How to choose a bathroom scale

Written by sabrina ashley
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Choosing a bathroom scale is not as simple as it once was. Years ago, only analogue scales existed as simple mechanical devices. But today, most scales on the market are digital scales. With each passing year, manufacturers increase the number of features and also the price. But you can still find a bathroom scale that meets your needs and your budget.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Learn about what is available. While analogue scales are becoming obsolete, newer digital scales have more features. Not only do scales measure weight, but many models also estimate body fat, visceral fat, muscle mass, body water, bone mass, calorie intake and metabolic age. These measurements are arrived at by programming in stats such as gender, age, weight, height and activity level. Other scales have memories for two to four users and have separate modes for adults, children, guests and athletes. Other scales store data, including a log of your last several weigh-ins by date. While most scales measure in pounds, many also measure in kilograms. A few also measure in stones.

  2. 2

    Decide on what features you want. After leaning about the myriad of features now available on digital scales, try to choose the ones you actually want and will use. While measuring you body-fat percentage or BMI can prove useful if you want to lose weight, studies show that in many cases the estimation of body fat is not very accurate with the majority of scales. Also, keep in mind that these additional features greatly increase the cost of a bathroom scale.

  3. 3

    Choose a talking scale if you have poor eyesight. There are scales available that not only display your weight (and other information) but also announce it. With some scales the announcement is not only in English but in Spanish, French and a few other languages as well. Another option is to buy a scale with large numbers and/or a backlit display, which makes reading easier. If you want to buy an analogue scale, look for a large dial and window. Choose a scale with a large capacity if you are overweight. Most scales have a weight capacity of 136kg. Some scales made by Weight Watchers go up to 172kg. Be certain to look for the maximum weight of any scale you are considering. Also, look for larger scales, those with a platform that is sturdy and about 12 inches by 12 inches or larger.

  4. 4

    Choose a medical scale if accuracy is important to you. Despite all the new bells and whistles of many digital scales these days, many consumers complain about the inaccuracy and inconsistency of most scales, especially when it comes to such features as body fat and body water measurements. To ensure an accurate weight measurement, a medical scale is a good choice. These are the types of scales you see in your doctor's office or the local gym. Medical scales are expensive, heavy, unattractive, and take up a lot of space in your home, but they are extremely accurate and consistent. These scales also have the highest weight capacity of any scale at up to 204kg.

  5. 5

    Choose an analogue scale if you want to save money. Most analogue scales are available for under $10. A few of these old-fashioned scales are also rated by their owners as more reliable than digital scales.

  6. 6

    Choose a solar bathroom scale if you care about saving energy. They have built-in solar cells that obtain power from sunlight or ordinary interior light such as from lamps.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not use a scale that measures body fat if you are pregnant or use a pace maker. To measure body fat, a small electrical current is sent through the bottom of the feet and up through the rest of your body.

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