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Digital thermometers: which one should you buy?

In our first test of digital thermometers, we’ve pitched cheap options against big-name brands. But which ones came out on top?

Digital thermometers: which one should you buy?

If you’re taking the temperature of a poorly child, or scanning the foreheads of people coming into your office, the last thing you want are question marks over the accuracy of the thermometer.

That’s where our expert reviews come in. Every digital thermometer that reaches the Which? test lab is rated for accuracy, ease of use and comfort.

In our first test of digital thermometers, we’ve pitted models from Boots and LloydsPharmacy against popular brands, such as Braun, Kinetik Wellbeing, Tommee Tippee and Vital Baby, to find out how they match up.

Our test uncovered two digital thermometers good enough to be named Best Buys, but we also found some that didn’t do quite as well.


Read on to find out more about those we’ve just tested. Or head straight to our digital thermometer reviews to see all the results


The latest digital thermometers reviewed by Which?

Here’s an overview of some of the digital thermometers included in our latest round of testing:

Braun No Touch + Touch with Age Precision, £38

Braun No Touch + Touch thermometer

When you scan with this Braun thermometer, the results are displayed on an LCD screen on a colour-coded background (green, yellow and red) so you immediately know if you’re dealing with a fever or not.

That’s a handy feature if you’re not sure what exactly constitutes a high temperature. It also has a silent mode, useful for when you want to take the temperature of a sleeping child without disturbing them.


It has plenty of features, but how fast and accurate is it? Find out more with our Braun No Touch + Touch with Age Precision thermometer review


Boots Ear Thermometer, £30

Boots Ear Thermometer

The Boots Ear Thermometer can be used to measure body temperature and liquid temperature, such as warmed-up milk or bath water.

It also has a memory function that holds the previous 10 readings, so you can monitor someone’s temperature over time to see if it’s rising or falling.


To see if you should consider buying it, read our in-depth Boots Ear Thermometer review


Tommee Tippee No Touch Forehead Thermometer, £32

Tommee Tippee No Touch thermometer

Tommee Tippee’s No Touch thermometer has plenty of handy features. The silent mode and backlit display are useful if you want to take the temperature of a sleeping child without disturbing them.

It sounds an alert if it measures a temperature of 37.5°C or higher and can also be used to measure the surface temperature of other items, such as clothes and liquids.


Read our Tommee Tippee No Touch Forehead Thermometer review to see if it’s worth buying


More digital thermometer reviews

Prices correct as of 7 September 2021.

How we test digital thermometers

We test several key areas when assessing digital thermometers, including accuracy, comfort and ease of use:

Accuracy

To test the accuracy of each thermometer, we use criteria based on an international standard. We take readings using each of the digital thermometers on test and compare them with a platinum resistance thermometer with calibration traceable to a national standard of temperature.

The accuracy measurements are performed with a thermostat-controlled circulating water bath. We test across 11 temperature measuring points in order to get a complete idea of how accurate each thermometer is.

We don’t produce a percentage test score when testing thermometers – they’re either a pass or fail based on whether they meet the accuracy standards.

Which? testing digital thermometers

Ease of use

We use a mix of lab experts and a user panel made up of members of the public to work out how simple each digital thermometer is to use.

They comment on how easy it is to take temperature measurements, how clearly the numbers show up on the display, how simple it is to navigate through any additional features and functions, and how clear and complete the instruction manual is.

Comfort

To help you find the thermometers that feel best, our panel of triallists rate how comfortable each model is to use. Scores take into account self use and use on a child.

Want to know more about our tough tests? Check out our guide explaining how we test digital thermometers.

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