A bathroom scale is a small mechanical device used primarily to measure a person’s weight.
Today, in addition to standard scales, we also have ‘smart scales’ that measure a range of other body metrics from BMI to bone density and more.
Below our product experts have brought together their list of the 10 best bathroom scales for 2023.
1. Withings Body+ Wi-Fi Digital Scale
Those intent on knowing as much as technologically possible about the state of their physiology will find the Withings Body+ Wi-Fi Digital Scale right up their alley. It tracks a dizzying number of metrics, including pregnancy-related metrics. And it syncs effectively with Alexa for hands-off use.
What we like: We appreciate how consistently accurate the scale is. We like the broad compatibility with peripherals like Apple Watch, Fitbit and Alexa. And we also like that you get to track your progress through the continuously updated Health Mate app.
The most important of those things is obviously the consistent weight readings. Because all the bells and whistles on earth won’t do you much good if you can’t get an accurate read on your current weight.
Flaws: Maybe too many bells and whistles. But that’s a matter of personal preference. Also, getting some of those peripherals to sync can be a challenge.
2. BalanceFrom Digital Bathroom Scale
The BalanceFrom Bathroom Scale is a no-nonsense digital scale that’s handsome and thin and provides reliable weight readings within 2 ounces. It calibrates itself, turns off automatically to save your batteries and features a nice big digital display you can read standing up.
What we like: The large LCD display is really easy to read even from a full standing position. The scale as a whole is very attractive. A lot of thought obviously went into the look and feel. More importantly it’s very accurate.
The platform is large and easy on the feet and the scale can accommodate anyone up to 400 pounds. We also appreciate that batteries are included and that it doesn’t burn through them.
Flaws: Needs to be used on a hard, inflexible surface. So don’t set it on the shag carpet and expect accurate results. Also, no other body metrics are provided.
3. Thinner Scales Precision Analog Bathroom Scale
If your tastes run to the retro you’ll likely take a shine to this analog scale from Thinner Scales. There are no batteries to change and no cold glass surface to stand on when the bathroom is cold. If your home features vintage decor this will fit right in.
What we like: The scale has a good sized platform to stand on. The rotating dial is also larger than most so you can read it pretty easy even standing straight up. And it has a nice retro feel to it, though none of the tin can qualities of old scales.
Finally, the rubberized material on the platform is a welcome sight for older folks who have legitimate fears of standing on a water-slickened glass top scale. And it’s easy to calibrate.
Flaws: The max weight of 330 pounds is not as much as we like to see. Although it will accommodate most.
4. Etekcity Precision Digital Body Weight Bathroom Scale
If you forget to bring your glasses into the bathroom don’t worry. The more than ample size readout of the Etekcity Precision Scale has you covered. If you’re a larger individual they’ve got you covered there too with a 440 pound max capacity and an oversized platform.
What we like: We appreciate the big, wide platform and give a big thumbs up to the safe, gently rounded corners. The LCD readout is one of the largest and clearest you’ll find. It has a maximum capacity of 440 pounds and it regularly calibrates itself.
There are 4 equally spaced sensors under the platform that provide an accurate reading. It’s slender enough to hide away under just about anything and batteries are included.
Flaws: There’s no interactivity with fitness apps. Some people will find that a drawback. But it does provide easy-to-read, accurate weight measurements.
5. NewlineNY Step-On Travel Scale
If you travel a lot you know well the temptations of exotic cuisines. Not to worry. The NewlineNY Step-On Travel Scale has your back. Pop this puppy in your carry on and you can make sure you hold the caloric line wherever you go.
What we like: We like that it only weighs 1.25 pounds. Which makes it a true travel scale. We like that it has a 400 lb capacity, so it’s not just for the ultra-thin. And we appreciate that it’s fairly easy to read even when standing straight up.
It’s also handsome and sleek and small enough to fit in your carry on. And it costs about the same as one of those large pizzas that have you so concerned about your weight.
Flaws: After being banged around in your bag, you may need to hop on and off a couple of times to get an accurate reading.
6. Yunmai Premium Smart Scale
The Yunmai Premium Smart Scale costs a bit more than some others but provides broad compatibility for that money. It syncs up with an array of health-related device, provides data on 10 different body metrics and has a 30 day money back guarantee.
What we like: We really like the way this scale looks. Very much a 21st century device. You’re also able to sync it with other devices including your Fitbit. It provides data on a lot of different body metrics and you can set it up for as many as 16 people.
Of course if you just want a quick snapshot of your weight it will deliver that, (along with an estimated body fat content), any time you hop on.
Flaws: For some reason the manufacturer has included some pretty tacky ‘motivational’ phrases that appear on the app screen. Some will find these a turn off.
7. Ozeri Rev 400 pounds (180 kg) Bathroom Scale
The last of our best bathroom scales is this one from Ozeri. It’s a simple, attractive, retro-style analog scale that’s as comfortable to stand on as it is reliable and accurate. Accommodates up to 400 pounds and comes with 3 AAA batteries to power that LCD display.
What we like: We love the vaguely steampunk way the design reaches both backward and forward in time. The dual readout will mollify those who complain analog scales are hard to read. While at the same time satisfying those who want a retro look to fit in with their old school bathroom decor.
There’s an integrated ‘alarm’ that warns you if you’re not weighing yourself at the same time every day. And finally, the 50 gram sensor technology is highly accurate.
Flaws: For some folks the platform may be a bit narrow. Some have also complained about inconsistent readings. But that wasn’t our experience.
8. Greater Goods Digital Body Weight Bathroom Scale
The Greater Goods Digital Scale gets its name from the fact that a portion of the proceeds are donated to charities fighting child trafficking. That’s good. What makes it even better is that it provides fast accurate readings and comes with robust customer support. So it’s a win-win.
What we like: If you’re a fan of clean minimalist design you’re going to love this scale. The LCD readout is large enough to see without leaning down. The scale also has a substantial feel to it. And the 4 sensors in the platform automatically recalibrate themselves periodically.
The Greater Goods scale will accommodate up to 400 pounds and has an extra wide platform. That platform looks pretty slippery but actually does a good job holding your feet in place.
Flaws: Has a tendency to burn through batteries pretty quick. And there are no bells and whistles. Strictly a weight-only device.
9. Taylor Digital Glass Cal-Max Scale
This is a handsome, well-built, if simple device that provides your current weight and advice on caloric input. The ‘cal’ number is supposed to represent the amount of calories you need to eat today to maintain your current weight. So, if you want to lose weight you eat less. Want to gain weight? Eat more than the recommended calories.
What we like: We love the way this scale looks and the way it feels when you stand on it. We also like that it produces consistently accurate readings. The big clear display is also a plus, considering how hard some scales are to read.
With a 440 lb maximum capacity this is also a scale that’s living in the 21st century where many of us are not as svelte as our grandparents were.
Flaws: The battery cover is screwed down, which may be the first time we’ve ever seen that.
10. eufy Smart Scale with Bluetooth
The eufy Smart Scale is another design winner that provides a ton of data on everything from bone mass to body fat and, of course, weight. It syncs easily with any Bluetooth enabled late model smartphone. And it’s remarkably affordable for such a feature-rich device.
What we like: There’s a lot of data coming from this scale. But if you’re a hardcore nutrition geek you’re going to love it. You have the ability to input up to 20 separate accounts. So everyone in the family can get information relevant to their particular situation.
The readout is big and clear. Of course, you can also view it on your smartphone. The Bluetooth pairing is fast and reliable and the scale is compatible with most smartphones produced in the past 3-4 years.
Flaws: Don’t look for anything more than your weight on the scale itself. If you want to drill down further you’ll need to sync the app where everything is displayed.
Who Needs Bathroom Scales?
Anyone interested in keeping track of their overall health needs a bathroom scale. Even if the only thing you track is your weight that is still crucial information. It can help you see where your lifestyle choices are either paying off or coming back to haunt you. In the end, however, the most important thing is not the information itself, but what you do with it.
How We Ranked
There was a time when assessing the relative value of different bathroom scales was a simple, straightforward process. They all pretty much did the same thing (display your weight) and the only considerations were accuracy, build quality and aesthetics. Today, though, there are any number of things to weigh (so to speak) when selecting a bathroom scale.
Of course, we test for accuracy. But, since bathroom scales are not used to weigh diamonds, there’s some wiggle room as far as that accuracy goes. 2 ounces, give or take, is considered an acceptable margin of error for a bathroom scale. What we want to see just as much as pinpoint accuracy, however, is consistency. If you stand on the scale 10 times over the course of 10 minutes and get 10 different readings, that’s a problem.
Smart scales, on the other, hand are defined by their features. So scales claiming to be smart but with extremely limited feature sets did not make our list. That said, if a bathroom scale claims it measures a slew of body metrics we want to see proof. And we want the data to be easily accessible and presented in a clear, concise manner. Smart scales should also look great, be durable and not burn through batteries.
Finally, we live in an age when most people are carrying more weight around than their parents or grandparents. Right, wrong or indifferent that’s just the way it is (1). So we want to see scales that reflect that reality and will easily accommodate larger individuals.
Q: What is a smart scale?
A: A smart scale is like most of today’s other ‘smart’ devices (2). It contains a tiny computer chip that processes information and sends it to a synced device, most often a smartphone. Smart scales enable you to track a plethora of body metrics including weight, BMI, the percentage of water in your body, visceral fat and more.
Q: Are all digital scales compatible with smartphone apps?
A: The fact that a bathroom scale has a digital display and is battery powered doesn’t by itself mean that it is a ‘smart’ device. So, if it doesn’t say ‘smart’ in the name or description then chances are the scale is not compatible with smartphone apps. If you want access to a broader range of health information you need to buy a scale that says it’s a ‘smart scale’ and details exactly what body metrics (3) it will allow you to track.
Q: Can I measure more than just my weight?
A: Again, how many different body metrics you can measure will depend on whether you have a smart scale or not. A standard analog or digital scale will provide your weight and that’s it. It may offer it in both kgs and pounds but that’s about all. If you want to keep track of your BMI, visceral fat (4), muscle mass and more you’ll need a smart scale. But be aware that not all smart scales measure the same metrics. So read the fine print carefully.
Q: What is an ‘impedance’ scale?
A: In the simplest terms impedance (5) is the way some scales measure body composition. Or at least claim to measure body composition. Technically, impedance is referred to as Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis and it uses an electrical current that’s sent through the foot when you step on the scale to glean its measurements.
Q: Which type of smart scale is better; wi-fi or Bluetooth?
A: As a general rule wi-fi bathroom scales are going to cost a bit more than Bluetooth enabled scales. That’s because they need more robust technological support mechanisms to work. Bluetooth is, by comparison, a simpler technology. Which is one reason it has endured even in the age of widespread wi-fi adaptation. But Bluetooth is not without its drawbacks. Perhaps the most glaring one is the limited range.
Q: How accurate is a bathroom scale?
A: Most of the best bathroom scales, including those on our list, have a well-deserved reputation for being very accurate time after time. Where things begin to get a bit hinky is when you are talking about some of the more complex and difficult to define metrics like bone mass (6). While the technology to detect such obscure metrics has greatly improved in recent years you are still likely to get no better than an approximate figure for this and other metrics.
Q: How does a digital scale work?
A: Most digital scales today use a lever that brings pressure to bear on a calibrated steel beam. The degree to which the beam flexes indicates the weight being applied. This is picked up by a strain gauge which then relays the information to the display. While both digital and analog scales these days tend to be very accurate, some prefer the digital simply because it typically doesn’t need to be calibrated as often.
Q: How does a traditional analog scale work?
A: As we mentioned both digital and analog scales use mechanical components to determine weight. In the case of the analog scale levers embedded in the platform focus weight on a spring that has been carefully calibrated. As the spring stretches the pointer in the dial rotates a corresponding amount until it comes to rest on the appropriate weight. Either that or the plate with the different weights printed on it rotates and the indicator line remains static in the middle of the view window.
Q: Which type of scale is more accurate?
A: As we mentioned, both digital and analog scales tend to be very accurate these days. Where digital scales gain some separation is in long term accuracy. For the most part they’ll stay accurate for longer than analog scales. Some also offer automatic calibration, which can be a very handy feature indeed.
But calibrating a scale (7) manually is not exactly rocket science. It can usually be done in about a minute by just following the instructions that came with the scale.
Q: Can temperature affect accuracy of a digital scale?
A: This is a myth that started circulating some years ago and despite everyone’s best efforts to eradicate it the myth persists. The temperature in the average home never varies more than a relative few degrees all year round. And even if you have your bathroom window open every day of the year the temperature differential would not be enough to affect the behavior of the scale.
Q: Is there anything else that can affect the accuracy of the scale?
A: Moving your scale can affect the calibration. So if you pick it up, put it under your arm and walk it from the bedroom to the bathroom, you’ll probably need to calibrate it once you set it down. Likewise, if you set your scale down on a thick rug or an uneven surface it could cause the platform to warp a bit once the weight is applied. This could produce an inaccurate reading.
The humble bathroom scale has come a long way in the past couple of decades. From the rattling, strictly-analog tin can of yesteryear to the high-tech member of the internet of things that many are today that measure everything from weight to bone density to BMI and more.
For cpoe.org’s #1 recommended bathroom scale, click here.