7 Best Digital Thermometers
If you are a mother, then you must have had a sick child at one point or the other, and you must agree that having a digital thermometer is a definite must for every household.
A thermometer is a device that allows you to measure the temperature using a specific type of sensor that works on particular parts of the body. This means that you cannot just put it anywhere for a temperature check. In most cases, it will be the underarms or forehead.
When you have a sick person in the house, a medical thermometer will help you identify the abnormal body temperatures, and it also lets you know if someone has a fever or not. The potential for a medical issue that warrants a professional’s involvement will be determined quite early with a thermometer.
Contrary to popular belief, thermometers are useful to people of all ages, not just small children. However, you will find that those who use them the most are infants, pregnant women, and people dealing with pre-existing medical conditions such as lung disease, a weak immune system, heart complications, or cancer.
The problem with such conditions is that a high fever can increase the risk of worsening the condition, and it may even lead to death, so they need constant monitoring.
Furthermore, having a fever could indicate the presence of an infection in the body, which will allow doctors and other professionals to begin diagnosis and treatment.
This article guides you with information like, how do they work?, the most recommended ways of measuring temperature with a thermometer, features, its types available in the market, a comprehensive buying guide and FAQ. Our top 7 best digital thermometer recommendations are also listed in the article below.
Top 7 Best Digital Thermometers
Our Top Pick
3-in-1 Infrared technology
The best in terms of quality and Ergonomics
Best for young children
The Best for Babies, Infants, and Toddlers
How Do They Work?
In recent days, thermometers have become quite easy to read. In the past, people had to rely on a mercury thermometer that required someone with a little bit of experience and know-how about them.
The new types of thermometers will provide readings on an easy to read digital display screen that you can comfortably understand in your home.
Now, depending on the settings, you can either find these readings in Fahrenheit and Celsius. To obtain the correct measurement, ensure to turn on the thermometer and place it on the recommended body part, either the forehead, the rectal, or the underarm or even orally.
Once it is placed, do not keep moving about till it makes an alert sound or till an appropriate temperature is recorded on the screen.
It is, however, essential to ensure that the thermometer is always clean before using it. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure you are correctly using the thermometer so that it can give you accurate results.
It is also recommended that you check the temperature 2-3 times before deciding on the correct reading so you can be 100% sure.
Most digital thermometers will use electronic heat sensors or infrared light to measure and record the body temperature from the mouth, forehead, rectum, or ear. The most recommended measurement is through the mouth or the rectum, as these tend to give the most accurate readings.
Again, depending on the device you have, digital thermometers typically give these results in just a few minutes. But if you have just had a meal and you want to be sure of the reading, ensure to wait 15 minutes because this can impact the reading.
If you are going to measure your child via the rectum, it is highly recommended that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid causing too much discomfort and to also make the thermometer accurate in its reading.
The Most Recommended Ways of Measuring Temperature With a Thermometer
Behind the ear method:
As the name suggests, this is a measurement of the temperature by placing the thermometer behind the ear. Please note that if the thermometer says behind the ear, it should strictly be done behind the ear and not inside the ear.
Thermometers that use this method are supposed to be placed against the skin on the ear for optimal comfort and minimal irritation.
The only downside to this method is that it is not always consistent, because taking measurements outside the body can be affected by various factors such as the environment, sweat, clothing, and heat changes.
You must also wait for the ear to be in the normal temperature and comfortable before taking the temperature, which may take a few minutes to achieve.
Temporal artery or forehead method:
The thermometers that use this method usually make use of infrared lights to relay the readings from the thermometer. This is one of the best ways to take the temperature readings as the thermometer rarely ever gets into contact with the body.
This method is designed for optimal comfort. It is perfect for children that are uncomfortable or unable to use the oral or rectal method.
Since this is an external temperature measurement, it may be affected by external factors such as sweat, heat, temperature, and even clothing.
These may alter the temperature readings, so be sure to keep the forehead clear. If it had been covered, give it time to breathe before using the thermometer.
This is one of the most popular methods in the market today. Healthcare professionals and even parents commonly use it. It is considered one of the best and most accurate methods of checking the temperature.
The thermometers that use this method will take the temperature using metal or heat sensing by placing and holding the thermometer below the tongue. The metal then measures the body temperature from moment to moment and looks for the best and most stable signal.
However, for it to correctly and accurately measure the temperature, the user must be able to hold it under their tongue and keep the mouth closed. This is not always possible and easy with small children.
If you have been eating and drinking, wait 15 minutes before taking the temperature using this method.
As mentioned earlier, this is not an ideal method for infants, toddlers, and newborns as they cannot hold still, plus, it may become a danger to their health if there is too much movement and crying as you are trying to take their temperature. Use it on adults and teenagers.
This is the best, safest, and most accurate method of measuring temperatures, especially for very young children. As the name suggests, this is inserted anally to take the body temperature.
The thermometers that use this method normally have a blunt, short, and rounded tip. It is inserted in the rectum carefully without causing any discomfort or injury to the soft tissue and also minimizes pain.
Because of its accuracy and safety, this is considered the best method to use on newborns, young children, and toddlers.
Almost everyone has used this method at one point or another. Checking your temperature by placing the thermometer under your arm is one of the most commonly used methods in the world.
What you do is, place the thermometer under your arm, then close it till it gives an accurate measurement of your temperature.
Though popular, it is not the most accurate and recommended method to use and has become less frequent. This is because it is believed to be less reliable compared to the other methods listed above.
The reason for this is that the underarm is affected by many things such as body movement, sweating, varying temperature zones, and hair.
Features of Thermometers
Nowadays, digital thermometers have replaced the old mercury thermometers. This is because a digital thermometer allows you to take measurements electronically and provides feedback through a digital display. This is much better than trying to read the mercury level of the mercury thermometer.
Now to make the digital medical thermometer perfect for you, look for one that offers the following features;
Backlight display screen – For you to read the numbers accurately, look for a thermometer that has a large display screen and a backlight so you can be able to read the temperature even at night.
Alert signal – This is perfect because it is a buzzer or a beeping sound that goes off when the allotted time has elapsed.
It lets the user know that they can now read the thermometer as the temperature of the patient has been recorded. This is perfect, especially for the underarm method since you do not have to sit there the whole time waiting for the reading or to guess when the temperature has been arrived at.
You simply insert it on the user and leave it till you hear a beep.
Some thermometers come with built-in memories that can allow you to check the last several temperatures taken. This is perfect for tracking the progress of your patient as it gives a history of how they are doing.
Color changes for temperature warnings:
Some digital thermometers change color on the display whenever the temperature is over a certain number or when it is very high. In most cases, the backlight part of the thermometer will turn red, and let you know that things are not good.
The faster the thermometer is at taking readings, the better. This is because you will be able to quickly identify the temperature of the sick person and take appropriate measures to ensure their well-being.
Fever is a leading cause of death, and if you can identify that someone has a high fever quickly, the faster it will be for you to take them to the hospital.
Some thermometers, however, take too long to record the temperature, and this is not ideal. Choose one that is very fast. It could save a life.
Long battery life:
They do operate on battery. Some use button cell batteries, while others use standard AAA or AA batteries. Whichever one you use, battery life is important, and some thermometers do last a very long time.
It is, however, still a good idea to keep a separate pair of batteries just in case the thermometer runs out. This will save you time when you need to buy new batteries, and there is an emergency. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Though a thermometer that comes with many additional features can be tempting to choose, having one that has a high level of accuracy is much better and reliable. This should be the most crucial point to consider when buying a thermometer.
There are many thermometers in the market that take the temperature orally and through the rectum. They tend to be the most accurate and most trusted because of their technology to measure the temperature consistently after multiple readings.
To get the most accurate readings on a thermometer always wait a little longer to take the reading, because the thermometer will have identified the most precise temperature on the user.
Consider the safety of the user before buying a thermometer. Different thermometers use different methods to check the temperature, and you may end up with a difficult situation in your hands if you have a complicated patient.
For infants and newborn babies, an ear or rectum or forehead thermometer would be ideal. At the same time, for adults and people who can be able to sit still, a tongue or underarm thermometer will be just fine.
Fahrenheit or Celsius:
Thermometers measure the temperature using these 2 units. You must consider the one that you like most and the one that is easiest for you to understand. You do not need a situation where you keep doing the math conversions when you urgently need to know how hot your child is.
Types of Thermometers
There are many types of medical thermometers that can be used to measure body temperature.
Depending on the one you choose, thermometers measure temperature from different parts of the body, and each method of measurement is specific to that thermometer. Hence, be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions before using it in your way.
Digital forehead: As the name suggests, this is a thermometer that uses the forehead method to measure the temperature.
Digital ear thermometer: This one takes temperature measurements by placing the thermometer behind the ear or inside the ear.
Digital sticks: These measure the temperature by placing them under the arm.
Pacifier thermometers: These are perfect for infants and are considered a comfortable alternative to most other types of thermometers.
They normally resemble a baby’s pacifier, and in most cases, they give accurate results. Still, they are not recommended as their accuracy varies depending on whether the baby just ate or if it is moved around a lot. And also, the baby may never be able to sit still for it to give a reading.
Buying Guide For Thermometers
With so many options in the market, you may be spoilt for choices and wonder which is the best for your child or sick patient.
Now, before we even look at the factors to consider when buying the best digital thermometer, there are a couple of considerations you will need to make;
- How old are your children? The age of your child will come in very handy when deciding on which thermometer to buy. This is because, as mentioned earlier, with the different measuring methods, you can only use specific thermometers on children of a certain age. For example, you do not expect to use a rectal kind of thermometer on a teenager, but this would be perfect for a toddler or newborn. Likewise, a tongue thermometer would not be ideal for a baby or toddler.
- Which is the best time to take the readings? For night readings, the ear and forehead thermometers are perfect. This is because you will not require to have the child awake and involved while doing it. They are also the most convenient if you have small children that require constant temperature checks.
- Who will be using the thermometer? Some thermometers can only be used by specific people in the household, such as young children alone, while adults can only use others. Consider this point when buying a thermometer as you may need to purchase one that is ideal for everyone in the house so you can save on cost.
Factors to consider:
Now, when it comes to choosing the best thermometer, it is important to understand which is the best one and most suited for your needs. As seen above, different thermometers use different methods to take the temperature, and this can significantly influence the choice.
Your biggest concern should be accurate reading because what you need is an accurate reading of the temperature at a specified time.
You should also be concerned about the comfort of the user. At the same time, you take the temperature, so look out for thermometers that endeavor to make the whole process as comfortable as possible, especially for very young children.
Top 7 Best Digital Thermometers
1. Omron MC 246 Digital Thermometer – Our Top Pick
The Omron MC 246 Digital Thermometer is a great product to have in your home because it offers very accurate results and a very fast reading as well. It is one of the most trusted digital thermometers and one of the best thermometer brands in India.
- You can use it on your underarm, tongue, or rectum to check on the fever level. It gives you options and allows you to use it on different people in the household, from infants to grown ups that need their temperatures checked.
- Beeper: This thermometer comes with a beeper that will alert you when the right temperature reading has arrived. It will also give a beep if the fever is too high, and the patient requires medical attention.
- Accuracy: It is, in fact, one of the most accurate thermometers in the market today, with an accuracy degree of ±0.1-degree Celsius (This is equivalent to 32.0 to 42.0 degrees Celsius).
- Memory: It can keep data from previous temperature checks, which is perfect because you can easily keep a good record of how the user’s fever has been behaving over a couple of days or weeks,
- Auto shut button: Once you are done with the thermometer, it goes off on its own, which conserves the battery and keeps it working a long time.
- It is very easy to use.
- It is water-resistant for simple cleaning.
- It is very reasonably priced and gives you value for your money.
- Some times it can be difficult to change the scale.
2. Dr. Trust Infrared Forehead Thermometer – 3-in-1 Infrared technology
This is one of the best and most trusted thermometers in the market today. It is a non-contact thermometer with a wide variety of features that everyone with a small child will appreciate and use confidently. It is the best baby thermometer in India.
- A non-touch – 3-in-1 Infrared technology: This is one of the best things ever. The thermometer is designed to take temperatures of different body surfaces from a distance. This means that even if your child is asleep or restless, you can still be able to take the temperature.
- Fast results – It is swift and will give the results in under 3 seconds.
- Perfect for the whole family – These thermometers can be used by both the old and the young. You can even use it comfortably with your newborn.
- Switch Between °F &°C – You can be able to use the degree measurement that you are comfortable with and one that you understand quickly.
- Memory storage- It can store data in its memory that you can easily refer to whenever you need to check on the progress of a patient. This is perfect as you can even take it to the doctor for further analysis and examination.
- LCD display and color-coded results – This thermometer will show the results on an LCD display screen that also comes with color-coded results for faster understanding. A green light indicates that everything is normal, while red shows that the temperatures are very high.
- Person and object mode switches – This feature allows you to switch easily from object mode to person mode. What this means is that if you want to measure the temperature of let’s say the baby’s bathwater or formula, you simply switch on object mode, and if you want to measure the temperature of the baby, you simply switch on person mode.
- It is very accurate, and you can rely on its results explicitly.
- It can be used both by objects as well as people.
- Has color-coded and LCD display.
- Very simple to use.
- No negative points observed so far.
3. Hicks MT-401R Digital Thermometer – Water Resistant
If you are looking for a thermometer that will give the most accurate results, easier storage, and reasonably priced, then look no further than the Hicks MT-401R Digital Thermometer. It shall not disappoint.
- It is swift and will virtually read the temperature in under 10 seconds.
- It has a fever line technology that can indicate both standard and high fever. This inclines towards the red when the fever is high, and towards green when the temperature is normal.
- The accuracy of this thermometer is very high and reliable.
- It comes with a buzzer that will alert you when it has finished taking the temperature, and you can be able to read it, plus whenever the temperature is very high, the buzzer will go off to signal danger.
- It is water-resistant. This is great because you can clean it freely without wondering whether it will get damaged or not.
- It comes with a battery replacement option. This enables you to replace the batteries in case they run out, and you do not have time to run and buy any other batteries urgently.
- It uses both Celsius and Fahrenheit, which allows you to choose the one that you are most comfortable with.
- It can keep a record of temperature readings for easier monitoring and control.
- It is easy to use.
- It has a buzzer, which indicates that the temperature reading has been done.
- It has an extra battery option for quick replacements.
- It is very accurate.
- No fear of mercury poisoning.
- It is very fast and can be able to give a reading in under 10 seconds.
- Measuring through the rectum can be a bit uncomfortable for most people.
4. TECHICON Digital Oral Thermometer
The TECHNICON Yes Plus Medical Digital thermometer is easy to use as you simply have to place its tip under the tongue or arm. It proves to be the best alternative to mercury thermometers. Hence, preventing unwanted hazards and making it safe to use. Moreover, you get accurate readings within just a few seconds.
- It comes with a soft tip that can be easily placed under the tongue or arm.
- It provides accurate readings in 10 seconds.
- It features a flexible alarm tip that beeps after the temperature is recorded.
- Suitable for kids and adults.
- Beeps when the reading is recorded.
- No hazards, safe to use.
- It beeps rapidly if the temperature is above the normal range.
- The quality of thermometer could be better
5. Dr.odin Infrared Thermometer – The best quality and Ergonomics
When it comes to the design and look of a thermometer, it doesn’t get better than the Dr.odin Multi-Function Infrared Thermometer. It is designed well; it is ergonomic and can be used by anyone in the family. This is what we call value for money.
- A non-contact detection: The thermometer is designed to take temperatures of different body surfaces from a distance. This means that even if your child is asleep or restless, you are still able to take the temperature.
- Body and object switch – You can be able to make a switch easily when trying to take the temperature of a person or an object. This means that the thermometer easily checks people and anything else you would like to check, such as the bathwater for a child.
- Switch between °C and °F – This thermometer allows you to easily switch and read the temperature using both measurement angles for excellent and most accurate results.
- Three color display – It comes with an LCD screen that displays the results in 3 different colors.
- Memory – The memory easily stores data that has already been read and ensures that you can be able to use this for progressive reviews.
- It is non-touch detection, which is perfect for the whole family.
- It is very accurate.
- Has an LCD- screen and a 3-color display of the results.
- It has a memory that is used to store data for progressive reviews.
- It does not have a backlight.
6. Rossmax TG100 Thermometer – Best for young children
This is a great thermometer to use in the house, and in fact, it is very common. This is because you can use it on your underarm to check the temperature which is very easy to do, and it will always give very accurate results;
- Fever alarm – It will beep whenever the temperature goes very high, to indicate that the patient is sick and requires immediate medical attention.
- Celsius to Fahrenheit switch – This thermometer allows you to switch easily between the 2 degrees and gives you the freedom to choose the one you would like to use.
- Low battery indicator – It will clearly show you that the battery is about to die so you can be able to charge it. Most thermometers do not have this option, and it can easily run out of battery before you have been able to check whether your child has a fever or not.
- Auto shut-off – When you are done taking the temperature, this thermometer automatically shuts itself off to preserve the battery.
- It is very fast and will take temperature readings within 60 seconds.
- It is perfect for children as well as adults.
- It is easy to use.
- It is easy to keep clean.
- It always alerts you with a beep.
- Reasonably priced.
- It does not have a backlight.
7. Nurb Infrared Digital Ear Thermometer – The Best for Babies, Infants, and Toddlers
If you happen to have a newborn baby, a toddler, or an infant, then this is the thermometer that you shall need in your home. It is explicitly designed to ensure that small children are comfortable as you take their temperatures.
- High-quality product – This thermometer is safe to use, healthy, and effective. It is made using the most advanced infrared sensor technology that ensures excellent detection of in-ear temperatures, and it comes with some ear-muffs to prevent cross-infection and the spread of bacteria.
- Accuracy – This is a very accurate thermometer + / – 0.2 degrees Celsius or a + / – 0.4. Fahrenheit. This means that it is very accurate, and you can safely rely on its results.
- Memory function – It can store data for future use and review.
- Easy to use- It is designed easily, and all you need to do is press a button, and it is always ready to give the temperature levels. It has 2 function keys for your use.
- Made of high quality and long-lasting materials.
- It is non-touch detection, which means that you can use it for the whole family.
- It is very accurate.
- It only takes 2 seconds to detect the temperature.
- It has a memory function for saving data.
- It does not have a backlight.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. After taking the temperature with the thermometer, why does the temperature keep rising?
This is common to most thermometers in the market. The reason is that, after the thermometer has completed checking the temperature, it is still sensitive to temperature increases. Before using the thermometer, follow the following steps, so you do not have inaccurate figures.
Keep the thermometer and the patient in the same room for at least 20 minutes before taking their temperature. Also, avoid using the thermometer in a cold environment.
Do not measure on parts of the body that have cooled or have been heated by drinks or food.
If you can, use oral or rectal thermometers since they give the most accurate results.
If you have an underarm thermometer, keep it still under the arm and very close to the body until the thermometer beeps that it has measured the temperature.
2. How accurate are thermometers?
Thermometers are generally very accurate. In most cases, the degree of accuracy is normally between ±0.2ºF or ±0.1ºC. This means that you can generally be able to rely on them all the time.
You should, however, note that taking the temperature of your child or a sick patient doesn’t necessarily allow you to continue and give a treatment cause. Thermometers are meant to indicate that something is wrong merely.
If you have a patient with a high-temperature reading, ensure to seek medical attention for further evaluation and diagnosis, because it is always a sign that something is wrong. The doctor will then be able to come up with a prognosis on how to treat the infection or underlying medical condition.
3. Must I put the thermometer under my arm to check the temperature?
Now, as much as this is the most common method of checking body temperature using the thermometer, you should know that it is, in fact, one of the most less accurate methods as well.
When you measure the temperature using the underarm, it is normally affected by many things such as body movement, sweating, varying temperature zones, and hair. As a result, this is not always the most accurate reading.
You may need to take the temperature a few more times and get the average reading to know how high or low the patient’s temperature is.
4. How long does it take to get the reading from a thermometer?
Each thermometer has its speed level. Some are fast, while others are slow. If you want to do a quick check, ensure to buy a very fast thermometer that will ensure you get the most accurate reading in the shortest time possible.
However, a thermometer should never take more than 5 minutes to give you a reading. If it does that, it may be faulty, and you must never rely on the interpretations given by such a device.
A quick point to note here if your patient has had a drink or had some food just before taking their temperature, it is advisable to wait a few minutes before using the thermometer as this may affect the reading accuracy.
5. Does the thermometer require refrigeration?
In the past, and when people used mercury thermometers, there was a rule that they must always be kept in refrigerators. However, modern thermometers do not require refrigeration as they are designed to be stored at room temperature.
6. Must I always use a cotton pad when using the thermometer? How often should I clean it?
Using a cotton pad before checking the temperature with a thermometer is very common, especially in hospitals where many people use the same thermometer.
Thermometers such as those used in the ear, in the rectum or the mouth must always be used together with the cotton pad to clean the area and even disinfect it. You must always clean the thermometer before using it on every new person.
Keeping it clean will ensure that it is always hygienic, and it will not transfer germs from one person to another.
It is, however, important to always follow the manufacturer’s advice when using the thermometer and when it comes to hygienic practices because there may be some specific instructions concerning its clean up that you may be unaware of.
7. How do I store my thermometer?
If you bought the thermometer with a protective cover, it is recommended that you store it in that cover at all times. Also, ensure not to expose it to extreme temperatures as this may affect its performance. Simply store it under room temperature for accurate results.
8. How does a digital thermometer work?
A digital thermometer works on the principle of change in electrical resistance with the change in temperature. Electrical resistance is directly proportional to the temperature, i.e., a rise in temperature will increase the resistance.
The thermometer will pass a voltage through an electrode and measure the current that will, in turn, change the temperature. It comes with a microchip that converts the measurement into a temperature reading, which is displayed on the digital display of the thermometer.
9. How do you use a digital thermometer?
There are three ways in which you can use a digital thermometer: oral, rectal, and axillary.
This means that you need to place the tip of the thermometer under the tongue (oral), under the armpit (axillary) or in the rectum (rectal). You will then have to wait for a few seconds or minutes till the thermometer beeps. The readings will be displayed on the digital display.
10. Can we wash digital thermometer?
Yes, the tip of the digital thermometer can be washed using soapy water and then rinsed with clean water. It can also be wiped using alcohol and a clean cloth.
11. How do you disinfect an oral thermometer?
The best way to disinfect an oral thermometer is by wiping the tip with alcohol. You can dip the tip in a cotton ball soaked in alcohol or simply use alcohol wipes. Allow the alcohol to dry completely and then rinse it with cold water before use.
Any parent will tell you that having a thermometer is an absolute must in every household as it will make the difference between saving a life or not. Our pick – Omron MC 246 Digital Thermometer, Dr. Trust Infrared Forehead Temporal Artery Thermometer, and Rossmax TG100 Thermometer.
Ensure always to buy the most accurate and reliable thermometers so you can get the right results every time you use it. Do not compromise on quality as this may compromise on the results you shall obtain from the thermometer.