Best Bathroom Scales of 2018
A bathroom scale keeps track of your weight as you seek a healhier lifestyle. Our shopping guide will help you find the best bathroom scale for your needs.
Pound for Pound, What's the Best Bathroom Scale for You?
Staying healthy usually means eating right, getting regular exercise, and seeing a doctor for regular checkups to make sure that everything is in working order.
In addition to the insights a doctor can provide, your weight is one of the best indicators of your overall health. Excess weight can lead to a host of health issues such as heart disease and diabetes, so it's important to regularly track it to ensure you're in a healthy range.
If you're on a weight-loss journey, tracking your weight can also help determine if your current diet and workout routine are effective—and it can motivate you by showing you all the progress you're making.
So, whether you weigh yourself each morning, once a week, or just occasionally, an accurate, reliable bathroom scale is an important tool for maintaining your health.
The newest crop of bathroom scales on the market can do a lot more than just track your weight. With so much data collected and so many extra features to consider, figuring out which model is best for you can start to feel like mission impossible.
At BestReviews, we never accept free samples from manufacturers in exchange for a good review, which means you can trust our recommendations to be completely unbiased. We conduct field and expert research to familiarize ourselves with the top models on the market. This allows us to help you make the most educated shopping decision.
If you're ready to buy a new bathroom scale, check out our top recommendations above. For general information about what to look for when choosing a scale, continue reading our shopping guide.
Who Needs a Bathroom Scale?
Because weight can be an effective indicator of general health, most people benefit from having a reliable bathroom scale.
Having a scale allows you to ensure that your weight stays in a healthy range. Additionally, avoiding weight gain may help ward off serious health issues, including the following:
● Heart disease
● High blood pressure
● Breathing issues
● Some cancers
A bathroom scale is an important tool for individuals who are actively trying to lose weight or improve their fitness level.
A scale can not only track your weight, but also your BMI (body mass index), body fat, muscle percentage, and other data, so you can monitor your progress and make sure that your diet and fitness routines are working for you.
Types of Bathroom Scales
Analog/Mechanical Bathroom Scales
Analog or mechanical bathroom scales operate on a spring mechanism, so they don't require batteries or other power sources. They display your weight on a large, easy-to-read dial, but they don't track any other data.
An analog scale is usually the most budget-friendly option, but it may not be as accurate as digital and higher-tech scales.
Digital Bathroom Scales
Digital bathroom scales usually run on battery power, but some may be solar-powered. They display your weight on a digital screen and are usually more accurate than analog scales.
Some digital scales track more data than just weight, such as BMI, body fat, muscle percentage, body water, bone mass, and calorie consumption. Many scales can store this data for multiple users.
The more features that a digital scale has, the pricier it usually is.
High-Tech Bathroom Scales
High-tech bathroom scales are digital scales that track weight and other data and allow for Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity. With this type of scale, you can send data from the scale to a fitness app on your smartphone or tablet, enabling you to track your weight and fitness level more easily.
Bathroom Scale Features to Consider
Bathroom scales come in a variety of weight capacities, but they generally range between a maximum of 300 to 450 pounds. However, some models have a weight capacity of up to 550 pounds. As you shop, take into consideration the size of the people who will be using the scale.
If you're counting on a scale to keep track of your weight, you want to be sure that its measurements are accurate. In most cases, digital bathroom scales are highly accurate as long as their batteries are fresh. Mechanical or analog scales tend to be less accurate as time goes on because their springs wear out.
It's also a good idea to consider a scale's measurement increments. Bathroom scales with smaller increments are usually more accurate. If you want the most precise weight measurements possible, look for a bathroom scale with increments of about 0.2 pounds.
The most user-friendly scales have large displays that are easy to read. It may be a good idea to choose a backlit display so you can easily see the numbers, even in dim lighting.
If you have trouble seeing at a distance, opt for a scale with large numbers. You can also find some high-tech scales that use an electronic voice to read your weight aloud. This is an ideal option for users with poor eyesight.
It may seem like a minor detail, but a bathroom scale's platform should be comfortable to stand on. It should be wide enough for individuals with large feet or mobility issues; a width of 12 inches or more will usually suffice.
If you have mobility issues, you should also look for a scale with a ribbed or padded platform. The textured surface provides better traction, which can help prevent slips and falls.
What type of data would you like to measure with your bathroom scale? Different types of scales provide different types of data.
● Analog scales measure your weight only. If you just want to make sure that you don't gain or lose too many pounds, an analog scale is a fine option.
● Digital scales are great for people who are trying to lose weight and/or improve their fitness level. If this sounds like you, you may prefer a digital scale with body-composition metrics that give you a clearer picture of your overall health.
In most cases, the more data that a scale tracks, the higher its price tag will be. If you're trying to lose weight or tone up, you may find this extra information to be well worth the investment.
Many digital scales have a built-in memory that recalls recent data. This allows you to track changes in your body composition, such as how many pounds you've lost.
Digital bathroom scales with built-in memory can often track data for more than one person. If you buy a scale like this, other members of your household could potentially use the scale to track their personal data too.
Some high-tech digital scales offer Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity, so your data can be uploaded directly to a mobile or web app. This functionality makes it easy to track weight and other body-composition data. Keep in mind that you'll pay more for a smart bathroom scale, so if you don't plan to track your data in that way, you may not want to pay the extra money.
How Much Should I Pay for a Bathroom Scale?
Bathroom scales range in price based on type and features, but you can typically expect to pay anywhere from $6 to $200 for a good one.
● Under $25: For a basic analog bathroom scale, you'll usually pay between $6 and $25. An analog bathroom scale is an appropriate option if you don't weigh yourself often and don't require detailed data about your body composition.
● Under $35: For a basic digital bathroom scale, you'll usually pay between $15 and $35. It's an ideal option if you want an accurate scale for regular weigh-ins but aren't concerned about additional data such as BMI, body fat, or muscle percentage.
● Under $200: For a high-tech digital scale, you'll usually pay between $30 and $200. This type of scale is a good choice if you're actively trying to lose weight or improve your fitness level and want to track your data on your smartphone or tablet.
Tips for Weigh-Ins
● For the most accurate weight measurement, keep your bathroom scale on a hard, level surface, such as a wood or tile floor. Avoid using your scale on carpeting, as the uneven nature of the pile could cause inaccurate readings.
● Eating and drinking can cause fluctuations in your weight, so it's best to weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you've had breakfast or coffee.
● Wear the same type of clothing each time you weigh yourself. If you're wearing nothing but your underwear one time and jeans and a heavy sweater the next, your weight measurement may be off due to the difference in clothing weight.
● Despite its name, it's best not to keep a bathroom scale in the bathroom. The humidity can fog up the display and make it difficult to read.
Q. How accurate are the body fat readings on bathroom scales?
A. A bathroom scale that provides body fat data uses bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) to determine the reading. BIA isn't as accurate as the water displacement method frequently used by doctors, nutritionists, and other professionals. However, if you weigh yourself under the same conditions each time, you'll get a relatively good idea of your body's fat loss or gain.
Q. What features make a scale easier to read for those with poor vision?
A. A digital scale is often the easiest to read. However, it's important to look for one with a large display that's backlit so you can see the numbers in dim lighting.
Q. What safety features should you look for in a scale if you're elderly or have mobility issues?
A. Many modern scales are made of glass. This poses a danger of slippage if you have poor balance or limited mobility. For a safe, secure scale, look for a model with a ribbed or padded platform that provides good traction.