Baby thermometer buying guide: How to choose the best thermometer for your family

Learn how to find a baby thermometer that's safe, affordable and easy to use.

Modern thermometers make temperature-taking time easy and simple. These thermometers allow you to take temperatures with minimal contact or without any contact, making them perfect for a sleeping or sensitive child.

Suitable for adults as well as children, baby thermometers offer quick and accurate temperature readings, often with the click of just one button.

Our guide will help you compare baby thermometers and find the right one for your needs.

Compare some of the best baby thermometers

Data obtained January 2019. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.
Name Product Average Price (AUD) Type Time to reading Flexible tip Fever alert Memory recall Purchase today
Dreambaby Clinical F318
Dreambaby Clinical F318
$9.95
Digital
30 sec
Yes
Yes
No
The Dreambaby Clinical F318 can be used under the arm or rectally.
Omron MC-343F
Omron MC-343F
$10.49
Digital
25 sec
Yes
No
Yes
The Omron MC-343F is water-resistant and beeps when the measurement is completed.
Safety 1st 1st Digital
Safety 1st 1st Digital
$12.99
Digital
60 sec
Yes
No
Yes
The Safety 1st 1st Digital offers automatic recall of the last reading and comes with a storage cover.
Tommee Tippee Digital 270236
Tommee Tippee Digital 270236
$14
Digital
60 sec
No
Yes
No
The Tommee Tippee Digital 270236 sounds a fever alarm if the reading shows a fever.
Dreambaby Rapid Response F320
Dreambaby Rapid Response F320
$19.96
Digital
8 sec
Yes
Yes
No
The Dreambaby Rapid Response F320 display will automatically turn red if a fever is recorded.
Vicks Fever InSight
Vicks Fever InSight
$20.49
Digital
8 sec
No
Yes
Yes
The Vicks Fever InSight has a large, easy-to-read display that changes colours according to temperature.
Safety 1st Fever Light
Safety 1st Fever Light
$52.99
Ear
1 sec
No
Yes
Yes
The Safety 1st Fever Light has a fast one second reading time and can hold recall 12 previous measurements.
Vicks Fever InSight Forehead
Vicks Fever InSight Forehead
$56.49
Forehead
Forehead
No
Yes
Yes
The Vicks Fever InSight Forehead is non-invasive and can recall 12 readings.
Omron MC-720
Omron MC-720
$63.49
Forehead
1 sec
No
No
Yes
The Omron MC-720 provides non-contact temperature readings and can hold 25 past recordings.
Medescan Touchless
Medescan Touchless
$99.99
Forehead
1 sec
No
Yes
Yes
The Medescan Touchless provides non-contact temperature readings for babies, food and bath water.

Compare up to 4 providers

Types of thermometers

Temperature-taking options include infrared, oral, axillary, tympanic and rectal thermometers. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, which are outlined below:

ThermometerProsCons
Infrared (non-contact or forehead)
  • Non-contact options available
  • Hygienic and fast
  • Expensive
  • May have to measure two or three times to get an average
Oral (mouth)
  • Good indicator of body's central temperature
  • Easy for older children
  • Harder with younger children, particularly under four years
  • Can be inaccurate after eating and drinking
Axillary (armpit)
  • Simple
  • Non-invasive
  • Less accurate
  • Slower measurement speed
Tympanic (ear)
  • Fast
  • Accurate
  • Can't be used if child has an ear infection
  • Invasive
Rectal
  • Accurate
  • Able to be used on babies
  • Invasive and uncomfortable
  • Can be unhygienic

What are infrared baby thermometers?

Infrared thermometers (also known as forehead thermometers, touchless thermometers or temporal artery thermometers) measure temperature by tracking the level of thermal and infrared radiation being emitted from arteries and blood vessels in the head.

You can take readings one of three ways, depending on the style of thermometer:

  1. Pointing the thermometer at the forehead and clicking the activation button
  2. Lightly swiping the thermometer across the forehead
  3. Gently pressing the temperature probe to the temple

Taking a heat reading this way means that these thermometers do not need to be in extended contact with the patient.

There are two main types of infrared thermometers available:

  • Non-contact (touchless) thermometers: These are "point and shoot" thermometers that deliver readings in a matter of seconds. They are generally the most expensive option on the market, but are popular because they are truly non-invasive, fast and easy to use.
  • Forehead thermometers: These also rely on infrared readings, but require swiping, scanning or placing the thermometer somewhere on the forehead. You should check that your child's forehead is dry before using this kind of thermometer, as sweat or bath water can impact a reading.
Other infrared thermometers

Infrared thermometers can also refer to laser thermometers or temperature guns, which are often used for industrial purposes or in cooking. They all operate using similar technology, but lasers and guns are bigger, more expensive pieces of equipment. It's easy to accidentally find yourself on a hardware store's website when you're searching for baby products.

Benefits to using infrared baby thermometers:

How to compare baby thermometers

Basic thermometers start at around $10, while more advanced models can cost $100 or more. When deciding which thermometer to buy, you'll need to consider the following:

3 key tips to remember

In order to have the smoothest experience with your thermometer, remember to do the following:

  • Keep your thermometer clean. If your thermometer is dirty or if there are smudges or dirt in the way, it may impact your reading.
  • Try to keep your thermometer at room temperature. Other heat sources can impact your reading. If you've left your thermometer in a sunroom or near the air conditioner, let it reach room temperature before use.
  • Always read the instructions. Different models and brands provide different instructions. Some infrared thermometers say to swipe or scan across the forehead two or three times, while others suggest going down and around the back of the ear as well. Even if you think you know how to use a thermometer, double-check the guide.


 

Related Posts

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site