The 7 Best Baby Thermometers of 2023
- The American Academy of Pediatrics says the most accurate reading for babies is a rectal reading.
- A rectal thermometer is the only recommended baby thermometer by the AAP for infants under 3 months.
- Oral thermometers aren’t recommended until after 4 years old for more accurate readings.
A sick baby can cause a lot of concern for parents. When your little one is running a fever and feeling under the weather, it’s easy to get frantic. You might find yourself up at night searching “how to help your congested baby sleep” or “when to call the doctor for a fever.”
But with a little knowledge under your belt and one of the best baby thermometers in hand, you can keep your cool. Baby thermometers are an essential tool that should be in the first aid kit of every home. With an accurate baby thermometer, you can make an informed decision about what to do next for your child.
I’ve learned through my years of motherhood that not all baby thermometers are created equal. I’ve tried forehead thermometers, ear thermometers, oral thermometers, and rectal thermometers. Some have been extremely reliable, and others have left me disappointed.
Through trial and error, I’ve learned how to choose the most accurate baby thermometer for our house. If you’re on the hunt for the best baby thermometer, you’re at the right place. We’ve reviewed all the options to find you the best baby thermometers of 2023.
Our Choice: iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer, Digital Infrared Thermometer
- Non-Contact Technology For Safe & Hygienic Use: With a built-in infrared temperature sensor, the iHealth PT3 thermometer can read a person’s body temperature within 1.18 inches from the center of the forehead without physically touching the person.
- High Accuracy Via Tri-Point Sensory: An ultra-sensitive infrared sensor collects more than 100 data points per second while distance and environmental sensors work together to account for other variables, ensuring maximum accuracy every time the temperature is taken.
- Simple, Fast, Clear, And Quiet: With an intuitive single-button control design, the thermometer reads and shows the temperature in just one second on its easy-to-read, extra-large LED display, even in total darkness. When the temperature is read, the device gives a gentle vibration notification to the holding hand—no beeps or buzzes.
- Suitable For Wide Usage Scenarios & All Age Groups: This iHealth thermometer (model PT3) is designed for all ages, ranging from babies and toddlers to the elderly. An ideal choice for at-home use and for hospitals, hotels, schools, and other public or private establishments.
When you’ve got over 150,000 raving reviews on Amazon, you must be doing something right! The iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer is one of the most popular baby thermometers around.
This baby thermometer requires no contact and makes no sound. I certainly can appreciate this for temperature readings in the middle of the night. The device makes a gentle vibration when it’s done taking a reading.
You won’t have to wait around long for your baby’s temperature. This baby thermometer takes a reading in an impressive 1-2 seconds. The backlit screen makes it easy to read in the dark.
As far as accuracy goes, you’ll likely be within 1 degree of a rectal temperature. To ensure an accurate reading, you’ll want to compare it to another thermometer when you start using it. This will allow you to add, if needed, for each reading.
Though you might not get as accurate of a reading, this thermometer is a life-saver for squirmy babies or little ones with sensory issues. You’ll be able to take their temperature quickly without contact. This makes it the best baby thermometer for quick, easy readings.
Best Smart: Kinsa QuickCare Smart Thermometer for Fever
- ACCURATE, RELIABLE, FAST – FDA-cleared for safety & accuracy, the Kinsa QuickCare smart thermometer produces an accurate temperature reading (in F and C) in under 8 seconds. QuickCare also meets ASTM standards for all thermometer devices.
- VERSATILE DESIGN – The stick-shaped thermometer can be used orally (most common for older children and adults), underarm (most common for younger children), or rectally (most common for infants).
- COMFORTABLE, FLEXIBLE TIP – Soft outer coating and flexible, bendable tip offers optimal comfort for family members of all ages, from your sleeping baby to elderly grandparents, and everyone in between.
- EASY TO USE – No-hassle design & large lighted display with fever indication icons makes temperature-taking a breeze – and temperatures easy to read, day or night. A simple push of a button toggles your thermometer between F and C readings.
It seems like just about everything comes in a “smart” version now. Thermometers are no exception. The Kinsa QuickCare Smart Thermometer for Fever is a digital thermometer that tells you more than just your baby’s temperature.
When you download the app, you’ll be able to view your child’s past temperature readings. You can also set up profiles for each of your family members. On the profile page, you can track your child’s symptoms and receive guidance on when to take your baby to the doctor.
Busy parents will appreciate that you can connect virtually with a doctor right from the app. You’ll also be able to record any medicine you give your child, so you know when the next dose is due. As a busy mom myself, those might be my favorite features in the app.
This thermometer does require contact either by oral, rectal, or armpit use. This can be a huge hassle with little ones who aren’t feeling well. However, the reading only takes 8 seconds and is very accurate.
Best Budget: Konquest KDT-1201 Digital Medical Thermometer
- QUICK AND ACCURATE – Fast and Precise 10-second readings. This unit is safe for children and adults
- MERCURY FREE – The best alternative to mercury thermometers. Safe for babies, travel and the environment
- FLEXIBLE TIP and WATERPROOF – Feels Softer in the Mouth. Waterproof design allows for easy cleaning
- EASY TO READ LCD – Digital LCD lets you easily read temperatures. Recall the last measurement
Maybe you’re not looking for the fanciest thermometer on the market. If something simple and cheap is what you need, take a look at the Konquest KDT-1201 Digital Medical Thermometer.
I’m very pleased with the performance of this thermometer for the price. We tested this thermometer on every member of the house, and the oral readings were all in the 98 to 98.6-degree range. We did not test it for armpit or rectal readings.
The tip of this thermometer is very flexible and soft. I can see it being comfortable and easy to use for rectal readings. The only drawback is that there isn’t a safety stopper for insertion which can be tricky when used on infants.
Though I didn’t personally test it, this thermometer is also waterproof—great news for parents with multiple children. It should be okay if an older sibling takes it for a swim in the bathtub.
It only took 5-10 seconds to read our temperatures. The thermometer beeps when it’s done taking the temperature and sounds an alarm for high temperatures.
After testing this out, I think it’s the best baby thermometer we’ve found for such a low price point.
Best Rectal: FridaBaby Quick-Read Digital Rectal Thermometer
- FEVER OR FINE IN A FLASH: Delivers a 10 second quick read
- KEEP YOUR COOL: Parent-proof rectal insertion stopper to keep you from inserting too far, and large display with backlight makes nighttime temp checks easier.
- TUSH TEMP: AAP recommends that for at least the first year of baby’s life (though up to three is best), temp checks should only be done rectally. Plus, the parent-proof stopper with an LED light makes tush temp checks worry-free.
- BABY FEVER: BPA-Free and latex free. Plus, water-resistant for easy cleaning.
If you want the most accurate temperature reading for your baby, rectal is the way to go. The FridaBaby Quick-Read Digital Rectal Thermometer is a popular choice among parents for a baby rectal thermometer.
Taking a rectal reading can be intimidating to parents. This accurate thermometer is short, flexible, and has a safety insertion stopper to ensure you don’t go too far. If you’ve ever taken a rectal temperature before, you know how helpful that can be with a squirming baby.
This rectal baby thermometer also has a backlit display screen for an easy nighttime read. You’ll have to wait about 10 seconds for it to display your baby’s temperature, which might seem like a lifetime. However, most babies don’t complain since the tip is short and thin.
After taking a temp, the last 10 temperature readings are stored for convenience. I love that this small rectal thermometer comes with a case to keep it away from little hands. It’s also small enough to throw in a diaper bag in case the sitter or daycare needs to take a temperature.
Best No-Touch: Berrcom Non-Contact Infrared Forehead Thermometer
- 【3-in-1 non-contact infrared thermometer】The 3-in-1 infrared thermometer can not only measure body temperature, but also milk temperature, food temperature and room temperature.The backlit LCD display makes the measured values still visible at night
- 【Fever alarm】Thermometer with fever alarm: when the body temperature is normal, the LCD display is green. Orange indicates slight fever and red indicates high fever. The backlight displays a red color and an audible alarm when the body temperature is above 38°C
- 【Sensitive and reliable】The digital thermometer can quickly perform accurate and reliable measurement. It adopts advanced infrared technology, and can realize non-contact and fast temperature measurement in one second
- 【Memory function】The body thermometer can record the last 32 temperature measurements. The unit of temperature tested can be displayed in either °C or °F. In addition, it is equipped with an automatic shut-off function (30 seconds) to save energy
Kids that don’t want to be touched when sick won’t fight you on this thermometer. The Berrcom Non-Contact Infrared Forehead Thermometer is easy to use and doesn’t require skin contact.
The first thing I did when I received this thermometer was testing it for accuracy. I had concerns that this might not be a reliable baby thermometer since it doesn’t make contact with the skin. I was pleasantly surprised that the readings on this thermometer matched the readings on our oral thermometer.
The read time is extremely fast, at only 1 to 2 seconds. You just point the thermometer at the forehead about 1-2 inches away. After you click the button, it displays the reading on the backlit screen.
After testing the whole house, we tested it on the air and surface temperatures. All temperatures seemed accurate, and it was easy to switch the modes.
Another great feature is the automatic shut-off. I know I probably won’t remember to shut off this thermometer after taking a temperature. So I’m glad to know the batteries won’t run down while I’m grabbing medicine or Google searching how to help a teething baby sleep.
Best Ear: Amplim No Touch Professional Forehead and Ear Thermometer
- All in One: This thermometer is designed for professionals with one-click easy measurement to be used at home, schools, offices, and clinics alike. It even comes with a stand for easy placement. Super convenience with a built-in clock and rotatable screen
- SAFE FOR ALL: No Touch IR Infrared thermometer technology allows for noninvasive, contact free scans that are more comfortable, hygienic and easier to use than rectal, oral/mouth, or armpit thermometers; For use on adults, children, toddlers, or infants; Termometro para bebes o adultos; Ideal for doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals
- Fast + Accurate + Sleek: Color LCD screen; Green for normal, red for human body fever temperatures; Audible alarm; Modern design sets apart from gun / patrol thermometers; Portable and handheld
- GREAT VALUE: Features include memory storage capacity for last 60 readings; object mode for scanning a liquid (such as milk), object, surface or room; Celsius or Fahrenheit settings; color LCD, night light; clock; rotatable screen; energy saving capability
If your child doesn’t mind their temperature being taken by ear, this is a more accurate reading than an armpit or oral temperature. The Amplim No Touch Professional Forehead and Ear Thermometer is a less invasive option than rectal readings.
This baby thermometer does it all. You can use it to measure the temperate of your baby’s forehead or ear, as well as room or surface temperatures. After taking your child’s temperature, you’ll be able to review the last 50 readings.
One thing I love about this ear thermometer is the color LCD screen. The screen lights up in either green, yellow, or red to indicate how high the temperature is. This makes nighttime readings a breeze.
This ear thermometer does make a beeping sound after each reading, but you have the option to shut it off. You can also change the temperature readings to either Fahrenheit or Celsius.
To switch from forehead temperature to ear temperature readings, you simply remove the top cover. The earpiece is hidden underneath. Some parents complained about inaccurate readings, but this was usually solved by reading the directions before taking temperatures.
This is not recommended for babies under 6 months. Your child’s ear canal is too small for the device at that age.
Best Temple Touch: ADC Temple Touch Digital Fever Thermometer
- Reduces the risk of cross contamination and avoids the need for costly probe covers
- Dimensions : 4.7″x1.17″x1″ (12cm x 3cm x 2.4cm); Display : LCD; Weight : 1.3oz (37g)
- Last reading memory, dual scale (FC), water resistant, large backlit display. Temp range: 95degreeF to 107.6degreeF +/- 0.2degreeF (35degreeC to 42degreeC +/- 0.1degreeC)
- Auto off function conserves battery life, audible tone when measurement is complete
Some parents prefer thermometers that make contact with the skin for a more accurate reading. The ADC Temple Touch Digital Fever Thermometer is the perfect choice for a temple touch thermometer.
Let’s start with what’s most important— an accurate temperature reading. The temperature reading on this baby thermometer matches other oral and infrared forehead readings. Since your little one likely won’t want to sit through multiple readings, it’s good to know the first one will be accurate.
The thermometer is fairly quick, taking about 6 seconds to read the baby’s temperature. If your baby doesn’t like to sit still, this might seem like a lot longer.
After you take your child’s temperature, it will store the last reading in the memory so you can compare previous temperatures. I find this very helpful when you’re taking temperatures in the middle of the night and can’t remember what the last reading was. It will also automatically shut off, which is also helpful for tired parents who are up all night.
Since we have 4 children in our home, I like to have thermometers that don’t spread germs even further. This only touches the baby’s temple. You won’t have to spend time disinfecting the digital thermometer between children.
When your little one is sick, you only want to see them get better. Thankfully, there are a variety of products on the market that will help nurse your baby back to health. Here’s what we recommend to go along with your baby thermometer:
- Forehead Cooling Patches
- Baby Humidifier
- Aroma Diffuser
- Essential Oils
- Nasal Aspirator
- Baby Chest Rub
Which Type of Thermometer Is Most Accurate for Babies?
When you’re searching for the best baby thermometer to use on your little one, you want to find one that will take accurate readings. With a sick baby, no parent wants to have to wonder if they have an accurate baby thermometer.
So which type of thermometer is best? The American Academy of Pediatrics makes it clear in its guide on How to take your child’s temperature. They note that the most accurate reading for children is a rectal reading.
This is especially true for infants under 3 months of age. In fact, a rectal thermometer is the only recommended baby thermometer by the AAP for infants under 3 months. You might even find pediatricians who encourage parents to keep using rectal thermometers until 3 years old for the most accurate readings.
The AAP strongly advises against two types of thermometers: pacifier thermometers and forehead strip thermometers. Neither were found to be reliable baby thermometers by the AAP.
We know that using a rectal thermometer on your baby might not be the most comfortable or convenient option. So let’s take a look at the accuracy of other options:
|Type of Thermometer||Recommended Age||Accuracy|
|Rectal Thermometers||Starting at birth||Thought to be most accurate by pediatricians.|
|Oral Thermometers||4 years and older||More accurate after 4 years old|
|Forehead Thermometers||Any age||Close reading to rectal temperature|
|Tympanic Thermometers (Ear Canal)||6 months and older||Close reading to rectal temperature|
|Underarm Thermometers||Any age||Not as reliable and up to 1 degree cooler than rectal temperature|
Choosing the Right Thermometer for Your Baby
Choosing a baby thermometer for your home doesn’t have to be difficult. There are a few things to look for that will help you find the best baby thermometers among the options.
Thermometers should not cost an arm and a leg. Some of the most inexpensive and basic thermometers are actually more accurate than fancy ones. Think back to when we used mercury thermometers as kids.
Though mercury thermometers are now strongly advised against, we can all appreciate how simple and affordable they were. The best baby thermometers will be affordable.
A rectal thermometer will give you the most accurate reading out of all baby thermometers. However, this is not always the parent’s or baby’s first choice. An ear or forehead thermometer will give you almost as accurate of a reading without discomfort.
It’s possible for digital thermometers of any kind to malfunction and give an incorrect reading. However, a glance over the reviews might give you an idea of how trustworthy the thermometer is. I recommend comparing your thermometer to a rectal reading if possible before using it consistently.
The last thing parents want to do is make their sick child more uncomfortable. This is why the comfort of the thermometer should also be on your list.
Will the thermometer take a long time to get a reading? Or will your child be bothered by contact with their skin? Think about what will make life easier for both of you when taking your child’s temperature.
How can you tell if a thermometer isn’t working?
The best way to tell if a thermometer isn’t working is by comparing it to another reliable baby thermometer. If you have a rectal or oral thermometer, this will give you a solid reading to compare with.
Also, you are the parent and know when your child doesn’t feel right. If you suspect a fever, but the thermometer doesn’t agree, go with your gut. Thermometers, just like anything else, can malfunction and shouldn’t make you go against your instincts.
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