What Are Different Types Of Thermometers And Their Uses?
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What Are Different Types Of Thermometers And Their Uses?

Every time you are ruined by a series of colds, coughs and sneezing you are also accompanied by a fever. Apparently, you will need a good-quality thermometer to check your temperature. An unparalleled thermometer is the one that shows accurate readings, speedy fast, easy to clean, long battery life, and economical as well. But there are a heck of a lot of thermometers that can be used to detect one's axillary temperature; what's the difference between them? Keep skimming to check it out.

Types of thermometers and their uses:

  • Baby Thermometers:

Is your infant sick? Or does he feel warmer than usual? It would be apt to check the temperature of your suckling before it gets worse. When we talk about babies we need baby thermometers that provide you with authentic results in seconds, the same readings for armpits as well as foreheads, budget-friendly, and good battery life. Baby thermometers can be used for adults but it won't be appropriate to use an adult thermometer for a Lil one. Also, if your child is less than 3 months old and has a fever then you must immediately consult a doctor.

  • Glass Thermometers:

These are also known as mercury in glass thermometers. They have a glass body filled with mercury. They are of two types- partial immersion and total immersion. However, they take a long duration to show the results. Where the digital thermometers can provide you with the readings in seconds these glass thermometers or mercury thermometers may take minutes to do the same. Also, the use of mercury in glass thermometers is lessened these days because mercury is a hazardous element.

  • Digital Thermometers:

Are you tired of using traditional glass thermometers? Then it's time you switch to the electronic thermometers or as most people refer to the digital thermometers. A digital thermometer has several advantages over mercury thermometers. Digital thermometers provide accurate results hastily, are inexpensive, and easy to clean. Some of the digital thermometers also come with a sound system that will make a sound once the temperature is detected so that you don't need to keep pondering over and over again. When you look for a digital thermometer go for one with an LED screen that displays results clearly and has a button that can be used to start the thermometer. These are low-maintenance electronic thermometers that last for about 3-5 years and are worth a buy.

  • Clinical thermometers/ Medical thermometers:

Thermometers specifically designed to measure the temperature of humans or animals are clinical/medical thermometers. Clinical thermometers have a range of about 35?-45?. They can be further categorized into various types depending upon the location of use- oral, armpit, rectal, ear, and forehead.

  1. Forehead thermometers:

    Recently during the covid times the temporal artery thermometers or digital forehead thermometers have been in use widely. They detect the precise temperature in less than 10 seconds, are convenient to use on a complete family, and can even be used on toddlers while they are asleep.
  2. Rectal Thermometers:

    As the name suggests these thermometers are inserted into the rectum area and the temperature is measured. This whole process seems invasive and humiliating to adults, but it is one of the most accurate methods to detect temperatures in infants. This way of detecting temperature is far more precise in comparison with the oral or axillary temperature. A normal digital thermometer can be placed inside the anus and the temperature is detected.
  3. Ear Thermometers:

    These devices were invented in 1964 and are used to measure body temperature via the ear canal. Although, they might not provide the best results as ear temperature is a bit higher than the oral temperature. Hence, this method isn't much approachable.
  • Infrared Thermometers:

These are the non-contact thermometers that help to measure the temperature of an object without touching it. The IR thermometer works on the principle that is to detect the infrared light coming from the object and transmits it into a detector (thermopile). Further, the rays are turned into heat and then converted into electricity which is then measured. However, one must use a laser or infrared thermometer only if they are FDA approved. Infrared thermometers go by several names like contactless thermometers, thermal thermometers, laser thermometers, etc. But care must be taken while using IR thermometers on humans that you don't focus the laser beam into the eyes of the patient.

  • Laboratory Thermometer:

These are specifically designed to measure temperatures other than that of the human body. It ranges from -10?- 110?. These are found in almost all the experimental labs and hence are exclusively known as lab thermometers as well. While a clinical thermometer is used to measure the temperature of humans, a lab thermometer is used to detect the temperature of solvents and other formulations in the lab.


While there are a lot of thermometers to choose from for our needs one must take care while using them. As stated earlier, infrared thermometers use infrared rays and laser beams to detect and calculate temperature thus, one must use them properly. Laboratory thermometers are exclusively designed to meet the needs of a laboratory hence, they must not be confused with clinical ones.

No matter how invasive it may sound but rectal thermometers provide the most precise reading and therefore if your physician opts for a rectal thermometer you must cooperate with the same. While selecting baby thermometers do remember to take a thermometer that provides quick results and is FDA approved. Several fever thermometers are available in the market and everyone can buy the one which fits their needs.

Hicks thermometers come in various models whether it be glass thermometers or digital thermometers. Also, the prices are affordable as well. In the current era, we live in where everyday viruses are becoming stronger and stronger. It is mandatory to take care of your health. Thus, every household must have a thermometer to check their temperatures regularly.