The 7 Best Forehead Thermometers
This wiki has been updated 31 times since it was first published in April of 2015. Make sure you get an accurate body temperature reading with one of these convenient forehead thermometers, which allow you to test small children, the elderly, or disabled patients in a simple, non-invasive manner, some automatically with no human touch required. They’re comfortable to use and provide results quickly on clear screens, and some versatile models can also be inserted into the ear. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
June 18, 2021:
Most of our previous selections were no longer available, so there's a host of great new offerings. The iHealth PT3 is the simplest and one of the most trusted, although the Innovo iF100B is right there with it. The Equinox International Infrared sports clearly labeled controls and a large, easy-to-read LCD, as does the pistol-grip LPow R1B1. We also really like the Gekka Non-Contact. You can mount it to the wall with a rechargeable 18650 battery in it, and let it take everyone's temperature safely as they walk into the room, without anyone ever laying a finger on it.
December 31, 2019:
The Dr. Madre Digital Infrared joins the selection today, and this lightweight model boasts an ergonomic, curved design that makes it comfortable in the hand. In addition to showing the results on a bright, backlit LCD, it can also be programmed to read them aloud to you in English or Spanish, which makes it handy for anyone who is visually impaired. Like some others on our list, this one features infrared technology, which enables you to take readings without even having to touch it to one’s forehead.
Another new addition is the Braun FHT1000, which offers a lightweight design with a user-friendly, 2-button operation. If you haven’t needed to use it in a while and have forgotten exactly how it works, just take a look at the step-by-step instructions listed right on its front panel (which really comes in handy at times when a child’s fever has come on quickly). For storage purposes, just pop on the protective cap and place it in your medicine cabinet or in a drawer. It’s a good value but there's one caveat: It only provides readings in Fahrenheit, not Celsius.
For the versatility of a model that can provide readings from either the forehead or the ear, look to the QQcute Digital and the Innovo Dual-mode, both of which feature caps that can be removed to reveal the ear insertion piece. For more models designed for ear placement (some of which even conveniently sync with your smartphone for easy data management), see our list of best ear thermometers.
Before using any of these thermometers, be sure to familiarize yourself with proper operation techniques to ensure you’re using them correctly. For instance, the no-touch infrared models need to be positioned within a certain distance of your child’s forehead for accurate results. Also, be sure you’re using the correct mode for your purposes, as many models offer separate modes for checking body temperature and room/liquid temperatures.
Making The Most Of Home Healthcare
Stomach cramping and short-term diarrhea may indicate a minor case of food poisoning that merits no treatment beyond rest and rehydration, for example.
When it comes to treating most mild maladies, from the common cold to an infection of the flu virus to a bout of food poisoning, it's usually not only viable to treat the afflicted person at home, but even advisable in many circumstances. An unnecessary trip to the emergency room, the urgent care clinic, or even simply to the doctor's office can mean incurring extra expenses, it can mean putting undo emotional stress and physical strain on the person already feeling unwell, and it can expose the sick patient and healthy family members alike to the myriad viruses and bacteria often found in hospitals and at other medical facilities.
Before you rush to the ER at the first signs of a sickness, make sure you try to evaluate your symptoms or those of the family member or friend for whom you're providing care. Stomach cramping and short-term diarrhea may indicate a minor case of food poisoning that merits no treatment beyond rest and rehydration, for example. Stomach and chest pains accompanied by high fever and chills might also indicate the presence of an enterovirus that must not be ignored, however. A 102-degree Fahrenheit fever that a young child experiences for an hour or two might seem, frightening, but a 100-degree Fahrenheit fever an adult suffers for 48 hours is likely the more serious issue. (Children's fevers tend to run much higher than adult fevers; these higher temperatures do not necessarily indicate a more serious medical issue.)
Paying attention to the magnitude and the persistence of symptoms is the best way to tell if supportive home care is sufficient or if professional medical intervention is needed. (But, when in doubt, choose to let the professionals assess the patient and head to the hospital, clinic, or doctor right away.)
Monitoring yourself or the person in your care involves visual assessments of everything from skin color to the whiteness of the tongue. It involves paying attention to a person's ability to eat food and drink water, and it means studying their cognition, their energy levels, and their sleep patterns.
One of the best ways to create an assessment of a person's health is to take his or her temperature regularly throughout the course of their illness and even after symptoms seem to have subsided. A fever is one of the body's primary ways to fight an infection, and knowing how hard the body is fighting, as it were, speaks volumes about the person's health.
Choosing And Using A Forehead Thermometer
A forehead thermometer is often the best choice for assessing a patient's fever. This is true for multiple reasons, several of which merit discussion. While for newborns and infants a rectal thermometer is often the most accurate assessment tool, the use of this device can be inconvenient for the parent or care giver and uncomfortable for the child. Rectal thermometers can also be awkward to use on oneself or on another, and are not so much more accurate as to be a superlative option.
For quick, easy, and reliably accurate temperature assessments of patients of all ages, the forehead thermometer is an excellent option.
Oral thermometers are generally accurate when used properly, but it can be difficult for any patient, especially for younger children, to keep their mouths closed for long periods of time. An oral thermometer also necessitates a waiting period of at least fifteen minutes following the consumption of any food or beverage.
In-ear thermometers are not suitable for use with very young children who have smaller ear canals, and can also be rendered inaccurate by a build-up of wax in the ear of the user.
For quick, easy, and reliably accurate temperature assessments of patients of all ages, the forehead thermometer is an excellent option. These thermometers, formally referred to as temporal artery thermometers, as they use an infrared scanner to measure the temperature of the patient's temporal artery, which is located in the forehead, are the least intrusive way to quickly measure person's temperature.
Many forehead thermometers use a color coded system, displaying a green hue when a person's temperature reads in the normal zone and shifting to red when a fever is detected. This can help a parent or caregiver to quickly establish their charge's baseline health. For creating an in-depth assessment of the patient's wellbeing, the care giver needs to note the exact numerical temperature and record it, though.
When choosing a forehead thermometer, consider whether a non-contact model is best, or whether you prefer a unit that removes the guesswork of positioning the thermometer and instead that actually touches the patient's head. Non-contact units might have a slightly larger margin of error, but they won't wake a sleeping child, and they minimize the spread of germs.
When It's Time To Head To The Doctor
If anyone, adult or child alike, experiences a fever that reaches a temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, it is time to seek medical assistance.
For newborn children under three months of age, a fever that reaches 100.5 degrees merits medical assessment and potential professional intervention. For kids between three and six months, this temperature ticks up to 101 degrees. And as they enter their toddler years and beyond, a child falls into the 104-degree category mentioned above. That is, unless other symptoms present themselves. People of all ages must watch out for a fever that presents itself along with certain other issues.
A fever accompanied by a sore throat that lasts more than 24 hours is also potentially cause to call (or head to) the doctor. This is even more urgent if swallowing becomes difficult or even impossible. Joint stiffness and extreme pains also heighten the need for further examination.