If you or your partner are starting to feel under the weather and showing signs of a fever, it’s important to monitor your temperature accordingly. That’s why an accurate, reliable medical thermometer is an essential purchase for every household, whether you're in your 20's, you're seniors, or you'd like one to share with the kids or other family members.
But with options aplenty from smart digital sticks to ear or forehead non contact lasers, how do we know which is best for home use? To help you find out, we’ve put together a neat little guide to steer you in the right direction. Then we’ll reveal our 10 favourites from top brands like Braun and Kinetik, all available from Amazon, Argos and eBay at affordable prices.
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Buying a thermometer that's accurate, safe and measures in a manner you would prefer can be tricky if you've never had to buy one before, or if you've been using the same dated design for years. So, let’s take a look at the main factors that separate each product to help you decide.
There are generally only a few types of thermometer available for adult home use – a digital stick, and those that use laser or infrared. Here we’ll take a look at the main advantages and disadvantages of each, as they'll be placed in different areas and with varying degrees of contact and suitability.
A style most of you are probably familiar with, stick thermometers record body temperature by using tiny electronic heat sensors, and can be used either in the mouth, armpit or rectum.
Though this gives greater flexibility, we’d recommend sticking to the same method each time for accuracy. Each thermometer will tell you exactly where it can be used, so it’s always worth double-checking to ensure you pick up a product that functions the way you want.
For adults, taking an oral measurement is often seen as the most accurate, as long as you remember to close your mouth during use Also, you’ll have to wait around 15 minutes if you've just eaten or had a drink as this can affect the reading.
Forehead thermometers are often more well-tolerated nowadays, as nothing needs to enter a person, which is known as a 'no contact' thermometer. This is also a reassurance to households sharing devices, as there's little chance of spreading a bug or virus.
They work a lot quicker too, often only taking a couple of seconds, and are generally just as accurate as digital thermometers. However, seeing as they use the latest technology, they will come at a higher cost.
Digital ear thermometers also use infrared and give readings very quickly, though they do require a little more contact as they are to be placed inside the ear canal. Because of this, it's advised that you make sure the device you choose comes with hygiene covers that can be changed between uses.
Though often used in clinical settings due to their high level of accuracy, this can be affected by earwax or a curved ear canal. Plus, it can be difficult to get them positioned properly if you’re using one on yourself, so you may have to make sure you've got a willing helper.
Another factor we'd recommend sussing out before you buy is how the thermometer displays your temperature. The fact of the matter is, just a small change in the reading can be the difference between needing to call the doctor or just resting up, so it’s vital you can read the display clearly.
The best way to be sure of this is to opt for an LCD screen, and as large of a display as you think you'll need – for instance, if you're buying as a senior or someone with limited vision, go larger.
You can also look for a backlight, which will provide clarity when you are required to take readings in the evenings, such as before bed, where there may be low light.
Lastly, here are a few bells and whistles that we think are worth looking out for in your thermometer.
Firstly, a memory system is super handy. This saves you having to remember or write down the temperatures you’ve already taken, which can easily be forgotten when you’re ill or busy taking care of your poorly partner.
Auto-shutoff speaks for itself really, and will help prolong the life of your thermometer whilst hopefully preventing it from conking out at crunch time.
And finally, a model that has a fever indicator is particularly useful if you’re not overly versed in which figures indicate cause for concern. They can either alert you with a display on the screen, or a change of colour in the backlight.
Click to purchase
Age Precision Digital Stick
A New Number 1 Thermometer From a Brand Trusted by Doctors
2-in-1 No touch + Touch
Unique Technology Allows This to Work Both With and Without Touch
Forehead and Ear Thermometer
A Masterful Thermometer Capable of Reading in Multiple Different Ways
Digital Body Thermometer with Flexible tip
A Flexible Tip Thermometer With All the Nifty Extra Features
Accurate In-Ear Measurements Thanks to a Guided System
Clinical Oral Thermometer
Clinically Accurate and Meets CE Standards
A Multi-Use Thermometer for You and the Family
Wellbeing Inner Ear Thermometer
A Fast-Reading Thermometer Backed by St. John Ambulance
Digital Body Thermometers
For Those Looking to Keep the Cost Down
Our number one pick has almost everything you could want from a thermometer, such as age precision technology, which can be adjusted to the user (as what constitutes a high temperature depends on age). It also has a flexible tip and backlit LCD display which changes colour to indicate whether there is a fever.
Braun are a premium German brand that are recognised for their high-class engineering, and here they certainly deliver. This product has 4.7 out of 5 stars on Argos, with many reviewers saying that they love the quality and the reliability. For these reasons, this thermometer takes our top spot!
Using a thermometer can feel pretty invasive, even at the best of times, which is why we love this no-touch offering from Braun. It can capture an accurate reading from 2 cm away so you won't have to poke or prod your partner or relative when they're not feeling well or having a nap.
Also, to make sure they don't wake up, you have the option of putting this gadget on silent mode, so there will be no startling buzz. The readings are available in around 2 seconds, and can be displayed in either °C or °F.
Know that you want to go with infrared readings, but don't know whether you want in-ear or forehead? Why not have both! That's what this thermometer from HR allows, which can reassure you of complete accuracy after comparing two different measurements.
It also has not one but three green, orange and red fever indicators, so you'll never be unsure as to what your reading means or when it's time to call the Doc. This is a truly trusty companion to be welcomed into any adult home.
This digital sick thermometer comes with a flexible tip, which is generally considered much comfier and easier to clean by users. It also has fever indicator capabilities, showing an 'L' for low temperatures and an 'H' for high, as well as being very lightweight.
Furthermore, this device has a couple of other nifty additional features that one may wish for when choosing a thermometer, such as auto shutoff, and a memory that can show you your last reading. Not bad for around £10!
Braun are the leading thermometer manufacturers in the UK, and we're going to be getting a little more acquainted with them the deeper we get into this article. First up is the Thermoscan 7, which not only has great accuracy but also an in-ear guidance, so you know you're definitely measuring in the right spot.
Plus, it has a large, backlit LCD display that's simple to read and simple to navigate. This option also comes with a storage case, 21 single-use covers and 2 AA batteries, the latter two of which are both easily replaced.
As the name suggests, this thermometer provides clinical accuracy when it comes to reading temperatures. The appliance will signify when your reading is done by emitting a little bleep, which means you don't have to wait around or risk forgetting.
This product can be used on people of any age and is CE certified, which just means it conforms with certain health, safety and environmental standards. Take note that you'll need to also order in some of its specific LR41 batteries, as there isn't always one included.
Owing to its compact size, this 4-in-1 thermometer can take readings on different body areas as well as objects and room temperatures. Furthermore, it has an intuitive fever indication and a child mode, making it a good pick for adult households who have a few kids running around, too.
It'll also save your last 20 readings, power off after 10 seconds, and can switch to a silent mode for minimal disturbance whilst your patient is sleeping off the illness. It's a little pricey, but worth the investment, we think. And batteries are included, after all!
This easy-to-use ear thermometer will help identify body temperature and alert you of a fever by displaying 'H', so you'll know if you should be worried or not. It has an incredibly fast reading time of 1 second and is capable of storing up to 10 measurements.
Within the box you'll also get 20 single-use covers for the probe to get you started. Unfortunately, it does have a rather small screen that doesn't come with a backlight, so it could be difficult to see clearly in the dark.
Our cheapest buy on the list is this offering from Yivans. Seeing as it has a rigid tip, it would be best used in the mouth or underarm as the other option could be rather uncomfortable. This thermometer works in around 1 minute, and has an accuracy of around 0.1°.
However, some reviewers have noted that their packages arrived without the instructions, which is not ideal, particularly when using a device that could save lives. Also, it may be difficult to pick up the readings if your sight isn't too sharp, due to the size of the display.
Grabbing a thermometer for peace of mind during the current coronavirus pandemic? If so, check out some of our other articles to ensure you do your best to protect yourself and others from getting sick. And if not, it can't hurt to stock up and practice good hygiene in general!
So there it is – our foolproof guide to picking the best thermometer for an adult. As you can see, there's a little more to choosing a thermometer than one might think! Whether you're looking for digital or infrared, we hope our guide has given you the information you needed to help you feel confident when making a purchase.
Author: Lewis Clark
No. 1: Braun｜Age Precision Digital Stick
No. 2: Braun｜2-in-1 No touch + Touch
No. 3: HR｜Forehead and Ear Thermometer
No. 4: Femometer｜Digital Body Thermometer with Flexible tip
No. 5: Braun｜ThermoScan 7
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