Oxygen supply systems may be divided into constant and variable performance systems. As the variable performance systems are widely used, it is relevant to investigate the variation in performance between devices and the influence of oxygen supply on the inspired oxygen fraction. Data were collected from 10 healthy volunteers during the use of one constant performance system and four variable performance systems at different gas flows and inspired oxygen fractions. A thin sampling catheter was placed in the nasopharynx to allow the measurement of the end-tidal oxygen fraction. When oxygen was supplied to variable performance systems, end-tidal oxygen fraction values measured in this way varied less and were more easily quantifiable than inspired oxygen fraction. End-tidal oxygen fraction was used to calculate inspired oxygen fraction. With the variable performance systems, inspired oxygen fraction varied considerably between subjects whereas a constant and equal rise was found for each subject with the fixed performance system. A large nasal catheter was capable of delivering the highest inspired oxygen fraction, whereas the Venturi mask delivered the most precise inspired oxygen fraction. We found oxygraphy useful in the interpretation of measurements made in patients receiving unknown inspired fractions of oxygen.