The Best Medical Thermometer

Updated on 7 April 2023

After spending 12 hours comparing and analysing 32 medical thermometers and testing 8 of them, we believe that the Braun PRT 2000 offers the best value for money at the moment.

This comparison is certified 100% impartial and follows our selection process.

Our choice, Best budget

Braun PRT 2000

It is the fastest of the classic thermometers we have tested. It also uses a colour code to indicate the severity of the fever according to the patient’s age.

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Braun PRT 2000

This classic thermometer, with a reliability of 0.3°C in our tests, has a soft tip that makes it easier and safer to take the temperature of children from birth. It offers the possibility to choose the age of the child or person according to 3 ranges: from 0 to 3 months, from 3 months to 3 years and over 3 years. Depending on the age range chosen, the thermometer emits a green, yellow or red light to indicate the danger of the temperature. Indeed, 38°C in an infant is much more worrying than in an adult. In our tests, we obtained the results in just 7-8 seconds, making it the fastest classic model in this selection. It also turns off automatically (after 1 minute) to save battery life. It’s robust and worked great, even after two falls from a height of 1m onto a tiled floor.

 

 

Best mid-range

Braun ThermoScan 3

This robust infrared ear thermometer is very fast, measuring the temperature in just 1 second. It is easy to place in the ear and comes with 21 tips.

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Braun ThermoScan 3 IRT3030

This thermometer is very easy to use with just one button. The LCD is easy to read, like all the other thermometers we have tested. Since it can be used from birth, we found it interesting that it is very fast (1 second), which is ideal for not disturbing the little ones, especially if they are already sick. When we put it to the test, it was accurate to within 0.2°C. It also took just 1 minute and 10 seconds to switch off automatically, which saves battery life. It also runs on 2 AA batteries (included). After being dropped twice from a height of 1m, it remained in one piece, did not open and worked properly, proving its robustness. To protect it, it comes with a small plastic cap that fits over the mouthpiece. Finally, for hygiene, the brand has included 21 disposable plastic tips in the box.

 

Budget alternative

Beurer FT 09

Although it takes a little longer to produce a result, it is a very accurate model for its type. It also offers a very attractive price/performance ratio.

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Beurer FT 09

In our tests, this basic thermometer was reliable to within 0.1°C, making it the most accurate classic in this comparison. However, it is not the most practical in its class, with a fixed, inflexible tip and a temperature setting time of between 40 and 46 seconds. It is waterproof, has a clear display (LCD), and its single button makes it very easy to use. We found its audible signal to indicate the end of the temperature measurement process to be quite audible, like most of the models we tested. It is powered by an LR41 battery, which is included. We dropped it twice from a height of 1m onto a tiled floor, and it emerged without a scratch and continued to work perfectly.

 

Mid-range alternative

iHealth PT2L

This model can be set at either °C or °F. Very fast, it measures the temperature in just one second and switches off automatically after 8 seconds of inactivity to conserve battery life.

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iHealth PT2L

At the start of our tests, we thought the unit was faulty as there was no beep after the temperature reading. However, we quickly realised that this function was simply disabled (bear this in mind if you decide to buy one). Once it was activated, we found that it was quite reliable (accurate to 0.1°C) and took readings in less than a second. As this is a front-facing model, it can easily be used by all members of the family. Its ultra-fast auto shut-off time of 8 seconds is also an advantage, especially for large families with people running around. Finally, after the crash test (falling to the ground from a height of one metre), it continued to measure correctly, although it took a little longer to give the results.

 

Our selection

Our choice, Best budgetBest mid-rangeBudget alternativeMid-range alternative
Braun PRT 2000 Braun ThermoScan 3 Beurer FT 09 iHealth PT2L
It is the fastest of the classic thermometers we have tested. It also uses a colour code to indicate the severity of the fever according to the patient's age. This robust infrared ear thermometer is very fast, measuring the temperature in just 1 second. It is easy to place in the ear and comes with 21 tips. Although it takes a little longer to produce a result, it is a very accurate model for its type. It also offers a very attractive price/performance ratio. This model can be set at either °C or °F. Very fast, it measures the temperature in just one second and switches off automatically after 8 seconds of inactivity to conserve battery life.
£ 16.80 on Amazon £ 23.38 on Amazon £ 5.99 on Amazon £ 19.55 on Amazon

 

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How did we do the test?

To compare and test the different thermometers, we first analysed their design (quality of materials, presence of one or more buttons, easy-to-read display, flexible tip or not, etc.). We also tested their resistance by dropping each model from 1m onto a tiled floor.

We then took the temperature with each thermometer three times in a row to check the reliability of its measurement. To get more data, we did this with two different people. We then compared all these measurements. Of course, we took into account the fact that the frontal and temporal models are supposed to be more accurate than conventional thermometers. During these checks, we also measured the time it took to take the temperature, but also the time it took for each model to switch off. Finally, where available, we tested the additional features and apps of the connected models.

 

NameType3 T° readings
(Person 1)
3 T° readings
(Person 2)
Can withstand a one-metre drop?Waiting time before result
Medisana 77030Classic- 36,7°C
- 36,7°C
- 36,5°C
- 35,6°C
- 35,9°C
- 35,9°C
Yes50” to 1’29
Beurer FT 09Classic- 36,6°C
- 36,6°C
- 36,6°C
- 36,3°C
- 36,2°C
- 36,2°C
Yes40” to 46”
Béaba ThermobipClassic- 36°C
- 36,2°C
- 36,2°C
- 35,2°C
- 34,3°C
- 35,1°C
Yes21” to 30”
Braun PRT 2000Classic- 36,9°C
- 36,6°C
- 36,6°C
- 36,4°C
- 36,5°C
- 36,5°C
Yes7” to 8”
iHealth PT2LTemporary/frontal- 36,1°C
- 36,2°C
- 36,2°C
- 36,3°C
- 36,2°C
- 36,2°C
Yes, but it seems to work more slowly1”
ThermoScan 3 IRT3030Earpiece- 37°C
- 37,2°C
- 37,1°C
- 36,9°C
- 36,9°C
- 36,9°C
Yes1”
Braun ThermoScan 7Earpiece- 37,1°C
- 36,9°C
- 37°C
- 35,9°C
- 36,4°C
- 36,2°C
No, it didn't turn on again1” to 2”
Withings ThermoTemporal- 36,4°C
- 35,9°C
- 36,5°C
- 36,2°C
- 35,9°C
- 36,3°C
Yes, but the impact is noticeable1” to 3”

 

How to choose your digital thermometer?

A digital thermometer is an indispensable item to have in your medicine cabinet, both at home and when travelling. However, there are so many different models on the market that it is sometimes difficult to find the right one.

Thermomètre medical

To inform you about the different options available to you, we have compiled the most relevant information to consider before making your purchase.

First of all, you need to be able to distinguish between the different types of thermometers, as well as their advantages and disadvantages:

  • The classic: traditional model in which the liquid “rises” to indicate the measured temperature. Formerly composed of mercury, it now contains gallinstan (a mixture of gallium, indium and tin). Made of glass, they are not recommended for oral use in young children, who may bite them. In addition, the measurement time can take several minutes. It is also used axillary (under the armpits) or rectally. The latter is the most reliable measurement.

Thermomètre médical

  • The electronic or digital thermometer: it is used in the same way as the traditional thermometer, but is much safer. Its digital display is also clearer and more accurate, and the beep that signals the end of the reading is handy. For added convenience, they often have a soft, flexible mouthpiece that makes rectal measurement easier for newborns. As with the traditional model, it must be cleaned after each use: simply disinfect the mouthpiece with alcohol.
  • The earpiece: this is a thermometer that works by infrared through the ear. In other words, it is placed at the entrance of the ear. Its use is less restrictive and remains reliable (although it is recommended to repeat the measurement several times to confirm the exact temperature). Please note that the probe must be adapted to small ears when used on newborns.

Thermomètre médical

  • Temporary or frontal: this is the easiest to use, as you simply place it on the patient’s forehead to take their temperature. It is very popular with children as there is no need to wake them up or undress them to use it. It is also very hygienic to use as it does not come into contact with bodily fluids. Although these thermometers seem to be very reliable, there are some obstacles to consider, such as perspiration or ambient heat (which can slightly distort the data collected).

Of course, the choice will depend mainly on your needs and preferences. However, some elements may be useful:

  • Uses: thermometers are commonly used to check your condition when you have a cold or are ill. Women use them to monitor their cycles. The choice of model will depend on the frequency of use, as well as the age of the person for whom it is intended, or the possible intended family use.

Thermomètre médical

  • Reliability and accuracy: as mentioned above, the most reliable way to take your temperature is rectally. In general, it is important to follow the instructions as it is not always easy to take your own (or someone else’s) temperature. If in doubt, consult a doctor. Some users also compare the data displayed by their thermometer with that of the model used by their doctor to check its accuracy.
  • Maintenance: it is obvious to clean and disinfect thermometers (especially classic and digital thermometers) after each use. Some models have disposable tips, which is interesting from a hygienic point of view, but not from an ecological point of view. Unless you have to use the thermometer very regularly, cleaning is not too demanding.

Thermomètre médical

  • The functions: thermometers have certain options that make them more practical. For example, the beep sound announcing the end of the measurement, the measurement memory function, the backlit LCD display for easy reading of the data or the possibility of setting the thermometer in degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit.

 

Other recommended model

Béaba Thermobip (£11.09 upon publication): our 3rd economic choice. Although simple, it is a great addition to your medicine cabinet. Its flexible tip and quick measurement make it a great ally for monitoring the temperature of the baby and the whole family. During our tests, we had to wait between 21 and 30 seconds for the result, which is indicated by a beep. However, it was not always the most reliable when held under the arm. It is very easy to clean. The large display and automatic switch-off (after just 1 minute) are handy little extras. It also survived two falls from a height of 1 metre without its plastic case. All in all, an interesting model with good value for money.

 

Other models tested

Medisana 77030 (£3.99 upon publication): during our tests, this very cheap model proved to be inaccurate (it went from 38.4°C to 36.7°C in about ten minutes). It is also very slow, as we had to wait between 50 seconds and 1.5 minutes to get the results. In addition, its sound signal could have been more audible…

Braun ThermoScan 7 (£34.99 upon publication): is very fast (1-2 seconds) and handy, but not very accurate. It also failed the one-metre drop test.

Withings Thermo (£90.00 upon publication): despite its very high price, this connected model is not very accurate (up to 0.5°C difference). It felt more like a gadget than a real thermometer. The app is useless, as we could not record data directly via the device’s connector and it was not possible to use another user profile…

 

 

Translated by Ramsés El Hajje

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