An Extensive Guide To The Best Oximeters

using a pulse meter

What Is A Pulse Oximeter And What Is It Used For?

A pulse oximeter is a piece of medical equipment used to measure oxygen concentration in a patient’s blood. A medical practitioner attaches the device to a part of a patient’s body that has a lot of blood circulation such as the ears, fingers, and feet to check oxygen levels in the hemoglobin cells in their blood. It is also used to check the pulse rate and pulse strength.  People who use oximeters include:

  • Medical practitioners: Doctors and nurses use oximeters to monitor oxygen levels in people suffering from conditions such as heart problems, asthma, and obstructive pulmonary disease.  They can action if measurements are dangerously high or low.
  • Mountain climbing: The non-invasive medical device can also be used to monitor pulse rate when exercising. Mountain climbers use the devices to check their oxygen levels. If the levels are too low they can increase oxygen intake to avoid deprivation.
  • Athletes: Athletes use the device to check their progress. They can also take measurements to find out how their statistics compare with those of other sportspeople. If their measurements are significantly lower that others, they can exercise more or go for a medical examination to find out if an underlying medical problem has caused the notable differences.

Quick Link Chart

Finger Pulse Oximeter
Santamedical Generation 2 SM-165
Acc U Rate Pro Series CMS 500DL
Measupro Ox250
Concord Reversible Display


An oximeter is made of several components. These include a power button used to switch on the equipment and set its display orientation. The device also has a display screen which provides a light emitting display panel. Different models of oximeters have various kinds of display panels. Some oximeters allow users to view the measurement from any angle while others can be viewed from both sides of the panel.

The device has an inbuilt clock and Bluetooth data transmission. It comes with a USB port for transferring data and charging the device.  When charging, one end of the USB port is attached to the oximeter and the other to its charger which is then plugged into an electrical outlet. Other oximeters have an alarm that could be set to alert a user if an abnormally high or low measurement is taken.

What A Pulse Oximeter Measures

The oximeter measures the oxygen level in blood (oxygen saturation), the pulse strength, and pulse rate.  Medical practitioners use the devices in wards, ambulances, and operating rooms. They can also be used at home by sports enthusiasts or people monitoring a health condition such as asthma.

How It Works

To take a measurement, caregivers open the oxymeter’s clamp and insert the patient’s finger or earlobe. The device shines two light beams through the body part. The beams of light allow the device to read the color of the patient’s arterial blood and then determine its oxygen saturation and pulse rate. The clamp is then gently released. The information displayed on the oximeter’s screen is transmitted via Bluetooth to another device and the oximeter automatically shuts down.

To take accurate measurements, the doctor should make sure that:

  • The patient is still as the measurement is taken
  • The oximeter is dry. If any liquids enter the openings of the device, wipe before reusing it.
  • Note that the device will automatically shut down if it is not being used.
  • The device’s test finger probe is cleaned before and after taking measurements.

Reading a Pulse Oximeter

The reading is shown on the device’s screen.  The data can also be transferred via Bluetooth or USB for viewing and storage in another device. A healthy person’s reading is typically 96% SpO2 to 99% SpO2. A reading of below 95% could indicate hypoxia. A reading of less than 90% indicates hypoxia and necessitates immediate treatment. However, this range is not enough to assess the patient’s health. Readings may also vary in individuals with cardiac defects or lung issues. Children with heart anomalies may also have statistics below 80s.

The oximeter will also record the patient’s heart rate in beats per minute.  To check if the reading is accurate, compare it to a manual pulse reading. If the measurements drastically differ, the reading from the oximeter might be wrong. Inaccurate readings could result from conditions such as anemia, hypothermia, seizures or carbon monoxide poisoning. Since medical practitioners use the device to check if the patient is healthy, it is important that the readings are correct, keeping in mind issues that might occur when taking measurements. It is also important that the measurements be taken by a person who is qualified to read and interpret the results.

Our Top Choices

Finger Pulse Portable Digital Blood Oxygen

If you are looking for an oximeter that is built to last, consider the Finger Pulse Portable Digital Blood Oxygen Oximeter and Pulse Sensor Meter. The oximeter made of high density plastic material, comes with a protective couch, lanyard and two batteries. It has an auto off features that saves battery life.

The device correctly measures the oxygen saturation levels and pulse rate in just 10 seconds.  The user manual is easy to understand. If you need more user direction, you can watch instruction videos on the manufacturer’s website or ask questions on live chat. The large display, alarm and battery indicator increases ease of operation.

This is the best oximeter for mountain climbers, bikers, runners, and others who are interested in taking measurements of the oxygen levels in their blood, pulse rate and pulse strength. It uses waveforms and bar graph technique to check change in blood volume. The spring system allows it to fit all finger sizes comfortably. Other characteristics include:

  • The display rotates in four directions enabling a user to read results from any direction.
  • It reads and produces the results in seconds.
  • It also has a push button enabling users to hygienically use it anywhere.

Santa Medical SM-165 Fingertip

The Santa Medical SM-165 Oximeter is an affordable oximeter that provides accurate readings. The design is user-friendly and the size easy to carry. The device which is made for hospital use can be taken anywhere since it’s small and light. It comes with a finger pulse, wrist cord, case, manual, two batteries, and a one year warranty. Some of its notable qualities include:

  • FDA approved. The upgraded version takes fast and accurate SpO2 blood oxygen levels and pulse rate.
  • Reliable: You can rely on the oximeter to quickly and accurately determine blood oxygen levels and pulse levels.  The results are conveniently displayed on a large display.
  • Multidirectional display:  This feature allows the user to view the results, pulse wave, pulse rate, bar graph, and SpO2 from any angle.
  • It is Compact:  The light device has a long battery life and can take or accommodate a variety of finger sizes.
  • Multi readout:  The screen displays the oxygen rate, pulse ware, pulse rate, oxygen levels bar graphs.  It’s quite bright and easy to read.
  • User manual: If you are unsure of how to use it, you could always refer to the user manual.

Acc U Rate Pro  CMS500DL Fingertip

Acc U Rate Pro CMS500DL Fingertip Pulse Oximeter meets FDA standards for oximeters. The new model’s hardware and software have been updated allowing for easy usage and reading. It can be easily carried by sports enthusiasts, pilots or anyone who is always on the move. Since the ED display faces the user, it can easily be read.

The oximeter is easy to operate too. You simply need to clip it on a finger and press the switch button. Then read the results on the large screen. It comes with two batteries and a silicon case to protect it. Notable features include:

  • Cost effective. Since it is designed to be used at home, by athletes and pilots, it’s not as expensive as oximeters used in medical facilities. You can, therefore, buy a backup device or easily replace the oximeter if it gets damaged.
  • Accurate readings:  It produces more accurate readings than similar devices designed to be used at homes.
  • It’s reliable: The device accurately determines the users blood oxygen saturation levels (or SpO2), pulse strength, and pulse rate. It can be used by sport enthusiasts such as bikers, mountain climbers.
  • Pro Series: Health professionals can also use it as it meets FDA standards set for oximeters for medical use. It is a USPTO registered trademark too. Avoid purchasing imitations of the product. You can be sure that you have purchased an original oximeter if you got it from Med Shop.
  • People of all ages can use it: The spring can accommodate all finger sizes.

Measupro Ox250 Instant Read Digital

It’s one of the commonly used oximeters internationally. It’s popular due to its affordability and accuracy. The medical device uses two batteries. Users can easily turn it on, and automatically turns it off 10 seconds after usage. It is user friendly. Simply open the clip and put your finger in it then close and press the ON button. Features include:

  • Quick: Users get the blood oxygen saturation and pulse rate at the touch of a button.
  • It has an alarm. Users could set the alarm to alert them then when reading is outside the normal range.
  • The device’s display is adjustable. You can configure the brightness settings in seconds. This allows caregivers to use it in dark environments or where there is plenty of light. They just need to configure it accordingly.
  • User manual: If you are unfamiliar with how oximeters work, you could read the manual for guidance.
  • Lanyard: This is particularly convenient for people who are always on the move. They can use the lanyard for carrying the device around the neck or wrist.
  • Batteries: It comes with two AAA batteries that are ready to use.
  • Two year product: If you receive a defective product, you could always return it to the manufacturer to replace it or seek a refund.

Concord with Reversible Display

The Concord Pulse Oximeter with Reversible Display has been designed for use by adult and children over the age of seven years. The two display mode allows the patient and caregiver to view the results. You can also adjust the display to easy view the information and reduce battery consumption. When you remove the finger, it will automatically switch off.

It is the best oximeter for individuals who want to closely monitor blood oxygen levels or their pulse rates. It has a shock resistant cover that protects it from damage. It is used in the sports and in the aviation industries. It also comes with batteries and neck lanyard. The protective cover and carrying case allow for safe transportation and storage. All the components come in a reusable padded box, perfect for environmentally friendly users. Other qualities include:

  • Easy to use and accurate: It has a two way rotating display that allows the user to view the results from any direction. It also has an Automatic power off button that switches off just eight seconds after the finger is removed. This saves the battery which can be used continuously for more than 30 hours.
  • Proactive: Caregivers need not worry about the battery dying when taking measurements. It has an indicator that warns users that the batteries are about to stop working.
  • Reliable:  It is manufactured for USA Concord Health Supply and has technical phone sport. It also has a two year warranty that allows caregivers to return a defective oximeter.
    Auto power off and adjustable brightness


When purchasing an oximeter, consider what you want to use it for and its features. If you are buying a device to be used in a hospital, pick one with higher accuracy levels. A large, clear display is easier to see even when in a dark room. If you are buying one for home use, you could pick a slightly cost-effective one. It’s not necessary to have a very complicated device to use at home.


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