Best Pool Thermometer 2023 Reviews

tube pool thermometer stood up on wood deck in front of pool water

There is one piece of pool maintenance equipment you may overlook when opening your pool.  When you get closer to going for a swim however, the need for a pool thermometer becomes obvious.  Unlike the pole, skimmer net, and brush, the lowly thermometer doesn’t get much in the way of attention by most pool manufacturers and equipment dealers.  However, a good pool thermometer will tell you exactly what temperature your water is, and this will tell you whether you want to go for a swim or not.

How And Why Pool Water Temperature Changes

Regarding pool temperature, there are numerous ways to impact the reading your pool thermometer will give. There are pool heaters of course. Additionally, there are also solar arrays, pool covers, and the good old sunshine.  One of the best ways to keep your pool warm is to keep the cover on.  Whether that’s an automatic cover, a bubble cover, or a thermal cover. Evaporation causes the majority of heat loss from a pool.  By doing everything you can to keep the heat in the pool, even a liquid cover, you’ll reduce the heat loss, and increase the temperature.

Water Temperature Sensor Vs. Pool Thermometer

If you have an inground pool and a pool control system there will be a built in water and air temperature sensor in most cases.  This will give you a reading either on your control panel, or on your phone if it’s an app based system.  Often it’s a good idea to buy a supplemental pool thermometer so you can double check the reading of the water temperature sensor. These sensors eventually go bad and will need to be replaced.  

Pentair controller temperature sensor 

Hayward controller temperature sensor 

Optimum Pool Technologies® Water/Air/Solar Temperature Sensor Compatible Replacement for Hayward® – Compatible…
  • Aftermarket Compatible Replacement for Hayward or Goldline control panels: AquaLogic, ProLogic, AquaPlus
  • 10K OHM Sensor used for Water, Air or Solar applications, Includes 15ft Cord & Includes 2″ Pipe Clamp.
  • Compatible Replacement for Part No: GLX-PC-12-KIT, AQ-SOL-LV, AQ-SOL-LV-TC, GL-30, GL-235, GL-235 LV, GL-235 LV/HV, PC-10K

Jandy controller temperature sensor 

Optimum Pool Technologies® Water/Air/Solar Temperature Sensor Compatible Replacement for Jandy® – Compatible…
  • Compatible Replacement for Zodiac, Jandy, and Polaris Controls. Compatible Replacement for AquaLink RS Temp Sensor.
  • Used for Water, Air or Solar applications, Includes 20ft cord & 2″ Pipe Clamp
  • Compatible Replacement for Part No: 7790, R3002900, 7784, 7786, 7791

When choosing a pool thermometer, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the options in a place like amazon.  It seems just about everyone will make a thermometer and put their name on it and price it to sell.  What should you look for in a pool thermometer and how should you make a decision?  

There’s always the inexpensive method.  This is where you buy the cheapest thermometer with the highest reviews out there.  These thermometers generally work, but don’t expect to get too many years out of the equipment.  The pool thermometer will eventually fail, and when you buy a substandard product, don’t expect much in terms of longevity.  However, when the price is right, and the budget is not high, there is a thermometer we’d recommend.

Best Inexpensive Pool Thermometer: Game 14030-BB

The Game 14030-BB is a great choice in this category.  There is no battery to replace as the thermometer is solar powered.  There’s no need to tie it off anywhere as it’s designed to float on its own.  It’s also available in some playful themes like ‘Duck’, ‘Clownfish’, ‘Shark’ and ‘Pineapple’.  

GAME 14030-BB Solar Digital Pool & Spa Floating Thermometer, Solar Powered, Fahrenheit & Celsius, Double-Sided Display,…
  • SOLAR POWERED: The GAME Solar Digital Pool and Spa Thermometer is solar powered which means no batteries are needed. This floating swimming pool…
  • LARGE, EASY-TO-READ NUMBERS: This floating temperature gauge features large, easy-to-read numbers on a double-sided LCD screen that is angled allowing…
  • TEMPERATURES IN FAHRENHEIT OR CELSIUS: Our pool and hot tub thermometer is made from high-quality, shatter-resistant materials. Use the blue button to…

When looking at the specifications in a commercial swimming pool, you’ll find a specific thermometer nearly every time listed as the one to provide.  This also happens to be one of the least expensive thermometers. This pool thermometer is designed for a long service life, and ease of use, but it is traditional in that you need to replace batteries, tie it off somewhere, and pull it out of the pool to read.

blue and gray pool thermometer reading 69 degrees as the pool water temperature

Longest Lasting Pool Thermometer: Pentair R14036

The Pentair R141036 meets both the long service life and the low price category.

Pentair R141036 127 Tube Thermometer with ABS Case and 3-Feet Cord
  • Tube thermometer
  • High-quality pool and spa thermometers help deliver accurate temperature readings for greater enjoyment of recreational water
  • Pool thermometers also provide crucial information about the performance of pool heating systems

Innovation To Pool Thermometers

Then there are the digital versions. These are relatively new to the market, and fill the void between having a pool controller give you the temperature, and having to go out to the swimming pool, bend over, and read the thermometer.  Let’s face it, sometimes you just want to know.  There’s no shame in being a little lazy sometimes, and as a pool owner, knowing more about what’s going on relative to your pool either temperature wise or chemistry wise is always a good idea.  

Best Overall Pool Thermometer: Inkbird IBS-P02R

You may want to consider a basic control system for your pool. However, maybe you don’t want to spend the money. Furthermore, you might only need a good thermometer that’ll give you a reading from the comfort of your home, we’d recommend the Inkbird IBS-P02R.  This has the floating sensor, along with a wireless reading in your house.  This will show both outdoor air temperature, and the swimming pool temperature. The thermometer is as accurate as you need, to 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, and can communicate up to 300 feet away to your indoor reading panel.

Best Pool Thermometers + Alternatives Summary

Whichever thermometer you choose, the important part is you’re taking care to pay attention to the condition of your pool.  Temperature effects more than just the comfort level for swimming, and can impact your water chemistry, how much chlorine you should add, and so on.  There are certain chemical processes which need to take place at specific temperatures, like the cyanuric acid removal process.

Understanding the reading on the pool thermometer is the building block of knowing the state of the pool.  Water condition awareness at all times is the shortcut to having an easier time of taking care of your backyard swimming pool.