Some thermometers have a memory function, recording the last few readings taken, so you can see if your temperature has gone up or down. (BestReviews)

Being sick is a drag and can hinder your ability to be productive. So it’s important to take the necessary steps to get better as quickly as possible when you’re feeling under the weather.
Checking your body temperature when you’re sick can alert you to the possibility that you’re running a fever, and if that’s the case, you can proceed with the correct steps to quickly treat it. 

What to know before you buy a thermometer
Thermometer type
You can find various types of thermometers on the market, but the most common are digital stick thermometers, in-ear thermometers and temporal artery thermometers.

  • Digital stick thermometers are perhaps the most widely used of all home thermometers. You can use them to take temperatures either orally, rectally or under the armpit. They’re simple to use and inexpensive but deliver results slower than other types of thermometers.
  • In-ear thermometers must be inserted gently into the outer ear to take temperature readings. They generally return results quickly and are great for taking kids’ temperatures, but they give inaccurate readings for babies under six months.
  • Temporal artery thermometers use infrared light to read the temperature of the temporal artery on the forehead. They give accurate results, even on newborn babies. They’re simple to use on others, but can be tricky to position correctly to take your own temperature. 

Response time
Some high-end thermometers return temperature readings in a single second, which is a godsend when taking the temperature of an impatient child. However, on the other end of the spectrum, some thermometers are frustratingly slow to return results, taking up to a minute.

Thermometer features
Comfort tip
You can find thermometers that feature either pre-warmed or flexible tips for comfort. This is great for kids or for anyone who needs to regularly monitor their temperature and would prefer a more comfortable experience.

Fever alarm
The majority of modern thermometers have some kind of fever alarm — a series of bleeps that sound when the results returned indicate a fever.

Occasionally, they let out a different number of bleeps for an elevated temperature that doesn’t quite come into the fever range.

Backlit display
Many affordable thermometers don’t have a backlit display, but having one is a convenient feature that lets you see the results on the LCD screen more clearly in a low-light environment.

Thermometer cost
You can find digital stick thermometers for as little as $5 to $10, whereas high-end home thermometers can cost up to $50. Professional-grade thermometers can cost even more, sometimes up to $100.

Thermometer FAQ
What’s the best type of thermometer to use for kids?
A. From around age four to five, the majority of children will hold a digital stick thermometer in their mouths or under their arm for a short period of time, but it can be trickier to get an accurate reading from little kids. In-ear digital thermometers are a good bet for wriggly toddlers and older babies, but don’t give accurate results in babies under six months old.

Before six months of age, use a temporal artery thermometer or take your baby’s temperature rectally with a digital stick thermometer.

How should I clean my thermometer between uses?
A. You should wash the tip of in-ear and digital stick thermometers between uses to keep them sanitary. Although you can use rubbing alcohol, it isn’t necessary in most cases.