Baby having her temperature taken in her ear

The Best Baby Thermometers to Check for Fevers Quickly and Gently

High temperatures in newborns and infants can be dangerous, so a good thermometer matters.
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It can be nerve-wracking to have a sick baby at home, but it's so much easier to care for them when you have a reliable baby thermometer on hand. Since newborns and infants are unable to clearly communicate exactly how they're feeling, it's important for parents and caregivers to be able to detect an elevated temperature quickly and accurately, because a fever could be a sign of an underlying illness. Fortunately, there are a variety of options among the best baby thermometers, according to pediatrician Preeti Parikh, M.D., medical director at GoodRx. 

"There are three main types of digital thermometers—digital multi-use, temporal artery, and tympanic [ear] thermometers," Parikh tells Parents.com. "Digital multi-use thermometers can be used to take temperatures in either the mouth, rectum, or armpit." 

Other options for taking babies' temperatures, like temporal artery thermometers (which use infrared to measure temperatures by scanning the temporal artery across the forehead) and tympanic thermometers (which measure the temperature through the ear canal) can also offer accurate readings using less invasive measures than their traditional counterparts. 

For babies under 3 months old, Parikh says a digital multi-use rectal thermometer is the best option. "If your baby is 6 months or older, you can use a tympanic thermometer, and for children of all ages, a temporal artery thermometer can also be used." 

Best Baby Thermometers 

What to Look for in a Baby Thermometer

An accurate thermometer is important, but so is knowing what your baby's temperature reading means, according to Parikh. "If your baby is under 2 months of age, a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or more is considered a serious fever, and you should call your pediatrician," she says. 

"For older babies, a fever is still at a temperature of 100.4 or more, but you also should look for other symptoms, such as if the  baby is more fussy, very ill, or unusually drowsy. Additionally, if your baby has a history of seizures or an immune system deficiency, you should call your pediatrician right away with any fever."

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Best Baby Thermometer
Credit: Walmart

Best Affordable Baby Thermometer: Vicks Comfort Flex Thermometer

Get an accurate temperature reading without breaking the bank using this Vicks Comfort Flex Thermometer with Fever Insight. Available for under $10, this device offers professional accuracy with an 8 second response time. The color coded readings will also make it easier to know whether your baby's temperature falls into the normal, mild, or high range. This is OK for use orally, rectally, or under the arm.

To buy: Vicks Comfort Flex Thermometer with Fever Insight, $9.98; walmart.com

Best Baby Thermometer
Credit: Amazon

Best Rectal Baby Thermometer: FridaBaby Quick-Read Digital Rectal Thermometer

This BPA-free and latex-free FridaBaby rectal thermometer is waterproof (for easy cleaning) and can store up to 10 of your baby's previous temperatures so that you can track changes over the course of their illness. The device has an insertion stopper, which will prevent you from inserting the tip too far, making it easier for anyone who isn't too confident in their ability to use a rectal thermometer on a newborn. 

To buy: FridaBaby Quick-Read Digital Rectal Thermometer, $13.97 (originally $14.99); amazon.com.

Best Baby Thermometer
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Best Smart Baby Thermometer: Vava Smart Baby Thermometer 

The Vava Smart Baby Thermometer is the best way to keep track of your baby's temperature for an extended period of time. Tape the "wand" to your baby just under their armpit, and it will communicate results with the digital dock in real time. A red flashing light and audible alerts notify you when the baby's temperature rises.  

To buy: Vava Smart Baby Thermometer, $79.99; buybuybaby.com.

Best Baby Thermometer
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Best 3-in-1 Baby Thermometer: Safety 1st Rapid Read 3-in-1 Thermometer

For parents who like options, there's the Safety 1st Rapid Read 3-in-1 thermometer which can take accurate readings from your baby orally, rectally, or under the arm (obviously, don't use the other options after using it as a rectal thermometers). You can expect readings in 8 seconds. When using it as a rectal thermometer, caregivers can be confident that they aren't inserting the flexible tip too far thanks to an over-insertion gauge. 

To buy: Safety 1st Rapid Read 3-in-1 Thermometer, $9.99; amazon.com.

Best Baby Thermometer
Credit: Amazon

Best Durable Baby Thermometer: iProven Oral Thermometer

The iProven Oral Thermometer is waterproof and made from soft, flexible materials so that it can hold up to being dropped or tossed around in your medicine cabinet. The device works orally, rectally, and in the armpit. Parents and caregivers can expect results in about 10 seconds. You'll never have to second guess what the numbers mean because the thermometer has an arrow indicator pointing to a smiling, neutral, or frowning face to let you know when a temperature is concerning. 

To buy: iProven Oral Thermometer, $9.99; amazon.com

Best Baby Thermometer
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Best Ear Baby Thermometer: Braun ThermoScan Ear Thermometer with ExacTemp Technology

You can expect results in just seconds with the Braun ThermoScan Ear Thermometer. The pre-warmed tip reduces discomfort for your baby while having their temperature taken in their ear, and the large display makes results easy to see on those late nights when you're up with a sick kiddo. There are also lens filters available to keep the device clean. 

To buy: Braun ThermoScan Ear Thermometer with ExacTemp Technology, $42.99; buybuybaby.com.

Best Baby Thermometer
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Best No-Contact Baby Thermometer: Mobi Non-Contact Digital Infrared Thermometer

Get an accurate read on your baby's temperature from a distance with this no-contact model by Mobi. Perfect for households with multiple children, or for when you want to check your sleeping baby's temperature without waking them up, this device can get an accurate reading from 1 inch away. The Mobi Non-Contact Thermometer can also store up to 50 previous readings, making it easier to track changes in your baby's health.

To buy: Mobi Non-Contact Digital Infrared Thermometer, $34.99, target.com

Best Baby Thermometer
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Best Rated Baby Thermometer: Berrcom Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer

The Berrcom Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer has more than 20,000 five-star reviews as of this writing. People love that this is a budget-friendly thermometer that gives accurate temperature readings. Unlike other no-contact models, this version from Berrcom is less than $20. The infrared device has a three color backlit screen that interprets the temperature for caregivers—green is normal, orange indicates a low fever, and red signals a high fever. 

To buy: Berrcom Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer, $15.99; amazon.com.

Best Baby Thermometer
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Best Newborn Baby Thermometer: Fridababy 3-in-1 True Temperature Digital Thermometer 

When it comes to newborn babies, rectal readings are considered the best, which is why this 3-in-1 thermometer from Fridababy is a must-have for new parents. You can take temperatures orally, rectally, or under the arm and receive a reading in just 10 seconds. The 30-second recall feature allows you to double check your newborn's temperature without having to reinsert the thermometer. Thanks to the included stopper, you'll never have to worry about inserting the device too far when taking rectal readings. 

To buy: Fridababy 3-in-1 True Temperature Digital Thermometer, $19.99, target.com

Best Baby Thermometer
Credit: Amazon

Best Forehead Baby Thermometer: Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer 

The Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer offers a quick and easy temperature reading with a non-invasive scan of your baby's forehead. The device works by capturing the heat that is being emitted on the skin located above your baby's temporal artery. This way you can easily take your child's temperature while they're sleeping. Because it works by reading temperatures on the forehead, you don't need to worry about hygienic covers, constant washing, or irritating the ear canals of a baby with an ear infection. 

To buy: Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer, $32.99; amazon.com.