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Digital Thermometers : Ratings of Sources

By: Lisa Maloney on January 31, 2017

Digital Thermometers: Ratings of Sources

Editors of ConsumerReports.org, As of January 2017

The editors of ConsumerReports.org evaluate a selection of top digital thermometers, including stick thermometers for oral use, rectal thermometers, and temporal thermometers. Each thermometer is tested for accuracy, repeatability and features; they also are ranked and rated against each other.  Ultimately, four thermometers are recommended for their superior performance.

Melanie Monroe Rosen, Not Dated

The author and undisclosed helpers spent 35 hours researching 30 thermometers, eventually settling on 13 to test with the help of two cooperative children. In lieu of comparative scores, Rosen offers a comprehensive discussion of how each thermometer performed, along with an overview of general thermometer technology and types.

Caroline Weinberg, Oct. 3, 2016

The author and a crew of helpers put in more than 10 hours of research, interviewed three experts, and took their temperatures more than 100 times to select the best digital thermometers. They considered, oral thermometers, forehead/ear thermometers and a couple of "smart" models that pair with a smartphone. No comparative scores are assigned, but each product tested receives a balanced, thorough write-up.

Patty Onderko, Not Dated

The author of this round-up doesn't disclose exactly how each thermometer was tested, but each very short review includes a sentence or two from testers, who appear to be mostly mothers. Each write-up takes into consideration issues that will be familiar to anyone who's cared for a sick child, including how loud the thermometers beep and how easy they are to keep clean.

Contributors to Amazon.com, As of January 2017

Amazon.com offers hundreds of different thermometer listings, although sometimes the same product is listed several times. Most thermometers have a healthy number of reviews; a few standouts have even accumulated thousands. Reviews tend to be highly detailed, and owners often come back after months or years to give durability updates. Ratings are also relatively low in this category, so standout models receive an average score of at least 3.5 stars, with no obvious "deal-breaker" complaints.

Contributors to Walmart.com, As of January 2017

Walmart.com is often a good source for user reviews, but when it comes to thermometer listings it's either all or nothing: If a listing has any reviews at all, it most likely has hundreds, others are in single-digits However, we find good feedback for those thermometers that also rank well elsewhere, and owners can say if they would recommend the product. Standout models receive an average score of 4 stars or better after at least 20 user reviews.

Contributors to Target.com, As of January 2017

Target offers a good selection of personal thermometers for sale, most of which garner at least a handful of user reviews. Said reviews typically average a short paragraph; some include optional star ratings for ease of use, effectiveness and value. The most notable models receive a 4-star or better average rating after at least 10 user reviews. We also note a few unusual thermometers for sale here, such as a sticker-shaped, Bluetooth-enabled thermometer that your child can wear in the underarm area for continuous monitoring.

Mayo Clinic Staff, Not Dated

This useful guide to thermometers breaks down the pros and cons of each type, along with key elements that might lead to inaccurate readings. For example, a small, curved ear canal may make it difficult to get readings with an ear thermometer. They also discuss which age group each thermometer is recommended for and how accurate they tend to be.

Editors of BabyCenter.com, April 2016

Although this article doesn't recommend specific thermometer makes or brands, it offers very useful advice on how to find -- and use -- the right thermometer for your child. They also break down which thermometers are appropriate for which age groups, and offer a few useful safety tips on activities that might cause you to get an inaccurate temperature reading.

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