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What's the Best Thermometer for You?

by Jessica Hegg October 20, 2016

top digital thermometers

Winter is coming!! but unfortunately, so is her ugly stepsister...

Cold and Flu Season

and here she is, right on all her glory!

sick woman blowing nose

We know it's like walking uphill both ways when combatting flu symptoms. Having a reliable thermometer to detect dangerous temperatures is a must!Now's the time, before you're too late!

Take a look at our 3 best digital thermometers and decide which will be your most dependable sidekick during the seemingly endless cold winter months.

Oral Thermometer

vive oral thermometer

a.k.a. The Traditional Style

-- been around for hundreds of years, but formerly contained Mercury

Today's models are safer and more accurate with the utilizations of electronic sensors to detect temperature.

  • Often considered the best thermometer for reliability
  • Results in 8 seconds or less
  • Both Celsius and Fahrenheit capabilities 
  • Built in memory
  • Protective case for keeping clean and storage
  • Flexible tip for comfortable readings 

Ear Thermometer

temperature reading with ear thermometer

a.k.a. The Modern Style

-- not new, but recent technological improvements have made this design considerably the best digital thermometer.

  • More comfortable, no longer require sensor to be fully inserted in ear canal
  • Infrared sensor to detect temperature
  • High accuracy 
  • Instant read thermometer...results in 1 second!
  • Large Backlit LCD display allows for temperatures to be taken in the dark
  • Both Celsius and Fahrenheit capabilities 
  • Built in memory that stores last 10 results
  • Storage case convenient for travel or storing 
  • Child-friendly - provides almost instant results, comfortably taken

ear thermometer with soft case

Ear thermometers are very efficient and have a long battery life. They are very popular due to the large screen.  The results are easy to view and the backlit LCD screen provides a clear display.

Forehead Thermometer

best thermometer for forehead readings

a.k.a. The Advanced Style

-- newest and most advanced at home thermometer, and only recently available to consumers.

  • Popular in hospital settings
  • Non-invasive design for contact-free readings
  • No care required between users 
  • Instant read thermometer..results in 1 second!
  • High accuracy
  • Both Celsius and Fahrenheit capabilities
  • Special setting to measure temperature of objects
  • Out of the box ready, includes carrying case for safe storing
  • Tend to be a little more expensive than the ear and oral thermometers
  • Built-in memory, stores last 20 readings
  • Easy to read backlit LCD display screen for clear results
  • Extremely child-friendly, no touch and instant results (Mom's best friend) 

whats include in best thermometer by vive

Although the forehead thermometers are slightly more expensive, they come equipped with additional features that improve taking temperatures and the accuracy of the results.

The versatility makes them, in our opinion, the best thermometers for at home use.

Here's what others think about their forehead thermometer...

"I bought this as a gadget and I absolutely love it. It's an easy way to get a temperature without waiting two minutes with a probe in the mouth and it's very easy to use!" -Sarah
"Very fast and accurate readings. Fast shipping. Great quality at half the price of other similar devices." -Crunch Time
"So much easier than the traditional thermometer. Very easy to use." -Ardi
Read more reviews here!

Finding the Best Thermometer | Features to look for:

Monitoring the health of yourself and your loved ones is one of the most important responsibilities you have. Medical thermometers allow you to keep on eye on your body temperature, which is one of the best indicators of health. Getting the right thermometer for your specific needs is vital, but it can be more difficult than it sounds. To make it easier for you, below is a feature-by-feature comparison of the different functions to look for when deciding on the most accurate thermometer for your needs.


All modern thermometers are fairly accurate, but there are still noticeable differences between the accuracy of different devices. Oral thermometers use contact sensors that are not quite as accurate as the infrared sensors in ear and forehead units. These contact sensors will generally give a reading that’s correct to within the nearest degree, which may be good enough for some people. Infrared sensors are often accurate to the nearest tenth of a degree.

You might think that ear and forehead thermometers have the same level of accuracy because they both have infrared sensors. However, this is not the case. Ear thermometers tend to be less accurate because they have to be inserted into the ear canal and are affected by any movement the person makes. Forehead thermometers don’t need to touch a body part to get a reading, and aren’t affected by movement, making them typically the most accurate thermometer type.

Battery life

Oral thermometers are the simplest and have the fewest features. This means that they have longer battery life than ear and forehead thermometers. The batteries in oral thermometers can last upwards of 100 hours, which equates to a number of readings in the mid five digit range. Ear thermometers often last for several thousand uses before needing new batteries, which is more than enough for most people. Forehead thermometers, on the other hand, generally have larger batteries due to their increased power. These batteries often last for between 10,000 and 20,000 uses.


All of the devices covered in this article retail for under $25. The cheapest is the oral thermometer which usually costs around $15, depending on the model and the retailer. Ear thermometers are a few dollars more, and forehead thermometers are a bit more expensive.  

Ease of Use

Forehead thermometers are the easiest to use of the three types covered in this article. This is especially true when you’re trying to take a kid’s temperature and they can’t sit still. Ear thermometers are still pretty easy to use, as they only need to be inserted into the ear canal for a second or two. Oral thermometers, however, are a different story. Getting a child to open their mouth and stick out their tongue can be difficult, and placing the thermometer under their tongue and keeping it there is a similar challenge.

Instant Read Thermometer

If you or your loved one is feeling ill, you want to know as soon as possible what’s going on. All thermometers in this day and age are relatively quick, but the time it takes to get a reading can vary. Oral thermometers take 10 seconds or maybe a little less. Both ear and forehead devices are considered the best instant read thermometers. The difference is due to the infrared sensors the ear and forehead thermometers use being more advanced than the simple contact sensors in the oral unit.


The ability to store previous readings is one of the most important advances in thermometer technology. Most oral thermometers and nearly all ear and forehead thermometers have this feature. It’s so vital because it allows the user to track the progression of a fever.

While most thermometers have this feature nowadays, there are differences in the number of readings a thermometer can save. Most thermometers on the more expensive end of the spectrum can save 20 or more readings, while a cheap oral thermometer might save only 10 or even none at all.

top digital thermometers

The Best Thermometer for You

There is no easy answer to the question “What’s the best thermometer for me?” To find the one you need, look at your budget and the features that are important to you. Some people consider the oral thermometer the best thermometer for adults because it gets the job done for less, but others like the forehead thermometer for its convenience. Still more people find that the ear thermometer is a good compromise between the two. The choice is yours.

Jessica Hegg
Jessica Hegg

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