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The Benefits of a Portable Oxygen Concentrator

Charles R. Swindoll once said that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it. That rings true when it comes to living with a lung disease that requires using supplemental oxygen. While getting used to using a small portable oxygen machine may take some adjustments, the advantages far outweigh any costs. Oxygen therapy provides many benefits, and now with portable oxygen concentrators, you can get the oxygen you need and breathe easier while maintaining your freedom and independence.

Benefits of Portable Oxygen Concentrators

There are so many benefits of portable oxygen concentrator (POC) use for lung disease. A portable oxygen machine can not only make breathing easier and less laborious, but it offers the following benefits, too:

portable oxygen benefits - exerciseIncreases Survival

Supplemental oxygen, worn at least 15 hours a day [1], increases survival in some patients. And today’s portable oxygen technology allows you to utilize portable oxygen therapy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, anytime, anywhere.

Improves Exercise Tolerance 

Studies show that using supplemental oxygen during exercise allows you to exercise longer, at a higher intensity, which means you’ll reap greater rewards for all your efforts.[2]

Improves Mental Alertness

Are you in a mental fog? When you’re not getting enough oxygen, every organ of your body is affected, including your brain. Confusion is the first sign that people with lung disease may not be getting enough oxygen. [3] Using supplemental oxygen keeps your brain, and all your other vital organs, healthy.

portable oxygen benefits - better sleep, portable oxygen concentratorA Better Night’s Sleep

Oxygen saturation levels tend to drop during sleep, even in people with healthy lungs. When you have COPD or another chronic lung disease, transient nocturnal desaturation may interfere with a restful night’s sleep and lead to some pretty significant health problems. [4] If your sleep patterns are frequently disrupted, talk to your doctor about having an overnight oximetry test. You may benefit from supplemental oxygen during sleep, which will help you get the rest you need.

Improves Mood

Studies show that oxygen therapy is associated with an improvement in cognition, performance and mood—and can even boost your self-esteem. [3]

Increases Stamina

If you have little energy to get through the day, it may be because your oxygen levels are low. [3] Oxygen therapy gives you the stamina you need to carry out normal, everyday functions such as getting dressed, cleaning house, preparing a meal and taking the dog for a walk.

The Inogen One: Your Ultimate Freedom Machine

Compressed oxygen is what most of us picture when we think about oxygen treatments. Unfortunately, compressed oxygen tanks are large, awkward and heavy, making getting around with them quite difficult. Even if you are using a small portable oxygen tank, you have to worry about getting regular refills and potentially running out of oxygen before your next supply is delivered. If you are using liquid oxygen, you can still use a small portable oxygen tank, but transferring the freezing liquid oxygen is tricky. In addition, the liquid oxygen evaporates over time, so navigation of refills and delivery are still a necessary part of using liquid oxygen. 

The benefits of portable oxygen concentrator units are significant. Not only does using the Inogen One portable oxygen concentrator for your oxygen therapy provide you with a wealth of important health benefits, but it is designed for your on-the-go lifestyle.  Because each of our Inogen One portable oxygen concentrator models are so lightweight, you will hardly notice it as you visit a museum, stroll along the beach or dine with friends at your favorite restaurant. No need to worry about managing deliveries or tank replacement either, because with our portable oxygen machine you will never have to worry about running out of oxygen, as long as you have a charged battery or access to an AC or DC power source. The Inogen One is your single solution for oxygen, at home or away, day or night. If you would like to learn more about the Inogen One, read our portable oxygen concentrator reviews.

Travel Where You Want, When You Want

POCs can be carried just about anywhere. Where exactly you can bring them depends largely on the individual concentrator and regulations.

Because of their compact size, POCs can be carried just about anywhere, and with greater ease than a small portable oxygen tank. Where you are able to bring your portable oxygen concentrator depends largely on the individual concentrator and whether it meets portable oxygen machine regulations.


Portable oxygen concentrators are small enough to fit behind the driver’s seat or passenger’s seat. Most of them have car chargers (either included or sold separately), so battery life is not an issue during car travel since the battery can be charged throughout the trip.


POCs can be brought on short train rides with ease with a backpack or shoulder bag. For longer train trips that take multiple hours, it is important to notify the train company beforehand so they can give you important information about their rules and where to receive a charge. However, most portable oxygen concentrators will not be allowed if they will rely solely on electricity provided by the train, so it is important to have a strong battery for your portable oxygen machine and to carry a backup battery.


Portable oxygen concentrators can be brought on small boats, but it is important to find a power source to charge the battery, or make the trip short enough to ensure there will be plenty of battery left when it is over. In addition, the oxygen concentrator should never be put in a situation where it could get wet.

As for cruise travel, any portable oxygen concentrator should be fine to bring onboard, as the ship will have amenities and electrical outlets. It is still important to notify the cruise company ahead of time, however, to make sure your POC meets any regulations they might have.


Air travel is naturally the most strict when it comes to what you can and cannot bring onboard. It is important to research whether or not a POC is approved by the FAA. A seat with a power port may be requested by contacting the airline, but the use of that seat will always vary based on availability.

If approved, most POCs are small enough to rest on one’s lap or on the floor of an airplane.

Why a Portable Oxygen Machine Is Right for You

One of the benefits of portable oxygen concentrators is that they are designed for use on the go. Inogen’s portable oxygen machines are all FAA approved, so you can feel confident flying with any Inogen One model. Whether you are traveling by bus, train, boat or airplane, it is always a good idea to let the company you are traveling with know that you will be using a portable oxygen concentrator onboard to ensure that you have access to the resources you need and are aware of any guidelines the company may have. To learn more about the benefits of portable oxygen concentrator use while traveling, or while at home, contact Inogen today.


  1. Stoller, James K. MD, MS, FCCP et. al. Oxygen Therapy for Patients With COPD: Current Evidence and the Long-Term Oxygen Treatment Trial. Chest. 2010 July; 138(1): 179–187. doi: 10.1378/chest.09-2555. PMCID: PMC2897694.
  2. Emtner, Margaret et. al. Benefits of Supplemental Oxygen in Exercise Training in Nonhypoxemic Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol. 168, No. 9 (2003), pp. 1034-1042. doi: 10.1164/rccm.200212-1525OC.
  3. American Lung Association. Supplemental Oxygen. Updated 2013.
  4. American Thoracic Society. Sleep Problems in COPD. Updated 2013.
  5. American Lung Association. Supplemental Oxygen. Updated 2013.
  6. American Lung Association. Supplemental Oxygen. Updated 2013.
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