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Scott Cohen

Professional Pediatric Expert

Best Baby Thermometers & Best Baby Infrared Thermometers

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Imagine you wake up in the middle of the night to your child moaning uncomfortably and shivering uncontrollably. You place your hand on their forehead and realize they are burning up. All you want to know is how high the temperature is. Seems like a simple task until you reach into your medicine drawer only to find a myriad of devices that you have bought or friends have given you. There you find a digital rectal, oral, pacifier, axillary, forehead scanning and ear thermometer. And deep in the back of the draw you pull out an old glass mercury thermometer left over from your childhood. Now you are sweating and wondering what to use.

As a pediatrician, parents commonly ask me questions about fever. As a new father, I understand that when your child is sick and has a fever, it can be one of the most concerning and frightening situations that you encounter. Fever is defined as any temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Although taking a temperature may appear to be a mundane task, the location at which the temperature is taken as well as the accuracy of the thermometer is very important. For example, the difference between 100.3 and 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit in a child under two months of age may be the difference between seeing your doctor in the office or going emergently to the hospital for a battery of unpleasant tests. As a result, infants under two to three months of age should always use a rectal thermometer. Rectal temperatures are the most accurate. After two to three months of age you can take your child’s temperature using an axillary (underarm) thermometer and then by five years of age your child should be able to use an oral thermometer. Unfortunately, technology has yielded us a slew of choices when it comes to taking a child’s temperature, making this process very confusing.

As a result, I have compiled the five best of the best and the five best of the rest thermometers to use in children. As you will see the price of the thermometer does not necessarily indicate the usefulness of it. In fact, I recommend steering clear of ear thermometers because they are both expensive and tend to be inaccurate at any age. Furthermore, properly dispose of your old glass mercury thermometers due to the toxic risks of mercury. Stick to your run-of-the-mill digital rectal, axillary, or oral thermometers to get you safely through the night.

For the best baby thermometers, great cost doesn't equate with the best thermometers. Our experts detail the best baby infrared thermometers and best digital baby thermometers to ensure you have the best read on your baby's fever.

Best Thermometers by Scott Cohen

The Best You Can Get

  • Vicks Baby Thermometer

    Scott says: This thermometer has all the bells and whistles, but does not overdo it with unnecessary accessories. This thermometer is fast, accurate, and easy to read. It even has a large color changing display that notifies you if your child has a fever (red), no fever (green), or is approaching a fever (yellow), which is always helpful when you are half asleep in the middle of the night. The thermometer also has a flexible hypoallergenic tip and is waterproof. Be warned some parents have had problems with a short battery life and difficulty removing the battery.

    • Speed: 8 seconds (may vary from 8-12 seconds based on the location)
    • Location: Oral, axillary, or rectal
    • Special features: Large display screen, waterproof, flexible, hypoallergenic tip
  • Vicks Comfort Flex

    Scott says: Vicks Comfort Flex has everything you need in a thermometer. The thermometer has a soft flexible tip for comfort and safety. The large display screen with night glow feature trumps most other displays. Furthermore, this thermometer beeps when it has reached the maximum temperature reading and has a memory function that displays the previous reading.

    • Speed: 10 seconds
    • Location: Oral, axillary, or rectal
    • Special features: Large display, night glow feature, soft flexible tip, beeps when done, memory function, waterproof
  • BD Digital Thermometer

    Scott says: Fast, simple, and accurate best describes this thermometer. This thermometer beeps during operation so you know that you are using it correctly. It also shows the last temperature taken and has a handy auto shut-off.

    • Speed: 9 seconds
    • Location: Oral, axillary, or rectal
    • Special features: Large night light display, memory function, auto shut-off, beeps during operation and when completed
  • Vicks Pro-Style Thermometer

    Scott says: Vicks Pro-Style has an oversized illuminated display, making late night measurements easy. This two-piece system has a removable probe like the more expensive hospital grade Welch Allyn, but at a fraction of the price. Unlike most thermometers that memorize the previous reading this thermometer has a time-coded memory that keeps track of the previous ten temperatures.

    • Speed: 6 seconds
    • Location: Oral, axillary, or rectal
    • Special features: Oversized illuminated display, 2-piece system, hypoallergenic gold tip, time coded memory of previous 10 temperatures, audible alert if temperature greater than 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Welch Allyn Sure Temp Plus 690

    Scott says: If you want to use what your doctors use, this is the one for you. The Welch Allyn Temp Plus is a large, two-piece thermometer with a removable probe. You are guaranteed a quick and accurate reading on its easy to read large LCD display screen. The thermometer is also equipped with 60 second timer to measure pulse and respirations. Unfortunately, with a big price tag and a limited warranty, you can find many of the same features on a less expensive model and use this one when you visit your doctor.

    • Speed: 4-6 seconds oral, 10 seconds axillary or rectal
    • Location: Oral, axillary, or rectal
    • Special features: 2-piece design with removable probe, large backlit LCD screen, 60 second timer to measure pulse and respirations, built in probe cover storage

You will be happy with any of these

  • HoMedics 10 Sec Flexible Tip Thermometer

    Scott says: This thermometer is not just fast and accurate, but its ergonomic design and flexible tip add to its comfort and safety. There is also a larger-than-average illuminated display screen making temperature readings a breeze.

    • Speed: 10 seconds
    • Location: Oral, axillary, or rectal
    • Special features: Illuminated display, ergonomic design, flexible tip, last temperature recall
  • Hospital Choice – 8 Second Digital Thermometer

    Scott says: This thermometer has a unique fold up design to protect the probe during travel and storage. It is quick and accurate and at this low price has all of the necessary accessories seen in more expensive models such as a flexible tip, memory recall, automatic shut-off, and light up display.

    • Speed: 8 seconds (up to 20 seconds for oral or axillary)
    • Location: Oral, axially, or rectal
    • Special features: Fold up design, beeps when done measuring, memory recall and automatic shut-off, illuminated screen
  • Lumiscope 2210 Quick-Read Digital Thermometer

    Scott says: No frills, but gets the job done. All the needed accessories to assess your child’s fever accurately.

    • Speed: 10-20 seconds
    • Location: Oral, axillary, or rectal
    • Special features: Light weight, last temperature recall, waterproof, audible signal when done
  • Mabis 10-Second Flexible Tip Digital Thermometer

    Scott says: Quick and accurate. The Mabis Flexible Tip is a simple solution to taking your child’s temperature.

    • Speed: 10 seconds
    • Location: Oral, axillary, or rectal
    • Special features: Soft flexible tip, memory recall, waterproof, auto shut off, tone indicator
  • Mabis Healthcare Zoo Temps 30 Sec Thermometers

    Scott says: Mabis Healthcare Zoo Temps will take an accurate temperature, but the 30 second time frame is a little longer than other comparable models on the market. The thermometer’s design is fun and appealing to children and may make it easier to coax them to take a temperature rather than the sterile look of most other thermometers. The screen however, is smaller then many other units, but readable.

    • Speed: 30 seconds
    • Location: Oral, axillary, or rectal
    • Special features: Zoo animal designs, colorful, soft flexible tip, auto shut off, memory recall, beeps at maximum temperature, water resistant

Related Articles

With our expert advice on the best baby thermometers, you'll not only know where to find the best price but you'll know the best practices in using these baby products. Our experts suggest the best baby infrared thermometers, best digital thermometers and best baby rectal thermometers. When buying the best baby thermometers, higher price doesn't always mean higher quality.