Types of Thermometers

Types of Thermometers

There are a variety of thermometers. How do you know what will work best for you? Figuring out the answer to this question depends on what you are looking for. We made it simple to understand the key features for each type of thermometer so you can make an informed decision. 

Digital Thermometers

Digital Thermometers are also known as "stick" thermometers. These are a common type of thermometer that can be used for oral, axillary (underarm), or rectal use. They include the heat sensing probe and the processing unit with a display, so you can read the temperature.

    • Often are one-button operation for ease of use.
    • Small in comparison to typical ear and non-contact thermometers.
    • May be used for oral, rectal, or axillary (underarm) use.


    Ear Thermometers

    Ear thermometers are also known as "tympanic" thermometers. This is a type of thermometer that measures temperature by sensing infrared emission from the tympanic membrane (eardrum) in the external ear canal. 

      • Often takes an instant temperature given the technology.
      • May only be used for taking temperature by the ear.
      • Generally considered to be superior in taking an individual's temperature.


      Non-Contact Thermometers

      Non-contact thermometers can be used for taking temperature from the forehead or eyelid without touching the individual. They do not make contact, meaning it may reduce risk of spreading disease between individuals.

        • May be used for taking temperature by forehead or eyelid.
        • Measures temperature and displays a reading quickly.
        • Make sure you are at the recommended distance (refer to device's instructions) to get the most accurate temperature reading.


        What to Keep in Mind

        After reading about the different types of thermometers and their features, it is up to you to decide what will work best and consult with your physician. Remember to keep these points in mind:

          • A thermometer is a device to measure an individual's body temperature.
          • Consult with your physician if you are concerned with your temperature readings.
          • Always refer to the device's instructions for specific guidelines and use.

        If you have any questions or concerns then don't hesitate to email us at orders@bvmedical.com or call us at (888) 822-8293 to connect with one of our Customer Service Representatives. Where people can reach people.





        A. Bundel and S. Suhane. Non-Contact Thermometer. Jaypee University of Information Technology. 2021.
        BV Medical. 2023.
        C. Tseng. Digital Thermometer (U.S. Patent No. 7,275,866 B2). U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. 2007. 
        Food and Drug Administration. U.S. Department of Health & Human Sciences. Non-contact Infrared Thermometers. 2020.
        Food and Drug Administration. U.S. Department of Health & Human Sciences. Medical Devices Database. Product Code: FLL. Clinical Electronic Thermometer. 2023. 
        J. Harr and C. Walker. Thermal Tympanic Thermometer (CA2589420C). Canadian Intellectual Property Office. Canadian Patent. 
        Tecnimed. 2019.

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