This paper is concerned with the determination of thermoelastic stresses, strain and conductive temperature in a spherically symmetric spherical shell. The two-temperature three-phase-lag thermoelastic model (2T3P) and two-temperature Green–Naghdi model III (2TGNIII) are combined into a unified formulation. There is no temperature at the outer boundary, and thermal load is applied at the inner boundary. The basic equations have been written in the form of a vector–matrix differential equation in the Laplace transform domain which is then solved by the state-space approach. The numerical inversion of the transform is carried out using Fourier series expansion techniques. Because of the short duration of the second sound effects, small time approximations of the solutions are studied. The physical quantities have been computed numerically and presented graphically in a number of figures. A complete and comprehensive analysis of the results has been presented for the 2T3P and the 2TGNIII models. These results have also been compared with those of the one-temperature three-phase-lag thermoelastic model (1T3P) and one-temperature Green–Naghdi model III (1TGNIII). © 2014, Springer-Verlag Wien.