Collects an impressive amount of data. Syncs with a user-friendly mobile app that connects with popular health apps. Establishes secure connection. Displays weight without phone and stores data until phone is available to sync.
Connecting to other applications requires manual intervention.
Clean, sleek look with a tempered glass base and brushed silver hardware. Weighs users up to 400 pounds in 0.2-pound increments. Covered under a 5-year warranty, which is much longer than most scales on the market.
Occasional consistency issues reported. No backlight, so digits may be hard to read for some.
This smart scale measures not just weight but also BMI, body composition, water, and more. The roomy 12.8-inch square felt stable in our testing. Works with an app via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Pairs with popular health apps and smartwatches.
We recommend setting it up on a hard floor as carpet can skew the readings.
This smart scale reads BMI, muscle mass, body composition, and more aside from weight. Supports up to 400 pounds. Comes with VeSync app compatible with other popular health apps. Can work without a sensor for weight and BMI. We really like how the app tracks your progress.
Some users had issues getting it to work with damp feet.
Weights up to 400 pounds in 0.2-pound increments. Features an automatic shutoff battery-save mode for better efficiency. Wipe-clean finish makes it easy to maintain.
Some people find the digital display is a bit small and hard to read.
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A bathroom scale is a simple device that measures your weight, or it may measure other aspects of your health. Your needs and health concerns should inform your decision in purchasing a bathroom scale for you and your family.
Traditional analog scales are generally affordable, though their accuracy doesn’t compare to some digital models. Digital scales can read weigh with precision and may be able to measure other factors, like BMI. In some cases, digital scales can track your stats over time and may sync with a health tracking app. If multiple people will be using the scale, consider a model that allows for stat tracking for multiple users. Other factors like maximum weight and readability should also be considered.
If you know what you are looking for in a bathroom scale, take a look at our top choices. To learn more about the factors that should go into this decision, continue reading.
Type of Bathroom Scale (Analog vs. Digital)
Analog scales – the kind you grew up with – use levers, springs, and a rack and pinion to turn the display dial. They are inexpensive but can easily give inconsistent readings if they are moved often.
The digital, battery-operated scales used today authoritatively display numbers with precision. Many can measure to the half or quarter pound.
Keeping an eye on your BMI allows you to identify the amount of fat versus muscle on your body. “Without tracking actual body fat, the consumer has no idea where their weight loss is coming from,” says Jim Cipriani, a personal trainer. “Just as ‘all calories are not created equal,’ all body weight is not created equal. Losing lean muscle weight is not good at all. With that, the resting metabolic rate drops making further weight loss harder... and, in fact, the ability to regain fat weight easier.”
“Keep in mind that the BMI measurements included in consumer bathroom scales only calculate for body fat in the legs and buttocks region,” says Dr. Barry Sears, president of the non-profit Inflammation Research Foundation. “To get a true indication of overall body fat, you need to also look at the body fat in the midsection and the arms.”
Even though fitness club scales are more likely to include those more complex measurements, bathroom scales still offer a valuable way to track body fat.
You’re going to want to look at the scale first thing in the morning before you’ve had a cup of coffee. It’s probably dark and you’re just coming to. To solve these potential readability issues, many modern scales have backlit displays with large numbers and these are the easiest to read.
Scales that turn on when you step onto them take the fuss out of weighing yourself. It makes an early morning weigh-in that much easier. You’ll have to wait a few moments with scales that measure BMI while they do an analysis.
Many older scales claimed (relative) accuracy up to 300 pounds. But new designs and technology can now handle even more. Several of the scales we tested can take up to 400 pounds.
The weight supported also affects physical dimensions. A wider platform is easier to stand on, especially for users who have larger feet or mobility issues.
Note, though, that few scales work on carpet, and they all need a level surface in order to achieve accurate results. If your bathroom is carpeted, either find a block of wood or tile to place the scale on top of or look into a scale that includes separate carpet feet.
Perhaps the best reason to invest in a more expensive bathroom scale is the opportunity to save your data to mobile and web applications, which makes it easy to track trends. If you’re trying to get healthy, it can be heartening to see the trajectory of your weight and BMI over time.
But the data collection gets even more useful when it’s used in conjunction with other applications or shared with health professionals. If you use a Withings’ blood-pressure monitor and also buy its bathroom scale, for instance, you can see if there is a relationship between your weight and your blood pressure readings.
Fitbit’s software logs all sorts of data, such as the daily number of steps, heart rate, and the number of steps climbed. Their app also allows you to manually enter all the food you eat, which can help you see how different foods affect your health.
Depending on the scale, data can be shared with other software, too, such as Runkeeper or MyFitnessPal. On an iPhone, the mobile apps can be set to communicate with the Apple Health app, which makes it possible (if not precisely easy) to provide a doctor with exercise data, including weight and BMI.
There are other additional features that are not as important but you should still be kept in mind.
Ease of use. Some scales can be tricky to use – even the most basic of features. If you’re not the most tech-savvy person, a scale that simply tracks weight might be the best choice.
Scales that can store information for multiple users. Keeping track of everyone’s information on one device can be handy.
Connecting to Bluetooth and/or WiFi. If you plan to sync your information from the scale to an app, check to see if the scale uses Bluetooth or WiFi. Some scales can use both while others can only use one – or neither.
A reliable bathroom scale can be found for under $25. In fact, two of our choices come in around $20. If all you want is a scale that gives you consistent weight results, you’ll be able to find an electronic scale in this price range.
These bathroom scales have a few more features like measuring BMI, data collection and storage, and syncing with mobile apps. Syncing with apps may not be as easy as some higher priced models.
These scales integrate with apps either through Bluetooth or wirelessly. They track impressive amounts of data and can be used to track several users at once, a great feature for families. Bathroom scales in this range are usually integrated with other fitness equipment of the same brand. Information can be stored and shared with physicians.
Q. I need to lose a lot of weight. What features are critical for me?
A. A lot depends on where you are starting out in your weight loss journey. First, check the maximum weight measured on the scale to be sure it will give you accurate readings at your starting weight. You’ll also need to consider the width of the platform. A 12 to 13 in. platform should be enough to provide a stable surface no matter your weight.
Q. Can any scale tell me progress vs. weight? I’d rather not focus on my weight but whether or not I’m progressing towards my goal.
A. There are a few bathroom scales out there that can be set to display how much weight you’ve gained or lost, not your actual weight. Another alternative would be to buy a scale that syncs to an app that displays your information on a graph. You won’t have to pay attention to the actual numbers unless you want to.
Q. I have mobility issues. What scale is best for me?
A. Mobility issues make getting on and off the scale difficult. You’ll want to look for a scale with a wide platform that’s at least 12 in. wide. A platform of that size will remain steady while you are getting on the scale. Also check the height of the scale. Scales range from .9 in. to almost 2 in. high. It will be easier to step onto a scale that’s closer to the ground.
Q. I have impaired vision. Can a scale tell me my weight?
A. Yes, there are scales that give an audible reading – especially helpful for the visually impaired.
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