Looking for the best baby thermometers for your little one?
When you suspect that your infant, toddler, baby or a kid is sick, you don’t want to take chances. There is no room for thermometer inaccuracies and you need a quick and reliable temperature reading. Unfortunately, most baby thermometers on the market are notoriously inaccurate.
Knowing the correct body temperature of your child helps you make an educated decision on what to do next. Which medicine should you take? Should you call a doctor? Rush to the hospital?
There is no time to spare as every moment is important and the carefully hand-picked list of the best baby thermometers should serve you reliably when you need it the most.
Choosing the best and the most accurate baby thermometer is not as straightforward as may initially appear. There are different types of baby thermometers, each one has its own pros and cons and it is important to know which one would work the best for your baby.
Our detailed thermometer review/buyer’s guide will help you understand everything you need to know in your search of the most accurate thermometer that suits your child the best.
Best Baby Thermometers – Top 10 Comparison
Below you will find a quick comparison table of the best baby thermometers available on the market today. We have reviewed dozens of thermometers for infants, toddlers, and kids to shortlist the top 10.
Following the quick summary table, you will find detailed reviews highlighting the pros and cons of each thermometer. Lastly, at the end of the article, you will find tips and other useful information to help you pick the best thermometer for your toddler, infant, baby or kid.
|Image||Type / Age / Memory / Fever Indicator|
Best Multi Mode – Iproven TMT-215
Best Temporal – Exergen TAT-2000C Temporal Artery
Best Rectal – Vicks Baby Rectal
Best Non Contact – Innovo FR201
Best Ear – Braun ThermoScan 7 IRT 6520
Best Digital Thermometer with App – Kinsa QuickCare
Best Selling – Metene Medical Forehead and Ear
Best Oral – iProven DTR-1221
Best Ear with App – Kinsa Digital Smart Ear
Best Value – Zerhunt Baby
|Top 10 Baby Thermometers|
iProven TMT-215 is the latest baby thermometer from iProven that features three modes of taking temperature readings.
The thermometer can take ear, forehead and object readings.
By default, the baby thermometer comes in a forehead mode, but removing the cap exposes an infrared sensor tip designed for ear use.
To get accurate results iProven recommends using the forehead mode when measuring temperature for babies under six months old and ear mode for older babies as well as adults.
According to the manufacturer, the thermometer has gone through some rigorous and extensive clinical testing to ensure consistent results. We cannot test that claim, but in practice, the results delivered from multiple readings proved to be consistent and accurate.
The highlight of iProven TMT-215 is the ability to take temperature measurements of various objects. This includes baby bottles, water in a bathtub, room temperature and almost anything you point the device at.
It also has a handy multi-color display that provides a quick indication of whether your child has a fever or not. If the display goes green after the reading, the temperature is within the normal range. If the display backlit turns red, your baby has a fever.
iProven TMT-215 is one of the best consumer-grade baby thermometers with professional-grade accuracy and consistency. It is nicely built, easy to use and light to carry around. An ability to take forehead, ear and any object temperature reading makes it an extremely versatile companion and one of the best thermometers for babies of any age.
|Professional quality and accuracy|
|Forehead, ear and object temperature reading capability|
|Single button operation, easy to use|
|Color LCD for fever indication|
|Cap cover could be difficult to remove|
Exergen Temporal Thermometer uses gentle forehead scans to measure the infrared heat generated by the temporal artery in your baby’s forehead.
Some of the recent studies and pediatricians have confirmed temporal thermometers to be a reliable source of a true baby’s body temperature.
According to the Harvard Medical School Study, temporal artery thermometers have superior temperature reading accuracy compared to ear thermometers.
Another study, from Hospital for Sick Children, found them as reliable as rectal thermometers which are widely accepted by pediatricians as the most reliable way to measure baby temperature, especially infant’s.
We found the thermometer to be exceptionally handy when trying to take a temperature reading while the baby is asleep. Gentle strokes across your child’s forehead are non-invasive and should not disturb your child’s sleep. In addition, the backlit Smart Glow display allows you to clearly see the measurements at any time of the day.
Exergen Temporal Thermometer is also a great choice when your baby has an ear infection. The more traditional ear thermometers are likely to take an inaccurate reading due to the ear inflammation, whereas temporal thermometers remain consistent.
|Exergen Temporal Thermometer is a great alternative to ear thermometers. It works for infants, toddlers, older kids, and the whole family. While ear thermometers can be inaccurate if the baby is having an ear infection, a temporal thermometer delivers accurate and consistent results in most conditions. If you are looking for a thermometer that works for everyone, Exergen Temporal Thermometer is one of the best child thermometers for any age.|
|Smart Glow display|
|Works for the whole family|
|Used by pediatricians|
|Remembers last 8 readings|
|Numbers on the display may be small for some|
|Slightly pricier than others|
Vicks V934 is the smallest baby thermometer in our review that has been specifically designed to take rectal temperature measurements of newborn babies or infants.
The ergonomic design makes it easy to hold and operate while its compact size ensures it is small enough to carry around with you.
Taking rectal temperature measurements may not be comfortable for some babies and Vicks has done a great job at making it more practical and safe.
The short and flexible probe tip makes the process less invasive and helps you guard your baby against over-insertion for that extra peace of mind.
Rectal thermometers are widely acknowledged by medical professionals as the most accurate and Vicks V934 is no different. It takes 10 seconds on average to take the temperature reading, which is relatively quick for rectal thermometers.
The thermometer display seems clear and features a blue backlight, which makes it easy to use in the dark. Unfortunately, you only get the Fahrenheit scale, so if you prefer Celsius, you may find this thermometer inconvenient.
Vicks V934 seems to live up to its promise of “You might be a little uncomfortable, but your baby won’t be” quite well. With thousands of positive reviews from worrying moms confirming that most babies did not get uncomfortable or even noticed the thermometer being used.
Vicks V934 has everything you would expect from a great baby rectal thermometer. It is compact, easy to use and clean, light and most importantly safe. Being a rectal thermometer only, it takes the most accurate and consistent temperature readings you can ask for making it one of the best baby rectal thermometers out there. We just wished it also had a Celsius scale to appeal to a broader audience.
|One of the most accurate baby thermometers|
|Short probe makes it safe|
|Highly portable and compact|
|Only for rectal use|
|No Celsius scale|
Innovo FR201 is a non-invasive, non-contact forehead thermometer that uses the latest infrared technology and works for infants, toddlers, and adults.
To take the temperature reading all you need to do is to keep the thermometer up to 2 inches away from the baby’s forehead and press the green button.
The temperature is measured almost instantly with most of the measurements taking under one second.
The temperature reading is displayed using large green numbers that are well lit and are really easy to read for anyone with poor eyesight. The reading is accompanied by a circle fever indicator that goes red if the fever is detected.
Given the non-contact nature of the thermometer, it prevents cross-contamination among the family member and unlike ear thermometers, does not require disposable probe covers to be used which saves you some running costs.
Innovo FR201 also comes with a convenient object temperature measurement capability. It allows you to measure the temperature of almost any object you point the thermometer at, such as your baby’s milk bottle or a bathtub.
If your baby is not comfortable with oral, rectal or tympanic thermometers, non-contact forehead thermometer is a great alternative and Innovo FR201 does a great job at it.
It delivers accurate, consistent, almost instant temperature readings and features a big display that is clearly visible during the day or night. If the convenience, hygiene and the ability to take temperature measurement contact-free is important to you, Innovo FR201 is among the best forehead thermometers for your baby.
|Big and fancy display|
|Fast, under 1-second readings|
|Object temperature measurement mode|
|Comes with a hard carry case|
|Touch controls may not be for everyone|
Braun Thermoscan 7 IRT 6520 is the flagship model and the evolution of the highly acclaimed and widely used line of Braun ear thermometers.
The updated model features the patented ExacTemp positioning system that uses light and sound signals to confirm the optimal probe positioning before taking the temperature reading.
In conjunction with the pre-warmed tip that ensures the lens is ready to take accurate measurements, Braun claims the reading accuracy of one-tenth of a degree.
Another patented technology that comes in the box is the Age Precision. It allows you to select the child’s age to ensure an even greater temperature accuracy compared to other Braun ear thermometers.
IRT 6520 comes with a three-color display that indicates the baby’s temperature range. Green color indicates that the temperature is within the normal range, yellow indicates a moderate fever and red emphasizes high fever requiring urgent attention.
It has been a while since the first Braun Thermoscan was released and the competition in the thermometer space is rather tight today. At the same time, according to the July 2017 Ardent Consulting Survey, Braun is still the most recommended thermometer brand among pediatricians due to hard-earned trust the Braun brand has.
Braun Thermoscan 7 IRT 6520 is the perfect ear thermometer for the whole family as it fast, reliable and easy to use. The patented ExacTemp and Age Precision technologies deliver the most accurate and consistent results we’ve seen with ear thermometers making it one of the best ear thermometers for babies, toddlers,
|Perhaps the most accurate ear thermometer on the market|
|Multicolor fever indicator|
|Quick temperature reading|
|Ongoing cost of changing lens filters|
Kinsa QuickCare is an innovative approach to taking temperature readings as it features an Android and iPhone mobile app integration.
The Kinsa’s app is surprisingly feature-rich as it:
- Shows the temperature
- Provides fever indication
- Records up to 50 last temperature readings
- Guides you on what to do next
- Tracks every family member individually
The main highlight of the Kinsa QuickCare app is the ability to provide personalized advice on what to do next. The app takes into account age, temperature reading and symptoms to suggest the next action such as taking the medicine or calling the doctor.
Some may find the guidance particularly helpful as it removes the panic factor and helps you to remain practical throughout the process. At the same time, the thermometer can be used in a standalone mode without an app as it has a big digital display that clearly shows temperature readings.
In addition, the thermometer can be used in one of three ways – oral, underarm and rectal. Temperature readings take around 8 seconds with results being reliable and consistent.
Lastly, the app comes with a bubble popping game that helps your kids to stay engaged in the temperature measurement process making is slightly more fun and exciting!
Kinsa QuickCare is a great little thermometer that is highly portable and delivers accurate results within -/+ 0.4-degree of tolerance. It offers an innovative app available on iPhone and Android devices that can track temperature for each family member individually and guides you by suggesting the next step to take. If you are a tech-savvy mom looking for a versatile baby thermometer that can take oral, underarm and rectal temperature readings, Kinsa QuickCare will not
|Illuminated, easy to read screen|
|Oral, underarm and rectal use|
|Practical app support|
|Standalone mode is only available after pairing the thermometer with the app|
|Some may find the button too small|
Metene Medical Forehead and Ear Thermometer is a dual-mode thermometer that, as the name suggests, can take ear and forehead readings. It uses an advanced infrared technology that allows quick readings to be taken in under 2 seconds.
To take the forehead temperature reading, you need to keep the thermometer in contact with the baby’s forehead while gently sliding it from one temple to the other.
To switch the temperature detection mode from forehead to ear, you simply need to remove the sensor plastic cover to expose the infrared sensor tip.
Being able to measure the temperature using both an ear canal and a forehead has multiple benefits. It is especially useful if your child has an ear infection as you can avoid causing discomfort or even pain by taking the forehead reading instead. It is also a great way to cross-reference forehead and ear readings for that extra piece of reassurance, however, keep in mind that the forehead and ear canal temperatures are likely to be different.
Metene Medical Forehead and Ear Thermometer also features a memory store which tracks the last 20 temperature readings. It can be especially useful for some parents to help you track the temperature history throughout the fever.
The LCD display is quite practical with relatively big numbers and two color fever alarm that provides a visual indication of whether the child has a fever or not.
Metene Medical Forehead and Ear Thermometer is a great thermometer that is accurate, consistent and easy to use. With over a thousand positive reviews and being the best selling baby thermometer on Amazon, you are sure to get one of the best child thermometers on the market. Not only was it rigorously clinically tested by FDA, it has also stood the test of many parents who hold this thermometer in high regard.
|#1 Amazon best seller|
|Forehead & ear detection modes|
|Portable, comes with a pouch|
|LCD temperature reading goes away too quickly|
iProven DTR-1221A is a digital baby thermometer that offers simple and quick oral and rectal temperature measurements that take between 8 and 10 seconds.
Temperature readings are reliable and consistent keeping up with the manufacturer’s promise to stay within the 0.2 ºF degree variance. This is one of the best results we’ve seen in digital thermometers.
The LCD display is quite small, yet surprisingly functional and easy to read. Apart from the temperature reading, scale, and battery level, it displays three smiley faces which are used as fever level indicators.
The temperature measurement process is quite comfortable and safe due to the soft and flexible tip. It also allows the baby to bite the tip which prevents the thermometer from slipping out. In addition, the tip is waterproof making it easy to disinfect or clean under the running water.
iProven DTR-1221A beeps when the battery is low, temperature reading is completed or if the fever was detected. There is no option to turn the beeps off, yet they are low volume and not intrusive enough to disturb your child’s sleep.
Although the thermometer is advertised as oral and rectal, it can also be used as an auxiliary underarm thermometer. The readings are still accurate,
iProven DTR-1221 is a simple, small and practical digital thermometer. The soft and flexible tip makes it safe and comfortable to use, especially for oral temperature readings. The accuracy of 0.2 ºF is remarkable for a digital thermometer and we are still yet to find one that can match it. If you are after a digital thermometer that is reliable, portable, non-intrusive and easy to operate, iProven DTR-1221 is a great option to consider.
|Reliable and consistent|
|Soft, safe and flexible tip|
|Beeps cannot be turned off|
Kinsa Digital Smart Ear thermometer is designed to make quick and accurate ear temperature measurements using the latest infrared technology.
The thermometer delivers temperature readings in less than one second and can be used for babies over 6 months, kids, and adults.
Special care has been given by Kinsa to make this thermometer as gentle and non-invasive as possible which works great for sleeping or squirmy babies.
The thermometer comes with gorgeous app support which we have previously used as part of the Kinsa Quick Care Smart Digital review.
The app can be installed on an iPhone or Android device and tracks up to 50 temperature readings for each family member. This is quite handy if you want to go back and observe the temperature trends throughout the fever or if you wanted to share that data with your pediatrician.
Moreover, after successfully taking the reading, the app provides a real-time personal guidance on the next step to take. For example, it may suggest that you take a medication and would even specify
Kinsa Digital Smart Ear thermometer is one of the best ear thermometers for the whole family. It delivers accurate, consistent and extremely fast (under 1 second) temperature readings. It also tracks up to 50 temperature readings for each family member and suggests actions to take after every reading. The single-button design and the ergonomic shape make it easy to operate and pleasant to hold. Perhaps not a perfect fit for infants, but otherwise for toddlers, kids and adults – Kinsa Digital Smart Ear is one of the best ear thermometers on the market today.
|Accurate and fast temperature measurements|
|Tracks 50 temperature readings for each family member|
|Some people find the beeping sound too loud|
To change from a forehead to an ear mode, you need to remove the plastic sensor cap and expose the sensor tip which is used for ear canal temperature readings.
When in forehead mode, the thermometer can also measure the temperature of objects, such as baby bottles or water in the bathtub. We found this feature to be extremely handy, especially for first-time moms.
Buttons are ergonomically located to initiate temperature reading, whichever mode you are using.
Although the thermometer is quite accurate and reliable, the manufacturer suggests using forehead mode for babies under three months and ear mode for older babies.
Zerhunt Baby is a versatile baby thermometer that delivers accurate and consistent temperature readings. It packs multiple features usually found in more expensive thermometers such as ear and forehead modes, fever warning, backlit display, and the temperature reading memory function. Given its price point, Zerhunt Baby represents one of the best value baby thermometers on the market today.
|Packs a lot of features for a small price|
|Ear, forehead and object modes|
|Big, functional and easy to read display|
|Some defected devices have been reported in early batches, yet the customer service was very helpful|
What Types of Thermometers Are there?
There are different ways the baby’s body temperature can be measured. Below are some of the most common thermometer types available on the market today.
1. Glass Thermometer
I guess you would remember the glass thermometers from your childhood. To take the reading you had to either place it under your arm or under your tongue.
The old glass thermometers used mercury which is a special metal and comes in a liquid form. When it gets hotter, it expands going up in the glass tube and displays the temperature reading.
With mercury no longer being used, you may wonder what replaced mercury in modern glass thermometers these days? Quite simple – the non-toxic alcohol, which is why those thermometers are now referred to as spirit thermometers.
2. Digital Thermometer
The digital thermometer is a new alternative for glass thermometers where the temperature reading is displayed in an LCD readout. The device contains a small electronic sensor at its tip which can take under the arm, oral and rectal temperature measurements.
Although digital thermometers are quite versatile, they are usually not the best choice for babies due to:
- Hard to take an oral reading from babies as our little ones never stand still.
- Not specifically designed to be used as a rectal thermometer for babies. They are usually too long and may cause injuries (except specifically build rectal thermometers, see next section).
- Taking the temperature from under the arm can prove troublesome with younger babies. In addition, typically, it is the least accurate way to measure the temperature.
3. Rectal Thermometer
It is a widely accepted view by pediatricians that quality thermometers designed specifically for rectal use are the most accurate thermometers for babies. They offer true temperature readings that are reflective of the actual core body temperature.
Although the degree of added accuracy is relatively small, for infants it could mean the difference between staying at home or setting off on a hospital trip.
The problem with rectal thermometers is that it may get uncomfortable for both your little one and yourself, so picking the best rectal thermometer for babies is essential to smooth out the experience.
4. Temporal Artery Thermometer
The temporal artery thermometer is also known as ‘forehead thermometer’ and represents a non-invasive approach to temperature measuring. It uses infrared technology to measure the temperature of the temporal artery in the forehead.
To measure the temperature, you need to sweep the thermometer across your child’s forehead and then check the temperature reading on the display. They are usually easy to use with measurements being quick and consistent. One study has confirmed that this type of measurements effectively works for infants too. In addition, the temperature reading accuracy can match rectal thermometers and exceeds the accuracy of ear thermometers.
5. Ear Thermometer
Ear thermometers use infrared rays to measure the temperature inside the baby’s ear canal. These thermometers have recently received a mass adoption by parents and doctors due to their ease of use. At the same time, there are a couple of things that may impact the accuracy of temperature measurements that you need to be aware of:
- Earwax results in lower readings
- Small or curved ear canals can influence the reading accuracy
- Loose fit
- May not fit all ear types
- Can be inaccurate if your child has an ear infection
6. Pacifier Thermometer
These thermometers are built into the pacifier. They feature a temperature sensor inside of the rubber pacifier tip and a small LSD at the front of the pacifier to display the temperature reading.
Most of the medical professionals agree that pacifier thermometers cannot be relied upon to take accurate and consistent temperature readings. They look good an fancy, yet not practical and often display inaccurate and misleading temperature readings. It is advised not to use pacifier thermometers and resort to one of the other thermometer types above.
7. Disposable Forehead Strips
The concept of disposable forehead strips is similar to the temporal artery or forehead thermometers except that those strips are one-off. They represent disposable plastic strips that change color when placed on the forehead. Similarly to the pacifier thermometers – disposable forehead strips provide unreliable and inconsistent temperature readings as they tend to measure the temperature of the skin, rather than the body.
What Temperature is Right For Your Baby?
If you are trying to work out if your baby has a fever or not, the following should provide you a good indication.
Your baby has a fever if:
- The rectal, ear or temporal artery temperature is higher than 100.4 Fahrenheit or 38 Celcius
- Oral temperature is higher than 100 Fahrenheit or 37.8 Celcius
- The armpit temperature is higher than 99 Fahrenheit or 37.2 Celcius
Please ensure that you are reading your baby’s temperature as the manual suggest since it can affect the reading accuracy.
How To Take Your Child’s Temperature?
Whether you are using a budget or one of the best baby thermometers out there, it is paramount to know how to take temperature readings correctly. Getting this step wrong may lead to inaccurate readings and frustrating experience with the product in general.
Depending on the thermometer, the steps required to take the temperature reading will vary, please refer to the manual.
Before you start, however, make sure that you are holding your child comfortably and securely.
Here is short a video that shows how to take the temperature reading correctly with most thermometer types:
Best baby thermometers For The Age?
Depending on your child’s age, some thermometer types may work better than others. The below table summarizes the age and thermometer types that can be used as a guideline.
|Age||Rectal||Oral||Under arm||Ear||Temporal artery|
|< 3 months|
|3 months – 3 years|
|4 – 5 years|
The above table should be used as a guideline only as individual conditions need to be considered. Baby’s age, ear canal size, room temperature, ear infections, diarrhea, wet foreheads and many other things can influence thermometer readings.
In summary, any type of thermometer can do a good job and provide accurate and consistent readings given that it is well built and adheres to all quality standards. What is important to know is which thermometer works better for your baby and for most of us, the above table is a good starting point. For some, however, the search for the best thermometer for kids, babies and toddlers will be a trial and error exercise.
What Should You Consider When Buying A Baby Thermometer?
In today’s modern age many products have a great visual appeal and are rich with features. It is easy to spot the shiny objects and skip what’s really important. When picking the best baby thermometers for your little one, below are some of the most crucial aspects to consider listed in the order of importance.
- Accuracy – the most important factor to get right. It is the ultimate reading you will make your judgment decisions on, so it has to be perfect. Chose reliable thermometer types and make sure they are right for your baby’s age.
- Consistency – the second most important factor to consider. Thermometers that produce inconsistent results cause frustration and make you take the reading over and over again. Make sure your thermometer always delivers consistent results given the consistent placement and application.
- Speed – the time it takes to take a temperature reading. The days of glass, mercy-based thermometers that required a couple of minutes to take temperature are long gone. The modern baby thermometers are faster but still vary in speed. Babies do not have much patience to wait whilst you take a temperature reading, so try to pick the thermometer that provides results in under 5 seconds.
- Night mode – you never know when you’ll need to take your baby’s temperature reading. If it happens to be at night, then you may find the backlit display feature handy. It helps you to avoid turning on the lights and perhaps waking up your little one.
- Simplicity – taking temperature readings should be simple. There are various thermometers that come with additional features at the expense of simplicity. It is a personal choice after all, yet for me – anything that is taking away from the core need is a distraction and I try to avoid it when I can.
- Scale – do you prefer using Celsius or Fahrenheit? It is a personal preference and it is advised to make sure that your thermometer of choice can support it.
Searching for the best baby thermometers could be a very personal experience and the above priorities could be different. At the same time, we found that the above priority order reflects the opinions of most parents and their concerns.