The best baby bath thermometers to ensure your baby is safe

best baby bath thermometers

by Lily Anderson |
Updated on

Bathtime can be an enjoyable part of your baby's routine, offering a chance to bond, play, and wind down before bed. But it can also be a worry, especially when it comes to the temperature of the bath water. You've probably already got a baby thermometer for when your baby's unwell, but did you know you can also get bath thermometers to give you peace of mind at bath time? As it's hard to judge by touch whether or not the temperature of the bathwater is safe for your child, scouting out the best bath thermometer is a necessity to keep your youngster safe at bathtime.

A baby bath thermometer will let you know whether the temperature of your baby's bathwater is suitable. The ideal temperature for a baby's bath is around 36-38 degrees Celsius, which is around body temperature. The water should feel neither hot nor cold. It's a good idea to put cold water in the bath first, then add hot water before mixing the water well to ensure there aren't any hot spots, and then add a baby bath mat for added safety.

The best baby bath thermometers at a glance:

 Best overall baby bath thermometer: Shnuggle Pebbly Baby Bath Thermometer - Buy now on Amazon UK
 Best multi-purpose baby bath thermometer: Philips Avent Bath and Room Thermometer - Buy now on Amazon UK
 Best baby rubber duck bath thermometer: TensCare Digi Duckling Digital Water Thermometer - Buy now on Amazon UK

Best baby bath thermometer under £5: Munchkin Hot Safety Bath Duck - Buy now on Amazon UK

You'll want a high-quality baby bath thermometer that is easy to use and displays the temperature of the water quickly and at a glance. With plenty of different bath thermometers to choose from, we've come up with a few of our favourites here to help narrow down your choice.

The best baby bath thermometers 2024

Best overall baby bath thermometer

Shnuggle Pebbly Baby Bath ThermometerCredit: John Lewis/ Shnuggle

The Schnuggle Pebbly Baby Bath Thermometer takes the stress out of the baby's bathtime. You simply place it in the water and the accurate display will show a heart when the water reaches the pre-set temperature. Our mum tester, Lily, appreciated this ease, pointing out that “This product is so easy to use, and anything to make baby bathtime easier is a winner!”

The Shnuggle Pebbly also boasts an easy-to-read screen that self-rights in water and can even be seen through bubbles, which Lily thought set it apart from others she’d used, saying: “The heart light-up ensures that the bath is at the right temperature and is easy to see. Other bath thermometers I have used have been tricky to read and used beeps instead of lighting up, which isn't as user-friendly.”

While safety is at the forefront of our testing when it comes to baby bath thermometers, all our testers praised the modern design and elegant shape of the Shnuggle Pebbly Bath Thermometer, with our tester mum, Charlotte, noting that it is "aesthetically pleasing and when sat on the side of my bath at home blends in well without being garish and bright which I like."

We tested this baby bath thermometer as part of the Mother&Baby Awards 2022, where it was Shortlisted for Best Bathtime Product.

Read our full Shnuggle Pebbly Baby Bath Thermometer review

Pros

  • Easy to use - simply drop into the water and wait for the heart sign to show
  • Floats and self-corrects so you can always see the temperature sign
  • Hygienic and BPA-free, so no need to worry about your baby touching it
  • Looks good in the bathroom

Cons

  • No digital reading so if you prefer to see the actual temperature you may want to consider this
  • Battery can be fiddly to change

Best multi-purpose baby bath thermometer

The Philips Avent Bath and Room ThermometerCredit: Amazon

We can't get enough of this bath and room thermometer by Phillips. As we all know, parenting is a costly business, so when we learned that this device could be used in both the bath and around the home, it piqued our interest. Our reviewer agreed, saying it’s a “fabulous product. Great for checking what temperature a room or bath water is at.”

The gender-neutral green design would look chic on top of the bedroom drawers and in the tub with your little one. It's safe and fun for babies of all ages to play with, and the digital display is easy to use. While it’s more expensive than others on our list, we love a 2-in-1 gadget, and this thermometer ticks all the boxes, with the ability to be wiped down and used as a room thermometer as well so it offers better value for money. Parent reviewers also thought it “feels durable” so should last well.

While it got top marks as a bath thermometer, one reviewer thought it was hard to read in the dark as a room thermometer as it's not backlit.

Pros

  • Upright digital display with a slight tilt which makes it easy to read in the bath and as a room thermometer
  • A 2-in-1 product which can be used in the bath and as a room thermometer
  • Tactile and stylishly fun design so will look good in most settings

Cons

  • One reviewer felt it was hard to read in a dark room as it's not backlit

Best baby rubber duck bath thermometer

TensCare Digi Duckling Digital Water ThermometerCredit: Amazon

Who doesn't love a rubber duck in the tub? This classic-looking digital duckling will not disappoint. The friendly looking water thermometer allows you to see the temperature of the bath water at a glance, with a red warning light that illuminates when the water temperature is too hot. Reviewers felt that this provided peace of mind, especially as a new parent, and one tester said: “When you're a new parent, this is invaluable. It has a flashing light and the word 'hot' in bold if it's too hot, and then the word 'cold' with no light if it's too cold.” When it shows the temperature, you’ll know the water’s at the right point.

It's easy to use: just tap it on the palm of your hand and it will turn on and start to read the temperature. The duck automatically turns off after an hour and blends in with your baby's other bath-time toys. Reviews were mixed on the battery life, so it might be wise to have spare batteries in the house, just in case.

Pros

  • Fun design blends in with your other bath toys
  • It automatically turns off after an hour
  • Easy to turn on - just tap it with your hand and place in the water
  • Easy-to-read LCD display shows the temperature
  • Clear when the water is too hot or too cold so offers peace of mind

Cons

  • Some customers found that the batteries needed replacing after a few months, though others praised the long battery life

Best baby bath thermometer under £5

Munchkin Hot Safety Bath DuckCredit: Amazon

If you're looking for a cheap yet effective bath thermometer, we’d recommend the Munchkin Hot Safety Bath Duck. 

It’s worth considering that, unlike other bath thermometers in this list, the Munchkin Hot Safety Bath Duck doesn’t tell you the exact temperature of the water. Instead, it displays whether the water is too hot with a disc on the bottom that changes colour, revealing the word 'HOT' when the bath water is too hot.

It's a fun toy for your little one to play with and is water-tight to prevent mildew, which reviewers appreciated, with one dad tester saying: “I bought this rubber duck after getting a batch of smaller ones with holes in the bottom for a squeaker. I realised soon enough that this creates a great space for mould to grow, and bath time then turns into sitting in dirty water. This does the job and is a good size.”

While not knowing the exact temperature may be a drawback for some parents, the affordable price tag and playful element make this thermometer worth considering if you're on a budget.

Pros

  • Requires no batteries, so easy to use
  • Water-tight to prevent mould
  • The fun design means it can double as a bath toy
  • Cost-effective as a simple temperature gauge

Cons

  • No digital display, so doesn't display the temperature

Best baby bath thermometer card

Duck Baby Bath Thermometer CardCredit: Colour Changing

If your bathroom is already full of bath toys, or you're looking for a bath thermometer that can easily be transported on holiday, a bath thermometer card is a good investment. 

Unlike others on this list, you can't leave it floating in the bath with your baby, but its large liquid crystal display tells you at a glance whether the bath water is safe. The display line changes colour as it reads the temperature, from 32°-40°C+, so once the bar has reached between 36°C and 37°C, you know the bath water is at the right temperature.

While it can't double up as a toy and doesn't show the precise temperature, the unique display screen does mean it won't need batteries and reviewers appreciated the simplicity, with one mum noting that it is: “quick, easy, simple, trustworthy and effective, good for travelling.” With no moving or breakable parts and no need for batteries, it's a good thermometer to pack in your suitcase, send to your co-parents' home or leave at the grandparents'.

Pros

  • Great for saving space and travelling as it's compact and flat
  • No batteries required so no need to worry about losing power
  • Large, easy-to-read display makes it simple to see the right temperature range

Cons

  • Doesn't float or double up as a bath toy
  • No digital display so you can't see the precise temperature

Best baby bath thermometer with colour indicator

Dreambaby Room and Bath ThermometerCredit: Amazon

A great option for crocodile-obsessed tots, this cute room and bath thermometer looks so friendly your little one definitely won't mind seeing it in the bath with them. This clever device re-checks the temperature every ten seconds to ensure the water doesn't become unsafe and automatically turns off after 30 minutes to save battery life.

With a red and green indicator telling you at a glance whether the water is too hot or too cold, this easy-to-use croc is a must-have, and reviewers agreed, saying: “I've had the croc for 18 months now, and my son loves it, and it's very reliable. Also, the green and red flashing light is very helpful!” 

However, some reviewers would have liked to see a colour to show that the water was at the right temperature rather than simply too hot or too cold.

Similar to the Philips Avent Bath and Baby Room Thermometer, the Dreambaby Room and Bath Baby Thermometer can also be used in the baby’s room as a room thermometer, so offers good value for money as a 2-in-1.

Pros

  • Re-checks the temperature every ten seconds for peace of mind
  • Colour indicator as well as a precise temperature so you can see at a glance if the water is too hot or cold
  • Fun design so baby will enjoy having it in the bath

Cons

  • Some reviewers felt it would be better to have a colour to show the right temperature rather than just Green for Cold and Red for Hot

Best thermometer for design

Penguin thermometer

Rrp: $19.49

Price: $16.49

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This penguin design is one of the cutest thermometers we have seen. Like some of the other thermometers on this list, it can be used in both the bath and baby's room so it’s good value for money. Suitable from birth, it is 100 per cent BPA-free, so you can be confident leaving it in the bath with the baby, and has a red light that flashes when the water is too hot, so you can easily see if you need to make it cooler.

Customers have found this device is very reliable, and the batteries last a long time, with one reviewer saying: "it's super reliable with the temperature reading, and we’ve tested it in variable temperatures. It's long-lasting; we’ve had this for six months now, and it’s still going strong. We haven’t needed to change the battery on it yet.”

Reviewers also loved that it could double up as a toy and a thermometer and that it was suitable for both the bath and to tell the temperature in the bedroom, adding value for money: “Great to use out of water also for a room temp reading to ensure a comfortable environment, great quality and great price."

Pros

  • Suitable as both a bath and room thermometer, offering value for money
  • Warning light when water is too hot makes it clear and easy to use
  • 100% BPA-free, so safe to use around baby

Cons

  • The screen turns off and needs to be tapped to view

Best luxury bath thermometer

Aqua Scale V3 Baby Bath & ScalesCredit: John Lewis

Rrp: $69.99

Price: $63.90

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OK, we know what you're thinking: 'How much?!' And we understand your concern about the price. You might think it's a hefty investment for a bath thermometer. However, this device is much more than simply a baby bath thermometer. You can't put it into the bath, but, instead, it is a bath in itself, and also serves as a baby scale, a bath thermometer, and remains useful until your child reaches two years old, making it a valuable long-term investment. Reviewers favoured this multifunctional use, saying: “We brought this bath for our new baby and love it. Our favourite features are the built in scales so we can keep a close eye on our daughter's weight, and also the built-in thermometer so we can see the temperature and make sure the baby is warm and comfortable.”

The innovative technology of this 3-in-1 digital baby bath allows you to precisely weigh your baby in the tub, whether there’s water in or not. As a bath, it's equally well-thought-out, with a non-slip insert at one end, making it suitable for newborn babies and space at the other end for infants who can sit up by themselves. Online, parents have hailed this as a must-have product, and many can't stop raving about it to family and friends, with one tester saying: "We have recommended this bath to our friends, and they love it! I would rate the bath 10/10 for quality/value for money.”

Pros

  • Multi-purpose product which functions as a thermometer, baby bath, and weighing scales
  • Can be used until around two years old, with a newborn support at one end and larger space at the other for older babies
  • Portable so can be used as a travel bath when away from home

Cons

  • It can't be used in a bathtub, but as it serves as a bath itself, this shouldn't be too much of an issue

How to choose the best baby bath thermometer

Display: As the display will be alerting you to the temperature of your baby's bath water, this is an important feature of your baby bath thermometer. You should be happy with the size of it, if it has digital readings or none at all, or if it's in Fahrenheit or Celsius.

Design: Where they were once pretty boring, baby bath thermometers now come in a variety of different styles and designs, including lots of fun ones that little ones will love using as an added bath toy. While appearance is important, your priority will be functionality and ease of use.

Use: While some baby thermometers will just take temperature readings, others have extra functions and can double up as a toy, clock, a room thermometer or even a bath and weighing scales.

Cleaning: Although it'll be placed into water, you'll still need to clean your baby bath thermometer, so take a look at the best way to clean it and how easy it is to do so before purchasing.

Batteries: We spoke to the Child Accident Prevention Trust as part of our research for the best baby bath thermometers. They flagged that "some baby bath thermometers don’t have a screw to secure the battery compartment so it's important to check that the battery compartment of the thermometer is well-secured. If the button battery drops out and a baby or toddler swallows it, it could badly hurt the baby or be fatal."

Baby bath temperature guidelines

Do

• The Child Accident Prevention Trust recommends adding cold water first and then the hot to bring it up to the right temperature.

• Use your wrist or elbow to check the water temperature. Hands can withstand a higher temperature, which is why it's best not to use a hand to gauge the temperature.

• Mix the water well by swirling it around to ensure there are no hot spots.

Don't

• Put your baby in the bath while the water is still running, as the temperature can quickly change.

• Leave your baby unattended in the bath, not even for a second, even if there is an older child in the bathtub or you are using a bath seat.

• Leave your child in the bathroom while the bath is running. As the Child Accident Prevention Trust notes, "many accidents happen when a child gets into the bath before it’s ready."

• Have the water too cold.

• Use a standard body thermometer, as these are typically not waterproof or suitable for the task at hand.

How to check bath water temperature without a thermometer

If your bath thermometer hasn't arrived yet, the easiest way to take the bath water temperature is the old-fashioned way, by using your elbow or your wrist, as these are the two most sensitive parts of the body. The bath should feel just warm, not too hot.

How deep should my baby's bath water be?

For newborns and babies up to six months, the water should be around five inches deep or just enough for your baby to settle in the water with their shoulders covered. For older babies and children, the bath should never be more than waist-high when your children are sat down.

Lily Anderson was a Deputy Commercial Content Editor at Bauer Media, where she wrote about and reviewed products for titles like Mother&Baby, Heat, Closer, What's the Best and Yours.

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