Choosing The Right Thermometer Is Easier Than You Think

Choosing The Right Thermometer Is Easier Than You Think

The safety of yourself and others will always be a priority, especially in terms of health. A key tool to aid with health maintenance are thermometers. Thermometers are essential tools for your home, office, or any public setting that requires you to be around others for an extended period of time i.e. clinics. They are useful for the immediate detection of high body temperatures that could result from a fever or other illnesses. When shopping for a thermometer there are a variety of types to choose from like mercury, infrared, or regular digital thermometers. However, infrared thermometers have gained popularity with the efficiency they provide for temperature readings while limiting the risk of cross infection from person to person, swallowing mercury, and the danger of breaking glass.

Choosing the right thermometer can be a little tricky as you may not know what key features you should be looking for to ensure it'll suite your needs. A short guide with different tips can be helpful in that regard to bring your attention to the important things to consider before deciding to buy one.

Common Infrared Thermometer Names

If you are new or still a little unfamiliar with the thermometer shopping game, you may have come across some alternate names you didn't realize referred to infrared thermometers. Some of the common names include thermal gun, temp gun, contactless thermometer, non-contact thermometer, forehead thermometer, temperature meter, and IR thermometer. If you come across these names don't be confused, as it's just another way to address infrared thermometers. 

How does it work?

The basis of an infrared thermometer is to measure a person's thermal radiation without the need for any physical contact to be made. How this works is through the use of infrared rays in the thermometer to measure the amount of heat emitted by the body onto a detector called a thermopile. The thermopile absorbs the infrared radiation and turns it into heat. This heat then gets turned into electricity that's sent to the detector (thermopile) to be used to determine the temperature of the object or person it's pointed at. Keep in mind each thermometer has a range of accurate readings in which it will provide precise results, so make a note to check that range prior to using. 

Tips to keep in mind when shopping

  • Accuracy

The accuracy of a thermometer is the most important factor to keep in mind when thermometer shopping. While you cannot determine that from the outset, try to go for trusted options to ensure that readings are accurate. You can check this by reading the reviews of the thermometer to see what others have experienced with its accuracy, or doing some research on the brand of the thermometer itself.

  • Usage

Infrared thermometers are used to check body temperatures and/or the temperature of an object. When shopping, make sure to check which method of usage the thermometer is meant for based on your needs. This prevents the possibility of getting incorrect readings with a thermometer that's not meant for measuring the mode (i.e. human or object) you need. 

  • Unit of Measurement

Temperature readings are given in both Celsius and Fahrenheit. When using, make sure you check what the measuring unit is set to so that you can correctly read/understand the temperature given. With some thermometers, you are able to switch from one unit to another for a more accessible reading. 

  • Convenience

As they are used as a tool for health maintenance, it's important for the thermometer to be convenient for frequent use. Features of this convenience include having an ergonomic grip so that it remains stable in hand while measuring, a clear, easy to read display, and a setting that allows you to turn the beep alarm on/off when needed. 

  • Time of Response

Infrared thermometers are known to have a faster measuring and response time compared to other thermometers. This response time typically ranges between 2 to 5 seconds, which allows for more prompt readings to save you more time. When searching for a thermometer, check to see what response time it has to get an idea of just how convenient it may be.

  • Memory Storage

A helpful feature that comes with infrared thermometers is the ability to store a specific number of temperature readings that can be retrieved for future reference and comparison. This makes a difference because it allows you to monitor and track temperatures frequently to later compare to see if there were any differences/ improvements made. Check for points like "Automatically stores data of the last 32 measurements" to get an idea of how many readings can be stored at once. 


With all these tips in mind, you are better prepared for your search for a thermometer that will work best for you. When it comes to the risk of transmitting germs through physical contact with another person, infrared thermometers are considered the safest option to minimize your risk of cross infection. With the different types of thermometers and health items available, there's a better chance for your health to be maintained so you can continue staying safe!

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