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- Best overall thermometer: CHOOSEEN Digital Forehead and Ear Thermometer 8-in-1
- Best ear thermometer: Braun Thermoscan 7
- Best oral thermometer: Vicks ComfortFlex Thermometer
- Best forehead thermometer: Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer
- Best thermometer for babies and children: iProven Baby Forehead and Ear Thermometer
- Best smart thermometer: Kinsa Smart Thermometer
- Best no-touch thermometer: iHealth Thermometer PT3
- Best budget thermometer: Vicks SpeedRead V912US Digital Thermometer
With the help of a button, we can get all kinds of information. It is much easier to get a accurate temperature with digital thermometers, which used to take several minutes to get a true reading.
“If you haven’t upgraded your mercury thermometer, now is the time to swap it out for a modern one.”
But with so many types of thermometers on the market, how do you choose the right one? Good question!
We have selected one of every type to highlight key features and things you should consider before choosing yours.
The first thing to consider is how you’re going to use it. Some thermometers are geared toward infants or children, while others are better for adults.
If you prefer oral, ear, forehead, or no contact, you should decide. An ear thermometer is probably not a good choice if you tend to get a lot of earwax. Many thermometers are used multiple times.
You should avoid glass thermometers, which can break, and mercury thermometers, which are dangerous.
When choosing a thermometer, there are other things to consider.
“A Thermometer is used to gauge body temperature. Paying more won’t necessarily buy accuracy. The most accurate thermometers are first rectal and oral. The less sensitive your reading is, the farther you get outside the body.”
Digital is the best option for pacifier and evi strips because they are known to be inaccurate.
Ease of use
Can you get a reading on your temperature in a few minutes? Is it easy to operate or is it difficult to do?
It probably is if it looks too complicated.
Look for things that matter to you.
- Do you need a large display?
- Would a flexible tip be better for your kids?
- Do you want to hear a loud bang or not?
- Is it useful to have a lot of memory?
Pick one that checks off your must-haves.
If you prefer a different method, make sure your digital thermometer has that option.
You may not need anything fancy with the Thermometers loaded with extras. There are many simple digital thermometers that do the job for under $20
If you want to buy two options, you can pay less than you would for a more expensive model.
You can expect to pay more if you want some of the bonus features. There is a money-back guarantee.
If you are interested in inexpensive models, look at product reviews. If possible, check out more than one site.
Consistency is important because every product will have some negative reviews. It is worth considering if a particular pro or con is pointed out by many reviewers.
We all have our preferences. The best temperature for you is not necessarily the best for someone else. We are paying special attention to this article.
- Design. We looked for thermometers that don’t complicate things when you’re looking for clarity. It should be intuitive and easy to use.
- Speed. You or someone you love is sick. You want to know if there’s a fever, and you want to know now so you can take the next steps.
- Readability. You shouldn’t have to turn on a spotlight or squint hard to read a thermometer.
- Accuracy. What’s the point if you can’t trust the reading?
The sellers of these products were not given a heads up. They did not ask or pay for the inclusion in this article.
Another thing to remember is that sales for thermometers are booming, in large part due to COVID-19. Some products may be out of stock right now, but hopefully, they’ll be available again soon.
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting supply and demand. Here is our price guide.
- $ = under $20
- $$ = $20–$50
- $$$ = above $50
Check the prices for current prices.
Our use of the word “best”
All thermometers must pass federal standards.
So really, no thermometer brand should be “more accurate” than another, though a brand may have more or less consumer trust.
But people tend to prefer the features of some thermometers over others. And some types are known to be the most precise in general.
Best overall thermometer
Amazon rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars
Key features: The CHOOSEEN 8-in-1 thermometer is designed for the whole family. With forehead and ear options, you can take someone’s temperature while they relax.
The temperature of the room, bathwater, or even a cup of soup can be measured with this thermometer. That could be useful if you are a caregivers.
The 8-in-1 has a color-coded fever warning system and 35 sets of memory. A lot of people who used it said it was easy to use and read.
It comes with a money-back guarantee and replacement warranty. Two batteries are included.
Considerations: Some people say the batteries die out too quickly, and others have trouble hearing the “ready” beep.
It doesn\’t have a “no contact” feature, so if that\’s important to you, this isn\’t the right choice.
Best ear thermometer
Amazon rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars
Key features: Ear thermometers can be easier for some people to handle than oral thermometers.
With the Braun Thermoscan 7, your results will be displayed in just a few seconds, plus it keeps track of the previous nine readings.
You also get to select the appropriate age group, which offers a better understanding of what the reading means.
Pre-warm the tip for comfort. It has disposable lens filters and batteries. It is easy to read and many users love it.
Considerations: Some people find it annoying that you have to set the age every time you use it. If you have a newborn, your pediatrician will probably advise against an ear thermometer in favor of a rectal, forehead, or underarm device.
Ear canals can interfere with digital ear thermometers, making them unreliable.
Best oral thermometer
Amazon rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars
Key features: Vicks ComfortFlex Thermometer only needs 8 seconds to display your temperature and let you know if you have a fever. The flexible tip makes it easier for little ones, too.
People tend to praise this thermometer for its simplicity, despite being in a high tech age.
Considerations: It can also be used under the arm or rectally. If you need a rectal thermometer, you should have one designated for that purpose alone.
Some people have complained that it is hard to find replacement batteries.
Best forehead thermometer
Amazon rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
Key features: Of all the ways to check for fever, what could be easier than a quick swipe to the forehead? Forehead thermometers are also known as temporal artery thermometers.
“The Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer has an illuminated display, and is able to save the last eight readings, so you don’t have to disturb your kids. One-button programming is very convenient.”
A 9-volt battery is included.
Reviewers applaud it for its accuracy and longevity.
Considerations: It’s pricey and could be a challenge if you’re dealing with fidgety kids. Forehead temperature can be affected by sweat, matted hair, or bandages, so be sure to read the instruction manual carefully.
Best thermometer for babies and children
Amazon rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars
Key features: Babies and toddlers can be fussy and squirmy even when they’re not sick. That can make taking an oral or rectal temperature quite an exasperating task.
The iProven DMT- 489 can give a temperature reading in a second. You can look back over the last 20 readings to see if your child has a high temperature.
You can switch from ear mode to forehead mode with a touch of a button, it has a large display.
People say it is a good option for kids of all ages.
Considerations: It’s on the expensive side and there are some complaints that it has a short lifespan.
Best smart thermometer
Amazon rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars
Key features: This digital thermometer stands out for its ability to take an accurate oral, rectal, or armpit temperature in just 8 seconds or less.
It links to the Kinsa app to track and save temperatures.
- Should you see a doctor?
- health history
- medication is tracked
- Information on illnesses in your area.
- You are taking the kids temperature while on-screen entertainment is playing.
Considerations: The app is free, but you have to buy the Quick Care Smart Thermometer linked here, which is good for oral, underarm, or rectal use, or the Kinsa Smart Ear ($$) thermometer. Both use Bluetooth and work with or without the app.
Best no-touch thermometer
Amazon rating: 4.5. out of 5 stars
Key features: The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the benefits of no-touch temperature taking as a way to minimize the risk of spreading disease. They’re also certainly easy to keep clean.
“The iHealth is a one-button control and can be used on kids and adults. You shouldn’t have to strain your eyes at a large display in the dark.”
When it is ready, you will feel a vibration.
There is a 12-month warranty on the batteries.
Considerations: Distance, environment, and positioning can affect no-touch thermometers. Read the instructions carefully to avoid inaccurate readings.
Best budget thermometer
Amazon rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars
Key features: If what you want is an accurate, no-fuss temperature reading, Vicks SpeedRead is right up your alley. No bells and whistles here, but it gets the job done.
It has a color-coded display, last temperature recall, and automatic shut-off.
You only need 8 seconds to get a temperature, whether you use it under the arm or rectally.
It has batteries and a storage case.
Considerations: Some people caution that it’s hard to find replacement batteries, so you might want to keep some on hand.
What if my thermometer isn’t accurate?
You can find consistency complaints in customer reviews for any thermometer.
If you suspect your temperature is incorrect, contact the manufacturer. Many companies will allow you to exchange or refunds faulty devices.
Who can use a digital thermometer?
Digital thermometers can be used by many people.
Where can you use a digital thermometer?
Most digital thermometers can be used under the tongue, rectally, or under the armpit. The last method is not usually as accurate as the first two.
What are the different types of digital thermometers?
Digital thermometers use heat sensors in the mouth, rectum, or armpit to record the temperature. Digital ear thermometers use an IR ray to measure the temperature in the ear canal.
The temporal arteries are measured using an infrared scanner to determine the temperature of the forehead. Infant pacifiers are also available.
Is it OK to use a mercury thermometer?
Mercury thermometers are not recommended because of the risk of poison.
Digital thermometers are the most accurate way to measure body temperature. There are many types, including oral, rectal, and forehead, plus many that are multifunctional.
You can think about design, features, and price when you decide on the type of thermometer you want.
When you call a doctor, you should check for a high temperature. Having a working thermometer and a few extra batteries on hand can give you some peace of mind.