Discover the Ultimate Thermometer for Toddlers [A Must-Have for Every Parent]

The best thermometer for toddlers is still considered the gold standard they offer the most reliably accurate measurement of core body temperature.

A thermometer for toddlers is a specialized device used to measure the body temperature of young children, typically between the ages of one and three years. It is designed with features and functionalities that make it suitable and safe for use with toddlers. Thermometers for toddlers are used by parents, caregivers, and healthcare professionals to monitor a child’s temperature and detect fevers or signs of illness.

These thermometers are typically easy to use and provide accurate temperature readings. They may come in different forms, including digital thermometers, infrared thermometers, or ear thermometers. Digital thermometers are commonly used and can be used orally, rectally, or under the armpit. Infrared thermometers offer non-contact temperature measurements by scanning the forehead or ear. Ear thermometers are specifically designed to measure temperature through the ear canal.

Thermometers for toddlers often have additional features to enhance their usability and functionality. These may include large and easy-to-read displays, fever indicators, memory storage for tracking temperature changes, backlighting for nighttime use, and silent modes for taking temperature readings without disturbing a sleeping child.

Best Thermometer for Toddlers

Thermometer for Toddlers

A thermometer for toddlers is a device used to measure a toddler’s body temperature. It is specifically designed to be safe, accurate, and easy to use for young children. There are several types of thermometers available for toddlers, including:

Thermometer for Toddlers

Digital Thermometers

These thermometers use electronic sensors to measure body temperature. They are easy to read and provide quick results. Digital thermometers can be used orally, rectally, or under the armpit, depending on the model.

Infrared Thermometers

Also known as temporal artery thermometers or forehead thermometers, these devices measure body temperature by scanning the forehead or temporal artery using infrared technology. They provide non-contact temperature readings, making them convenient for toddlers who might not stay still for long.

Ear Thermometers

Ear thermometers, also called tympanic thermometers, measure body temperature by sensing the infrared heat waves emitted by the eardrum. They are quick and generally considered safe for toddlers. However, it can be challenging to get accurate readings if the child is fidgety or has excessive earwax.

Pacifier Thermometers

These thermometers are designed like pacifiers and can be used by the toddler to measure their temperature orally. They are less invasive and more comfortable for young children, but they may not provide the same level of accuracy as other types of thermometers.

When choosing a thermometer for toddlers, it is important to consider factors such as accuracy, ease of use, safety, and the child’s comfort. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines for proper use, and consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about your child’s health or temperature readings.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall Thermometer

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 best thermometer for toddlers you probably remember growing up, this thermometer doesn’t require disposable plastic covers that can interfere with fever readings.

The BP and Latex-free reader can be easily cleaned with a soft cloth or cotton swab and just a dab of 75 percent alcohol.

Best Budget

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.

Best Forehead Thermometer

Though this unit didn’t make it to our best wrist blood pressure monitor it still has some quality. Let’s have a look! 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 on your fingers.

Best Thermometer for Toddlers and Kids

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.

Best No-Touch

If you find yourself needing to take temperatures from finicky kids when they’re sleeping, invest in this no-touch option from Braun to make it super simple.

Best Multi-Use

When you have a busy household with kids of various ages, you 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 your sleep.

Best 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 it. And also because Braun knows that a buildup of earwax can impact the accuracy of the reading.

How to Shop for a Thermometer

There are Five Basic Types of Digital Thermometers:

Oral Thermometers

Oral temperature readings are quick and typically fairly accurate for teenagers over 4 years old. For the most accurate results

Your child will need to be able to breathe through their nose rather than their mouth while the thermometer is working. This can be hard for kids to do when they’re congested.

Axillary Thermometers

Armpit thermometers aren’t usually quite as accurate as other sorts of thermometers.

However, they can give you a general idea if you’re not able to take your child’s temperature another way. These are OK to use for babies and kids over 3 months.

Rectal Thermometers

The simplest choice for babies under 3 months, these thermometers are designed to be utilized in the rectum.

They can be a little uncomfortable, but they’re fast and very accurate.

Temporal Artery Thermometers

Sometimes called forehead thermometers, these are quick and accurate.

They can be a little on the pricey side, but are easy to use and won’t cause any discomfort.

Tympanic Thermometers

Better referred to as ear thermometers, these are quick to use and typically pretty comfortable. They’re a safe bet for infants and kids over 6 months old.

Keep in mind that there are some drawbacks, though. Earwax buildup or an ear canal that’s small or curved can make ear thermometer readings less accurate.

Above all other things, consider your baby’s age when choosing a thermometer. You may want to start with a rectal thermometer and then use a forehead or ear thermometer as they grow. Plus, if you ever question a reading, you can use the rectal as a backup.

Other Tips

Again, look only for digital thermometers. Safely dispose of any you might already have that are made from glass and mercury. Not only are they harder to use and read, but they may be dangerous if they break.

Comfort and safety features like a flexible tip and wide base are must-haves when shopping for rectal thermometers. Backlit displays or even talking thermometers are good options and will help you see (or hear!) readings in the nighttime hours or if you have a vision impairment.

The general price range for consumer thermometers is between $10 and $50. Of course, you can also find extremely expensive medical-grade ones, like this $260 oral probe from Welch Allyn. But you can get a reliable thermometer on the cheap.

If you’re looking for features like quick readings, memory tracking, or multiple reading types, you’ll need to pay more (but note that this doesn’t always mean better accuracy).

Some experts don’t recommend pacifier thermometers. While they may look like a genius option, they’re not super accurate and may take longer to capture a reading. Some experts also say to skip those skin strips that read the temperature. They aren’t accurate on babies.

Tips for How to Use a Thermometer

We all may be a little resistant to this but always read the instructions! How you use your thermometer will depend on what kind you have in your medicine cabinet. Here are some general guidelines for use by type.

Rectal Thermometers

Wash the thermometer using soap and water or rubbing alcohol. Then rinse thoroughly with warm water and let dry. Before inserting it into the rectum, lube the top with touch petrolatum or another lubricant.

Gently lay your baby down on their tummy on your lap or another stable surface. Place your palm on their back to hold them in place. Or, you may lay your baby face-up with their legs bent toward their chest, resting your free hand on their thighs.

Turn on your thermometer and then insert it about a half-inch to a full inch into the opening of the anus. Hold it in place with two fingers. It may help to cup your hand on your child’s butt.

Then remove the thermometer once you hear it beep, which indicates you’ve successfully taken a reading. Always clean the thermometer before storing it between uses. And consider labeling it so you don’t accidentally use it for oral readings!

Tympanic Thermometers

Make sure your thermometer is clean and that you use a cover over the end, if necessary. Gently pull your child’s ear back and place the cone-shaped end in the ear canal. You’ll want to position it as if you’re pointing it at the eye on the other side of his head.

Once in place, turn on the thermometer and wait until you hear a beep, indicating you have a reading. The AAP doesn’t recommend using tympanic thermometers with babies under 3 months old.

Even with babies under 6 months, the ear canal may be just too small to get an accurate reading. You’ll also want to avoid this type if your little one has an earache or has recently bathed or been in the pool.

Temporal Artery Thermometers

1. Make sure your thermometer sensor is clean and dry

2. Place the probe directly in the center of your baby’s forehead. Press the scan button as you move the thermometer toward one ear

3. Release the scan button and skim your baby’s temperature

Axillary Thermometers

Make sure your thermometer is clean and dry. While this isn’t as important as when you place it in the rectum or mouth, it’s good for the maintenance of your device.

Turn the thermometer on and place the reading end into the space of your baby’s armpit. Make sure that the end is touching your child’s skin and not their clothing. Hold it in place until you hear a beep that indicates you’ve taken a reading.

Oral Thermometers

Clean your thermometer with soap and water or rubbing alcohol. Rinse and let dry. Turn the thermometer on and insert it into your child’s mouth toward the back under the tongue. You may remove it when you hear a beep that indicates you’ve taken a reading.

Buying Guidelines

When it comes to buying a thermometer for toddlers, it’s important to choose a device that is accurate, safe, easy to use, and suitable for young children. Here’s a buying guide to help you make an informed decision:

Digital Thermometers

These are commonly used for toddlers and offer accurate readings. They can be used orally, rectally, or under the armpit.

Infrared Thermometers

These non-contact thermometers are quick and easy to use, ideal for taking temperature without disturbing a sleeping child. They measure temperature by scanning the forehead or ear.


Look for a thermometer that provides accurate readings consistently. Check user reviews and ratings to ensure the thermometer is reliable.


Safety is paramount when it comes to toddlers. Consider the following:

BPA and latex-free materials: Choose a thermometer that is free from harmful chemicals and materials.

Flexible tip: If you’re considering a digital thermometer, opt for one with a flexible tip to minimize discomfort and reduce the risk of injury.

Probe covers: If using a rectal or oral thermometer, check if it comes with disposable probe covers to maintain hygiene.

Ease of Use

Quick readings: Toddlers can be restless, so look for a thermometer that provides fast readings within a few seconds.

Large display: Ensure the thermometer has a clear and easy-to-read display, especially if you need to take temperature readings in dim lighting.

Intuitive controls: Choose a thermometer with straightforward buttons and settings for hassle-free operation.

Age-appropriate Features

Fever indicators: Some thermometers have color-coded screens or audible alerts to indicate a fever.

Memory function: A thermometer with memory storage can help track temperature changes over time.

Backlit display: If you anticipate taking temperature readings at night, a backlit display can be convenient.

Additional Features

Silent mode: This feature is useful if you need to take temperature readings while your child is asleep.

Multiple temperature measurement methods: Some thermometers offer both ear and forehead measurement options, providing flexibility based on your child’s comfort.

Reviews and Recommendations: Read customer reviews and seek recommendations from other parents to gauge the performance and reliability of a particular thermometer.

Brand and Warranty: Opt for thermometers from reputable brands that offer warranties, as it ensures you have recourse if the device malfunctions or requires repairs.


Q. What is the most accurate thermometer for toddlers?

A. Armpit temperatures are usually the smallest amount accurate. Rectal temperatures provide the simplest readings for infants, especially those 3 months or younger, as well as children up to age 3.

For older children and adults, oral readings are usually accurate as long as the mouth is closed while the thermometer is in situ.

Q. How can I tell if my toddler has a fever without a thermometer?

A. “The commonest thanks to check if someone features a fever without a thermometer is to feel the forehead or neck with the rear of your hand.

Lee says. “Check to ascertain if it feels warmer than usual. Do not use the palm, as it is not as sensitive to temperature changes as the back of the hand is.”

Q. When should I worry about my toddler’s temperature?

A. Always contact a GP or call 111 if: your child has other signs of illness, like a rash, also as heat. Your baby’s temperature is 38C or higher if they’re under 3 months old. your baby’s temperature is 39C or higher if they’re 3 to six months old.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right thermometer for your toddler is essential for accurately monitoring their temperature and ensuring their well-being. By considering factors such as accuracy, safety, ease of use, age-appropriate features, and customer reviews, you can make an informed decision.

Digital thermometers and infrared thermometers are popular choices for toddlers. Digital thermometers provide accurate readings and can be used orally, rectally, or under the armpit. Infrared thermometers offer non-contact temperature measurement, which is convenient for quick readings without disturbing a sleeping child.

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