Vitalight Mini CO2 Monitor Review

Thursday, August 11, 2022

With masks and vaccines already in my COVID-19 “toolkit”, I decided to purchase a Vitalight Mini CO2 Monitor to test the air quality at indoor locations. I think of it as a potentially life-saving Tamagotchi-like device.

Vitalight Mini CO2 MonitorImportance of a CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) Monitor

Succinctly put by @theRavenApp: “The fresher the air in your school, workplace or shop, the lower the CO2 level, and the less likely you’ll get Covid-19. It’s as simple as that.

Why CO2? The idea is that people in enclosed spaces breathe out CO2… if the room is not ventilated well, these levels will build up, and your chances of re-breathing someone else’s air (and their Covid infection) go higher.

Measured in parts per million (ppm), what’s considered an ideal CO2 level? According to the CDC, readings below 800 ppm are ideal (under FAQ #9 “Can carbon dioxide (CO2) monitors be used to indicate when there is good ventilation?”). Wearing a mask regardless of CO2 level is a good idea.

Pros of the Vitalight Mini CO2 Monitor

  • Lightweight, small (palm-sized) and simple one-button form factor (the clip probably weighs as much as the device!)
  • Handy alarm feature where it will beep if readings exceed safe levels (alarm/sound can be toggled by tapping button twice)
  • Much more affordable ($59.99-$69.99) than an Aranet4 (~$369.99) or other CO2 monitors like CO2 Model C ($269.99) or D ($249.99)
  • Readings refresh every 2 seconds which means faster results compared to an Aranet4 (lowest refresh rate is 1 minute)
  • Green CO2 threshold of 400 – 800 parts per million (ppm) is in line with CDC’s recommendation that readings below 800 ppm are safe
  • USB-C charging port means convenient charging (eg. if your mobile device also uses USB-C then the same cable can be used)

Cons of the Vitalight Mini CO2 Monitor

  • Colour/alarm thresholds are not customizable
  • May need to be manually re-calibrated more often than other CO2 monitors
  • Screen may be difficult to read outside (but really, you’ll mostly be using this device indoors)
  • Higher readings may be less accurate than higher-end CO2 monitors (but acceptable margin of error; excellent comparison review here by Violet Blue)
  • No readings log/history or mobile app

List of Sound Alerts

To help in deciding whether or not to leave sound enabled (tap button twice to toggle sound), below is a list of the various scenarios a sound is emitted:

  • When holding down button to power off device: one beep
  • When the CO2 reading passes into a different threshold (green, yellow, orange, red): two beeps
  • When the CO2 reading is greater than 1000 ppm: two beeps
  • When the CO2 reading is greater than 1500 ppm: continuous beeps for 1 minute


  • If the device shows a ~400 reading indoors, the device will likely need to be manually re-calibrated
    • The calibration settings are reset if the battery completely drains
    • If the device remains charged, the device will attempt to auto-calibrate every 7 days which may lead to inaccurate readings
  • If you want to ensure that the device is powered off (to conserve battery), tap the button once. If the screen turns on then it was in standby mode, hold the button down until it beeps then release and the device will properly power off
  • The carabiner clip can be detached from the device (wiggle loop out and then open carabiner clip)
  • If you buy one consider contributing readings to Raven CleanAir Map! (@theRavenApp)

Operations Overview

  • To turn on screen: tap button once (if device is on but in standby mode, the screen will turn on for 1 minute)
    • If screen doesn’t turn on after tapping button once then the device is off
  • To turn on device: hold button down until screen turns on (there will be no beep)
    • After 35 seconds the reading will stabilize
    • Device enters standby mode if idle for 5 minutes
  • To turn off device: hold button down until a single short beep, let go and device will turn off after a couple of seconds
  • To toggle alarm: tap button twice (speaker icon in top-left corner of screen will appear/disappear)
    • Turning device off and on again resets the alarm setting (default on)
  • To manually calibrate (basic video walkthrough):
    • Bring device outside
    • Ensure the device is already on and showing a reading
    • Hold button down until the screen shows: 8888
    • Tap button quickly 3 times within 3 seconds and the screen will change to: 1230
    • Tap button once and the screen will change to: 400
    • Wait for the screen to change to 200, it will then start counting down to 0 (200 seconds = 3 minutes and 20 seconds)
    • During the countdown try not to be within 3 metres of the device
    • After the countdown PASS will appear on the screen
    • Wait 10 seconds and calibration will be completed
  • Color-coded warning display thresholds:
    • Green: 400 – 800 ppm
    • Yellow: 801 – 1200 ppm
    • Orange: 1201 – 1500 ppm
    • Red: 1501 – 5000 ppm

Where to Buy

The Vitalight Mini CO2 Monitor can be found on ($59.99, before taxes) and Donate a Mask ($69.99, no taxes).

If buying 2 or more units from Donate a Mask, as of August 12, 2022 there are currently discount codes that make the total amount cheaper than Amazon (as it is tax free and free shipping):

“For 2+ units, we sell them cheaper than Amazon! Just use promo codes VITALIGHT2X, VITALIGHT3X, etc. Up to 10X!”

If purchased from Donate a Mask, “100% of the proceeds from your purchase go towards sending free masks to people across Canada who need them”, plus it comes with cool “” branding. Follow @DonateMask for updates on any sales.


  • Dimensions: 3.15 inches (H) x 2.08 inches (W) x 0.71 inches (D)
  • Scope of test: 400-5000 ppm
  • Refresh rate: 2 seconds
  • Working humidity: 0~95% RH
  • Operating Temperature: -10 – 50 degrees Celsius
  • Charging method: USB-C
  • Voltage: 3.7V
  • Number precision: ± 50ppm + 5%
  • Battery capacity: 900mAh lithium ion
  • Charging time: about 2.5 hours
  • Use time: about 7 hours
  • Package includes:
    • 1 Device (+ carabiner clip pre-attached)
    • 1 USB cable (USB-A to USB-C)
    • 1 Instruction Manual

(source: specifications and data sheet on Donate a Mask)