Are you wondering what the best thermometer is for charting your basal body temperature? I have news for you: There isn’t a best thermometer. But, that doesn’t mean you should take some things into consideration if you are in the market for a thermometer to help you chart using the sympto-thermal method of fertility awareness.
Here are the things you want to keep in consideration:
Only use non-quick read thermometers. You want to make sure it is taking your temperature for at LEAST 30 seconds. Generally a minute is good.
If you get something that reads very quickly you could end up having the room or place your thermometer is in influence your temperature up or down more easily.
You only need your temperature to go to the tenth of a degree F. If you are using Celsius it does need to go to the hundredth. This means that F temperatures would be 97.1, 97.2, 97.3 and so on; whereas Celsius would be 36.00, 36.05, 36.10, 36.15, etc.
This ensures you will see your temperature shift but it won’t be overly confusing with more decimal places than you need.
Only one thermometer (that I know of) has a backlight, the nexcare basal. The backlight is really wonderful if you are anxious to see your temperature or you can’t figure out how to work your thermometer in the dark. Unfortunately, though, there is a drawback – battery life runs down very fast. I believe there are now other thermometers coming out with backlights, but they generally tend to run a little more expensive than a normal thermometer.
Digital thermometers are going to beep when you turn them on and off, but there is also at least one brand (the nexcare mentioned above) that beeps while taking your temperature. Some women like this feature, but it can be very annoying (and a drain on battery life) for others. Keep in mind what you would be ok with in this regard.
The reason the constant beeping happens? Because it is supposed to tell you that you have it in the right place/are keeping it in the right place. But, really, it’s not that hard to use a thermometer right, even when you first wake up.
Digital versus glass
Digital is nice in that it reads your temperature faster, but it does have drawbacks. 1.) It is a little less precise because it reads faster than glass 2.) It has a battery that needs to be replaced. Not only does this mean upkeep, but when a digital battery is low your temperature can be low or spike artificially 3.) Digital is prone to electronic breakage.
Glass does have the disadvantage of taking longer in the morning and being possible to break the glass, so figure out what is important to you and choose accordingly.
Most fever thermometers are going to give you a great temperature graph without a problem as long as they read each tenth of a degree increase. If you already have a fever thermometer I suggest just using it and seeing how it works out! As long as it has memory you should be good to go.
Basal thermometers are rumored to be more accurate, though I never had a problem while I was using a fever thermometer.
Most digital thermometers (and I believe all glass) do remember the last temperature taken, so this may not be an issue for you, but make sure that you have a thermometer that remembers the last temperature taken (and that you know how to access it, some can be tricky!) unless you want to chart it right after you take it.
Most people are going to want to chart it later, since they may still be half asleep while taking their morning temperature, so this may be an important thing to double check you have on your thermometer.
Believe it or not, mouth feel can be unpleasant with some thermometers. Make sure you get a thermometer that you can live with using for a minute each day, otherwise you are going to hate charting!
This is one reason I loved my old fever thermometer (R.I.P) because it was thinner in my mouth than most current basal thermometers. Most glass thermometers are also large now, because you need paper in the tube to read them now that they are all mercury free.
Does it synch with your favorite app?
There are now thermometers that take super accurate and fast basal body temperatures that download it straight to your favorite app. For example, Wink by Kindara. Personally, I’d be all over this thermometer if it actually had a memory function, too (I just can’t enjoy charting on an app). I love that it doesn’t beep at all (it only vibrates) and the technology is so advanced it’s a quick read but still super accurate.
So, what say you? Are you looking for a thermometer, or do you have one that you love? Let me know below!