Review: Ketonix Acetone Breathalyzer – Initial Impressions


Review: Ketonix Acetone Breathalyzer – Initial Impressions

Just added a new tool to my arsenal.  This new toy was the reason I started looking into the whole ketosis and false positive on alcohol breathalyzer things in the first place.

I first came across this as I was wandering around the reddit/keto page where some folks were discussing this contraption.

The general idea behind why the ketonix would be helpful is this:

  • When entering ketosis, we are encouraging the body to utilize fat as fuel rather than carbohydrate (glycogen and glucose)
  • Fat is broken down into three main ketone bodies which the body then uses for energy
    • Beta-hydroxybutyrate: This is what is detected with blood ketone strips
    • Acetoacetate – This is what is detected with the urine ketone strips
    • Acetone – A break down product of acetoacetate which the body gets rid of via exhalation.  Acetone is what the ketonix is detecting and quantifying.

At the time of this writing there still isn’t much information out there about the ketonix, but I figured what the hell… in the spirit of n=1, if this device truly does what it says and accurately measures breath acetone levels which in turn reflects the state of ketosis, then it could end up saving a lot of money and pain from using blood ketone strips, which I am definitely in favor of.

I ordered the device from which is based out of Sweden.

Now I wasn’t entirely sure this wasn’t a scam, but I decided to take a leap of faith after reading through some of the forums and entered my credit card info.

The total came out to $88.07 US Dollars including shipping.  I received it within two weeks nicely packed in a box that included a leather pouch.

The instructions are pretty simple.

  1. Connect to USB port
  2. Wait until LED turns blue
  3. Blow gently into mouthpiece for 10-20 seconds
  4. Read color after 30 seconds

Blue = 0 – 150 nmol/L
Green = 150 – 400 nmol/L (Small)
Yellow = 400 – 930 nmol/L (Moderate)
Red = > 930 nmol/L (Large)

Here is a gentleman that has done a pretty good job documenting his experience with this so far, and he was even kind enough to include a table correlating his findings with actual blood ketone measurements which really caught my attention.

This is the video he made:


I plan to do my own testing and correlating with blood ketones.  I just received my latest batch of ketone strips so hopefully will soon be able to provide a lot of data points to interpret.

Couple things I’ve noticed so far:

  1. The first time using it requires about 20 – 30 minutes to get started.  The lights kept switching to indicate that it is calibrating so I imagine the initial use requires a longer calibration period.
  2. With subsequent uses the ketonix acetone breathalyzer is ready to go in anyhwere between 30 seconds to 2 minutes… and I’m not entirely sure what this depends on.

Stay tuned for my full review…

[UPDATE 5/31/2015:

At this point in time the Ketonix is no longer available on Amazon.  

If you are interested in picking one up the 2015 Ketonix model is the only one available and it is available only on the Ketonix site for $149.]

15 Responses to Review: Ketonix Acetone Breathalyzer – Initial Impressions

  1. Man, great job, this N=1 and review will be useful for a lot of people. If it works well I might buy one also!

  2. sootedninjas says:

    keep as posted. excellent n=1

  3. Mike says:

    The price actually seems reasonable, in comparison to how much the blood ketone test strips are.

  4. Dale says:

    I guess it just uses the USB for power? Looking back at your chart about a year ago*, you would have gotten all yellows except for a couple of greens. So if your cut-off was 0.5, that would mean this device would become a ‘try a little harder’ stick. I’m thinking I’d rather have numbers, even if those numbers had a significant random component. But if 0.5 was your target, this device would keep you on the straight and narrow.


    • BJJ Caveman says:

      Yes… it will be interesting to see how things turn out! Initially I can say right off the bat I’ve been getting the whole spectrum of colors.

    • MITBeta says:

      The device is measuring acetone levels, not BHB levels, so 0.5 acetone may or may not correspond to a much high BHB level.

  5. Mike says:

    I am very interested to know how accurate it is and how it compares daily to the blood test strips. I find with my two scales and the Omron body fat analyzer, they do not always track together. At this point I am hoping my Omron is defective. I am trying to get the Dexa office to schedule my follow up scan soon.

  6. Ash Simmonds says:

    Been about 6 weeks using this now, it correlates very well except it gets blitzed if you’ve had any alcohol in the last ~18 hours.

    I’m yet to score >2.0 blood ketones yet so unsure how it correlates at deeper ketosis levels.

    We’ll see.

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      Thanks for chiming in!

      I’ll let you know once my full review is up… should be in the next couple days… hopefully we’ll be able to compare results.

      Also I’ve been corresponding with the maker of ketonix, and he has some exciting news that he said I could share with my review..

    • MITBeta says:

      Ash, are you seeing reds on the Ketones?

      • Ash Simmonds says:

        Only after drinking. :\

        I think I eat too much protein. I’m never blue, always green/orange – and it tracks well with blood, always 0.3-1.9 – even after days of zero carb, just meat.

  7. MITBeta says:

    I meant to add that I’ve been monitoring with the Ketonix for several weeks and am always at least yellow, but usually red. I don’t have blood ketone strips so I’m looking for more N=1 correlations between blood BHB levels and breath acetone levels.

  8. Beva says:

    I’ve been using this for the past 2 weeks and started with blue, transitioned to green within 24 hours and then been blowing orange and red for the past 10 days solid.

    Usually orange in the morning and then red in the evening. I can tell by the energy surges if in deep ketosis and can predict fairly accurately whether it’s going to be orange or red.

    Also, been keeping the protein low which has helped. This device is great for eating and then checking ketone levels 1-2 hours later to see which foods are going to affect your state. Recommend highly!

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