There are several different types of thermometers. But most important - a thermometer has to be accurate. Consumer Reports just tested almost a dozen in time for flu season.
The tests included digital stick thermometers, used orally, as well as several infrared thermometers, used on the forehead or in the ear. The infrared thermometers are fast but pricey, ranging from about $40 to $80.
One thermometer that was tested works a little differently. The $80 Thermofocus BV-1500 noncontact thermometer looks cool. You don't have to touch any part of your body. Just line it up perpendicular to the forehead and move it until you see its two red circles merge into one. But it doesn't beep to let you know the reading is done. And it wasn't as accurate as some others. Neither was a $50 ear thermometer from Braun, the ThermoScan IRT4520US.
But Consumer Reports did find infrared thermometers to recommend, including the $37 Vicks model V977. It works in 3 seconds or less and is very accurate. But it's important to follow the directions carefully.
Walmart's ReliOn Rigid digital stick thermometer is just as accurate and is just $3. But the trade-off is that it takes about 1 minute and 20 seconds to get a reading.
Consumer Reports says another good choice is the $15 CVS Flexible Tip Digital stick thermometer. It's also very accurate and takes about 8 seconds to read a temperature.