Ashtons employee Graham Connolly Marketing
Back to insights

Different types of thermometer

12 December, 2016

The development of the thermometer was a gradual process spread over centuries, with many scientists playing around with different scales and sizes. The invention has become crucial to many industries, none more so than the healthcare industry.

Body temperature is one of the four key vital signs of the human body, and measuring it has been key to the evolution of healthcare practices, with the thermometer being an integral tool in saving many lives. If your body’s temperature (taken orally) is outside the normal range of 36.3o to 37.3o then it is likely there is something wrong with your health.

What are the different types of thermometer?

The increasing importance of the thermometer in the diagnosis of patients has led to many new types of thermometer being invented to aid with the ease of taking temperatures. This is achieved by creating thermometers which concentrate on different parts of the body, with some more effective than others.

These include –

Digital thermometers

Digital thermometers are regarded as the fastest and most accurate type of thermometer. Readings are taken from under the tongue, from the rectum or under the armpit. They are easily found in local pharmacies and can be used at home or in the hospital.

Electronic ear thermometers

These use infrared technology to get their temperature reading. Electronic ear thermometers are less accurate as if there is too much wax in the ear it can give an incorrect reading. Despite being expensive, they are a lot easier to use on babies and young children, as it can be hard to get children to sit still for long enough while using digital thermometers.

Forehead thermometers

These thermometers also read heat using infrared, and are placed on the temporal artery. Forehead thermometers are also not as reliable as digital thermometers

Plastic strip thermometers

These thermometers can detect the presence of a fever in a patient, however, they do not give an exact temperature reading. They simply act as an indication that something might be wrong. To use them, you just place the strip on the forehead.

Pacifier thermometer

These thermometers are used predominantly in babies older than three months. They require the baby to be still for a couple of minutes and this can be a struggle. This means that sometimes the temperature can be inaccurate.

Glass and mercury thermometers

These thermometers are the old school way to take a temperature. You normally would place it under your tongue and watch the mercury rise. Once it stops, that would be your temperature. Unfortunately, due to the risk of mercury poisoning, this means of taking a temperature is not a good idea and you are highly recommended to consult with a healthcare body to discard any you might have.

Different types of Thermometers at Ashtons

With the differing needs of patients, Ashtons has tried to stock a variety of different thermometers to make taking a temperature as easy as possible.

You can view our full range of thermometers on our medical supplies website. If you cannot find what you are looking for, please don’t hesitate to call our Customer Services Team on 0345 222 3550, and they will do their utmost to source what you require.