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8 Best Bath Thermometers to Keep Tub Time Safe

Make sure bath time doesn't get too hot with these top tub accessories.
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Updated July 27, 2023
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Baby’s first bath can be a wonderful bonding experience or a slippery—not to mention stressful—affair. The key to a happy baby at bathtime? Perfectly warm water (and plenty of bath toys, of course). Having the water at a safe temperature—not too hot or too cold—makes for a comfortable and calm bathing experience.

So what is the best way to check the temperature of baby’s bath water? A bath thermometer, of course. These clever devices remove all the guesswork, accurately displaying the temperature in a flash, so you have one less thing to worry about. But there are a lot of bath thermometers on the market, and it can be tough to know which is right for your family. To help you on your search we’ve consulted the experts, gathered top safety tips and selected a few of the best baby bath thermometers on the market.

Baby Bath Safety Tips

There are a few elements to consider during bathtime to make sure baby has as safe an experience as possible. Keep ready to find out more.

  • Check the water temperature. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that bath water be no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit from the faucet. “Parents must be aware of the very real potential for scald burns that can occur when bathing infants and young children in water that is too hot,” says Kathleen Hardart, MD, director of pediatrics at New York-Presbyterian Westchester. “Scald burns are burns that come from skin contact with hot liquid or steam—and 25 percent of all pediatric scald burns are caused by tap water,” she continues. You may be able to adjust your water heater setting so that it doesn’t go above 120 degrees, but always exercise caution just in case.
  • Test the water first. The AAP suggests feeling the water with your elbow or wrist before placing your baby in the tub to make sure it doesn’t feel too hot. “The water should feel comfortably warm, not hot,” Hardart cautions.
  • Use a baby bathtub. According to Hardart, “infants should be bathed in a small, specially-designed tub for babies.” This is because a baby bathtub can help support your little one’s head and neck during bathtime, and also ensure that they don’t slip around.
  • Keep bath supplies within reach. Have a towel and other bath products nearby so that you can keep a hand on your baby at all times, the AAP advises. Never leave baby in the bathtub or near a body of water unattended.
  • Use a baby bath thermometer. “The ideal water temperature for a baby’s bath water is about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit—quite a bit cooler than the maximum temperature achievable when the water heater is set to 120 degrees,” Hardart says. “To avoid the guesswork, I would recommend purchasing an inexpensive bath thermometer.”

Best Baby Bath Thermometers

Now that you’ve gotten to grips with bath safety best practices, let’s take a deep dive into the world of baby bath thermometers. The best bath thermometers are accurate, fast and have an easy-to-read digital display. Here find a few of the safest options on the market—including a couple that double as toys so you can keep an eye on the temperature while baby splashes about.

Overall best bath thermometer

Famidoc Baby Bath Thermometer
Image: Amazon
Buying Options
Amazon|$15.39
What We Love
  • Easy to read display
  • Shake to turn on
  • Fun design that’s easy for babies and toddlers to grip
Things To Consider
  • Batteries need to be replaced after about a year
  • May shut itself off after floating for a while

This sweet manta ray-themed thermometer takes a reading every five seconds to ensure you’re on top of baby’s bath temperature. The numbers are clearly displayed on the LCD screen on the ray’s back, allowing you to get the information you need at a glance. You don’t need to fiddle with an on-and-off button—simply shake it in your hand to activate it and toss it in the water. The thermometer’s unique shape is also perfect for little hands to grab and play with in the tub.

Display type: LCD

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Best floating bath thermometer

Brown & Haley Baby Thermometer
Image: Amazon
What We Love
  • Fahrenheit and Celsius readings
  • Fun toy design
  • Alarm flashes and beeps when temperature is unsafe
Things To Consider
  • Can take some time to figure out all of the features
  • Many parents say the timer feature is unnecessary

This classic rubber ducky pulls double-duty as a bath thermometer. It displays temperature readings in both Fahrenheit and Celsius, and even has a timer in case you want to keep tabs on how long bath time has run. An alarm flashes and beeps when the water is too hot or too cold, making it even less likely baby will be exposed to uncomfortable temperatures. Better yet, the display is on the duck’s back, making it simple to see the results in a flash.

Display type: Digital

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Best travel bathtub thermometer

What We Love
  • Adorable design
  • Easy to stow away after use
  • Textured surface to prevent slipping
Things To Consider
  • Not suitable for infants under 6 months
  • Can be tricky to deflate

Munchkin’s adorable duck tub inflates (and deflates) to make it easy to stash in your suitcase and take on the road. The tub can either sit inside a standard bath or the bathroom floor, and give you a temperature reading from the bath itself. The bottom of the tub features a color-changing surface that will turn white if your child’s bath water is too hot, making it easy to read. It’s padded for your child’s comfort and has a textured surface to help prevent slipping.

Display type: Color-changing

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Best color-changing bath thermometer

Munchkin White Hot Safety Bath Ducky
Image: Target
What We Love
  • Easy to use
  • Doubles as a fun toy
  • Color-changing technology
Things To Consider
  • Doesn’t give an exact temperature reading

How about a bath toy with a built-in heat sensor? Munchkin’s Safety Bath Duck is, for all intents and purposes, a bath toy but innovative technology warns you if the water temperature reaches an unsafe level. If baby’s bath is too hot (104 degrees Fahrenheit or above), the words “HOT” will show up in white at the bottom of the toy. Aside from being a safety must-have, this cute ducky is water-tight, mildew-resistant and small enough for baby to grip and play with, making it a true bathing buddy!

Display type: Color-changing

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Best digital bath thermometer

Dreambaby Room & Bath Thermometer, Crocodile
Image: Amazon
What We Love
  • Takes temperature every 10 seconds
  • Color-coded temperature sensor
  • Accurate readings in Fahrenheit or Celsius
Things To Consider
  • Can flip over in the tub
  • No manual on-and-off button

The Dreambaby Room & Bath Thermometer comes in the shape of a cool crocodile with an easy-to-read display. The thermometer takes readings every 10 seconds and shows the results in large numbers, along with the words “cool” and “hot” if the temperature is off. There’s even a color-coded light that turns green when the water is chilly and red when it’s too hot. It’s safe to submerge under the water and automatically shuts off after 30 minutes.

Display type: Digital

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Best baby bath tub with thermometer

Baby Patent Aqua Scale 3-in-1 Digital Scale Water Thermometer and Infant Tub
Image: Target
What We Love
  • Continuous temperature readings
  • Can be used as a bathtub, scale and thermometer
  • Provides Fahrenheit and Celsius readings
Things To Consider
  • High price point
  • Some people may not need the scale feature

The Aquascale 3-in-1 Bath Tub is packed with features to make bath time as seamless as possible. It has a built-in thermometer that clearly displays the water temperature on a LCD screen and that reading is continuously updated during bath time. An anti-slip pad helps baby stay in place while they’re bathed. Plus, the tub doubles as a digital scale that can be used with or without water, allowing you to get a quick read on how your baby is growing. Worth noting: This converts into a toddler tub, so you can use it until your little one is 2 years old.

Display type: LCD

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Best bath thermometer card

Aipinyue Baby Bath Thermometer Card
Image: Amazon
What We Love
  • Clear color coding
  • Sticks to the inside of tub
  • Inexpensive
Things To Consider
  • Harder to read than floating thermometers
  • Thermometer cards should be used for reference only, always check the water temperature with your hand or elbow before bathing baby

Whether you have a small tub or just want something that’s highly portable, consider these bath thermometer cards. Simply stick a card to the side of your tub and keep tabs on the reading. The cards have clear color coding for temperature ranges: blue is cold, green is perfect and red is too hot. But for accuracy the card also lists temperature readings in Fahrenheit and Celsius.

Display type: Color-changing

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Best budget-friendly bath thermometer

Doli Yearning Upgrade Baby Bath Thermometer
Image: Amazon
Buying Options
Amazon|$13.99
What We Love
  • Inexpensive
  • Takes a reading in as little as one second
  • Celcius and Fahrenheit options
Things To Consider
  • Can take a while to dry off

This sweet Doli Yearning thermometer is affordable and accurate. It features a cute seal design and delivers readings on a large display on the back. Flip between Celsius and Fahrenheit readings by pushing a button on the button. The thermometer is fast—it gives results in as quickly as one second—and it automatically turns off so you don’t need to mess with any power buttons. Plus, color coded lights also help you quickly see if your temperature is in the right range.

Display type: LCD

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Sources

American Academy of Pediatrics, Bathing Your Baby, March 2020

Kathleen Hardart, MD, is director of pediatrics at New York-Presbyterian Westchester Hospital.

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