Best Baby Thermometers (Forehead, Ear & Rectal)

Dr. Pierrette Mimi Poinsett, MD
Reviewed by Dr. Pierrette Mimi Poinsett, MDWritten by Neve Spicer Updated on April 19th, 2023

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Thermometers are the unsung heroes of the parent’s toolkit. They spend most of their time locked away in the medical cupboard, only taking center stage when your child gets sick and things heat up. It’s important for every parent to be sure that they have the best baby thermometer for the job, and that they know how to use it, as picking the wrong orifice could possibly add insult to injury!

As a parent, you will quickly sense when your baby is not feeling well. However, unlike diaper rash, it is not always clear what’s going on, so it’s important to find out whether your little one is running a high temperature. A high fever can be especially dangerous for babies and can cause a myriad of problems if not treated. Enter the thermometer.

Although there are many thermometers on the market, each with different designs, interfaces and features, there are really only five main types that measure temperature in different ways:

  • Rectal: To obtain the most accurate body temperature, use a rectal thermometer. Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly and insert the thermometer no more than half an inch into the child’s rectum. This will not hurt your child. Most electronic rectal thermometers will return a temperature value in seconds, offering you and your doctor the most accurate reading (though some parents aren’t as comfortable with this method, especially if the thermometer has also been used with older children.)
  • In-Ear: These are carefully placed in your baby’s ear. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. They can be easy to use, unless, of course, your baby decides not to play ball, which could make things tricky!
  • Oral: Measure the temperature underneath the baby’s tongue.
  • Armpit: Armpit readings may not be accurate and so you may want to follow up with another method.
  • Forehead scanner: These are quick and easy to use.

You can take a temperature using a rectal, in-ear, oral, armpit, or forehead scanner. It’s important to note, however, that temperature readings will differ depending on which method you use.

The average body temperature measured by each method is as follows:1Fever Temperatures: Accuracy and Comparison

  • Orally = 98.6°F (37°C)
  • Rectally = 99.1 – 99.6°F (37.3 – 37.6°C)
  • In-ear = 99.1 – 99.6°F (37.3 – 37.6°C)
  • Armpit = 97.6 – 98.1°F (36.4° – 36.7C)
  • Forehead = 97.6 – 98.1°F (36.4° – 36.7C)

Once you’ve decided which application method is for you, you can then opt for certain features such as smartphone connectivity, quiet mode, LCD display and others. Certain features will obviously depend on your budget, as thermometers can really range in price.

Now you’ve had a quick introduction, let’s dive straight in. Here are some of the best baby thermometers we’ve found:

Our picks of the best ear baby thermometers

iProven DMT-489 Medical Ear Thermometer (with Forehead Function)

This digital infrared ear thermometer also has a forehead function so you can try both to see which method you prefer. (We guarantee you’ll waste at least five minutes checking the whole family and testing to see whether both methods give the same result!). An Amazon #1 BestSeller, this thermometer is one of the most reliable and affordable models on the market.

The interface is simple to use with only two buttons and a loud beep. It is one of the only models that is trusted by pediatricians and used in medical clinics. Another plus is that each purchase is backed by a 100-day money back guarantee.


  • Money back guarantee: The company gives you 100 days to make a return with no questions asked.
  • Infrared lens technology: This allows for a reliable and quick reading.
  • Professional medical grade: This thermometer is trusted and used by numerous pediatricians.
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Kinsa Digital Smart Ear Thermometer

The Kinsa Digital Smart Ear Thermometer is known as one of the smartest thermometers in the world. Not only does it provide super-fast and comfortable readings, but can connect to most smartphones for maximum ease. By syncing the thermometer with your smartphone, parents can easily track their child’s temperature.

This can certainly be helpful when tracking a fever, but bear in mind that body temperature isn’t always a direct measure of health. Temperatures are recorded with the exact time and date, allowing you to easily share  information with a doctor.

It can also be programmed to be used by several family members,  handy for those with more than one child. There is also an option to add your own photos or notes to specific readings for later clarification. 

Owners of the Kinsa digital thermometer we have spoken to have nothing but great things to say about it!


  • One button touch: This thermometer is extremely easy to use.
  • Connects to smartphone: This model is compatible with iPhones, Samsung and other popular brands.
  • Allows for customization: From adding notes or photos, the accompanying app makes parenting a sick child much easier!
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Best forehead baby thermometers

Metene Digital Infrared Non-Contact Forehead Thermometer

The Metene Digital Baby Thermometer provides quick and reliable readings with no contact needed. It is highly recommended by some medical professionals and is FDA approved. As with most medical grade products, this model holds the latest infrared technology, giving parents an accurate reading in an instant.

Rest assured that you are obtaining an accurate temperature. A huge plus feature of this thermometer is its ‘silent’ mode. No more beeping noise disturbing a sleeping sick child. Its large LCD display screen is easy to read in a dark room. This model is perfect for those inevitable nights when illness always seems to hit!


  • Medical Grade: This model is recommended and used by medical professionals.
  • No touch needed: Simply scan your child’s forehead for an accurate temperature reading.
  • Ease of use: A large LCD display and single button interface is easy to operate.
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ASA Techmed Digital Non-Contact Infrared Forehead Thermometer

Instant results with no contact needed make this one of the leading digital baby thermometers. This model offers not only accurate and quick readings with the latest in infrared technology, but  also so much more. The Yoday thermometer is ergonomically designed to offer a comfortable grip and also made with environmentally friendly materials. Parents can rest assured that this model will offer medical grade results without the huge cost. The Yoday digital thermometer retails for under forty dollars and comes with a manufacturer warranty.


  • Environmentally friendly: This model is made with safe materials.
  • Infrared technology: No touch is needed, which means no more spreading germs.
  • Affordable: This model is inexpensive, while a medical-grade product.
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Dr. Madre Medical Infrared Talking Forehead Thermometer

This is one of the most unique thermometers on the market. Dr. Madre’s Medical Infrared Talking Forehead Thermometer offers a reading in about a second. Not only is it extremely fast and reliable, but there is no touch required. This is a great way to reduce the spread of germs, especially in households with more than one child.

Another interesting feature of this thermometer is that it speaks the temperature reading. Parents can choose to hear readings in English or Spanish. There is also a silent mode, helping you to avoid waking your sleeping child.

This model is slightly more expensive than others, being of high quality. Each purchase comes with a thirty-day money back guarantee and a one-year replacement warranty straight from the manufacturer.


  • Quick readings: Instant results thanks to infrared technology.
  • No touch required: Scanning your child’s forehead will reduce the spread of germs.
  • Talking option: Parents can choose to have readings spoken aloud.
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Best rectal baby thermometers

Friendly Digital Medical Thermometer

The Friendly Digital Medical Thermometer is sure to stand out amongst  other rectal baby thermometers. The vivid green tip is extremely flexible for your baby’s maximum comfort. Is designed to provide accurate readings quickly when time is of the essence.

One of the things parents love the most about this thermometer is the beeping function. As the thermometer reaches 100 degrees, it begins to beep quicker to alert the parent. The jumbo design and simple interface are also big selling points for parents. This model can also be used under the armpit. It is also great value at under twenty dollars.


  • Affordable: This model retails for under twenty dollars.
  • Versatility: Can be used under-arm or rectally.
  • Comfort: A flexible and durable tip provides maximum comfort for your baby.
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Occobaby Clinical Baby Thermometer

This actually comes as a ‘bundle’ with both an infrared forehead thermometer and a waterproof, fast rectal thermometer.

The Occobaby Thermometer is more than just an FDA-approved model, as it is also commonly used in clinics. With the recommendation of healthcare professionals, parents can feel rest assured with this item. Accurate readings are available within 10 seconds, which is essential when dealing with a fussy or sick baby. This is possibly one of the fastest models on the market due to it’s latest microchip technology.

The OCCObaby thermometer features a waterproof flexible tip. This provides your baby with the ultimate comfort while getting their temperature checked. While this thermometer is usually used rectally, it can also be used under the armpit.

Parents can purchase without concern, thanks to the companys’ 60-day guarantee, so returns are accepted without question, should you decide this thermometer is not for you. An extremely affordable choice at under thirty dollars.


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Best affordable baby thermometer

Vicks Baby Rectal Thermometer

The Vicks Baby Thermometer is an extremely basic model, but gets the job done, accurately providing you with your baby’s temperature. This model is extremely compact and great for traveling and storage. Developed to ensure your baby’s comfort and safety, the compact design helps prevent over insertion for your child’s protection.

This model is one of the most affordable on the market. Despite being available for under twenty dollars, it is extremely reliable and recommended by medical professionals. This is a great thermometer to keep in the diaper bag for those unexpected moments.


  • Extremely affordable: available for under twenty dollars
  • Trusted brand: This thermometer is manufactured by Vicks and Procter & Gamble
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Expert tip

Body temperature is not always the most reliable sign to indicate that your child is seriously ill. A febrile child who smiles, interacts with you, and (especially) who is still eating is unlikely to be seriously ill. By contrast, a child who does not interact with you, smile, refuses to eat, or is difficult to arouse may be seriously ill, despite showing no fever symptoms.

Wrapping up

Dealing with a sick child can be a worrisome experience. However, being armed with a reliable and accurate thermometer can help bring you peace of mind. This important accessory can help ensure that your child is safely overcoming their illness or condition. A baby thermometer is an essential item for any parent to have in their household.

Dr. Pierrette Mimi Poinsett, MD
Reviewed by Dr. Pierrette Mimi Poinsett, MDWritten by Neve Spicer Updated on April 19th, 2023