5 Different types of medical thermometers


A thermometer is the most commonly used medical equipment to check an individual’s body temperature. It would not be wrong to say that a thermometer has become a “must-have” for every house. In childhood, you must have seen a glass instrument filled with mercury that doctors used to put under your tongue to measure your body temperature whenever you got ill. Well, it is a thing of the past! This medical equipment has changed a lot.

Different thermometers based on various technologies are available in the market that gives better results and can be used for varied requirements. For example, when the patient is a child, it is tough to use a glass thermometer, so now there are some specially designed thermometers for measuring children’s temperature. 

The different types of thermometers you will encounter in the market are glass thermometers, digital thermometers, infrared thermometers, pacifier thermometers, ear thermometers, wireless thermometers, etc. This article has further discussed all these types of equipment in detail; continue reading!

Glass thermometers

Glass and mercury thermometers were the ones that come with a thin bulb at an end which used to be put under the tongue to measure the patient’s temperature. You had to watch the mercury rise to note the body’s temperature; where it stops, that would be the temperature. But since these devices had a risk of mercury poisoning and releasing tiny shards of glass, doctors have no longer used these devices for the past few years. 

Digital thermometers

The digital thermometer is the most commonly found type of thermometer these days. These devices utilise heat sensors to determine the body’s temperature and are designed to take the temperature readings from the armpit, mouth or rectum. These devices offer the most accurate results in less than a minute and are inexpensive. However, you must remember that if you want accurate readings, the tip of the equipment must be placed under the tongue and the mouth completely closed, and the number zero must appear on the display before you put it.

Infrared ear thermometers 

Infrared thermometers take your body temperature using the inside of your ear. The temperature in the ear is known as tympanic membrane temperature or eardrum. These are specially designed thermometers for children as they are quick and easy to use. These devices measure body heat in the form of infrared energy radiated by a heat source without requiring direct contact with it. All you need to do is place the tips of the device inside the ear and point it towards the nose, press the power button and read the temperature value. However, ensure that the ear does not have a lot of wax for accurate results.

Forehead thermometers

The thermometers that are used at airports, stations, malls, stadiums, and stores to measure the temperature of the people entering the facility are forehead thermometers. Forehead thermometers also utilise infrared sensors, capturing the superficial temporal artery’s temperature. These devices have become quite popular after COVID-19 because of their no-contact mechanism. However, these devices do not provide the most accurate results and are not as reliable as a digital thermometer.

Pacifier thermometers

This is another temperature measuring device specifically designed for newborn babies. As it is seen that most babies feel at ease with a pacifier in their mouth, it is considered to be the most straightforward and most effective approach to measuring their body temperature. However, these devices do not offer accurate results; they can record only approximate body temperature. 

That was it! These are the five most popular types of thermometers that you will find in the market today. 


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