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Latest Thermometers

July 8, 2022 - Parul Saini, Webmedy Team


Even those who take good care of themselves and their families sometimes get sick. Knowing someone's temperature is one of the most important ways to determine if they need more serious treatment, and a thermometer is the only way to do that. With a lot of advancements since the mercury-laden glass thermometers of the past, there are many options available today for you to choose from for your home.

What is a Thermometer?

A thermometer is a device that measures temperature or a temperature gradient using a sensor and displays it as a numeric value.

Classifications of Thermometers based on Type of Use

  • Oral

    The oral temperature may only be taken from a patient who is capable of holding the thermometer securely under the tongue, which generally excludes small children or people who are unconscious or overcome by coughing, weakness, or vomiting.

  • Armpit

    The armpit (axilla) temperature is measured by holding the thermometer tightly under the armpit. One needs to hold the thermometer for several minutes to get an accurate measurement.

  • Rectal

    According to the American Pediatrics Association (AAP), rectal thermometers are the most accurate way to capture temperatures for infants under 3 months old. A rectal thermometer read your body's core temperature to offer the most accurate reading. Some rectal thermometers are designed to be used orally and under the arm, but we suggest marking rectal thermometers for exclusive use.

  • Ear

    Many ear thermometers are designed to be used as a forehead thermometer as well (with the use of a cap). Both formats are accurate, but we've found that forehead thermometers can be a little less intuitive and lead to discrepancies the first few times you use them. Ear thermometers are great, less invasive options for toddlers and children.

  • Non-touch

    Usually used in communal spaces like schools or a doctor's office, non-touch thermometers use infrared to read your temperature. While these are safe for everyone to use and offer a very fast response time, we found that they lag when it comes to consistency.

Classification of Thermometers based on Technology

  • Digital Thermometer

    Digital thermometers work by using heat sensors that determine body temperature. Sensors are on the end of the thermometer that contacts the body parts and peruses the body's temperature. You can use these three ways to take temperature readings in the mouth, rectum, or armpit.

  • Electronic Thermometer

    These thermometers estimate the temperature inside the ear canal through infrared ray technology. They will read the infrared heat that originates from within the ear. Just assures you put the thermometer in the ear in the correct position for best outcomes.

  • Mercury Thermometer

    Mercury thermometers use a glass tube containing mercury. The tube goes underneath the tongue and the body temperature will make the mercury ascend inside the tube. The point where the mercury stops will be what your temperature is. The average oral temperature reading is 98.6 deg F (37 deg C). However, any oral temperature from 97 deg F (36.1 deg C) to 99 deg F (37.2 deg C) is considered typical. Some people run naturally cool, and others are slightly warmer. To assess whether you're running a fever when you're sick, you should know what temperature is typical.

  • Infrared Thermometer

    The superficial temporal artery is a branch of the carotid artery and is measured using forehead thermometers that use infrared sensors. Forehead thermometers that require no physical contact have become very popular in venues such as airports, stores, and stadiums. It is especially useful in COVID-19 times, as it allows more physical distance and can reduce the risk of disease transmission. Forehead temperature readings run around 1 deg F (0.6 deg C) cooler than oral temperature readings.

  • Pacifier Thermometer

    These types are used for the newborn child to record their approximate temperature. Although pacifier thermometers are simple to use, they're inaccurate and only record approximate body temperatures. When covering the body temperature, they need the baby to be calm for some moments, which might be tough. This can lead to inaccuracies in temperature readings.

  • Plastic Fever Strips Thermometer

    These thermometers come in plastic strips that you put on your forehead. They serve as a guide to determining whether or not a person has a fever. To use plastic strip thermometers, we must place the strip on our forehead, and the colors on the strip will change in response to our body temperature. A fever is likely if the color changes to dangerous.

  • Liquid-in-Glass Thermometer

    Liquid-in-glass thermometers, as the name implies, are made with sealed glass containing a liquid such as mercury or red alcohol. The volume of liquids in thermometers fluctuates as the temperature rises or falls. As the temperature rises, the liquid expands in response. The rinsing level of a liquid in the glass tube also aids in indicating the temperature. These thermometers are fragile since they have a glass tube. As a result, they're housed in protective housings that have temperature readings written on them. Furthermore, because they do not need a power supply, liquid-in-glass thermometers are convenient, inexpensive, and ideally suited for places where there is an electrical problem.

Which Type of Thermometer is Most Accurate?

Digital thermometers are the most accurate way to measure body temperature. There are many types, including oral, rectal, and forehead, plus many that are multifunctional.

Follow the following steps to use a digital thermometer:

  • Clean the tip with cold water and soap, then rinse it.
  • Turn the thermometer on.
  • Put the tip under your tongue, towards the back of your mouth.
  • Close your lips around the thermometer.
  • Wait until it beeps.
  • Check the temperature on the display.

You can also use a digital thermometer in your armpit. Keep your arm close to your body until the thermometer beeps or flashes.

What is Normal Reading on a Thermometer?

Normal body temperature is about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 37 degrees Celsius. The Typical temperature often varies from 1 deg to 2 deg F. A normal temperature is usually lower in the morning and increases during the day.

What Thermometer do Hospitals Use?

Thermometers that use infrared technology provide accurate temperature readings in only a second without touching the patient giving hospitals a convenient and hygienic way to measure temperature.

Things to consider when buying a Thermometer

These are some points to think about when selecting a thermometer for your household.

  • Accuracy

    This is the most important factor to consider while looking at a thermometer. While taking the reading you have to realize that the temperature you are getting is right to know whether you have a fever or not.

  • Suitability

    Be sure about the age at which you are buying a thermometer. Read all the instructions carefully to make sure the thermometer you are picking fits you.

  • Speed

    When choosing a thermometer, choose the one that will give you the exact results within fractions of seconds.

  • Ease of use

    If you want a thermometer that's extremely simple to use, a digital stick thermometer is your best bet. Most people have used glass thermometers at some point, and these work almost the same. The only differences are an on/off switch and a digital display. Other types of thermometers may have a little bit of a learning curve, but they tend to be fairly intuitive. As long as you read the instructions thoroughly you should be able to take a proper reading.

  • Alarm Function

    A thermometer with alarm functions alerts you when your body temperature reading crosses 37.8 deg C.

  • Comfort

    A thermometer that's comfortable to use is especially important when you have kids. Non-contact thermometers cause no discomfort whatsoever, as they don't even need to touch the skin to get a reading. With other types of thermometers, look for features such as soft, flexible, silicone ends or self-warming tips to increase comfort.

  • Size

    Simple digital stick thermometers are small and unobtrusive enough to easily slip into a purse or coat pocket, so you can monitor your or a family member's temperature on the go when you become ill. This also makes them perfect for packing when you go on vacation. Other varieties, such as ear and temporal artery thermometers, tend to be significantly larger and more cumbersome, but this shouldn't be an issue if you only want to use them at home.

  • Fahrenheit Or Celsius

    In which unit do you want to quantify it? Make sure that thermometer you choose gives you an accurate reading in Celsius or Fahrenheit.

  • Memory

    Some thermometers have last reading memory for easy tracking. Memory recalls the last reading and automatically displays after powering on the thermometer. This feature helps you easily track the progress of the fever.

With so many options available for a thermometer for home use, choose the one that suits your needs and is easy to use.

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