The Bathroom Scales Buyers Guide

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Bathroom Scales Buyers Guide

If you are looking to buy bathroom scales, there is a good chance you are looking to lose weight or ensure you maintain a healthy weight. If this is the case, you need a way of accurately tracking your progress. Checking the scales can be beneficial for knowing how far you have come and for keeping you on the right track.

There are currently a number of scales on the market claiming a variety of features. This guide is designed to inform you of everything you should look out for when comparing scales, to ensure you make the best choice for you.

Only got 5 minutes

Although home scales are not as accurate as professional scales, they do give a good guide to your weight and can therefore help track your weight and progress.

Scale models have significantly improved in recent years and many do much more than just give a reading of your weight.

In order to choose the correct scales for you there are a number of features you may want to look out for and compare.

  • Weight capacity.
  • Small increment measure. Better bathroom scales should offer accurate readings.
  • Measurement options. Bathroom scales should offer measurements in pounds, kilograms and stones.
  • Weight tracker. Some scales can track your weight over time. You can usually see your progress on the scales or via an app.
  • Multi-user memory. Some scales have internal memory. If you and your partner or the whole family will be monitoring their progress, we suggest looking for a multi-user tracking capacity.
  • Large display. Some displays can be difficult to read, particularly from a standing position.
  • Platform size. This can be a more important feature to those with mobility issues and those with larger feet. We recommend a scale with at least a 12-inch platform. 
  • Body fat analysis. Many digital scales can now estimate your body fat percentage. Muscle mass analysis. Similar to body fat analysis and usually provided alongside, this feature will allow you to track your lean muscle mass.
  • Water tracking.
  • Calories.
  • Accuracy.
  • Activity tracker/ app connectivity. Some digital scales now connect using Bluetooth so that you can see all of your data in one place. Perfect for those dieters who use activity trackers and apps to monitor their weight and progress. You will also find certain scales that have been designed specifically to connect with certain activity tracking devices.

What do I need to know?

The accuracy of bathroom scales

Home scales are less accurate than professional body scales as professional scales use methods not suitable to the home. However, if you are careful to take measurements under the same conditions, e.g. the same time of day, same clothes etc. Scales can give a relatively good gauge of any weight gains and losses.

The aesthetics

Unlike traditional scales, modern scales come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours to avoid being an eyesore in the home. Many have chrome accents, glass stages or give a choice of colour to suit your décor. You can even purchase marble scales.

Measuring more than weight

If you are simply looking to measure your weight, a simple bathroom scale is enough. However, it is worth bearing in mind that if you are wanting more than that, some scales have the ability to measure body fat.

For the high-tech junky

If you love the idea of having access to your personal data via your smartphone, the high-tech smart scales may be for you. These scales allow you to track your weight, general fitness and more by uploading data to a mobile or web app. However, they do come at a higher cost and we recommend you check reviews of their added functionality.

Types of scales

If it has been a while since you last bought bathroom scales you will probably be surprised with just how many scales are on the market and all the functions they can perform. We are no longer limited to simple mechanical or digital and some now even use wireless technology.

With that being said, bathroom scales ultimately serve the same purpose. You step on and in a short amount of time, you are provided with your weight reading. The type of scale is purely down to your preference.

Analogue or digital?

The traditional bathroom scales are analogue. The analogue dial can be quite difficult to read due to numerals only appearing in increments and lines marking between. This design lacks the ability to give great accuracy and measure the smaller weight increases.

Digital scales display readings on an LCD screen as a number. These scales provide accurate measurement with decimal point readings.

What to look out for

Features             

As discussed earlier, all scales essentially do the same thing. However, there are a number of features we feel you should understand and look out for.

  • Weight capacity. Home scales do have a weight capacity that can range from around 300lb to 550lb.
  • Small increment measure. Better bathroom scales should offer accurate readings. We recommend scales that have at least 0.2-pound increments.
  • Measurement options. Bathroom scales should offer measurements in pounds, kilograms and stones.
  • Weight tracker. Some scales can track your weight over time. You can usually see your progress on the scales or via an app. Some apps can even connect your scales and activity monitor to provide further data, exercise recommendations and advice for calorie consumption
  • Multi-user memory. Some scales have internal memory. If you and your partner or the whole family will be monitoring their progress, we suggest looking for a multi-user tracking capacity.
  • Large display. Some displays can be difficult to read, particularly from a standing position. A good bathroom scale should have a large, backlit display to make reading your weigh easier.
  • Platform size. In simple terms, the wider the platform the easier to stand on it is. This can be a more important feature to those with mobility issues and those with larger feet. We recommend a scale with at least a 12-inch platform. 
  • Body fat analysis. Many digital scales can now estimate your body fat percentage. This is particularly useful for dieters who are exercising and therefore building muscle mass.
  • Muscle mass analysis. Similar to body fat analysis and usually provided alongside, this feature will allow you to track your lean muscle mass. A great feature for those completing strength workouts.
  • Water tracking. Changes in water happen daily for most dieters and show particularly in women. Some scales help to show these changes that lead to daily weight fluctuations.
  • Calories. Some scales now offer calorie recommendations and help you to monitor and track your calorie intake.
  • Accuracy. Unfortunately, the accuracy varies between models and it is difficult to know if your scales are accurate before purchasing. It is worth checking user reviews of the model you are looking to buy before purchase.
  • Activity tracker/ app connectivity. Some digital scales now connect using Bluetooth so that you can see all of your data in one place. Perfect for those dieters who use activity trackers and apps to monitor their weight and progress. You will also find certain scales that have been designed specifically to connect with certain activity tracking devices.

How to use bathroom scales

Weighing yourself

To get an accurate measurement of your weight you should use the scales at the same time of day each time you weigh, preferably in the morning after a bathroom visit and before eating. Weigh yourself either naked or in underwear and weigh in the same way each time.

The scales

Ensure the scale is on a solid flat surface, mechanical scales should be set to ‘0’ whereas electronic scales should already be set. Stand on the scale as asymmetrically as possible as uneven distribution of weight can interfere with the scale. Ensure you do not lean on anything and keep still. Ensure you use your scales in the same place each time as flooring and temperatures can interfere with readings.

Price

A good bathroom scale can be bought for as little as £15-£20. For many dieters, this is all you need, however, if you use scales often and feel you would like more features you need to be willing to spend a little more. Those that provide specialized data and offer a variety of features, can be significantly more costly reaching prices of upwards of £300.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are digital scales better?

Digital scales are more accurate and much easier to read, using numbers instead of lines between digits. Digital scales, therefore, do have the upper hand.

How do I know if my bathroom scales are accurate?

There are ways of testing the accuracy of your scales after purchase. If you are unsure of the accuracy, we recommend weighing yourself, weighing an item and then weighing yourself holding the item to see if your weight increases by the same amount.

How often should I weigh myself?

Whilst many opt to weigh daily, we feel this can have a negative impact on you. We recommend only once a week maximum on the same day at the same time.

Chris Sharples
About Chris Sharples 62 Articles
I love a good gadget! Whether it's something that makes my home smart, saves me time or just looks great. I blog about gadgets and technology in and around the home. Follow me on my journey to avoid the pitfalls and find the best.

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