Thermometers have had a moment in the last year — and for good reason. Having a low-grade fever is one of the many symptoms of COVID-19, so knowing exactly what your temperature is has been a key component in helping stop the virus from spreading.
Thermometers are one essential item all households should have on hand and also an instrument you want to work accurately every time you use one. The good news is most thermometers — be it under-the-tongue, rectal, or no-touch — will read your temperature accurately unless they are faulty or low on batteries. They also all work fairly quickly. But like anything, people have their opinion on what is right for them.
No-touch versus traditional thermometers
Because of the heightened need for personal hygiene and contactless options for, well, almost everything, no-touch thermometers have become a welcome option for many businesses and families. They are more sanitary because the only person touching them is the person administering the test (most of the time, that’s you, but can also be a parent or caregiver).
Traditional thermometers go under your tongue or armpit, but for infants or the elderly, rectal thermometers have long been described as the most accurate because you can more easily maneuver it and keep it in one place long enough to take a person’s temperature. It comes down to personal preference and the comfort of the people administering it and getting their temperature taken.
Our top picks
We’ve done the homework so you don’t have to. Here are the best thermometers for home use. These are all no-touch because they are easy to use, accurate, and faster than most traditional options.
Berrcom no-touch forehead thermometer
This is our top pick for its consistency. It has a big, easy-to-read display and can be used as a surface or object thermometer as well. It can also switch from Fahrenheit to Celsius, and you can use it with the volume turned on or off, which is clutch if you’re taking the temperature of a sleeping adult or child. It’s less expensive than its competitors ($15), so even if you don’t use it a lot, the price tag doesn’t sting.
Ankovo touchless forehead thermometer
A less expensive but highly rated no-touch thermometer is the Ankovo option on Amazon. It’s under $20, comes with light-spot positioning, and is multifunctional; you can measure temperature via the forehead or ear. This thermometer allows you to also take the temperature of the room, milk, water, or other objects. In one click, you’ll know if you have a fever!
SoWeCare forehead thermometer
This thermometer is not only the least expensive at just $10, but it also comes with high-accuracy sensors and a smart chip, which gives you a measurement deviation of less than ± 0.2℃ (±0.4℉). It’s easily switchable from Fahrenheit to Celsius, and if you don’t have your glasses on, it will give you a stoplight reading — red, yellow, or green — to indicate if you have a fever or are in the clear.
All of the above are safe and effective options to find out if you are running a temperature, so you can decide, based on other symptoms, if you need to make an appointment to see your doctor. If you run a high fever and it stays that way for several days and won’t come down with over-the-counter medications like Advil, you should always contact a professional. Fevers are nothing to mess around with. It’s always best to err on the side of caution, especially in today’s environment.
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