A reliable, useful outdoor thermometer is a gardener's best friend. From monitoring minimum and maximum temperatures, to predicting overnight frosts, and helping you gauge soil temperatures for planting seedlings; you’d be lost without this faithful gadget.


The good news is that it doesn’t have to be about plain metal and a dial. Fortunately, there is a plethora of practical as well as stylish garden thermometers available. You can choose from vintage, super-large designs, LED displays, slate effect, wooden, powder white casing and more when searching for the best garden thermometer to suit your needs.

Where should I place my garden thermometer?

Ideally you'd want to position your outdoor thermometer away from sunlight and somewhere with sufficient airflow. The shade of a tree can work well, and it's important to place your garden thermometer above the ground - around four to six feet above.

What makes an outdoor thermometer work?

There are different types of thermometers used outdoors:

  • Mercury thermometers work when increases in the air's temperature cause a red liquid to rise up a glass tube, identifying the temperature.
  • Dial (bimetal) thermometers work using metals that respond to temperature differently. The dial is powered by a coil that points to the right temperature.
  • Digital thermometers often use thermistors to measure the resistance of an electrical current. As the temperature changes, so does the resistance.

The best garden and outdoor thermometers

Green Wash Lollipop Thermometer

This stylish thermometer has a modern design and a lollipop style. It comes complete with a black, aluminium measuring dial with a bimetallic power coil to display the temperature. Plus, there's a pointed metal spike to secure it into the ground.

Your thermometer can be as stylish as the rest of the garden, so the alternative design of this one makes it a fitting choice to add something unique. It's perfect to keep outside all year round, thanks to its durable weather-resistant material. 119x27cm.

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Zinc Garden Thermometer

Add a stylish vintage touch to your greenhouse or outdoor wall with this zinc thermometer. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use thanks to its durable design, it also provides readings in both Fahrenheit and Celsius. Height 30x7cm.

JSG Accessories Digital Window Thermometer

If you’re looking for a window display thermometer, this great economical option from JSG is just the ticket. It has a clear easy-to-read LCD digital display and it's easily mountable with an included suction cup. You can place it on either an indoor or outdoor window.

The digital thermometer has a temperature range of -20°C to +70°C and it's powered by just one AAA battery (that isn't included). Plus, the temperature updates every 10 seconds and can be displayed in Celsius or Fahrenheit. 9.2x9cm.

Faithfull Wood Thermometer

Faithfull FAITHWOODLG Thermometer Wall Wood 400mm

For a more traditional aesthetic, this wood thermometer is brilliantly priced. It comes with a wall mount and has an easy-to-read display. A must-have for any gardener to have hung on their greenhouse or shed wall.

Slate Thermometer

This sleek, slate thermometer comes with a streamlined outline. It measures in both Centigrade and Fahrenheit, from -30 to 50° centigrade. The thermometer also comes handily ready with fixings and two pre-drilled holes. 45x10cm

Buy the slate thermometer from Garden Trading

Giant Thermometer

Giant thermometer

If you have a big space to fill or like to see the temperature from a distance, this large thermometer makes for an eye-catching option. It measures in both Centigrade and Fahrenheit, You can easily fasten to a wall through a pre-drilled screw hole at the top of thermometer (screws aren’t included). 90x12cm.

Circular&Co. Clock & Thermometer

We love this top 2-in-1 clock & thermometer option for indoors. Crafted from recycled paper packaging, this UK made product has a slate look and feel. All you need to get set up is 2 AA batteries (not included). 26x17cm,

ClimeMET Min/Max Thermometer

For something a tad different, we present this modern ClimeMET digital min/max thermometer. The large LCD screen features a constant display of the min/max temperature readings, along with the current temperature; making it perfect for any gardener. From keeping an eye on overnight temperatures, to monitoring air temperatures in the garden, this is a must-have for any avid gardener. Made from durable resistant plastic coating, it's available in both green and white, you just need 3 AAA batteries to set up. 22.5x2.2cm,

Garden Trading St Ives Thermometer

Made from galvanised steel and with a stylish silver rim, this weatherproof thermometer . Perfect if you live near the coast or a location prone to harsh wind and downpours. The large display makes it clear and easy to read from a distance. It also comes presented in a lovely box, making it a great gift option. 22cm diameter


* As with all thermometers, hang in a sheltered place out of direct sun.


Katie BealeEditorial & Digital Assistant

Katie is Editorial & Digital Assistant on Gardens Illustrated