Thursday, June 30th, 2022

Pros and Cons of Different Types Of Thermometers

There are many different types of thermometers available in the market. To know which ones will best suit you, you need to know its pros and cons. Before you make your purchase, you need to know all the possible options you have to choose from.

A thermometer can measure your body temperature which is a vital sign for the human body. If your body temperature is outside the range of a normal body temperature that is 36.3 to 37.3 degrees Celcius, then it is more likely that something is wrong with you. Your body heat or body temperature is the one measurable factor that determines the illness.

Thermometers have revolutionized the healthcare industry. Thermometer is an instrument which is used to measure heat. There are different types of thermometers classified based on their needs. One is used to measure our body temperature and the other is used to measure the boiling point of water in science labs.

  • Digital Thermometers:

Digital thermometers are the most accurate and the fastest type of thermometers. It can measure your temperature in less than a minute. However, the readings can be skewed, if the readings are taken just after eating or drinking. You need to at least wait for 15 minutes after eating or drinking to get the correct results. Batteries also need to be changed periodically. 

  • Ear Thermometers:

Ear thermometers or Tympanic thermometers are used to measure the temperature inside the ear canal through infrared technology. It provides fast and accurate readings. Its reading should be 0.5-1-degree Fahrenheit higher than the oral temperature reading. These thermometers cannot be used for infants under 6 months of age. It may not fit properly for everyone as everyone has a different shaped ear canal. Like it would not fit properly to the ones with small and curved ear canal. Also, because of ear wax, you may not get the correct results. Also, it must be positioned properly to get the correct results.

  • Forehead or Temporal Thermometers:

Forehead or temporal thermometers are the go to thermometers these days, especially after the pandemic. Because it is a non-contact measuring instrument, it can measure extreme high and extreme low temperatures as well. It can measure the accurate temperature at the pull of a trigger within seconds. But it has certain cons as well. Wearing hats, scarves, and heavy coats can skew the results. Also, reading can be affected due to environmental factors like direct sunlight, wind, indoor heating, etc. Also, these must be placed in a correct position to get accurate results according to the manual instructions.

  • Mercury Thermometers:

Mercury thermometers can be used orally or under the arm. And these kinds of thermometers do not require batteries. These thermometers take about 3 minutes to get the measurement. This glass made thermometers can break easily and so toxic chemical like mercury can escape. Also, the glass can hurt, causing cuts. Mostly such thermometers are not disposed properly causing environmental pollution.


When choosing a thermometer, you need to understand its specific purpose and its importance and then choose the one which fits your requirements. It is required for you to know how each thermometer works. And what is its ideal time taken for measurements. Also, different thermometers have different ranges and accuracies. You need to know what kind of maintenance is required to take repeated measurements. You need to make sure to place the thermometer in a cold and dry place. As environmental conditions can tamper with its measurements. Also, you need to infer the instructions manual before using it. Inaccurate readings affect your measurements.

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