Mother and Baby

The best baby thermometers

Best baby thermometer

It's essential for every family medicine cabinet to have a thermometer for when you think your child might have a fever. That's why we've rounded up some of the best baby thermometers on the market for your newborn, their room, bath and thermometers for older children too. 

In this article: 

Gone are the days you needed to shove a mercury-filled old-school thermometer in your child's armpit and try to hold them still for six minutes to get an accurate reading. Thankfully, technology has advanced so much that we can get a pretty accurate digital body temperature reading in just a few seconds. In addition to fever thermometers, bath and baby room thermometers are also necessary to make sure that your baby's surroundings are just right. 

Choosing the best baby thermometer for your child

There's are so many different types of baby thermometers on the market that cost anywhere from £10-£50; here’s a run-down of the different options available:

  • In-ear thermometers: You’ll notice most doctors use a digital in-ear thermometer to take babies’ temperatures —this is because it is quick and painless, while giving an accurate body temperature reading.
  • Non-contact thermometers (forehead): These work by taking an infrared reading from your baby’s forehead, meaning you can check on their temperature with no physical contact. Don’t confuse these with the cheaper strip forehead thermometers, which are very different, and much less accurate. The NHS recommends avoiding using forehead strip-type thermometers.
  • Armpit thermometers: The NHS still recommends these when taking your baby’s temperature —especially when they are a newborn.
  • Rectal thermometers: Although this is considered the most invasive way of checking temperature, it is thought to give the most accurate result. 
  • Room thermometers: These can help you make sure that your baby's room is the safest temperature for a baby. Experts suggest 16–20°C with a light blanket. Take a look at our pick of the best room thermometers here. 
  • Bath thermometers: A baby's bath should be 37-38°C and the only way to make sure you've got it right is with a baby bath thermometer. Take a look at our pick of the best bath thermometers here. 

The best baby thermometers 2020

Here are the 6 of the best baby thermometers to check your baby's temperature, room temperatre and bath temperature available to buy right now in the UK.

This clever baby thermometer from boots has clinically proven accuracy and is multipurpose, allowing you to measure your baby’s bottle, food, bath water and room temperature as well. With easy to read symbols alerting you if things are out of the ordinary, we also love the built-in memory, recording the last 60 readings for you. It’s won frequently in our awards, and we highly recommend this reliable little gadget.

Specs: 

  • Clinically proven accuracy
  • Multipurpose - non-contact: measures babies' bottle, food, bathwater and room temperature
  • Individually adjustable illuminated display
  • Symbol indicates raised temperature
  • Happy Face = Everything is ok.
  • Sad Face = >38°C - High temperature.
  • Built in memory records last 60 readings
  • Automatic shut-off feature to prolong battery life

Pros: 

  • Great for active babies
  • Easy to use
  • Non-contact

Cons: 

  • Doesn't come in a small travel size
  • Screen is on the small side

Mum Laura says: 'This product looks good and comes with a perfectly handy storage case, and it's so easy to use anyone could do it! It's light and easy to pop into your handbag and very hygienic as there is no direct contact, which I'm hoping will help prevent the spread of germs.'

Read more mum reviews of this product here. 

This clever little room thermometer changes colour to let you know whether the temperature of your baby’s room is safe. A yellow glow suggests the room is a comfortable temperature, a blue glow suggests it’s too cold and a red glow tells you it’s too warm. It also acts as a comforting night light so it's an all-around winner in our eyes.

Specs: 

  • Digital thermometer with permanent 'back-lit' LCD readout
  • Gentle night light
  • Instructions and safe sleep information enclosed
  • UK Mains only powered adaptor supplied
  • 10.6cmH
  • Conforms to highest applicable British and European Standards

Pros: 

  • A night light and room thermometer in one
  • Clear to read
  • Sensitive to temperature changes

Cons: 

  • Isn't wireless so has to be placed close to a plug socket
  • Picks up heat from your hands if you move it around

Mum Rebecca says: 'As soon as you walk into the nursery, it immediately lets you know the temperature of the room. Now I know what to dress my baby in at night time, depending on the temperature of the room as shown on the egg. The orangey glow is also a useful night light.'

Read more mum reviews of this product here. 

Meet Finn, your baby's new bath toy and the cutest little thermometer. He floats on water when you need to know the temperature of your baby's bath and stands on a shelf in the nursery to read the room temperature. 

Specs: 

  • Battery operated
  • High temperature warning with flashing red light
  • LCD temperature display for peace-of-mind that baby’s bath is safe

Pros: 

  • A fun bath toy for your tot
  • Quick reading 
  • Doubles up as a bath and room thermometer 

Cons: 

  • Doesn't have any audible beeping 
  • Product needs tapping to turn on

Mum Stefania says: 'The design of the thermometer is very child friendly. My favourite feature about the product is the flashing light which is great when using it in the bath to warn you if the temperature is too hot. We now use the thermometer at every bath time but for me I don't like it as a room thermometer as much as the one we are currently using. Great as a bath thermometer though.'

Read more mum reviews of this product. 

Another non-contact thermometer that makes checking a wriggling baby's temperature a quick and easy task. Its dual technology means that you get fast and precise temperature readings in two ways: In the Touch mode by placing the thermometer on the forehead and in No-Touch mode, by holding the thermometer in front of your child’s forehead. 

Specs: 

  • Fast 2-second reading
  • Battery operated 
  • Suitable from birth 

Pros: 

  • Proximity sensor to help you find the right distance for measurement (up to 5 cm)
  • Backlit display enables reading in the darkness
  • No sound mode is used in order not to wake up the child
  • Fast 2-second reading

Cons:

  • A little on the expensive side 
  • No case or box to store it in

Mum Lisa says: 'Usually when we need to take the child’s temperature they are irritable & ill, making it difficult to get the child to sit still for any length of time, this is an amazing precise handy piece of kit, which makes monitoring a child’s temperature easier than before. 

'It is a handy size that tucks nicely away in the changing bag. As this device is no touch, it negates the requirement for separate disposable covers, although it can be used as a touch thermometer, which would require the item to be cleaned. Confidence is also given in the well-known branding. 

'Sound can be switched on & off at ease, which enables temperature to be taken without disturbing a sleeping baby, the LED backlight means that the display can be read with ease in any light within a few seconds.'

Read more mum reviews of this product here. 

This clever thermometer from Tommee Tippee is perfect for reading the temperature of a sleeping child. This thermometer is quick, accurate and really easy to use on young babies. Just hold the scanner up to 4cm away from the centre of the forehead, press the start button and the temperature will show on the LCD display panel within two seconds.

Specs: 

  • Non-intrusive thermometer
  • Fast 2 second reading
  • Fever alert indicator
  • Memory function (stores last 25 readings)

Pros: 

  • Quick reading
  • Bleeping sounds as well as display 
  • Logs previous readings 

Cons: 

  • Doesn't come with a case or pouch
  • Larger in size 

Mum Johanne says: 'I would recommend this product as it is very easy to use. It is super simple and when your baby is unwell and distressed, that is what you need as a mum.

'The display is nice and clear and the check back feature is extremely helpful. Even though it's £49.99 I would say this is a worthwhile purchase as it is going to come in handy for years, unlike most baby purchases we make.'

Read more mum reviews of this product here. 

This multi-functional device flashes and beeps when the water is too hot or too cold for extra reassurance. The easy to read LCD screen indicates the water or room temperature in either Celsius or Fahrenheit, depending on what you prefer. It also makes another fun bath time buddy for your baby. 

Specs: 

  • 3-in-1 Design - clock, timer and thermometer
  • Fast and accurate easy to read LCD screen
  • Flashes and beeps when water is too hot or too cold
  • Floats in the water
  • Temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit

Pros: 

  • Allows you to time how long your baby has been in the bath 
  • Doubles up as a bath toy 
  • Easy to clean 

Cons: 

  • Only reads bath temperature, not room

Mum Jessica says: I would definitely recommend this product to friends for their children. The thermometer has made bath time something to look forward to for my toddler, he now looks for his turtle before anything else and enjoys waiting for the numbers to come up. It has also made bathing my newborn less stressful as I now know her bath is the perfect temperature with no chance of it being too hot. It is easy to clean, a playful design and small enough to keep with our bath toys.

Read more mum reviews of this product here. 

What does a high temperature mean?

Dr Elia Maalouf is a consultant paediatrician and neonatologist at the Portland Hospital for Women and Children, the UK’s largest private children’s hospital.

Dr Elia Maalouf

‘Your child’s body is working all the time to maintain the optimum core temperature which all his organs need to function,’ explains consultant paediatrician and neonatologist Dr Elia Maalouf, who specialises in the treatment of fevers.

‘When we take a baby or child’s temperature, or an adult’s for that matter, we’re really measuring the core temperature of their body, rather than that of the surface of their skin,’ explains Elia. ‘In order for the body to function efficiently, that temperature must fluctuate within a normal range of 36.5 to 37.2 degrees.’

‘Infections are the most common reason your child will get a temperature,’ says Elia.

'When an infection invades his body, it mounts what’s called an ‘inflammatory response’ against it. Blood circulation increases around the infected area, carrying the antibodies needed to fight it. This causes his temperature to rise. Which also, happily, kills off some bacteria and viruses that can’t take the heat.'

So a higher-than-normal reading on the thermometer can actually be a positive sign. ‘It’s an indication that your child’s body is mounting an effective response to kill off the infection,’ explains Elia.

‘However, if your child has a temperature of 39.5 or above, you should always take action to try to lower it,’ he says.

The NHS urges parents to seek urgent medical advice if their baby under three-months-old has a temperature of 38°C or is between three and six-months-old and has a temperature of 39°C.


 
  • Author: Lorna White Lorna White
  • Job Title: Digital Writer

Lorna is the digital executive and regular contributor for Mother&Baby. After running the Yours magazine website which specialises in content about caring for kids and grandchildren, she has now brought her expertise to the UK's #1 leading pregnancy and parenting magazine. Lorna specialises on a range of topics from potty training and nutrition, to everything and anything that will keep your tot occupied!

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