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Last updated: 22 November 2016

Infrared thermometers are an alternative to probe thermometers. They're very quick and non-invasive but aren't usually considered accurate for use on infants under three months. Check out our buying guide to understand what to look for.

Safety recall: A recall has been announced for the Rite Aid Mini Digital Temple Touch Thermometer FHT6C-RA, which is very similar to the FHT6B-RA model included in this review. The battery compartment is not adequately secured, allowing access to the button batteries inside. See the Product Safety website for details.

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Our test covers ear and forehead thermometers suitable for babies through to adults. Our expert testers gave each model a thorough workout to find the thermometers that:

  • are easiest to use
  • are speediest to give a reading
  • are accurate.

Our interactive comparison tool helps you find out which models are non-contact, and which have a fever alert indicator and a backlit display. Our Recommended list will help you see quickly which models come out on top.

This review includes some models that are now discontinued. You can see those models by selecting the filter (at left) under Related products.

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List of brands we tested in this review.


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Recommended retail, as of December 2014. Prices can vary considerably in stores.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 30 and 120

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Claimed accuracy achieved

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Due to the way they function, it wasn't feasible to test these models in our lab's thermal bath. So our lab tester Antonio Bonacruz took multiple readings with each model, with himself as the subject , and using each model consistently as per instructions and with appropriate breaks between each reading. The readings were compared to an accurate reference digital probe thermometer (used orally and simultaneously with the model on test). Readings taken orally, in ear and on forehead on the same subject can be expected to differ, but infrared models should generally within their claimed range of accuracy (± 0.2°C) of an oral reading. Unfortunately we were not able to assess these thermometers for accuracy on subjects with fever-level temperatures.


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The thermometer does not need to touch the patient in order to get a reading.


Backlit display

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Models with a backlit display are easier to read, and can be useful if you don't want to turn on the room light and wake your child.

Audible completion signal

Option for either °C or °F

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Whether the thermometer can be switched between displaying in degrees Celsius (centigrade) and Fahrenheit.

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Included in this review

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  • Overall score
  • Recommended
  • Claimed accuracy achieved
  • Accuracy score
  • Ease of use score
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Trialist comments
  • Price
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Availability
  • Type
  • Non-contact
  • Stated temperature range (°C)
  • Stated accuracy (°C)
  • Recommended interval of repeat measurements
  • Option for either °C or °F
  • Ambient temperature (stated range, C°)
  • Surface temperature (stated range, °C)
  • Dimensions LxWxD (cm)
  • Weight (g)
  • Date or time display
  • Backlit display
  • Number of previous measurements remembered
  • Protective cap or cover
  • Disposable sensor shield
  • Waterproof
  • Auto off (approximate time)
  • Battery
  • Cleaning instructions supplied
  • Other features and inclusions
  • Audible completion signal
  • Fever alert indicator
  • Approximate time to complete a measurement (s)
  • Warranty (yr)
  • Origin
  • Contact
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