Best Thermometers for Children, Toddlers, and Infants

January 12, 2020

When you have kids, and even before that, you love and care for them. So the first time your child is sick, it’s really stressful and you want to understand what’s happening. Most parents aren’t doctors, and so having a reliable thermometer is the first step to know if something is serious. There are so many choices out there that it’s hard to know how to choose the best thermometers for children.

Although purchasing medical supplies can be nerve-wracking, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best thermometer choices in each category to make your parenting job just a little bit easier.



Best Rectal Thermometer for Children


Gentle Read rectal thermometer from Safety 1st – Under $10



What I love about it

The paediatrician recommended a way to take a temperature is with a rectal reading because it is the most accurate way to measure temperature. The Gentle Read rectal thermometer from Safety 1st is an excellent choice. It is one of the best thermometers for children. It features an 8 second read, ensuring that you get results quickly, and an over-insertion guard. Additionally, it also stores the last temperature so that you can be reminded and aware of any changes in your baby’s temperature over time.

Things to keep in mind

Rectal thermometers can be difficult to use if your child is frustrated or moving too much, although the over insertion guard can help with that. Also, if your child is sleeping it can be difficult to take temperatures in this manner.

Additional Specs

The thermometer is small enough to fit inside a purse and features both Celsius and Fahrenheit options, as well as long battery life. This thermometer is the best thermometer for infants because of the necessity for an absolutely accurate temperature reading due to the dangers of fevers in young infants.




Best Forehead Thermometer for Children

Exergen Temporal Artery thermometer – Under $30



What I love about it

A forehead thermometer is the best way to check the temperature of a sleeping child, or a child you don’t want to disturb. It is fast, and easy to do. According to a Harvard Medical Study, the Exergen Temporal Artery thermometer is at least as accurate as a rectal thermometer and is easy to learn to use.

Things to keep in mind

A downside of the forehead temperature reading is that you must be careful that the child’s skin isn’t sweaty as this can affect the reading, and you must learn to find the correct place to take the temperature.

Additional Specs

The Exergen offers embedded silver which is naturally antibacterial, eliminating the need for probe covers. This thermometer is also the best thermometer for infants in terms of ease of use and accuracy.




Best Ear Canal Thermometer

Braun Thermoscan5 Ear thermometer – Under $40



What I love about it

Another simple way to take a temperature is through the ear canal. For smaller children who cannot hold a thermometer in their mouths, the ear canal is the next best place to take a quick temperature. The Braun Thermoscan5 Ear thermometer is a simple and accurate device to measure your child’s temperature this way. It takes a one-second reading and features a pre-warmed tip to ensure comfort for your child. For ease of use, this thermometer is the best thermometer for toddlers.

Things to keep in mind

Taking a temperature by ear is not considered to be the most accurate way to measure temperature, so you may want to have another method in place just in case your child becomes dangerously ill. However, for normal use, the ear canal is just fine.

Additional Specs

It takes 2 AA batteries and comes with 21 lens filters to ensure accurate readings.




Best Behind the Ear Thermometer for Children

Vicks Gentle Touch thermometer – Under $20



What I love about it

If you like the ease of the temporal artery thermometer, but want something easier to use, there are thermometers that measure using the carotid artery located just behind the ear. Instead of swiping, you simply touch the thermometer in the correct place. It is naturally protected from temperature fluctuations such as sweat that can affect the temporal readings.

Additional Specs

The Vicks Gentle Touch thermometer is clinically proven to be accurate and features an easy to read display. It takes a reading in 1 second and beeps when the reading is finished. It also has a colour-coded screen to give a quick alert to a dangerous fever. Most parents agree that a behind-the-ear thermometer is the best thermometer for toddlers as it can take a reading without waking them up.




Best Multi-Use Thermometer for Children


Ergalogik Digital Baby Thermometer – Under $10



What I love about it

If you want a multi-use thermometer, an oral thermometer is a good investment. The Ergalogik Digital Baby Thermometer is an oral thermometer style that’s approved for use for oral, rectal, and under the arm temperature recordings, and is approved for adults, children, babies, and even pets.

Additional Specs

It is waterproof, making it very easy to clean and to prevent the spread of illness. Provides an accurate reading in just thirty seconds on an easy to read display. 100% approved by the FDA and comes with one long lasting battery and a clear, protective case. It is automatically calibrated for US temperature readings in Fahrenheit. This is one of the best thermometers for children.




Best Smart Thermometers for Children

The Pyle Digital Ear Medical Smart Thermometer – Under $20



What I love about it

If you’re looking to combine technology with baby equipment might be interested in a smart thermometer. Smart thermometers offer the opportunity to connect to a smart device via Bluetooth in order to record temperature readings or input other pertinent health information. It also makes it easy to share those readings with others such as your pediatrician.

The Pyle Digital Ear Medical Smart Thermometer offers parents many options. It can switch easily from ear readings to forehead readings. It uses infrared technology to take accurate, fast temperature recordings.

Additional Specs

You can download the smartphone app and connect to other Pyle products to keep track of all health data in one place. It is approved for children, babies and adults. Moreover, it displays both Celsius and Fahrenheit.





As parents, it is our responsibility to take the best care of our children that we can and that means being prepared for emergencies and finding the best thermometer for children, toddlers or infants. Having tried all of the above choices on my daughter, I would recommend either forehead or behind-the-ear thermometers as the most convenient choices for a fussy unwell toddler.

All parents want what’s best for their children, and choosing the right thermometer can be one of the ways that a small amount of preparation can reduce a huge amount of worry and stress.


Shobita Ravichandran

Shobita Ravichandran


Shobita created Parenthood Guide in 2015 after she found out the hard way about toxins in many safe looking baby products. She's an architect, researcher, writer and mum of two strong-willed little humans. Ever since she found out she was pregnant, she has been extensively researching natural, safe, organic and non-toxic products for her children. Now she wants to take you along on this non-toxic journey and share her findings of the best and safest baby products out there.


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