British Lung Foundation
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Advice on oxygen please

l have been given a oxygen concentrator which is kept upstairs in the bedroom has any bought a Freestyle small contractor or similar to take out visiting people should l need it and have you any idea how much they cost. No price is given on the website and l know once you phone to ask they tend to pester to get a sale. Air Liquid said they are about £2000.00,

if someone has bought one are they very heavy to carry around they do give a weight I know but are they cumbersome. I have a portable one from Air Liquid but it would be nice to have one that is a bit disgrete.

9 Replies

I bought a second hand Airsep Freestyle portable oxygen concentrator buddygirl. I saw an ad for it on Gumtree and responded to the ad. The gentleman selling it said it was only 4 months old and had hardly been used, as sadly his wife had passed away shortly after if was purchased brand new for approx £3,000. I paid £1,300 and it was the best purchase ! I do have to say though that it's a pulse provider so only operates when you are breathing in through your nose. This takes quite a bit of getting used to. The model I have isn't at all heavy and it's comfortable to wear over your shoulder when walking about.

I understand that the BLF's magazine sometimes carries adverts for second hand machines so you might consider looking in there. One word of warning though, be VERY wary of buying the cheap models that are available on a certain auction website.

Even though I'm no longer prescribed oxygen, I wouldn't consider parting with mine as it will probably be needed again at some future date.

Hope this info helps you make a decision :)


Thank you Elian for your reply l didn't know BLF did a magazine. Hopefully l can get hold of a second hand one like you at least l know now l won't be wasting my money.


Dear Buddygirl,

Yes I bought a reconditioned Airsep Freestyle 3 years ago for £1000 from a supplier of which their are several you can find them on the net. Mine has been great mine came from SMILE and their INTERMEDICAL and O2.

You can easily find all these 3 UK firms, just ring and see what they have got!



Hello buddygirl.

Before contacting any suppliers it is worth writing down what you are looking for and when and where you want to use it.

Some general tips on choosing a supplier:

•Check what after sales service and is offered and how much it costs. It’s important that know how to use your equipment properly and that it’s kept in good working order.

•Ask if they will loan you a replacement if your equipment has to be sent away for service.

•Check to see if they offer product demonstrations. Can you try before you buy?

•Do they have a money back guarantee?

•Do they sell reconditioned or ex-display equipment cheaper?

•Do they offer finance?

•Is their equipment properly licensed for its intended use (e.g. approved for air travel)?

You should always shop around, compare prices and services and always try to get the best deal you can. If you have internet access then you can easily do a lot of your homework before you ever talk to a sales representative.

Buying second hand equipment

It’s tempting to try and save a lot of money by buying second hand. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – the government body that regulates healthcare safety –

recommends that you only buy second hand medical equipment from a recognised outlet.

When you buy second hand equipment you should check the following:

• How old the equipment is and how much has it been used? Ideally, you should try to buy equipment that is still under guarantee.

• Is it still safe to use? Find out who was the original supplier - you may need to contact them to arrange for service, spare parts, etc.

• Does it come with all of the original instructions and other documents?

It’s worth checking to see if suppliers have ex-demonstration or refurbished equipment. You can often get a big discount over buying new and you can be sure that it’s been checked and serviced by qualified engineers.

Portable oxygen concentrators

Some additional tips when buying a portable concentrator:

• You must only use a portable concentrator if you have had an oxygen assessment and been prescribed oxygen.

• Is your healthcare professional happy for you to use a portable concentrator?

• Does the machine offer continuous flow, pulse flow, or both? Pulse flow (only supplies oxygen when you breathe in) uses less power but is not suitable for all oxygen users. Also, if you’re going to use the machine when asleep then you must use continuous flow. The smallest, lightest machines deliver pulse flow only.

• Is the weight of the machine easy for you to manage? Take into account any extra batteries etc. that you may need to carry.

• How long does the battery last at your flow rate? How long does it take to recharge? How much do extra batteries cost?

• What accessories does the machine come with? Do they cost extra?

• Does the flow rate go above what you now use in case your oxygen needs increase in the future?

• Noise levels of machine if using overnight.

• Is it suitable for travel on airlines and abroad?

If you would like further information Hiring/Buying. Please contact us for suppliers.

Hope this helps?

Best Wishes


1 like

Hi I bought my FreeStyle new from Smile rehab they are the most helpfull company who do not presure sell. I had an assessment and demonstration of suitable portable concentrators for my needs. I was then left to decide if I wanted to go ahead and have one on a trial basis.

I never received any phone calls it was left to me to phone them if I wanted to arrange a trial.

When I did I was amazed not to be asked for a deposit. I was sent a new freestyle plus air belt , plugs & chargers in a carry bag with instructions to try for at least a week and to phone them when I had decided wether to purchase. If I did not want it they would send a carrier to collect it, if I wanted to keep it they would invoice me.

I would recomend Smile rehab to anyone they are amazing.

The also have ex demo & refurbished units for sale.

Best wishes

Jo :-)


I totally second Jojam's post - Smile is so helpful and they do not pressure sell in the slightest. As for all the information that you need, they will supply it without you asking - they are a responsible supplier and will discuss all angles with you.

I have had a new one from them and also a reconditioned one; my first one almost wore out - I was / am considered a very heavy user and then bought a reconditioned one for less than it would have cost to repair the original one.

As for not using overnight; that is the current advice, but I have used mine overnight many times and it has not caused a problem. The machine will alarm if it does not detect a breath for, I think 10 or 15 minutes, and the only time mine alarmed was when the cannula came adrift during the night .... probably dreaming of George Clooney??? ;-)


I also bought my Freestyle new from SMILE for just under £3,000 but there are used/ex demo ones available and they will tell you what they have at the time. I can heartily recommend the company. There is no pressure, they will give advice, you can try before you buy and the aftersales service is great. (NO, I am not on commission!)


Thank you all so much l am so much better informed l had a look this morning on Smile and they had an ex demo for £1,400 l will let my husband read all the info you have given me he is not keen on having tanks around downstairs and my prescription is 2 LT at the moment l really don't know technical bits on oxygen my consultant just said l will arrange oxygen which was in the early summer, l have enough tubing to get it downstairs but l can only sit in a chair, l think l will try before l buy though but perhaps also wait until l see my consultant in February at the hospital.


You can always ask for longer tubing! And, if you are to remain on 2 litres, ask about the Focus, smaller and lighter than the Freestyle and also much cheaper (about £1800) but not adjustable so can only use it on 2 lpm.


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