No medicine cabinet should be considered complete without a digital thermometer – it’s the quickest and easiest way to get a really accurate reading of your body temperature so that you can know with more clarity whether you’re showing the symptoms of illness. They’re also a must for new parents, too.
Thankfully, good thermometers don’t have to be expensive at all, and there are a plethora on the market right now. However, as you’re certainly fully aware, we would preface this guide with the fact that in times of widespread illness such as the present COVID-19 pandemic, thermometers are in extremely short supply.
If you can get your hands on one the models from this list you’ll have done well, but if you can’t find them in stock we have a helpful tip – many packaged medical kits and first aid kits actually contain thermometers you can use. So, in the meantime, look for medical kits that contain a thermometer and you can pick one up along with a range of other useful supplies.
Our pick of the best digital thermometers to buy today
Braun Thermoscan 7
Braun’s got a lock on so many different healthcare and hygiene products that it’s no surprise to find it doing well in the digital thermometer market and the Thermoscan 7 has a superb reputation for both accuracy and the speed of its reading.
It’s an ear thermometer, meaning there’s no awkwardly holding it under your tongue or anything like that, and you can also preset the age of the person whose temperature you’re reading to get more accurate results, which is really handy for those of us with families. Of course, it’s also a little pricey, at around £50 or $50 under normal circumstances.
Vicks AgeSmart Family Thermometer
Braun’s thermometer is really impressive, but it might be a little complicated for some people, especially if they’re used to a more simple probe. Vicks has an option that might be perfect in those circumstances, in its AgeSmart Family Thermometer. It’s dead simple and takes a reading in eight seconds.
A big colour-coded result lets you know if you should worry about the temperature recorded, which is helpful in a pinch, and has settings for children as they get older, which makes it another great shout for families. At under £10 or $10, it’s a simple, cheap but reliable pick.
Miniland Thermo Kit
Miniland’s lovely little temperature-reading kit is another great pick for those with young ones, with clever decorations and designs to make sure that kids don’t associate it with feeling bad, and has also stayed steady with its original pricing, a novelty at the moment.
There are actually three thermometers, here – a normal body one, a pacifier thermometer that’s perfect if you child uses one to suck on, and a penguin-shaped final option for reading bathwater before you put your baby in for a wash. That’s a great kit for any parent, in short.
Braun No Touch Plus
The gold standard, in some ways, when it comes to temperature reading right now, is the ability to do so without touching the person in question, just in case infection is possible. Braun’s No Touch Plus lets you do that with ease, taking a reading from close up to someone’s forehead but requiring no actual contact.
It’s a great machine that takes reliable readings quickly, but is also getting marked up right now. It shouldn’t cost much more than £50 or $50 at the most, so be sure to watch out for big price increases.
The reality is that when you search for digital thermometers most of the results you’ll find won’t have a well-known brand name attached, and will be cheaper as a result (although right now that’s not even guaranteed). The reality is that if these are all you can find, they might not be a bad buy so long as you’re not being price-gouged too badly while you do it.
For example, the thermometer above is currently £6 in the UK, which is reasonable, even if we can’t be as certain of its accuracy compared to a Braun model. Still, knowing that stock is low, they could well be better than nothing.