Some links in this article may be affiliate links, which give me a small amount for referring you. Rest assured that this has not changed my opinion at all from being entirely my own.
I recently wrote a review on the Tempdrop basal body temperature thermometer for tracking your temperature as an indicator of fertility (honestly, if you haven’t heard of it, it’s my absolute favorite fertility awareness device), but for some it really is just too expensive even with the discount I offered. So today I decided to give you my review of the iSnow basal body temperature thermometer. The iSnow is great if you track your own fertility (check out my post about that here if you have no idea what I’m talking about) and don’t have a lot of money to shell out, but do want something a little more than $7-10 (it’s about $25).
If you’re unfamiliar with taking your waking temperature (often referred to as basal body temperature although it isn’t a true basal body temperature), it’s a really small commitment in that allows a woman to determine when – and if – she has ovulated during her cycle. In order to take this temperature, you simply take it orally or vaginally at roughly the same time every morning before moving around – I’ve found that an hour either direction didn’t make much of a difference for me personally. The iSnow thermometer is perfect for taking your own temperature. It doesn’t cost a small fortune, so it isn’t very high tech. But it does have a nice backlight and will store previous temperatures for you to retrieve later.
So let’s look at a few important aspects of the thermometer, specifically under the assumption that it will be used to track waking body temperature.
Temperature Time & Accuracy
The margin of error for the iSnow thermometer is +/- .09F or +/-.05C. Since basal body temperature is charted to either .1F or .05C, this margin of error is relatively small and it should still be pretty easy to see a temperature shift! However, it does take 90-120 seconds to get this temperature. While the recommended measurement time is about 2 minutes for any thermometer, this does feel like a long time to many women who are used to thermometers that beep to signify they are done after just 30 seconds. The added wait time actually helps to ensure accuracy of the temperature, but we do live in an impatient world.
Time & Accuracy: 5/5
Highlights: highly accurate temperatures, probably because of measurement time
Backlight & Measurement Beep
The iSnow thermometer backlight and beep happen pretty in sync – when you turn it on to start measuring your temperature, and then again when the temperature has been recorded. The beep is quiet enough that if you fell asleep while the measurement was still being taken, you probably won’t wake up to it. To me, this constitutes a safety hazard because I’m paranoid about stabbing my brains out with something small. I know, unreasonable, so you can forget I said anything. Many women love the quiet beep because their sleep is disturbed much less.
Backlight & Beep: 4/5
Highlights: both work great, the beep is just quiet enough that it can be difficult to hear
In all honesty, I don’t personally think that an alarm is necessary for a thermometer, even one that you’re supposed to use early in the morning. However, if the company wants to advertise that they have an alarm, they should provide an alarm sufficient to wake the user and is also easy to set up. They absolutely do not deliver on this. Some women have issues hearing the alarm and many just can’t figure out how to get it to work even using the instructions.
Highlights: a completely unnecessary feature that is difficult to work and insufficient for many women
As far as size goes, there’s a big bulb at the end of the thermometer and you may find that it seems about the size of a tennis ball when only half awake. I assume it takes care of the memory, but it also provides room for a few buttons and a larger screen to be able to read the temperature and time it was taken together. The stem is 1/4″ wide and it really doesn’t seem to poke my mouth as much as a tiny regular thermometer does. But the bulb is a bit heavy. As someone who has a lot of experience with tech, I do think that they could have made the bulb slightly smaller because it is a bit of a weight in the mouth. However, on the plus side I won’t be losing an iSnow because I accidentally dropped it on the ground while half awake, so maybe the bulkiness was by design?
Highlights: a little big, but nothing unbearable
The iSnow stores 60 temperatures in its memory. In order to access these, you can follow the simple instructions in the user manual – basically, you’ll just push the up and down buttons to scroll through the temperatures, which were recorded with a time next to them.
This feature really is awesome. For those women who love to just fall back asleep after a half-awake temping session and chart later on – or those who temp multiple ways to compare charts, this feature is awesome. I also know that as someone with PCOS, I don’t always want to write out my temperature every day just to not see a shift…again! Women with longer cycles because of PCOS, postpartum, or any other reason can chart with a little less stress just by avoiding putting temperatures in their charts every single day. The memory feature really is amazing, but if you don’t use it then that’s perfectly fine, too.
Highlights: there’s no required thinking to write down the correct numbers in the correct order right after you wake up
The iSnow runs about $25, and Amazon is the cheapest place I’ve found it so far! There are cheaper digital basal thermometers that run about $10, but this one really takes the cake as a low-cost thermometer that has more than very basic functionality. You’ll likely end up saving more than $10 by charting your cycles, so if it were up to me, we would all splurge just a little bit on this aspect of charting.
Highlights: it’s not priced too much more than your basic BBT, but it’s got a few neat features
The score is misleading, but here it is:
Final Score: 24/30
In all honesty, most of those points were lost in the alarm feature; I just feel that if you offer something, it should be done well and fleshed out. If they didn’t advertise it, I really wouldn’t complain. As far as the actual functionality that it does need to provide to be a great thermometer, though, it will give you accurate readings and stores a lot of temperatures on the device so you don’t necessarily need to enter your temps right away, or even for a few days if you have long cycles. It is a little bit bulky, but I guess that’s just part of what comes with the memory and some women do like it because the end of the stem doesn’t poke as hard. So is the iSnow worth a buy for a slightly-better-than-basic basal thermometer? I definitely think so!
Do you have an iSnow? Have you tried one? Is there another thermometer you would suggest with similar features? Let me know below in the comments 🙂