So you are ready to start charting but as you tell your fertility savvy friend that you’ll just use the thermometer in your medicine cabinet, she looks at you with horror. Of cooourse you should not be using that old thing, you need a “BBT” thermometer. You laugh, hide your confusion, and say “I was just kidding silly”. As soon as she hits the bathroom you grab your phone and search “BBT thermometer” and you find this post.. I’m with you girl! You’ll know what to get before she’s back!
In this post:
- What is a BBT therometer?!
- What thermometer should you get when you start charting?
- What things to look for when buying a BBT thermometer
- What thermometers are the favorite of this #fertilityhomeopath
Ok, just quickly. BBT stands for Basal Body Temperature. If a thermometer is a BBT thermometer, it just means that it is more sensitive than regular thermometers because you want to be able to pick up on the subtle temperature changes throughout your cycle. A BBT thermometer will measure to a two decimal point (eg 98.00° F or 37.00° C ). Good, so now you can throw that term around like your friend and you are up to speed when she returns!
What thermometer to get? Well, it needs to check two boxes as far as I’ concerned when you start out:
1. It needs to have 2 decimal places (Fahrenheit or Celcius)
2. It needs to be CHEAP. That way you’ll likely not over-think the purchase and get started charting as soon as possible.
If you have already tried the cheap type or want to spend more time to choosing a BBT thermometer, you can consider what most of my patients and myself have found to be practical:
- The option to choose between Fahrenheit or Celcius
- A thermometer that remembers more than 1 reading
- A back light for if you want to record the temperature in the early dark
- A thermometer that syncs automatically with your phone
- A thermometer that buzzes instead of beeps when it’s ready so it doesn’t wake hubby or co-sleeping babies
Now that you know what options to consider, you can have a look at the following thermometers out there.
1. El Cheapo
This type does not really have a name because it is off-brand. I have found these online in every country and funnily enough these tend to be white and baby pink. It tends to retail for a maximum of $8 / €10 / £6. Often it is part of charting kits that include LH strips (ovulation peak tests) and pregnancy tests as well.
- As said, it’s cheap! I would recommend everyone to start out with this first.
- Usually has the option to choose between Fahrenheit and Celsius but otherwise make sure to pick the right one.
- No back light
- Beeps loudly (which is practical if you temp vaginally though!).
- You have to remember to record the temperature soon after getting up because usually these thermometers don’t have a memory setting beyond 1 reading.
The company itself does not have a page on this product but if you search online you will quickly find it. I have not tried it myself but know many of my patients & followers love this one.
- Has a back light that also switches off automatically
- Can store up to 60 readings
- It’s not crazy expensive: around $25 or £18
- Has a built in alarm
- Not available in the rest of Europe
Ok, so being a bit of a thermometer hoarder as a #fertilityhomeopath that tests everything out for her patients… I splurged on this one and I have to admit it is my absolute favorite. So much so, I have included it in my fertility plans because I think it will increase the success rate for my patients.
Personally, I purchased Wink long before it was available so I could get it for a reasonable price. Although it still was a lot of money, for someone that temps every day month after month it was worth it (Watch: Unboxing Wink) video of me unpacking it). Wink was developed by the people of the Kindara and it syncs with that fertility tracking app over Bluetooth.
- Syncs automatically with your phone (Watch: syncing my Wink)
- Shows the numbers in LED lights which you can read in the dark
- It stores up to 30 readings
- Buzzes gently instead of beeping
- If you use it with the Kindara app, Kindara has the option for an alarm
- Not cheap at all: $129 excluding shipping
- Although it stores up to 30 readings, I would not wait that long to sync with my phone as I have had to reset Wink several times to resync with my older phone (Samsung S5) and lost several days of data every time. I have not had any problems since having a newer phone (Samsung S7). Also, on Wink itself you can only see the last recorded temperature.
I had been meaning to wait with this post until I had received this cool new thermometer that I ordered, but figured I would post this anyway, and update it later once I’ve tried it. Nevertheless, I can definitely tell you why I thought it was worth ordering the Femometer. Their video – which is very entertaining by the way – explains it really well.
- Syncs with phone via bluetooth
- It’s cheaper than Wink: $49 including shipping!
- This one doesn’t really count but hey I’ll mention it anyway: it comes in 4 super cute colors (whatever helps you remember to temp right?)
- Not sure yet! I do wonder if it can be as accurate as Wink if it is more than half the price but I will do a comparison.
Femometer’s website says it can help you predict ovulation which is only true if you know your ovulation pattern after several cycles, it does not help you predict ovulation of a particular cycle. If you want to learn more bout predicting ovulation, sign up to my free Basics to Fertility Charting course.
Update December 2017: I’ve tried Femometer & it’s app, and I can’t really recommend it. The app is so fun and extensive, and syncing between the app and the thermometer works great. However, the readings of the thermometer were not usually the same as on my boring thermometer or on my Wink, so I find it hard to trust. What I find a problem for sure, is the fact that the app pinpoints ovulation wrong (too early or too late!). So although it’s cute, the app is fun, it syncs & is relatively inexpensive, I don’t recommend this thermometer at all. Not to mention, the only way to use it is with the app because it has no display!
This is not technically a thermometer but a watch that measures several things including temperature to confirm ovulation. I have not used it myself but wrote a post on it last year “Fertility tracking bracelet: Hope or Hype?”.
- No need to set an alarm to take your temperature, woohoo!
- It syncs with your phone via bluetooth
- It measures more things than just your temperature, and the company claims that their algorithm helps you identify an average of 5.3 fertile days per cycle at 89% accuracy. A clinical study was even done.
- It costs a lot of money: €249 excluding shipping
- Some women may find it uncomfortable to wear a watch at night
- I could not find it on the website, but I assume that since the other parameters that are used to predict your fertile window are individual to every woman, it may take a few cycles for the watch to learn to predict accurately.