The Zacurate 500BL Pulse Oximeter measures SpO2, pulse strength, and pulse rate in 10 seconds, has a 600-check battery life, and over 2,700 reviews on Amazon.
Accurately monitoring your blood oxygen levels using pulse oximetry can be useful for a range of physical activities, such as hiking or cycling.
But how accurate is the Zacurate 500BL Oximeter, and is it worth buying?
In this review, we’ll guide you through the design features, customer feedback, warranty coverage, and how to achieve the most accurate readings.
We’ve also included comparisons with similar devices, to help you decide if this is the best pulse oximeter for home use.
Despite being one of the cheapest Zacurate oximeters, the 500BL still has an excellent reputation for accuracy.
But is it worth paying the extra few dollars for one of their top-of-the-line devices, like the 500D?
The Zacurate 500BL certainly does the basics well. Battery life is excellent, the display is bright and easy to read, and readings can usually be taken in under 10 seconds.
Unfortunately, you don’t have any of the more advanced features that can improve accuracy and make it easier to use.
As a quick comparison, the Zacurate 500D has a rotating display, silicone cover, plethysmograph, and audible alarms if your Sp02 or pulse rate exceed your configured levels. With the 500BL, the screen cannot be rotated and faces the user, with no plethysmograph or alarms.
Price difference between the two devices? Usually $5-$6. In our opinion the 500D is worth the extra money, based on the design features alone.
Zacurate don’t provide a carry case with any of their oximeters, but you can pick one up separately from companies like Devon Medical for around $5. The 500BL does include a lanyard, which allows you to wear the device around your neck if you need to take readings throughout the day.
How is it Powered?
The Zacurate 500BL is powered by 2 x AAA batteries, with one set supplied when you buy. Unfortunately there’s no way to charge via USB or phone cable, which is a feature of the Masimo iSp02 and Aupalla Oximeter.
Our personal preference is for the battery-powered oximeters. Many of them, including the 500BL, have an excellent track record for accuracy, and you don’t suffer from any connectivity issues.
Rechargeable AAA batteries can be purchased at a cost of $10-$12 for a pack of 8, which could also save you money in the long run.
Each set is enough to power the 500BL for up to 40 hours, and Zacurate have even added an automatic shut-off feature to preserve battery life. This automatically turns the screen off if there’s no activity for 10 seconds and your finger isn’t in the clip.
Zacurate 500BL Oximeter – Product Summary
- Accurately determine your SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation levels), pulse rate and pulse strength in 10 seconds
- 600 spot checks on two full power batteries at ambient temperature of 25°C
- SpO2 accuracy is +/- 2%, which meets FDA standards for pulse oximeters
- High Quality ABS plastic protects the pulse oximeter from damage
- Lightweight and portable design
- Large digital LED display shows SpO2%, PR bpm, battery level indicator, pulse bar graph
- Finger chamber with SMART Spring System
- Accommodates wide range of finger sizes
- Quick snap-off battery cover allows you to replace and remove batteries
- Manufactured according to CE and FDA standards for pulse oximeters
- Include 2 x AAA batteries and a lanyard for convenience
- Comes with 12 months warranty coverage
- USA based technical phone support
Accuracy and Ease of Use
Tips for Accurate Pulse Oximetry
The most common reasons customers gave for lower review ratings on Amazon relate to accuracy.
That’s why we’ve added a quick guide for how to achieve the most accurate Sp02 and pulse readings with the Zacurate 500BL:
- Ensure batteries are installed correctly
- Open the clamp
- Insert finger into the clip, with your fingernail facing upwards towards the screen
- Ensure your fingertip is directly in between the LED light source and LED sensor
- Release the clamp
- Press the button on front of the device once
- Keep finger and body still while the oximeter is taking its readings
What Should You Avoid?
Poor blood circulation can cause inaccurate or results. Warm your hands and fingers before taking the reading to increase blood flow.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also advised against wearing nail varnish or allowing bright light to enter the sensor. The color from nail varnish can absorb light from the oximeter and interfere with detection of oxygenated haemoglobin.
Certain medical conditions can also affect the accuracy of pulse oximetry. If you have hypotension, anaemia, tachycardia, hypothermia, or bradycardia, we recommend seeking advice from your physician.
A recent scientific study has shown that the highest Sp02 tends to be in the middle finger of the right hand. Conversely, the lowest is in the middle finger of the left hand, which is why we recommend using the same finger each time.
- 1 year
Most oximeters provide a 1 year warranty, including those made by Zacurate, AccuMed, FaceLake, Innovo, and SantaMedical.
Two of the only companies that provide a 2-year warranty are Vive Health (Vive Precision Oximeter) and Concord Health Supply (Concord Sapphire and Concord Black Ox).
Who Are Zacurate?
Zacurate is a brand of pulse oximeters marketed by Med Shop & Beyond, alongside two Acc U Rate devices – the Acc U Rate 430DL and the Acc U Rate 500DL.
Med Shop & Beyond have several authorised dealers, through which they sell their pulse oximeters. Make sure to only buy from one of the following authorized dealers if you want a valid warranty: Amazon.com, Med Shop & Beyond, Evamedical, or Beyond Med Shop.
The main contact address for Med Shop is in Stafford, Texas, and many of the Zacurate oximeters have thousands of positive reviews on Amazon. This is due, in-part, to the excellent customer support.
What Do Other Reviews Say?
Our own oximeter reviews provide you with in-depth information and comparisons between the best devices.
But it’s also useful to check the feedback from as many people as possible, as not everyone has the same experience.
How easy was it to take a reading? Was customer service helpful and easy to contact? Were the readings accurate, and how comfortable was the fingertip grip?
The problem is, the best oximeters have thousands of reviews, and finding the most valuable information can be time consuming.
That’s why we did the leg work for you.
Listed below you’ll find a summary of the pros and cons for the Zacurate 500BL Oximeter, based on direct customer feedback.
- Helps anyone suffering from asthma, COPD, or upper respiratory infections to monitor blood oxygen levels
- Lanyard attaches to the top of the device, meaning you can keep it attached while taking a reading
Clear and simple display is bright and easy to read
- Customers who are medical professionals report accuracy that’s almost identical to hospital devices (one ER RN found it to read 1-3% lower, 30% of the time)
- Requires smaller batteries than some oximeters (AAA), reducing the weight and size
- Protective storage/carry case included – this isn’t the case with the Innovo Deluxe Oximeter
- Instruction manual is packed with useful advice for getting the most accurate reading
- Excellent customer service from Med Shop & Beyond and Amazon
- Easy to use
- Fast to take blood oxygen and pulse readings
- Battery life appears excellent
- On a sunny day it can be difficult to see the screen and numbers. Most oximeters use the same red OLED text and black background, but the SantaMedical Generation 2 and Innovo Deluxe both use a blue text.
- Orientation of the screen cannot be changed. Although this is designed for personal use, if you need a pulse oximeter with adjustable screen orientation, we recommend the Zacurate 500D. This has a rotatable OLED display with plethysmograph