The 8 Best Thermometers of 2023

We tested more than two dozen thermometers—these were the most accurate and easiest to use.

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The 8 Best Thermometers of 2023

While your body temperature fluctuates throughout the day due to a variety of factors using a thermometer to check a sudden temperature change can let you know it's time to see the doctor. Health experts are pretty unanimous when it comes to what defines a fever—100.4ºF. Maryellen Flaherty-Hewitt, MD, FAAP, says that a fever is typically a sign of the body fighting against an infection. While an elevated temperature may be worrying, it’s a sign that your body is recovering. She also mentioned that identifying a fever and having an accurate body temperature reading is crucial l when it comes time for a physician to properly assess your health. She adds that investing in an accurate thermometer can keep you and your family’s health in check. 

When shopping for a thermometer, keep in mind who will be using it (like your child) and how comfortable they will be while using it. Additional thermometer features (like connected apps) can also be beneficial in tracking your health. To make shopping easier, we tested 25 thermometers and reviewed each to find the best based on five categories: ease of setup, response time, consistency of results, ease of use, and data readability. An integrative medicine doctor from our Medical Expert Board also reviewed the contents of this article for medical accuracy surrounding thermometers and the effectiveness of various types of thermometers.

Good for families and kids of all ages

Can be used on food

Weight: 8 ounces | Bluetooth/App Connectivity: No | Dimensions: 5.31 x 2.36 x 7.87 inches | Power Source: AA Batteries (included)

Price at time of publication: $30

The Braun No Touch Thermometer is our best overall pick because it’s efficient, easy to use, reliable, and accurate. During both our lab and real-world testing, we found that this is a great no-contact thermometer for families because you can change the mode based on the age range of the person being tested (infants, toddlers, and up). Because infants' fevers (101.3ºF) are higher than adults' (100.4ºF or higher), this thermometer takes the guesswork of reading your results. It reads green, yellow, or red to show whether your temperature is normal or elevated.

We were able to track our body temperature changes after the slightest difference in activity, such as drinking water. The no-contact nature is perfect for taking children’s temperature since they can tend to squirm, and it also helps stop germ transmission as well. Plus, you can use this thermometer on food and bathwater.

The reading does take a little longer than advertised (we got a proper reading in five seconds though the instructions claimed it would only take two) but given the pinpoint accuracy that didn’t bother us at all.

Hard to open battery compartment

Weight: 5.61 ounces | Bluetooth/App Connectivity: No | Dimensions: 3.46 x 1.57 x 5.51 inches | Power Source: Batteries (included)

Price at time of publication: $56

The Vick’s Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer made taking our kids’ temperatures a seamless process. We love that this thermometer is simple to set up and is no-contact to reduce the spread of germs between children. The display on the digital screen is easy for kids to understand: red with a frowny face means they have a fever, and green with a smiley face means they're healthy.

This thermometer gave us consistent readings faster than the instructions advertised (one second), which is important when taking the temperature of small children who may not want to sit still for long. While it only logs one user, it stores up to 50 readings so you can look back at past readings. 

The battery compartment is a little hard to open. This also sits at a higher price point than other no-contact thermometers. 

Weight: 5.29 ounces | Bluetooth/App Connectivity: No | Dimensions: 1 x 2 x 1 inches | Power Source: Batteries

Price at time of publication: $20

The Berrcom Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer is easy to use and has an easy display to read. When we say it’s easy to use—we mean it. During testing, we actually didn’t read the instructions before use and still managed to use it perfectly and get consistent readings. Plus, it's highly sensitive and if our temperature shifted just a little, this thermometer would recognize it and record it. The display is big and bright with a color-coded backlight indicating whether you don’t have a fever (green), a slight fever (orange), or a high fever (red).

This thermometer can record up to 32 temperatures and it’s simple to flip between Fahrenheit and Celsius. It has six modes (including food and bathwater reading options) and has a low battery indicator to tell you when you need to replace the batteries.

The batteries didn’t come included when we received this thermometer, so you may have to go get some from the store.

Reading can shift based on distance from head

Weight : 5.29 ounces | Bluetooth/App Connectivity: No | Dimensions: 3.5 x 1.5 x 5.63 inches | Power Source: Batteries (included)

Price at time of publication: $36

We chose Homedics Non-Contact Infrared Body Thermometer as our pick for the best thermometer for a fever indicator because, unlike other thermometers that will only light up, this thermometer has an audible beep to alert you if you have a fever. The display screen lights up according to your temperature (green for normal, yellow for low-grade fever, and red for high fever) and tells you the results in bold writing that is easy. to read, especially in the dark. There’s also a quiet mode that you can select so the thermometer doesn’t wake up children during middle-of-the-night readings. It has a very wide base that easily fits in your hand comfortably.

This thermometer also comes with an object mode, so be sure you set it to human mode or else it won’t record your temperature correctly. Otherwise, this thermometer is accurate and reliable.

We noticed that the temperature reading would shift slightly based on how far we held it from our forehead. To make sure your results are accurate, make sure to keep the same hand-to-forehead distance every time.

Inconsistent readings if switched between ears

Weight : Not listed | Bluetooth/App Connectivity: No | Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.41 x 1.49 inches | Power Source: Batteries (included)

Price at time of publication: $30

If you prefer tympanic (or inner ear) options, our favorite is the Equate Infrared 1-Second In-Ear Thermometer. It was immediately ready to use out of the box during testing, and we found it to be a simple and sturdy thermometer that gave us reliable readings consistently. It’s a straightforward thermometer that doesn’t require an app or any Bluetooth connection. Readings were ready within three to five seconds, faster than we expected, and beeped when it was done recording the temperature. 

The thermometer display is bright, with bold writing so you can easily read your temperatures and it will remember up to 10 readings. There’s also a low battery indicator, a Fahrenheit and Celsius conversion option, and it comes with a protective storage cap and case.

We noticed inconsistent readings if we used this thermometer between different ears, so stick to a single ear. We also noticed that it worked best without the ear covers so we had to clean the tip more often, especially between switching users.

Inconsistent across different body parts

Hard to find stored readings

Weight : 3.84 ounces | Bluetooth/App Connectivity: No | Dimensions : 6.26 x 1.93 x 1.85 inches | Power Source: Batteries (included)

Price at time of publication: $30

Our favorite multi-use thermometer is the iProven Head and Ear Thermometer because it gives you a quick and reliable temperature reading regardless of the way you choose to use it. This is a very straightforward thermometer from the moment you unbox it. To get started, you simply need to select and hold the mode you want to use (head or ear) and then your results will appear.

This thermometer's display uses color-coded pictures to give you your results—red and a frowny face signals a fever, while green and a smiley face means you have a healthy temperature. It takes about one second to get your reading in both ear and head modes, and there’s an audible beep when it’s done. If we were within a fever range, it would beep in succession to let us know, which we found helpful. Overall, we found that this option is lightweight, fits well in the hand, and offers an incredibly intuitive and seamless process.

One thing we didn’t love is that sometimes our temperature wasn’t consistent across the two modes—ear and head. For this reason, we recommend choosing one body part and sticking with it as you test throughout the duration of a cold or illness. It’s also a little hard to find the stored temperature readings.

Personalized medical advice through the app

Fun elephant animation for kids

App doesn’t sync efficiently

Weight : 1.59 ounces | Bluetooth/App Connectivity: Yes | Dimensions: 5.63 x 3.03 x 0.94 inches | Power Source: Batteries (included)

Price at time of publication: $24

Nowadays, everything has an app, and that includes thermometers. Our pick for the best smart thermometer is the Kinsa QuickCare Smart Thermometer. Even though it's high-tech, it’s not hard to use. During testing, we found that the app made getting our temperature results fun because it offers interactive features (you can even ask the app questions when you’re feeling sick to learn more about your symptoms). The app can also track medicine usage and dosage and provides multiple user profiles to keep track of the whole family's readings.

As you take your temperature, the thermometer gives you a light and sound indication when it’s done taking the reading. We adored the little elephant animation on the thermometer. It distracted our kids when taking their temperature, which was an added bonus. To top it off, all of our results were accurate and consistent.

This thermometer doesn’t come with a protective case. We also wish the app synced more efficiently.

Weight : 0.37 ounces | Bluetooth/App Connectivity: No | Dimensions : 4.93 x 0.76 x 0.49 inches | Power Source: Batteries (included)

Price at time of publication: $8

The Boncare Digital Oral Thermometer is our pick for the best oral thermometer because it’s affordable, straightforward, and no fuss. This oral thermometer uses a soft silicone tip that’s comfortable for babies and adults alike when taking their temperature. The silicone tip is also washable so you can clean the thermometer easily.

During testing, we found that it gave fairly accurate readings that took between five to 30 seconds. When you turn on the thermometer it’ll display the last reading you had so you can compare your current results to your most recent. 

The time it took to take our temperature readings was inconsistent. Even though this is a fairly basic thermometer, setting it up proved to be a little difficult, and we had to turn it on and off again in order to take another reading.

After six months of long-term testing, we stand by our best overall pick, the Braun No Touch Thermometer, because it’s efficient, simple to use, and no-contact. No-contact thermometers are easier to disinfect and can take temperatures quickly while limiting the spread of germs and contagions. We are still engaging in long-term testing and will update this list accordingly with our findings, so watch this space.

The Verywell Health team spent eight hours at the Verywell Testing Lab and six months at home, testing 25 thermometers to find the best ones. We picked our top thermometers based on the following criteria:

Because temperature can fluctuate throughout the day, we decided we did not have the resources to give a valid accuracy rating. Because of this, we focused on using the selected attributes to determine whether or not they would make our list.

It depends on the type of thermometer. Digital thermometers with a metal probe work through the resistance of the metal (how hard it is for electricity to flow through it) as the temperature changes, such as when it is inserted under the tongue. The thermometer has a microchip that measures how much resistance there is and then translates that into temperature. Dr. Katz explains that other thermometers use heat and infrared sensors to obtain temperature readings.

Dr. Katz says that digital rectal thermometers are the most accurate at measuring core temperature. That’s because they measure the internal body temperature by insertion, and the reading is less likely to be influenced by external factors, such as drinking hot or cold beverages and environmental temperatures.

While forehead thermometers are popular (because they don’t require physical contact to read temperature), research studies have found that their accuracy may be lower compared to ear or armpit thermometers, especially if not positioned correctly, says Dr. Katz.

Positioning is important to get a correct reading because different areas of the body have varying levels of heat concentration. “Forehead thermometers should be held perpendicularly to the person’s forehead at the distance recommended by the manufacturer of the thermometer for optimal accuracy,” he explains. Temperatures should also be taken away from direct sunlight, a heat source, and without a hat or headband, to minimize factors that can influence the temperature reading.

A thermometer should be cleaned after each use. Dr. Katz recommends washing the tip of the thermometer with cold water and antibacterial liquid soap, which should not come into contact with the screen. You can also wipe down the tip with alcohol-based wipes of at least 70% alcohol to disinfect or sanitize the tip, he adds. Make sure to wipe the thermometer dry with a soft cloth after each clean.

Most baby thermometers can be used by adults. Some baby thermometers have been designed with babies in mind, meaning they may be smaller and have a flexible tip. If using a baby thermometer, use as instructed. The reading of an adult’s temperature should still be accurate on a baby thermometer.

Receiving her master’s degree in public health in 2020, Kayla Hui is a seasoned public health practitioner and health journalist. She has interviewed dozens of experts, reviewed numerous research studies, and tested a plethora of products to deliver well-researched product reviews and roundups. Her goal is to help readers make more informed decisions about their health and well-being.

Fever. (2019, November 19).

Fever in children: Overview. (2019). Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Health, C. for D. and R. (2023). Non-contact infrared thermometers. FDA.

Chen, Hsuan-Yu, et al. Investigation of the Impact of Infrared Sensors on Core Body Temperature Monitoring by Comparing Measurement Sites. Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), vol. 20, no. 10, May 2020, p. 2885. doi:10.3390/s20102885

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The 8 Best Thermometers of 2023

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