Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer review: Accurate and affordable

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Let’s face it, we all get sick from time to time and we all need to take our temperature now and then. The Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer is a handy, accurate and quick way to not only get a temperature but keep notes and records on your family’s sicknesses. Read on for the full review on one of our Top Picks of 2016, the Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer.


Our review unit came with the Sesame Street Elmo design which is aimed at children of course. Kinsa does offer a non-branded version of the same thermometer for $10 cheaper if you’re looking to save money. The thermometer has a nice large display that shows your temperature as well as a big button for turning the unit on/off and taking temperatures. There is also a Bluetooth button on the side for pairing the device but ours paired without pushing that when we opened the app. Around the back is the battery door (AAA batteries are included) and inside the compartment is a toggle switch for °F/°C, the unit comes defaulted to °F. Overall the design is nice, it’s made of a sturdy plastic though I do imagine it could break should a child throw this with a good amount of force.

Overall the design is nice, it’s made of a sturdy plastic though I do imagine it could break should a child throw this with a good amount of force.


The included Kinsa app is a very useful tool, especially for parents who want to keep track of their kid’s illnesses. You can set up profiles in the app for each child and when you take a temperature the app will send turn on and record that temp. The children can also choose their own avatars from an array of Sesame Street characters or just solid colors. You can choose which child you want to assign that temperature to and you can add notes, photos, and symptoms to the entry. Elmo talks to the child after taking the temperature (through the app) and the child can choose how they are feeling from a list, after which Elmo then offers sympathy or praise.

The Kinsa app is a great tool for keeping track of your child’s health and very useful for those things you want to jot down for the doctor later. The app works for both the Elmo and non-Elmo version but the app will only give the Elmo experience when paired with the Elmo version. You don’t have to use the app at all if you don’t want to, and if you don’t then this thermometer reminds a lot of what Braun’s Thermoscan used to do. Overall, I would recommend using the app, especially if you’re using the Elmo version. Some kids may not want the device in their ear and Elmo may just help ease that anxiety.

Ease of Use

Using the thermometer is super easy! It’s a good idea to read all the instructions included with the device and the app also goes over how to use the thermometer as well. Once you know how to properly use the device, it’s just matter of taking the temperature and logging the info into the app.


The Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer performed exactly as advertised and is a snap and breeze to use. We have four small children and if your children are anything like ours, they don’t like to sit still to take their temps. This thermometer took the temps quickly and easily, and having Elmo there to distract them was a big bonus.

Battery Life

The Kinsa comes bundled with two AAA batteries, which we have yet to run out after 4 weeks of use. Of course, that isn’t 4 weeks of constant use every day so battery life will vary depending on how often you use the device.


The Sesame Street version is priced at $59.99USD while the regular Kinsa is priced at $49.99. The only diference is,that you will not get the Elmo experience with the regular thermometer which is going to be a purely personal choice. Both thermometers provide the same experience beyond Elmo though and if you want to save $10, I’d go with the basic Kinsa.

Wrap Up

This thermometer does an excellent job for its price point and is pretty kid-friendly and well worth the price tag. If you’re not wanting to spend more than $60 on a smart thermometer, this one is a sure bet!

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*We were sent a sample of the Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer for the purposes of this review.

Last Updated on January 23, 2017.


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