The 7 Best Thermometers of 2019

Keep a close eye on sickness in your household

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First Look

Best Overall Thermometer: Kinsa Digital Smart Ear at Amazon

"Can be easily cleaned with a cloth and a dab of 75 percent alcohol."

Best Budget: iProven Oral and Rectal Thermometer at Amazon

"Gives you a fast temperature reading in just 10 seconds."

Best Forehead Thermometer: ANKOVO Thermometer at Amazon

"Will store up to 20 previous temperature readings."

Best Thermometer for Kids: Temporal Artery Thermometer at Target

"Has a glowing display for taking temperatures in the dark."

Best No-Touch: Braun No Touch Thermometers at Walmart

"The non-invasive technology will do the work for you."

Best Multiuse: ALOFOX Baby Thermometer at Amazon

"Versatile—can be used to check the temperature of baby formula."

Best Ear Thermometer: Braun Digital Ear Thermometer at Amazon

"Uses disposable lens filters to make it easy to switch between users."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall Thermometer: Kinsa Digital Smart Ear Thermometer

Kinsa Digital Smart Ear Thermometer
Courtesy of Amazon

This top-rated thermometer takes the spot as our best overall option. The ultra-fast reader takes an accurate reading in the ear in only one second, which is perfect for parents trying to take temperatures for a finicky, squirmy kid. Unlike the ear thermometers you probably remember growing up, this thermometer doesn’t require disposable plastic covers that can interfere with fever reading, instead, the BPA and Latex-free reader can be easily cleaned with a soft cloth or cotton swab and just a dab of 75 percent alcohol.   

In addition, this thermometer connects to a smartphone app via Bluetooth that not only tracks your family’s fever history but offers personalized suggestions on when to see a doctor. It also reminds you when it’s time to take your medications again. And with a battery life that lasts for two years or up to 1,000 readings, you won’t be panicked to search for new batteries when someone you love is already feeling their worst.

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Best Budget: iProven Oral and Rectal Thermometer

iProven Oral and Rectal Thermometer

Courtesy of Amazon

If you want something that’s at a cheaper price point but will still give you an accurate reading, reach for this oral and rectal thermometer from iProven. This small and discreet thermometer will give you a fast temperature reading in just 10 seconds, and the reading will be super-accurate within one-tenth of a degree. While you might remember under the tongue thermometers as uncomfortable, this version has a very flexible tip that makes it much more comfortable than its predecessors.

This durable thermometer is also waterproof, making it super easy to clean with just a little water and soap. Like the other options on this list, this thermometer is a great mercury-free option.

Being that this can be used rectally, this is a great option for newborns since a rectal temperature is the most accurate. If your household doesn't get sick much it is also an affordable option to keep at home in case a fever strikes. 

Best Forehead Thermometer: ANKOVO Thermometer

If you’re looking for a thermometer that will give you ultra-accurate readings at just a touch to the forehead, try this top-rated option from ANKOVO. Reviewers praise its speed and accuracy, and at this price point, it definitely won’t break the bank. In addition to reading temperatures in only one second, this ANOKVO will store up to 20 previous temperature readings, so you can have your fever history available at your fingers.

In addition to non-invasive forehead functionality, this thermometer can also take your inner ear temperature, so you can choose the setting that you prefer. A nice bonus: This option comes with batteries included, so you don’t have to scramble to find a working set when you need it to work the most. And of course, the thermometer is mercury-free, so you know it’s safe for the whole family.

Best Thermometer for Kids: Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer

Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer
Courtesy of Target 

If your child is consistently picking up bugs and viruses on the playground, make sure you have a reliable and easy-to-use thermometer on hand, like this option from Target. Say goodbye to the discomfort of under-the-tongue, inner ear, or rectal thermometers. Instead, this option takes the temperature by capturing the heat from the temporal artery through the forehead skin.

Other great features include a lightly glowing display to help you see when you’re taking temperatures in the dark, an automatic shut-off feature to help you preserve the batteries for when you really need them, and super-simple one-handed functionality. This thermometer is completely mercury-free, so you know it’s safe for even the youngest members of your family. The AAP reminds parents that for the most accurate reading under the age of 3 you should take a child's temperature rectally. You can use this for a quick check and then try rectal for a more reliable number. Babies under 3 months always need to have their temperature taken rectally. 

Best No-Touch: Braun No Touch Thermometers

Braun No Touch Thermometers
Courtesy of Amazon

If you find yourself needing to take temperatures from finicky kids when they’re sleeping, invest in this no-touch option form Braun to make it super simple. This Braun thermometer also has a silent option so you won’t disturb your little one’s sleep when they’re already not feeling well. To take your loved one’s temperature, simply hold the thermometer up to 2 inches away from their forehead, and the non-invasive technology will do the work for you.

When you use this thermometer, the backlight will change from green to yellow or red, each indicating the severity of the temperature. It’s a little pricier than most of the other options on this list, but the discreet technology is worth the splurge. And you know you’re in safe hands with this doctor-preferred brand: According to the July 2017 Ardent Consulting Survey, more pediatricians use Braun than any other thermometer brand.

Best Multiuse: ALOFOX Baby Thermometer

When you have a busy household with kids of various ages, you really need a thermometer that will hold up. For when they’re not feeling well, try this thermometer with both forehead and ear functionality. Like other digital thermometers, this one displays your temperature in only one second. If you’re unsure what numbers should be worrisome for your little one, this thermometer also has audio and visual fever warnings to let you know when to see a medical professional. A mute function will pause the warning sounds for times when you’re taking a temperature in their sleep.

In addition to checking your child’s temperature, this thermometer can be used to check the temperature of things such as baby formula, making it very versatile. This should not be used on children under 3 months of age and the most accurate reading comes from a rectal thermometer before the age of 3. 

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Best Ear Thermometer: Braun Digital Ear Thermometer

This easy-to-use thermometer is suitable for the whole family—babies, kids, and adults alike. Reviewers praise this thermometer’s accuracy, and also call it “embarrassingly easy to use.” This ear thermometer uses disposable lens filters to make it easy to switch between users without having to clean, and also because Braun knows that a buildup of earwax can impact the accuracy of the reading.

Thanks to Braun’s pre-warmed thermometer tip, temperatures are more accurate than other brands whose cool tip can lower readings. Braun stands by ear temperature readings as the most accurate way to detect fever, even when other brands sing the praises of forehead readings, explaining that the blood supply in the eardrum shares the temperature control center of the brain, so it’s the best place to detect unusual temperature changes. 

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What to Look for in a Thermometer

Features: Beyond simple temperature readings, some thermometers will store a history of your family’s temperatures, and some will even provide advice on when you should see a doctor. There are also thermometers that do double duty and can be used to check the temperature of things like baby formula. How many bells and whistles you want will depend on how often you use a thermometer, the size of your family, and your general preferences.

Ease of use: From cleaning the thermometer to getting a temperature reading no matter the circumstances (think squirmy and/or sleeping children), there are some thermometers that make the job a lot easier than others. Also, consider the battery life of a thermometer. There are few things more frustrating than someone spiking a fever in the middle of the night only to find that the thermometer is out of batteries.

Accuracy: The most important quality you want in a thermometer, of course, is accuracy. You want to be able to rely on the results to help you make the best health decisions for you and your family. While rectal readings are recommended for children under 3, for older children and adults, there are a variety of methods thermometers use to produce accurate results, including some models that don’t even have to touch the skin.

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