10 Best Baby Thermometers and How to Choose

Undecided on which baby thermometer to buy? We take you through the different types and a list of the best ones on the market from smart, top-notch models to the more simple no-fuss thermometers, based on reliability, ease-of-use and users’ reviews.

best baby thermometer australia

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Babies have immature immune systems and therefore are prone to picking up every bug and infection going around, particularly during the colder months. It’s said that babies develop up to twelve colds in their first year, and a common symptom of the common cold in babies is fever and high temperatures.

Fevers in babies are serious. In very young newborn babies under three months of age, you should call your doctor immediately or take him to the emergency room if he develops a fever, and for babies under six months, any temperature over 38ºC warrants a call to your doctor. Early childhood immunisations can also cause fever as a side effect and you should monitor your baby’s temperature carefully after every immunisation.

Because of the seriousness of fever in babies as well as how common they are, your first aid kit will absolutely need a thermometer that is accurate, easy to use and otherwise reliable. With so many on the market, we help you make sense of it all, from discussing the different types, how they work, and which are the best for you and your family.

Types of baby thermometers

Gone are the days of the old style, mercury filled glass thermometers your mind might jump to when you think of thermometers. Although still in circulation, they are no longer recommended primarily because the glass they are made of can easily break in or outside of the body, and the escaping mercury is toxic, especially to babies.

These days, thermometers are digital and there are several different types available to you which differ slightly in their operation, features and levels of accuracy. Following are the different types of thermometers we have featured in our buying guide.

  • Digital probe. The most basic type of baby thermometer, you’ll likely find one of these in every first aid kit you come across. Digital probe thermometers are also considered the most accurate and can be used in three ways: orally (under the tongue), axillary (under the armpit) or rectally, although this is sometimes not advised as you risk damaging the delicate skin in this area. The main drawback to this type of thermometer is it takes longer than other types to determine a reading.
  • Ear thermometer. These are designed specially to fit into the entrance of your baby’s ear, and use an infrared ray to read the temperature inside the ear canal. You’ve probably noticed that your GP uses this type of thermometer in their surgery as they are very quick and easy to use, and those with disposable probe covers are also extremely hygienic. They are generally less accurate than other types and are best used for a quick check before following up with a more accurate thermometer if there are any concerns. Further, there could be reduced accuracy in those with earwax build up or small or curved ear canals, as well as very small, newborn babies as their ear canals are not yet large enough to accommodate the probe.
  • Forehead thermometer. These thermometers measure the temperature of the temporal artery in the forehead within seconds, and are probably the easiest to use; simply hover over the forehead. A major advantage of these thermometers is you can use them without waking or disturbing your baby as very little, if any, contact is needed. Because of this they are also extremely hygienic.
  • Smart thermometer. Just like your smartphone or smart TV, a smart thermometer goes way beyond its original function to deliver the ultimate in usability and features. Paired to an app or other device, it will store your data for future use, allow you to share this with family or your doctor, and even give health advice based on the readings received.
  • Combination thermometer. The most versatile type, combination thermometers offer other uses aside from simply taking the temperature of baby, commonly as a room, food or liquid thermometer using non contact infrared rays. In this way, you can quickly take the temperature of, for example, baby’s bedroom so you know how many layers to dress him in, or his bottle to ensure it’s at the correct temperature. This is undoubtedly very convenient however it should be noted that combination thermometers are typically less accurate than other types.

Which thermometer is most accurate for babies?

Digital probe thermometers are generally accepted as the most accurate at-home thermometer, often providing results accurate to +/-0.1ºC with the correct use, and are suitable for use in very young babies all the way to adulthood.

You can expect more reliable results when used orally or rectally (rather than axillary, in the armpit). With oral readings however, you should allow at least fifteen minutes to elapse after eating or drinking before taking the temperature as the temperature of the food can alter the temperature inside the mouth. You should also make sure that the mouth is fully closed around the thermometer. As a very young baby may struggle with this, rectal readings will provide a very accurate reading however be sure that you are very careful in order to avoid damaging the delicate skin in the area.

Digital thermometers use electronic heat sensors to determine a reading and results are not instantaneous, with wait times up to several minutes. Because of this, many families use a faster thermometer initially, and if the reading is high, follow up with a digital probe thermometer for accurate results.

Which type of thermometer is best for speed?

If it’s important to you to get a very fast reading, then forehead, ear and combination thermometers are the way to go.

The infrared rays used in these types of thermometers determine the temperature within just a few seconds, sometimes even less than one second. So fast your baby won’t even notice, it’s perfect for babies who are fussy or won’t lie still for long enough to use other, slower types of thermometers.

Also ideal to use on sleeping babies as there is very minimal contact, if any, you can get the job done quickly without disturbing or waking him up.

Best baby thermometers: our top 10 picks

Following is a list of the best baby thermometers Australia has on offer right now, covering all types and price points.

Withings Thermo

1. Withings Thermo (smart)

The Rolls Royce of baby thermometers

What we like
  • Highly accurate with colour coded LED light
  • Fast no-contact measurement
  • Auto-sync with the Thermo app
  • Handy health journal for the whole family
What could be better
  • Premium price
  • Need to download the app
  • The initial set-up can be tricky

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We selected the Withings Thermo as the best smart baby thermometer on the Australian market. This incredibly sophisticated thermometer gives results in seconds and syncs with the Thermo app, available free on iOS and Android, where you can record readings over time, set reminders and make related notes and comments. It even gives health advice based on temperature readings and history which you can share easily with your doctor.

Completely contact free and hygienic, simply hover the thermometer 1cm above the forehead where sixteen infrared sensors give the reading instantly on the smart display, which is even colour coded to let you know if the temperature is normal or high depending on the age of the user.

Unlike other contactless or forehead thermometers, the Thermo is high in accuracy as it measures from the temporal artery, where the circulating blood comes right from the body’s core.

Useful to track temperatures and symptoms over time, it’s also perfect for the whole family. Up to eight users can create profiles all paired to the one device for the ultimate in ease and peace of mind.

Kidz & Bellz non-contact Infrared Thermometer

2. Kidz & Bellz non-contact Infrared Thermometer (combination)

A quick and responsive medical-grade thermometer

What we like
  • Medical grade
  • No contact, non-invasive
  • Infrared technology
  • 24/7 customer support
What could be better
  • Sweat may hinder accuracy

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One of the best baby thermometers on the market today is the The Kidz and Bellz non-contact infrared thermometer, offering a 3-in-1 device that delivers accurate temperature readings for people, surfaces, and ambience, suitable for all ages and ideal for family households and the chronically ill.

Each functional mode comes equipped with memory storage for the last 32 readings, for a total of 96 stored results. This is particularly handy for tracking your child’s health and development and ideal for chronically ill people who take their temperature regularly.

This certified medical-grade device is easy-to-use with a simple one-touch button. The infrared technology provides high precision and fast results, only taking 1/100th of a second to produce a reading. This is ideal for fidgeting, restless babies who may not be feeling too well, providing minimal disruption due to its non-contact design.

We love that this device has a large and clear digital display, with an LCD backlight screen, perfect for those middle-of-the-night checks, causing very little disturbance.

If you find the readings become inaccurate or vary, it's probably time to change the batteries which are easily replaceable, using 2 AAA’s. This is a high-performing thermometer with a very appealing price point, ideal for home use, work, and travel. Backed by an 18-month warranty.

Braun Thermoscan 7

 Best For Newborns 

3. Braun Thermoscan 7 (ear)

High quality ear thermometer for accurate use even in newborn babies

What we like
  • Advanced age precision technology
  • Memorises up to 9 temperature readings
  • 21 disposable caps included
  • Colour coded and night light
What could be better
  • Need to set up the age category before every reading
  • Does not work without the disposable caps
  • Ongoing cost for the probe covers

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Trusted brand Braun presents this high quality ear thermometer which is just like the one you see in your GP’s surgery. Featuring patented Age Precision technology, it cleverly takes the age of your baby into consideration when determining if a fever is present or not.

This is our best ear thermometer for babies as it features a wide angle probe for accurate measurements in newborns as well as adults, and multiple studies have found that it’s as accurate as rectal readings. Super easy and fast to use, simply position it in your baby’s ear and wait for the light and audible beep which lets you know it’s been positioned correctly. You’ll hardly disturb your baby when taking his temperature, and the colour coded display makes reading the results absolutely foolproof.

The last nine readings are stored in the device so you can track your baby’s temperature over time and there’s even a handy inbuilt night light for taking temperatures in the dark. The included disposable probe covers help to maintain high levels of hygiene between users.

Finicare FC-IR202

4. Finicare FC-IR202 (combination)

Equipped with infrared technology for clinical accuracy

What we like
  • No contact, non-invasive
  • Easy-to-use
  • Quick and responsive
  • Value for money
What could be better
  • Sweat can hinder accuracy

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This digital forehead thermometer manufactured by Finicare delivers fast and accurate results in under a second, using three separate infrared sensors. It is a multifunctional device that not only offers forehead temperature readings, but it can also be used on other objects and surfaces, ideal for testing the temperature of milk, formula, and bathwater, for that extra reassurance of your baby’s safety at home.

Delivering readings in either Fahrenheit or Celsius, this device was designed easy-to-use with an LCD digital display and colour coded indicators: green (no fever), yellow (low fever), red (fever warning).

We love that this thermometer provides a handy memory feature, storing the last 35 temperature readings, useful for tracking baby’s health.

Some reviewers find the temperature readings can vary or be inaccurate at times, but this is usually due to low batteries, or sweat from a fever or illness may inhibit its accuracy. Check your battery power and wipe any sweat away before use. The good thing about this thermometer is that it is ready-to-use straight out of the box, already equipped with 2 AAA batteries, and comes with a handy storage pouch.

Cherub Baby 4-in-1

5. Cherub Baby 4-in-1 (combination)

Award winning thermometer, versatile and compact for everyday use

What we like
  • Built-in flashlight and backlit display for night use
  • No probe covers required
  • Hospital-grade with up to 32 memory calls
  • Fever indicator and auto shut off features
What could be better
  • Could get slightly different reads when trying multiple times
  • Not a touchless forehead thermometer
  • Can’t be used as a bottle, bath or room thermometer

The Cherub Baby 4 in 1 is a multi use, combination thermometer that can be used either in the ear or the forehead, making it an ideal choice for sleeping babies.

Completely safe and hygienic with no probe covers necessary, it’s compact, lightweight and reliable and has all the convenient features you’d hope for, such as a fever indicator and auto shut off. The thermometer stores the last 32 readings for your reference and even features a handy flashlight and backlit LCD display for use during the night.

Its simple one touch operation delivers results in less than one second and is tested to be accurate to +/-0.2ºC. Considered hospital grade, the Cherub Baby 4 in 1 has won multiple Mother and Baby awards and is a firm favourite for ease of use and accuracy, making it one of the best children’s thermometer for everyday use.

Ritalia Baby Thermometer

6. Ritalia FC-IR1011 (combination)

Multifunction thermometer combines versatility with ease of use

What we like
  • Tested and recommended by doctors and paediatricians
  • Soft-touch and mute setting
  • Fever alarm and LED backlight
  • Comes with a handy travel pouch
What could be better
  • Often switches off while pressing the button

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This infrared thermometer is a user friendly option for those who want multiple functions in one simple to use unit. Take baby’s temperature by ear or no contact forehead, or change modes to reliably take the temperature of objects such as baby’s milk or food.

Three clearly marked buttons are used to operate the thermometer. There’s a fever alarm which changes the LCD display’s colour, as well as the option to mute the sound so you don’t wake baby. The auto off function saves power and it remembers the last 35 temperatures taken so you can easily track baby’s temperature over the course of the illness.

With a high quality, strong construction, the Ritalia baby thermometer feels sturdy in your hands so you won’t need to worry about breakages if you accidentally drop it. No expensive, fiddly probe covers are needed, simply give the unit a quick wipe down after use to maintain its hygiene.

Beurer Thermometer

7. Beurer Thermometer (combination)

A thermometer that delivers ear and forehead temperature readings

What we like
  • Multifunctional use
  • Large easy-to-read display
  • Can be disinfected
  • 5-year warranty
What could be better
  • Trouble working in cold temperatures
  • Accuracy could be improved

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The Beurer Thermometer has been designed to deliver results in seconds with multifunctional use providing ear and forehead temperatures, as well as surface and objects

Offering both Fahrenheit and Celsius readings, this device is easy-to-use with a large digital display providing date, time, and memory recall of the last 10 results, perfect for keeping and tracking a clear record of your baby's health. It also uses simple traffic light indicators: green light (normal reading 37.9 degrees Celsius), red light (temperature warning 38+).

We believe this product could improve its accuracy, as some people find the readings can vary from forehead to ear. Nonetheless, this is a quality thermometer made and certified in China, using German engineering and technology, backed by a huge warranty of 5-years.

The good thing about the Beurer Thermometer is that it can easily be disinfected using rubbing alcohol or a disinfectant wipe, and this device is ready-to-use straight out of the box, set with 2 AAA batteries.

Cherub Baby 5-in-1

8. Cherub Baby 5-in-1 (combination)

Versatile and accurate, our best all rounder

What we like
  • Versatile
  • Ultra-fast and reliable results
  • Touchless thermometer for hygiene
  • Non-invasive and sound suites for sleeping babies
What could be better
  • Does not include battery
  • Battery cover needs to be open to change measurement modes

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This versatile thermometer can be used to take the temperature of baby either by touchless forehead reading or by ear reading, both returning a result in just one second. Additionally, it can take the temperature of bath water, other liquids, like formula in a bottle, or even as a room thermometer, so it’s the only thermometer you’ll need.

Accuscan technology ensures an accurate reading to +/-0.2ºC by recording a continuous reading across a wider area to obtain more consistent data which has been confirmed by many happy users. The backlit LCD display is clear and easy to read and alerts you by changing colour to orange or red if it detects a slight or high fever so you can take action with confidence.

With one touch operation and easy wipe clean surfaces, the Cherub Baby 5 in 1 is no fuss and easy to maintain. Fast, reliable and versatile, this is our best all round digital thermometer for baby.

Vicks Fever Insight

 Best For Accuracy 

9. Vicks Fever Insight (digital probe)

This reliable, one button digital probe is best for accuracy

What we like
  • Fast and accurate
  • Big colour-changing display
  • Memory recall and auto shut off features
  • Small and easy to store in a bag
What could be better
  • Loud beeping noise
  • The replacement battery is difficult to source (3V, CR1225)

The Vicks Fever Insight is suitable for oral, underarm or rectal use and delivers very fast results by digital probe standards – you can get your reading with professional accuracy in just 8 seconds. This is ideal for parents who trust and prefer the digital probe type of thermometer but whose children are extra wriggly or otherwise won’t sit or lie still for long.

Reliable and very easy to use with just one button, it has a memory recall feature and auto shut off so the batteries aren’t wasted.

The colour changing display changes from green to orange to red to alert you of high temperatures at a glance and is easy to see and interpret even in low light. The large size of the display also offers a convenient place to hold the thermometer comfortably between your fingers, so you won’t need to worry about it dropping through your fingers and having to start all over again.

Frontida Health Forehead & Ear Thermometer

10. Frontida Health Forehead & Ear Thermometer (combination)

Convenient, compact, quick and accurate with a budget friendly price

What we like
  • Easy to hold with ergonomic design
  • Memory recall & fever alert
  • Can also be used for liquids and food
  • Big digital display
What could be better
  • Ear measurements seem more precise

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The Frontida Health Forehead & Ear Thermometer is a good inexpensive buy to get an accurate reading in just one second.

Ultra compact in size, it will fit into any first aid kit or bag and includes a soft carry pouch for high levels of hygiene during storage or transportation. Despite the small size of the thermometer, the design is still quite ergonomic in the hand and easy to hold and the digital display screen is large for maximum readability.

The convenient fever alert lights up the screen to let you know if your baby’s temperature has risen to a concerningly high level, removing any guesswork and allowing you to take immediate action. The thermometer also features the auto-shut off function and the memory recall of up to 35 readings for easy reference.