Best Thermometers for Kids
Unless you keep your little ones locked in a germ-free bubble, they are bound to catch all of the bugs that are going around. Most of the thermometers that are designed for adults rest under the tongue until the alarm flashes. This method might be good for adults, but some parents have a little bit of difficulty keeping it in their little one’s mouth. Companies have designed at-home devices that will allow you to check your child’s fever by either sticking it in their ear or placing them on their forehead. These designs often can give you an accurate reading much faster than the traditional styles. There are even some brands out there on the market that don’t need to come into contact with your child’s skin at all.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hrs of research
Easy to use
Top 10 Picks
Easy to use
Some found that the beep when using it in the ear is too loud
iProvèn is a brand that coming up over and over again as a favorite by most parents. They make a few different designs, but this one was our favorite for being able to check on fevers quickly and accurately. It uses cutting-edge technology that ensures that you can take it twice in a row and will receive an accurate reading both times.Read more
The exterior has a bit of a bulkier design than you may be used to, and it is about as big as a handheld electric razor. It has a wide handle and a flat base to making taking temperatures simple and easy. The display has a green backlight so that you will be able to check temperatures in a dark room without waking up your baby.
Ease of Use
The iProvèn DMT-489 has two methods of checking for a fever. The first way is to run the base of the unit across your child's forehead running from left to right. This way takes just a tad bit longer but allows you to check easily without disturbing your child. The second way is through the ear. Simply pull the ear down a big, and place the shallow neck into the ear canal and wait for the beep. Both methods are accurate, the second one is just a lot faster.
iProven recommends being in the same room as your thermometer for three minutes before taking the temperature for an accurate reading. Aside from that, customers claim that this thermometer is incredibly accurate.
The price of this unit runs about in the middle of the road. It isn’t the most expensive unit out there on the market, but it isn’t the least expensive either. If you were looking for something from a quality and trusted brand this model is going to be your best without breaking the bank.
Throughout our research, the iProvèn name came up over and over again. Users love that it is a quality product that is incredibly accurate and simple to use. Plus, it comes in at a price point that won’t break the bank. All of these reasons make it our favorite design that is currently out there on the market today.
Accurate reading every time
Works in seconds
Comes lens filters that are disposable
Some users do not like that it doesn’t beep when done reading
Braun is a company that has been making innovative small home appliances since they were founded in 1921. This design is comparable to the design that you pediatricians use at the doctor's office. It doesn’t offer a forehead scan like some of the others because those types of scans can likely be inconsistent.Read more
The size and shape of this model are just a little bit smaller and thinner than some of the other more rounded options out there on the market. It has a large digital display that will offer you the temperature of your child as well as the battery life. It also comes with 21 disposable lens filters so that you don’t have to worry about cross-contamination or cleaning ear wax build up over time.
Ease of Use
First, to ensure that you get an accurate reading, you have to ensure that the product has been at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Once you are confident that it is at room temperature, place a clean pre-warmed tip onto the short stub that runs off of the top of the unit, and place that briefly into your child's ear. Even if your little one tries to squirm away, the Braun IRT6500US can detect an accurate reading in just seconds.
As mentioned, to receive an accurate reading, you should be in the same room as the thermometer for thirty minutes prior to using it. Customers have expressed their happiness with this product and agree that it gives an accurate reading.
Just like the iProven design, this unit runs about in the middle of the road in terms of price. It isn’t the most expensive out there, but you are going to pay a little bit more than you would other designs and models.
If you are looking for something that comes from a trusted brand that you and your family have used for years, this is going to be the best option to monitoring your child's illnesses quickly and easily. The best part about this design is that it comes with replacement ear covers so you never have to worry about bacteria or germs.
3. Vicks ComfortFlex
Can be read in Celcius or Fahrenheit
Some have had issues with the battery life
Vicks was introduced into the world of pharmaceuticals in 1890. It is no wonder that they are a well-known and trusted brand! With this stellar product, they bring us a semi-traditional thermometer with a flexible tip and colored display.Read more
The style of this thermometer is fairly classic but with a large display screen at its circular top, making it very easy to read. With the “Fever Insight Feature,” you can see the severity of the fever in a glance. If there is no fever, the background of the display is green, if there is a slight fever, the background is yellow, and if there is a definite fever, the background is red. Printed digitally on the display as well as the exact temperature. A storage case and battery are included with purchase.
Ease of Use
This thermometer features a flexible insert and can be used in three different ways. You can use this thermometer orally, rectally, or under the arm. The thermometer is typically able to give you a reading as quickly as eight seconds, depending on how you use it. It beeps once the temperature has been recorded.
Vicks claims that this thermometer provides accurate readings within .2 degrees. However, one reviewer claims that she finds it to read within .4-degrees. One of our favorite features of the ComfortFlex is that when you turn it on, it shows you the most recent reading before zeroing out and preparing for the next.
The price of this thermometer is pretty standard. What makes it stand out is its useful and unique features. However, there have been a handful of complaints about battery life and it is unclear if the battery can be replaced or not. It comes with a one-year warranty, and honestly, even if it only lasts one year, we think it is still worth it.
Vicks is very well-known in the world of flu and colds. The color-coded display keeps children interested and it is large enough to see without squinting or glasses. This thermometer would be a great addition to your first aid arsenal.
Clear backlit display
Two different reading options
Comes with a bag to store it in
Some found the temperatures to be inconsistent
What we liked most about the Metene design is that it incredibly easy to use, and it can detect fevers in a number of ways. Users love that it can detect fevers in one second so your baby won’t have time to react to the discomfort of being poked and prodded.Read more
The outer shell of this design looks like an electric razor. It is pretty thick around, and it comes in a silver shell with clearly marked white buttons. The screen has a green backlight that shows the temperature in big numbers that are easy to read, even when in the dark.
Ease of Use
There are two ways that you can check temperatures with this model. The first way is via the forehead. Simply place the probe cover over the probe, and run the flat surface over your little one’s forehead until you hear a beep. This method is less invasive, but it takes just a little bit more time. The second way is through the ear canal. Take the probe cover off to reveal the probe, pull the ear down a bit and stick the probe into the ear canal until you hear a beep. Your little one may get a little fussy with this method, but it will give you an accurate reading in a matter of seconds.
While the product information confidently states that readings are always accurate, some reviewers disagree. It seems as though you may need to have the exact same metrics each time you take the temperature for an accurate analysis.
This unit runs about in the middle of the road in terms of price, and the cost of the average price of what many consumers are willing to pay for these designs. Plus, if you aren’t thrilled with how this product performs within 30 days, Metene offers a full money back guarantee.
If you like the idea of two different options to take your child’s temperature and you want to ensure that you get something that is going to be accurate, this is going to be one of your best options.
Easy to use- clearly market face buttons
Some have found that the readings are inconsistent
We like an option that has a color-coded display, and the Zerhunt option has exactly that. It also has all of the features that nervous parents love to ensure that their little one is happy and healthy. The best part about this design is that it comes in at a very affordable price point that is slightly lower than some of the other similar designs out there on the market.Read more
Just like many of the dual testing designs, this unit has a short and fat shell that resembles an electric razor. It has grey buttons that are easy to read, as well as a grey probe cover. What we like more about this product is that it not only has a large digital display that has a backlight but the color of the display changes from green to orange to red depending upon how high the temperature is.
Ease of Use
This unit couldn’t be any more easy to use. If you want something that is going to limit poking and prodding your little one, or you want to take a reading while they are sleeping and don’t want to risk walking them up, simply pop on the probe cover and swipe the base across their forehead. This might take a little bit longer, but there is also a sleep mode that won’t beep when it's finished so you can let them get some restful Z’s. For a quicker reading, simply slip the cover off, pull their ear down a bit and place the probe into the ear canal. This way is a bit more invasive, but generally offers results much faster.
Zerhunt claims that this thermometer provides an accurate reading within .4-degrees. However, as usual, some reviewers disagree.
We like the cost of this design is just a little bit cheaper than some of the other similar designs that we have found. If you are looking to shave a little bit of money but still have all of the features of some of the higher end designs, this is well worth the modest price tag.
If you are in the market for something that is easy to use, and can be used on your baby as they sleep without risking waking them up, the Zerhunt is a great choice that will give you peace of mind when you are worried that your little one may be sick.
Easy to use
Colored display- green and red
Some found the probe cover is a little difficult to remove
DrKea is one of the more trusted names in this market because they make really great products, and they stand by their quality. Users love that this unit is not only easy to use, but it is great about consistently giving accurate readings. Plus, it comes in a sleek shell that is a little bit smaller than some of the other similar designs out there.Read more
This unit comes in a small white shell that might be just a little bit smaller than the standard electric razor. It is accented with kelly green buttons as well as edging around the display. What we love about this product is that the backlit display not only reads temperatures in big bold numbers, but it also lights up green when they are not running a fever, and red when they are.
Ease of Use
There are two ways to measure temperature with this design. First, to measure temperature via the forehead, you must first put the probe cover over the probe, and then run the flat surface from side to side over the forehead until it beeps. This method isn’t invasive at all to your baby or child, but it sometimes takes just a little bit longer than users would prefer. If you want something that works a little faster and is a bit more accurate, remove the probe cover and stick the plastic probe directly into your child’s ear. This typically only takes a few seconds so your baby won’t have any time to determine if they like something stuck in their ear or not.
This thermometer seems to be pretty accurate! It is amazing that it can reveal and accurate temperature in just one second.
The cost of this is pretty standard for what consumers anticipate spending on a home device such as this one. What’s great about DrKea is that if you find that it isn’t working as well by the end of a year, you can call the customer service line and receive a replacement up to a year after purchase.
If you want something that comes from a trusted brand and is incredibly easy to use, this is going to be your best bet. Users love how accurate the readings are, and also how reliable this little device is- especially for nervous new parents.
Syncs with your phone to record readings and offer advice
The smaller design takes up less room in your medicine cabinet
Some found that it beeps too loud when used in ear
Some find that the readings are not consistent
What we love about the Kinsa model is that it has the ability to sync with your smartphone. Simply download the corresponding app and it will not only keep a record of the entire family’s fever history, but it will also give you advice on when to take your little one to the doctor. For any tech-savvy parent that loves gadgets that work with your phone- you are going to live this product.Read more
This unit has a little bit smaller footprint that many of the other similar designs out there on the market. It is about the size of a standard smartphone. The shell is a curved blue plastic for easy handling with a while prove as well as white buttons. It has a basic digital display that doesn’t have a backlight, but that ok because all of the information is sent directly to the app on your phone.
Ease of Use
To take a temperate, simply place the probe into the ear canal and wait for the beep. The temperature of your little one will be displayed on the large digital display. To get the most out of this product, however, you will need to download the app to your phone. Once it is downloaded, it will keep track of each time you check your child’s temperature so that if you need to take a trip to the doctor’s office, you can show the pediatrician all of the fluctuations in temperature so that they can make an accurate diagnosis.
This temperature reveals accurate temperature readings within .4 degrees.
As soon as you discover that this unit syncs with your phone, you are most likely expecting a higher price tag- and you would be right in this instance. While the price is higher than some of the standard designs out there on the market, it’s not by much. If you want to ensure you get something that will really help keep tabs on your little one, we find that this unit is well worth the slightly padded price tag.
To all the tech-savvy parents out there, you are going to love the functions of this design. This is also a great design for nervous first-time parents that are willing to go above and beyond to ensure that their newest member of the family is happy and healthy.
8. Exergen Temporal Artery
Easy to use
Delivers accurate readings for the most part
Takes 9-volt battery
The simple and small display doesn’t light up
If you are looking for something that is a little less invasive and is able to accurately read temperature with a simple swipe over the forehead, this is going to be an excellent tool for you and for little ones. What users love most about this product is how accurate the readings are, and the low volume of the beep that won’t wake sleeping babies.Read more
This unit has a short, squat design that might take up a little more room that some users are happy with their medicine cabinet. It comes in a white plastic shell that has grey buttons and a grey scanner on the top, and a digital display that is a lot smaller and a little more difficult to read than some of the other models. The display resembles that of a very basic under the tongue model.
Ease of Use
The thing that users really love about this design is how easy it is to use. Simply turn it on, and scan the base of the model from one temple to the next on your child’s forehead until you hear the gentle beeping when it is finished reading. This unit is so gentle that you can use it on your child as they sleep without disturbing them.
Exergen claims that the thermometer provides accurate readings, just as accurate as a rectal temperature. However, the reviews are very mixed. Some reviewers claim that they have taken the thermometer with them to the clinic and it matched, while others claim that they have gotten three different readings within one hour.
This unit costs about the average price that consumers are willing to pay on designs such as this one, and in fact, this one is just a little less expensive than some of the others.
The bad news about this design is that it runs off of one singular 9-volt battery, which makes the unit a little heavier than others, as well as expensive to buy replacement batteries. However, users love how easy it is to use, and the accurate readings that it delivers while being minimally invasive.
9. Dr. Madre
Easy to use
Comes with a plastic case with room to store spare batteries
Some find that the beeping is too loud
What we liked about this design is that it’s not only really easy to use, but it also comes with its own hard shell carrying case with a place to put extra batteries if you ever want to take it with you on your travels.Read more
The exterior shell of this model is about the same size and shape of an electric razor. It has a white plastic shell that has red accents along the edged and the base. The digital display gives readings in big numbers to easily read, and the screen lights up a soft blue to read it in the dark.
Ease of Use
If you can press a button and point, you will have all of the skills that you need to operate the Dr. Madre design. This unit is a sole forehead scanner that uses infrared rays to detect heat that is radiating off of the skin. Simply turn it on via the large power button located below the screen, and scan it over your child’s forehead until it beeps.
For the most part, reviewers agree that this thermometer provides accurate readings.
This unit costs about the average price of many of the similar options out there on the market. This unit will likely set you back about the same amount of money that you would spend on a bottle of pain medicine, and stock up on cough drops.
If you are in the market for something that is easy to use, accurate, and minimally invasive, the Dr. Madre design will offer users all of these features in a sleek design.
10. Care Touch
Easy to use
Multifunctional LCD display
The cover is a little difficult to remove
Some find that it does not give accurate readings
Care Touch is a brand that users might already be familiar with due to their long line of personal hygiene products as well as digital devices. We liked this unit because it is not only easy to use, but it also has an LCD display that gives you more information rather than just the temperature.Read more
This design is just a little bit smaller and more compact than some of the models. The thing that we liked most about this model is that it detects via a smiley face, a neutral face, and a sad face the level of your child’s fever. These indicators are found below the screen and light up after you have taken the temperature. The screen also indicates not only the temperature but also the time as well as battery life.
Ease of Use
There are two ways the users can administer this product. The first way is to use the forehead scanner to detect if there is a temperature using infrared rays that measure the heat that is coming off of the skin. Be sure that you run it from side to side to ensure an even measurement. The other way you can use this is by removing the probe covering and sticking the probe into your child’s ear and wait for the beep to tell you that it is done reading.
Yet again, the jury is out on this one. Some reviewers praise the accuracy while others shun it.
Care Touch offers consumers high-quality devices that are offered at a much lower price point than other brands, and that is true with it comes to this unit. It will likely set you back the same amount that you might spend in a large bottle of cough syrup or flu medicine.
If you want to save a little bit of money, this is an excellent option. It is not only easy to use, but it comes from a trusted brand that is known for making high-quality products.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
While style most likely isn't the first thing that comes to mind when shopping for a thermometer, it is an important criterion. We noted the size and overall look of the thermometer and any other standout features that it has. Some thermometers are offered in fun colors that will attract your child's interest or attention. Other thermometers feature smiley faces to show the severity of the fever. It's the little things that make our lives easier, especially when taking care of a sick child. Most children are scared or simply don't want to have their temperature taken. Making the experience just slightly more fun can make all the difference.
Ease of Use
This is one of the most important aspects when it comes to these products. Adults will patiently wait with a needle under their tongue for the determination of whether or not they are going to be able to use a sick day and stay home from work. Small children don’t want to be bothered with waiting for a diagnosis, because they have fun adventures that they need to set off on. Babies are even worse because the idea of sticking something in their ear does not account for their idea of a good time. Due to these reasons, we made sure to select designs that were not only able to be turned on with one hand with the push of a button, but we also wanted them to deliver a fast reading that only takes a few seconds. Parents liked two different models- they like the ear probe because it can give you a reading in a second without your grumpy toddler is even the wiser. Parents also love the style that swipes across the forehead because it means that they can check temperatures while their child is sleeping and they won’t risk waking them up.
Concerned parents know this dance quite well- you check your child’s temperature, and then you check it again a minute later to see if it gives you the same reading. One of the most frustrating occurrences that parents run into is devices that will give you wildly different readings only a few minutes apart. While this is very frustrating, it’s important to note that modest fluctuations between .3 and 1 degree are typically perfectly normal, especially when you are checking by swiping across the forehead. To check to see how accurate each design was, we consulted the reviews left by previous users. With every design that we came across, there were always a few parents that complained that they weren’t accurate. The truth of the matter is that there will be slight fluctuations with all home models, especially when it comes to forehead models. At the end of the day, you just need something that will tell you if your child is faking, if they have a mild cold or flu, or if they have a temperate high enough that calls for a trip to the emergency room. However, if we found that a product had fluctuations that varied from 1-3 degrees, we stayed away from that design because that is too large of a gap to make sound parenting calls.
It may seem a little painful to dish out the extra money to buy a design that doesn’t slip under the tongue, but you will be glad that you did in the long run. The tongue models are typically half or even one-third of what the ear and forehead designs, but they not only take a lot longer to read, but they are going to be more difficult to get your little ones to use correctly. Selecting models that read from the ear or the forehead is generally more expensive, but we tried to keep costs down and select brands that have a cost that ran in the middle of the road that customers were still happy with its performance. It is always important to save a little bit of money where you can, but we feel that the slightly more expensive designs will be more cost-effective in the long run because it just may be the last one that you will ever need to buy.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
If you have an old and possibly outdated thermometer, you might run into a few problems. The first problem is that if it is old- it might not give you an accurate reading. The other issue lies in the design because most smaller children will not be on board for holding something under their tongue property for the time it takes to get an actual reading. That’s why parents have been flocking to some of the newer designs that are made specifically for children because they give fast readings and they are really easy to use- even for frazzled and stressed out parents.
Whether you are a newbie to this parenting business or this isn’t your first rodeo, the most important thing to keep in mind when your little one is sick is not to panic. Your little ones are still relatively new to this planet that is full of bacteria and viruses that adults have developed a strong immune system to fight against. Their developing immune systems coupled with their exposure to other children at school (and their inability to sometimes keep their hands to themselves) is the perfect storm for creating a cold. Generally, before the age of 2 children develop 8-10 colds per year according to some experts. If you feel that you are always reaching for the thermometer whenever you hear a little cough or sniffle, just know that there are also thousands of parents across the globe doing the exact same thing.
Other Factors to Consider
Wow, how the times have changed, right? With so many things nowadays, including thermometers, you can plug them into the wall to charge. I wouldn't be surprised if batteries become only a back-up method of power in our tornado or hurricane kits. Nonetheless, it is also important to check the battery life of these thermometers and how they charge. If you are traveling, it will be useful to know how long the thermometer will last before needing a charge, and also if you need to save room for an extra set of batteries or a charger.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How do they work?
If you are old enough, you might recall your mother sticking a long glass tube in your mouth with a red liquid inside to check to see if you had a fever. Over the years, manufacturers stopped using mercury in products because they realized that it wasn’t a great idea for consumers to place toxic chemicals that close to their customer’s mouths. Over the years since the mercury designs, the world switched over to digital. But how do digital designs work? For the types that you stick in your ears, they use an infrared sensor to detect the heat that is emitting from the eardrum. The reason the eardrum is an excellent heat measuring tool is that it sets further back into the head (much like the tongue).
q: How do I make sure that I get an accurate reading?
The most important thing that you make sure that you do to ensure that you get an accurate reading to ti place the unit out in the open so that it achieves room temperature. This is especially important if you store it in a cool dark place that isn’t the same temperature as your home. Typically it just needs to be left on the bathroom counter for about 30 minutes before it is ready to be used. For using the probe in eardrums. You need to ensure that you pull down on the rigid point on the ear to allow for a straight shot near the eardrum where the probe is gathering information. Forehead models can be a little finicky, so you need to ensure that you touch all parts of the forehead running from one side to the other.
q: Some say that forehead scanners are not all that accurate. Is that true?
There are people out there that claim that forehead scanners aren’t all that accurate, and in a sense they are right. The great thing about models that don’t need to touch your child or are just able to be lightly brushed over the forehead means that they aren’t going to disturb your little one as they are sleeping, and it also isn’t as invasive so a tired and grumpy baby won’t get even more agitated when you stick things in their ears. The downside to this design is that it doesn’t take as accurate of reading, but the discrepancy is typically less than 1 degree. Some have found that the difference between checking on the forehead and checking in the ear or under the tongue is a range between .3 and 1 degree. For most parents, this range in values isn’t enough to deter them from using a method that it easier and less scary to use on a sick child.
q: Is under the tongue readings more accurate?
Some might believe that under the tongue readings are more accurate than the ear, armpit, or forehead readings because they were generally considered the only want to check for fever for many years. However, there are a few factors that could change the reading and actually make it higher or lower. If your child has been eating or drinking anything prior to taking their temperature, it might make the reading higher than what it actually is.
q: Where can I find a mercury thermometer?
Perhaps you are a traditionalist and long for the days of the tried and true method of using mercury to detect fevers. If that’s the case, you are going to be out of luck. While many felt that these analog models were consistent, they are actually pretty dangerous. Not only can you not find these models for sale anywhere in stores, but it is urged that users that still have these products in their medicine cabinets dispose of them properly at a chemical waste facility.
q: Can the whole family share the same unit?
It might seem a little strange that the whole family shares that same unit that goes directly into the ear of someone that is sick, but as long as you properly clean your unit and take good care of it, you won’t run the risk of spreading bacteria throughout your home. Many of the ear designs come with disposable probe covers so that you will not have to waste any time carefully cleaning it when you are done with it. If the unit doesn’t come with disposable probe covers, we suggest that you carefully clean it with just a little bit of rubbing alcohol and then wipe it down with a wet cloth before you pack it away until the next time a flu virus runs amuck around your home this winter.