The best medical thermometers read temperatures quickly and accurately and display results clearly. They track and store multiple readings to monitor temperatures over a time period and work for both children and adults. There are many types of digital thermometers, including forehead, ear, rectal, and contactless thermometers. We’ve included all types in our list based on our years of research and testing thermometers.
Non-invasive digital thermometer
This forehead thermometer from GoodBaby doesn’t require physical touch to get an accurate temperature reading. Just hold it within an inch and a half away and press a button. It’s safe to use on children and infants, as well as adults. The results are displayed in either Fahrenheit or Celsius and up to 35 temperature readings can be stored for reference. The GoodBaby thermometer runs on AAA batteries.
Celsius and Fahrenheit temperature displays
This waterproof thermometer is perfect for taking temperature readings orally, which is one of the most accurate you can get. You can cover the probe of the Femometer thermometer with a plastic shield before each use, or you can wash it with water or alcohol to ensure it’s okay to use it over and over again. Temperature readings can be shown in either Celsius or Fahrenheit. It is safe to use for armpit and rectal temperature readings, too.
The Braun ThermoScan 7 has a wide-angle probe to make accurate readings easier to get and eliminates the need to constantly adjust the angle and irritating your child. Built-in sensor pointer guidance makes this even faster, and a night light makes the entire device easy to use in darker environments. This digital thermometer has a useful memory function that stores nine previous temperature readings to help track changes.
Stores 40 temps
This touchless thermometer from Anmeate records and stores multiple temperature readings with just a single button. It displays temperatures in both Fahrenheit and Celsius and the LED screen changes to indicate whether the reading is within the normal range, indicating a low-grade fever or a fever that is too high. It can record accurate temperature readings from up to 2 inches away and is safe to use on anyone, including babies and elderly patients.
Waterproof thermometer for babies and adults
The Vicks ComfortFlex digital thermometer can take a body temperature reading in three different ways: rectally, orally, or armpit, making it a versatile item to add to your First Aid kit. This thermometer is safe to use on children and adults. It is lightweight and easy to handle, plus it comes with a probe cover and storage pouch. Readings are accurate and easy to view on a clear digital display.
Color-coded fever alert
The Motorola Care+ 3-in-1 digital thermometer will take accurate temperature readings in one minute without skin contact. It uses a color-coded alert system, based on age, to let you know of any possible fever and if it is high enough to be considered dangerous. This smart thermometer is also safe for use as a water, baby food, and liquid thermometer.
Tracks temps and meds
This digital thermometer takes temperature readings from in the ear. However, the Kinsa Smart Ear can be used for oral, rectal, and underarm readings, too. Connecting the thermometer to the companion app gives you personalized help. This includes hints and tricks to bring down a fever, possible illnesses, and when to call a doctor based on the age of the person that is sick. You can also input medications and get a clear chart showing illness and treatment history, which is helpful to share with doctors and pharmacists.
Stores info for eight users
The Withings Thermo is a smart thermometer that takes readings via the temporal artery located at your temple. It’s non-invasive and can be used quietly while a loved one is asleep and will store up to eight different users' information. Temperature readings sync automatically with your smartphone, and the Thermo app will offer health advice based on the reading and the person’s age, fever history, and additional symptoms.
How to choose the best digital thermometer for you
There are different types of thermometers, including ear thermometers, multiuse ones that can be placed in the ear, under the tongue or arms, or inserted rectally, and forehead or temporal thermometers. Choosing the best digital thermometer for you is a matter of who will be using it, whether they are fine with more invasive thermometers or would prefer a non-contact thermometer, and whether you would prefer smart features too.
Ear thermometers are not suitable for use on newborns as their ear canals are too small, but they are suitable for older children and adults. Most doctors use this type of digital thermometer, and some commercially available devices come with hygienic disposable lens caps.
Forehead thermometers are newer, and some health practitioners argue over whether they are any closer to the ‘real’ temperature of your body than rectal thermometers. Some parents also worry about how accurate these types of digital thermometers are.
If you want to see a clear temperature history, choose a smart thermometer with an in-app data display or a digital thermometer that is capable of recording the last several temperature readings.