Temperature Sensor Comparison

With all of the different ways to measure temperature it can be difficult to decide which sensor will work best in a given situation.

In this lesson we will compare the pros and cons of the different types of temperature sensors and the applications each is best suited to.


Thermistors are temperature-sensitive resistors.

They have a wider variation in their properties than the other kinds of temperature sensors which makes them useful in a range of everyday devices.

Engine and transmission temperature monitoring, refrigerators, medical thermometers, microwaves, and computers are all examples of applications where thermistors may be used.

A thermistor's operating range is usually within the range of temperatures that humans can directly interact with, about -90˚C to 130˚C.

For a more in-depth look at how thermistors work, check out the thermistors lesson here.

The advantages of thermistors include:

  • A high level of accuracy within their operating range.

  • Fast response times to changes in temperature.

  • Can be ruggedized so they are not affected by shocks or vibrations.

  • Low cost.

There are, of course, disadvantages to thermistors.
These include:

  • Their narrow operating range.
    +/- 10˚C of their preset temperature point.

  • The risk of self-heating errors. As a type of electrical resistor, thermistors use current to operate. Too much current will heat the thermistor and throw off the thermistor's reading.

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We hope you enjoyed Temperature Sensor Comparison

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