In this article, we’ll discuss the best AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) in 2023 based on different environments and use cases. These situations include very hot and cold weather, very wet conditions, using indoors, using outdoors, and when traveling. Also, the top AEDs for parents and first responders.
These factors include CPR guidance, durability, user-friendliness, maintenance, and personalization. Click below to jump to the section you want to see or keep reading for our full list:
- Extreme and Cold Weather
- Extreme Moisture
- Indoor Use (Home, Small Business, etc)
- Outdoor Use
- Professional Responders
- On a Budget
- AED Buyers Guide PDF Download
Extreme Heat and Cold Weather
Cold or hot weather can affect the performance of an AED. It can cause problems like draining the battery or issues with the water-based gel in the pads. Operating temperature is the range of temperatures in which an AED can work. For most, this range is 32° to 122°F (0° to 50°C).
You can find the temperature ranges for operating and standby in the technical data or manual. Only two AED brands, ZOLL Medical and Physio-Control, make AEDs that can handle temperatures outside the normal range.
The following models meet these criteria:
- The storage temperature range for ZOLL AED Plus is -22° to 140°F.
- The range for ZOLL AED 3 is -22° to 158°F
- The range for LIFEPAK CR2 and LIFEPAK 1000 is -22° to +140°F
When it comes to moisture, the IP Rating (or Ingress Protection Rating) is the most important factor to consider. It classifies and rates the degrees of protection against the intrusion of solid objects, dust, accidental contact, and water. The higher each of the numbers in an AED’s IP rating, the more protected it is.
Professional rescuers and those housing devices outside or near water should use AEDs with higher IP ratings. The highest-rated 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.
HeartSine AEDs are good for places with water, like marinas, boats, pools, or outdoor workplaces near lakes, ponds, swamps, and springs.
Indoor Use (Home, Small Business, etc)
The HeartSine samaritan PAD 350P, Philips OnSite, and ZOLL AED Plus are leading choices for AEDs suitable for indoor use, each with unique features suitable for different environments.
The HeartSine samaritan PAD 350P is particularly ideal for home use, as it’s available over the counter without the need for a physician’s prescription. This accessibility makes it an excellent option for households. It’s designed for simplicity, with clear voice prompts and straightforward operation, ensuring quick and effective response in emergencies. Its low maintenance and reliable performance make the HeartSine samaritan PAD 350P a top choice for those seeking a user-friendly AED for at-home emergency preparedness.
The Philips HeartStart OnSite is another great choice, especially for individuals with limited experience. It’s compact, easily transported, and well-suited for small businesses, offices, and homes. Features such as CPR coaching, voice instructions, ease of storage, and mobility make it an ideal choice for treating sudden cardiac arrest victims. Additionally, its affordability makes it a practical choice for home use.
Lastly, the ZOLL AED Plus is favored for indoor spaces due to its low cost of ownership and minimal maintenance requirements. The pads and batteries are available for under $300 with a five-year shelf life. This AED is unique for its Real CPR Help® feature, offering real-time feedback on the quality of chest compressions. With helpful audio prompts and visual aids, the ZOLL AED Plus is suitable for users with limited experience, ensuring effective aid during emergencies.
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 visual and voice prompts. This enables instructions to be easy to understand in high-stress, loud environments. Its performance in tough conditions, meeting military standards, and having an IP rating of 55 have made it renowned.
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 for remote outdoor environments with slower than average EMS response times. For example, offshore drilling, state parks, and any large surface area.
As mentioned above, the HeartSine Samaritan comes with a high IP rating, making it easily transportable and functional in all conditions. Because they’re durable, they’re a good choice for outdoor places like schools, parks, and public events.
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 AED are durable, affordable, and user-friendly designs. All in the lightest and smallest package available.
The Defibtech Lifeline has important features like a noticeable yellow and black color and a handle for easy carrying. It can quickly deliver a lifesaving shock to someone experiencing Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
HeartSine AEDs use Pad-Pak technology that incorporates both battery and pads together in one cartridge. In addition, it comes with a carrying case for easy mobility.
The best AEDs for parents are the Physio-Control LIFEPAK CR2, ZOLL AED 3, and Philips FRx. Having the best AED for your home will protect your family and give you the peace of mind. However, it’s often difficult to 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 if a shock is necessary. In addition, the QUIK-STEP electrode pads are designed to be used on both adults and children. When the defibrillator is in child mode, it delivers lower energy level shocks that are suitable for young children. 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. It also delivers real-time visual and auditory feedback to guide users and ensure AHA-compliant CPR. In addition, the one-step Uni-padz electrodes work on both adult and children, allowing the untrained bystander to act quickly.
Whether you have received training for emergency situations or not, the Philips HeartStart FRx AED is highly reliable. The step-by-step voice coaching is suitable for use in any environment. By inserting the Philips FRx infant/child key, the AED switches into child mode. This offers both reduced energy during defibrillation as well as CPR instructions specific to infants and children.
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 the features, reliability, durability, tailoring, and low maintenance.
ZOLL designed the AED 3 BLS for all rescuers and offers trained professionals special features. This medical device displays a full ECG screen, allowing the rescuer to see the heart rhythm and decide on further actions. It also comes with Real CPR Help® technology, which gives real-time auditory and visual feedback for compressions. It features integrated pediatric rescue, a rugged design built to handle harsh environments, and WiFi.
The LIFEPAK 1000 offers both a graphical interface and full ECG interface. It also incorporates cprMAX™ technology, allowing a trained responder to choose CPR settings for each patient. The LIFEPAK AED is the only device that can minimize pre-shock pauses by adjusting the CPR interval before the shock. This allows responders to continue compressions while the AED charges.
Advanced responders appreciate the Powerheart G3 Pro AED putting them in control of a cardiac emergency. The added 3-lead ECG cardiac monitoring and manual override feature allows responders to react to any situation. The backlit color ECG enables the professionals to monitor the patient’s heart rhythm through its RHYTHMx® analysis technology. It records the time into the rescue, and the status of the patient such as, heart rate, ECG waveform, shocks delivered. Unfortunately this item is discontinued by the manufacturer but refurbished options are available.
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 fit for certain environments, any AED can save a life. The most important step is having an AED on hand when the need arises.
Recertified used AEDs, are the best option for those that can’t afford a new AED but still want one. AED.US offers a full line of life saving recertified AEDs with the industry’s longest warranty of four years. Rest peacefully, knowing that the AED will protect you and you’re still staying within any budget.
At AED.US, our goal is to improve AED placement in communities, homes, businesses, parks, and more. We aim to strengthen the chain of survival 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 for further help.
Written by Blaire Czarniecki
Customer Service Director
Last Updated February 6th, 2024