Best AEDs for Home in 2023
What is an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)?
An Automated External Defibrillator or AED, is a medical device used to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
When SCA occurs, first aid training programs indicate use of a protocol called the SCA “chain of survival”. The closest capable bystander should start CPR by delivering chest compressions while at the same time calling out for help in contacting emergency professional services. An AED is then deployed as soon as it is available to stop ventricular fibrillation.
A relative or caregiver who has had proper training in an AED course can be the one to perform CPR immediately and then provide the needed defibrillation to save a life if an AED unit is already present in the home. In fact, when sudden cardiac arrest occurs at home the patient is reliant on family members or caregivers to immediately begin CPR and make the emergency call.
Automated external defibrillators are invaluable medical devices that must be present for the best possible outcome in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest event at home. There simply is not enough time for EMT services to arrive and rescue the victim–waiting at least doubles the risk of organ damage or death.
Related Article: Best Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)
What AED Should I Buy for Home?
These facts beg the question: “What is the best AED machine for home use?”
There is one obvious short answer to this question, according to the recommendations of the FDA. The Philips Heartstart Onsite Home AED, sold at a medium price point of $1,465.00 is the only AED to receive FDA approval for home.
Update: The HeartSine Samaritan 350P AED is now available without a prescription, making it the second FDA approved AED for home. View the samaritan 350p Home AED package.
For the buyer who wants to save money, time, and effort in choosing an AED just for the home, the search can stop here. The price, quality, features and FDA approval make this unit a sure bet, and is our recommended AED for home in 2023.
It should be pointed out that the Philips Heartstart Home AED (Links to Philips Description) has a counterpart, the Heartstart Onsite AED. It is the same machine and carries the same FDA home approval, but is approved for public use and packs with it an extended warranty and various accessories. Depending on its intended location, it is packaged for sale to users in these settings:
These various packages should not confuse the buyer, but rather serve as reassurance that the Philips Home/Onsite AED is of good quality and designed to function well in a variety of settings.
Other AED Choices
There are a number of basic AEDs that are fitting for personal use. Though every AED walks you through a rescue with audible and visual prompts and directions, there are still choices to be made based on several factors:
- Price (including initial purchase and long-term costs depending on accessories and eventual replacement)
- Ruggedness (as indicated by “ingress protection” — IP Rating)
- Features (numerous and varied among available AEDs, from automatic shock, ease of pediatric use, switchable languages, graphics, to audio prompts and quality, etc.)
Our Best Picks
Following the criteria above, we have chosen these AED machines as our favorites:
- Philips HeartStart Home/Onsite AED (AED Superstore’s recommended Home AED)
- Defibtech Lifeline AED
- Physio Control CR2 AED or ZOLL 3 AED
The Onsite AED is the least expensive yet still feature-rich AEDs on the market today. This makes the Onsite AED a “best AED” for home. With a retail price in the $1,200.00 range, purchasers can often find coupons, incentives or deals which bring the price below $1,000.00. The OnSite AED is a nice fit for home use since it has an all-in-one electrode pad cartridge which makes it easy to swap between adult and pediatric pads. It has easy-to-follow instructions, and the handy “i” button to press anytime you need information from the device.
The Defibtech LifeLine AED has only 1 or 2 buttons, depending on whether you choose the fully automatic device or the semi-automatic device. This simplicity makes the Lifeline AED an excellent option for home. In the event of a sudden cardiac emergency, the rescuer simply pushes the on button and the AED walks them through the rescue. If the user has a semi-automatic LifeLine, the AED will tell the rescuer when to push the shock button. If the device is fully automatic, it will instruct the user to not touch the patient, will count down, and then deliver the shock.
Lifeline AED machines do a phenomenal job of providing features an emergency professional would appreciate while being simple enough for home use.
The Physio-Control CR2 and ZOLL 3 AED are two of the best AEDs for users who have children at risk of sudden cardiac arrest at home. These defibrillators have easily identifiable buttons on the front which can be pushed in the event of a child sudden cardiac arrest emergency. The AEDs will dial back the shock to an appropriate level without needing a separate set of electrode pads.
AED For Home FAQ
How Much Does an AED For Home Cost?
The average AED price ranges from $1,200 to around $1,900 with most consumer units falling below $1,600. Prices vary depending on the features which are important to you. Learn more about how much an AED costs here.
One AED has a video screen which actually shows you how to do CPR (Defibtech View). Another allows you to switch back and forth from English to Spanish with a touch of the button (Cardiac Science G5).
A third brand gives you the option of a one-piece Z-shaped pad configuration with hand placement guides and CPR feedback (ZOLL Plus AED). Some are smaller and lighter than others (HeartSine AEDs, Philips OnSite) which are larger (Defibtech, ZOLL, Physio-Control). For a full listing and comparison of all the AEDs and the features of every AED offered through AED Superstore, reference our Ultimate AED Buyer’s Guide.
Who Should Get an AED for Home?
Anyone may need an AED at home, but a home AED is especially valuable for at-risk individuals and those in rural areas.
As mentioned above, the sobering truth is anybody could need an AED at home because SCA can strike anyone at any time, even healthy people who have no history of heart trouble. If you just want to feel more secure in your ability to save those around you, an AED may be a good addition to your home’s safety equipment.
Those considered at risk for cardiac events, or their loved ones, may want to evaluate the benefits of having an AED in their home. The risk of SCA is increased if you:
- have had a previous heart attack,
- received bypass or stent surgery,
- or are known to have a syndrome such as long QT, Marfan’s, or Wolff-Parkinson-White.
If your home is in a rural location or a place that might be hard to reach during certain times of year (such as due to snow in the winter), an AED might make sense. Again, every minute counts, and by the time the paramedics arrive, it may be too late.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of AEDs?
In most cases, health insurance does not cover the cost of an AED, much like they do not cover the cost of a first aid kit, even though the two are health-related. There are rare cases in which insurance companies have helped cover a portion of the cost, but it is not common. Always check with your insurance company if you or someone in your family is considered “at risk” because it never hurts to inquire as to whether they will assist in the purchase.
How do I store my AED at home?
If you choose to place an AED in your home, it should be kept indoors in a location where it’s easy to find and easy to maintain. Monthly checks to ensure it is ready to rescue are recommended, and the AED itself will do more frequent checks and typically alert you with either a visual or audio clue something is amiss.
Remember, proper CPR training and AED training are as important as having the AED device on hand. CPR guidance is especially important as using an AED defibrillator alone is less likely to save a life. Delivering chest compressions and rescue breathing to a family member during an emergency should not be taken lightly. Proper training will prepare you for the crucial moments when you need to start CPR, utilize a portable defibrillator and contact emergency services. Seconds matter when it comes to restoring a normal rhythm to the heart
You’ll also need to keep adult AED pads and pediatric pads fresh and ready to use whether you choose a Philips Heartstart Home defibrillator or any other AED unit. (Note also that while the adult pads for the Philips Heartstart Home AED come without a prescription, the child pads do not.)