Best Digital Thermometer Reviews and Ratings

    Digital thermometers are the easiest and safest way to take your own temperature and that of your infant, toddler, child, or teen. There are so many choices out there that it can definitely be a hard decision when it comes to what type to choose and how much you should spend.

    Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of choosing a digital thermometer over glass mercury or alcohol-filled units, the different types of methods for reading temperature, features to watch out for when buying, and our list of recommended digital thermometers that are currently available.

    Benefits of Using a Digital Thermometer

    1. Convenient/Speed of Use

    A traditional glass thermometer takes minutes in order to get a stable reading. For this reason, when you have a terribly high or low reading, you’re often required to take two or three more readings just to be sure. Most digitals are ready to use within seconds and take little more than a minute to beep or light up, signalling they’re finished. Even when taking multiple readings, the digital is several times faster than a glass-filled unit.

    2. Environmentally Responsible

    Mercury is very toxic to humans and all animal life on our planet. It’s a heavy liquid that doesn’t degrade over time like many household chemicals do. Worse, in order to get the most accuracy possible, the glass containing the mercury has to be very thin. The fact that you have to shake the thermometer before each use makes for a significant health concern when you’re using them in your home.

    3. Easy to Read

    This is a great benefit for people who find it difficult to decipher the small numbers and lines on a typical glass thermometer. Digital units have reasonably-large displays, with high-contrast easily read readouts.

    4. Contact Free

    Specifically infrared units. Not all digital thermometers are non contact, but when you go with this option, you avoid having to touch the person whose temperature is being read. This is a great advantage if you have a large family or daycare facility and cross-contamination is a real concern. Not to mention, they’re great if you have a colicky infant you don’t want to wake up throughout the night when they’re sick.

    Potential Drawbacks of Using a Digital Thermometer

    1. Lifespan

    While your digital thermometer may continue to “work” as long as you keep replacing the batteries, it’s a well-known fact that without calibration, the accuracy of any digital temperature-taking device comes into question after a period of time. How long? There’s no way to know without testing it against a known temperature. Replacing them every year or two is a great idea if you’re using them often; less if you only use them occasionally.

    2. Battery Life

    Battery life might be a drawback for some people, simply because a mercury or alcohol-filled thermometer doesn’t require anything more than a quick shake every time you use it. Most digital thermometers come with long lasting lithium-ion batteries that can last for hundreds, even thousands of uses and which generally don’t die while sitting idle between uses.

    3. Sanitization

    Sanitization is a bit more of a concern with digital thermometers, since you’re not dealing with a simple glass tube that’s reasonable easy to clean by spraying or dipping in alcohol. With a digital, you’ll either have to take strides to disinfect them after every use (for oral and rectal), buy a model that uses one-use filters (for ear), or a no-touch device which do cost a little more upfront.

    What to Look for Before You Buy a Digital Thermometer

    1. Sanitary Features

    This one is really simple. If you’re buying an oral or rectal thermometer, it’s important to make sure the insertion tip is stainless and/or offers replaceable probe covers for sanitary purposes. Ear thermometers should have replaceable probe covers for sanitary purposes. This is more important when used for an entire family, or in a daycare facility with several children. If you’re buying for yourself and don’t plan to let anyone else use your thermometer, sanitary covers may become less of a buying must.

    2. Lens / Probe Cover Replacement Cost

    Manufacturers will happily take the rushed or uneducated consumer for a ride, selling you a low-cost thermometer with ridiculously expensive lens or probe covers that will keep you running to the store for more covers whenever your children become sick. Check the price of replacements before you whip out your credit card.

    3. Backlight Display

    A backlight display is more of a subjective feature that may or may not appeal to you. A backlight makes it easy to take temperatures in the dark or under low-light conditions. Very handy if you don’t want to wake up an infant or young child while they’re sleeping.

    4. Infrared

    Infrared thermometers offer countless handy benefits. First, you can use them on multiple people without the need to sanitize anything after using. For that same reason, they don’t have any lens or probe cover requirements. Next, you can use them without waking up your child, by pointing the probe at the temporal artery on their forehead. They do cost more than a basic oral or rectal unit, but are in line with most ear thermometers and are believed to be just as accurate, despite what most pediatricians will tell you. Infrared are also handy for measuring the temperature of baby bottles, baths, and ambient room temperature!

    5. Measurement Time

    Decide what your time is worth to you. Some units will offer results in under 10 seconds, others will take up to a minute for accurate results. Make sure to check the company’s promises against real customer reviews (if possible) to verify their thermometer works as promised.

    6. Memory

    While you should always write temperatures down for future reference, most digital thermometers will offer a memory feature that will at least compare current readings with the last temperature taken. Higher-end units will remember multiple readings for easy comparison.

    7. Finish Beep

    A finish beep is a must have feature, to prevent false readings. It’s rare to find a digital that doesn’t have this feature in this day and age. However, check the label description to be sure before you slap any money down.

     

    Top 4 No Touch Infrared Digital Thermometers

     

    #1.VeraTemp Non-Contact Thermometer

    VeraTemp Non-Contact Thermometer

    Where to buy: Amazon

    This handy infrared digital thermometer from VeraTemp is a great value and perfect if you’re hesitant about spending tens of dollars on a no touch thermometer. This feature-packed digital makes it super easy to take your child’s temperature using the body mode, but also has two separate functions: surface and room temperature mode. Surface mode allows you to take the temps of baby bottles, heated baby food, and bath water. Room temperature mode tells you if it’s too hot or cold in baby’s room. The really catchy feature on the VeraTemp is the multicolor “Traffic Light Display” which lights up with a specific colored backlight depending on your child’s temperature: Green (97.3 – 99.1), Yellow (99.3 – 100.2), or Red (100.4 and higher). Really excellent value for just over $30 after taxes!

    #2.Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer

    Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer

    Where to buy: Amazon

    Exergen offers up another affordable gentle thermometer for use on your child’s temporal artery. This one is “almost” no touch but it does require that you run the soft end where the infrared probe is located across the forehead with two quick swipes. Pediatricians and hospital staff often use this kind of infrared device for a quick reading over the no touch systems, believing them much more accurate.

    #3.Braun Braun No Touch plus Forehead Thermometer

    Braun NTF3000US Braun No Touch plus Forehead Thermometer

    Where to buy: Amazon

    This Braun No Touch is a great combination of both touchless and forehead temperature-measuring devices. You have the option to use either, to get a much more accurate idea about your child’s internal temperatures. This premium Braun thermometer takes as little as two seconds to get a reading, and has a sharp blue-green colored backlight display. The display tells you when you’re not close enough to get a reading, urging you to move closer with a “fwd” command. The No Touch also has a traffic light style display to indicate what level of temperature your child has.

    #4.Beurer Non-Contact Forehead Thermometer

    Beurer FT90 Non Contact Clinical Thermometer

    Where to buy: Amazon

    This is another excellent buy on a no touch unit. Beurer has made this forehead thermometer as easy to use as possible, with a similar warning system to the VeraTemp thermometer. Their warning system doesn’t have a multicolor light display, but rather shows a smiley face icon when baby’s temps are fine and a sad face when they’re in the dreaded fever zone. This thermometer has a really nice design, ergonomically shaped for easy temp taking, a sharp easy-to-read blue backlight display, and 60 memory slots for past temperature comparison.

    Top 3 Digital Ear Thermometers

    Note: Ear thermometers are for children 1 year of age and older, not infants.

    #1.Graco 1 Second Ear Thermometer

    Graco 1 Second Ear Thermometer

    Where to buy: Amazon

    The Graco 1 Second Ear Thermometer is a value-priced unit for people who don’t want to spend much money. It’s a great thermometer. However, it’s entirely plastic, with no probe covers for optimal sanitation. It takes temperatures within a second or two, and stores the last 10 recorded temperatures for easy reference. The Graco 1 Second comes with a carrying bag and shuts off automatically to preserve battery life.

    #2.Braun Ear Thermometer

    Braun Ear Thermometer

    Where to buy: Amazon

    Pediatricians consider ear temperatures to be superior to infrared, underarm and oral temperature-taking methods. This Braun product is a step up from the Graco above. The tip prewarms to offer a fast and comfortable experience. It uses affordable lens covers that ensure maximal sanitation, and are designed to prevent sticking the probe too far into the ear when using. There is a green light & beep warning system that tells you when you have the probe in the perfect positioning within your child’s ear. While you’ll pay extra for this unit, the added warmer and positioning system are more than worth the added cost. This thermometer only records the last temperature read.

    #3.Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer with ExacTemp Technology

    Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer with ExacTemp Technology

    Where to buy: Amazon

    The Thermoscan has all the features found on the Braun Ear Thermometer listed already, including the prewarmed tip, temperature warning indicator, and positioning system. The Thermoscan offers a couple of extra and handy options though, recording up to 8 previous readings for future reference, along with a simple lens eject feature for easy probe cover removal and replacement.

    Top 2 Digital Oral Thermometers

    #1.Mabis Dmi Healthcare Basal Display Digital Thermometer

    Mabis Dmi Healthcare 15-639-000 Basal Display Digital Thermometer

    Where to buy: Amazon

    This handy oral thermometer from Mabis Dmi is made for fast, efficient and inexpensive temperature readings on infants, children and adults of all ages. It comes with inexpensive replaceable probe covers (great for multi-person households) and gives accurate readings within 60-seconds. It offers readings in either celsius or farenheit. This isn’t the best all-round value out there, as there aren’t very many features like multi-reading memory, fast results, or a backlit display. If you’re interested in this thermometer, you’re buying it for the accurate readings and ultra-low price tag.

    #2.Safety 1st Hospital’s Choice 8 Second Digital Thermometer

    Safety 1st Hospital's Choice 8 Second Digital Thermometer

    Where to buy: Amazon

    For a few dollars more than the Mabis Dmi, you can have yourself a few extra features in the form of the #1 physician recommended oral thermometer; the Safety 1st! This unit also takes accurate oral temps but also offers a backlit display, water resistant probe, and a space saving foldup design that’s perfect for keeping the probe protected when you need to store it in your pocket or purse. A beep is sounded when done, usually within 8 seconds.

    #1 Digital Rectal Thermometer

    Safety 1st Gental Rectal Thermometer

    Safety 1st Gentle Read Rectal Thermometer

    Where to buy: Amazon

    Let’s face it: no parent enjoys taking baby’s temperature this way! Most time an infrared, ear, or oral reading is all that’s needed. However, when temperatures soar over 100, rectal temperatures are what pediatricians recommend. This Safety 1st Rectal Thermometer has the same features of the oral variation listed already (8-second readout, foldup design, backlit display) but has a special-designed tip for gentle insertion into the anus.

    Summary

    There’s a lot to consider when buying a thermometer including method, features and price. All the units listed above are of the highest quality. Though you’ve likely noticed that you do in fact get what you pay for in the form of options like backlit displays, speed of results, previous temperature recall, etc.

    Hopefully we’ve made the decision just a little bit easier for you today. Thanks for stopping in and please don’t hesitate to leave a comment in the comment section regarding your favorite digital thermometer.

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