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The Best Indoor Outdoor Thermometer

Updated


In 2019, several indoor outdoor thermometers that we had tested in our previous review were discontinued. So we tested four new models and now recommend the La Crosse Technology – C85845 as the best indoor-outdoor thermometer. Its full-color screen with large icons gives you accurate temperature and humidity readings for both inside and outdoors. If you just want to know the temperature and time indoors and out, then our former top pick, La Crosse – WS-9160U, is a good, basic option for the budget-conscious.

Our Top Choices

Best Overall


La Crosse Technology

C85845

See Price at Amazon

Budget Pick


La Crosse Technology

WS-916OU

See Price at Amazon

In 2019, several indoor outdoor thermometers that we had tested in our previous review were discontinued. So we tested four new models and now recommend the La Crosse Technology – C85845 as the best indoor-outdoor thermometer. Its full-color screen with large icons gives you accurate temperature and humidity readings for both inside and outdoors. If you just want to know the temperature and time indoors and out, then our former top pick, La Crosse – WS-9160U, is a good, basic option for the budget-conscious.

(Editor’s note: The Acurite – 01027A and Acurite – 75055A that we reviewed in 2016 were discontinued in 2019. Since our prior testing, The Ambient Weather – WS1171B was upgraded to the Ambient Weather – WS-2801A, which we tested for this 2019 update. We also researched and tested several of the latest models, including our new top pick, the La Crosse Technology – C85845.)

Table of contents

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 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.

Except for the ThermoPro – TP67A, all 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.

Compare the best indoor outdoor thermometers

ProductPriceRangeEasy to Set UpEasy to Read
1. La Crosse Technology - C85845$$$★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
2. La Crosse Technology - WS-9160U$$★★★★★★★★★★★★
3. ThermoPro - 67A$$★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
4. SMARTPRO - SC62$$$★★★★★★★★★★
5. Ambient Weather - WS-2801A$$$★★★★★★★★

Indoor outdoor thermometer comparison

The following chart shows the features side-by-side of the thermometers we tested in 2019.

ProductPriceRangeEasy to Set UpEasy to Read
1. La Crosse Technology - C85845$$$★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
2. La Crosse Technology - WS-9160U$$★★★★★★★★★★★★
3. ThermoPro - 67A$$★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
4. SMARTPRO - SC62$$$★★★★★★★★★★
5. Ambient Weather - WS-2801A$$$★★★★★★★★

Best overall: La Crosse – 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 new 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 temperature. 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. Like all of the new models we tested, the instruction manual warns that forecasting is 70 – 75% accurate. 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 is unlikely. However, if you’re living some place 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 incredibly 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. Since this was the case with all of the new thermometers we tested, we don’t consider this a significant reason for passing by this excellent weather station.

Key takeaways:

  • The Lacrosse Technology – C85845 is one of the best new models of indoor-outdoor thermometers. It has a powerful receiver/transmitter than 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.

Budget pick: La Crosse – 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 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 begin picking up a signal at approximately 150 feet.

Budget Pick: La Crosse Technology - WS-9160U

Affordable, accurate and easy to read, the La Crosse gives you the basics, temperature and time at a reasonable price

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.

Key takeaways:

  • The La Crosse Technology – WS-916OU is well-designed with a clean, minimalist appearance and an easy-to-read display.
  • It only gives basic information: indoor/outdoor temperatures and the time
  • Although it doesn’t have a long range, it’s still great for an outdoor porch or carport.

New thermometers we tested

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.

SMARTPRO – S62

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.

Ambient Weather – WS-2801A

(Editor’s note: The model we tested in 2016, the Ambient Weather – WS-1171B, has been discontinued. We selected the manufacturer’s most recent model to test for this 2019 update.)

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.

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.

If you don’t need all features and just want to know the current temperature and time, the La Crosse Technology – WS-916OU is our budget pick. Although it doesn’t have a long-range signal (about 150 feet), it has a clean, minimalist look, and its always-illuminated screen can be easily seen from across the room.

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.

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