Your baby feels warm… a little too warm, actually? What do you do? Well, don’t get that thermometer you had from when you were last sick. There’s a high likelihood that it’s not appropriate to use on babies. In case you weren’t aware, there are different types that are appropriate for different ages. And while pacifier thermometers look cute and appropriate for your baby, they’re very inaccurate and not doctor recommended. So, which thermometer should you get? Well, it depends. But if you don’t have time to learn about all the types, features, and factors that affect your choice of a thermometer, then just scroll on down. We’ve got the list of the 10 Best Baby Thermometers that would be perfect AND safe for your baby.
Top 10 Baby Thermometers of 2018 Reviewed
- Top 10 Baby Thermometers of 2018 Reviewed
- 1. Safety 1st Gentle Read Rectal Thermometer
- 2. iProven DMT-489
- 3. Braun Digital Ear Thermometer
- 4. Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer
- 5. Enji TH-65 Digital Thermometer
- 6. Dr. Madre Digital Infrared Forehead Thermometer
- 7. Kinsa Digital Smart Ear Thermometer
- 8. AccuMD Instant Infrared Thermometer
- 9. Vive Precision Clinical Forehead Thermometer
- 10. Innovo FR201 Non-contact Digital Infrared Medical Forehead Thermometer
- Baby Thermometer Buying Guide
1. Safety 1st Gentle Read Rectal ThermometerBest Baby Thermometer for Newborns
When it comes to babies, rectal is the way to go. It gives the most accurate readings and is recommended for newborns. And there’s no rectal thermometer that works better than the Safety 1st Gentle Read Rectal Thermometer. It features a flexible tip and an over-insertion guard. This makes it more comfortable for your baby and prevents you from inserting the tip farther than you should.
The thermometer gets a reading in just 8 seconds and you hear a beep when it’s done. It even recalls your last reading. The shape of the thermometer makes it easy to grip in your hand. Best of all, it can switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius so you don’t have to worry about getting a measurement you have to convert. One drawback to this thermometer is that it doesn’t have a backlit display so reading this at night will mean opening the light. Also, the disposable sleeves (if you wish to use them) don’t fit really well. Lastly, for some parents, 8 seconds is a lifetime especially if they’re baby is fussy.
- Easy to use
- Over-insertion guard
- No backlit display
- 8 seconds may be too long for some
- Disposable sleeves don’t fit well
2. iProven DMT-489Best Nonrectal Baby Thermometer
The iProven DMT-489 is a combination of a forehead thermometer and an ear thermometer. You can use either one that suits your baby and situation perfectly. And it’s easy to switch between the two types. Just remove the cap that does the forehead reading and you’ve got the ear thermometer ready to go. There are other features that also make this thermometer stand out.
It can complete a reading in 1-3 seconds (depends on which type you use), beeps to let you know it’s done, has a fever alert, and is able to store the last 20 readings you’ve taken. It comes with a storage pouch as well as a 100-day hassle-free money-back guarantee. There’s a green backlit display to make it easy to read in the dark. And it’s even cheaper than a dedicated ear or forehead thermometer.
Of course, there are some flaws. With the forehead thermometer, you need to make sure that it has acclimated to the room’s temperature to ensure accurate reading. This means it has to have been in the room for 30 minutes so as not to affect the reading. Not something that you think of doing until you find out your baby may be sick.
Also, forehead thermometers have a slight learning curve to get consistently accurate results. Using an ear thermometer is also tricky. And the beep is a bit on the loud side, not something ideal if you’re trying to take the temperature of a sleeping baby.
- Ear and forehead thermometer in one
- Stores the last 20 readings
- Fever alert feature
- Learning curve to use
- Loud beep
- Forehead thermometer needs to be acclimatized first (takes 30 minutes)
3. Braun Digital Ear ThermometerBest Infant Ear Thermometer
The Braun Digital Ear Thermometer is the best ear thermometer we’ve come across. Ear thermometers are notoriously tricky to use because the wrong position will give you an inaccurate reading. The Braun model overcomes this by using a beep and a light to confirm if the position is good for accurate measurement. The thermometer also features a memory function that shows you the last reading taken as well as a pre-warmed tip to improve accuracy. You also get 21 disposable lens filters to use as well as a storage case.
You can also switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit with this thermometer. The best part for some parents is that it uses AA batteries which you can get anywhere. And in case you’re wondering, this takes temperatures within 3 seconds and makes a beep as well as flashes a green light to let you know it’s done. Take note that this is only safe for babies 6 months or older. If you have a newborn, this is not the thermometer for him/her. This thermometer does not have a backlit display so you can’t read this in a darkened room.
- Easy to use
- Uses AA batteries
- Disposable lens filters need to be replaced after each use
- Not for newborns
- No backlit display
4. Exergen Temporal Artery ThermometerBest Forehead Thermometer For Baby
The Exergen Temporal Scan Forehead Artery Baby Thermometer probably looks familiar to you because it’s what most health experts use, particularly pediatricians. What it does is it reads the infrared heat given off by your temporal artery. It’s very accurate (though not as accurate as rectal) and is appropriate for all ages. This means that you don’t need to have a separate one for your baby and the rest of the family. Even newborns can use this thermometer.
What makes this a great choice for babies is that you aren’t going to wake them up if you plan to check their temperature while they’re sleeping. Even the beep it makes, once it’s turned on, is very soft that it won’t be waking anyone up. However, there is a learning curve to using this thermometer. Make sure to read the instructions carefully and practice swiping.
You can ask your pediatrician to teach you. The thermometer doesn’t come with a cover or case to make sure it doesn’t get smudges or dirt on the lens. This can affect accuracy. Accuracy is also affected by moisture. If the child has a wet forehead due to sweating or a bath, the reading will not be accurate.
- Does not disturb your baby when sleeping
- Appropriate for the entire family
- Used by medical professionals
- No cover or case
- Moisture affects accuracy
- Learning curve to use
5. Enji TH-65 Digital ThermometerBest Baby Armpit Thermometer
This is a multi-use thermometer that can be used rectally, orally, or under the armpit. Not at the same time, of course! But it does provide you with versatility. It features a flexible tip which makes it comfortable to use wherever you wish to place it. It’s pretty accurate but if you’re not completely satisfied, you can use the “Accurate Temperature Guarantee” which enables you to get your money back in full. We like the fact that this comes with a case to keep the thermometer protected and sanitary between uses.
There’s also an extra probe cover to prevent contamination. What’s better is the fact that this thermometer is waterproof which makes it easy to clean without having to worry about damaging it. You can change between Fahrenheit and Celsius. And there’s a backlit display to make for easy reading in the dark. However, for a rectal thermometer, there’s no “guard” to prevent you from inserting too far. And it takes 10 seconds to complete a reading which is too long for some babies.
- flexible tip
- Accurate Temperature Guarantee
- No guard to prevent inserting the tip too far when used rectally
- 10 seconds to do a reading
- not an ideal option for newborns
6. Dr. Madre Digital Infrared Forehead ThermometerBest Non contact Baby Thermometer
The Dr. Madre Digital Infrared Forehead Thermometer is perfect for every single member of your family. It’s a non-contact digital thermometer that ensures you never disturb the baby when you’re taking his temperature. It can instantly scan your baby’s forehead and get results just as fast. It stores the 12 past readings so you can easily track your baby’s progress.
The backlit display is easy to read but if you have problems with your eyesight, the talking function will let you know the reading. As an added bonus, the storage case even has slots for keeping your extra batteries in. However, some people find the talk feature annoying; you can turn it off. But even in silent mode, the beep that tells you it’s done can be pretty loud.
- Stores up to 12 readings
- 1-second reading
- Loud beep
7. Kinsa Digital Smart Ear Thermometer
If you love using smart devices, then the Kinsa Digital Smart Ear Thermometer is the one for you. This little thing connects to your phone via Bluetooth so you can easily keep track of your baby’s fever and even show the details to your pediatrician. The Kinsa takes your child’s temperature in just one second.
Aside from letting you keep track of your baby’s health status, you can get real-time, personalized guidance on what to do, get reminders on when to administer medication, and even comfort your little one using the Sesame Street Mode in the app (it’ll be Elmo talking). The battery life is rated to last for 2 years (or 1000 readings). It’s pretty accurate, almost as accurate as a rectal thermometer. However, you can’t use this with a baby that’s younger than 6 months old.
The Bluetooth connectivity can be a problem at times; it may disconnect and require you to delete the thermometer from your list and re-add it to get connected. Also, it doesn’t pair with certain smartphones so be sure to check the manufacturer’s list of compatible phones.
- Smart device
- Long battery life
- Real-time, personalized guidance, and reminders
- Does not pair well with certain smartphones
- Some connectivity issues
- Not for babies younger than 6 years old
8. AccuMD Instant Infrared Thermometer
Designed for the whole family, the AccuMD Instant Infrared Thermometer can be used to check temperatures in the ear and forehead. It can store up to 20 readings, switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit, shut down automatically after 10 seconds, and provide you with an instant reading (within 1 second).
The LCD screen has a fever alert, turning red for a high fever and stays green for temps at 99.5F or lower. The thermometer also beeps to indicate when the temperature is at fever level. However, the forehead thermometer isn’t as accurate as the ear thermometer. For newborns, we’d recommend getting a rectal thermometer for the first 6 months to ensure accuracy.
- Instant reading
- Fever alerts
- Can store up to 20 readings
- Forehead thermometer isn’t as accurate as the ear one
- Not for newborns
9. Vive Precision Clinical Forehead Thermometer
This non-contact forehead thermometer has one feature that we fell in love with. Instead of holding down one button to go through different settings, it has three. And you only need to touch it once to get it to scan for temperature. The large backlit screen lets you know the reading, the audible alarm status, and even a low battery status. This thermometer also keeps the past 10 readings in its memory.
But that’s not all. This thermometer can be used to take the temperature of different things using the set modes. You can measure the temp of water or a room which is essential if you have a baby. However, it’s definitely not as accurate as a rectal thermometer which means this is not ideal for newborns.
- Large backlit screen
- Stores past 10 readings
- Can take room temp or water temp
- Not as accurate as a rectal thermometer
- Not for newborns
10. Innovo FR201 Non-contact Digital Infrared Medical Forehead ThermometerBest Baby Room Thermometer
The Innovo FR201 is a non-contact infrared forehead thermometer that looks different from anything we’ve seen before. First off, the handle serves as the LCD screen. The numbers light up which makes it incredibly easy to read even in a darkened room. You can choose to use this inaudible or silent mode and switch between Fahrenheit or Celsius. It has a fever alert, both visual and audio if the temp exceeds 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
It can store up to 20 readings. And it has automatic shut-off after 10 seconds. The thermometer comes with a protective case as well as two AA batteries so you can use it right out of the box. You get one-second readings so no more anxious waiting. And you can even switch to “object” mode that lets you measure an object’s temperature. While it is quite accurate, it is the most expensive one on our list. Also, for newborns, it’s best if you also have a rectal thermometer on hand for double-checking.
- Fever alerts
- Automatic shutoff
- One-second readings
- Very expensive
Baby Thermometer Buying Guide
Not all thermometers are made equal. While this could mean many things, we are referring to the fact that not all thermometers can be used for babies. However, even the slightest of fevers (100.4 degrees), can already be a symptom of a serious infection in babies younger than 4 months. This means that you need to make sure the thermometer in your home is age appropriate. Now, how do you do that?
Different types of thermometers
There are several ways to get a temperature reading. Most of us already know the usual – rectal, axillary (under the arm), and oral. Obviously, oral thermometers aren’t best for babies. But what about the others?
Rectal: as cringe-worthy as it is, rectal thermometers are the most accurate way to take your baby’s temperature. These are typically designed with a flexible tip and wide base to prevent you from inserting the thermometer too far and causing injury. Our number one pick, the Safety 1st Gentle Read Rectal Thermometer, is a rectal thermometer.
Multi-use thermometers: also called digital thermometers, these feature a metal tip at one end and can be used orally, rectally, or axillary (under the arm). These can give very accurate readings, specifically when used rectally. However, it is not designed to prevent you from inserting the tip too far which could be dangerous. If used under the arm, this provides the least accurate reading especially if your child is fidgety. The Enji TH-65 Digital Thermometer is the best multi-use thermometer we’ve encountered but we don’t recommend it for newborns.
Ear: also called tympanic thermometers, these make use of an infrared ray to measure the temperature inside the child’s ear canal. These are easy to use and fast. These are also safe to use for babies 6 months or older. However, accuracy is dependent on the placement of the thermometer. If not placed in exactly the right position, you won’t get consistent, accurate readings. The Braun Digital Ear Thermometer and the Kinsa Digital Smart Ear Thermometer are both ear thermometers that do a bang-up job of providing accurate temps.
Temporal Artery: also known as the forehead thermometer, this type uses infrared technology to measure the heat given off by the temporal artery. This thermometer is accurate for any age, quick and safe to use, and requires no contact with the baby. Just a quick swipe on the forehead and you’re done. However, it does cost quite a bit and is the most expensive type in the market. If the temperature is high, doctors still recommend using a rectal thermometer to double-check. The Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer is an excellent forehead thermometer but it does require skin contact. Some models such as the Dr. Madre Digital Infrared Forehead Thermometer do not.
Pacifier thermometers: yes, these are cute and seems ingenious. However, you’ll need your baby to suck on this for as long as 3 to 5 minutes to get a reading and it’s not consistently accurate. We didn’t pick any in this category because doctors don’t recommend this at all.
What factors should I consider when buying a thermometer for my baby?
A good thermometer is a must-have in any parent’s arsenal. This is because we want to know when we need to watch and wait or rush our baby to the doctor. There are several factors that you’ll need to look for to ensure you’re getting the best for your little one.
Accuracy: there’s nothing more important than this. You want to be able to rely on the reading that you get. If you’re going to buy a thermometer, make sure it’s something that a lot of experts recommend as accurate. The Safety 1st Gentle Read Rectal Thermometer is the most accurate of all our picks.
Consistency: it’s only natural that you want to take your baby’s temperature again right after the first (or third) try. After all, you want to be dead sure. Your chosen temperature must be able to give you the same reading after each measurement.
Response Time: you’ll want to get a reading in the fastest time possible without sacrificing accuracy. This is especially important if you’re dealing with a tired tot. Babies are not known for their patience. The Braun Digital Ear Thermometer, for example, has a response time of 3 seconds.
Suitability: is your pick age appropriate? Newborns need a rectal thermometer but an older infant may squirm around in protest so a temporal artery thermometer may work better.
Safety: does your thermometer come with covers or a protective case? You don’t want your inquisitive baby to poke his eye out. You also don’t want the thermometer getting broken and having to buy a new one just when you need it. A lot of our picks like the Innovo FR201 Non-contact Digital Infrared Medical Forehead Thermometer come with a protective case.
Easy to clean: you’ll want to make sure that the thermometer is free from germs or bacteria, especially if you’re using a rectal one. Having a thermometer that’s easy to clean is one less thing to worry about. The Enji TH-65 Digital Thermometer has a waterproof design which makes this the easiest one to clean out of all our picks.
Flexible tip: this is all about comfort but still important, especially if you’re planning on getting a rectal thermometer.
Any extra features?
Fever alert: Some thermometers beep an alert if the temperature is higher than 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit while others display a visual alert such as the word “fever” on the screen or changing color to indicate the temperature. With the iProven DMT-489, you get a fever alert as well as a memory feature which we listed below.
Memory: some models show the last reading taken or allow you to save multiple readings so you can easily track your baby’s temperature.
Auto shutoff: some models automatically shuts down to preserve battery such as the Innovo FR201 Non-contact Digital Infrared Medical Forehead Thermometer which turns off after 10 seconds.
Backlit display: this enables you to easily see the reading at night without having to turn on the light and waking up your little one.
While these extra features are great and make things more convenient for you, there are only three things you should really look for in any thermometer for your little one: accuracy, consistency, and suitability. Anything else is all about personal preference. If the extra features make you less paranoid, then go ahead. But if you’re on a strict budget, don’t despair of not getting a good one. Just those three things will ensure you’ll get peace of mind when you’re little one gets sick.