Bathroom Scales Review
Why Buy a Bathroom Scale?
The top performers in our review are Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale, the Gold Award winner; iHealth Core, the Silver Award winner; and Yunmai Premium, the Bronze Award winner. Here’s more on choosing a product to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of 10 products.
While a standard bathroom scale helps you track your weight, a smart scale does that and much more. It measures body fat, body mass index and additional body stats and sends that information to a mobile app. For those looking to reach or maintain a goal weight or train for an athletic competition, scales with smartphone connectivity track multiple physical characteristics to give you a more complete picture of your health than you can get from weight alone.
Most smart scales gather this information using bioelectrical impedance. The scale sends very low-voltage electrical currents through your body and interprets the bioelectrical feedback to display health stats on the scale as well as the mobile app.
Analogue bathroom scales are still useful, but the real strength of a smart scale is the ability to track your body composition over time. Some of the best weight scales are even compatible with other popular fitness apps like MyFitnessPal or iHealth. Many of these third-party fitness apps do charge a small fee. Regardless of which app you use, it can help you monitor your progress and achieve your goals.
Many of the scale manufacturers also make fitness trackers that will automatically upload your health data into the app. With a fitness tracker and smart scale together, you have comprehensive tracking of your activity level, weight, body mass index and body fat percentage all in one place. Using this information helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Smart scales can play an important supporting role if you are using online fitness services or online diet services. Both services require frequent weigh-ins, and the extra data from a scale in our lineup can provide insights into your changing body composition. Whether you manually input your measurements or sync the scale to the service’s app, a smart scale serves as a helpful tool when working out or dieting. For more information about weight- and health-related matters, check out our articles about bathroom scales.
Bathroom Scales: What We Tested, What We Found
With some free weights and a group of willing participants, we conducted several tests to evaluate the accuracy, consistency and usability of each scale. Our brave male and female volunteers of varying heights, weights and body compositions stepped onto the scales so we could evaluate the body fat percentage, weight and body mass index readings of each scale and note the differences.
While most scales come close to displaying accurate weights, some are more precise and consistent than others. Using a range of free weights, we evaluated each scale to see how close it came to measuring the actual weight. For the most part, the scales measured within a pound of our weights – with the exception of the BlueAnatomy Wireless Body Scale, which consistently weighed heavy every time we tested it.
The best scales are consistently accurate, so we also tested for consistency. We had each of our volunteers weigh themselves multiple times in quick succession. All of the scales showed slight inconsistencies within a pound of the actual weight, with most of the scales only varying by a tenth of a pound from the actual weight.
The competition for the most accurate weight scale was extremely close – within ounces, not pounds. The Weight Gurus bathroom scale was the most accurate, with consistent results and precise measurements. It’s also among several high-capacity bathroom scales on our lineup that can handle up to 400 pounds.
Since each of the weight scales we reviewed includes a health app that tracks your personal stats, we based our usability score on both the scale and its accompanying app. Connectivity is one of the advantages smart scales have over the old mechanical bathroom scale that left the tracking up to you. To sync to the app, the scales need to connect to your mobile device via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. We found both methods equally simple to complete.
The apps vary significantly in usability. The best scales for losing weight offer user-friendly apps that are easy to navigate. They also include several helpful tools in addition to tracking your weight, including activity levels, sleep monitoring and additional body statistics. The most user-friendly apps offer a clean interface with automated tracking tools.
Fitbit and QardioBase offer the best fitness apps. Both have a simple dashboard that clearly displays your fitness statistics. You can click on any of the measurements and the app will redirect you to a more in-depth look at your progress. The apps also track your activity level and calorie intake to help you stay on track with your goals.
The BlueAnatomy Wireless Scale and Escali SmartConnect weight scales offer limited tools on their apps and are more difficult to use and navigate than the other scales. The BlueAnatomy scale requires you to use your phone to operate the scale if you want to measure more than just your weight. The Escali app has a sparse feature set, only displaying your weight and BMI as a list or graph.
Top Ten Reviews seeks, whenever possible, to evaluate all products in hands-on tests that simulate as closely as possible the experiences of a typical consumer. We obtained the scales in our comparison either on loan from the companies or through retail purchase. The manufacturers had no input or influence over our test methodology, nor was the methodology provided to any of them in more detail than is available through reading our reviews of bathroom scales. Results of our evaluations were not provided to the companies in advance of publication.
What Else Is Important in Selecting a Bathroom Scale?
While the accuracy and usability of a bathroom weight scale are the most important factors, the measurement capabilities and physical design can be key differentiators for the best home scales.
What Measurement Capabilities Do You Need?
While body fat percentage may be the most helpful measurement to track for achieving a healthy weight, several of the scales we tested go beyond the basic measurements and also check for water weight, bone density, muscle mass, daily calorie intake, visceral fat and more. These measurements can give you a holistic view of your overall physical well-being.
All of the scales have a minimum and maximum weight range, generally between 20 and 400 pounds. Some have a smaller range, so be aware of this and select a weight scale that meets the needs of your household. If you plan to have more than one person use the scale, you will want an electronic bathroom scale that has enough memory for multiple profiles. Each individual who uses the scale can track their progress on their own smartphone by downloading the accompanying app. Many apps password protect that information, which allows you to keep your personal information private.
How Important Is the Design?
Many of the smart bathroom scales feature a sleek design with a tempered glass platform that protects the surface of the scale from water damage. Most of the glass bathroom scales have a durable plastic housing underneath. Users who are near the maximum weight should choose a scale with a sturdy base that effectively absorbs pressure. Some of the scales also include feet you can put on the scale to use on carpeted floors. If you’re worried about reaching the maximum body weight when using your new scale, look for a heavy-duty scale.
Top-rated bathroom scales have slim profiles and small footprints that don't require much floor space. All of the scales automatically calibrate, so you can hide the scale when it's not in use and bring it out again with no need to recalibrate manually.
Bathroom Scales: Our Verdict and Recommendations
The best bathroom scales in our comparison were the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale, the iHealth Core and the Yunmai Premium. These are the top-rated among the best digital bathroom scales and were not only accurate and consistent in all of our tests, but also offer user-friendly mobile apps. They are compact bathroom scales, and their modern, low-profile designs won't detract from most decors.
The Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale is one of the most consistent and accurate devices we reviewed. It offers the most user-friendly and comprehensive app. You can also sync a Fitbit tracker to combine your fitness efforts. The app is easy to navigate and allows you to track your calories, water intake and other goals. This Fitbit electronic bathroom scale also syncs to other popular apps, making it the most versatile scale on the market.
The iHealth Core smart scale syncs with third-party apps as well, though its own app is easy enough to use. This device helps you keep track of your weight in addition to other health metrics such as calorie intake and heart rate. This scale is accurate and consistent in its measurements, and its modern look can fit with most bathrooms.
The Yunmai Premium is easy to set up and is one of the only scales we tested that achieved 100 percent consistency. It is highly accurate, having a margin of error of eight-hundredths of an ounce. The app automatically syncs with the scale to help you keep track of your health goals.
Contributing Reviewer: Renee Shipley