We review 10 digital probe thermometers that are suitable for babies and toddlers, priced from $6.95 to $19.95.
Through our testing, we reveal which thermometers:
- are the most accurate, and
- are the easiest to use.
On this page:
Illness is an unavoidable part of childhood, and a good thermometer is essential for any home with children so you can easily check for fever. Digital probe thermometers are accurate, and easier to use and safer than old mercury models.
Normal body temperature is commonly stated to be 37°C, but this is only approximate. It varies from person to person and is also dependent on the time of day, so the fever thresholds mentioned below are also only approximations.
Fever, an elevated temperature above the normal range, is a typical symptom of disease. It’s often defined as an oral temperature over 37.5°C for mild cases, or over 38.2°C in more severe cases. Fever passes as the body fights off the disease, but babies with fever – especially those under three months of age – must be checked by a doctor in case the illness is serious. Always seek medical advice if you’re concerned about your child’s temperature or health.
For advice on temperatures and how to use these thermometers, see What to look for.
We are also investigating a test of infra-red ear thermometers and hope to have those results online later this year.
For more articles on kid's health, see Babies and kids.
We found all the tested thermometers to be accurate, but some are much easier to use than others, thanks to features such as better displays, clear and comprehensive instructions, and batteries that are easy to change. Some also have fever indicators to alert you when the temperature reading is too far above normal.
Brands and models tested
- Bodichek Digital Thermometer 13011129
- Chicco Express Digi Paediatric Thermometer
- Dreambaby Large Display Digital Thermometer F319
- Euky Bear Digital Thermometer EB820-AUS
- Omron Digital Thermometer MC-246
- Pigeon Digital Thermometer
- Safety 1st Baby's 1st Digital Thermometer 49512A
- Surgipack Digital Thermometer 6344
- Tommee Tippee Digital Thermometer 439445/1
- Vicks V916C-AUS Fever Insight
How we test
- Performance Our tester Corinna Horrigan tests the thermometers’ accuracy using a thermal bath calibrated to accuracy of ±0.01°C. Readings are taken at several different temperatures ranging from 32.00°C to 41.90°C. She also tested them at 37.00°C with the thermometer sheathed and unsheathed (using disposable sheaths designed for such thermometers), and found they are equally accurate sheathed or unsheathed. The Vicks V916C was tested both in our thermal bath and also on a small number of human subjects as its predictive software behaves differently in each situation.
- Ease of use Corinna assesses each model for ease of turning the thermometer on and off, quality of instructions, the display, audible indicator tones, and changing the battery.
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