When your baby is unwell, the immediate response by many parents is to feel the baby's forehead to check if they are running a fever. However, having the best infant thermometer in your medicine cabinet will give you more comfort and accurate results.

Different thermometer types take the temperature from different parts of the body, such as the forehead, rectum, forehead, mouth, ear, and underarm. So, how do you get the best infant thermometer for your little one with the numerous types of thermometers in the market? We have rounded up the best infant thermometers to make it easy for you to diagnose your baby. Let's dive in.

Top 5 Baby Thermometers of 2021

1. Braun Digital Ear Thermometer

Braun Digital Ear Thermometer, ThermoScan 5 IRT6500, Ear Thermometer for Babies, Kids, Toddlers and Adults, Display is Digital and Accurate, Thermometer for Precise Fever Tracking at Home
  • BRAUN EAR THERMOMETER: Braun ThermoScan5 is fast, gentle, easy & accurate, making it great for checking for fevers in infants & kids, & the reason Braun ear thermometers are used in more pediatrician's offices than other children's thermometers.
  • DIGITAL EAR THERMOMETER: Braun's innovative pre-warmed tip on the ThermoScan 5 ensures accurate temperature readings for infants and kids, unlike other ear thermometers where the cool tip of the thermometer in the ear may result in lower temperatures.
  • DIGITAL THERMOMETERS FOR KIDS & ADULTS: With innovative designs & easy to use controls, Braun child thermometers are great for adults, too. Disposable lens filters for ear thermometers & easy to clean digital & forehead thermometers keep sharing sanitary.
  • RELIABLE & ACCURATE THERMOMETERS: Braun knows that the most accurate thermometer readings are important to parents, & we designed our digital thermometers, no touch + forehead thermometers, & ear thermometers to be accurate, reliable & easy to use.
  • THE MOST USED THERMOMETERS BY PEDIATRICIANS: Your family's health is important to you & Braun makes digital thermometers you can rely on.

A favorite of many parents, the Braun thermometer has an innovative design to fit your little one's ears. It is accurate and gives fast readings. Unlike other ear thermometers, it has a pre-warmed tip to ensure it does not alter a temperature reading.

This digital thermometer has disposable lens filters to keep everything sanitary, especially when sharing the thermometer among siblings. It is an easy-to-use thermometer that has a positioning system that beeps to confirm proper placement.

  • Pros
  • Durable and reliable
  • Give fast and accurate reads
  • It has a memory feature that will store and track temperatures
  • Non-invasive
  • Cons
  • It has no audible fever alert
  • It is a little more pricey than standard thermometers

2. iProven DMT-489 Dual Mode Thermometer

iProven Thermometer for Adults Forehead and Ear - Fever Alarm, 1 Second Reading, Color Temperature Indicator, 20 Readings Memory Recall, Medical Thermometer for Adults Kids and Babies - DMT-489
  • Your Reliable Ear Thermometer - Our Ear Thermometer DMT-489 is highly accurate and calibrated for measurements via the ear and forehead.
  • Infrared Technology - This ear thermometer with forehead function is equipped with state-of-the-art infrared scan technology. Measuring the radiation that is emitted by your eardrum or forehead, the sensor gives you an accurate indication of your body temperature.
  • Quick Readings and Fever Warning - Our Thermometer for Fever gives you readings in 1-3 seconds. When a fever is detected, 3 quick beeps and a red warning light will warn you. Extra handy if you want to take your baby’s temp in the middle of the night.
  • Pouch, Batteries and Quick Start Guide Included - Everything to take a measurement is right inside the box. So you can get started the minute your order arrives.
  • Order today, and you’re protected by our 100-day, no-questions-asked, full refund policy. Our customer support team is ready to go the extra mile with you.

When your little one runs a fever, you want a thermometer that can get you a fast and accurate reading. The iProven forehead and ear thermometer will do exactly that. While most people call them forehead thermometers, their name is temporal artery thermometers. This best ear thermometer comes with a colored fever indicator and beeping fever alarm. Additionally, the backlit screen turns red when your baby's temperature hits 37.6 degrees.

This non-contact infrared thermometer is perfect for both adults and kids. What's more, the forehead thermometer can be used indoors and outdoors without interfering with the temperature reading. You will also love this thermometer because you can use it in two modes-on the baby's forehead or the baby's ear.

  • Pros
  • It shuts down after 10 seconds of inactivity, saving you some battery power
  • Reads your temperature fast(1-second readings)
  • Takes readings in  °F or  °C
  • Has a memory function that stores 20 temperature readings
  • Cons
  • Not as accurate as rectal thermometers for newborns

3. Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer

The Exergen temporal artery thermometer has been touted as the best forehead thermometer on the market. It is ideal when you want to record your munchkin's temperature when they are asleep. When your baby is unwell, you want them to get as much rest as possible, but you also want to keep their temperature in check. This is where this forehead thermometer comes in handy. If your little one also has an ear infection, this is the best infant thermometer to have in your medicine cabinet.

It is non-invasive and uses infrared technology to take accurate readings. All you need is a gentle stroke across the forehead to get a reading. On top of that, it has red LED lights and an indicator that beeps softly to indicate the correct scan.

  • Pros
  • Ideal for a sleeping baby
  • Highly accurate readings
  • Backlit screen perfect for night use.
  • Cons
  • You might need some practice runs to get consistent and accurate readings.

4. Vicks Baby Rectal Thermometer

Vicks Baby Rectal Thermometer Baby Thermometer for Rectal Temperature, Short and Flexible Tip with Fast Read Times and Large Digital Display
  • RECTAL THERMOMETER FOR BABIES: The short, flexible tip makes this baby thermometer gentle and safe to use for taking your baby's rectal temperature. The large digital display gives a fast, accurate reading so you quickly know if your infant has a fever.
  • DIGITAL THERMOMETER: Digital thermometers provide fast, easy to read temperatures so you can tell if you or your child has a fever quickly and accurately. A sick baby or child is never fun, but Vicks digital thermometers make sick days easier to handle.
  • VICKS THERMOMETERS: Vicks helps you help your family feel better and get healthy during a cold or the flu. While humidifiers, vaporizers, NyQuil, DayQuil, VapoRub and other cold and flu medications help relieve symptoms, thermometers help you track them.
  • VICKS FOR FLU SEASON: A fever can be a symptom of many sicknesses, including colds or ear infections, & fevers are also symptoms of the flu, common in the colder months. A fever can be one of the first signs of sickness, especially in babies & children. LCD display technology
  • THE MOST USED THERMOMETERS BY PEDIATRICIANS: Your family's health is important to you & Braun makes digital thermometers you can rely on.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, rectal thermometers give the most accurate readings, especially for infants under 3 months. That's because rectal temperature gives the most accurate results and is easy to get since your baby won't move around or try to remove the thermometer. Yet, most parents are hesitant about this method of measuring your little one's temperature as it involves sticking a probe into your baby.

However, this is the best rectal baby thermometer as it comes ergonomically designed with a short flexible probe and a wide base to ensure you don't go too deep. Luckily, the vicks rectal thermometer records fast readings (10 seconds), so it doesn't have to be in that position for too long to make your baby uncomfortable. Additionally, the large digital backlit display helps you know quickly if your baby has a fever.

  • Pros
  • Has memory recall for the last temperature readings
  • Lights up when temperature scanning is complete
  • Easy to clean
  • It is waterproof
  • Cons
  • Some parents have complained of a short battery life spanIt is invasive
  • It is uncomfortable

5. Safety 1st Rapid 3-in-1 Baby Thermometer

Safety 1st Rapid Read 3-In-1 Thermometer, Aqua, One Size
  • Accurate reading in 8 seconds
  • 3 modes of use: oral, rectal, or underarm
  • Beeps when reading is complete
  • Flexible tip for comfort

Classified as the best budget thermometer, the Safety 1st rapid 3-in-1 baby thermometer is perfect for oral, rectal, or underarm temperature readings. The thermometer takes readings in 8 seconds and alerts you with a beep once it gets the reading. It is designed with a flexible tip for rectal use and a gauge to help you from inserting too deep.

  • Pros
  • Affordable
  • Saves least reading
  • Comes with a long-life battery
  • Cons
  • Basic baby thermometer

Different Types Of Infant Thermometers

From the reviews above, you might have noticed the difference in the design and functionality of each thermometer. There are different digital thermometers, and you may need to know what to consider when buying the best infant thermometer for your baby. They include:

1. Rectal Thermometers

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends this type of thermometers. In fact, it's said to the most accurate thermometer in the market. However, most parents find this method for measuring temperature too invasive and squeamish. But research studies have shown that they are the most accurate and measure the core body temperature without interference from the ambient environment.

Parents should apply some lubricant like petroleum jelly before inserting it into the baby's rectum when using the best rectal thermometer. Most thermometers come ergonomically designed with a gauge or a wide base to avoid over inserting, indicating you can't go any deeper. They are recommended for babies 3 months and below.

2. Axillary Thermometers

They are commonly known as underarm thermometers. They are typically placed under the armpit and are easier to use than other thermometers specifically rectal ones. Nevertheless, you are most likely to get accurate readings with a child who can cooperate by holding still without movement until the thermometer beeps. However, they measure the temperature outside the body, which would not give precise readings. You can use them for babies over 3 months.

3. Tympanic Thermometers

Also known as ear thermometers, these thermometers are used to take your baby's ear temperature. They are easy to use and come with a unique design to comfortably fit your little one's ear canal. They are ideal since they also provide an accurate temperature reading. However, they may not be the best infant thermometers to use when your child has an ear infection. Additionally, when there is too much wax build-up in the ear, the reading may not be as accurate. They are ideal for babies older than 6 months.

4. Temporal Artery/ Forehead Thermometer

As the name suggests, they take your little one's forehead temperature. They are quick, accurate, and easy to use. They are also ideal for children of all ages. The downside of these non-contact thermometers is they are a little pricey. Additionally, a forehead thermometer may record less accurate forehead readings when you are under direct sunlight, cold temperatures, or have a sweaty forehead. You may also need to get a few runs to measure accurate results as placement can affect the readings.

5. Oral Thermometers

This type of thermometers usually provide an accurate temperature reading but may not be ideal for small infants. This is because you need to place the oral thermometer under your child's tongue, which may be challenging for a small baby. Since they take a baby's temperature orally, these thermometers are ideal for kids above 4 years of age. The child has to keep the thermometer under their tongue in place for around a minute to accurately take the oral temperature. So if you have an active child(even when unwell), you may get a less accurate reading.

What Features To Consider When Buying The Best Baby Thermometer

When you are shopping for the best infant thermometers, there are some features you may need to look out for, including:

1. Tip

Baby thermometers should have a flexible tip to ensure maximum comfort for the baby whenever you measure their temperature. Some come with disposable tips for sanitary purposes. You will also find some thermometers designed like pacifiers to suit young infants. However, you should note that pacifier thermometers are not as accurate as most of the thermometers mentioned above.

2. Digital Readings

Thermometers that display digital readings are the most ideal as they are the most accurate. In contrast, mercury thermometers common in the past are now highly discouraged for use with babies or small children. This is because mercury is a toxic metal, and should the thermometer fall and break, the exposure could be detrimental to everyone in close contact with it. You may also find strip thermometers that take the body temperature by placing one strip on the forehead. However, they are not as accurate as digital thermometers.

3. Backlit Display

Many parents prefer thermometers with a backlit display as they are perfect when taking your child's temperature, especially at night.

4. Memory Recall

When your little one is unwell, you may want to keep track of their temperature throughout the day. Therefore, when buying a thermometer, it is best to get one that keeps a record of previous readings to help you track how your baby is fairing on.

5. Wide Base

When measuring rectal temperatures, you will need a thermometer that has a wide base because it provides an easy grip. This goes for both rectal and oral use thermometers.

Other considerations you may need to look into when buying a thermometer for your baby are;

  • Speed: Get a thermometer that will give you the most accurate reading in seconds. When your little one is unwell, they may be restless; thus, holding them down for long may make them more uncomfortable and fussy.
  • Accuracy: This is probably the most important factor you may need to consider before buying a thermometer. Do your due diligence and find thermometers that are medically reviewed to provide accurate results.
  • Unit Readings: Do you prefer a digital thermometer that records Fahrenheit or Celcius? You can find thermometers that have both or one with the unit you prefer to choose.


The best infant thermometer is one of the essential items you need to have in your medical kit at all times. Having an accurate and easy-to-use thermometer will save you from rushing to the emergency room every time your baby runs a fever. (Some fevers subside on their own.) If you have a newborn or an infant below 3 months, a rectal thermometer may be best. As your child grows older, you can move to the forehead and ear thermometer. When they reach 4 years, they can use an oral or axillary thermometer.

In conclusion, choose a thermometer that you are comfortable with to meet your family's growing needs. With the highly-rated options listed here, you can rest assured that your family will be in safe hands.

Best Infant Thermometers Frequently Asked Questions

1.Which type of thermometer is the most accurate for babies?

The AAP considers rectal thermometers the most accurate for babies and toddlers up to 3 years of age. This technique gives a quick reading of the baby's internal temperature. Rectal temperature provides the baby's core temperature.

2. What is considered a high temperature in a baby?

As a general rule of thumb, when the temperature in children is over 38°C or 100.4 F, they are running a fever. However, since a fever is not an illness, you can monitor your little one at home. However, when the fever does not subside, you should call your doctor to see if they need to see your child.

3. Are non-contact thermometers accurate?

Yes, they are. Also known as infrared thermometers, they measure the temperature of a surface. A non-contact thermometer does this by gathering the heat from the baby's forehead through infrared energy. They are designed to be very sensitive, thus providing accuracy in results. Additionally, they are the best to use in a family set-up where you use the thermometer on more than one person. Since there is zero contact, there is little to no spread of viruses or germs from one person to another. 

About the Author Tom Brewer

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