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Lab Thermometers & Temperature Measurement Equipment

Lab Thermometers & Temperature Measurement Equipment

When it comes to the laboratory environment, temperature monitoring is a full-time challenge. While there are many physical parameters that must be constantly measured –such as humidity, pressure and air flow-- maintaining consistent temperature is essential to the success of research. From lab freezers and refrigerators to instruments, incubators to specimen holding rooms, all must be kept at set temperatures nearly all the time.

If temperatures for lab specimens fluctuate even slightly, physical properties may change, or reagents may become unstable. The viscosity of liquids in patient samples can also increase or decrease as temperatures rise and fall.

Beyond patient samples, water, which is commonly used as a testing reference, also has a different viscosity at different temperatures.

Without proper temperature control, lab technicians will find it difficult to work with samples and collect accurate test results. Additionally, hot and cold spots within a lab can cause equipment temperature to change during the storage and use of samples.

Avantor offers a wide selection of lab thermometers and temperature measurement equipment for different lab settings and needs.

Selecting the right lab temperature equipment

Lab thermometers are used to measure temperatures or temperature changes with a high degree of precision. A single temperature measurement device is not applicable across all lab situations. Therefore, there are several factors to consider when looking for lab temperature equipment.

A liquid-in-glass thermometer, typically using mercury, is the most commonly used temperature measuring device used in laboratories. This type of thermometer has a glass bulb attached to a sealed glass tube known as the stem or capillary tube.

When the temperature increases, the liquid expands and rises up in the tube, and contracts and moves down the tube when the temperature decreases. Mercury-in-glass is the most predominant temperature measurement device in laboratories because It gives accurate measurements, is a good conductor of heat and has a fast response time. You should prioritize liquid-in-glass thermometers if your lab is mostly addressing standard measurement scenarios. For more complex forms of measurement, a temperature data logger (also called a temperature monitor) is a portable measurement instrument that is capable of autonomously recording temperature over a defined period of time. The digital data can be retrieved, viewed and evaluated after it has been recorded. If your lab desires to ensure the best possible practices for all measurements, traceable thermometers provide a measurement result which can be related to a national measurement reference through a documented, unbroken chain of calibrations. These are chosen for use in labs maintaining certification programs, or labs requiring the utmost in accuracy.


The process of accurately recording and documenting temperatures in the lab is essential to both internal protocols and external regulatory mandates. Temperature measurement is also the basic foundation for most analytical measurements, and merits an ongoing, meticulous focus within the lab.

Avantor® can help equip your lab with the temperature measurement products and supplies you'll need for your laboratory from the macro environment of ambient room temperatures to the “mini” environment of smaller controlled areas, such as incubators, refrigerators/freezers, or coolers used for blood storage.