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What is the difference between our soft-sided and hard-sided chambers?

Our soft and hard-sided chambers

At Iowa HBOT, we offer hyperbaric treatments in both a soft-sided and hard-sided chamber. When seeking hyperbaric therapy, you may be wondering which chamber is right for you: the soft-sided or the hard-sided? What is the difference between them?

In a very basic explanation, the difference is dosage of the treatment:

  • The soft-sided chamber goes up to 1.3 ATA and you breathe concentrated oxygen (Approx. 87-94% O2). This amount of oxygen at this amount of pressure provides a certain “dosage” of hyperbaric treatment.

  • The hard sided chamber starts at 1.5 ATA and goes up to 3.0 ATA (though typically we don’t go above 2.0 or 2.2 ATA) In this chamber, you have the option of breathing in 100% oxygen through a mask. This higher percentage of oxygen and a higher pressure, provides a higher dosage of treatment compared to the soft sided chamber. See our blog post on the benefits of diving with 100% oxygen.

While there are benefits to be found when being treated in either chamber, you may be guided into choosing one versus the other when considering what (the condition) is encouraging you to seek treatment. For certain conditions, the soft-sided “dosage” is completely appropriate and adequate (and even preferable). For other conditions, the research guides us to recommend the hard-sided chamber for a stronger dosage.

When deciding between which pressure to utilize, we often encourage patients to consider the research.

You can also check out this video from Dr. Jason Sonners of HBOT USA in which he discusses the differences between the two types of chambers:

If you’re still unsure which chamber to utilize, don’t fret! Give us a call at 515-421-4018 and Dr. LoRang can help guide you to the chamber that’s just right for you.

Our hard-sided Fortius420 - EXP hyperbaric chamber
Our hard-sided Fortius420 - EXP hyperbaric chamber

Our soft-sided Vitaeris320 hyperbaric chamber
Our soft-sided Vitaeris320 hyperbaric chamber


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