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Best Pulse Oximeter for Home Use -- Pulse Oximeter


Pulse oximeters, which simply clip onto your fingertip, are non-invasive devices that can measure blood oxygen saturation as well as pulse (heart rate). They are relatively inexpensive (about $20) and can be purchased for home ("non-medical") use.

Although they are not as accurate as FDA-approved "medical" pulse oximeters, which cost much more and undergo more rigorous testing, comparison studies indicate that some (but not all) non-medical pulse oximeters can help signal when medical attention is needed in conditions such as COVID-19, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). For example, some research has shown that at-home use of pulse oximeters may lower the risk of death in people with COVID-19 as they are more likely to seek medical attention sooner, if needed, than those not monitoring blood oxygen saturation levels at home. 

Learn the pros and cons of non-medical pulse oximeters, factors that can affect their accuracy, tips for getting more accurate readings (including if you can take a reading while wearing nail polish), and which brand has performed best in studies. Sign in as a ConsumerLab member.

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