Would you like to quickly and easily check if your child is running a fever? A digital fever thermometer will make your life in the sickroom easier than you think. Our choice for best in test is the Braun Thermoscan 7 IRT 6520, which is ideal for using on children. It has a clear and easily accessible display that makes it easy to see your child’s temperature.
If you find it difficult to use an ear thermometer, the Braun NTF 3000 is a very good alternative. This thermometer measures the temperature on the forehead, with reliable and accurate results.
We carry out all of our tests ourselves and test all products as they are intended to be used in reality. In our test of fever thermometers, we asked a registered nurse to use the thermometers, both at work and as a parent of small children. To determine whether the thermometers were reliable, we have used them as instructed and compared the results between them. All of them showed the same temperature within an error margin of +/- 0.3 °C, except for one thermometer which showed 1.5 °C lower. Other than the measurement result, we have also examined following:
Functions: Does the thermometer have an automatic shut-off, is there a battery indicator and can previous measurements be saved?
Use: How do you measure with the thermometer, what do the buttons feel like and can the sound be switched off so that sleeping children aren't woken by the signal?
Hygiene: Is there a disposable cover for the thermometer, can it be sprayed with disinfectant or cleaned in some other way?
In addition to this we have also compared the thermometer's design and functions against its price, and then selected the test winner.
Compare prices for all fever thermometers on PriceRunner.
Easy-to-use fever thermometer with clear display and colour indicator
Type: Ear thermometer Price class: Medium Battery: 2 x AA batteries, included Memory function: Yes, last 9 measured values Silent mode: No
The Braun Thermoscan 7 IRT 6520 is a well-designed fever thermometer perfect for families with children. The thermometer can be set for three different age ranges: infants (0-6 months), small children (6-36 months) and for larger children and adults. When measuring temperature, the thermometer shows the result with both figures and a colour indicator. Green represents a normal temperature, yellow slightly elevated and red a significantly elevated temperature. The age range you set determines the temperature limit; for younger children it turns red earlier.
A big advantage is that the thermometer display is on the back of the thermometer, so you can see the result without having to turn it over. The fact that the screen is illuminated means you don’t have to switch on a light when you're checking your child’s temperature at night, but we’d have liked it to be possible to turn off the sound. The thermometer includes 20 hygiene covers (you can buy more) and a stand for the thermometer and covers. If you're going to take the temperature of children of different ages, you have to spend a little longer changing the age range. But it’s worth it given that the Braun Thermoscan 7 IRT 6520 is otherwise a worthy recipient of its position as best in test.
Thermometer with clear display that's easy to measure with and has a silent mode
Type: Forehead thermometer Price class: Medium Battery: AA batteries Memory function: No Silent mode: Yes.
The Braun NTF3000 is what's known as a "no touch" thermometer, which measures the temperature via a lens aimed at the forehead. The method sounds unsound but our measurement results were just as reliable as with other types of thermometer. The Braun NTF3000 feels solid and has buttons that are easy to find even in a dark room. The measurement button is rubber covered – which gives a good grip but feels slightly less hygienic than a plastic button. However, it has a very clear response to pressure. The accompanying instructions for where to measure on the forehead are easy to understand.
The Braun NTF3000 has a light display, which makes measurement at night time possible, and a colour indicator denoting increased temperature and fever. You can turn off the sound, which is practical if you are taking the temperature of a sleeping child. The disadvantage with a forehead thermometer is that it's difficult to measure a moving child, but the advantages outweigh this. The Braun NTF3000 is easy to use and is one of the best fever thermometers of 2020.
Ear thermometer that gives fast and reliable results and can also measure surface temperatures
Type: Ear thermometer Price class: Medium Battery: C32032, included in purchase Memory function: Yes, last 25 measured values Silent mode: Yes
The Omron Gentle Temp 521 is a straightforward ear thermometer with an illuminated display, allowing you to easily see the value displayed at all times of the day and night. This function is often very useful for parents of small children, as they may need to take the temperature of their child at night and don't want to wake them up by turning on the lamp. Another equally useful function is that you can completely switch off the sound. Measurement is fast and the result is perceived as reliable. As well as measuring the temperature inside the ear, the Omron Gentle Temp 521 can also measure the temperature of a surface, for a quick answer as to whether a jar of food or a bottle is sufficiently cool.
The thermometer includes 21 probe covers and these are close to the measurement sensor, which also makes it easier to obtain a correct value. A small plastic ring is used to put the probe covers on, and we suspect that it’s easy to lose this – particularly as the thermometer doesn't include a storage station. The actual measuring probe of the thermometer feels a bit blocky inside the ear, so it's perhaps not the most comfortable thermometer for small ears. But the primary negative point about the thermometer is the fact that Omron have chosen to power it using a small watch battery. If the battery runs out during a period of illness, it's not likely that you'll have another one lying around in a kitchen drawer. In general, the Omron Gentle Temp 521 is an effective and highly usable thermometer that does its job well.
Forehead thermometer with large display and comfortable grip that reads temperatures very quickly
Type: Forehead thermometer Price class: Premium Battery: C32032, included in purchase Memory function: Yes, last 25 measured values Silent mode: Yes
The idea of a forehead thermometer is good, as there are many uses for this type of temperature measurement. As well as measuring body temperature, you can also use the Omrom Gentle Temp 720 to measure the temperature of various surfaces, which can give a good indication of whether baby food or formula is ready to serve. The Gentle Temp 720 gives a very good first impression. It's easy to use, with two clear buttons - one to turn the thermometer on and to see saved values, and another to start the temperature reading. The thermometer shuts off automatically. It can be set on silent and has a large display, which makes it easy to read. The thermometer sits nicely in the hand and has a substantial probe cover that's easy to remove.
The Omron Gentle Temp 720 should be held 3-5 cm from the forehead. Measurement is quick - it only takes a second. The difficulty with the procedure is making sure the actual measurement has been done correctly. Omron recommends that you take three temperature measurements one after each other, and if you've held the Gentle Temp 720 for too long there's also a risk of false lower values. This is because the thermometer measures a higher surrounding temperature. A forehead thermometer can work very well on adults and sleeping children, and it's a major plus that it's contactless, which reduces the risk of transferring bacteria. But for parents of small, restless children, it's worth knowing that you need to have the right conditions to get the right measurement values. So whether or not you like the Omron Gentle Temp 720 as a fever thermometer entirely depends on how you plan to use it.
Thermometer that won’t disturb a sleeping child
Type: Forehead thermometer Price class: Premium Battery: AA batteries Memory function: Yes in the app Silent mode: Yes
Whilst ear thermometers are pretty much standard in most homes nowadays, there are plenty of children that don’t enjoy having the temperature taken in their ears. There are also many adults that find aiming an ear thermometer near impossible. The solution? Forehead thermometers.
The Withings Thermo is a no-touch thermometer, which means there needs to be no contact between the device and the skin on the forehead – just hover with the thermometer 1-2 centimetres above the forehead and swipe towards the temple. You will get a reliable read within just a second or two.
The biggest downside with the Withings Thermo, aside from the price being rather steep, is forced app useage. If the app was optional, all would be fine and dandy. However, to be able to measure the temperature – the app must be installed. This is in all honesty, a little more hassle than what we care for. A device like this really should be ready to use straight out of the box. Being forced into downloading an app to get it started is nothing but annoying. Once downloaded and synced, the app is not mandatory to use though.
The app itself is rather nice though. If you assign measurements to the right profile – you can track the fever over time, which proves to be quite handy when there are two kids sick at the same time. Or maybe even, god forbid, the entire family.
Withings Thermo is expensive, and if you are wondering whether it’s worth the price tag, the answer is: not quite. There are plenty of good and reliable forehead thermometers out there. Unless you really thrive on data over time, there are many other thermometers that will do the job just as well as the Withings Thermo but at a much lower price.
Gives a clear measurement result and has a large, obvious button and narrow measuring probe
Type: Ear thermometer Price class: Medium Battery: Lithium CR2032 Memory function: Yes, last measured value Silent mode: No.
The Tommee Tippee thermometer has a small, narrow measuring probe which makes it optimal to use in the ear of even small children or babies. The thermometer comes with a hygiene cover and a ring to be used to attach the protection to the thermometer. Unfortunately there is no storage for these protective devices, which increases the risk that they will disappear among everything else in the bathroom cabinet. It's good that there is a hygiene cover, and you can buy them separately. However, they are rather fiddly to remove after use. The Tommee Tippee fever thermometer is a useful, comfortable size. It's clear when you have pressed the button as you can feel and hear it. However, the button is rubber covered, which is a negative point if you want to use a disinfectant spray on it after use in cases of gastroenteritis. The thermometer provides clear results and when the temperature indicates fever it makes an audible signal. However, you can't set it to silent mode. The Tommee Tippee Digital Fever Thermometer feels like a classic ear thermometer that lives up to all of our expectations.
Gives a quick measurement, is a handy size and comes with a useful storage case
Type: Ear thermometer Price class: Premium Battery: CR2032 Memory function: Yes, last 9 values Silent mode: No
The Chicco Comfort Quick Infrared is a digital ear thermometer in a good format, with a size that's just right for an adult hand. The thermometer also includes a storage case which has space for both the thermometer and for hygiene covers. This ear thermometer quickly measures the temperature and signals fever with an audible signal. For the forgetful, it also displays the previous measured temperature. However, you can't turn off the sound completely, which is a function we think should be present given the price of the thermometer. The Chicco Comfort Quick has on and off buttons on one side and the scan button on the other. There is a slight risk that if you're in a hurry you might use the wrong one if you don't double check first. The buttons are relatively small but have a positive feel when you press them. This is a straightforward, reliable and easy-to-use thermometer, although it's rather expensive. Being able to completely turn off the sound would have improved our opinion of the Chicco Comfort Quick Infrared.
Thermometer with straightforward hygiene cover and clear display for a good price
Type: Ear thermometer Price class: Budget Battery: AA batteries Memory function: Yes, last measured value Silent mode: No
Braun have a number of different thermometers in their range, which can be found in many family medical cabinets. The Thermoscan IRT 6020 is a budget class thermometer – if you like the brand but want more functions we recommend model 6520 instead. This model has a clear display with large figures. A hygiene cover is included and more can be purchased separately. They are easy to attach and it's just as easy to remove one when it's time to replace it. However, the measurement time is relatively long and the thermometer beeps when it measures. It isn't possible to switch off the sound. The actual thermometer is relatively large – bordering on cumbersome – but it's easy to find the button without having to look. However, the actual button is relatively shallow. The Braun Thermoscan IRT 6020 doesn't disappoint but we felt it was lacking that little extra in the form of a few more intelligent functions.
Small with a clear button and a useful stand
Price class: Budget Accessories included: Two tips Price for disposable filter: Not required
The NUK 2in1 can measure the temperature both in the ear and on the forehead. It can also be used to measure room temperature. The actual thermometer is small and easy to hold in your hand, with a good, clear button. It includes a storage case, which is very practical when the thermometer isn't in use. You can switch off the sound completely. The thermometer tip goes red if the temperature measured exceeds 37.5 °C – if the value is lower it stays green. However, the measurement time is relatively long which is a big negative point if you have children who don't like sitting still or being held. In addition, after only a short period of use the thermometer stopped working and displayed an error message. After careful examination of the manual, we discovered that the lens has to be completely clean for the thermometer to work at all. Given such sensitivity, it would have been useful if there was disposable protection for the NUK 2in1, but unfortunately this isn't the case. Problems of this type are what gave us a poorer overall impression of the thermometer.
So small you can take it with you when travelling or keep it in the changing bag
Type: Forehead thermometer Price class: Medium Battery: Lithium CR2032 Memory function: Yes, last 25 values Silent mode: Yes
The Chicco Easy Touch is a small thermometer that you can use to measure temperature by aiming the lens at the side of the forehead. In terms of size it's very handy if you want to take it with you when travelling or put it in the baby changing bag. But the fact that it's so very minimal also means the thermometer feels slightly like a toy. The Easy Touch has rubber covered sides, which doesn't feel particularly hygienic, and is sensitive to regular use of spray disinfectant. The measurement time is also relatively long and the Chicco Easy Touch was the only thermometer in the test to show a measurement result 1.5 °C lower than the others. The thermometer makes a clear audible signal if a fever temperature is detected and also has an inbuilt function that when the button is kept depressed continuously scans the temperature every 0.6 seconds. The buttons are also small and not always easy to get right. The Chicco Easy Touch sounds straightforward and simple, but after using it for a little while it turns out to not really be worth the price.
A fever thermometer is an extremely practical tool for measuring fever levels, particularly in children who often don't have the same ability to communicate how they feel when they are ill. A wide range of fever thermometers is available, and they can have different properties. The actual measurement procedure can vary between measuring in the ear, mouth, on the forehead, in the armpit or rectally. In our test of thermometers, we have taken the user's perspective and focused on how the thermometer feels to use. In addition to how reliable the results are, we have also looked at how quick the thermometer is and assess the other functions and properties it has.
We have looked in particular at whether the thermometer has buttons or other parts made of rubber. This is because rubber doesn’t tolerate disinfectant well and over time can dry out and crack. Disinfecting a fever thermometer is probably more common within the healthcare sector than in private homes, but it is also a hygiene aspect that the nurses who carried out these tests felt was worth assessing.
Another important point to avoid infection is whether the thermometer is equipped with hygiene protection. This often consists of a plastic cover over the thermometer sensor, and these have two functions. They prevent the thermometer's sensitive sensors from getting dirty or damaged by body fluids such as ear wax, and they keep the thermometer clean in case it's being used on several different people.
Stick to the topic and maintain a respectful attitude toward others. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts.