7 Best Pulse Oximeters For Your Fingertip in 2020

We assembled a list of the best fingertip pulse oximeters, preferring models which were compact and durable, displayed results quickly and were easy to read, preferably with black background displays.We also preferred models that could fit on the widest range of fingers possible, and had extra features like carrying cases, necklace attachments, and switchable display modes.

Of the models we put through rigorous testing, Zacurate Pro Series 500DL is the best pulse oximeter for your fingertips. We chose it because of its durable black plastic construction and extremely easy-to-read red-on-black digital display, under-10-second read and display speed, handy included necklace attachment, and the silicon protective cover. Keep reading to see what else made our list.

Top 7 Best Pulse Oximeters For Your Fingertip

 #1  Zacurate Pro Series 500DL Fingertip Pulse Oximeter

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: The only model that can detect and display Sp02 levels of up to 100% and its silicon cover protects the electronics from dirt, moisture, and scratches.

Pros
  • Extremely easy to read
  • Compact and light
  • Silicon cover protects it from dirt, moisture, and scratches
Cons
  • No carrying case included

The Zacurate Pro Series 500DL Fingertip Pulse Oximeter is a top-of-line fingertip oximeter built for professional athletes. It displays Sp02 and pulse readings in 10 seconds or less, can read and display Sp02 levels of up to 100%, and features a bright red-on-black digital display that’s easy to read under any light. It’s small, compact, and durable, comes with a silicon cover to protect the unit from dirt, moisture, and display damage, and includes a handy lanyard that attaches to the unit for easy wearing around the neck.

Being the only fingertip oximeter that can read and display 100% Sp02, and in 10 seconds or under, it’s the most accurate model available. That and its compact, lightweight design, durability, display that’s easy to read even in bright direct sunlight, and included accessories make it the top choice for both professional athletes and people with medical conditions that necessitate it. You might also want to look guide to the best sleep tracker to make sure you’re getting a solid night’s sleep.

 #2  Facelake FL400 Pulse Oximeter

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: Ready to use out of the box, it’s a compact unit with a fast display, light weight and bright, colorful design that makes it especially handy for seniors.

Pros
  • Striking blue and white design make it hard to misplace
  • Ready to use out of the box
  • Includes nylon sack for packing in bags and purses
Cons
  • Most accurate readings require more time than top model
  • Small fingers may produce less accurate results

The Facelake FL400 Pulse Oximeter reads Sp02 and pulse in less than 10 seconds (though for the most accurate reading up to 24 seconds is recommended), features an easy-to-read black on red digital display with a handy battery level indicator, and is made to fit all ages. It comes with a handy nylon carrying case, two AAA batteries for use right out of the box, a lanyard for wearing the device around the neck, and a bright, colorful blue and white design which makes it harder to lose in clutter.

Though capable of displaying data in 10 seconds or less, users who want the most accurate reading will have to wait for about 24 seconds, meaning it’s a little slower than some models on our list, but it’s still a very accurate and durable model whose design and color make it a great choice for seniors and people who tend to lose small items. If you need to measure more than your oxygen, take a look at the best fitbit.

 #3  Ankovo Fingertip Pulse Oximeter

Award: Easiest To Read Display

WHY WE LIKE IT: Features quick response and accuracy, is made from hypoallergenic silicone, and has a modern-looking, sleek design with a display that’s easy to see in any light.

Pros
  • Won’t irritate sensitive skin
  • Fits adults and children 4 years old and up
  • Heavy-duty carrying case included
Cons
  • Slightly larger and less compact than similar models

The Ankovo Fingertip Pulse Oximeter is made with 100% non-latex hypoallergenic silicone for safe use for people with skin sensitivities. It displays Spo2 and pulse readings in 8-10 seconds, features an easy-to-read, red-on-black LED display, a sleek, attractive, modern design, and is made to fit adults and children ages 4 and up.

It comes ready to use out of the box with two AAA batteries and includes a high-quality, heavy-duty carrying case and an attachable lanyard for carrying around the neck. It’s an accurate, fast oximeter built to last and designed with modern style in mind, but it’s slightly larger than most models on our list, and its high-quality included carrying case is also on the bulky side, making it a little less convenient for portable use. If you need something else to bring to your next workout take a look at guide to the best fitness tracker.

 #4  Mibest Silver Dual Color OLED Finger Pulse Oximeter

Award: Best Adjustability

WHY WE LIKE IT: A rotating display with multiple options for digital readout make this the most customizable model while still delivering high performance and accuracy.

Pros
  • Four-point rotating face for ease of use
  • Carrying case included
  • Comes with a lanyard for wearing around the neck
Cons
  • No option for pulse wave graphic
  • Busy display may not be ideal for sight-challenged

The miBest Silver Dual Color OLED Finger Pulse Oximeter features a blue and yellow on black LED display that’s rotatable, making it easy to read from any angle. This is especially handy if you’re switching hands, or getting a reading on another person’s finger. The display also features four different switchable display modes, a low battery indicator, and adjustable brightness. It’s made for use by adults and most children over 12 and also comes with a compact but durable carrying case, a lanyard with adjustable length for around-the-neck carrying, and two AAA batteries for use out of the box.

A large number of options for display layout, angle, and wearability make it the most versatile oximeter on our list, though the display itself is busier than most on our list, which may not be ideal for some users. The long-button-press functionality of the brightness feature could also be easier and more intuitive, but it’s still the most versatile oximeter on our list. If you’re also worried about your heart rate, take a look at our guide to the best heart rate monitor.

 #5  ATMOKO Pulse Oximeter

Award: Most Energy Efficient

WHY WE LIKE IT: Its extremely low power use (which means a longer battery life) will save you money on more batteries and makes it the most eco-friendly model on our list, all in a compact design that features multiple viewing options.

Pros
  • Rotating front makes it easy to read on left or right hand
  • 4 different digital layout options
  • Pocket-friendly and light weight
Cons
  • Display is slightly busier and more complicated than some models
  • Brightness adjustment feature not intuitive

The ATMOKO Pulse Oximeter has a dark LED display that shows blood oxygen and heart rate numbers in blue and yellow. The display also features a responsive “wave” graphic pulse. It’s made for use with adults and children over 12, has a rotating display allowing it to be easily read on the right or left hand, and produces results in approximately 10 seconds (though for most accurate readings a longer wait is recommended).It also features one-button adjustable brightness and 4 different display modes. Lastly, it comes with two AAA batteries that last for an impressive 30 hours of regular use, which is the longest battery life on this list.

The display itself is somewhat busier and more complicated than many on the list, and the brightness adjustment feature is accessed with long button presses on the on/off button, which could be more intuitive and easier to use, but it’s a great option if you want an accurate, super energy-efficient oximeter. You can also track your heart rate with any of the best apple watches.

 #6  Santamedical Fingertip Pulse Oximeter

Award: Best Heart Health Information

WHY WE LIKE IT: It’s an accurate, compact oximeter with convenient portability features and a focus on more detailed heart health information, including pulse strength.

Pros
  • Plethysmograph reads and displays blood volume per-pulse
  • Made with 100% hypoallergenic materials
  • Auto power off helps save batteries
Cons
  • Fairly complex display
  • Lacks adjustment options for display format and screen angle

The Santamedical Fingertip Pulse Oximeter features a bright blue and yellow on black LED display with a low battery indicator. The plethysmograph display dynamically measures the change in the volume of arterial blood with each pulse beat using a waveform, giving the user more detailed information about possible heart health and efficiency while engaged in aerobic or every day activity than most models. It also comes with a lightweight carrying case, a lanyard for wearing the oximeter around the neck, and two AAA batteries for use out of the box.

The busier display, lack of options for display format, and inability to rotate the screen to change viewing angles may make it not the right choice for all. But it’s a clinically-tested, highly accurate oximeter that’s especially good for collecting and monitoring more detailed information about your heart health. If you like different types of health equipment, you’ll need to read our best android smartwatch review too.

 #7  Metene Pulse Oximeter

Award: Best For Quick Readings

WHY WE LIKE IT: A stylish-looking, lightweight unit featuring advanced technology that gives the fastest readings on our list, providing accurate results in as little as 3 seconds.

Pros
  • Readings in just 3 seconds
  • Auto shutoff
  • Comfortable and hypoallergenic construction
Cons
  • Largest and bulkiest model on our list
  • Backlit but light-colored display can be hard to read

The Metene Pulse Oximeter features a backlit white and grey display, an auto-shutoff feature that activates after 8 seconds of inactivity, and is recommended for use by most adults and children over 12. Its highly accurate and extremely fast photoelectric measuring technology displays results in 3-8 seconds, making it the fastest oximeter on our list, and it comes with two AAA batteries for out-of-the-box use and an attachable lanyard.

While its sleek, ergonomic and hypoallergenic construction make it comfortable and easy to use, it’s also the largest oximeter on our list, making it a little less convenient portability-wise, and in spite of its backlight, the grey and white display can be more difficult to read than other models, especially in bright light. Still, it’s an extremely accurate, super-fast, attractive-looking oximeter.

How We Decided
Oximeters measure blood oxygen saturation (Sp02), or how well oxygen is being delivered to various extremities in your body, and, secondarily, pulse rate. A fingertip pulse oximeter is a portable blood oxygen saturation monitor useful for measuring such information quickly by a non-medical professional.

Though the models we tested are primarily used for athletes and seniors, they’re great tools for monitoring the heart rate and pulse of people who have recently undergone surgery, have heart conditions, respiratory conditions, and other related health issues, and testing to make sure current activity levels are safe for such individuals.

It should be kept in mind, however, that unless the product states otherwise, portable fingertip oximeters should not be used to replace doctor visits and official medical tests are not considered professional medical equipment.

In our extensive testing of fingertip oximeters, we preferred oximeters that are compact, built with durable, high-quality plastics or silicone, have electronic components made to last that will not break down under rigorous activity. We also liked oximeters that featured easy-to-read displays and those that can be powered on and off quickly and easily.

We also generally preferred devices that had black displays with brightly colored digits for maximum readability even in bright light and that took readings and displayed results in 10 seconds or less. We also liked devices that were made to be able to fit the widest range of finger sizes possible, were built with protective overlays on their displays, had switchable display modes, and came with accessories like batteries, neck lanyards, and carrying cases.

Best Pulse Oximeters For Your Fingertip Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Accuracy
    Accuracy is paramount in any medical tool, even ones that aren’t officially intended to act as professional hospital-grade medical tools, but even more so for ones meant for self-diagnosis by non-medical professionals. Therefore it’s a good idea when choosing a portable fingertip oximeter that claims of accuracy on the manufacturer’s part are backed with published evidence or the equivalent. Though peer-reviewed academic studies aren’t likely to be found supporting portable fingertip pulse oximeters, it’s a good idea to see if the products you’re looking at are supported by some sort of clinical trial.
  2. Easy-To-Read Displays
    When testing yourself, it’s important to be able to read the display quickly and easily in any environment and light level- that’s why displays with red or green on black displays are generally the best bet, especially for use during sports and other outdoor or athletic activity. It’s also important to keep in mind that a display that shows more information may actually be harder to read during some activities or by seniors or people with sight issues, so depending on the user, more is not always better.
  3. Compact, Non-Bulky Design
    Oximeters are sophisticated technology and necessarily require a certain amount of bulk to house the needed components and remain durable, but if you’re likely to be using it on the go, it’s ideal to have one that’s been designed to be as compact as possible without sacrificing important features or durability. Thankfully, most commercially available fingertip oximeters at all price lines are designed with this factor in mind, and often include lanyards for wearing around the neck, if they’re too large to fit comfortably in a pocket.

Pulse Oximeters For Your Fingertip FAQs

Who needs a fingertip pulse oximeter?

Though they should not be used to replace a doctor visit or hospital-grade and medical-community approved equipment, fingertip pulse oximeters are a great way for athletes, exercise enthusiasts, and seniors or people with underlying heart or respiratory conditions to get quick and generally accurate blood oxygen (Sp02) and pulse information about whatever activity they’re engaged in an easy-to-use and portable package.

What’s the best fingertip pulse oximeter?

The best pulse oximeter for your fingertip is the Zacurate Pro Series 500DL Fingertip Pulse Oximeter, which topped our list for its accuracy, speed, portability, ease of use, easy-to-read display, and excellent value. Another excellent and popular model that didn’t make our list is the Zacurate 500bl. These and most on our list are available both from online vendors like Amazon, and at pharmacies and some department chains such as Walgreens and Target.

Can a fingertip pulse oximeter help detect coronavirus?

Though pulse oximeters do indeed measure blood oxygen levels and people infected with coronavirus or Covid-19 often to show low blood oxygen levels, it’s not proven whether a pulse oximeter is really a useful tool in self-detection. This is partially because low blood oxygen is a common symptom of numerous underlying medical issues and chronic illnesses. But it’s also because the medical community hasn’t had an extended period of time or sufficient data to come to any consensus on the matter, so for the time being, pulse oximeters should not be relied on for such a purpose. This is in keeping with the fact that fingertip pulse oximeters are not meant to replace professional medical opinions, to begin with.

How do fingertip oximeters work?

Oximeters painlessly measure both heart rate and the amount of oxygen in blood by passing light through blood in the finger and reading changes in light absorption, then translating those readings into oxygen-per-blood-volume percentages and pulse rate numbers which are displayed for the user, usually on small LED screens.

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Jed Smith

I'm a musician and recording engineer and live in Queens. I have a cat. Her name is Elsa. I love to write about consumer tech and musical instruments.

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