Everyday life changes when you need supplemental oxygen on a regular basis. “People with emphysema or COPD need oxygen,” says Kimberly Langdon, MD, Ohio-based physician, and VP of product development and research at Physician Integrative Laboratories. As such, portable oxygen concentrators are life-saving machines and can be beneficial for people who require medical oxygen.
Reviewed & Approved
Inogen's One G3 delivers four hours of oxygen while you're on the go, which is one of the reasons we made it our best overall pick. We also recommend Philips Respironics SimplyGo Portable Oxygen Concentrator if you're looking for air travel-approved continuous oxygen flow.
For the unfamiliar, oxygen concentrators work by pulling air in through a filter and compressing it into one of two zeolite towers. “It's a way to extract oxygen from the air and remove the nitrogen so that the concentration of oxygen is higher than ambient air which is 21%,” says Dr. Langdon. “These are safer than traditional pressurized oxygen tanks and more economical and convenient—easier to transport because they aren’t as bulky or heavy.”
When looking for a portable oxygen concentrator, Dr. Langdon recommends considering portability, battery life, and weight. We researched dozens of portable oxygen concentrators on the market and evaluated them for battery life, portability, price, weight, and flow.
Based on our research, these are the best portable oxygen concentrators on the market.
Best Overall:Inogen One G3 Portable Oxygen Concentrator
Four-hour battery life
No continuous flow
Standard filter only
We recommend the G3 as our top pick because it's one of the quietest and most efficient portable oxygen concentrators available. It boasts a four-hour battery life and an operational altitude of up to 10,000 feet. Also, the carrying case looks more like an outdoorsy lunch bag than a medical device.
The G3 always puts your health first with audible alerts in case of a power outage, no-breath detected alarms and oxygen purity checks. Rest assured, if your oxygen level ever falls below the required purity levels, you will know immediately.
Weight: 4.8 lbs | Delivery/Flow Type: Pulse flow | Battery Life: 4.7 hours
Best Continuous Flow:Philips Respironics SimplyGo Portable Oxygen Concentrator
Two rechargeable batteries
Easy to clean
FAA approved for air travel
Could blow fuses during car charging
The Respironics SimplyGo has a continuous flow of up to 54 minutes. It also comes with two rechargeable batteries, so you can always have a charge going while your POC is in use. While the batteries are easy to charge on the go, some users note that charging the unit with a car cigarette lighter may blow a fuse.
At 10 pounds and with a modern design of less than 12 inches wide and tall, it is one of the smallest POCs with continuous flow. It’s approved for use up to 10,000 feet, where it’s able to keep up a pulse dose setting of one to six and a continuous flow setting between 0.5 and two.
Weight: 10 lbs| Delivery/Flow Type: Pulse and continuous flow | Battery Life: 3.5 hours
Best Battery Operated:SeQual Eclipse 5 Portable Concentrator
Easy to recharge on the go
May be hard to lift for those with low mobility
If energy efficiency is priority number one, you can do no wrong with the SeQual Eclipse 5 mobile unit. It’s hands down one of the most energy-efficient models with long-lasting batteries available.
The battery lasts up to five hours and has a pulse dose of one to six liters of oxygen delivered per minute (LPM) for precise and predictable 90% oxygen with each inhale. SeQual's AutoSAT technology really sets it apart. It helps maintain the same amount of oxygen consistently, even as the breath rate varies.
But it’s also on the heavier side. It weighs 18 pounds and comes with a cart that easily wheels it around. You can also sling it over both shoulders and carry it as a backpack.
Weight: 18.4 lbs | Delivery/Flow Type: Pulse and Continuous flow | Battery Life: 5 hours
What the Experts Say
“The ability to use a portable oxygen concentrator really depends on how much oxygen do you need, what flow do you need it at, and how long do you want to use it before you have to go back to your stationary device or replace the battery.” —Albert Rizzo, MD, the Chief Medical Officer for the American Lung Association
Best Pulse Flow:Precision Medical EasyPulse PM4150 Portable Oxygen Concentrator
Can be charged during use
Easy to clean
More difficult for travel
Does not include a bag
For pulse-flow POC, it is impossible to beat this Precision Medical model in price, ease of use, and performance. The EasyPulse PM4150 will keep humming along on one battery over three hours at setting two and it comes with a car adapter for on-the-go charging needs. If that’s not quite enough, extra batteries are available as is a sling for easy transportation, but it may be more difficult to travel without these additions.
This 6.8-pound concentrator only has one filter, which makes cleaning a breeze. It is also highly efficient, as the oxygen volume adjusts automatically to the breathing rate, maintaining minute volume so not a bit of oxygen-rich air is wasted.
Weight: 6.6 lbs | Delivery/Flow Type: Pulse flow | Battery Life: 4.7 hours
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Best Lightweight:Airsep Focus Portable Concentrator
Great for plane travel
Easy to carry in a pocket or bag
Takes a few minutes to start working
This FAA-approved device is one of the lightest on the market, weighing in at a mere 2 pounds. It’s so light and petite, you’d barely notice carrying it on your shoulder or pocket.
The AirSep has microbatteries that last up to three hours and an additional supplemental battery pack belt for an additional three and a half hours of battery life. It has a pulse dose rate of two LPM, so what you gain in featherweight class, you will notice a decrease in airflow ranges.
Weight: 2 lbs | Delivery/Flow Type: Pulse flow | Battery Life: 1.5 hours
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Best Multi-System Delivery:Invacare Platinum Mobile Concentrator
Quiet in both modes
Heats up quickly
Low working altitude
This model shines all around just like its namesake precious metal. It’s incredibly quiet in both continuous and pulse dose mode and emits one of the highest oxygen purity levels and weighs under five pounds.
It may be compact, but it is rugged, durable, and water resistant, and it can withstand extreme temperatures. It has a pulse dose range of one to five LPM.
Weight: 4.8 lbs | Delivery/Flow Type: Pulse flow | Battery Life: Up to 8 hours with two batteries
Best for High Altitude and Traveling:Oxlife Independence Portable Oxygen Concentrator
Works at high altitudes
Easy to transport
The Oxlife Independence is excellent for traveling due to its operational altitude of 13,123 feet. Unlike other models that top out at 8,000 or 10,000, this portable oxygen concentrator can keep up even up higher and it comes with wheels and a cart handle for easier transportation.
The pulse dose setting ranges from one tosix LPM. It also has a continuous setting of one to three LPM for precision oxygen. The battery keeps both pulse dose mode chugging for up to four hours and up to 1.5 hours operating in the continuous mode.
Weight: 16.7 lbs | Delivery/Flow Type: Continuous and Pulse flow | Battery Life: 1.5 hours
What the Experts Say
“Patients need to talk to their doctors about if they can handle a portable concentrator to see if their breathing technique and liter flow are adequate from that concentrator to meet their needs. The last thing you want to do is go out and buy a concentrator that doesn’t meet the needs of the patient.” —Albert Rizzo, MD, the Chief Medical Officer with the American Lung Association
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Best Small:Airsep AirSep Freestyle 3 Portable Concentrator
Discreet carrying case
Quiet during use
Power cord is sensitive
The AirSep Freestyle 3 weighs only five pounds and is very small, as in mix-it-up-with-your-smartphone small. AirSep is leading the category in compact oxygen concentrators with this model.
This specific model is designed for the active user with a quiet, efficient pulse flow that goes up to a setting of three. It has a Max Pulse Setting of three and max oxygen of 332 per minute. The Freestyle can be worn over your shoulder with a carrying bag or you can add on the optional harness to convert it into a backpack, which frees you to do your favorite activity.
Users note that the power supply cord can be difficult to maneuver, sometimes unplugging with movement.
Weight: 4.9 lbs | Delivery/Flow Type: Pulse flow | Battery Life: 3.5 hours
Inogen One G3 comes in as best overall because it’s lightweight, powerful, and reliable. An alternative, and still top choice, is the Philips Respironics SimplyGo Portable Oxygen Concentrator due to its continuous oxygen flow, multiple rechargeable batteries and excellent performance at altitudes, which far surpasses that of competitors.
How We Selected the Portable Oxygen Concentrators
Many conditions require higher-purity oxygen with the help of portable oxygen concentrators. To find the best portable oxygen concentrators on the market, we researched dozens of the top models and spoke to doctors to find out what patients should look for when buying oxygen concentrators.
We considered models based on their size and weight for easy transportation, delivery and flow type, and oxygen output. Our list includes a mix of durable, high-flow options great for home use and other lightweight, discreet options that are perfect for travel.
What to Look for in a Portable Oxygen Concentrator
These devices are meant to be used wherever you want to go, so size and weight are major considerations as is your chosen transportation method. Generally, oxygen concentrators with more power and higher output are heavier and larger. That doesn’t have to be a deterrent for an on-the-go lifestyle, though. Many also feature a convenient rolling cart or strap system for transporting easily.
For reference, a continuous portable device weighs around 20 pounds. The pulse flow device tends to be significantly lighter, ranging from three to 10 pounds in total.
There are two main types of units, a pulse flow, and continuous flow, based on the delivery of oxygenated air. The pulse flow machine delivers air to the patient as short puffs timed to each inhalation. As a result, no oxygen is wasted. “The pulse flow or demand flow delivers oxygen only when the patient is inhaling. This can help with power consumption. Nighttime use is more commonly pulse-flow. Some operate continuous flow with the added feature of pulse-flow as needed,” says Dr. Langdon.
In contrast, the continuous flow unit produces a continuous stream of oxygen. “One to five liters per minute of continuous oxygen flow is a common way to deliver oxygen continuously whether the patient is inhaling or not,” says Dr. Langdon. These devices tend to have larger compressors, and there is likely some oxygen waste.
You can expect portable oxygen concentrators to run on a single battery charge for up to four or five hours. The smaller, lighter units generally have shorter battery charge-spans, though many of the devices come with extra batteries that can double that off-the-grid lifespan and charging options in cars.
By far the number one consideration to take into account when shopping for an oxygen concentrator is how much oxygen the machine can put out. Unlike oxygen tanks, which can deliver oxygen in virtually any setting, Scott Marlow, a respiratory therapist with the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, explains that portable concentrators deliver a “certain quantity of oxygen with each breath.” Most patients require about 400 milliliters per min depending on their diagnosis.
It’s important to speak to a doctor about your specific requirements and what machines will best keep your oxygen saturation levels stable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are portable concentrators covered by Medicare?
Oxygen concentrators are sometimes covered on Medicare, but it depends on the patient's coverage. “If you qualify for supplemental oxygen at night that’s almost always covered by insurance companies, including Medicare,” Dr. Rizzo says. But accessing a portable oxygen concentrator, depending on coverage, can be more difficult for patients who require the device.“What happened with Medicare is the amount that they cover with any oxygen device has become a set amount,” Dr. Rizzo says. Home care companies can provide people oxygen for less with a portable gas tank versus liquid oxygen, Dr. Rizzo adds, so this influences whether the device will be covered or not.
Can you use a portable concentrator at night?
This depends on your specific condition. If you require an oxygen concentrator, ask your doctor if it's safe to use the device during the night.
How long do portable concentrators last?
Most oxygen concentrators are created with durability in mind, as they’re used to help the person travel and accomplish their daily tasks. A new device should likely last someone from five to seven years depending on the concentrator and how it’s used daily. Many of these devices come with a warranty, which typically lasts for two years. “It’s like buying any household appliance,” Dr. Rizzo says. “You want to check the warranty and trust who you’re buying or renting it from.”
Why Trust Verywell Health?
As a seasoned health writer, Jennifer Nied understands how vital quality product recommendations are for treating symptoms safely and effectively at home. For over 10 years, she has reviewed products, interviewed experts, scrutinized ingredients, and pored over research studies and claims, to help readers like you understand what works for your specific conditions. Every product in this piece was selected taking into account recommendations from doctors, published research, and real customer reviews.
Additional reporting for this story by Danielle Zoellner
As a seasoned health writer,Danielle Zoellnerknows the importance of finding just the right product to fit your medical needs. Throughout her career, Danielle has interviewed a variety of experts in the medical and health fields while reviewing dozens of products. Her experience and knowledge in the fieldwork together help readers like yourself find the best products for your daily life.
The SeQual Eclipse 5 of CAIRE is considered the most powerful portable oxygen with continuous flow. Its pulse setting goes from 1 to 9, and the continuous flow setting can provide as much as 3 LPM.How do I choose a good portable oxygen concentrator? ›
- Battery Life. Battery life is affected by how much the device is used and the setting it's on. ...
- Capacity. ...
- Size. ...
- Weight. ...
- Noise Level. ...
- FAA Approved. ...
The quietest portable oxygen concentrator is the SeQual eQuinox, which registers at a barely-audible 37 decibels. The Inogen One series — G2, G3, and G4 — all make the list of the top five quietest portable oxygen concentrators at 38, 39 and 40 decibels, respectively.What is the lightest continuous flow oxygen concentrator? ›
Inogen One G4 Portable Oxygen Concentrator
Weighing in at only 2.8lbs, the Inogen One G4 is the lightest, most compact concentrator on the market. It delivers oxygen in 3 Pulse Dose settings and provides hours of therapy with the optional extended battery.
Oxygen concentrators are made in such a way that they can run for 24 hours. But at times, they face the problem of heating up and stopping abruptly. Therefore, after continuous usage of 7-8 hours, the concentrator should be given a rest of 20-30 minutes.How long can a portable oxygen concentrator run continuously? ›
A portable oxygen concentrator with continuous flow may run for around 4 to 5 hours of constant use while on battery mode.
Most portable oxygen concentrators last between 4 to 7 years. The lifespan of a POC also depends on how well the patient takes care of their portable unit. It's important to regularly clean and maintains a device. This will help improve how long the machine lasts.What is the difference between 5 l and 10 l oxygen concentrator? ›
A 5L oxygen cylinder can provide 5 litres of oxygen in a minute, while the 10L concentrator can provide 10 litres of oxygen in a minute. The first should be enough for patients with mild symptoms and basic requirements but, we will advise you to buy 10L concentrators better efficiency.Can you leave oxygen concentrator on all night? ›
High-quality concentrators have been designed to be used 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,1,2 and have been clinically proven to provide the necessary oxygen for most ambulatory patients during all phases of daily activity and sleep.How long does a 5 liter oxygen concentrator last? ›
The average life for the DeVilbiss 5 Liter compressor is between 20,000 and 30,000 hours, so when you purchase this concentrator, you can rest easy knowing you've chosen a machine that has been proven to last.
Stationary oxygen concentrators have higher oxygen output and lower prices. Portable oxygen concentrators offer smaller size and less weight as well as greater flexibility with power sources. For oxygen patients requiring 5 or more liters of oxygen per minute, a home oxygen concentrator is the best choice.Which is better pulse or continuous flow oxygen? ›
Of the two oxygen settings, pulse flow is much more efficient. Portable concentrators with pulse flow oxygen are designed for people with an active or ever-changing lifestyle who require ultimate freedom. It is recommended for patients with a low oxygen requirement of up to 2 LPM (liters per minute).What is the smallest continuous flow portable oxygen concentrator? ›
The smallest oxygen concentrator is the Airsep Focus Miniature Portable Oxygen Concentrator. With a weight of 0.8kg, this is the lightest portable oxygen concentrator on the market. It can provide a flow rate of 2 LPM on a pulse dose setting and can last around 1.5 hours per battery.What size oxygen concentrator do I need? ›
They largely come in two sizes - 5L and 10L. The first can provide 5 litres of oxygen in a minute, while the 10L concentrator can provide 10 litres of oxygen in a minute. You will find most portable concentrators with 5L capacity and that should be the minimum to look for.Who are inogen competitors? ›
- Micronics Microfluidics.
- Inspired Technologies.
If you take in more oxygen than your body needs, it can slow your breathing and heart rate to dangerous levels. Too much oxygen can lead to oxygen toxicity or oxygen poisoning. This can happen if you accidentally take in too much supplemental oxygen or use oxygen therapy when you don't need it.What are the symptoms of getting too much oxygen? ›
Pulmonary effects can present as early as within 24 hours of breathing pure oxygen. Symptoms include pleuritic chest pain, substernal heaviness, coughing, and dyspnea secondary to tracheobronchitis and absorptive atelectasis which can lead to pulmonary edema.How many hours a day should you use oxygen? ›
How many hours a day will I need oxygen? You should ideally use supplemental oxygen for 24 hours a day, unless your health care provider tells you you only need to use oxygen for exercise or sleep. Even if you feel “fine” off of your oxygen, your body's oxygen level may be low and can cause brain and heart problems.How often do you change the water in oxygen concentrator? ›
Use distilled water in the humidifier bottle and change the water daily. If you are concerned that there is no oxygen flow through your tubing, place the tubing in water and watch for bubbles. If bubbles are present, there is at least some flow through your tubing.What is minimum operating time in oxygen concentrator? ›
The Oxygen Concentrator should be serviced at least once a year by a trained service professional approved by the manufacturer. DO NOT service this device while it is in use. concentrator be run for a minimum of 30 minutes at a time.
Oxygen concentrators require regular cleaning and proper maintenance to be able to work efficiently. Adjusting to the oxygen therapy equipment can be overwhelming at first.Should an oxygen concentrator be turned off when not in use? ›
Always turn your oxygen off when not in use. Always check the oxygen levels on your oxygen tank. This includes the backup tank as well as the tank that is in use. The oxygen backup tank should be stored lying flat (or upright and secured) and in a safe, well-ventilated place.What is the average cost of an inogen? ›
Inogen portable oxygen concentrators vary in cost, ranging from $2,651 to $3,586, depending on the battery (single or double) and warranty you select.What is the highest liter of oxygen you can be on? ›
The highest flow oxygen concentrators output oxygen flow at 10 liters per minute. The Respironics Millennium M10, Invacare Platinum 10, and the AirSep Intensity 10 are three home oxygen concentrator machines that deliver this highest oxygen level.Is 2 liters of oxygen high? ›
Rates of 4 liters/minute or greater are considered higher oxygen flow.Is it worth buying an oxygen concentrator? ›
Oxygen concentrators are an invaluable tool for convenient and effective delivery of oxygen to those patients who cannot get enough on their own. These devices utilize the ambient air in any room to filter, process, and compress, then ultimately deliver purely oxygenated air to those who need it.What is a normal oxygen level while sleeping? ›
Everyone's oxygen levels in the blood are lower during sleep, due to a mildly reduced level of breathing. Also, some alveoli drop out of use during sleep. If your waking oxygen saturation is greater than about 94 percent on room air, it is unlikely that your saturation during sleep will fall below 88 percent.Is it good to sleep with oxygen? ›
Using oxygen therapy at night allows your body to get more oxygen into the bloodstream so that you may get a better night's sleep. Your doctor may recommend you do a sleep study to determine whether supplemental oxygen at night is right for you.Do oxygen concentrators use a lot of electricity? ›
These devices extract and concentrate oxygen from the air and deliver it through tubing connected to the nose. Concentrators can use more electricity than a refrigerator, and the cost for the extra electricity can add up quickly.How often should an oxygen concentrator be cleaned? ›
All oxygen concentrators come with an extra filter which can be placed while the other one is drying properly. Never use a moist/ wet filter. If the machine is in regular use, the filter must be cleaned at least monthly or more frequently depending on how dusty the environment is.
Oxygen concentration – WHO Technical Specifications stipulate output of >82% concentration of oxygen at max rated flow rate at 40 degrees C and 95% relative humidity (RH). Most high quality devices should have >90% output.How long of a tube can you use on an oxygen concentrator? ›
Background: Most patients on long-term oxygen therapy use stationary oxygen delivery systems. It is not uncommon for guidelines to instruct patients to use tubing lengths no longer than 19.68 ft (6 m) when using an oxygen concentrator and 49.21 ft (15 m) when using cylinders.Can you get too much oxygen from an oxygen concentrator? ›
You may end up taking too much or too little oxygen. Deciding to use an oxygen concentrator without a prescription can lead to serious health problems, such as oxygen toxicity caused by receiving too much oxygen. It can also lead to a delay in receiving treatment for serious conditions like COVID-19.What are the two types of oxygen concentrators? ›
There are two types of oxygen concentrators: stationary and portable [9, 10]. Stationary (home) concentrators provide an uninterrupted oxygen supply with a flow ranging from 0.5 to 10–15 L·min−1.What are the different types of portable oxygen concentrators? ›
There are two types of portable oxygen concentrators available on the market today: Continuous flow oxygen concentrators and pulse dose, or intermittent flow, oxygen concentrators. These two types of oxygen systems have very different benefits and limitations and each is best suited for a specific type of patient.What is the disadvantage of a continuous flow oxygen system? ›
They Have Limited Battery Life. Battery life is one of the most important aspects of a portable oxygen concentrator because it determines how long you can be out of the house without having to find a place to recharge. Unfortunately, continuous flow machines don't offer much in the way of battery life.What does it mean to be on 2 liters of oxygen? ›
The usual way to deliver O2 is a continual flow from the source. For example, a common continual flow rate of gas through the nasal cannula is 2 liters of O2 gas per minute. This is happening through all parts of the respiratory cycle, even when patients are not breathing in.What does CF2 mean on a portable oxygen tank? ›
I use the continuous flow setting CF2 option. I attempted to use the pulse set at "2" because at that setting, the tank would last 4 hours, to no avail.Which portable oxygen concentrator has the highest continuous flow? ›
The SeQual Eclipse 5 of CAIRE is considered the most powerful portable oxygen with continuous flow. Its pulse setting goes from 1 to 9, and the continuous flow setting can provide as much as 3 LPM.How long does a portable oxygen concentrator last? ›
Most portable oxygen concentrators last between 4 to 7 years. The lifespan of a POC also depends on how well the patient takes care of their portable unit. It's important to regularly clean and maintains a device. This will help improve how long the machine lasts.
The highest on-demand setting a portable oxygen concentrator will go to is a setting of 9. Most have a high setting of 6. A setting of 6 is not equal to a liter flow of 6 liters/minute.What is the highest flow rate for oxygen? ›
High-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) therapy is an oxygen supply system capable of delivering up to 100% humidified and heated oxygen at a flow rate of up to 60 liters per minute.Is there a 10 liter oxygen concentrator? ›
The ten liter oxygen units range from 50 to 60 pounds and have oxygen concentration from 87% to 95%. A few of the highest rated 10 liter concentrators include the Invacare Platinum 10, Respironics M10 and AirSep Intensity 10.How long do portable concentrators last? ›
Most portable oxygen concentrators last between 4 to 7 years. The lifespan of a POC also depends on how well the patient takes care of their portable unit. It's important to regularly clean and maintains a device. This will help improve how long the machine lasts.Can you use a portable oxygen concentrator full time? ›
While some patients won't need any supplemental oxygen, most will need to use it for 18 to 24 hours a day. Portable oxygen concentrators tend to be the best option for people who need LTOT because they're safer, more cost-effective, lighter, smaller, and easier to use than most other medical oxygen devices.What is a dangerously low oxygen level? ›
People should contact a health care provider if their oxygen saturation readings drop below 92%, as it may be a sign of hypoxia, a condition in which not enough oxygen reaches the body's tissues. If blood oxygen saturation levels fall to 88% or lower, seek immediate medical attention, says Dr.How many liters is normal for oxygen? ›
Standard oxygen sources can deliver from ½ liter per minute of O2 to 5 liters/minute (L/min). Every liter/minute of oxygen increases the percentage of O2 the patient breathes by 3 – 4 %. Room air is 21% O2. So if a patient is on 4 L/min O2 flow, then he or she is breathing air that is about 33 – 37% O2.What happens if oxygen flow rate is too high? ›
Oxygen toxicity is lung damage that happens from breathing in too much extra (supplemental) oxygen. It's also called oxygen poisoning. It can cause coughing and trouble breathing. In severe cases it can even cause death.What happens if the oxygen flow is too high? ›
Oxygen is vital to sustaining life. However, breathing oxygen at higher than normal partial pressure leads to hyperoxia and can cause oxygen toxicity or oxygen poisoning.What increases oxygen flow? ›
You can increase the amount of oxygen in your blood naturally. Some ways include: Open windows or get outside to breathe fresh air. Something as simple as opening your windows or going for a short walk increases the amount of oxygen that your body brings in, which increases overall blood oxygen level.
A good quality medical grade 10-litre oxygen concentrator will cost you between ₹ 70,000 to ₹ 1.20 Lakh in India.Which is better 5L or 10L oxygen concentrator? ›
CAPACITY IS IMPORTANT
The efficiency of an oxygen concentrator depends on its capacity. They come in different sizes 5L and 10L available more accessible. A 5L oxygen cylinder can provide 5 litres of oxygen in a minute, while the 10L concentrator can provide 10 litres of oxygen in a minute.