How to Take Your Temperature with a Fever Thermometer

holding thermometer and keeping on hand baby head


Taking your temperature can be an essential step in monitoring your health, particularly when you are feeling unwell. It is a simple task that you can perform at home with a device called a thermometer. Let’s review the basics of body temperature, the steps to take your temperature accurately, and the different types of fever thermometers you should know about.

What are the Normal Temperature Ranges?

The average body temperature for a healthy person usually falls between 97°F (36.1°C) and 99°F (37.2°C). This can vary depending on factors like the time of day and the individual's age, sex, activity level, and overall health.

It's important to note that a fever, which is a temporary increase in body temperature often due to illness, is typically defined as a body temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher.

Steps for Taking a Temperature

  1. Clean the thermometer: Before using it, make sure your thermometer is cleaned using either rubbing alcohol or lukewarm soapy water.
  2. Placement: Depending on the type of thermometer you're using, place it in the appropriate location (mouth, ear, armpit, forehead, or rectum).
  3. Wait for the reading: Follow the manufacturer's instructions about how long to wait for an accurate reading.
  4. Read the temperature: Once the thermometer beeps or signals it's ready, read and note down the temperature.
  5. Clean the thermometer: Clean your thermometer after every use to ensure it's ready for next time.

Types of Thermometers

Several types of thermometers can be used to measure body temperature. They include:


Tympanic thermometers measure the temperature inside the ear by reading the infrared heat waves coming off the eardrum. They're quick and comfortable, but placement can be tricky and can affect the accuracy of the reading.


Digital stick thermometers are the most widely used type. They are reliable and accurate for oral, armpit, or rectal use. Digital thermometers will beep when the reading is complete.

Temporal Artery

Temporal artery thermometers use an infrared scanner to measure the temperature of the temporal artery in the forehead. This type of thermometer is quick, non-invasive, and safe for all ages.

When to Call a Doctor if You Have a Fever

  • The fever lasts more than a few days
  • The fever is over 103°F (39.4°C)
  • You experience severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, severe headache, chest pain, confusion, persistent vomiting, or other alarming symptoms.
  • For babies and young children, you should seek immediate medical attention if the fever is above 100.4°F (38°C) in a baby less than three months old, or above 102°F (38.9°C) in a child of any age.

Shop for Fever Thermometers at BIOS Medical

Finding a quality fever thermometer is a crucial part of monitoring your health at home. BIOS Medical carries a range of fever thermometers, including tympanic, digital, and temporal artery models. With a variety of reliable options available, you can find the right thermometer that suits your needs.

Shop online today and find the perfect fever thermometer at BIOS Medical or contact us to let us know your needs.

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