There are plenty of different thermometers out there but which one of them you will prefer is up to you. Read on or scroll down for a guide to choosing the right thermometer that suits you.

How do I properly use a digital thermometer? | What is the most accurate digital thermometer?


A Guide to Choosing the Right Thermometers for You!

Each thermometer works differently depending on who will be using the thermometer for instance there is a difference between normal thermometers and baby thermometers.

Types of Thermometers in Malaysia

There are five types of thermometers and each one of them looks and operates vastly different from each other.

Thermometer Types

How It’s Used

Mercury Glass Thermometer

Quite old fashioned, mercury glass thermometers are made using mercury. One of the biggest reasons that it isn’t as widely used these days is due to the risk it possesses, in that it can be broken and the mercury inside is toxic.

Another reason it is no longer in use is because it is that the measurements are quite hard to read.

One of the earliest thermometers, it measures temperatures through the rectum, mouth, or in the armpit/underarm.

Electronic Digital Thermometer

Obviously preferred over mercury glass thermometers, electronic digital thermometers are much safer and have quite a few advantages over glass thermometers.

The readings obtained using an electronic digital thermometer appear much faster, and as it is digital, is much easier to read.

Infrared Thermometer

This is the faster type of thermometer, taking only seconds to obtain and provide a reading.

It measures the heat generated by surfaces.

It is also one of the more expensive types of thermometer out there.

Infrared Ear Thermometer

Similar to an infrared thermometer, an infrared ear thermometer is used inside the eardrum and measures the heat generated in there and in the surrounding tissue.

The readings obtained are accurate, fast, and are extremely easy to read on the thermometers digital display.

Infrared Forehead Thermometer

Also, similar to the infrared thermometer, instead of measuring temperature from the eardrum, the infrared forehead thermometer takes temperatures using the forehead.

Measuring the infrared energy emitted from the forehead, this thermometer is quite gentle and is one of the best thermometers for infants.

The heat generated from the forehead is converted into a temperature value and its accuracy depends on its operation and manufacturer. But its accuracy is clinically proven.

The Different Ways to Take Your Temperature

There are plenty of different ways that temperature can be taken using thermometers, but the most common methods are through the ears, mouth, forehead, rectum, and underarm. Depending on the method the temperature is taken, its accuracy may be inconsistent, and it also depends on whether the method of executed properly.

Ear – Many prefer this method, but its results are often inconsistent. When measuring through the ear, you should measure the same ear each time.

Mouth – Holding the tip of the thermometer in your mouth, you will need to hold the thermometer steadily. Ensure that you haven’t had a cold drink before taking your temperature.

Forehead – There are different types of forehead thermometers, so make sure to read the manual for the proper use. One kind needs to be pressed against the forehead for the temperature to be taken, and the other lets you hover the thermometer over the forehead.

Rectum – Usually used for babies and infants, the thermometer, usually a mercury glass one, will be inserted into the child’s rectum and the temperature is taken from there.

Underarm – Merely tuck the thermometer under the arm without clothes in the way and press your arm so that the thermometer is held in place.

Frequently Asked Questions About Digital Thermometers

How do I properly use a digital thermometer?

Using an oral digital thermometer

  1. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water.
  2. Use a clean thermometer, one that has been washed in cold water, cleaned with rubbing alcohol, and then rinsed to remove the alcohol.
  3. Do not eat or drink anything for at least five minutes before you take your temperature because the temperature of the food or beverage could make the reading inaccurate. You should keep your mouth closed during the time the temperature is taken.
  4. Place the thermometer tip under the tongue.
  5. Hold the thermometer in the same spot for about 40 seconds.
  6. Readings will continue to increase and the F (or C) symbol will flash during measurement.
  7. Usually, the thermometer will make a beeping noise when the final reading is done (for about 30 seconds). If you are keeping track, record the temperature and the time.
  8. Rinse thermometer in cold water, clean it with alcohol and rinse again.

What is the most accurate digital thermometer?

It is said that the most accurate thermometers are rectal thermometers, which go into your rear end, but they can be quite uncomfortable. Armpit, ear, and forehead thermometers aren’t as accurate these body parts fluctuate in temperature due to various external and internal changes (ie: hot weather, blushing, hot flashes, etc.) The most practical digital thermometer to use at home that gives a decent accurate reading would be the oral digital thermometer.