5 Different Kinds of Thermometers

A thermometer is used to measure the body temperature of a body. It is used in laboratories, hospitals, and normally at home to check the body temperature. There are many different kinds of thermometers, from contact thermometers to contactless thermometers. You need to know which one to use for what kind of patients.

For a baby under 3 years of age, you cannot use a non contact thermometer, you need to choose either a or ear thermometer. For public places, you cannot use contact thermometers. There you need to use infrared thermometers. So, it depends on the patient as well as the location where it is being tested. Read further to know 5 different kinds of thermometers and their uses.

Ear Thermometer:

Ear thermometers are digital thermometers, also known as tympanic thermometers. This is used to measure the temperature inside the ear canal, and produces results in a few seconds. It needs to be used correctly to get accurate results.

These are noninvasive, hygienic, quick, and easy to use. The design of the ear thermometer is children friendly, so that it is easy to measure the temperature of their ear drum through infrared sensors.

Improper positioning, the small size of the ear canal, presence of wax, and moisture in the air may skew the results. So, you need to be sure while taking the readings that you follow correct protocols.

You need to pull the top of the earlobe up and back, and gently insert the tip of the thermometer into the ear canal. The sensor should be pointing at the eardrum and not the walls of the ear. Next, you need to turn it on and wait for a few seconds to take the readings. Remove it and note down the reading.

Digital Thermometer:

Digital thermometers are electronic thermometers, which are easy to read, and safe to use. These are the most accurate and quickest thermometers that obtain the reading underside the tongue or the armpit. Since it is easy to use, these kinds of thermometers are widely used at home and easily available at local pharmacies. These are small and portable, and do not need any particular care.

You need to make sure that their batteries are not dead before using them. You need not dip it in some hot liquid, then it may not function properly.

Infrared Thermometer:

Infrared thermometers are non contact thermometers. It does not require any contact to the patient’s body, which is very much helpful especially in COVID-19 or Flu in general. It is lightweight and it has gained a lot of popularity. It is non invasive, non contaminated that shows accurate temperature requirements.

These non contact thermometers are not only used in hospitals, but on the entry of malls, shops, restaurants, and other public places. It can also be used to measure the temperature of an object. Since it measures temperature using infrared waves thus, you need to use it properly. First, you need to switch on the thermometer and adjust the temperature to Celsius.

Next, select an object and press the trigger to measure the temperature. These need to be used properly because high power infrared waves can affect the eyes. Thus, as a user you need to make sure that it gets targeted to the forehead or hand only. It shows accurate measurement almost instantly.

Mercury Thermometer:

A mercury thermometer is an expansion thermometer, filled with mercury. It is easy to use, first you need to clean the bulb and disinfect the area. Next, you need to shake it briefly and place the bulb of the thermometer under your tongue. The actual reading may take some time from 3- 5 minutes to measure accurate temperature. But, you need to place it correctly.

These thermometers have low response rates and are fragile in nature. Also, mercury vapor is poisonous, thus when the thermometer breaks, it needs to be disposed off safely. It is also unable to detect frigid temperatures. Also, its thermal coefficient is also low.

Type Thermometer:

The -type thermometer also known as plastic thermometer. It only determines whether you have a fever or not. It is ineffective for detecting body temperature. It is simple to use, you just need to put the on the forehead of the person that needs to be checked, and then see the change in the color of the in response to the temperature of the body. These thermometers are not so reliable.


There are many kinds of thermometers. But, you need to know which one you want, that can suffice your needs. Like you cannot use a mercury thermometer for checking at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nor mercury thermometers can be used for children below 3 years of age. Strips are mainly used for children because infrared radiations are harmful to them.

Also, you cannot use an ear thermometer to check the temperature of people in public places. Because it is more harmful since it is a contact thermometer. It increases the chances of getting bacteria and other microorganisms from one body to another.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button