What is the most accurate way to measure body temperature?

Q. Which is the most accurate method to measure body temperature?

Answered by
Dr. Sameer Kumar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 09, 2016 and last reviewed on: Jun 15, 2023

Hi doctor,

I have a question regarding body temperature measurement. What is the most accurate way to take one's temperature?



Welcome to icliniq.com.

Theanal temperature is the best way to measure the core temperature of the body.

Thank you doctor,

Can I start looking for my anal temperature for regular monitoring?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • Actually, anal temperature is measured in ambulatory facilities where oral temperature cannot be measured due to certain oral surgeries or if the person is on a ventilator or non-responsive or gets seizures.
  • However, in your case, in a daily day-to-day life, when there are no such concerns troubling you, then you should continue with oral temperature monitoring.
  • If you find it unhygienic, then thermometer can be placed under an armpit for the same amount of time.
  • Anal temperature recording is considered invasive and often uncomfortable, so I would not recommend a switch. But, you may use it twice a week or so.

For further doubts consult a family physician online -->https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/family-physician

Thank you doctor,

If rectal temperature is the most accurate way, then why do doctors do not recommend it?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • A rectal temperature is generally considered to be the most accurate and the standard for monitoring the core body temperature.
  • It is generally not recommended for use in patients due to the risk of rectal perforation and tears with this method.
  • However, under supervision it can be used. Of course, as mentioned above when the patient is non co-operative, unconscious, under seizures or especially in toddlers and infants, this is the best way to measure temperature but not routinely.
  • Oral and axillary temperatures average about 0.5 F to 1.0 F (0.3 C to 0.6 C) degrees below rectal temperature. Add 0.5 to 1.0 F when taking orally or under the arm to determine the comparable rectal temperature.

For further information consult a family physician online -->https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/family-physician

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