Best Baby Thermometers

As your child grows, there will likely be times when you suspect your little one has a fever or is sick. You'll want to have a baby thermometer in the house to check your baby’s temperature and find out if it is higher than usual. Although a thermometer can never replace a diagnosis by your healthcare provider, having a reading of your child’s temperature can give you some insights that you can take to your provider should you see signs of a fever or other symptoms of sickness. We surveyed more than 7,000 Pampers Parents to find out which baby thermometers they think are the best and then reviewed the top 10 products. Plus, we’ve described the different types of baby thermometers on the market; listed what to consider when buying a baby thermometer; and given you a step-by-step guide on how to use your baby thermometer once you’ve got one at home.

Types of Baby Thermometers

Experts recommend using one of these types of baby thermometers:

  • Temporal artery thermometers. With these thermometers an infrared scanner measures the temperature of the temporal artery that runs close to the skin along the forehead. These thermometers are usually OK to use once your child is older than 3 months, although some models may be acceptable for newborn babies, too. They may not be as accurate as digital rectal thermometers, but many Pampers Parents find them easier to use, and less invasive.

  • Ear thermometers. These work by sensing heat radiated through your little one’s eardrum. In some cases, these devices can be less effective because earwax or the shape of the ear canal prevents the probe of the thermometer from taking an accurate reading. This type of thermometer may be easier for you to use on your baby than a digital rectal thermometer, but keep in mind that the readings you get may not be as accurate as a digital rectal reading.

  • Digital thermometers. The tip of a digital thermometer has a sensor, which measures body temperature when placed in your baby’s rectum or under their arm. Typically, a rectal temperature reading is most accurate. Although you might find a rectal baby thermometer a little tricky to use at first, with a little practice, you can get the hang of it. A rectal thermometer is best to use for children who are under 3 months old. Once your child is older and can keep their arm down for long enough, you can also use a digital baby thermometer by placing it in their armpit.

With all of these baby thermometers, the temperature is typically shown on a small digital screen.

Some Thermometer Dos and Don’ts

  • Oral thermometers should not be used for children until they are at least 4 or 5 years old.

  • Don’t use a mercury thermometer because, if the glass breaks, the mercury can be toxic for you and your little one.

  • If you have a rectal thermometer, never use it on other areas of your baby’s body.

  • If you have more than one thermometer at home and one is used rectally, label each one carefully so that you don’t accidentally use the rectal thermometer orally, for example.

  • Although most baby thermometers can be used on adults, too, a standard “adult” thermometer may not be as easy to use with children. A baby thermometer, which is specially designed for children, may have special features like a flexible tip and a smaller size.

Things to Consider When Buying a Baby Thermometer

Here are some features to look at when choosing the best baby thermometer for you and your little one:

  • Safety. Ensure that the thermometer you pick is safe to use for your child’s age. For example, some thermometers aren’t recommended for children under 3 months old. Before buying a thermometer, check that the product hasn’t been recalled. Once you have your thermometer at home, ensure that any small parts like storage bags, batteries, and probe covers, which can be choking hazards—as well as the thermometer itself—are kept out of reach of children.

  • Accuracy. This is very important when it comes to a thermometer. Rectal baby thermometers are most accurate. If you’re in any doubt about the accuracy of the thermometer you’re considering buying, ask your baby’s healthcare provider for a recommendation on the most accurate baby thermometer.

  • Ease of use. It’s a good idea to choose a thermometer that’s easy to use when your baby is sick and fussy. Some Pampers Parents prefer the forehead reader for this reason, while others prefer the digital ear or rectum baby thermometers. The easier you find the thermometer is to use and the less discomfort it causes your little one, the higher the chance you’ll be able to get a more accurate reading faster.

  • Speed. With a fussy baby it’s great to be able to take the reading quickly. You don’t want to disturb your little one for too long, especially while they’re feeling sick and cranky. Some thermometers can take the reading in just a second while others may take up to 30 seconds.

  • Comfort. Overall, an infrared thermometer that simply glides along your little one’s forehead may be most comfortable for your baby. A stick thermometer with a soft, flexible tip may be more comfortable than a rigid probe. Just keep in mind that not all flexible tip models can be used rectally, so double check the product guidelines.

  • Extra features. Consider which bells and whistles, if any, you’d like from your thermometer:

    • Colored lights indicating the severity of the temperature

    • Smiley faces indicating whether the temperature is normal, mild, or high

    • Beeps that signal when a reading has been taken (some but not all models let you mute sound)

    • A fever alarm that goes off when there is an elevated temperature reading

    • A night light or backlit display for easier middle-of-the-night reads

    • A pre-warmed tip offered by some ear thermometers

    • App connectivity to help you track things like temperature and symptoms so you can easily show the data to your baby’s healthcare provider.

  • Reliability. You want your thermometer to work when you need it to, and to not run out of battery power or malfunction just when you’d like to check your little one’s temperature in the middle of the night. Most of the thermometers on our list come with just one set of batteries, so it might be useful to have some spare batteries at home. You might also like to buy two thermometers so that you have a spare should one break down, or so that you can take a second reading if you’re unsure about the accuracy of the first.

  • Additional supplies. Some models require you to buy additional probe covers and won’t work unless you have placed one on. Consider whether this additional purchase is a deal breaker for you.

  • Price. Some thermometers are under $10 while others are almost $50. More expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better or more accurate, but it may be an indicator of the quality of materials and the number of extra features. Infrared thermometers are among the more expensive, for example, but not necessarily any more accurate than a more affordable digital stick thermometer.

How to Use a Baby Thermometer

Whenever you suspect your baby might have a fever, take their temperature. Because each thermometer is a little different, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. However, here are some basic steps to follow:

1. Clean the thermometer following the instructions that came with the product. Cleaning it with soapy water or rubbing alcohol, and then rinsing it with cool water may be all that’s needed.

2. Place the thermometer as directed in the instructions. This could be on the forehead, under the underarm, or in your baby’s bottom or ear. If you use the thermometer rectally, you should put a small amount of petroleum jelly on the tip to lubricate it. If you use an ear thermometer, it may require a probe cover. Never leave your little one unattended with the thermometer.

3. Leave the thermometer in place as long as suggested in the product guidelines. This is usually a few seconds up to about a minute. Some models signal when the thermometer has taken a reading; for others you’ll have to watch the clock.

4. Check the reading. Typically, a reading of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher indicates a fever.

5. Contact your child’s healthcare provider right away if you’re ever concerned about your little one’s temperature or symptoms, or in these situations:

6. Disinfect the thermometer according to the manufacturer’s instructions and place it back in its case or cover. Store safely out of reach of children.

The 10 Best Thermometers for Your Baby or Toddler

Here are the top-rated baby thermometers as chosen by thousands of Pampers Parents:

1. Safety 1st 3-in-1 Nursery Thermometer

Why pick this one? The Safety 3-in-1 Nursery Thermometer gives you three options for taking your baby’s temperature: orally, rectally, or under the arm. After 30 seconds, the thermometer beeps to let you know the reading is complete. Pampers Parents chose this thermometer as no. 1 because it’s budget-friendly, offers three ways to take a temperature reading, and it’s simple to use. A storage case is included with the thermometer, and a long-lasting battery. The thermometer can also recall the last reading, features auto shut-off, and can switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit.

Highlights: The tip is flexible for comfort and includes a rectal guard to use when you’re reading your baby’s temperature rectally.

Price*: about $4.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:


2. FridaBaby Quick-Read Digital Rectal Thermometer

Why pick this one? There’s no need to worry when taking your baby’s rectal temperature with the FridaBaby Quick-Read Digital Rectal Thermometer. That’s because there’s a parent-proof stopper so you don’t hurt your baby’s bottom, and the tip is flexible. There’s a large display so it’s easy to read the temperature, and backlighting makes it even easier to read, especially in low light. The thermometer saves up to 10 previous readings and includes a carrying case.

Highlights: The thermometer is BPA- and latex-free, as well as water-resistant for easy cleaning.

Price*: about $13.59 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:


3. Braun Thermoscan 7 IRT6520 Thermometer

Why pick this one? This thermometer is one of the more expensive ones on this list, but many Pampers Parents felt it was worth it. This thermometer offers lots of bells and whistles, including

  • a light and beep alert that lets you know when it’s in the right position

  • a night light for easier readings at nighttime

  • a pre-warmed tip the manufacturer claims makes for more accurate readings

  • a light indicator that pulses while the temperature reading is in progress, and remains on solidly for three seconds once the reading has been successfully taken

  • a color display that changes between green, yellow, and red depending on your little one’s age and temperature. If you input your little one’s age, the thermometer will indicate whether the temperature is considered normal, elevated, or high for your child’s specific age.

  • a log of the last nine temperature readings, which helps you track your little one’s temperature over time.

Highlights: This product comes with 40 lens filters that cover the probe that enters the ear. If you run out of these probe covers, you’ll have to buy more.

Price*: about $66.82 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:


4. Braun Forehead Thermometer

Why pick this one? With the Braun Forehead Thermometer, you simply swipe the temperature reader along your baby’s forehead to the temples twice to get a reading within seconds. The display shows the temperature reading in big letters, and the screen itself changes color to help you more easily identify the reading:

  • Green when no fever is detected

  • Yellow for a slightly elevated temperature

  • Red for a high temperature.

This thermometer is easy to use with a simple on/off switch and a green button you have to press while taking a reading, but some Pampers Parents found that setting certain options (like switching between Fahrenheit and Celsius) can be a little tricky. Highlights: This thermometer allows you to take your child’s temperature without waking them or removing any clothing.

Price*: about $56.00 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:


5. Vicks ComfortFlex Digital Thermometer

Why pick this one? This digital baby thermometer is great because it allows you to take a reading rectally, orally, or from the underarm. The manufacturer claims it can give a temperature reading in as few as 8 seconds, but an armpit reading could take around 22 seconds. The display of this thermometer changes color based on the reading:

  • Green if the thermometer doesn’t measure a fever

  • Yellow for a mild fever

  • Red for a high fever.

Just like most of the other thermometers on this list, it can give a reading in both Fahrenheit and Celsius, and it’s also suitable for use on the older children and adults in your family.

Highlights: This thermometer has a flexible tip for extra comfort for your little one. It’s BPA free and water resistant.

Price*: about $9.98 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:


6. Goodbaby Baby Thermometer with Fever Alarm and Memory Function

Why pick this one? The Goodbaby Thermometer is more than just a regular thermometer: it not only read temperatures from the forehead or ear, but can also measure the temperature of a room or measure food temperature. It can also easily switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit. Even though it’s marketed as a baby thermometer, the Goodbaby Thermometer is recommended for all ages, from infants to seniors. With the backlit LCD screen, it’s easy to read the temperature, even in the dark at night. It’s also equipped with a fever warning indicator:

  • Green means no fever

  • Orange and three beeps means a mild fever

  • Red and five beeps means a high fever.

If you need to take your baby’s temperature when they’re sleeping, you can mute the thermometer, so the beeps don’t wake them.

Highlights: You don’t have to worry about the batteries running out so fast since the thermometer features an auto shut-off feature.

Price*: about $17.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:


7. iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer

Why pick this one? Another infrared thermometer, the iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer reads temperatures when held within 1.18 inches of the forehead. Just point at the center of your little one’s forehead. The thermometer is recommended for children of all ages and adults too, so it’ll be perfect for the entire family. If you didn’t like the beep alerts of the previous infrared thermometers on this list, you may like the vibrating indicator of the iHealth Thermometer, which vibrates after it’s finished taking the reading. Unlike some of the other thermometers in this list, the iHealth Thermometer doesn’t offer color indications for normal temperature, mild, or high fever. It also doesn’t save previous readings. You may want to think about whether these extra features are deal breakers or not.

Highlights: A clear and bright oversized LED screen ensures that you can read the temperature even in complete darkness.

Price*: about $19.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:


8. EasyEast Touchless Infrared Thermometer

Why pick this one? The EasyEast Touchless Infrared Thermometer goes beyond a regular infrared thermometer—it also takes readings in-ear and can take the temperature of objects. For in-ear readings, just switch out the tip of the thermometer. It’s also easy to toggle between Celsius or Fahrenheit. With the press of a button, you can have your child’s temperature read in 10 seconds. The LED screen is backlit, making it easy to read, and shows temperature readings in green for normal, orange for mild fever, and red for high fever. The thermometer shuts off after 10 seconds of non-use to save on its battery life. You will need to purchase two AAA batteries, which aren’t included in the box. Highlights: Use silent mode whenever you need to take your little one’s temperature without waking them.

Price*: about $10.49 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:


9. Femometer Touchless Thermometer for Adults and Kids

Why pick this one? The femometer Touchless Thermometer measures temperatures of people, objects, and rooms—hence the three-in-one feature. It can be used for both adults and children. The large backlit LCD display is easy to read and features color-coded indicators: green for normal temperature, yellow for mild fever, and red for high fever. The red reading will also include a warning sound to make sure that you’re aware its reading is high. The thermometer can store 10 previous readings and can easily switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit.

Highlights: With your purchase you also get 24-hour customer service in case you need help with the thermometer.

Price*: about $19.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:


10. OCCObaby Clinical Digital Baby Thermometer

Why pick this one? If you’re looking for a standard digital thermometer that will get the job done without too many added features, then this OCCObaby model is definitely one to consider. The thermometer can be used rectally, which experts consider to be the most accurate way to gauge your baby’s temperature, or under the arm, or orally once your child is 4 or 5 years old. This thermometer has a flexible tip; is waterproof; offers a quick 10-second reading; has a large digital display; offers both Fahrenheit and Celsius options; and has a fever alarm that beeps if it reads a high temperature. This thermometer automatically powers off, which might help save on battery life. One LR44 battery is required.

Highlights: The small size means that it’s great for babies and young children. It also comes with a storage case to keep it protected and clean.

Price*: about $14.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:


The Bottom Line

When your little one has a fever, you'll appreciate having a thermometer in your medicine cabinet or first aid kit that can provide information promptly and accurately. Be sure to reach out to your baby's healthcare provider with any questions or concerns, especially if your baby seems unwell or has a temperature. The provider can diagnose any medical conditions and offer expert guidance on how to care for your little one.




  • Book: Caring for your baby and young child, birth to age 5, Sixth Edition Paperback – November 2, 2014 by American Academy of Pediatrics (Author)
  • Consumer Reports: Thermometer Buying Guide