Forehead thermometers are tricky, because they have to be swiped precisely across the patient's forehead, maintaining skin contact the whole time, to produce an accurate reading. The Exergen TemporalScanner Temporal Artery Thermometer TAT-2000C (Est. $35) is no exception, but owners say it's highly accurate once you get the hang of the swiping process.
The Exergen earns excellent scores for accuracy in one professional roundup conducted by a consumer testing organization, and very good scores for repeatability and features. This thermometer features a beep and a flashing LED light which lets you know that you've swiped it correctly, enabling it to produce an accurate reading.
Hundreds of owners have reviewed the Exergen TemporalScanner Temporal Artery Thermometer at both Walmart.com and Amazon.com, and it's one of the top-rated digital thermometers on both sites. Owners say it couldn't be simpler to use, once you get the hang of the process and are careful not to release the button before removing the probe from the forehead. The Exergen produces a reading in about half a second, so there's no waiting and trying to keep a squirming child still for 60 seconds or longer.
While the biggest problem with forehead thermometers is the need to perfect the swiping motion, the Santa Medical 2 in 1 Professional Clinical RY230 eliminates that process entirely. This thermometer obtains temperature readings from the patient's face, but it can be used on the tear ducts, forehead or even the cheeks with no contact necessary.
There are few reviews available on the Santa Medical thermometer yet, but it does earn a perfect 5-star rating from nearly 60 percent of the more than 130 owners reviewing it at Amazon.com. Overall, it averages 4.2 out of 5 stars -- mainly based on differing opinions regarding accuracy. Reviews suggest that calibrating the unit before use improves accuracy.
Both the Exergen and the Santa Medical thermometers are ideal choices for noninvasive temperature readings. The Santa Medical's no-contact methodology is more convenient when it comes to not disturbing sleeping patients, but the Exergen gets better reviews overall, which is why we chose it as our best-reviewed pick.