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The Best Indoor Outdoor Thermometers

Updated

For this 2021 update, we tested three new models, and we can still recommend the La Crosse Technology – C85845 as the best indoor-outdoor thermometer. But coming in at a very close sec0nd is the AcuRite – 02077, a smaller but equally efficient indoor-outdoor thermometer for monitoring temperature, humidity, moon phases, and barometric pressure in appealing and colorful easy-to-read graphics.  A great budget option is the AcuRite – 00829, which is a smaller unit with black-and-white graphics that will give you the daily basics.

Our Top Choices

Best Overall


La Crosse Technology

C85845

Also Great


AcuRite

02077

Budget Pick


AcuRite

00829

For this 2021 update, we tested three new models, and we can still recommend the La Crosse Technology – C85845 as the best indoor-outdoor thermometer. But coming in at a very close sec0nd is the AcuRite – 02077, a smaller but equally efficient indoor-outdoor thermometer for monitoring temperature, humidity, moon phases, and barometric pressure in appealing and colorful easy-to-read graphics.  A great budget option is the AcuRite – 00829, which is a smaller unit with black-and-white graphics that will give you the daily basics.

Table of contents

The 8 indoor outdoor thermometers we tested

ProductPriceRangeEasy to Set UpEasy to Read
1. La Crosse Technology - C85845$$$★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
2. AcuRite - 02077$$$★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
3. AcuRite - 00829$$★★★★★★★★★★★★★
4. La Crosse Technology - 308-1425B-INT$$$★★★★★★★★★★★★
5. La Crosse Technology - WS-9160U$$★★★★★★★★★★★★
6. ThermoPro - 67A$$★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
7. Ambient Weather - WS-2801A$$$★★★★★★★★
8. SMARTPRO - SC62 (Discontinued)$$$★★★★★★★★★★

Best overall: La Crosse Technology – C85845

La Crosse Technology is one of the leaders in indoor-outdoor thermometers, and the La Crosse Technology – C85845 is the third version of this popular model. It’s a weather-station type with settings for indoor/outdoor temperatures and humidity percentages, date, time, and weather forecast. It has a 330-foot range, and in our testing, the receiver picked up a strong signal from the sensor at that maximum distance.

This La Crosse model is the largest of the thermometers we tested and was the easiest read from across the room. Its bright LED display is divided into four sections: outdoor temperature and humidity (colored green), indoor temperature and humidity (colored blue), weather forecast with 3D icons of clouds, sunshine, rain, hail and snow, and date/time, which synchronizes with the atomic-clock signal broadcast from Colorado.

This is a weather station for weather geeks. Besides the basic readings, you can also program settings for temperature trends, minimal and maximum temperature levels, and alerts for uncomfortable humidity levels and high/low temperatures. Programming is a little complex, but the La Crosse Technology website walks you through it in detail.

Best For Weather Geeks: La Crosse Technology - C85845

If you really want every detail of today’s weather or tomorrow’s, this very reasonably priced indoor outdoor thermometer is for you. It has programming for recording temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, all of which are easy to read on its bright, large LED display.

The La Crosse records barometric pressure over a week’s time before it can begin to forecast the next day’s weather. Our tests were conducted in Southern California, where there are few fluctuations in weather, and on an especially humid day, the La Crosse predicted rain in the forecast, which was highly unlikely. However, if you’re living someplace where weather is more variable, a high humidity reading would probably mean a chance of rain is in the forecast.

The Lacrosse Technology – C85845 is well-priced for all of the features you get with this weather station. The one negative we have is that it will stay lit only when it’s plugged in. When it’s on battery power, you need to press the “snooze” button on top of the unit for the backlight to illuminate. But we don’t consider this a significant reason for passing on this excellent weather station.

Long-term testing notes: We continued to monitor the Lacrosse – C85845 for two years, and the display screen stayed bright and functional, and for the most part, the station was accurate with both present and future conditions. The sensor remote, however, was less reliable. It was kept in a roofed upper patio and was protected from the elements. But the remote’s transmission often failed and then restarted for no apparent reason. We changed the remote’s batteries several times, but the transmission continued to fluctuate.

Key takeaways:

  • The La Crosse Technology – C85845 is one of the best models of indoor-outdoor thermometers. It has a powerful receiver/transmitter that can pick up signals up to 330 feet away.
  • Packed with features, such as weather forecasting and temperature/humidity trends, it’s an incredible value.
  • Its brightly lit and large LED display is easy to read from across the room.

Also great: AcuRite – 02077

Acurite - 02077 weather station

One of the new models we tested for this 2021 update is the AcuRite – 02077 color weather station. It has the same features as the La Crosse – C85845, but it’s about half the size, so it doesn’t dominate a room, yet it’s still easy to read the LED display. The AcuRite’s graphics are pleasing to the eye with muted blues and yellows to denote outdoor and indoor readings, and the weather forecast panel displays colorful images of a sunny day, cloudy day, rainy day, etc., and a barometric gauge.

The AcuRite was far easier to set up than the Lacrosse (including the new model we tested). You literally plug it in, choose your time zone, and the unit’s clock (which is called Intelli-Time) automatically picks up whether you’re on Daylight Saving Time, and gives you that option to select. Once you set the date and how you want temperature and pressure units to be displayed, you’re done.

Also Great: AcuRite - 02077

A smaller weather station but just as powerful and accurate as larger models. With a simple set-up, easy-to-read display, and far-ranging sensor is also a great choice.

Even if you unplug or lose power, when the AcuRite’s is powered up again, it restores all of the settings you programmed. Speaking of unexpected power loss, if you chose to insert three optional AA batteries into the AcuRite, in addition to plugging it in, the battery operation will prevent loss of data.

The AcuRite has a learning mode, which must run for 14 days before it can predict the weather. However, during that two-week period, the station collects data and forecasts temperature and humidity highs and lows for both indoors and outdoors. The sensor has a stated range of 330 feet, and though we can’t imagine why someone might want or need such a distance from the weather station, we tested it anyway. At 330 feet, the signal was just as strong as from 50 feet away.

The AcuRite – 02077 is slightly more expensive than the La Crosse – C85845 but it is just as good and, for some weather fanatics, perhaps even better.

Key takeaways:

  • The AcuRite – 02077 weather station has most of the same features as other larger models.
  • It’s incredibly easy to set up, and even if there’s a power loss, once power is restored, it boots right up to the programmed settings.
  • The remote sensor is powerful and can send signals to the station from at least 330 feet.

Budget pick: AcuRite – 00829

Acurite - 00829 indoor outdoor thermometer

If you want a basic but accurate weather forecaster, we recommend the AcuRite – 00829 as our budget pick. It’s a little bit bigger than a large iPhone and has a plain black-and-white LED display. This model doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the AcuRite – 02077, but if you just want to know the temperature inside and out and whether or not you should tote an umbrella, it will give you the basics.

The AcuRite – 00829 takes about 10 seconds to set up. It also has the Intelli-Time clock that instructs the date and time to set the second the batteries are installed. All you need to do is set the time zone and Daylight Saving Time.

If You're Budget-Conscious: AcuRite - 00289

This model is simple and plain but has a robust sensor that reports temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and weather trends.

Once the 14-day learning period is completed, this AcuRite model will self-calibrate barometric pressure and indicates how it’s trending. The weather forecasting will also self-calibrate and use the data transmitted by the outdoor sensor to predict changes in the weather, which it displays in a rudimentary graphic resembling a pen-and-ink sketch.

The AcuRite – 00829 has the exact same sensor remote as the 02077 with the remarkably strong range of 330 feet. This model doesn’t have a backlight, so it can be hard to read in a dimly lit room. Also, it’s battery-powered (three AAA and a separate coin-cell battery for the Intelli-Time clock), and there’s a chance the station’s forecast and monitoring function could decrease as the batteries lose their charge.

This model has a rain gauge and protective shield that can be purchased in addition to the station, but at about $30, the AcuRite – 00829 is a great buy for the budget-conscious.

Key takeaways:

  • The AcuRite – 00829 isn’t as sophisticated as other AcuRite models, but it delivers all of the basic information for temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure.
  • It has an excellent sensor that can send transmissions to the station from 330 feet away.
  • This model doesn’t have a back light, so it can be hard to read in a darkened room.

Other products we tested

La Crosse Technology – 308-1425B-INT

La Crosse - 308-1425b int

The La Cross Technology – 308-1425B-INT weather station stands out for its vertical, bright, and large LED display. You could virtually stand anywhere in a dark or lit room and see its multi-colored glow. This model doesn’t have all of the features that our top pick has, but if you’re not a weather nerd — or near-sighted — it’s a viable option. At almost 10 inches tall, this La Crosse was designed to stand up on a counter or table or hung on the wall like a picture frame.

It has pretty much the same functions as our budget pick, the AcuRite – 00829, so for about $15 more, all you’re really getting is a station that’s three times the size. The only additional features are an alarm for the unit’s clock and alerts for when indoor/outdoor temperatures get too high or low. It’s powered by a 5-volt AC adapter or three AAA batteries as a stand-alone or backup power source. This La Crosse model has a stated 300-foot range for its sensor, and its signal did diminish at 330 feet, unlike the two AcuRite stations.

We had the same difficulty in programming this model as we did the La Cross – C85485. Although it does have an atomic clock, it doesn’t auto-detect time and date, which are laborious and frustrating to set. Also, when the station is unplugged and restarted, the time and date need to be re-programmed. Another problem is it can take up to four weeks before this La Crosse forecasts the weather. The LaCrosse – 308-1425B-INT is cheaper by a dollar than the La Crosse – C85485, which is a much better weather station.

La Crosse Technology – WS-9160U

Photo Credit Kimberly Lostroscio

The La Crosse Technology – WS-916OU is a minimalistic and well-designed indoor outdoor thermometer that gives you basic information: indoor and outdoor temperatures and the time. Its slight tilt upward makes it easier to read from afar (and up close), giving it a natural position for reading its display no matter where you are in the room. Its large, crisp digits also contribute to a simple yet elegant aesthetic. Overall, it’s definitely bare-bones, but if you’re not looking to spend a ton of money, it delivers in quality.

One negative that comes with the La Crosse’s low price point is its range. Although it’s supposed to have a 330-foot range, in actuality, it’s about half of that. We walked the sensor out to 300 feet from the receiver’s location, and it struggled to pick up a signal. We gradually walked the sensor closer, and it began picking up a signal at approximately 150 feet.

For such a simple device, the La Crosse was a bit tricky to program at first. However, La Crosse has very helpful videos on its website that run through the programming step-by-step. If you want an indoor outdoor thermometer for your porch or carport, the La Crosse Technology – WS-916OU is an affordable option.

ThermoPro – 67A

The ThermoPro – TP67A has the simplicity of the La Crosse – WS-916OU and the complexity of the La Crosse – C84854. It has an easy-to-read LED display and weather-forecasting features, including a graph that shows changes in barometric pressure in six 1-second increments. The barometer adds a bit of visual excitement to an otherwise lackluster display, but its value is questionable since there is also an icon for current weather conditions.

The ThermoPro has a 330-foot range, which proved to be accurate in our testing. It has a couple of unique features worth noting. First, the sensor is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery, and although a wall adapter isn’t included, it can be charged with a cell phone charger. Another feature is that the sensor is water-proof. Although it’s recommended that the sensor shouldn’t be placed out in the rain, it will still send its signal even if it gets wet.

The unit itself is battery operated and without a wall adapter, the screen is never lit unless its light button is pushed. It stays illuminated for 15 seconds, which is just barely enough time to read the display. Although the ThermoPro – 67A is an accurate thermometer, it’s overly complex and hard to decipher at a quick glance.

Ambient Weather – WS-2801A

The Ambient Weather – WS-2801A is a full-color indoor outdoor thermometer that’s packed with features, and though it’s the same small size as the La Crosse – WS-916OU, we had no trouble reading the LED display. Temperature readings, calendar and time are clearly illuminated in white against a black background, and the current-weather icons pop out like 3D. The barometric pressure graph and reading are a muted orange and don’t steal focus from the indoor and outdoor temperatures.

It’s a well-designed unit, except for one major issue: It has terrible range. It’s supposed to have a 300-foot range, but we barely got a signal 20 feet away. The Ambient Weather also struggled to send/receive a signal through a closed glass patio door — none of the other thermometers we tested had this issue. Adding insult to injury, this particular model of Ambient Weather is also the most expensive.

SMARTPRO – S62 (Discontinued)

The SMARTPRO – SC62 is a prime example of piling on too many features. It’s about half the width and height of the La Crosse – C85845, and it has just as many functions, but they’re all squeezed together, resulting in a blurry mess. Although the SMARTPRO’s range isn’t stated in the instruction manual, it still transmitted 300 feet away, and its temperature and humidity readings were accurate.

The manufacturer, however, seems confused as to what the SMARTPRO should be. It has a clock function with snooze alarm that’s twice the size of the weather read-outs. There’s also a calendar with numeric date and month and abbreviated day of the week and an icon to show what phase the moon is in.

Adding to the confusion, the SMARTPRO has a moving barometric pressure graph and a current-weather icon that moves in an attempt at 3D but looks more like Pac Man. The backlight stays illuminated for 10 seconds, but you’ll need more time than that to figure out anything but the time of day.

Important features to consider

If you’re considering purchasing an indoor-outdoor thermometer, first decide what’s important to you. Temperature is an obvious one, and depending on where you live, you might want to know the humidity level as well. All of the thermometers we tested had a clock display, and all of the newer models have a weather-forecast mode.

When we originally reviewed indoor-outdoor thermometers, we found that the models with extra features were less effective, and the more features they had, the worse they performed. That’s not the case with the new models. Although two were somewhat difficult to read, we found that all of the thermometers we tested for this update were accurate.

Most of the new thermometers we tested were battery-operated with an optional electric adapter. When the adapter is plugged in, the thermometer switches over to electric power and automatically illuminates the thermometer’s face. When the adapter is unplugged, the illumination remains lit for 10 seconds, and then like your laptop, “sleeps” to save battery power.

The following list details the core features that all of the new models we tested have:

  • Indoor/outdoor temperature
  • Clock
  • LED display
  • High/low daily temperatures
  • Forecast prediction
  • Humidity level
  • Barometric pressure

Barometric pressure

Barometric pressure is the pressure exerted by the weight of air in the Earth’s atmosphere. Air pressure affects the weather by influencing the movement of air around the world. High-pressure areas tend to bring sunny skies, while low-pressure areas generally develop clouds and precipitation.

If you’re in a sunny climate, this feature might not be as interesting to you. But if you dream of someday predicting the weather in more volatile climates, the new models we tested include those calculations in their LED screens.

Remote sensor

The battery-operated remote sensor should be positioned outdoors in a protected shady area, such as a porch or roof eave — someplace where it won’t get wet. Installing the sensor in a sunny area will give incorrect readings since direct sunlight will heat the sensor.

Range

The models we tested had receiving/transmittal ranges between 200 – 330 feet. However, the range is adversely affected by solid walls and wireless signals, such as cell phones and Internet routers. When you’re first setting up your thermometer, you may need to try several outdoor locations to determine where the receiver will pick up the strongest signal.

LED display

All of the thermometers we tested gave accurate readings for indoor and outdoor temperatures and varied by only one or two degrees. However, we found one of the most important features is a bright and easy-to-read LED display.

When we first reviewed indoor outdoor thermometers we noted that only the LaCrosse Technology – WS-916OU-T had the best LED display because its numerals were large and crisp against the backlighting and also because it had a back stand that tilted the screen up.

The new models all have the back stand and can be tilted up. But we found that the new LaCrosse Technology – C85845 was the easiest to read, thanks to its large numerals and color-coding that delineates indoor readings from outdoor readings.

The bottom line

Since we last reviewed indoor outdoor thermometers, the latest models have been significantly improved over the ones we originally rated. If you’re really into weather and want a thermometer that will give you accurate temperature, humidity, and barometric-pressure readings, we recommend the La Crosse Technology – C85845. It has a large, boldly lit and easy-to-read LED display and a powerful receiver/transmitter that can pick up signals over 300 feet away.

We also recommend the AcuRite – 02077 color weather station as another great choice. It’s smaller than the La Crosse but it’s more user-friendly and has the same features with a robust sensor signal.

Best Overall: La Crosse Technology - C85845

With a range of 330 feet and settings for temperature trends and alerts for uncomfortable humidity levels, the La Crosse - C85845 is also one of the most affordable home weather stations.

Gene Gerrard, Writer

Gene has written about a wide variety of topics for too many years to count. He's been a professional chef, cooking-appliance demonstrator, playwright, director, editor of accountancy and bank-rating books, Houdini expert and dog lover (still is). When he's not writing for Your Best Digs, he's performing as a magician at the Magic Castle in Hollywood.