AccuTemp is a digital thermometer that claims it can scan your temperature without touching your skin, thereby reducing the chance that you share germs with the person who is ill.
Part of the product’s genius, they claim, is that you can just “point and click” the thermometer at a forehead and then get a reading on the thermometer’s screen that not only provides a temperature but also changes color according to that temperature: green (no fever), yellow (minor fever) and red (high fever).
Another advantage of the AccuTemp, the product claims is that you can get a reading much faster than you would with a traditional under-the-tongue thermometer.
All of these various features can be a big draw for parents who want an accurate, fast thermometer with which they can take their kids’ temperature while they’re awake and, more importantly, while they’re asleep so that you don’t wake them up.
In this review, we’ll talk about AccuTemp works and what its features are, its pricing, the pros and cons of no-touch thermometers as well as how the product compares to other no-touch thermometers on the market. I’ll also offer my insight as a parent who has used traditional and no-touch thermometers to check my kids’ temperatures.
How AccuTemp Works and Its Features
When you want to take someone’s temperature with this thermometer, you’ll point it at the person’s temple and hold it about an inch away from the surface of their skin. Press the “Scan” button and the thermometer will produce a temperature reading almost instantaneously.
Now, what’s nice about this tool is that you can use it not only for checking someone’s temple temperature (body mode) but you have two other modes: room and surface. So, as AccuTemp points out on their website, you could use the thermometer to check the temperature of your baby’s bathwater before you put him or her in the water.
You can switch modes by pressing the “MODE” button. The screen will show the mode that is active. When in “body” mode, the word “Body” appears on the thermometer screen.
You could also conceivably use the thermometer to check the temperature of solid and liquid food you’re going to serve your little ones, a perk that can come in handy when you’re trying to figure out what the perfect temperature is for heated-up breast milk, formula or other types of milk.
Another feature that comes in handy is the thermometer’s ability to memorize the past 32 temperature readings. So, if you forget what your child’s temperature was last time you used the thermometer, you simply press the “MEM” button on the thermometer face and you can cycle through past readings.
One final main feature of the AccuTemp is an LED light that you can use to check whatever you need to check but, in the context of a human’s health, you can use that light to view their throat and their ears to check for inflammation or signs of sickness.
As for the benefits of a no-touch thermometer like Accutemp, you don’t have to worry about having to clean the thermometer off after every use like you would with an under-the-tongue thermometer. This is a nice perk when multiple people in your household are sick, as you can sometimes forget if you washed a traditional thermometer after the previous use.
How Do Infrared Thermometers Work and Are They More Accurate Than Traditional Thermometers?
We aren’t experts in infrared technology, so we turned to an excellent article from industrial-supply firm Grainger to help us understand how infrared thermometers work.
Basically, your forehead emits heat, which is also known as infrared radiation. Your AccuTemp uses a small lens to gather up a concentrated sample of your forehead’s IR radiation. The lens sends the radiation to a detector that registers the heat and sends it as electricity to another detector that reads that electricity and translates it into a temperature that you see on the screen of your AccuTemp.
Traditional digital thermometers, on the other hand, function via a heat sensor (the metallic tip) that picks up heat from under your tongue or your armpit and then translates those into the temperature that you see on the screen.
What’s tricky about these is that your baby or toddler may not be happy about putting a thermometer under their tongue or even under their armpit. Because of this, AccuTemp and similar products present a distinct advantage.
However, it’s important to point out that, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, using a thermometer that goes under your arm, in your mouth or in your rectum is more accurate than using an infrared thermometer on your forehead.
A study published in 2015 in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that infrared thermometers (called “peripheral” because they measure surface temperatures) were off by anywhere from 1.49 degrees Celsius under the true temperature to 0.43 Celsius over the true temperature of the children involved in the study.
Now, it’s important to point out that the study didn’t test thermometers on children 3 years old or younger. According to a 2015 article from NPR about the study, one of the doctors involved in the research deferred to the American Acadamy of Pediatrics, which recommends using rectal thermometers to get the most accurate readings.
That being said, the article pointed out that this invasive, uncomfortable way taking a temperature isn’t necessary for kids who have the average cough or cold.
What Is The Price?
The AccuTemp thermometer is not available in stores, according to their website. To buy it, you’ll have to go to BuyAccuTemp.com and purchase the product. At the time of publishing, one AccuTemp was $24.99. There was a promotion in which you could buy one and get the second for half off. There were no charges for shipping.
The thermometer requires two AAA batteries. It is unclear if the thermometer comes with batteries.
How AccuTemp Compares to Other Infrared Thermometers
We did a quick Amazon search of the phrase, “no touch forehead thermometer” and got dozens of results that we organized by average customer review.
What was interesting about these results is that none of the top 10 thermometers were name brands that you’d recognize in the kids section of Walmart or Target. These top-rated thermometers ranged in price from $9.98 for the top thermometer to $23.99-29.98 for the second- through sixth-ranked products.
Interestingly, the fourth-ranked thermometer is called the AccuTemp and looks exactly like the AccuTemp (same buttons, screen, color and name) in this review but is produced by a company named Veritas. This particular thermometer received an overall rating of 4.6 stars from 38 reviews at the time of publishing.
In some cases, two companies can sell the same thermometer because they’re produced by a wholesaler that both companies buy from. If this is the case, then the Veritas reviews could apply to AccuTemp, which is an important thing to point out since we could find no customer reviews of AccuTemp aside from what they listed on their website.
In general, we believe the AccuTemp’s prices and functionality are comparable to all but one (the top-rated $9.98 choice) of the best-rated no-touch forehead thermometers on Amazon.
The Final Word: Pros and Cons of the AccuTemp No-touch Thermometer
Based on our research of this product, we believe there are some very specific advantages and disadvantages of using this thermometer.
The products strengths are that it’s a great option for parents who want to check their child’s temperature, as kids can be a little squirrely.
As someone who has used a no-touch thermometer to check my child’s temperature, I can tell you that it’s a must-have. We’re able to go into our child’s room and night and check her temperature without waking her up. If we see that it’s high, then we can take action. If not, there’s no loss because she still gets to sleep and we get the peace of mind knowing her temperature is normal.
One of the downsides of the product is the cost. Its price tag is, admittedly, on par with other no-touch thermometers. However, it’s twice as much as a traditional thermometer would cost. And, while these traditional thermometers may take longer – 8 seconds for the Vicks SpeedRead thermometer ($9.72)– they tend to be more accurate when used under the arm, according to the study we cited earlier.
Another drawback is that nowhere on the site or in the fine print does AccuTemp mention a return policy or a satisfaction guarantee.
In our opinion, the AccuTemp is a great choice for parents who want a thermometer that provides quick readings, doesn’t require you to place it in the mouth of the sick person and allows you to use the thermometer for a variety of situations.