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Best Pulsoximeter 2019 • 0 Pulsoximeters Reviews

What is a pulse oximeter in test and comparison?A Pulse oximeter does not work invasive, but is attached outside to the body. Due to this simple functionality, a pulse oximeter is particularly suitable for private users who wish to obtain information about their state of health in the form of pulse oximetry. This device is suitable for users with heart lung diseases to regularly check these important vital functions. This device also enjoys increasing popularity among hobby athletes in order to regularly monitor their oxygen saturation in the blood and adjust their performance to these values if necessary. This function also provides information about breathing, which can easily get out of sync with athletes in the event of excessive exertion.

The most important reasons for purchasing a pulse oximeter are heart defect, heart failure, reduced respiration, Asthma, lung diseases (COPD), increased oxygen consumption due to physical exertion, sleep apnea, pulse monitoring during sports activities, especially at high altitudes, air sports at high altitudes, mountaineering, painless and comfortable measurement.

What is a pulse oximeter?

Thanks to innovative technological Development more and more medical devices are suitable for private individuals. With the help of a pulse oximeter, everyone can see their vital signs from home and the measurement is painless and uncomplicated.

This advanced medical device is not only suitable for pulse measurement, but also for monitoring oxygen saturation values. Not only athletes, but also lung patients are increasingly turning to a handy and multifunctional pulse oximeter. This medical measuring device is also suitable for people suffering from heart disease.
Pulse oximeters are not only used in doctors' surgeries, hospitals and emergency ambulances, they increasingly stop in private households. The measurement of oxygen saturation with a pulse oximeter is very easy.

How does a pulse oximeter work?

Our Test shows that most pulse oximeters provide very accurate measurement data and do not have to hide from professional devices in medical practices and hospitals. The average deviation of almost all devices for private use tested by us is +/- 2 percent with respect to oxygen saturation and +/- 2 bpm (pulse rate per minute) at pulse rate control.

However, users can live very well with this deviation. Our product test has shown that a small number of devices can do more than just measure the oxygen saturation level in the blood to . These little health helpers are becoming more and more modern and some of them bring a Software as accessory with which the measurement values can be transferred from the pulse oximeter to the computer. This data transmission is especially useful for a continuous measurement of advantage, as the user can create a “diary” on this basis. Also for pulse oximeters there is a App for mobile devices from Apple and Android. Oximeters can be controlled wirelessly via Bluetooth. With a Arduino Board it is possible to build your own measuring device. A mobile device should be waterproof.

A pulse oximeter per fingerclip is easy to use. The index finger are taken on both hands. Fingerclip-PulsoximeterThe device measures independently of the finger size, therefore they are also suitable for children. There are also extra small devices for babies. The pulse frequency of even the smallest blood vessels is measured with an adhesive sensor or a clip. Further measurement alternatives are the ear or the earlobe.

In order for the measurement data to be optimal, you must consider a few simple details:

  • If you have chosen a finger oximeter, make sure that your fingers are not too cold.
  • Women should not wear dark nail polish or artificial fingernails during the measurement, as this impairs the penetration of the light and the measurement data thus indicate falsified and deviating values.
  • Even stimulants such as alcohol, nicotine and caffeine can affect the pulse rate and increase the measured values. Some drugs, on the other hand, slow down the pulse rate.
  • Non-athletes have a higher pulse rate than competitive athletes. Women often have higher scores than men. An altitude-dependent drop in oxygen saturation must be taken into account if, for example, you are hiking at higher altitudes. pulox, kernmed, choicemmed, nonin, and ocs.tec have established themselves among the brand devices.

The clip of the pulse oximeter consists of two parts . On one side there is a light source, on the opposite side there is the matching light sensor. The light source emits infrared light waves that penetrate the finger. On the opposite side, the sensor measures which light components have been absorbed (spectral oximetry). The absorption capacity of light in the blood depends on the concentration of hemoglobin and its saturation with oxygen. Hemoglobin forms part of the red blood cells. Deoxigenated (RHB) and oxigenated haemoglobin attenuate the incidence of light characteristically. Two measured values are determined during a pulse wave. The absorbance is measured at 640 nm deoxyhaemoglobin and 805 to 830 nm total haemoglobin. If the measured value falls below a certain value, the instrument emits a alarm tone if a corresponding additional function is integrated.

Most commercially available devices are supplied with nylon bag with carry and belt loop, additional AAA- How does a pulse oximeter work in test and comparison at ReviewInstitutes?batteries and silicone shell delivered. The battery compartment is located on the back of the unit. Two AAA batteries are required for commissioning. To attach the carrying strap, remove the silicone cover and pull the narrow end of the loop through the hole in the device and join the thick end of the loop with the narrow end. The loop is then tightened.

Before use the protective film is removed from the display. The clamp of the finger pulse oximeter is opened and the finger is pushed in to the point where the sensor is located. If the user feels the sensor under his fingertip, the clamp is closed. The index, middle or ring finger is used to obtain good measured values. The finger must be centred in the clip with the fingernail pointing upwards. A too low body temperature, too thin or thick fingers can lead to inaccurate measurement results. The device is then put into operation with the power button.

The finger must be held still during the measurement . Press the power button continuously to regulate the light of the display. After the measurement has been completed, the instrument switches off automatically after five seconds.

A pulse oximeter can only produce perfect measurement results if the optical environmental conditions are fulfilled. Undiffused light radiation is a prerequisite for absorbing the light entering the tissue. Tissue possesses the physiological property of light scattering.

Since the measurement results are influenced by this process not insignificantly, a calibration is necessary. This calibration is performed on the basis of medical experience and data used to adjust the measuring device. Direct and specific factors are not taken into account. Due to these missing individual values, the measured values of the pulse oximeter may deviate slightly from the actual values (Real values) of the user.

What parts of the body can be measured?

Pulse oximeters per finger clip, are particularly practical because these models are particularly easy to use. If you decide on a device with Fíngerclip, use the index fingers of both hands. Fingerclip pulse oximeters measure independently of finger size. So this device can be used not only by adults, but also by children.

For babies there are extra small pulse oximeters on the market to measure the pulse and oxygen saturation on the tiny fingers. The pulse rate of the smallest blood vessels can be measured using a glue sensor or clip. Another measurement alternative is the earlobe.

What aspects should be considered during measurement?

In order for the data of the measurement to be ideal, some minor details must be taken into account. Those who have decided on a finger oximeter should only perform the measurement if the fingers are not freezing cold. Women should be aware that a dark nail polish can lead to deviating values. Inaccuracies also involve artificial fingernails, as these can impair the penetration of light. This means that measurement data can be slightly falsified.

Private users should not perform the measurement under Influence of alcohol. Likewise, stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine can increase the measured values. Those who take medication should be aware that some pills can slow down pulse performance. People who do not exercise usually have a higher pulse than athletes. It should also be noted that women often have higher scores than men.

How does a pulse oximeter work in the test and comparison at ReviewInstitutes?If you do sports at high altitudes, you have to reckon with the oxygen saturation dropping a little. The oxygen saturation of pilots and aviation athletes is also minimized. The measurement results are only perfect if the ambient optical conditions are fulfilled. A fundamental prerequisite is unscattered light radiation. This is necessary, in order to absorb the light incident through the tissue.

Human tissue is characterized by the physiological property of light scattering. Since the results of the measurement can be slightly influenced by this process, it is important to calibrate the instrument. The calibration is based on medical experience as well as on data which are used to adjust the measuring device. Neither specific nor direct factors are taken into account during calibration.

Due to these missing personal values, it is possible that the measured values of the pulse oximeter may deviate slightly from the actual values of the user. It is advisable to read the operating instructions before the first Commissioning. Some manufacturers even offer visual support.

Important reasons for purchasing a pulse oximeter:

  • Heart failure
  • Heart failure
  • Lung diseases (COPD)
  • Asthma
  • Reduced breathing
  • sleep apnea
  • maximized oxygen consumption
  • physical exertion
  • painless and comfortable measurement
  • High-altitude flights by air sportsmen and pilots
  • Pulse monitoring of mountaineers
  • Pulse monitoring of hobby and professional athletes


According to Pulse Oximeter Test, the commissioning of all test candidates is uncomplicated and simple. The adhesive protective film should be removed from the display before first use. The clip of the finger clip is opened and then the index finger is pushed in to the point where the sensor is attached. As soon as the sensor is felt under the fingertip, the clamp can be closed. For good measurements it is recommended to attach the clip to the index finger. Alternatively, the middle or ring finger can also be used for measurement. Under no circumstances should the measurement be made on the thumb and it is not advisable to take a measurement on the little finger.

For exact results the finger should be centered in the Fingerclip. The fingernail should point upwards during measurement. There are many reasons for inaccurate measurement. If you measure your pulse or oxygen saturation on a cold finger, you run the risk of getting a falsified result. In addition, extremely thick or particularly thin fingers can lead to small deviations in the measurement.

As soon as the finger is optimally positioned in the fingerclip, the power button can be pressed. For accurate results, the finger must be held still during measurement. If the power button is pressed continuously, the brightness of the display can be adjusted individually. The measurement takes between three and 15 seconds, depending on the model. After the measurement, numerous devices switch off automatically within a few seconds.

Pulse oximeter test

In the current pulse oximeter test numerous medical devices for household use from various manufacturers were put through their paces and scrutinized by independent testers. The individual devices were subjected to numerous tests and ratings were given for each test category. The current Pulse oximeter test shows which models rightly rank among the best devices on the market, which pulse oximeters have a very good price-performance ratio and which medical devices meet high demands.

According to these test criteria the pulse oximeters are compared at review institutesThe current pulse oximeter test shows that most test candidates produce very accurate measurement data. You do not have to hide from the professional pulse oximeters in medical practices and hospitals. The average deviations for almost all test candidates are just under two percent. In terms of pulse rate, the compact devices for private use offer a minimum rejection of no more than two pulse beats per minute.

In the pulse oximeter comparison 2018 numerous devices are compared with each other and the specialities, strengths and weaknesses are compared with each other. This gives interested parties an excellent overview of the current bestsellers and since the evaluation is carried out by neutral testers, one can be sure that the evaluation is objective. After the execution of numerous tests a high score list was created.

Hemoglobin as a guide

The illuminant for light remission for fluoroscopy of the skin is measured via two illuminants, infrared and red in the range of 900 nm and 660 nm. On the other hand, the pulse oximeter has a photo sensor.

The hemoglobin (O2HB) is responsible for oxygen transport in the blood. In the next step, Oxyhaemoglobin delivers the oxygen to the cells and becomes Haemoglobin again.

The Oximeter is able to determine the color differences of oxygen-rich, bright red blood and oxygen-poor, The best advisors from a pulse oximeter testdark red blood. The sensor in the finger clip simultaneously detects the heartbeat. On the basis of this process the pulse oximeter determines the content of partial oxygen saturation in the blood, the SpO2 value. The finger in the finger clip is illuminated with a red light emitting diode with an average wavelength of 660 nm. A part of this wavelength reaches the photodiode. If the blood shows a low antil oxyhemoglobin (O2HB) and a higher proportion hemoglobin (HB), the blood is low in oxygen and more light is absorbed than in the case of oxygen-rich blood. To obtain precise measurement results, the finger is irradiated with a second infrared light-emitting diode, usually with a wavelength of 910 nm. The pulse oximeter now calculates the blood oxygen saturation value by correlating the absorption of red and infrared light.

Advantages & Application areas

The small health assistant is used in many ways in hospitals,doctor's offices, in rescue service and in consumers. The measurement of oxygen saturation is very easy with all product variants, no matter whether you decide on a comparative test winner, a price winner or a device of the good middle class. Our product test tells you what to look out for when buying and which device best suits your individual needs.

The pulse oximeter indicates the value “So02”, which can alternatively also be determined by a blood count from the family doctor. The components of the formula stand for “Saturation (S), “Pulse (p)” and “Oxygen (O2)”. A higher value stands for a stronger oxygen enrichment of the red blood cells.

If your Pulse oximeter calculates values ranging from 95 to 99 percent, you are in good average. Asthmatics, on the other hand, only account for about 80 percent, as their organism is regularly undersupplied with oxygen due to their disease. A visit to the doctor is already recommended for values in the range between 90 and 94 percent.

If your values are below the 90 percent mark, you suffer from oxygenmBeurer-Pulsoximeterangel. For private users we recommend the compact one-finger measuring instruments, which are also referred to as finger oximeters. In our product comparison 2019 we present you the best devices. However, pulse oximeters do not only measure the oxygen saturation in the blood, but also control the pulse frequency, which is indicated in “bpm”. This abbreviation stands for “beats per minute” and gives information about how many beats per minute your pulse registers. The pulse rate depends to a certain extent on the age of the user. Children regularly have a higher pulse rate than adults.

What types of pulse oximeters are there?

Besides the fingerclip sensor there are devices with an ear sensor. The clip is attached to the user's earlobe. Pulsoxys with earclips have the same functionality as fingerclip devices. For infants, the pulse oximeter can be attached to the foot. For adult users who want to check their values regularly, however, the devices with fingerclip have become established, as they are the easiest to handle and offer a pleasant wearing comfort during the measurement.

So we tested the pulse oximeters

Our product test produced both a comparison winner and a price winner. Next to the price-Medisana-PulsoximeterPower ratio are the main criteria the measurement the oxygen saturation, the measurement of the Heart Pulse Rate, the Display, the Power Supply and the Functions. In addition, we show you the advantages and disadvantages. All devices tested by us have a functional performance in the field of measuring oxygen saturation and heart rate. The commercially available measuring instruments in the lower to middle price range are in a measuring range between 70 and 100 %.

The winner of the comparison and other devices in the upper price range are in a measuring range between 35 and 100 % . This percentage value indicates which proportion of the red blood pigment haemoglobin is loaded with oxygen. The average values range from 95 to 98 %. For this reason, devices with standard values between 70 and 100 % are sufficient. Most devices are battery powered and have a OLED display. LEDs may last longer, but OLEDs have richer colors in the diagram display. All devices tested by us are finger pulse oximeter with automatic switch-off and 4 display modes.

The comparison test winner in the upper price range has additional software with charging cable for transferring the measurement data to the computer, alarm function, rotatable display, adjustable brightness and long-term measurement.

The only disadvantage of this device is the initially somewhat complex handling, until the user has become accustomed to the various functions. All devices are delivered with bag and batteries. Despite a good rating and an equally good price-performance ratio, some devices require a longer time for measurement and are equipped with a comparatively simple display. With the exception of the comparison test winner, who stands out, the other devices in our product test 2019 are robust and easy to use devices that provide accurate measurement data and are also suitable for outdoor activities due to their size. The tested devices are in a price range between 20 and 90 Euro .

Test criteria of a pulse oximeter

In the current pulse oximeter test both a prize winner and a comparison winner were determined.

Price/Performance ratio

This test criterion belongs to the most important aspects, to be considered before purchase. The selection of different models from different suppliers is enormous and not every model delivers what it promises. In addition, the price range of the individual pulse oximeters is very large. Interested persons should take a look at the current pulse oximeter test to find out which medical measuring devices are worth their money for home use and which one should better not be touched. Neutral testers have subjected the individual test candidates to a large number of tests and also compared the prices with each other.

Measuring range of oxygen saturation in blood

Not all models have the same measuring range and therefore a comparison is advisable. The commercially available measuring instruments in the upper price range offer a measuring range between 35 and 100 percent, while the measuring range for models in the lower to middle price range is between 70 and 100 percent.

The measuring range is of great importance, because it gives information about which part of the haemoglobin is saturated with oxygen. The average values range from 95 to 98 percent. Thus models with values between 70 and 100 percent are completely sufficient.

Finger measurement

The majority of the test candidates are equipped with a fingerclip. Pulse oximeters with finger clip are characterized by a high level of comfort during measurement. In addition, carrying out the measurement is child's play.

Measuring accuracy

The current pulse oximeter test shows that the measurement accuracy varies from model to model. Interested parties can see from the current list of the best, which pulse oximeters are characterized by excellent ratings in terms of measurement accuracy and which test candidates deliver deviating measurement results. Measurement accuracy is one of the most important reference criteria.

Measurement duration

Despite a good evaluation and a fair price/performance ratio, some pulse oximeters take almost 15 seconds to measure, while others only take a few seconds.


Another test criterion of a pulse oximeter is the display from which the measured values can be read. According to the current test, the majority of the test candidates have a OLED display built in, as these can score points with particularly rich colors when creating the diagram. Only a few models are equipped with an LED display, because the colors are a little paler and the images are less rich in contrast than OLED displays. In addition, LED displays offer the disadvantage, that the LED display is much more difficult to read in sunlight than with an analog display. If you intend to carry out the measurement outdoors, you should use an OLED display. However, those who attach great importance to the fact that the lamps last extremely long are ideally advised to use an LED display. However, the life expectancy of OLED-lamps should not be underestimated.
The most innovative devices are equipped with a rotating display. This allows users to read the data conveniently from any position.

Display size

An important reference criterion is the size of the display. Visually impaired persons are better advised with a large display and seniors also like to use generously dimensioned displays. The current pulse oximeter test shows which test candidates are equipped with an easy-to-read display.

Power supply

The power supply of the small medical aids for domestic use is either with battery or by battery. The current pulse oximeter test lists the devices that are powered by rechargeable batteries. Rechargeable batteries have the advantage that they are more durable than batteries. Most models with battery operation come with the two required AAA batteries.

Measure heart rate

Almost all test candidates offer the possibility to measure the pulse. This function is especially practical and especially popular with athletes.

Automatic switch-off

In order to save power, many manufacturers offer pulse oximeters, which are equipped with an automatic switch-off. According to the test, however, not all test candidates have an automatic switch-off and therefore a look at the high score list is advantageous.

Alarm function

Particularly practical are those medical aids for private use which offer an alarm function. As soon as the measured value does not correspond to the norm, an acoustic signal sounds to warn the user.

Bag for safe storage

The innovative medical device should be stored in a protective bag to protect it from unwanted scratches and signs of usage. The bag can also prevent damage if the pulse oximeter falls to the ground. The neutral testers took a look at the delivery scope and noted in the current test which models are delivered with a protective bag and which suppliers do without a bag.

pros and cons

The neutral testers have put the individual pulse oximeters through their paces and subjected them to numerous laboratory and practical tests. The current pulse oximeter test informs about the respective positive and negative characteristics of the individual test candidates. Interested parties can thus gain an overview of the strengths and weaknesses.

Test result

The current Pulse Oximeter Test shows that all tested medical devices for home use measure both arterial oxygen saturation in the blood and pulse rate. All test candidates on the best list are handy and have a low dead weight. This makes them ideal for household use and outdoor activities.

Thanks to belt bag and strap Pulse oximeter can also be used mobile. The presentation in the form of diagrams is visually appealing for all test candidates and many a top model even offers a rotatable display for different view perspectives.

With the majority of pulse oximeters it is possible to regulate the brightness as required. The neutral testers came to the conclusion that all tested devices can be operated without any problems and that the accuracy of the measurement is good and even excellent for some models.

What do I have to look out for when buying a pulse oximeter?

In our Product Comparison 2019 we name various Reference Criteria that play an important role in the selection of the right device. The most important criterion is the performance of the selected device in terms of measurement of oxygen content in blood and pulse rate.

These measuring performances are independent of the instrument type and the price class, as they are basic equipment and prerequisite for the proper functioning of the pulse oximeter. The instrument displays the measured values by means of a wave or bar diagram on a display. There are two display types: LED and OLED. The abbreviation LED refers to inorganic light-emitting diodes and OLED to organic light-emitting diodes. Devices with a OLED display consume more energy, but the colors are displayed richer and more contrast.

LED devices are more common because they are usually very durable. The display is the main component of the device, as it is quite large in relation to the total size of the pulse oximeter. This size is intended so that visually impaired people can also easily read their measurement data. It is also easier to look at the battery charge indicator. With sunlight, LED displays are harder to read than analog displays.

Briefly summarized: All devices measure arterial oxygen saturation in blood (SpO2) and heart rate (pulse rate).

The devices in the Test are small and handy and are characterized by a low own weight. They are therefore ideal for use at home and during outdoor activities. With a strap and belt pouch, they can be used anywhere at any time. The devices are characterized by a good optical presentation. Some devices have a display with different view perspectives. Also the brightness of the display we could regulate in the test with most devices. If you are looking for the optimal pulse oximeter for individual requirements, you should consider several reference criteria at the same time.

oxygen saturation and pulse frequency

With a pulse oximeter both the oxygen saturation and the pulse frequency can be measured. The current pulse oximeter comparison shows that these two functions are enabled by almost all test candidates, regardless of the price class. The non-invasive measurement is pain-free and unproblematic. However, if you want to monitor your pulse rate permanently, you should use a heart rate monitor that is worn in the form of a wristband and provides clear information about the number of heart beats per minute.

Display of the measured data

Pulse oximeters are equipped with a display on which the measurement data calculated by the computer can be read. For some test candidates, the data is presented in the form of a bar chart. Alternatively, the measured values can also be displayed graphically in a wave diagram. If you are interested in a pulse oximeter, you can choose between LED and OLED.

LED or OLED Display?

Models with an LED display are equipped with inorganic light-emitting diodes, while devices with an OLED display have organic light-emitting diodes. Both variants have strengths as well as weaknesses.

An OLED display consumes more energy than a LED display, but the organic light emitting diodes produce both richer contrast and richer colors. Pulse oximeters with LEDs are more common because they are characterized by their long life.

The negative point of LED displays is that the display is larger in relation to the overall size of the device, but this weakness is a strength for slightly visually impaired people, who can read the measurement data much more easily, as well as the battery charge status display. In the current pulse oximeter test, the neutral testers came to the conclusion that the view is more difficult only with strong sunlight than with an analog display.

Measuring accuracy

The current pulse oximeter tests prove that the majority of the devices measure exactly and, if used correctly, can compete with professional models from medical practices or hospitals. The standard deviation for most pulse oximeters for home requirements is two percent, while oxygen saturation and two bpm may differ for pulse rate control. The neutral testers confirm that the measurement results for all candidates are accurate and that professional models are almost as good as their professional counterparts. A comparison is worthwhile because the measurement accuracy of the individual pulse oximeters differs from each other.


This aspect has a great meaning because the price range of pulse oximeters is enormous. If you want to compare the prices and the performance of the different devices, you can take a look at the current pulse oximeter test. If you don't want to dig too deep into your pocket, you will find pulse oximeters in the lower and middle price segment. Those who place high demands on this device and value a multitude of additional functions will find innovative models in the medium and upper price ranges. A comparison is worthwhile because not all medical measuring instruments for home use are worth their money.

Measuring range of oxygen saturation

Since not all models have the same pulse oximeter measuring range, this aspect should be considered before purchase. Information on the measuring range can be found either in current comparisons or tests. Commercially available medical measuring instruments in the upper price segment score points with a measuring range between 35 and 100 percent, while the measuring range for less expensive models is between 70 and 100 percent. The measuring range is significant because it informs about the saturation of oxygen in the blood. Pulse oximeter with values between 70 and 100 percent are perfectly sufficient.

Method of measurement

The majority of the pulse oximeters are equipped with a finger clip, which is easy to attach on the one hand and guarantees a high level of comfort during the measurement on the other. Alternatively, models with earclips are also available, but these are a rarity.

Measuring accuracy

Since the measurement accuracy varies from pulse oximeter to pulse oximeter, a comparison is recommended. The accuracy of measurement is excellent on high-end models and differs only slightly from the results of professional instruments.

Measurement duration

Those who value a fast measurement should opt for a pulse oximeter with a fast measuring time of a few seconds. The duration varies from model to model from about three to 15 seconds.


A further purchase criterion of a pulse oximeter is an easily readable display. Most pulse oximeters are equipped with OLED displays because they offer two advantages. On the one hand the colors of the diagram are displayed more richly, on the other hand they offer a better contrast than LED displays. The advantage of an LED display is that the lamps are particularly durable, but you have to accept losses in terms of color saturation and contrast.

Those who want to read the data from any position are ideally advised to use a rotatable display, which can only be found on a few models of the best list. This function proves to be practical in everyday life, but you have to dig a little deeper into your pocket. With the most advanced devices, it is possible to adjust the brightness of the display individually.

Display modes

Those who inform themselves about pulse oximeters will notice after a short time that some devices are equipped with many, others with few display modes. However, a variety of different modes is not absolutely necessary for every user and therefore it makes sense to consider which modes are used before buying. The requirements are different and for many people devices with a mediocre number of different display modes are completely sufficient. If you have high expectations, you should choose a pulse oximeter with at least four modes.

Power supply

Another aspect that needs to be considered before buying a pulse oximeter is the power supply, as some devices run on battery power, others on battery power. If you choose a pulse oximeter with rechargeable battery, you will benefit from the long battery life. A pulse oximeter with charge status indicator is an advantage to know when to charge the battery or when to use a charged battery.

Automatic switch-off

If pulse oximeters are not switched off after the measurement, forgetfulness is at the expense of the rechargeable battery or batteries. Particularly practical are models equipped with automatic switch-off. A comparison is advisable as not all pulse oximeters switch off automatically.

Alarm function

An alarm function alerts users that the measured values are either below or above the recommended range. Many users appreciate the acoustic signal, which indicates an under- or over-exceeding.

Ease of use

As with any device, a very good ease of use is an advantage. Especially people who are interested in a continuous measurement should choose a model that is easy to operate. Information on ease of use can be found in the current Pulse Oximeter Test, since neutral testers have tested each test candidate in practice and objectively evaluated its operation. The selection of the different modes should be uncomplicated and the commissioning should also be intuitive.

Bag for safe storage

The medical device for domestic use should be stored in a protective bag. A bag not only protects against unattractive scratches and wear, but also against a harsh impact if the pulse oximeter accidentally falls to the ground. Silicone protective sleeves are best suited for this purpose. In addition, a bag with a loop is practical when Transport or when travelling. The current pulse oximeter test informs about which models are equipped with a bag.

Special software

A few pulse oximeters come with special software that transfers the measured values from the medical device for home use to the computer. This function is advisable if users are interested in a continuous measurement and if the data should not only be stored internally but also on the computer.

Pulse oximeter App

Especially practical are specially developed pulse oximeter apps for Android and Apple devices. The advanced wireless pulse oximeters can be controlled wirelessly via Bluetooth.

Waterproof pulse oximeter

Not all test candidates are waterproof and therefore interested parties should consider where the pulse oximeter should be used before purchasing it. Outdoor sportsmen are ideally advised with a waterproof device and also persons, who would like to measure their oxygen saturation and the pulse outside, should reach for a waterproof model.


Since not every pulse oximeter has the same features, a comparison is recommended. Interested parties can inform themselves in the current pulse oximeter test and comparison about the accessories included in the delivery price and thus select the suitable model. Devices of the lower price class usually do not offer such an extensive equipment as pulse oximeters, which are located in the upper price segment.

The different additional functions range from an extra software with charging cable to transfer data to an extravagant display. Some manufacturers now offer displays that are characterized by the patented turning technology. The medical measuring devices for domestic use also differ in terms of graphic display variants.

Models in the upper price range often offer an alarm function and different lighting options, which prove to be particularly helpful in poor lighting conditions. The majority of commercially available equipment is supplied with either a nylon bag equipped with either a belt loop or a carrying loop. The current test shows that the majority of test candidates extra AAA-Gerathen batteries or AAA batteries are included in the delivery price.


A manual written in German is just as advantageous as an easily understandable operating manual. Some manufacturers also offer a detailed online manual.

Short information about leading manufacturers

  • Pulox
  • Kernmed
  • Choicemmed
  • Nonin
  • Top metrology
Tab 1 | The pulse oximeters of the brand “pulox” are manufactured by Novidion GmbH. The company has its headquarters in Cologne, where it also maintains its own warehouse. The product range is sold to hospitals, doctors, nursing homes and end consumers. Novidion manufactures a broad range of products in the field of medical technology. The offer ranges from small devices for everyday use such as the pulse oximeter to blood pressure monitors, pregnancy tests and equipment for the operating room.
Tab 2 | The pulse oximeters of the brand “kernmed” are distributed via the retail trade Kernmed in Ettlingen. It is a technology-oriented online marketing agency that purchases its products directly from the manufacturers and can therefore sell them cheaply to its customers. The core product groups include pulse oximeters, ultrasound devices (Fetal Doppler), plaster cast sets for pregnant women, pregnancy and drug tests, ovulation tests, foot care products and kinesiology tapes.
Tab 3 | The pulse oximeters of the brand “choicemmed” are distributed by the group of the same name, based in Beijing/China. CoiceMMed has developed into one of the world's leading companies for the manufacture and distribution of medical and healthcare products. Since its foundation in 1993, the innovative company has won many national awards and maintains various sales, marketing and research departments on its 8,000 sqm site, which are equipped to the highest technological standards. The product range includes all types of health and medical products. Due to its success, the company feels an obligation towards society and is committed to social issues.
Tab 4 | The pulse oximeters of the brand “nonin” are manufactured and distributed by the company of the same name, which is based in Minnesota, USA. In Europe there is a distribution centre based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. From there, health and medical products are sold in 125 countries by 100 regional sales partners. The products are sold to the professional health and care sector as well as to end consumers. Nonin Medical is regarded worldwide as one of the first inventors of non-invasive devices with signal sensor technology.
Tab 5 | The company OCS.tec “Top Messtechnik” has its headquarters in Erding and distributes its product range via the online shop of the same name. The company does not concentrate exclusively on health and medical products such as pulse oximeters, laboratory supplies, optical devices, single and multiple measuring devices, but is also active in the field of air treatment, airbrush and painting, aquarium technology, automotive and motorbike technology, geocaching, garden and pond supplies and water treatment.


Internet vs. specialized trade: where is the best place to buy my pulse oximeter?

Retailers and Online-Trade compete for the favour of their customers. Some consumers are hesitant about whether to buy their pulse oximeter from a specialist retailer or from an online retailer. Both variants have something for themselves. The personal contact with each other and the direct on-site advice speak for the specialist dealer.

However, a pulse oximeter is a product from the medicine and health area, which is intended to monitor one's own important vital signs. In this case, professional advice and the selection of a powerful device are therefore important. Also Purchase Stores like Saturn and Media-Markt and Discounter like Lidl and Aldi offer these measuring instruments regularly.

At the discounters you have to do completely without advice and at the retail stores experience has shown that advice on the individual devices is quite thin, because not there are always experts at work who really know their way around the desired device .

The professional consultation remains in a medical specialized shop, which is to be found however also not in each place. In view of this fact, you should consider using a online provider. In the Internet meanwhile many offerers are active, who specialized themselves on the dispatch of medical products and accessories >.

Before you decide on a device, a product comparison like our product test 2019 is useful, because this way you get completely independent expert opinions and assessments for the respective devices which have already been subjected to an extensive “stress test“.

With a product test you can make a judgment about the respective devices and find out which brand best suits your individual needs. In addition, most providers score with a very good customer service, which can be reached by telephone and e-mail, so that you do not have to do without your advice. In addition, you can fall back on the experience reports of other customers and protect yourself against bad investments if a manufacturer should not keep what he promises. Since Online providers must be competitive at any time, the shipping costs are in most cases quite favorable. Either they have already been included in the product calculation and the package arrives at your home without additional charges, or they are very small due to voucher and coupon campaigns.

The specialist dealers, discounters and electrical markets always have only a limited assortment of devices available, while the selection on the Internet is unlimited. We therefore recommend that you purchase your device via the Internet after an online product comparison. They have many advantages and no restrictions or disadvantages.

Things to know and advice

Figures, data, facts about the pulse oximeter – medical device or not?

In general usage and by the manufacturers Pulsoxys are called medicine– and health products. However, the devices for everyday household use only have partially one approval as a medical product in the sense of the law.

This approval is dependent on manufacturer. Procedures for CE marking are currently being explained and discussed for various product variants, but the situation is not conclusive. Pulsoxys fall under the European standard EN 865 which, however, does not contain any metrological test specifications and metrological requirements. However, the measuring instruments are regularly checked by independent test laboratories for their accuracy in measuring the oxygen saturation of the arterial blood .

Pay attention to the manufacturer's declaration of conformity if the product is approved as a medical device. The device must comply with the provisions of the 93/42/EEC medical devices directive.

Devices brought to market by US manufacturers such as Nonin have FDA 510k approval from the “US Agency for Medical Devices“.

The history of the pulse oximeter

Pulse oximetry, as used today as a non-invasive method for the measurement of arterial oxygen saturation by light absorption or light emission during percutaneous illumination of the skin, was described 1935 K. Mattes for the first time.

Initially, the procedure was not further developed in order to use it in a simple way in clinical everyday life. The Japanese bio-engineer Takuo Aoyagi used devices for pulse oximetry for the first time in year 1972. He developed a parallel method, and so this tool was used in 1976 under the name Photoplethysmography in psychophysiological research. The results were published two years later at the University of Hamburg as part of a migraine research project by Christian-Peter Bernhardt.

After the first precursors of pulse oxmeters were invented in the mid-1970s, it took another three decades until this industry developed to such an extent that private households also had access to measuring devices to determine their oxygen values in the blood. Still in the year 2000 only a few portable and thus mobile devices existed on the market, which were also suitable for medical laymen. In the last ten years, however, the market has changed continuously. Pulsoxys have been mass-produced, in particular by manufacturers from the Far East such as CoiceMMed and Nonin from the USA. The company Nonin was founded in 1986 and is regarded worldwide as one of the manufacturers of a patented process for the production of non-invasive measurement technology in the field of pulse oximetry. Production costs have been falling steadily, and the devices have become smaller and more innovative, making them easy to understand for medical laypersons who use these devices outside of the pneumological need to optimise training results, for example as competitive athletes.

Clinical Restrictions

During the measurement, the signal strength of the individual light sources (red and infrared) depends on the thickness and color of the body tissue, the arrangement of the sensor, the strength of the light sources and the absorption (uptake) by venous and arterial blood, whereby temporally different pulse effects must also be taken into account.

The Pulse Oximeter processes these signals and separates the time-independent parameters (skin color, tissue thickness, venous blood, and light intensity) from the time-dependent parameters, arterial volume, and SpO2 to determine the oxygen saturation level based on the calculated pulse rate. This value can be determined because oxygen-saturated blood calculably absorbs less red light than oxygen-depleted blood.

The SpO2 sensor must not be mounted with adhesive materials, otherwise measuring errors may occur. Strong ambient light such as intense solar radiation can lead to errors in the measurement result. Avoid the use of electromagnetic radiation sources in the vicinity of the pulse oximeter such as mobile phones.

For a application that leads to the desired measured values, clinical restrictions must be observed. If an arterial pulse is the basis for the measurement, a strongly pulsating blood flow is required. For patients in an emergency position such as a state of shock, low body temperature or bleeding, this meter is not suitablevasoconstrictive drugs affect the SpO2 waveform because it is reduced. The measurement is more sensitive to this impairment. Also users who discolour and dilute

Medications such as Indigo green, Methylene blue or Acid indigo blue, Thiosalicyl in the blood or suffering from Yellowishness should not be used with a pulse oximeter because the measurement data are too inaccurate. Drugs such as Procaine, Dopamine, Prilocaine and Butacain can also lead to incorrect measurement data. The SpO2 value is only to be regarded as a reference value for the assessment of toxic or anemic anoxia. Users with anemia for the first time can nevertheless show satisfactory SpO2 values.

Warranty and safety instructions

Most manufacturers provide their devices with the legal warranty period of three years . In this regard, refer to the Legislation and Notes in the instruction manual that accompanies the unit.

Use the meter only for the specified applications, for example, only for normal household use. Unauthorized modifications in and to the device, e.g. repairs carried out at the user's own responsibility, will void the manufacturer's warranty. The same applies to damage caused by external damage such as shock, impact, pressure, shock, improper storage, or external influences such as lightning and overvoltage. The removal of manufacturer numbers, quality seals and security badges is not permitted by law. The legal manufacturer's guarantee within the scope of ascertained defects (repair, price reduction, compensation, withdrawal) is not limited according to § 437 BGB. Equipment components that are replaced or repaired within this framework are regularly subject to the remaining term.

Please also observe the safety instructions of the manufacturer, which are always enclosed with the device.use your pulse oximeter exclusively with the batteries or rechargeable batteries specified by the manufacturer. Incorrectly used batteries or accumulators can cause damage to the device.

If the device is not used for a long time, the batteries should be removed to prevent leakage and oxidation. Before use, clean the pulse oximeter with a soft cloth. After measurement, use medical alcohol to remove any residue from the device. Water, aggressive cleaning substances and coarse cleaning tools such as scrub brushes should be avoided as they may cause damage to the unit. Furthermore, the device must not be immersed in liquids, autoclaved or sterilized with ethylene oxide gas. Store the unit in a dry place at room temperature and avoid exposure to sun, heat and moisture which may adversely affect its life.

The device must also be disposed of properly and should not be disposed of with household waste . Proper disposal is carried out by regional collection points, which regularly receive hazardous waste, and by large regional disposal centres.

As with all electrical devices, you must also observe some safety instructions when using a pulse oximeter. The instrument material may cause allergic reactions if you are hypersensitive to one or more of the components. If this is the case, seek the advice of your doctor. Since the device comes into direct physical contact with you, check before commissioning whether the device and accessories are complete and correspond to the information on the packaging. Otherwise there may be malfunctions in the application. A flexible connecting cable connects the two parts of the device. Since a finger pulse oximeter can be used flexibly and mobile at any location, care must be taken not to use the device immediately if you switch from a cold to a warm or humid environment.

The device must not get wet during use, as water has a high electrical conductivity and the user can suffer life-threatening injuries.

A low blood pressure, cold fingers or a shock state lead to deviating measured values. The same derogation applies to poisoning symptoms which have a direct effect on haemoglobin levels, such as methaemoglobin formation and carbon oxide poisoning, as these have a direct effect on the oxygen content of the blood. The standard pulse oximeters are suitable for children and adults with a body weight between 15 and 110 kg. The commercially available devices need about five seconds to calculate new values. Only use the values that are displayed stably.

In order to ensure proper operation of the device for a long time, carry out a function test once a week as it may no longer be used in the event of damage. The meter may only be used with the components and accessories specified in the enclosed instructions for use. It goes without saying that the device must not be used in the vicinity of flammable gases or liquids.

What does the SpO2 value mean?

The SpO2 value is determined either by a doctor using a blood count or a pulse oximeter. The content of the saturation is indicated by S, p stands for the pulse frequency and O2 for the oxygen. The higher the SpO2 value, the more oxygen is contained in the red blood cells. Ideally, the value should be between 95 and 99 percent. People suffering from asthma reach average SpO2 levels of 80 percent.

If the result is between 90 and 94 percent, a doctor should be consulted. If the oxygen saturation is below 90 percent, there is a serious oxygen deficiency . The oxygen saturation in children is between 99 and 100 percent, while the value in seniors ranges from 94 to 98 percent. The compact finger oximeters provide reliable measurement results according to the test.

What does the bpm value mean?

Almost all tested models offer the possibility of additional pulse frequency control. The pulse indicated in bpm is the abbreviation for beats per minute. Thanks to this value, users get a overview of heartbeats per minute. It should be noted that the pulse frequency depends on several factors. On the one hand, age has a significant influence on the number of heart beats per minute, on the other hand, the pulse increases during exercise. Children with an average of 100 to 140 have a much higher pulse rate than adults with hearts beating between 60 and 80 times per minute. The bmp value for seniors is usually between 80 and 85 strokes per minute.

10 Tips for cleaning a pulse oximeter

The medical aid should be cleaned professionally and at regular intervals. If you follow the following ten tips, you will enjoy a hygienic pure pulse oximeter for a long time.

Tip 1

Tip 1

Before measuring, the pulse oximeter should be cleaned with a soft cloth

Tip 2

Tip 2

After use it is recommended to clean the device with medical alcohol to remove any residues

Tip 3

Tip 3

The medical meter for home use should not be cleaned with water

Tip 4

Tip 4

Aggressive cleaning substances should also not be used

Tip 5

Tip 5

Impurities should never be removed with a coarse cleaning tool

Tip 6

Tip 6

Scrubbing brushes are not recommended as they may cause damage

Tip 7

Tip 7

Manufacturers also advise against cleaning with a coarse sponge

Tip 8

Tip 8

Under no circumstances should the pulse oximeter be immersed in a liquid

Tip 9

Tip 9

Users should not autoclave the instrument

Tip 10

Tip 10

It is also not recommended to sterilize with ethylene oxide gas

understand and interpret pulse oximeter values

The overall impression of the user is always above the measurement result of the pulse oximeter. SpO2 values up to a mark of 91 percent, the human body can compensate well. If the user is otherwise in a good state of health fast therapies such as circle stabilization, oxygen administration, clearing of the respiratory tract are sufficient, since this is usually a temporary, not chronic condition.

Only if this value falls below the 90-percent mark does it become problematic. A value below 85 percent requires the use of an emergency physician. In everyday life, pulse oximetry is a simple method for private users to regularly obtain information about their oxygen values in the blood and their pulse rate.

Since the devices are easy to handle, they are also suitable for people outside the medical field.

Advantages of a pulse oximeter

The compact and partly versatile health assistant is not only used in hospitals and medical practices, a pulse oximeter can also be used by individuals to determine important body functions. This device is suitable for all age groups and thus the oxygen saturation can be determined for babies, toddlers, children, adolescents, adults and seniors. The measurement is painless and proves to be simple and problem-free. The advantage is that the duration of the measurement only takes a few seconds.

According to the test, the measured values are exact and the deviation from professional pulse oximeters is minimal.
Who decides for this medical aid, can carry out depending upon model still further measurements of important body functions. Waterproof pulse oximeters offer the advantage that measurements are possible not only in the own four walls, but also outside in any weather.

Current Pulse Oximeter Comparison

Neutral pulse oximeter comparisons offer the advantage that experts can compare the individual devices independently and objectively. Thus interested parties receive neutral information regarding the most important reference criteria and the selection of the individually suitable model is drastically facilitated. The selection can be limited due to the neutral evaluations and the possible models can be compared at a glance.

Questions and Answers about the Pulse Oximeter

Anyone interested in a pulse oximeter will be confronted with one or the other question. The most frequently asked questions and answers are listed below.

On which finger should the measurement be made?

The finger clip can be easily attached. Usually the measurement is made on the right and left index finger. Pulse oximeters generally measure independently of the finger size, but extremely small and thin fingers can result in minimal deviation of the measurement result.

Are pulse oximeters suitable for children and infants?

The neutral testers subjected the different models to numerous practical tests and came to the conclusion that the majority of the pulse oximeters are also suitable for children. For babies and infants extra small models are recommended and those who want to measure the pulse of an infant can use a glue sensor which allows the measurement of the smallest blood vessels.

can the measurement also be performed on other parts of the body?

With a pulse oximeter the oxygen saturation as well as the pulse can also be measured at the ear or earlobe. Alternatively, the foot is also suitable for babies and infants.

Is a measurement possible despite varnished nails?

Generally, varnished nails are not a problem, but it should be a light shade of the nail polish. If you measure the oxygen saturation on a darkly painted finger, you run the risk of having a slightly lower value displayed.

Does the temperature of the fingers play an important role in the measurement?

Reliable values can only be achieved if the measurement procedure is carried out correctly. If you measure the pulse frequency or the oxygen saturation on fingers that are too cold, you often get a value that is too low. The deviation, however, is not serious.

How to react to different measured values?

Often different values can be recorded with measurements. If the measured values deviate from each other, this is often an incorrect application.

Do stimulants have an influence on measurement accuracy?

The results can also vary under the influence of stimulants, since alcohol, coffee and nicotine can falsify the results and drive them up.

Suffering the result if medication is taken?

The neutral testers confirm that some drugs slow down the pulse rate.

Wise men, women, children or athletes the highest values?

Ambitious athletes as well as competitive athletes have a lower pulse than people who are not active in sports. Women generally have a higher pulse rate than men, but the heart rate of children is much higher than that of women. Both oxygen saturation and pulse rate are lowest in seniors. It should be noted that oxygen saturation depends on height. Mountain and air sports enthusiasts must expect an altitude-dependent drop in oxygen saturation.

Which variants of pulse oximeters are currently available?

In addition to the pulse oximeter with finger clip, there are also devices with an ear sensor. The clip is attached to the earlobe. The functionality is the same as with finger clip devices. For small children, the pulse oximeter is attached to the foot. For users who want a regular check of the oxygen saturation and the pulse, a model with finger clip is recommended. These instruments are the easiest to use and the most comfortable to wear during measurement.

Useful accessories

The features vary depending on devices, brand and price class. The various additional functions range from an additional software and charging cable for data transfer to the PC to the extravagant display equipment with patented turning technology. The devices explained in our product test also differ with regard to the graphic display options.

The comparison test winner from the upper price range also has a alarm function and various illumination categories, which enable measurement even in poor lighting conditions. Our test has shown that only the devices in the upper price range have an alarm function, which takes the form of an acoustic signal as soon as the defined limit value is reached.

Alternatives to the pulse oximeter

The costs for the purchase of a pulse oximeter are only covered by the health insurance in exceptions. However, these are the high quality nursing devices used for the regular monitoring of patients at home who suffer from serious diseases of the respiratory tract such as Udine syndrome, bronchopulmonary dyplasia, tracheostoma and similarly severe cardiopulmonary diseases.

The commercially available pulse oximeters used by end users who wish to monitor their values in this respect without indication do not fall within this disease-relevant range.

The commercially available devices for end users have not been included in the list of medical aids, as they may show measurement results that deviate from the real values in acute medical situations and thus lead to an incorrect assessment of the overall situation. However, this is not exclusively due to the devices, but also to the lack of expertise of the users, most of whom do not come from the medical field. For this reason, emergency medicine, hospitals and medical practices use not the same commercially available devices as the end users, but use professional measurement technology. In the area of private consumers, who are mostly healthy athletes or at least people with a good overall constitution, finger pulse oximeters have their right to exist because they provide reliable measurement results in this health and medically unproblematic area.

A Alternative, which is similarly easy to use and provides comparable measurement results on a non-invasive basis, does not exist. There are devices for blood gas analysis (BGA), which take capillary blood from the earlobe by means of a small puncture.

This blood is analysed for the presence of various blood gases. In recent years, BGA devices have become increasingly smaller and therefore easier to handle. However, they are unsuitable for laymen, as they do not have the necessary medical knowledge and are also cost-intensive. BGA devices are therefore used exclusively in emergency care, clinics and doctors' practices. Professional pulse oximetry devices are used in home care by heart and lung patients to monitor their vital functions permanently. They leave a quick diagnosis in acute situations like bronchial infarction.

However, these devices are also not suitable for laymen. If you don't want to rely on the measurement results of the standard pulse oximeters alone, you have to consult your family doctor to get an overview of oxygen saturation in the blood and pulse frequency. As an alternative to pulse oximeters, which provide similar measuring values , blood pressure monitors or pulse monitors such as pulse watches are available.


Pulse oximeters are suitable for daily use at home ideal. Professional athletes and all those who want to keep an eye on their vital data like pulse rate and oxygen saturation in the blood on a regular basis, can read their measurement data with this “nonblood“, pain-free non-invasive measuring technique in an easy to understand way.

Good readable displays, give the different measuring data to oxygen saturation (SpO2) and pulse frequency (bpm beats per minute) clearly arranged. Additional diagrams facilitate the evaluation of these vital data. If you attach importance to a pulse oximeter with above-average equipment, you can fall back on our comparative winner, who allows additional software to transfer your measurement data to the computer.

Also the devices of the lower price class have shown a simple application and reliable measuring data. For people suffering from diseases that affect the oxygen content in the blood, such as asthma and various lung diseases, the purchase of a pulse oximeter should be considered, as monitoring this vital function is more important for them than for healthy people. Due to the variety of independent online product tests we recommend the purchase of a pulse oximeter over the Internet. They draw on the opinions of experts who have tested the products for you. Customer testimonials and reviews give you additional security to choose the right device and protect yourself from mispurchases.

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