HBOT Therapy Blog

What are the Two Types of Hyperbaric Chambers? A Quick Overview
July 5, 2024 by Gregory Penn

What are the Two Types of Hyperbaric Chambers? A Quick Overview

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a revolutionary treatment that enhances the body’s natural healing processes through increased atmospheric pressure and pure oxygen. At the core of HBOT are hyperbaric chambers, essential for delivering this therapeutic treatment.

These chambers are classified based on their capacity (number of patients they can accommodate) and their design (construction material and oxygen delivery method).

The two primary types are monoplace and multiplace chambers.

Understanding these two types is crucial for anyone considering HBOT, whether for personal use or within a medical facility.

Classification Based on Capacity: Monoplace and Multiplace Chambers

Monoplace Hyperbaric Chambers


Monoplace chambers are designed to accommodate a single patient at a time. These chambers are typically long, tube-like structures made of clear acrylic or other robust materials. The patient lies on a bed that slides into the chamber, which is then sealed and pressurized.

Key Features

  1. Single-Person Use: As the name suggests, monoplace chambers are intended for individual use, making them a more private and often more comfortable option for patients.
  2. Material: Commonly constructed from clear acrylic, which allows medical personnel to monitor the patient easily. Some models may also use steel for added durability.
  3. Pure Oxygen Environment: The entire chamber is filled with 100% oxygen, which is different from multiplace chambers where patients breathe oxygen through masks or hoods.
  4. Pressure Levels: Capable of reaching the necessary pressure levels required for effective HBOT, typically around 2 to 3 times the normal atmospheric pressure.


  • Privacy and Comfort: Patients may feel more at ease in a monoplace chamber due to the private, enclosed environment.
  • Visibility: The clear acrylic construction allows for continuous patient observation and interaction with medical staff.
  • Effectiveness: Direct exposure to 100% oxygen can be highly effective for certain medical conditions.


  • Limited Use: Only suitable for one patient at a time, which can be a limitation in busy medical settings.
  • Cost: Monoplace chambers can be expensive to operate due to the high oxygen consumption.

Multiplace Hyperbaric Chambers


Multiplace chambers are larger and designed to treat multiple patients simultaneously. These chambers are more complex and are typically found in hospitals and specialized treatment centers.

Key Features

  1. Multiple-Person Use: Can accommodate several patients at once, often seated in chairs or lying on stretchers.
  2. Material: Constructed from high-strength steel and other durable materials to withstand higher pressures and accommodate more people.
  3. Oxygen Delivery: Patients breathe oxygen through masks or hoods, while the chamber itself is filled with normal air.
  4. Pressure Levels: Capable of achieving high-pressure levels required for HBOT, similar to monoplace chambers.


  • Efficiency: Allows for the treatment of multiple patients at the same time, making it ideal for busy medical facilities.
  • Versatility: Suitable for a wider range of medical conditions and treatment protocols due to the flexibility in oxygen delivery systems.
  • Cost-Effective: More patients can be treated simultaneously, potentially reducing overall operational costs.


  • Complexity: More complex to operate and maintain compared to monoplace chambers.
  • Patient Interaction: Less privacy for patients, as multiple individuals are treated together.

Classification Based on Design: Hard and Soft Chambers

Soft and Hard Chamber

Hard Hyperbaric Chambers

Hard chambers, also known as rigid chambers, are constructed from materials such as steel or acrylic. These materials allow the chamber to withstand higher pressures and provide a controlled environment for HBOT.

Key Features

  • Construction: Built from durable materials like steel or acrylic.
  • Durability: High durability and longer lifespan due to robust construction.
  • Pressure Levels: Capable of achieving high pressure levels, essential for effective HBOT.
  • Usage: Commonly found in hospitals and medical facilities due to their durability and reliability.


  • Longevity: Hard chambers generally have a longer lifespan compared to soft chambers.
  • Effectiveness: Capable of reaching higher pressures, making them suitable for a wider range of treatments.


  • Cost: Higher initial investment and maintenance costs.
  • Portability: Less portable due to their rigid construction.

Soft Hyperbaric Chambers

Soft chambers, also known as flexible or portable chambers, are made from high-grade, flexible materials such as nylon or polyurethane. These chambers are easier to set up and move, making them suitable for home use or smaller clinics.

Key Features

  • Construction: Made from flexible materials like high-quality nylon or polyurethane.
  • Portability: Easier to set up and move compared to hard chambers.
  • Pressure Levels: Generally reach lower pressure levels compared to hard chambers, but still effective for certain treatments.
  • Usage: Suitable for home use and certain medical applications.


  • Cost: Lower initial investment and maintenance costs.
  • Convenience: Easier to transport and set up, providing flexibility for users.


  • Durability: Generally have a shorter lifespan compared to hard chambers.
  • Pressure Limits: Limited to lower pressure levels, which may not be suitable for all treatments.

Choosing the Right Hyperbaric Chamber

Selecting the right hyperbaric chamber involves considering several factors, including the number of patients to be treated, patient comfort, specific medical needs, and budget. Additionally, understanding the differences between monoplace, multiplace, hard-shell, and soft-shell chambers is crucial for making an informed decision.

Factors to Consider

  1. Treatment Volume
    • Monoplace Chambers: Ideal for facilities that treat one patient at a time, offering privacy and a controlled environment.
    • Multiplace Chambers: Suitable for treating multiple patients simultaneously, making them efficient for busy medical centers.
  2. Patient Comfort and Privacy
    • Monoplace Chambers: Provide a private, enclosed space that can be more comfortable for some patients, especially those who may feel claustrophobic in a shared environment.
    • Multiplace Chambers: Less private but allow for patient interaction, which can be beneficial in certain therapeutic settings.
  3. Budget
    • Hard-Shell Chambers: Typically have higher initial costs due to their durable construction and capability to withstand high-pressure levels, but they offer a longer lifespan and can be a more cost-effective investment over time.
    • Soft-Shell Chambers: Generally less expensive upfront and offer portability, making them a viable option for home use or smaller clinics with limited budgets.
  4. Specific Medical Needs
    • High-Pressure Requirements: Conditions requiring higher pressure levels will benefit more from hard-shell chambers, which can achieve and maintain these levels effectively.
    • Lower Pressure Treatments: Soft-shell chambers are suitable for conditions that do not require extremely high pressures and provide a more flexible and portable solution.


Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) relies on two primary types of hyperbaric chambers: monoplace and multiplace, each with distinct advantages based on the treatment setting and patient needs. Monoplace chambers offer privacy and are ideal for individualized treatments, while multiplace chambers provide efficiency for treating multiple patients simultaneously.

Choosing the right hyperbaric chamber involves considering treatment volume, patient comfort, specific medical needs, and budget constraints. Selecting the appropriate chamber optimizes the delivery of HBOT, enhancing patient outcomes and improving care quality.

Hyperbaric chambers play a vital role in HBOT, providing a controlled environment for therapeutic oxygen delivery at increased pressures. They contribute significantly to regenerative medicine and the healing potential of oxygen therapy, whether in hospitals or for home-based treatments.

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