Oxygen Concentrator vs. Oxygen Tank

Is an oxygen concentrator the same as an oxygen tank? The terms oxygen tank and oxygen concentrators are often used interchangeably. But contrary to popular understanding, they are not the same. Yes, they both deliver supplemental oxygen to those that need it, but how it is delivered, the devices themselves, and almost everything else is different from there.

The biggest difference between understanding an oxygen concentrator vs. oxygen tank is the way the oxygen is provided and the convenience that an oxygen tank provides to users. Below, O2 Assist goes into further detail about oxygen concentrator pros and cons.

What Are the Benefits of an Oxygen Concentrator?

Oxygen Concentrators are Safe

Oxygen tanks can start leaking, creating an environment where the air is saturated with pure oxygen.  Air that is enriched with oxygen increases the risk of fire. Because oxygen-induced fires burn hotter and faster than other fires, it is more difficult to put them out.  Oxygen concentrators use the surrounding air and create purified air as needed; there is no risk of leakage, thus reducing the risk of catching fire immensely.

Oxygen Concentrators are Consistent

Because an oxygen concentrator uses the surrounding air and purifies that, it will never run out of oxygen, unlike oxygen tanks.  As long as your concentrator has a power supply and is in good working condition, you will have an unlimited amount of oxygen. It is wise to keep a backup battery stored that is fully charged in case of an emergency, like an unexpected power outage.

Oxygen Concentrators are a More Convenient Size

Oxygen concentrators are preferred in part because of their convenient size. Tanks are frustratingly bulky and heavy. Portable oxygen concentrators, on the other hand, can be under five pounds.  

Oxygen Concentrators are a Good Financial Investment

Buying an oxygen concentrator will, over time, be more financially responsible. Yes, buying a concentrator means a large upfront cost (and, with continued use, replacement filters, and nasal cannulas), but that price is typically less than all the costs incurred with replacement tanks.

If you need help financing your oxygen concentrator, contact us. We would be happy to come up with a solution. 

It is always best to talk with your doctor about what which device is best suited for you and your lifestyle.  Be sure to discuss your needs and wants with them. Would you rather rely on batteries or oxygen supply? What is the best size of the device for you?  Overall, your decision should reflect on what gives you the best chance of efficient breathing.

 For example, someone who needs a COPD oxygen concentrator will want to know if it is better for their lifestyle to get a portable oxygen concentrator. However, the best portable oxygen concentrator for COPD patients may be different than what you initially thought. 

How Do Oxygen Concentrators Work? 

One of the most important distinctions to make when comparing an oxygen concentrator vs. oxygen tank is understanding how they work. Concentrators filter the air surrounding the device to create medical-grade oxygen supplying an infinite amount of oxygen as long as the battery is powered. You can compare Oxygen concentrators to air conditioning units: they both take air in, change it, and deliver it in the new state. Of course, these two differ in that concentrators do not cool the air but purify it, ridding it of nitrogen and other elements that make breathing difficult. The purified oxygen then gets delivered through a nasal cannula. The airflow settings are adjustable, and set pressure is prescribed by a doctor. Another difference between devices is the dosage methods. Tanks deliver a continuous flow, whereas oxygen concentrators can operate on pulse dose delivery, though it varies by device.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Using Oxygen Concentrators? 

There is no question that oxygen concentrators and other oxygen delivery systems come with their own unique set of disadvantages. For one, oxygen toxicity is a danger of using oxygen concentrators incorrectly. Oxygen toxicity is a dangerous condition that can cause coughing and trouble breathing. That occurs when a user consumes too much supplemental oxygen. Whether you are using oxygen concentrators for COVID treatment or oxygen concentrators for oxygen concentrators for COPD patients, using supplemental oxygen poses the same risk. However, if you use a portable oxygen concentrator or home oxygen concentrator correctly, there is no reason why you should experience this condition. 

We are proud to offer a wide collection of re-certified oxygen concentrators that make it easier for you get the treatment that you need. Feel free to look through this selection to find the best one for you, including the re-certified Inogen One G5. 


Re-Certified Inogen One G5


All Used Oxygen Concentrators

More About O2 Assist 

Aside from detailing the differences and benefits of purchasing an oxygen concentrator vs. oxygen tank, O2 Assist provides people in need of supplemental oxygen with the best oxygen concentrator for them. Whether this is oxygen concentrators for sale or portable oxygen concentrators for sale, we provide the best option for them. Visit our portable or home oxygen concentrator for sale pages to learn more and find the best one for you or contact us today to learn more.