In this article, we’ll discuss the best AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) in 2023 based on different environments and use cases. These scenarios include extreme heat and cold weather, extreme moisture, indoor use, outdoor use, and travel, as well as the best AEDs for parents and first responders. Whether it’s CPR coaching, durability, user-friendliness, ease of maintenance, or customization, we’ve covered the most important factors to consider when deciding which AED is right for you. Click below to jump to the section you want to see or keep reading for our full list:
- Extreme Weather
- Wet Conditions
- Indoor Use
- Outdoor Use
- Professional Responders
- On a Budget
- AED Buyers Guide PDF Download
The Best AEDs for Extreme Heat and Cold Weather
Cold and hot weather can significantly affect the performance of an AED, from draining the battery to freezing or melting the water-based gel found in the pads. Operating temperature refers to the range in which an AED will perform in a rescue situation and is normally listed at 32° to 122°F (0° to 50°C) for most units. Each AED manufacturer lists an operating temperature range and standby temperature range on the AED’s technical data sheet or operator’s manual. Only two AED manufacturers, ZOLL Medical and Physio-Control, offer AEDs that exceed the normal storage temperature of 32° to 122°F. The following models meet these criteria:
ZOLL AED Plus can be stored between -22° to 140°F.
ZOLL AED 3 can be stored between -22° to 158°F
LIFEPAK CR2 and LIFEPAK 1000 can be stored between -22° to +140°F
Learn more about AEDs in Cold Weather
The Best AEDs for Extreme Moisture
When it comes to moisture, the IP Rating (or Ingress Protection Rating) is the most important factor to consider. This classifies and rates the degrees of protection against the intrusion of solid objects, dust, accidental contact, and water in mechanical casings and electrical enclosures. The higher each of the numbers in an AED’s IP rating, the more protected it is.
AEDs with higher IP ratings are recommended for professional rescuers and devices that will be housed outside or near water. The highest-rated AEDs are the HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P, 360P, and 450P, with an IP rating of 56. This means that they can withstand a direct jet of water dispensed from a 12.5mm nozzle with no harmful effects. As such, the HeartSine line of AEDs is suited for any environment with extreme moisture, from marinas and boats to pools or any outdoor workplace situated near lakes, ponds, swamps, springs, and more.
The Best AEDs for Indoor Use (Home, Small Business, etc.)
The best AEDs for indoor use are the Philips OnSite and ZOLL AED Plus.
The Philips HeartStart OnSite is designed for people who may not have extensive experience, but find themselves in situations requiring fast-acting, life-saving measures. This compact and easily transportable option is the best AED for small businesses, offices, and homes since it’s easy to store and carry from one area to another. It’s simple to set up with CPR coaching and voice prompts to guide you as you treat a sudden cardiac arrest victim, making it an ideal choice for indoor home and community settings.
The ZOLL AED Plus is also a top choice for indoor spaces since it’s the AED with the lowest cost of ownership and least amount of maintenance. At AED.US, you can purchase AED Plus pads and AED Plus batteries for a total of $220.40, both of which last five years, making the total cost of ownership only $44.08 per year. The ZOLL AED Plus also features Real CPR Help®, real-time CPR feedback on the rate and depth of chest compressions, as well as audio prompts and visual icons, making it another great option for users with minimal experience.
The Best AEDs for Outdoor Use
The best AEDs for outdoor use are the Powerheart G5 and HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P/360P and 450P.
The Powerheart G5 provides the rescuer with voice and visual prompts so instructions are easy to understand in high-stress, loud environments. It’s also known for its high performance in harsh settings, meeting military standards with an IP rating of 55. Additionally, the Cardiac Science G5 battery has the highest capacity available, offering 400 shocks and 16 hours of continuous monitoring. This makes it the best AED for remote outdoor environments with slower than average EMS response times, such as offshore drilling, state parks, and any large surface area.
As mentioned above, the HeartSine Samaritan comes with a high moisture rating and dust protection, making it easily transportable and operational in all conditions of use. Built with durability at the forefront, they’re a great option to keep outside public access areas such as schools, parks, public event spaces, and more.
The Best AEDs for Travel
The best AEDs for travel are the HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P, 360P, 450P, and the Defibtech Lifeline Auto. When traveling with an AED, size, weight, and durability are important factors to consider. The HeartSine AEDs and the Defibtech Lifeline are designed to be durable, affordable, and user-friendly – all in the lightest and smallest package available. The Defibtech Lifeline also comes with several essential features, from a highly visible yellow and black color to a convenient handle that makes it easy to carry quickly to the SCA (Sudden Cardiac Arrest) victim who may need a lifesaving shock.
The Best AED for Parents
The best AEDs for parents are the Physio-Control LIFEPAK CR2, ZOLL AED 3, and Philips FRx. Having the best AED for a home to protect your family gives you the peace of mind that you’ll always be ready for an SCA emergency. But how do you choose which is the best? Features we believe parents should focus on include CPR coaching and easily accessible child settings.
Using cprINSIGHT technology, the LIFEPAK CR2 can automatically analyze a sudden cardiac arrest victim and inform a user if a shock is necessary. In addition, the QUIK-STEP electrode pads are designed to be used on both adults and children by turning on child mode with the press of a button. When the defibrillator is in child mode, it delivers lower energy levels that are appropriate for young children without having to change electrodes. Child mode also adjusts CPR coaching to be appropriate for young children.
The ZOLL AED 3 features Real CPR Help® technology, which assesses the rate and depth of chest compressions and delivers real-time visual and auditory feedback to guide users and ensure AHA-compliant CPR. It also utilizes one-step Uni-padz electrodes that work on both adult and child patients, so the untrained bystander can act quickly to help save a life.
Whether you’ve been trained to handle these situations or have never experienced it before, the Philips HeartStart FRx AED is a reliable partner to have nearby. With step-by-step voice coaching, this AED is designed to be ready for use in any environment. By inserting a specific Philips FRx infant/child key, the AED switches into child mode, offering both reduced energy during defibrillation as well as CPR instructions specific to infants and children.
The Best AEDs for Professional Responders
The best AEDs for professional responders are the ZOLL AED 3 BLS, LIFEPAK 1000, and Powerheart G3 Pro. It’s no surprise that professional responders need the roughest and toughest pro model AED on the market. These are the top-rated choices among first responders due to their rich set of features, dependability, durability, customizations, and low maintenance.
ZOLL’s AED 3 BLS is built for use by any rescuer but includes helpful features for trained professionals. This device offers a full ECG screen so the rescuer can view the rhythm and determine any additional steps that may need to be taken. The AED 3 BLS is also programmed with Real CPR Help® technology, which assists rescuers by providing auditory and visual feedback for compressions in real time. It features integrated pediatric rescue, a rugged design built to handle harsh environments, and WiFi connectivity.
The LIFEPAK 1000 offers both a graphical interface as well as a full ECG interface, and incorporates cprMAX™ technology, allowing a trained responder to choose CPR settings for each patient using the best CPR protocol requirements. Before the shock, the CPR interval can be adjusted, making this LIFEPAK AED the only device that can minimize pre-shock pauses and allow responders to continue compressions while the AED charges.
Advanced responders appreciate the Powerheart G3 Pro AED putting them in control of a sudden cardiac arrest event with the added 3-lead ECG cardiac monitoring ability and manual override feature. The backlit color ECG enables the professionals to monitor the patient’s heart rhythm through its RHYTHMx® analysis technology. It tells you information on the status of the patient such as heart rate, ECG waveform, shocks delivered, and records the time into the rescue.
The Best AEDs for Anyone with a Limited Budget
The most important message to take away is that all AEDs are good AEDs. When someone suffers Sudden Cardiac Arrest, also known as ventricular fibrillation, the only treatment is to defibrillate the victim. While some AEDs are better fits for certain environments, any AED can save a life, so the most important step is having an AED on hand when the need arises. For those that can’t afford the cost of a new AED but still want to protect their home or work, recertified used AEDs are the best option. AED.us offers a full line of recertified AEDs with the industry’s longest warranty of four years, so you can rest peacefully knowing you’re protected while staying within the confines of any budget.
At AED.US, our goal is to improve AED placement throughout communities in homes, businesses, parks, and more by helping each individual or organization find the best AED for their needs. If you have questions, give us a call at 800-695-1209 to speak with our experts and we’ll be happy to help.
Last updated January 10, 2023.