Knowing what the temperature is indoors and outdoors enables you to control your HVAC with greater accuracy by monitoring the ambient temperature. It also tells you where the hot and cold spots are in your home.

Indoor-outdoor thermometers are invaluable tools, which is why in this article we look at three of the best models available. While we crown the La Crosse WS-916OU our HowToHome pick for sheer reliability and simplicity, read on to learn about several great options to consider.

  • 330 ft range
  • Supports up to three sensors
  • Records daily highs and lows
  • Reads in Fahrenheit and Celsius
  • Built-in clock

  • 200 ft range
  • Built-in clock
  • Large display digits
  • Temperature in Fahrenheit and Celsius
  • Records daily highs and lows

  • 300 ft range
  • Reports indoor humidity
  • 48-hour weather forecast
  • Radio-controlled clock
  • Supports up to three sensors


With a 330 feet range (easily the most extended range of the three indoor-outdoor thermometers featured) and a large display measuring 3.31 inches by 5.87 inches that can be read across a wide distance, this La Crosse model is popular on Amazon. It is affordable and is super-reliable, which is why we chose this thermometer as our favorite pick. It would be an excellent choice for those with sight problems, especially given the size of the digits and the easy to read clock, which can be set in 12 or 24-hour mode.

Also, the La Crosse records daily high and low temperatures to give you an accurate record, reports temperatures in Fahrenheit or Celsius, and it can support up to three sensors for multi-space temperature checking capability.

On the downside, the range significantly decreases if there are any blockages to impede the signal, like walls and trees, so make sure that you mount the sensor somewhere open and within scope. That said, when you place the sensor correctly, the signal is strong.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy to read display
  • Has a built-in clock

Cons

  • Build quality issues with the sensor
  • Range is easily interrupted


This budget model by Taylor Precision has a shorter range of 200 feet and the addition of a 12 or 24-hour clock for convenience. Like the La Crosse WS-916OU, it can also read the temperature in Fahrenheit or Celsius.

The unit measures 2.4 inches by 3.5 inches, so it is smaller than the La Crosse, but that doesn’t mean the temperature display is any less clear to read. It also has the facility to record daily high and low temperatures. On the back of the unit is a flip-out stand enabling you to use it as a freestanding unit, which means that when you are in the yard, you can position it for the best communication signal from the sensor.

Unfortunately, the manufacturer has designed the thermometer with the outside temperature display being larger than the internal temperature display, and the clock is so small that you might as well be reading a digital watch. Moreover, some have reported that the sensor can lose signal and can take several hours to reconnect. On the subject of sensors, this model will only support one, and not three as the others do.

For the price, though, and considering that this model works accurately and reliably, this thermometer is not to be overlooked.

Pros

  • Very cheap to buy
  • Has a clock
  • Clear digital display
  • Freestanding

Cons

  • The outside display dwarfs the internal display
  • Shorter range
  • Sensor sometimes loses signal

Compared to the other two thermometers, this Ambient Weather model is super-advanced. It has a color display, tells you the air pressure, what the humidity is outside and inside, and even has a weather predicting feature to forecast the coming 48 hours weather.

It also has time and sensor alarms and has a maximum range of 300 feet. This unit is also equipped with a clock that automatically syncs with the U.S atomic clock for utmost accuracy, and it will even report on the moon phases. The sensors have an LCD, which enables you to get accurate readings from both the thermometer or the sensor, and the unit will support up to two additional sensors.

If you place the display at an off-angle, however, the numbers and letters are less clear to read, and the overall presentation can look a little busy, especially if you are less familiar with this type of thermometer.

Despite these flaws, the ability to predict the coming 48 hours of weather, coupled with the humidity monitor make this a great purchase if you are in the market for something a little more complex than just a thermometer.

Pros

  • Pressure and humidity monitor
  • Atomic clock for accuracy
  • Color display
  • LCD on each sensor

Cons

  • Display can be hard to read at an off-angle
  • Busy display

Comparison Chart

La Crosse WS-916OUTaylor Precision ThermometerAmbient Weather WS-2801A
Range330 ft200 ft300 ft
High/Low temp
Readability***********
ForecastXX
Clock
HumidityXX
Barometric pressureXX
Cost$$$$$$
Sensors313

Buyer’s Guide:

Indoor-Outdoor Thermometers

Indoor-outdoor thermometers are of particular interest to people who like to monitor the weather to maintain energy efficiency or to make their home more comfortable for their family. These thermometers allow us to get an accurate measure both average high and low temperatures as well as hot and cold spots within the home.

This can help in setting heating and HVAC controls, especially in the dead of night when the temperature drops to its lowest. Also, if you live in humid conditions and you own a thermometer with humidity and pressure sensors, you can use this information to target the air conditioning and program it to work harder at peak times.

Plus, small children sleep better in certain conditions. Placing a sensor in a child’s room can help you achieve the best temperature results to aid their sleep, especially when used in conjunction with a humidifier,

Clock – Having an accurate clock is a vital addition, especially as some models have sync abilities with the U.S atomic clock to keep super-accurate time.

Readability – Make sure that you can read the display from a distance, and that it is easily legible. Some indoor-outdoor thermometers try and cram as much information on the small screen as they can, leaving you searching for the relevant information.

High and Low Temperatures – Many people buy these devices to get an accurate readout of the coldest and warmest times of the day because it helps when you are programming your HVAC system to work at peak times.

Weather Forecasting – Being able to predict the coming 48 hours of weather is of enormous benefit, especially if you are planning an outdoor event, but you only get this feature on the more advanced models, like our fancy pick, the Ambient Weather WS-2801A.

Range – The range of your thermometer should be around 200 feet, which seems to be about average. Be careful where you place the sensors as they should always be in clear sight of the thermometer. Walls and foliage can drastically reduce the reach and in some cases block it altogether.

Number of Sensors  – Typically, indoor-outdoor thermometers support up to three sensors, like two of the models we have chosen. However, our budget pick, the Taylor Precision Thermometer will only support one sensor. Having three sensors means you can place them in different locations, especially if you have a north side to your home that typically stays in the shade.

Temperature Accuracy – Thermometers are accurate to within one or two degrees, but some factors can influence accuracy. This is especially true in terms of where you place the sensors: if they are in shady or overtly sunny spots, then you are going to impact on the overall accuracy of the temperature (unless you are seeking the extremes of the temperature readings).

  • What is barometric pressure?
  • Barometric pressure is the pressure weight of the air exerted in the Earth’s atmosphere. The higher the pressure, the sunnier the weather, and the lower the pressure, the cloudier the weather. Some indoor-outdoor thermometers read the air pressure and display it on the screen.

  • Why does my indoor outdoor thermometer lose signal?
  • It all comes down to the range and where you place the sensors. Putting a sensor behind something that will block the signal causes the thermometer to disconnect from the sensor, and you lose signal. Always try and keep the thermometer and sensor in clear view of each other so that nothing can interfere with the signal.

Final Thoughts

Although there are only three indoor-outdoor thermometers on this list, we still covered the spectrum from the most advanced, like the Ambient Weather WS-2801A with its weather-predicting capabilities and humidity and air pressure sensors, to the one we crowned our HowToHome pick, the La Crosse WS-916OU. This thermometer, despite being a no-frills device, gets rave reviews for accuracy, reliability, and affordability.

If you are looking for the most basic type of indoor-outdoor thermometer, then look no further than the Taylor Precision Thermometer. At such a low price, it would be hard to find a better value for money thermometer that is accurate and has a legible and clear display.

Whichever model you decide on, hopefully, we’ve made the choices and their key features more prominent for you with the ultimate aim of helping you to choose accurately.

Further Reading

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