Best Pulse Oximeter for Sleep Apnea

Pulse oximetry is an effective method for screening and monitoring sleep apnea. These devices assess an individual’s blood oxygen levels, which can drop below normal in sleep apnea. CPAP users can benefit from using pulse oximeters to help them monitor the effectiveness of their CPAP therapy and adjust their breathing during the night if needed.

For this review, I conducted careful and extensive research to find the best pulse oximeter for sleep apnea, and also some great alternatives, conducive for home overnight oximetry. These devices are designed for overnight oxygen saturation monitoring to help you maintain normal overnight oxygen levels and make the most out of your CPAP therapy.

Note that none of my recommendations include the standard fingertip pulse oximeters (the type that clips over the finger). This is because, though they generally provide accurate readings and are cheaper, they are not ideal for obtaining overnight readings. Due to the over-the-finger, clip-on fit, they would very likely not stay on securely throughout the night in order to:

  • Collect complete and accurate readings
  • Effectively notify you with a vibration alarm to adjust your sleep position and/or CPAP therapy

At-a-glance

My pick: The main reason I recommend the Wellue O2Ring Oxygen Monitor over the similar Viatom (Wellue) SleepU Wrist Oxygen Monitor is the fact that it fits like a ring, which provides a comfortable, secure fit without the worry of anything disconnecting overnight. It vibrates to notify you when oxygen levels are low and adjustments need to be made to your sleep position or CPAP. Finally, it provides accurate readings as it continuously tracks oxygen levels every second.

Also great: The Viatom (Wellue) SleepU Wrist Oxygen Monitor is still a great option because in addition to still providing accurate readings and detailed analysis reports, it has a vibration alarm that tells you when your oxygen levels are low and an excellent battery life of 16 hours. If you prefer the fit of this device over the Wellue O2Ring Oxygen Monitor, I would still recommend it.

Budget pick: The Viatom (Wellue) WearO2 Wearable Oxygen Monitor makes for a good, lower-cost option. However, because of its lower cost, it has fewer features such as no computer software capability and basic data reporting (compared to professional, more detailed reporting of the above two devices). Additionally, while this device has a preferred ring fit, it is also the bulkiest, which you may find is not ideal for overnight wear.

The details

My pick: Wellue O2Ring Oxygen Monitor

oximeter with alarm for sleep apnea

The Wellue O2Ring Oxygen Monitor is one of the best ring sensor oxygen monitors out there. It is firstly the perfect size and fit for overnight use. It fits comfortably over the thumb or finger, leaving the rest of the hand free for movement. The ring fit allows it to stay on securely throughout the night and does not slip off. The ring perimeter is 2-3.2 inches (50-82 mm) and adjusts to fit within this range.

The device continuously tracks oxygen levels, pulse rate, and motion every second. It has a built-in memory for data collection, but data can also be stored using the Android or iOS app or the Mac or PC software.

The app or software provides overnight oximetry interpretation with detailed analysis reports of blood oxygen levels, heart rate, and body movements. It produces high resolution trend charts with 4-second intervals. You can also generate professional PDF or CSV reports to share with your doctors for further analysis.

The Wellue O2Ring Oxygen Monitor also vibrates when low oxygen levels or abnormal heart rate is detected. The vibration feature can be customized by intensity of vibration, parameter that it vibrates for (ie, oxygen, heart rate, or both), and at what threshold for each. Furthermore, an added benefit of the vibration alarm, if the wearer is sharing a bed with a partner, is that it only wakes up the wearer (unlike a sound alarm, which might wake up your partner).

Recharging the device is easy, as it only requires USB connection. Furthermore, the battery life is more than sufficient for approximately 2 night’s use before requiring a recharge, as it lasts for 12-16 hours.

Pros and cons reported by customers

ProsCons
Ring fit is comfortable, secure with no concerns for disconnecting overnightSome reported app issues
Vibrates when oxygen levels are below normalSome dislike the software
Can be set to vibrate at a customized oxygen level and vibration intensityDoes not sync with Apple Health
Collects accurate readings and creates detailed analysis reports on app or computer software that can be printed and shared

Also great: Viatom (Wellue) Wrist Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor

viatom o2 sleep monitor

The Viatom (Wellue) SleepU Wrist Oxygen Monitor is also a good overnight pulse oximeter option. It has all of the same key features as the Wellue O2Ring Oxygen Monitor aside from a few small differences.

The device is strapped onto the wrist with an adjustable strap, which is connected to a ring sensor that is worn on the finger or thumb. The ring perimeter is slightly smaller than the Wellue O2Ring Oxygen Monitor, at a range of 2-3 inches (50-76 mm).

Additionally, the Viatom (Wellue) SleepU Wrist Oxygen Monitor only vibrates when blood oxygen levels are low (as opposed to the Wellue O2Ring Oxygen Monitor, which can be set to vibrate for blood oxygen levels or heart rate).

Finally, the battery life of this device averages around 16 hours, which is longer than the Wellue O2Ring Oxygen Monitor, whose battery ranges from 12-16 hours.

In my opinion, it is the fit that makes this device slightly more inferior to the Wellue O2Ring Oxygen Monitor. There is a risk that the ring sensor can be disconnected from the wrist strap overnight, which can lead to incomplete readings. However, due to the fact that this device has a vibration alarm for low oxygen levels and a great battery life, I still think this is an acceptable product if you think you prefer the fit over the Wellue O2Ring Oxygen Monitor.

Pros and cons reported by customers

ProsCons
Longer battery life than the Wellue O2Ring Oxygen MonitorRisk of ring sensor disconnecting from the wrist strap overnight
Vibrates when oxygen levels are below normalDoes not have vibration alarm setting for abnormal heart rate
Can be set to vibrate at a customized oxygen level and vibration intensitySome find it too expensive
Collects accurate readings and creates detailed analysis reports on app or computer software that can be printed and sharedSome reports of defective devices

Budget pick: Viatom (Wellue) WearO2 Wearable Oxygen Monitor

viatom o2 sleep monitor

The Viatom (Wellue) WearO2 Wearable Oxygen Monitor makes for a decent overnight pulse oximeter option. It is similar to the Wellue O2Ring Oxygen Monitor, but is an earlier version that has fewer features.

It fits similarly, like a ring over the thumb or finger. However, this device is a bit more bulky, weighing 18 grams (0.63 oz) compared to 15 g (0.53 oz) of the Wellue O2Ring Oxygen Monitor. This may not be ideal for overnight wear and may be less comfortable.

Additionally, it has fewer app and computer software capabilities. The app generates a report of just basic data, compared to the other two pulse oximeters reviewed here that create more detailed, professional reports. Also unlike the other two devices, the Viatom (Wellue) WearO2 Wearable Oxygen Monitor does not have computer software capability, and the interval in which data is reported is shorter (1 minute compared to 4 seconds of the other two devices).

Like the Viatom (Wellue) SleepU Wrist Oxygen Monitor, the Viatom (Wellue) WearO2 Wearable Oxygen Monitor only vibrates when blood oxygen levels are low (unlike the Wellue O2Ring Oxygen Monitor, which can be set to vibrate for both blood oxygen levels and heart rate).

While Wellue reports that this device is meant for daily use (compared to the other two devices which are meant for both sleep and daily use), I think this can still be used to obtain overnight readings.

Pros and cons reported by customers

ProsCons
Lower priceOnly collects basic data
Vibrates when oxygen levels are below normalDoes not have vibration alarm setting for abnormal heart rate
Longer battery life than the Wellue O2Ring Oxygen MonitorShorter data interval in app
Can be used overnight along with CPAP therapyNot compatible with computer software

Recommended Pulse Oximeters for Sleep Apnea

 Wellue O2 Ring Oxygen MonitorViatom (Wellue) SleepU Wrist Oxygen MonitorViatom (Wellue) WearO2 Wearable Oxygen Monitor
Works with CPAPYesYesYes
FitFits on thumb or fingerMonitor straps to wrist plus ring that fits on finger or thumbFits on thumb or finger
Weight15 g (0.52 oz)31 g (1.09 oz)18 g (0.63 oz)
Ring perimeter2.4-3.4 in (60-86 mm)2-3 in (50-76 mm)2-3 in (50-76 mm)
Wireless capabilityBluetoothBluetoothBluetooth
Prolonged trackingContinuously tracks oxygen levels and heart rate every secondContinuously tracks oxygen levels and heart rate every secondContinuously tracks oxygen levels and heart rate
Oxygen level range70-99%70-99%N/A
Alarm/notificationSilent vibration alarmSilent vibration alarmSilent vibration alarm
Customizable alarmAdjustable vibration intensity and threshold of blood oxygen and heart rateAdjustable vibration intensity and threshold of blood oxygen onlyAdjustable vibration intensity and threshold of blood oxygen only
Printable/shareable reportsPrint/share professional PDF/CSV analysis report of oxygen levels and heart ratePrint/share professional PDF/CSV analysis report of oxygen levels and heart ratePrint/share basic PDF/CSV analysis report of oxygen levels and heart rate
Display interval in app4 seconds4 seconds1 minute
PC/mac softwareYesYesYes
BatteryRechargeable via USB with 12-16 hours battery lifeRechargeable via USB with 16 hours battery lifeRechargeable via USB with 16 hours battery life
Built-in memoryYes, 4 sessions up to 10 hours eachYes, 4 sessions up to 10 hours eachYes, 4 sessions up to 10 hours each
Water resistantYesYesYes
Amazon rating4.3 / 54.2 / 54.2 / 5
PriceClick for priceClick for priceClick for price

Closing points

pulse oximeter recording device

You might have noticed that I didn’t include any fingertip pulse oximeters in this review. This is because this type of device isn’t suitable for home overnight oximetry. Since they can fall of easily while sleeping, obtaining overnight readings would be difficult with these devices.

Therefore, I highly recommend the Wellue O2Ring Oxygen Monitor, as it checks all of the boxes: it obtains accurate readings, the fit is comfortable and secure, and it notifies you when you need to adjust your sleep position to maintain normal oxygen levels. If you think you prefer the fit of the Viatom (Wellue) SleepU Wrist Oxygen Monitor, it is still a good choice. Finally, if you are looking to spend a little less, the Viatom (Wellue) WearO2 Wearable Oxygen Monitor would be the option for you.

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