Thermometers are an essential part of every home first aid kit. While a high temperature is our body’s way of fighting off disease, a long-term high fever is potentially dangerous and even deadly. Therefore, an accurate and high-quality thermometer plays a crucial role in monitoring fevers.
In general, digital thermometers are more reliable and safer to use—and smart options add additional helpful features. Take an in-depth look at the best digital thermometers so you can make the best choice for your home’s needs.
The best thermometer overall: iProven DMT-316
The iProven DMT-316 is our pick for the top adult thermometer. It can be used on the forehead and ears, and the DMT can take a temperature in a speedy 1 to 3 seconds. The digital display is large and super easy to read, which is great for when you’re feeling woozy. It can also recall up to 20 of your last temperature readings, and the screen will turn orange to red if your temperature is above normal.
The best ear thermometer: Braun Thermoscan 7
If you prefer ear thermometers, the Braun Thermoscan 7 is a great choice. On the display, it will tell you what is a normal temperature and what is a fever for the age group of the ill person. The tip also warms up, so it’s super comforting for children and toddlers. Plus, the Thermoscan can take a temperature in just seconds and will light up yellow or red if the temperature is higher than normal.
The best oral thermometer: Vicks SpeedRead V912US Digital Thermometer
No one likes having a thermometer in their mouth, which is why the Vicks SpeedRead V912US Digital Thermometer is a great pick. It can take a temperature in just 8 seconds. Another favorite feature is how big and clear the digital screen is. SpeedRead also has color-coded alerts for easy monitoring. For simple reading, the screen lights up green if the temperature is normal, yellow if it’s a mild temperature, and red if the temperature is high.
The best forehead thermometer: Chooseen 8-in-1 Professional Infrared Temporal Fever Thermometer
The Chooseen 8-in-1 Professional Infrared Temporal Fever Thermometer can be used on the forehead or in the ear, but it gets even more versatile. It can also be used to test the temperature of liquids, foods, the room you’re in, and other items. Chooseen can recall up to 35 temperature readings, and like other thermometers on this list, the display will change color depending on the temperature. The best feature is that it can take a temperature without touching the skin, so you can test a loved one without waking them.
The best thermometer for babies: Vicks ComfortFlex Digital Thermometer
According to the Cleveland Clinic, a digital thermometer is multi-use, designed to work orally, under the arm, or in the rectum (though if you use a thermometer rectally, you shouldn’t use it orally).
Since rectal temperatures are the most accurate for babies under three years old, according to the Mayo Clinic, your best bet is the Vicks ComfortFlex Digital Thermometer. It is somewhat soft and flexible, and it reads a temperature in just 8 seconds, so you don’t have to put your baby in too much discomfort. Plus, it saves the last reading, so you can see if the fever is getting better even if you forget to write down a temperature or two. If your child has a fever, the screen lights up yellow or red, depending on its severity.
The best smart thermometer: Kinsa Smart Thermometer
It’s a wonder we went so long without a smart thermometer paired with such a comprehensive app in our world of ever-evolving technology. The Kinsa Smart Thermometer delivers not only temperature but also a whole host of other features such as medical advice, OTC medications, and recommendations on when to call a doctor. It lets you monitor multiple people’s health benchmarks and set reminders to keep things straight. Finally, use this thermometer in Sesame Street mode or Bubble game to distract your child when taking their temperature.