Friday, June 22, 2018

How to Choose the Best Bathroom Scale

Review by: Mary Griffin Editor in Chief, ProductReportCard
Updated March 2014

Buying Advice: Bathroom Scales

Purchasing a scale for your home is a great way to track weight loss or gain, as well as simply monitor your overall health. For most users, a standard floor model scale is a likely choice, but scales are also available in professional models. Floor models come in the traditional analog style or a more advanced digital style with a range of possible features. Digital bathroom scales are generally the most popular choice amongst users because of their accuracy, compact size, and affordability. While professional models can still be purchased for home use, they are generally considered more for commercial environments such as doctors' offices and gyms. The price of your scale will vary depending on what kind you choose, and it can be difficult to know which one to buy because increased cost doesn't necessarily guarantee a better product. Fortunately, you don't have to spend a lot of money to get a great machine.

What to Know Before You Buy

Types of Scales

Analog scales are the more traditional of the floor models and display your weight using a pointer and dial system. When you step on the scale, a spring connected to levers moves the dial mechanism to reflect your weight. Analog scales don't require batteries, or other external power sources, and can be manually calibrated back to zero when there isn't any weight on the scale. While an analog scale is the cheapest option, it's also the least durable because it has a more delicate internal framework. Additionally, it can only measure weight in larger increments and the accuracy can be slightly off if the user isn't diligent about calibrating the scale.

Digital scales have become increasingly more popular than analog scales because of their durability and accuracy in measuring weight. With a digital scale, you can be confident that your measurement will be correct within a tenth of a pound. They are electronic, so they require batteries or an external power source such as a wall outlet. Some models are even run on solar power. This added power boost results in an LCD or LED display that shows you your weight in an easy-to-read number format. Digital scales don't have to be manually calibrated and can come with additional features that make it easier to track your weight and overall health.

Professional scales are larger and more expensive than standard floor scales, and they are often used in commercial settings because they are extremely accurate, within an eighth of a pound. They are heavier, sturdier, and much more durable than non-professional models and have a much higher weight capacity.

Features and Design

Digital bathroom scales can do a lot more than just measure your weight. They can monitor your body fat and body mass index (BMI), create and store multiple user profiles, and even transmit your stats wirelessly to online resources. While these additional features are helpful for tracking your weight goals and health, they may not be as accurate as going to a doctor or fitness expert for more advanced testing. Body fat tests in particular rely on harmless electrical pulses that measure body density. This type of test can easily be miscalculated depending on the user's level of hydration or even foot calluses.

Some scales also have additional features that make them easier to read. Projection scales come with a small projector that you can aim at your wall so you can read the number without bending over. Likewise, some scales have a talking feature that allows you to hear your measurement, which is a great option for those with bad eyesight.

Because they will be a mainstay in your bathroom, you'll also want to consider the look of your scale when you go to buy it. Scales can be both functional and fashionable, giving your bathroom a spa-like feel with a bamboo or wood finish or be sleek and streamlined for a more modern look with metal or glass plates.

Conclusion

When looking for a bathroom scale, accuracy and durability are the top priorities because you can't effectively assess your weight and health unless you can trust the results of your measurements. While professional-grade scales are the most durable and accurate, they are also the largest and most expensive, costing hundreds of dollars. Unless you need a scale with a high weight capacity, a digital bathroom scale that costs around thirty dollars will work fine. They are the most accurate and consistent of the floor models and are perfect for home use. Additional features can drive up the cost of your digital scale, so it is important to know how you will use your scale before you invest so you aren't paying for needless features.

To get the most accurate results, weigh yourself no more than once a week at the same time of day and on the same scale, preferably in the morning after emptying your bladder, and position the scale on a hard, flat surface. Be careful not to overuse your scale. Weighing in too often will have an adverse affect on your goals because long-lasting changes in your health don't occur overnight.