The 8 Best Baby Thermometers to Buy in 2018

Ease worries with these accurate readers

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Every second counts when your baby appears to be unwell. Naturally, one of your first steps will be to whip out a thermometer to check for a fever. At that moment, you’ll want a tool that you can trust to provide a reliable, precise temperature as quickly as possible. Below, we have several types to choose from so you can be prepared when the time comes.

Keep in mind: when you’re taking your newborn’s temperature, you can’t just stick a thermometer in his or her mouth like you would with an adult. For children under 3 months of age, you should take their temperature rectally, and any fever over 100.4 at this age requires an urgent call to your doctor and a trip to the emergency room. Once children are over 3 months of age, you can take their temperature with a temporal artery thermometer which reads the temperature on the forehead, and after 6 months of age with a tympanic thermometer which goes in the ear. But, rectally is the most accurate form of temperature reading and digital thermometers are the only ones suitable for children (do not use those that contain mercury). Once your child is around the age of 4 or 5, you can start taking their temperature orally or when they can hold it under their tongue. And remember, taking a baby’s temperature right after a bath will give you an elevated reading, so in those situations, you’ll want to wait a few minutes before breaking out the thermometer.

Ready to stock your medicine cabinet with the top baby thermometer for your needs? Here are our choices.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Provèn Digital Thermometer

Provèn Digital Thermometer

Courtesy of Amazon

This oral and rectal Provèn thermometer works for both babies and adults, so you can have your whole family covered. It takes just 10 seconds to determine a temperature, and it’s waterproof for easy disinfecting. For added peace of mind, little smiley faces on the screen will alert you if you should be worried about the temperature finding. And if you’re unhappy with your purchase, you have 100 days to return the thermometer for a full refund.

The product provides highly accurate readings, and reviewers rave about its flexible tip, which makes it more durable and comfortable to use than standard thermometers with a more rigid tip. It’s also a cinch to clean—especially important if you are going to use it rectally.

Best Budget: Fever Fighters Hassle-Free Forehead Thermometer Strips

Not everyone in the medical community recommends thermometer strips, as they’re not necessarily as accurate as some other tools out there. However, if you’re in a situation where a regular thermometer is too invasive for your baby (say, when your child is sleeping), these strips from Fever Fighters can get the job done quickly. Just press it to the forehead and you’ll have a reading within seconds. You’ll see the colors change to indicate the temperature in both Fahrenheit and Celsius. When you’re finished, wash the strip off with soap and water and place it back in the thin case for storage.

Travelers like to bring this product in case of an emergency, as it’s cheaper and easier to throw into a bag than a regular thermometer. The strips are also great for fussy children who just can’t sit still for a reading. And if you have older kids as well, reviews suggest that they might actually think it’s fun to get their temperature taken this way!

Best Rectal: Enji Family Digital Thermometer

This digital thermometer is a bestseller on Amazon, thanks to its precise readings, durable child-proof materials, and easy-to-clean waterproof design and sanitary storage case. It also comes with extra probe covers to prevent germs and bacteria from spreading. In 10 to 20 seconds, you’ll know if your baby has a fever. And, if you need to switch to Celsius or Fahrenheit, it takes one quick push of a button to translate the reading.

People who used this Enji thermometer loved the flexible tip—which makes it more comfortable for babies—and the backlit screen, perfect for when you need to read it in the middle of the night. Bonus: this product comes with a home remedies e-book that offers many helpful solutions for common ailments like runny noses, stomach aches, and more.

Best Smart: Kinsa QuickCare Smart Digital Thermometer

If you’re looking to go more high-tech, Kinsa’s Bluetooth thermometer—which can be used under the arm, or in the mouth or rectum—comes with a lot of nice-to-have bells and whistles. It easily connects to your smartphone and provides a readout in eight seconds or less. Then, the free app will provide personalized, trustworthy guidance on what to do next, whether it’s soothing your little one’s symptoms or calling your pediatrician.

Even users who aren’t particularly tech-savvy found this thermometer simple to set up. They also appreciate that they’re able to share their baby’s temperature readings with other family members and track what medications they’ve already given through the app. All the expert-approved information and recommendations make this a must-buy for many parents.

Best Ear: Braun ThermoScan 5 Ear Thermometer

Braun’s gentle thermometer makes frequent appearances in pediatrician’s offices because it’s so simple and reliable. The pre-warmed tip ensures that the findings will be more accurate (many other ear thermometers have cool tips, which can unintentionally lower the readings). Plus, it comes with disposable filters, so it stays sanitary if you’re sharing the thermometer among family members.
Those who have purchased ThermoScan products tend to be loyal consumers and say that it’s worth paying a little extra for the precise and consistent readings. They also love how sanitary and non-disruptive it is to take a baby’s temperature through the ear.

Best Forehead: Fam-Health Infrared Digital Forehead Thermometer

Say your baby is sleeping and you don’t want to wake her up, but you need to know her temperature. This Fam-health thermometer can be carefully placed by her forehead and will give you a reading in Fahrenheit or Celsius within just a second or two. The backlit display makes it easy to read the LCD screen in the dark, and the Memory Recall function lets you review up to 20 previous results—perfect for when you’re tracking a fever’s changes over the course of a few days.

On Amazon, this product is rated five stars with dozens and dozens of reviews. People say they like this product because it’s quick and simple to use, and you don’t have to worry as much about spreading germs. They also are fans of the intuitive design, which eliminates the need for a lot of complex instructions.

Best Multipurpose: Health Guardian Infrared Digital Thermometer

No matter how you normally take your baby’s temperature, it’s always good to have a backup plan. This multipurpose Health Guardian digital thermometer has dual modes so you can switch between the ear and the forehead, depending on your situation. Whichever way you choose, it takes just one to three seconds, and the color indicators will help you decipher the findings (green means normal, orange means light fever, and red means you’re reaching more dangerous territory) without lots of loud, disruptive beeping. And if you’re monitoring your kid’s health, you can access up to 35 previous temperature readings thanks to the Memory Recall function.

Shoppers who tried this product like its versatility, especially when dealing with ear infections or struggling children. They say the thermometer fits well into little ears, provides accurate readings, and ultimately works great for the entire family.

Best Non-Contact: Metene Infrared Non-Contact Forehead Thermometer

The highly sensitive Metene forehead thermometer lets you determine your little one’s temperature in just one second without ever actually touching his skin. Even better: you can also use it to find out the temperature of a room or an object (a baby bottle, for instance). Turn on the quiet mode setting and your child won’t even need to know you’re nearby while you check.

Customers find it useful that in addition to their baby’s temperature, they can also use this tool to check other objects. Plus, when there’s no need to touch the skin, you also don’t have to worry about sanitizing the thermometer afterward—making the process move extra quickly.

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