Which smart thermometer is best?
Concern is natural when you or a family member is sick. A smart thermometer can track temperatures over time so you need only worry when necessary. By connecting to an app, smart thermometers store temperature readings so you can easily see if a patient’s fever is getting better, getting worse, or remaining stable.
Keep reading for our guide to the best smart thermometers, looking at thermometer types, apps, and more. We’ve included some recommended options at the end, like the Withings Thermo Smart Temporal Thermometer, which takes temperatures quickly and easily.
What to know before you buy a smart thermometer
When choosing a smart thermometer, it’s important to consider types of thermometers. Standard digital thermometers are the digital equivalent of old-school bulb thermometers. You can use them to take temperatures under the arm, orally, and sometimes rectally. Rectal readings are the most accurate of the three for babies, but most parents prefer an alternative method.
Non-contact temporal thermometers take a reading from the temporal artery on the forehead using infrared technology. This is quick and accurate in all age groups (even young babies) and can be expensive.
In-ear thermometers also use infrared rays to measure the temperature in the ear canal, though there’s usually some contact between the tip and the ear. These thermometers tend to give accurate readings, but only in those over six months old.
While we’re focusing on thermometers used to measure body temperature, you can also find some smart room thermometers, oven thermometers, and fridge or cooler thermometers.
All smart thermometers connect to smartphones or tablets via an app, using either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi — that’s the smart part. These apps store temperature data for weeks, months, or sometimes indefinitely, allowing you to track temperature changes over a bout of illness. Some apps have other features, such as collecting data on symptoms and advising you if further medical attention is recommended. Most smart thermometer apps are available on both Android and iOS, but it’s worth checking before buying so you’re certain it will load on your phone.
What to look for in a quality smart thermometer
Although you’re able to see the temperature reading on your linked app, smart thermometers have small screens to display temperature readings. Some also display the name of the user so you know you’re using the right profile.
Check how many temperature readings your smart thermometer app stores and for how long. Some store a set number of readings for each user, where others store data for a month or other set length of time before deleting it. For most users, you only want to track temperature over a few days while sick with a fever, but a handful of individuals may want to look at patterns in their temperature over a longer stretch of time.
How much you can expect to spend on a smart thermometer
Smart thermometers range in price from around $20 for those that use basic digital thermometers to $100 or more for those that use advanced non-contact technology.
Smart thermometer FAQ
Can my whole family use the same smart thermometer?
A. Yes, smart thermometers accommodate a range of user profiles — usually between five and 10 — so that everyone in the family has their own profile. This allows you to track data for everyone in your household individually when they’re sick to check if they’re improving or getting worse. Unless you have a non-contact thermometer, you must clean the tip between uses and users. If using a thermometer rectally, it should only ever be used rectally, even after cleaning.
How quickly do smart thermometers return results?
A. Some infrared smart thermometers return results practically instantly, which is great when taking the temperatures of young children. Standard digital thermometers tend to be slower, but most contemporary options return results in 10 seconds or less.
What’s the best smart thermometer to buy?
Top smart thermometer
Our take: An excellent temporal thermometer that gives contact-free readings in an instant.
What we like: Accurate for all ages. App stores data for up to eight individuals. Color-coded fever indicator. Automatically syncs with app.
What we dislike: No “guest mode” — temperatures must be assigned to a specific user.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top smart thermometer for the money
Our take: A basic and affordable smart thermometer that can take underarm, oral, or rectal temperatures.
What we like: Returns results in eight seconds or less. Smartphone app tracks temperatures over time plus other symptoms. Also works without app.
What we dislike: Some users report inaccurate or unreliable readings.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Our take: Measures temperature in hundredths for more accurate readings for those using their temperature to track ovulation to aid conception or avoid pregnancy.
What we like: Stores around 300 readings to build an accurate picture of ovulation times. App avoids the need for manual temperature charting.
What we dislike: Can have issues with thermometer staying connected to compatible devices.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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