How to Pick the Best Bathroom Scale for Weight Loss

Man on bathroom scale

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Buying a new bathroom scale can be surprisingly confusing, especially when you're trying to lose weight. You probably want to stay on a budget, but you also want to be sure that you are getting an accurate picture of your weight loss progress. There are a lot of options out there, whether you're into the fancy features some scales offer or you're more concerned about how it looks on your bathroom floor.

Tips to Buy The Best Bathroom Scale

If you are into an elegant décor, there are stylish scales made of fine materials like stainless steel or marble. Or if you are looking for a little more motivation, there are talking scales that actually announce your weight to you and anyone within earshot. Then there are travel-friendly bathroom scales that fit in a suitcase. But most people trying to lose weight just want a reliable scale that provides essential weight loss information to help them track their progress.

Consider different factors before you choose the best bathroom scale for you.

Bathroom scale cost. If you some money to spend, you'll have no shortage of options when you buy your bathroom scale. There are body fat scales by brands like Tanita that range between $40 and $70 (with other models costing more than $500). Tanita scales provide highly specialized data like segmented body fat and water analysis, and some even feature a built-in wireless body composition monitor. But a more simple bathroom scale can be purchased for under $30 at your local discount store, pharmacy, and online. 

The truth is, it doesn't matter how fancy or advanced your scale is. No matter how much you might think you want to invest in a high-tech or fabulously-fashionable scale, the only thing that really matters is the accurate result that comes up when you step on it.

If you're buying a scale for the first time, you may want to get a cheaper model. If you use it often and find that you need more features, then spend more money on the next model. Just don't fall into the mindset of thinking that a more expensive scale will make weight loss happen faster. 

Bathroom scale design. If your scale is ugly, you're not likely to put it in a place where you see it every day. You might keep an unattractive scale hidden away in a closet or in your bathroom cabinets. And if you don't see your scale, you're not likely to use it. So buy a scale that looks beautiful in your bathroom. Consider your bathroom design (color, textures, and lighting) before you invest.

Bathroom scale accuracy. Which scale is the most accurate? It's hard to test the accuracy of a bathroom scale. But it may not matter as much as you'd think if you are using the scale for weight loss. What matters most is the change you see from day to day or week to week. The actual numbers may not be 100% perfect, but if you see a continual decrease in your weight, then your program is working. If you see an increase, then you need to make a change. 

Bathroom scale features.  A concern for some people is the weight capacity of a bathroom scale. Most scales now measure up to 300 or 400 pounds, but you should check on the box before you buy to ensure your current weight does not exceed the limit. You should also check the size of the platform that you stand on. Many bathroom scales now feature lower and wider platforms to make it easier for those who are overweight. 

Some other features you might want to look for include:

  • Digital readout. For many scale users, a digital model is easier to read than analog. But if seeing the numbers might be a problem for you, check the size of the display and make sure that you will be able to read your number from a standing position. 
  • Weight tracking. Some scale brands not only provide your daily or weekly rate, but they also track your weight over time. You can see your progress on the scale or by using an app. Some apps even connect with your activity monitor to provide more data including exercise recommendations and calorie estimates for weight loss.
  • Body fat analysis. Many digital scales estimate your body fat percent using bioelectrical impedance analysis or BIA, which measures your body composition. This is helpful if your weight loss plan includes exercise or if you are trying to boost your metabolism by increasing muscle mass.
  • Lean muscle mass. If you're doing strength-training workouts to improve your physique, you may want to track your lean muscle mass with this feature that is often provided alongside body fat analysis.
  • Water. Water weight changes almost daily, especially in women. Some scales help you to see the changes from day to day that can contribute to daily weight fluctuations.
  • Calories. Many newer scales not only track your weight but also provide calorie recommendations for you to follow. This may help you to monitor and track your calorie intake from day to day.
  • Activity tracker or app connectivity. Since many weight loss plans incorporate activity trackers and apps to monitor progress, some digital scales now connect using Bluetooth technology so that you can see all of your data in one place. Consumers who use Polar brand trackers can use the Polar Balance scale to measure body weight. Or if you use any of the popular Fitbit trackers, you can invest in the Fitbit Aria 2, a Wi-Fi smart scale that measures not only body weight, but also lean mass, percent body fat, and body mass index. 

A Word from Verywell

Weigh-ins are an important part of the weight loss routine for many people who are trying to lose weight. For that reason, finding the best bathroom scale for you is important. But there are other ways to measure weight loss progress. If the scale isn't giving you the number that you want, remember to take into account other important markers of progress, like improved health, improved energy, and clothes that fit better.

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