We both tested and reviewed some of the best indoor & outdoor thermometers. The ThermoPro TP55 Digital is likely the perfect combination for most people, but we didn’t stop there and if you’re picky then you’ll definitely want to check out the rest of our favorites. So let’s dive in, there’s a wide variety to choose from and then we’ll talk about how to determine which one you should definitely add to your home.
Overall the combination of being easy to read, a backlight, and humidity levels tailored to human comfort makes this our favorite of the indoor/outdoor thermometers which we looked at.View On Amazon
Table of Contents
Top 5 Indoor/Outdoor Thermometers
|Rank||Name||Wired or Wireless?|
|1||ThermoPro TP55||Wireless||Check Price|
|2||La Crosse Technology||Wireless||Check Price|
|3||iLifeSmart Forecast||Wired||Check Price|
|4||Tsumbay Digital||Wireless||Check Price|
|5||Keynice Technology||Wired||Check Price|
1. Best Overall Indoor/Outdoor Thermometer
ThermoPro TP55 Digital Hygrometer
When it came down to it, this was definitely our favorite of the lot. The only real problem was that it didn’t have quite the most attractive display.
This is a largeunit that is easy to read from across the room, and helping matters out it also has a backlight. It can be mounted on a tabletop, the wall, or anywhere else you might prefer it.
The display itself has multiple different factors which can be read off, included in a fantastic display which is quite attractive overall.
Other than that, this is a wireless model as well which makes it convenient to place the bulb somewhere accurate.
The biggest problem here is the fact that you have to press a button in order to make sure that the backlight activates. This means you’re going to have to crawl out of bed in order to get your reading.
Overall the combination of being easy to read, a backlight, and humidity levels tailored to human comfort makes this our favorite of the indoor/outdoor thermometers which we looked at.
- Super easy to read due to the large display
- Powerful backlight for nighttime readings
- Can be mounted just about anywhere
- Switches easily between Fahrenheit and Celsius readings
- No weather forecasting
- Has to be pressed for backlight to be activated
2. Runner Up for Best Indoor/Outdoor Thermometer
La Crosse Technology
The only thing which prevented this thermometer from La Crosse from taking the top of the list is the price. If you can overlook that, however, you’ll have a solid wireless unit with a lot of frills.
The first thing we noticed: it has the time, temperature, and even the phase of the moon attached to the display. It’s also easily wall mountable, with a 330 foot transmission range on the exterior probe. Convenient? You bet.
It’s not without problems, however, frankly at this price it’s extremely disappointing that you don’t also get a hygrometer and the exterior probe tends to have some problems after around a year according to the people we talked to.
This is an atomic clock as well, making it super accurate in the long term.
And, let’s be frank, the design is super attractive as well. It just looks good and that’s more than can be said for a lot of the thermometers on the market.
Apart from the lack of hygrometer and the long-term problems with the outdoor probe, this is one of the most awesome thermometers we found. It’s sleek design, easy mounting, and measurement of time is second to none.
- 330 foot transmission range for wireless bulb
- Sleek, modern design
- Easily wall mounted within the home
- Tracks moon phases and has plenty of calendar options
- Quite expensive
- No hygrometer
3. Best Color Model
iLifeSmart Forecast Weather Station
This wireless sensor costs quite a bit, but the tradeoff is a massive increase in the price over many of the other models on the market.
Of course, if you’re willing to pay it then you’ll be surprised at just how handy and bright the display can make your desk. The weather display is our favorite part, coming with five different brightly colored displays to let you know what the weather is going to be like outside.
You’ll also get a clock and everything is color coded so you can read it from across the room. It even has humidity displays for you, meaning that this one truly does have everything.
We don’t think enough can be said about the external design either. It’s sleek, attractive, and modern. It just looks, well, great.
It’s also one of the most accurate of the many we tested, although it’s a bit hard to tell if the cost is really justified since it seems to have mostly been poured into the aesthetic rather than it being obscenely more accurate or anything.
One other thing to note: this display can interface with up to three different outside bulbs, making it super useful and multi-purpose if you’re willing to invest the extra money into getting it set up.
That said, this is one of the best and brightest. We doubt you’ll regret the extra money and with all of the display options available this wireless indoor/outdoor thermometer truly stands out from the crowd in more than just coloring.
- Wireless thermometer can be placed outdoors
- Colorful display with tons of readings
- Compact size makes it fit on just about any desk
- Can communicate with up to three outside sensors for multitasking
- Backlight only functions for ten seconds at a time
- Quite expensive compared to other options
4. Best Wired Model
Digital Indoor Outdoor Thermometer
With a three meter cord, this is the best of the wired models that we looked at. Instant readings without the possibility of radio interference is a good thing for some people, and the low price will convince most of the rest.
Unfortunately, the humidity readings only work on the indoor portion of things. While it’s a useful reading, outdoor humidity is usually more useful for those who are planning on leaving the house soon.
That said, it’s insanely accurate as long as you’re careful of where you place the outside bulb and it’ll give instant readings instead of the lag found in most wireless models.
For those who are looking specifically for a wired model, this is the best on the market at the current time. The low price just enforces that, but the display is pretty minimal.
- 3m wire to outside probe
- Measures indoor humidity and temperature
- Has a useful memory function
- Quite accurate
- Minimal display
- No outdoor humidity measurements
5. Best Budget Indoor/Outdoor Thermometer
Keynice Technology HC-520
Compared to the rest of our favorites, this one is pretty minimalistic. On the other hand, it’s also the cheapest we found that’s still accurate and useful so you may want to give it a whirl if things are tight.
This is another wired model, but the display only shows the indoor or outdoor temperature and humidity. You’ll have to press a button to switch it over, although the display is large and easy to read.
We’re not going to rave on this one, the fact of the matter is this: if you’re on a budget and need something that works and has a super low cost… this is the best you’ll find.
- Budget priced
- Long cable for exterior probe
- Quite accurate measurements
- Large display
- Lower build-quality than our other picks
- Only displays one probe’s readings at a time
Sometimes you just need weather information without waiting for the commercials to end on the weather channel. If you find yourself in that case, then you’re going to want the best indoor/outdoor thermometer around. Of course, there’s a wide range of different attributes you’ll need to make sure are there to get the most from your thermometer, and it can be hard to differentiate them at first glance if you’re not an expert on them. And who is?
Unlike their counterparts from last century, it’s possible to find indoor/outdoor thermometers with both awesome displays and a wide range of different variables being presented.
Of course, most of us don’t have much use for knowing the exact level of humidity outdoors and we can look out a window to check the weather so it all seems to be wasted to go for anything other than the simplest monitor.
Some people can find some pretty creative uses for them, however, such as:
- Monitoring greenhouses
- Getting the temperature outside of a vehicle
- Rooms without windows
Of course, how useful you end up finding your thermometer to be will largely depend on which one you decide to pick up.
What is an Indoor/Outdoor Thermometer?
There’s sometimes a question about just what constitutes an indoor/outdoor thermometer.
Indoor/outdoor thermometers will allow you to get readings both inside and outside, which makes them handy for those who are trying to figure out how to dress appropriately when they leave the home or office.
Most modern models are wireless, which means you’ll want to ensure that you get the proper placement for your outdoor sensor to keep it accurate.
The best have a wide variety of different features in order to deliver you more information than just the temperature.
The dual sensors which are available can be adapted to quite a few different uses, and people have gotten quite creative with them over the years. Most people just set them on their desk, however, in order to ensure that they’ve got accurate readings.
What We Looked For
When we first took a look at these, it wasn’t readily obvious what kind of differentiation could be made. One of our reviewers even commented that it seemed like the obvious choice to snatch up whichever one was the cheapest.
In practice, that turned out to not be a practical way to rate them although it’s an option if you just want something on your work desk which reads the temperature.
Instead, we ended up finding out that all of the following were important when evaluating the products.
The display on most indoor/outdoor thermometers is a simple LCD screen, often without any sort of backlight to keep things visible in the dark.
Backlighting was one of the first qualities that became apparent when we were testing them in the real world. A backlight will let you read the thermometer without having to get up and shine a light on it in the dark, although you may want to find one with a switch if you’re particularly sensitive to light while you’re trying to sleep.
In particular, groggy mornings made a backlight shine.
The second biggest factor for home use was the size of the display. It’s simply inconvenient to have to walk across the room in order to check the thermometer, and we’re going for the least amount of required effort possible here.
Something in the range of the numbers being between one and a half and two inches seemed to work the best without having to press into ridiculously large territory. Most of the thermometers we sent to our reviewers had smaller numbers for humidity, but you’d usually be able to read the temperature and time from across the room.
Our reviewers’ favorite thermometers all had one thing in common, however: a color display. We actually had to move things around a little bit because of how heavily favored color displays were in products that otherwise had some pretty serious problems.
The jury is in, however: colored displays don’t look out of place and archaic in a realm where even our cell phones are replete with bright colors and moving icons.
Several of the models which we tried out for budgets were horribly inaccurate. Just… terribly so.
While a deviation of a degree or two doesn’t matter much when it comes to quick temperature assessments, if the bulb is five or ten degrees off then you’re going to be quite disappointed when you step out the front door in the wrong form of dress.
We found that the humidity measuring was off with almost every model. While this isn’t too big of a deal when you’re looking for the weather outside, for niche applications like greenhouses or grow rooms it matters quite a bit.
The price was usually the best predictor of accuracy. Most components are pretty cheap, so it makes sense, but proper calibration and lasting power for something exposed to the weather takes a little bit more so it wasn’t all that surprising.
Wireless exterior bulbs were consistently a favorite feature. Since anything which is wired will require you to figure out a way to run it outside.
Of course, the most accuracy is definitely made with wired bulbs, so you’ll have to keep that in mind if you need up-to-the minute updates on what’s going on.
Some of the models we tried were… well, they’re not on our list because they barely worked at all, so expect to drop a little bit of money if you’re planning on picking up a wireless model.
Some of our reviewers loved these, others didn’t, and it seemed independent of the model.
Protip: If you need to put a hole in something to run the probe, stuff it with steel wool to keep pests out.
We broke down the differing readings when we were looking at the products in order to figure out what all was possible.
The basics include time and temperature and nothing else. Fairly self-explanatory and definitely enough for the average consumer as long as they’re not requiring anything else.
Humidity was also quite common, with only a few super simple models not having this functionality. The biggest problem here was the tendency for humidity readings to be off, which makes most of these hard to recommend as accurate hygrometers.
Forecast options were our favorites. These will sync up with a weather program in order to deliver you the forecast for the day, which makes it easy to see at a glance if you need to snag your rain coat before you head out.
Some of the colored displays even have cute little animations on them, which makes them rather good for decorative purposes as well.
Setting Your Outdoor Thermometer
One thing that we quickly found out: setting a thermometer outdoors can be a bit iffy.
Consider all of the following when you’re setting up your thermometer in order to make sure you’re able to get useful readings:
- Height is a big factor, too close to the ground and it’s going to be off. Somewhere between four and six feet is ideal for most units.
- There’s a simple equation for determining how far from the house you should place your thermometer. The height of your house times four is the optimal distance to make sure you’re able to get accurate readings without interference from your home’s ambient heat.
- Try to place it out of direct sunlight for obvious reasons. Building a small enclosure is probably the best solution, you don’t need anything fancy.
- You’ll need adequate airflow as well, keep that in mind if you take it into your hands to build an enclosure.
These are some pretty good guidelines to keep your readings accurate. Indeed, an enclosure is probably the best way to go about things in most cases.
Building an Enclosure
One of our reviewers came up with a simple and attractive closure in order to make sure that the receiving unit was easy to access, but protected from the elements. It also ended up being rather attractive.
You’ll need the following:
- Hammer and nails
- Wood glue
- Jig saw
- Staple gun
- Scrap screening
- Scrap wood
From there, a bit of know-how and you’ll move right along.
- The enclosure was constructed of scrap plywood in a 6”x6”x6” cube without a top. Three nails per corner is fine.
- A 3” round hole is cut in the bottom. The easiest way to do this is to push a drill into the bottom board and then cut it out.
- 1x4 boards were then cut at slightly varying lengths to tile the sides of the box. Wood glue was used, with short nails being placed for cosmetic reasons in the 1x4”
- Two more pieces of scrap wood were cut, with a 45° angle to top things off and tiled in the same manner with 1x4’s cut at various lengths. Don’t attach it just yet.
- Another 3” hole was put on the front and a length of ½” dowel was placed into a drilled hole underneath.
- A piece of screen cut at 3 ½” x 3 ½” was then stapled to the interior to keep birds out of the mock “bird house.”
- The whole thing was set on a shelf in an ideal location, after slipping the broadcasting unit inside.
It’s a bit barebones, but we thought it was a good idea.
The problem with the initial design was it affected the humidity ratings quite a bit, but this was solved with a series of ¼” holes being drilled in the back of the “bird house” to allow air to pass through without accumulating moisture.
While they may not be life changing, the simple convenience that can be found in the best indoor/outdoor thermometers is pretty impressive, especially if you snag one with a forecast option. Give them a shot, most are cheap enough for the average budget and with a little bit of thought you can end up with something that you’re glad to have in your home.