Pulse oximeter buying guide - here's how to choose the right oximeter for home

Pulse oximeter buying guide - here's how to choose the right oximeter for home
  • Oximeters have become an essential household device to keep your blood oxygen levels (SpO2) in check.
  • Dipping SpO2 levels is one of the key indicators of the COVID-19 infection in people.
  • Oximeters can help you indicate the symptoms early, which lets you take proper treatment in time.
Disclaimer: it is recommended to consult a doctor or an expert before choosing the oximeter.

Blood oxygen monitors or popularly known as oximeters have suddenly become a common household name. The oximeter is by no means a necessity for an average household — unless there is someone with breathing issues like asthma, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or other lung diseases — at your home.

However, ever since the coronavirus pandemic has hit the world the oximeters have become a necessity for every household. The COVID-19 enters the body via the respiratory system causing a direct injury to the infected person's lungs via inflammation and pneumonia, which impacts the oxygen saturation in the bloodstream. The oxygen impairment can occur in anyone, even if the infected person has no other symptoms.

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This is exactly why an oximeter can help detect COVID-19 early. However, not everyone who tests positive for the virus will develop low oxygen levels, which means you must not count an oximeter as the only screening test to determine if you're infected or not. Formal testing is always a must if you suspect COVID-19 infection.

If you wish to save your time and want a list of reliable pulse oximeters, you can go to our list of best pulse oximeters to keep a check on your SpO2 readings.


An oximeter isn't a mainstay in many homes, but it's advisable to keep it handy in your medical kits just like how we're used to keeping thermometers. Also, there are a few very important factors you need to keep in mind before buying a pulse oximeter.

Things to check while buying a pulse oximeter

Type of oximeter

The first thing to determine is the type of oximeter you need for home use. So, there are three types — fingertip pulse oximeter, handheld oximeter and fetal pulse oximeter.

For home use, the fingertip pulse oximeter is the best fit. The other two are primarily used in hospitals and clinics while costing slightly higher.

Price and features

Finger pulse oximeters start from around ₹1000 and go up to ₹5000 or more, but note that you don't need to pay a higher amount as its main job is to read blood oxygen level and it doesn't matter how much the device costs as long as it's giving accurate readings. Usually, you can get a decent oximeter at around ₹2000 in India.

In terms of features, you look for the ones that have a bright and clear display, are made of good durable material, some are water-resistant and it's a plus if they also give heart rate readings.

Accuracy is the key factor

Accuracy is the key factor to consider while buying any medical equipment. Unfortunately, there’s no way to check accuracy at the time of purchase, but the best way is to check for reviews and certifications before buying. The same is the case with pulse oximeters, as it's the readings that hint at the current state of your health. Incorrect reading on the oximeter can turn out to be extremely serious, later on.

Check for certifications

Make sure to check for certifications to ensure the quality of the oximeter. There are a few organisations that certify the quality and standards, which also assures the accuracy of the device. Some reliable certifications are FDA, RoHS and CE.

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