Most Accurate Thermometer For Adults (Updated For 2020)
A thermometer is an instrument for measuring or showing temperature (how hot or cold something is). One type of thermometer is a narrow, concealed glass tube containing mercury or alcohol which extends along the tube as it expands. Another type is a digital thermometer, which uses electronics to measure temperature. (source)
What are the different types of thermometer?
The increasing importance of the thermometer in the diagnosis of patients has led to many new types of thermometer being invented to aid with the ease of taking temperatures. This is achieved by creating thermometers that concentrate on different parts of the body, with some more effective than others.
Regular digital thermometers use electronic heat sensors to record body temperature. These thermometers can be used in the rectum, mouth or armpit.
Armpit temperatures are usually the least accurate. Rectal temperatures provide the best readings for infants, especially those 3 months or younger, as well as children up to age 3. For older children and adults, oral readings are usually accurate — as long as the mouth is closed while the thermometer is in place.
Related: The Best Oral Thermometers For Adults
Electronic ear thermometers
These use infrared technology to get their temperature reading. Electronic ear thermometers are less accurate as if there is too much wax in the ear it can give an incorrect reading. Despite being expensive, they are a lot easier to use on babies and young children, as it can be hard to get children to sit still for long enough while using digital thermometers.
These thermometers also read heat using infrared, and are placed on the temporal artery. Additional research suggests that temporal artery thermometers are the most accurate alternative to rectal digital thermometers for taking a child’s temperature.
Related: Best Forehead Thermometers For Adults
Plastic strip thermometers
These thermometers can detect the presence of a fever in a patient, however, they do not give an exact temperature reading. They simply act as an indication that something might be wrong. To use them, you just place the strip on the forehead.
These thermometers are used predominantly in babies older than three months. They require the baby to be still for a couple of minutes and this can be a struggle. This means that sometimes the temperature can be inaccurate.
Glass and mercury thermometers
These thermometers are the old school way to take a temperature. You normally would place it under your tongue and watch the mercury rise. Once it stops, that would be your temperature. Unfortunately, due to the risk of mercury poisoning, this means of taking a temperature is not a good idea and you are highly recommended to consult with a healthcare body to discard any you might have.
What Is the most accurate thermometer for adults?
Digital thermometers are regarded as the fastest and most accurate type of thermometer. Readings are taken from under the tongue, from the rectum or under the armpit. They are easily found in local pharmacies and can be used at home or in the hospital.
Forehead thermometers are the most accurate thermometer for adults if you are looking for a non-invasive way to measure body temperature. It is passed over the temporal artery in the forehead. It captures the naturally emitted heat from the skin over the temporal artery, taking 1000 readings per second and selects the highest reading. It provides an accurate arterial temperature.
The most accurate thermometers to buy on amazon
We reviewed a range of thermometers available and we selected the most accurate thermometer for adults to share with you. The main points we looked at were price, quality, and accuracy of the temperature readings.
iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer is one of the most accurate thermometers for adults. It comes with advanced infrared sensor measures that IR energy emitted from the forehead and collects more than 100 data points per second. A tested and validated algorithm with a built-in smart chip will ensure that you get the most reliable results.
Readings appear illuminated on the device along with a color-coded fever indicator to instantly tell you if the temperature is normal, high, or fever.
What is included?
- 1 Thermometer PT2L,
- 2 x AAA Alkaline batteries,
- 1 Instruction Manua
The thermometer is initially calibrated at the time of manufacturing. If the thermometer is used according to the manual, periodic readjustment is not required. However, it is recommended that you conduct a quick calibration to confirm that your unit didn’t get damaged during shipment.
A quick way to calibrate your unit is by doing the water test:
- Dip it into a cup of cold water. Your display should show ‘Lo’ (meaning low temperature, not low battery) or a low-temperature reading number this time (for example it shows 33 °C or 91°F).
- Power it OFF then let it sit for two minutes or three, power it ON, then dip the tip of the thermometer into a cup of hot water. Wait for your thermometer to show ‘Hi’ or a high-temperature reading number on its LCD display (for example it shows 38 °C or 100 °F).
- Leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes and try using it and it will mean that you have successfully checked your thermometer and that you are good to go!
Braun ThermoScan measures the infrared heat generated by the eardrum and surrounding tissue. The ear accurately reflects the core body temperature because the eardrum shares the blood supply with the temperature control center in the brain, making the ear an excellent site to measure temperature. When core body temperature rises, it is quickly detectable in the ear.
Unlike other thermometers, Braun ThermoScan features a pre-warmed tip that minimizes the cooling effect that could result from the introduction of a cool probe tip. The pre-warmed tip helps ensure accuracy, measurement after measurement to a tenth of a degree. The ExacTemp positioning system confirms good position in the ear with a light and a beep to ensure accurate temperature measurement.
Memory function recalls the last 9 temperature readings allowing you to keep track of fluctuations.
What to Look for in a Thermometer
Features: Beyond simple temperature readings, some thermometers will store a history of your family’s temperatures, and some will even provide advice on when you should see a doctor.
Ease of use: From cleaning the thermometer to getting a temperature reading no matter the circumstances (think squirmy and/or sleeping children), there are some thermometers that make the job a lot easier than others. Also, consider the battery life of a thermometer.
Accuracy: The most important quality you want in a thermometer, of course, is accuracy. You want to be able to rely on the results to help you make the best health decisions for you and your family.
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