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Inogen Portable Oxygen Concentrator Review
Learn about Inogen portable oxygen concentrators and whether these devices are right for your oxygen needs.
Gizmodo Advisor Reviews Team02/02/2023 12:00 am
By: Gizmodo Advisor Reviews Team Medically Reviewed by Jenny Sanford, AGNP Fact Checked
For people who do not get enough oxygen naturally, supplemental oxygen therapy in the form of portable oxygen concentrators (POCs) can have several benefits, like better sleep, improved energy levels and increased mental alertness and stamina. POCs can also allow affected people to carry out normal functions like going to work, exercise, errands, chores, recreational activities and even travel. Put simply: POCs can give people a better quality of life, and Inogen is one of the leading manufacturers of oxygen concentrators. If you’re searching for one of these devices and aren’t sure which is the best portable oxygen concentrator for you, keep reading our Inogen review to learn more about Inogen One portable oxygen concentrators. Our Reviews Team answers the common questions you may have, including: How much do Inogen oxygen concentrators cost? What are the three systems Inogen offers, and how do they work? And how does Inogen compare against other companies?
Inogen offers three lightweight and FAA-approved pulse flow portable oxygen concentrators.
The max oxygen output for these devices range from 0.63 liters per minute to 1.26 liters per minute.
The flow settings range from 1–3, 1–5 and 1–6, depending on the portable oxygen concentrator.
Why Trust Our Expert Review?
The following are the factors we determined to be most important to our readers and anyone looking to purchase a portable oxygen concentrator. Though there are additional factors that some may find important, we’ve chosen this list according to the most common needs among people who use supplemental oxygen, as well as factors that increase or support the overall portability of the units.
Range of oxygen settings
Battery recharge time
Oxygen delivery method
Why Inogen is One of Our Top Picks
In our best portable oxygen concentrator review, our Reviews Team named the Inogen One G5 “Best Pulse Flow.” While there are other choices available for portable oxygen machines that deliver pulse flow, including the CAIRE Freestyle Comfort and Philips Respironics SimplyGo Mini, we chose Inogen because of its Intelligent Delivery (ID) technology for pulse dose oxygen delivery.
ID technology automatically adjusts to your breathing rate, with a max oxygen flow of 1.26 liters per minute on its highest pulse dose setting. Compare this to Caire, which delivers a maximum flow of 1.05 liters per minute, and Phillips, with a max flow of 1.0 liters per minute.
Pulse dose oxygen concentrators are not going to meet the needs of people who have been prescribed continuous flow oxygen, and Inogen’s concentrators are only available with pulse flow. If you need a continuous flow portable oxygen concentrator, consider the CAIRE SeQuel Eclipse 5.
In this Inogen review, we’ll break down the pros and cons of Inogen’s portable oxygen concentrators, highlight differences between the three models, discuss Inogen’s purchase and payment process, and how to purchase one of their oxygen machines.
Pros and Cons of Inogen
ProsLightweight, all systems are under six poundsLong battery life, 2.25–13 hoursQuiet, 40 decibels (dB) or lowerAll models are FAA-approved for air travel
ConsNo continuous flow optionsLower max O2 output for the G4 systemG3 model available through Medicare or insurance only
Dimensions: 8.75” L x 3” W x 8.25” H inches (single battery); 8.78″ L x 3″ W x 9.29″ H (double battery)
Battery Life: 4.7 hrs on setting 1 and 4 hrs on setting 2 (single battery); up to 10 hrs on setting 1 (double battery)
Delivery/Flow Type: Pulse dose
Flow Settings: 1–5 settings
Noise Level: 39 dB
Max O2 Output: 1.05 L/min
The Inogen One G3 portable oxygen concentrator is Inogen’s only model that cannot be purchased directly. The G3 is available exclusively through Medicare and insurance — meaning that your insurance representative would order the concentrator for you after your doctor has prescribed it.
All Inogen One systems use Intelligent Delivery technology that automatically adjusts to your breathing rate instead of automatically delivering pre-measured puffs of oxygen. The Inogen One G3 has five different flow settings and a max oxygen flow of 1.05 liters of oxygen per minute on setting 5.
The G3 portable oxygen concentrator is lightweight at 4.9 pounds with a single battery, a quiet 39 decibels, and has a long-lasting battery life of up to 10 hours using a double battery. It takes nearly three hours to fully recharge the battery, but because the oxygen machine is also powered by an external power source, you can continue using the concentrator while the battery charges. Inogen batteries are expected to last 500 total charges.
If you’re looking for a portable oxygen concentrator with advanced technology capabilities like Bluetooth or the ability to sync with the Inogen Connect mobile app, the G3 system may not be for you. But if you want an oxygen machine that’s lightweight and quiet, with a long-lasting battery, the G3 may be what you need. Check with your doctor to see if the G3 is suitable for your oxygen prescription.
Dimensions: 5.91″ L x 2.68″ W x 7.2″ H (single battery); 5.91″ L x 2.68″ W x 7.79″ H (double battery)
Battery Life: 2.7 hrs on setting 1 and 2.25 hrs on setting 2 (single battery); up to 5 hrs on setting 1 (double battery)
Delivery/Flow Type: Pulse flow
Flow Settings: 1–3 settings
Noise Level: 40 dB
Max O2 Output: 0.63 L/min
The lightest portable oxygen concentrator that Inogen offers is the Inogen One G4 system. It weighs 2.8 pounds with a single battery and 3.3 pounds with a double battery, making it almost two times lighter than the G3 model.
Although the G4’s smaller size makes it an attractive choice for travel and everyday outings, a drawback of this system is that the battery life is less than three hours, limiting your time out or requiring you to carry extra batteries. Of course, if you are going to a place that has a power source, you can recharge your G4 while you’re out. Inogen includes both AC and DC power cords with all of its oxygen concentrator systems. Just be sure to take your portable oxygen machine’s power cords with you, or keep extra cords in your travel bag.
The G4 system also has the fewest flow settings of the three models (1–3 settings), meaning less variability between adjustments, and a max oxygen flow of 0.63 liters per minute. If you’re not sure whether the G4 will provide the amount of supplemental oxygen you need, the American Lung Association recommends that you talk to your doctor and “explain what you would like to be able to do while using oxygen and any concerns you might have about getting started.”
Unlike the G3 system, the G4 system has Bluetooth capabilities and connects with the Inogen Connect mobile app, which allows you to review information about your portable oxygen concentrator and ensure everything is running in top shape. For example, you can view the filter life to see when you last cleaned it and how many days until it needs to be cleaned again. Inogen recommends cleaning the external parts of your oxygen concentrator weekly using a washcloth, water and mild detergent.
If you want Bluetooth capabilities and app access, and if weight is a top concern for you, the Inogen One G4 might be a better option than the G3, as long as its max oxygen flow meets your prescription oxygen requirements. If you need a longer battery life or higher flow settings, you might want to consider the Inogen One G5.
Dimensions: 7.19″ L x 3.26″ W x 8.15″ H (single battery); 7.19″ L x 3.26″ W x 9.03″ H (double battery)
Battery Life: 6.5 hrs on setting 1 and 4.5 hrs on setting 2 (single battery); up to 13 hours on setting 1 (double battery)
Delivery/Flow Type: Pulse flow
Flow Settings: 1–6 settings
Noise Level: 38 dB
Max O2 Output: 1.26 L/min
The Inogen One G5 system’s noise level is 38 decibels, which is the quietest oxygen machine the company offers. According to the American Academy of Audiology, 50 dB is the noise level of moderate rainfall and 40 dB is the sound of a quiet library.
This intermittent flow model also has the most flow settings of the three models (1–6 settings), allowing more room for users to adjust their pulse dose settings. The max oxygen output is 1.26 liters per minute, which is 0.21 liters per minute more than the Inogen One G3 system.
The G5 also has the longest battery life of the three models: 6.5 hrs on setting 1 and 4.5 hrs on setting 2 with a single battery, and up to 13 hours on setting 1 with a double battery.
Like the G4 system, you can connect the Inogen G5 portable oxygen concentrator to the free Inogen app, where you can check your oxygen concentrator’s battery status and other details. You can also check these details on the easy-to-read LCD display on the device.
The Inogen One G5 system is best for those who want a portable oxygen concentrator that is quiet and has a long-lasting battery. If you need an oxygen machine that is lighter, and you don’t need a high max oxygen output, the G4 system may be a better fit.
In 2001, graduates Alison Bauerlein, Brenton Taylor, and Bryron Myers of the University of California, Santa Barbara, won the 2001 UCSB New Venture Competition for their idea for a portable oxygen concentrator that could be sold directly to the public. Inogen was founded shortly after the competition using the award money.
While many people think of oxygen tanks when it comes to supplemental oxygen, there are several notable differences between oxygen tanks and oxygen concentrators. Here is a comparison of a few of these differences.
Comparison of Oxygen Concentrators vs. Oxygen Tanks
Continuous supply of oxygen
Limited amount of oxygen
Smaller in size
Larger in size
Power source needed
No power source needed
Less operational costs, one-time transportation
More operational costs, including transportation
Pulls from surrounding air
Liquid or gas oxygen
Visit Inogen’s company website to watch YouTube tutorials and step-by-step videos on how to set up your portable oxygen concentrator. Or, if you need assistance with setup, you can contact Inogen’s customer care team 24/7 at 1-877-466-4364.
Cost of Inogen Portable Oxygen Concentrators
You can purchase Inogen One portable oxygen concentrators from $2,651 to $3,586. The price varies based on the battery (single or double) and warranty (three-year or unlimited) you select.
Inogen offers a 30-day risk-free trial, but no financing or payment plan options are available. Our Reviews Team liked the transparency of Inogen’s costs. When our team went through the checkout process for the Inogen One G4 and G5, there were no unexpected extra fees listed. If you find Inogen is not right for you, you schedule a return using the Equipment Return Form on the Inogen website or by calling 1-855-202-4178.
An important thing to remember is that you can buy the Inogen One G4 and G5 devices directly through the Inogen website, whereas the Inogen One G3 is only available through Medicare and insurance providers.
If your employer offers flexible spending accounts, you can use pre-tax spending money to offset the cost of a portable oxygen concentrator. Similarly, you can contribute to a health savings account to help cover medical expenses, including portable oxygen concentrators.
Inogen also offers three packages for the G4 and G5 systems. The price varies depending on which system you select.
Inogen’s Replacement Parts, Accessories and Mobile App
You can buy several accessories and replacement parts for Inogen’s portable oxygen concentrators. They’re available for purchase on the Inogen website using your Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover.
For the Inogen One G4 and G5 systems, you can connect to the Inogen connect mobile app to check battery life, cannula life, column life, and more.
Inogen Customer Service and Satisfaction
When our Reviews Team contacted customer service, they went through an automated phone menu before reaching the support team. After selecting an option, support answered within 15 seconds and they were friendly, easy to talk with, and didn’t push products. The Reviews Team also found the website easy to navigate, informative, and liked that pricing was transparent. However, it did take a few clicks to reveal the product prices.
Inogen customers can contact the support team by calling 1-877-466-4364, 24/7. You can also contact them through their live chat support online, Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 8 pm Central Time. And you can also ask customer service to contact you. The website has an option to fill out a form on the “Contact Us” page. Inogen has a robust FAQ page, setup videos, and product manuals online for those interested in diving deeper into the information.
Maintenance, Care and Warranty
To care for your Inogen portable oxygen concentrator, it’s important to clean and maintain it. Keeping your batteries and machine in temperatures higher than 41˚F and lower than 95˚F is crucial. For example, don’t leave your oxygen machine in a hot car or store it in a cold basement.
You can clean the nasal cannula daily with water, mild detergent and a washcloth. It’s recommended that you also clean the concentrator case and particle filters weekly or when dusty.
Inogen offers a three-year standard warranty, which includes three years on the concentrator and one year on the batteries, accessories and sieve beds (the filters inside the oxygen concentrator). For an additional cost, which varies between each model, Inogen customers can upgrade to a lifetime warranty.
Charging the Inogen Portable Oxygen Concentrator
Ensuring your batteries are charged is another way to care for your Inogen oxygen concentrator. On the Inogen website, there are instructions on how to charge their machines using the external battery charger for each model. Here are the steps for charging the Inogen One G3:
Plug in the external battery charger AC power supply cord into the outlet and the battery charger.
Slide the charger onto the Inogen One G3 battery, and click and lock it into place.
A solid red light will indicate that the battery is charging.
A green light will illuminate when the battery is fully charged.
Press down the battery latch and slide the battery off.
What To Consider Before Purchasing a Portable Oxygen Concentrator
You should consider a few things before purchasing a portable oxygen concentrator. “A person should consider their need for portability,” said Krista Elkins, paramedic and registered nurse. “An oxygen concentrator is much more portable than carrying around a large and bulky — or smaller and finite — amount of oxygen.”
You’ll also want to consider your oxygen needs, since many portable oxygen concentrators only deliver intermittent flow, said Elkins.
Medical health specialist Dr. Waqas Mahmood added his recommendations to our list. Details that are important to consider include “mode of oxygen supply, warranty, portability, [and] power consumption,” said Mahmood.
You might also want to take the oxygen concentrator’s noise level into account, whether it has Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval, and its ease of use. For example, is the portable oxygen concentrator loud enough to disturb others? If you’re concerned about that, you’ll want a quiet concentrator. If you enjoy traveling, will you be able to fly with it? Is the battery easy to replace or does it involve several steps? And how easy or difficult is it to attach the tubing — will you need assistance?
Paying for Inogen Oxygen Concentrators
You can only buy the G3 system through Medicare or an insurance provider. You can purchase the G4 and G5 systems directly on the Inogen website once you have a prescription from your doctor.
On the website, navigate to the products section and select the model you want to purchase. It will then show you the options for battery type and warranty coverage. You can choose a single or double battery, and a three-year or unlimited warranty.
After you add the portable oxygen concentrator, battery, warranty and any optional accessories to your cart, you’ll be taken to the payment page to enter your credit card information. Inogen accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. After you’ve submitted your order, a representative from the company will contact you to confirm. You’ll need to have your supplemental oxygen therapy prescription ready.
You’ll receive your sales receipt and confirmation via email. You can track the order on Inogen’s website while waiting for the portable oxygen concentrator to be delivered to your home.
Customer Reviews For Inogen
Inogen is on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot. On BBB, the company has 1.27 out of 5 stars, based on 45 customer reviews. On Trustpilot, Inogen has a 4.0 out of 5. Of the nearly 3,000 people that have reviewed the company on Trustpilot, 80% rated it “excellent” or “great.”
“I love my Inogen 5. It is small, easy to carry, the batteries last a long time. It’s my freedom to go places and do what I need to do. My advice is to get an extra battery so you can keep one charged up while you use one, or if you’ll be going a long distance. It doesn’t take very long to charge the battery. You get a car charger too so you can’t lose.” — MARY ANN, VERIFIED CUSTOMER REVIEW (TRUSTPILOT.COM)
“I have more freedom than I did with conventional oxygen tanks. The Inogen portable concentrator is light enough that I don’t get out of breath when walking around. My old concentrator took up a lot of room and also gave off heat. The Inogen does not. I might have given it 5 stars, except for the fact that it is too noisy for my wife when we go to sleep at night.” — DONALD, VERIFIED CUSTOMER REVIEW (TRUSTPILOT.COM)
“I had contacted Inogen via phone and placed a voice mail concerning my need of a portable oxygen concentrator. The customer representative contacted me right away, and explained all the information and details I needed to make my decision. The customer representative was very helpful when I purchased my concentrator.” — PENELOPE, VERIFIED CUSTOMER REVIEW (TRUSTPILOT.COM)
When choosing a portable oxygen concentrator, you might be comparing criteria such as product weights, FAA-approval, flow type and more.
For those who enjoy traveling, Inogen’s oxygen concentrators are FAA-approved, so one of its three models might be a good choice for you as long as the concentrator delivers enough oxygen to meet your needs. All of their machines come with a DC power cord for recharging and staying charged on-the-go. If you’re seeking a light-weight product, the G3, G4, and G5 portable oxygen concentrators weigh 2.8–5.7 pounds.
However, if your doctor has prescribed a continuous flow oxygen concentrator, Inogen will not be an option because the company only offers pulse dose oxygen concentrators. For a portable continuous flow option, you might consider the CAIRE SeQuel Eclipse 5, our Reviews Team’s pick for “Best Continuous Flow” portable oxygen concentrator.
Frequently Asked Questions
Inogen portable oxygen concentrators are a good product for those searching for a pulse dose portable oxygen concentrator that is FAA-approved. The company offers three different models that meet those criteria: the Inogen One G3, G4, and G5.
Inogen’s portable oxygen concentrators range from $2,651 to $3,586. The final cost will depend on the battery and warranty you select for your portable oxygen concentrator. For example, purchasing the G4 with a double battery and unlimited warranty costs $3,344. If you select the G4 with a single battery and three-year warranty, it costs $2,651.
Inogen portable oxygen concentrators last between 2.25–13 hours before they need to be recharged. It varies based on the model, battery, and flow setting. The metal columns inside the oxygen concentrator, also known as sieve beds, last about one year. The machine overall can last 4–6 years, depending on proper care and servicing.
Medicare may pay for your Inogen portable oxygen concentrator, depending on certain criteria. Medicare Part B helps you pay for the rental of systems, containers, tubing, and other related supplies for the delivery of oxygen, but it does not cover the purchase of portable oxygen concentrators. Though, if you choose to purchase one and you’ve met your deductible, you’ll pay 20% of the amount for those supplies. Contact your Medicare or insurance provider for more details.
No, Inogen does not have continuous flow options for their portable oxygen concentrators. Krista Elkins, paramedic and registered nurse, explained the difference between intermittent and continuous flow: “Intermittent flow tends to be more efficient, and the oxygen will last longer than continuous flow because the oxygen is not free flowing. Rather, it is delivered based on the person’s inherent breathing rate. In other words, intermittent is on-demand.”