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.
A few weeks ago I wrote an article on the Tempdrop, which I like to qualify as a legendary device that changed my life and my sleeping habits as someone who tracks basal body temperature (BBT). I’ve gotten a few questions about the device that’s the most similar to the Tempdrop, so this is my iFertracker Bluetooth thermometer review. Similar to the Tempdrop, the iFertracker is a wearable device that collects many data points overnight to determine your sleeping temperature, which reflects your BBT.
Because I’ve already done a review on the Tempdrop, I’ll keep my categories comparable between this review and the Tempdrop review to make it easier for side-by-side comparison.
One difference to note about these two devices is that the Tempdrop is marketed as a thermometer meant to help you determine your own state of fertility. However, the iFertracker does come with an app (see that section below, but it seems like the app needs some help) and it does specifically state in the advertising that it’s geared towards women who are trying to conceive. This last part about being geared toward women who are trying to conceive is a bit difficult because they also refer to days as “fertile window” and “safe period” sometimes, which would indicate that they are looking for a post-ovulation, safe-to-go-unprotected period which would be for those avoiding pregnancy. Their advertising is slightly confusing, but so is their English wording in some places.
I went over the difference between basal body temperature, waking temperature, and sleeping temperature in my previous review on the Tempdrop, so if you’ve read that, you can skip to the bottom of this section where I talk about what it means for this device specifically. For everyone else, here’s a bit of info for you!
Basal Body Temperature
On the iFertracker website, they correctly refer to your basal body temperature (BBT) as your resting core temperature. This is the most restful that your body gets and basically it’s a measure of the temperature that your organs rest at. Other than if a surgeon could keep all of your internal organs at your natural temperature (not going to happen), this really isn’t possible. For a long time, women have tracked what they call their BBT, but which is actually known as their waking temperature.
If you’re familiar with tracking your BBT, it’s more likely that you’re actually tracking your waking temperature. Women who track this temperature typically wake up at the same time every day to record this temperature. The tricky part about waking temperature is that it’s easily disturbed by co-sleeping, room temperature, restless sleep, sleeping with your mouth open (if you temp orally), and countless other factors. However, even with those disturbances, the temperatures that women collect from taking their waking temperature are still accurate enough to identify a temperature shift that follows ovulation. Basically, it mimics your BBT, so it can be used and it’s okay to sub “BBT” for “waking temperature.”
Your sleeping temperature is what the iFertracker measures. Similar to waking temperature, you’ll see the shift that would be indicated in your BBT. The iFertracker sensors collect over 20,000 data points throughout the night, then you sync in the morning and their algorithm is used to send you that day’s sleeping temperature. This is exactly what the Tempdrop does, but these are the only two devices that collect sleeping temperature as their main measurement of fertility for now.
Temperature Measurement: 5/5
Highlights: No early mornings!
We don’t really have much insight on the algorithm of the iFertracker, other than that it’s out there. One thing that makes me doubt it when compared to the Tempdrop is that while it may learn something of your sleep patterns for future temperatures (I was unable to confirm this), it does not apply any of that knowledge to all the data it has on your past days. Some women may think that a non-changing temperature is better, but if it changes to become more accurate, I would rather have the more accurate temperature, especially if they already have that data.
That said, the charts that come from an iFertracker tend to have smooth, easy-to-read temperatures, so it does at least cancel out the noise!
Highlights: if you have the data, why not make at least the past week of temperatures more accurate? Otherwise, it seems to work really well, though
Note that the algorithm is out of 10 points since this is the main benefit of using an overnight thermometer like the iFertracker.
Many women have found that either the adhesive that keeps the device against your skin or the device itself leaves an uncomfortable rash. For some it goes away over time, but others stop wearing it because it’s causing too many issues. This is really a shame because it is something that you wear every night so it should be easy and comfortable to wear. Other than using medical tape, they do not suggest finding an alternative way to wear it (like snugly beneath the top of a sock around your arm).
However, if the adhesive doesn’t bug you, it stays on very well overnight. It’s a double-sided adhesive with a small hole for the sensor so that the sensor stays right against your skin.
Highlights: known to cause rashes, no good alternatives really
Wearability & Placement
This is not actually a section of my Tempdrop review, but I feel that it warrants its own section in this review and I’ve condensed Hardware and Software into one category below to make up for it.
The iFertracker is worn in the armpit. Comfort-wise, this isn’t an issue. However, in order for it to be placed well against your skin, they do suggest that you keep your armpit hair-free. As much as I’m a responsible adult, I’ll be honest that if I know I’m going to be wearing longer sleeves and/or jackets, I might not de-hair-ify my armpits for a while. That’s a pretty big turn off for me. You can place it slightly off to the side, but their suggested wear does require a shave.
Wearability & Placement: 3/5
Highlights: may not be an issue for you, but I don’t like having mutually exclusive shaved armpits and temperatures
Data Storage Between Syncs
This is one place that the iFertracker seems to excel over the Tempdrop; the iFertracker actually allows you to maintain 10 days (assuming 8 hours per night) on the device before the next sync. Syncing is relatively easy, just place your thermometer next to your phone when you take it off while the phone has Bluetooth enabled and the app open. It’ll sync itself and send your data to the servers for some algorithmic magic and give you a temperature. I have heard some reports that you have to be careful not to open the app with Bluetooth on while you’re wearing it or it will try to sync and possibly miss the night’s temperature, though.
Data Storage Between Syncs: 4/5
Highlights: 10 days of data is a lot of adventuring! However, there are some reports of syncing when it shouldn’t so maybe there should be a sync button somewhere
Hardware & Software
Also referred to as firmware, the update to the software of the iFertracker does take some effort on your side. The update will become available to you through the app, and you will then have to go and make sure that your device syncs to the app in order to get the update. This could be more seamless and push the update when you sync one morning, but at least you don’t have to send the device back in for an update? Since the standard is that you can update remotely, it’s really just staying with the expected standards, though.
There are also a lot of reports of the thermometer coming with a low battery that has to be changed within 2 weeks, which is annoying as a new product. However, after replacing the battery, it should last for about 45 days. The hardware itself is roughly 1″ x 2″, and it seems comfortable enough to wear and durable, I’d just keep it out of reach of pets and children.
Hardware & Software: 3/5
Highlights: you do have to be able to navigate the app (keep reading to see what I think of it) and follow all instructions it gives you, but it shouldn’t ever be difficult
The app integration is really lacking for iFertracker. The device does have a specific app that it syncs with, which has some basic charting abilities. However, the app is a bit clunky, has some very odd English phrasing, and even some misspelling – it was obviously developed elsewhere and translated into English by someone other than a professional. Even on the app store, the reviews hover a little under 2.4 stars, and my standard for apps is that they have to be at least around 4 stars. I personally wouldn’t touch the app. The great thing is that you can grab your temperature and then put it into the app of your choice!
App Integration: 1/5
Highlights: you’re better off finding another app you would like to use and manually moving your temps over
Customer Service & Support
I haven’t contacted the company, Raiing Tech, for any reason, but I don’t hear anything good or bad about them so my guess is they’re a pretty standard company. They do have a FAQ page on their website (if you go there, make sure you’re on the iFertracker) and have thoroughly answered questions. They don’t bend over backwards, but they are sufficient, it would seem.
Customer Service & Support: 4/5
Highlights: they haven’t done anything bad, but they don’t stand out
The initial price is around $110 found on Amazon. This is slightly less expensive than the Tempdrop, yes. But comparing just price, remember that you will have recurring payments for the adhesives, so your price will actually be more like $110 initial investment with a subscription ($15 for every 60 stickies). Alternatively, you could find another way to wear the device and hope for the best.
Seeing that most of these categories are sub-par when compared to tech like the Tempdrop, I do think that the iFertracker is overpriced. I would consider purchasing if it were $50-80 and the Tempdrop were out of my budget.
Highlights: better technology makes me picky probably, but I would like to see it less expensive
Size It Up
The iFertracker has been around for a few years and has had time to work out the kinks, but it seems to be failing a bit where it really could be excelling because there are so few devices like it. So let’s see the score.
TOTAL SCORE: 32/50
Overall, the iFertracker seems like it’s going to cost the same as the Tempdrop (which got a 46/50 in my review) in initial investment and doesn’t have nearly as many of the benefits. Purchasing again, I’d go for the Tempdrop rather than the iFertracker. However, it does seem like a decent option and if you want to go for medical tape rather than their adhesives, you could save a few dollars and buy this thermometer.
Do you have an experience with the iFertracker that you would like to share? Maybe you have a better opinion of it than me? As always, feel free to drop me a comment below 🙂