda. As I am unfamiliar on the potential issues related to a tanning bed. I can not answer this. Also would you want the cannula lines on your skin while you are tanning?

  • Nancy Shaffer
    Nancy Shaffer June 29, 2019 at 2:05 am

    Need to increase lung function- what exercises can I do?


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