The home thermometer helps you monitor your family members’ temperatures from the comfort of your home so you know whether to seek medical care or simply wait for fevers to break. The home thermometer you want to buy must be easy to use, fast and accurate.
Here are the home thermometer:
Best thermometer overall: iProven Forehead and Ear Thermometer
Best budget thermometer: Vicks ComfortFlex Digital Thermometer
Best ear thermometer: Braun ThermoScan 7 Digital Ear Thermometer
Best for children: Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer
The iProven best home thermometer can take readings through ear and forehead, so it’s ideal for cross-referencing measurements to get accurate temperature readings.
Best Home Thermometer Overall
The iProven Forehead and Ear Thermometer is remarkably easy to use, and it’s designed for use on adults, kids, and babies. You operate it with a single press of a button, and readings are quickly displayed on a large, clear LCD screen. Second, the thermometer can take readings in two ways: ear or infrared. And finally, an automatic fever alarm takes the guesswork out of the equation.
The first method for attaining a temperature is to use its ear canal probe. You gently insert the ear probe, press the Ear button, and get your reading. To use the infrared forehead sensor, you pop on the infrared lens attachment, press the Head button, then either gently drag the sensor across the forehead or lightly tap it to several spots on the brow.
Using the ear probe will get you the most accurate results in the most efficient manner possible, but it might not always be a viable method with a fussy toddler or otherwise unwilling participant.
The infrared sensor requires leaving the best home thermometer in the room where it will be used for about a half-hour prior to measurement. This ensures it is at the room’s temperature and thus can accurately determine body heat as a contrast. Gently swiping the sensor against the head of a resting patient will be minimally invasive and is an ideal option for babies.
While this best home thermometer works for the entire family, iProven also makes a version specifically for adults.
Pros: Dual measurement functions, easy operation, automatic fever alarm
Cons: Infrared sensor requires 30-minute calibration
The best budget thermometer
The Vicks ComfortFlex takes temperatures in multiple ways and the affordable price tag makes it a steal.
The Vicks ComfortFlex is a thermostat that can be used by people of all ages — it’s safe to use for kids and babies. In our testing, we found readings to be accurate and easy to read on the digital display. It’s affordable, so you can keep one for adults and one for kids.
For older kids and adults, the ComfortFlex can be used orally. For babies, you can place it under their arms or insert it rectally. Readings are accurate, but compared to the Vicks RapidRead, it’s not as fast; the ComfortFlex registers between 8-to-11 seconds.
It’s lightweight and slim enough to throw in a bag. For such a compact device, however, the ComfortFlex makes extremely loud beeps. And, you have to turn it off and turn it on again in order to take back-to-back temperature readings.
Pros: Affordable, multi-use, accurate, clear digital display, well-designed probe covers
Cons: Slow readings (by comparison) of 8-11 seconds, very loud beep, lag time when taking multiple readings
The best ear thermometer
If you just want an exceptionally good thermometer that’s easy to use, reliable, and will last for years, then the Braun ThermoScan 7 Digital Ear Thermometer is the one for you.
This is one of the most basic digital ear thermometers out there, but it’s well-made. Thanks to its accuracy and durability, it’s a number-one pick for use in pediatrician’s offices and is the go-to choice for families.
Part of the reason this device is so accurate is the pre-warmed tip, a feature that not only helps with precise measurements but that also makes the experience of having temperature taken less unpleasant for the patient. The thermometer also emits a beep and lights up once good ear placement is achieved, so you know the measurement recorded is as accurate as possible.
Insider Reviews freelancer and certified postpartum doula PCD(DONA) Mandy Major tested the Braun ThermoScan 7 for her guide to the best baby thermometers. When testing the ThermoScan 7 on her daughter when she was healthy, she found the Braun struggled with accuracy, varying up to 0.5 degrees as compared to the other models. But when her daughter had the flu, the ThermoScan 7 was by far the most accurate model.
Majors said, “I felt bad for routinely checking her 103-plus degree fever with several thermometers, but I’m glad I did. The Kinsa, my early favorite, did not register fevers as accurately as it had with healthy temperatures. Braun’s did. The tip was also easier to insert when she was sleeping.”
Because the Braun ThermoScan 7 Ear Thermometer uses disposable ear probes, you can minimize the chance of spreading germs from one person to the next. This thermometer only has a single memory function and only takes temperatures in one manner (the ear).
Pros: Excellent accuracy when fever is present, lasts for years, replaceable covers limit germ spreading
Cons: Screen is not backlit, lesser accuracy when fever is not present
The best home thermometer for children
A temporal artery thermometer uses an infrared scanner to detect someone’s temperature via the temporal artery in their forehead. Next to rectal thermometers, it’s the most reliable way to get an accurate reading on children and babies over three months. Infants under three months should still have their temperature taken rectally for the most accurate reading, but in times where that’s not possible, a temporal artery thermometer is a good alternative.
Insider Reviews freelancer and certified postpartum doula PCD(DONA) Mandy Major tested the Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer for her guide to the best baby thermometers, and not only did it make her top pick for children older than three months, but it also became her go-to thermometer in her own home.
Major says, “Upon repeated testing, the Exergen delivered the most accurate and consistent readings of any model tested. However, it’s worth noting that the variations for most models were very minor — typically a variation of 0.3 degrees.
“Second to its accuracy, what I appreciate most about the Exergen is its ability to retake a temperature with no downtime in between. It makes quick work out of taking a temperature three times, something I always do at home. As a postpartum doula, I also encourage my clients to do this to ensure they are getting a consistent temporal temperature reading.”
She did warn against a bit of user error that can occur if the sensor is not pressed flat against the forehead. For the most accurate reading, start at the center of the forehead and swipe back and forth.
The Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer has a silent mode so as not to waken sleeping children, and its dim read-out screen serves the same purpose. The screen may be too dim to read in the dark, however.
Pros: Most accurate thermometer we tested, suitable for children older than three months, no downtime between readings
Cons: Dim readout screen, unintuitive settings menu