How to Choose The Best Stethoscope for You

How to Choose The Best Stethoscope for You | Medelita

How to Choose The Perfect Stethoscope

It's an iconic tool, one that immediately signals your medical profession to the outside world and gives you a basic look at your patients' health. So no matter where you are in your medical career, you need a stethoscope that exemplifies precision, durability and maximum sound quality — and it doesn't hurt if it looks good, too. But before you purchase one, consider the following:

What brand is right for you?


Do your research and find the best stethoscope for you and your specific work, whether it's pediatric, cardiology, etc. While each professional has unique needs when it comes to buying a stethoscope, spending a little more money to invest in one that is lightweight and durable will save you money down the line, and keep you and your neck happy. Look at brands like Erka, Littman and 3M to get you started.

How accurate is it?

One of the most important factors you need to consider before making a purchase is the accuracy of a stethoscope. Do you want electronic or acoustic? Electronic stethoscopes are ideal for people who work in noisy environments, but either way, the tubing should be thick and durable to help amplify sound and reduce outside noise. The stem should be made of the same strong material as the chestpiece for optimal sound transfer. Finally, look for a precise diaphragm.

Will it last?

Few things are more frustrating than when a tool breaks after you invested time and money into it. You want to make sure the stethoscope you purchase is one that will last for years to come. So make sure it meets these basic requirements: The headset should have a spring design and the chest piece should be hand-polished and made of either stainless steel or titanium. Good warranties and part replacement programs can also help take the guesswork out of finding a long-lasting stethoscope.

Is it comfortable for you and your patient?

clinician using a stethoscope on patient

As a staple in your medical toolkit, you'll want a stethoscope that you can wear for long shifts and that won't have your patients squirming. The headset should be adjustable, for example. And when you purchase your stethoscope, it should come with at least three different sizes of eartips. Try each one on to determine which is most comfortable and which will remove the most outside noise. Finally look for tubing that's long enough to give you and your patient a comfortable, and safe, amount of space.

Is it easy to clean?

This might seem like a no-brainer, but studies show 80 percent of stethoscopes are contaminated with infectious bacteria. You'll want to make sure your stethoscope is easy to clean. Experts say you should be able to wipe down all parts of it with one or more alcohol pads. Don't use alcohol gels — most contain lotions that can cause sediment buildup. Replacing parts as needed can also help keep your stethoscope clean and ensure it lasts longer.

Looking for function as well as beauty? Shop Medelita’s powerhouse Erka Stethoscopes now.