The 3 Best Forehead Thermometers

When your baby or child is feeling under the weather, the best forehead thermometers help you quickly assess whether you're dealing with a fever or not with a noninvasive swipe.

Though more expensive than other types of digital thermometers, a forehead thermometer — also known as a temporal artery thermometer — offers unrivaled ease and speed, and many parents welcome their non-intrusive nature. While forehead thermometers can be used by the whole family, for babies less than 3 months of age, the most accurate reading is still with a rectal thermometer, according to the Mayo Clinic. Yet, since I have a young son who is increasingly on the move, I was heartened by the fact that forehead thermometers are the most accurate after rectal digital thermometers, according to a study published in the Journal of Current Therapeutic Research, Clinical and Experimental.

The best forehead thermometer out there will have a couple of key traits: A reading should take no more than a few seconds, and the display should be easy to read day or night. What's more, the best forehead thermometers will ideally have a mute option for stealthily taking the temperatures of sleeping children (or even adults). Some temporal artery thermometers have dual functionality and can also be used as ear thermometers, if you'd like to have the option. There are even "no-touch" models now that don't require direct contact with the forehead!

With all that in mind, here are the best forehead thermometers, which can be used for babies, kids, and adults.

1. The Overall Best, All Things Considered

The iProven ear and forehead thermometer is consistently a top choice for families. It's Wirecutter's pick for the best ear and forehead thermometer, plus it's highly rated on Amazon with nearly 7,000 reviews. It takes one second for an ear reading and three seconds for a forehead reading, and you'll know if it's a fever with a quick glance. The display screen lights up green when no fever is found, and it glows red to indicate a reading with a fever. For quiet readings of a sleeping kid, the thermometer features a backlight and mute option. The clinically tested thermometer saves up to 20 readings for convenient tracking of fluctuating temperatures and it even comes with a money-back guarantee.

Fans say: “This is so much more convenient than a traditional thermometer. My kids now love when I take their temperature. Before, they would run away when I wanted to take their temperature. This thermometer is very fast. It gives a read within a second or two. I would highly recommend this and would definitely buy again if needed.”

2. The One Recommended By Pediatricians

Using the same technology that's regularly used in hospitals and backed by more than 70 clinical studies, the Exergen forehead thermometer scans 1,000 readings per second before selecting and delivering the most accurate reading after 2 to 3 seconds, indicated by a beep. This forehead thermometer has a 3.5-star rating and more than 3,000 Amazon reviews, and Dr. Laura Jana, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, touted the thermometer for its accuracy on the Today show. The thermometer holds the last eight temperature readings for quick reference, and the screen lights up for easy viewing. The beeping feature can be muted, which also turns off a flashing LED light for a nighttime check.

Fans say: “My son has frequent febrile seizures and I needed a fast and reliable thermometer. I bought this thermometer because I am an ER nurse and this is the brand we use at my hospital. I know it to be easy to use and very reliable. I would have given 5 stars if the scan button had been in the other side. It is on the side that contacts the skin, making it awkward to keep the device in contact with the skin while scanning. Other than that, I am very happy with this thermometer.”

3. The Best No-Touch Forehead Thermometer

Braun's No Touch forehead thermometer doesn't require touching a child at all, so it's the most hygienic option on this list. While most forehead thermometers function by swiping on a child's forehead, the Braun model can take a temperature by hovering over the forehead. On-screen guidance assists with maintaining the right distance for an accurate 2-second reading, and the lit display screen turns green, yellow, or red to indicate a fever or a temperature approaching one. Though the thermometer can be used for all ages, there's a button for adjustable fever guidance based on age. Given this is a no-touch thermometer, it can also measure food and bath temperatures for child safety.

Fans say: “This thing works great and it is amazing to not have to touch and wake kids! Our two year old is usually quite fussy about other thermometers but doesn't mind this because it is quick and doesn't touch him. Seems to work fine on adults too.”

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