The moment you or someone you live with feels feverish, it’s essential to have a reliable thermometer. The best ear thermometer gives an accurate reading in an instant with an easy-to-read digital screen and obvious indicators for a normal or high temperature.
One of the benefits of digital ear thermometers is that they provide readings quickly, usually in just one to three seconds, using infrared technology to take the temperature inside an ear canal; keep in mind this kind of thermometer is suitable for 6-month-olds up to adults.
The best ear thermometers are easy to use with large and legible digital screens. Look for one with a backlit display, so you can see the reading day or night. It’s also helpful when the screen illuminates in green or red to indicate a normal temperature or a fever; some thermometers also beep if a high temperature is detected.
You may appreciate some bonus features like a built-in memory that records recent temperature readings, automatic shutoff, disposable ear covers for hygiene, or an age group fever guide for babies, children, and adults since a fever reading changes with age. Some thermometers also offer a helpful detection beep to let you know the ear tip is properly inserted for an accurate reading.
With all this in mind, here are the best ear thermometers to keep at home. Each one is easy to use and highly rated on Amazon. Plus, each thermometer comes with batteries so you have everything you need.
1. The Overall Best Ear Thermometer
This ear thermometer provides a temperature reading in just two to three seconds on a large backlit digital display. This highly rated pick with over 1,200 reviews also stands out for its features, including a color-coded display for at-a-glance understanding of the results. It's also the only one thermometer on this list that adjusts its fever guidance based on age, which is important if you're taking temperatures of infants, children, and adults.
Taking temperatures with an ear thermometer can have a bit of a learning curve, so you'll appreciate that this thermometer beeps and lights up to let you know once it's in the right position. And its pre-warmed tip ensures accurate results. This thermometer conveniently stores the last nine readings, and it uses hygienic disposable lens filters. Temperature readings can be provided in Celsius or Fahrenheit.
A helpful review: "Totally worth paying extra for a decent ear thermometer. And I love the colour coding as it gives an instant answer without having to work out what's normal and what's not from a number reading (which it also gives). Also love that it has different readings for infant and toddler ages."
2. The Best Ear & Forehead Thermometer
For a more versatile option, try the best ear and forehead thermometer, which comes backed by more than 10,000 reviews on Amazon. This pick provides a reading in just one second using the ear or three seconds on the forehead. Its digital screen is large and backlit, making it easy to read, and it beeps three times and turns red if it detects a fever; for normal temperature, the display remains green.
You can save up to 20 readings, which is helpful for tracking how a fever develops and relaying that information to a doctor. It's the one that I personally use and I like that it comes with its own storage pouch, which is especially useful when traveling. The thermometer has an automatic shutoff and can provide readings in Celsius or Fahrenheit.
A helpful review: “We were in desperate need of a new thermometer that would work for our whole family and purchased this one in hopes it would fit the bill — and it did not disappoint! [...] We've tested both functions (forehead and ear) several times, and it's easy enough for our 6 year old to do it. We also used it on our 2 year old and since it only takes a few seconds to get a reading, it was so much more enjoyable and easy taking his temp with this as opposed to trying to keep him from squirming around long enough for an underarm reading. The thermometer is well put together, yet it's not difficult to take off the forehead piece, which is nice when you are trying to quickly take a child's fever. We are super happy with our purchase and will be recommending this to other moms and dads for sure!”
3. The Best On A Budget
With results in just one second, this affordable ear thermometer is a great value. This thermometer has a clear digital display with readings in either Celsius or Fahrenheit. Up to 10 temperature readings can be stored, and each reading displays with a happy face for a normal temperature or a sad face and alarm to indicate a fever.
This pick comes with 10 single-use probe covers, and a convenient stand so it always has its place in your first aid kit.
A helpful review: "I absolutely love this thermometer! It’s super easy to use and gives an almost instant, accurate reading. The kids don’t mind it, even the toddler, and it’s so much better than trying to hold a traditional thermometer under an arm or tongue for what seems like forever. Can’t believe I went so many years without it."