8 best bathroom scales
The latest scales measure BMI and body fat, and can even offer encouragement
Back in the day, weighing yourself was a simple affair: you stood on some scales, they threw out a number, and you either liked it or you didn’t.
These days, things are a bit more complicated – as well as your weight, digital scales can measure your body fat and BMI: some can even tell you the muscle mass of individual limbs and offer tailored encouragement, although the use of electronic pulses means they’re not suitable for pacemaker wearers.
We tried out the best of the bunch and judged them by their style, value, practicality and ease of use to see which models really pull their weight.
Withings Body+ Body Composition WiFi Scale: £89.95, Amazon
Although they don’t come cheap, these scales are a treat to use. Opening the box feels like opening a new smartphone, and the unit itself is sleek and modern.
The most intuitive of the models we tested, the scales can be connected to the Health Mate app, and customised to show you your weight, BMI and even the weather.
Other measurements tracked on the app include weight, body fat and water percentage, muscle and bone mass and, if you activate the function, number of steps taken.
Although you have to go online to find more detailed instructions – for example, how to add up to seven additional uses – and connectivity can be a little erratic, they make it easy to chart your health and progress. The app also offers wellness tips.
Tanita RD-545 Connected Segmental Body Composition Monitor Scales: £385, John Lewis
This pricey but impressive composition monitor is aimed at serious exercisers.
Connecting to the My Tanita App, it takes every measurement you could possibly want to know about, and many you probably don’t – it’s even able to track the composition of individual arms and legs.
With the aid of two separate electric currents, more than 20 kinds of data are available, including total and segmental body fat and muscle mass, bone mass, BMI, metabolic age, body water percentage, visceral fat and your ‘physique rating’, which rates you based on your fat/muscle ratio.
The app colour codes your results with each use (red, amber or green), and allows you to set targets and chart your progress.
If you add extra users, it will work out who’s standing on the unit without having to log in.
Although there’s a mind-boggling amount of info available, it’s quick to set up and, once you get used to all the different options, easy to use.
Garmin Index Smart Scale: £125.99, Amazon
Garmin has carved a niche in the world of fitness tracking, and this smart scale connects seamlessly to its other products. If not, the Garmin Connect app helps you make the most of its functions – although, unlike some of the models we tested, an easy-to-read screen means you don’t need the app to find out your vital stats.
As well as weight, it measures BMI, body fat, body water, muscle mass and bone mass, which it cycles through once you’ve stepped on the scale.
As well as recording your data, the app allows you to set goals, record your activities, and measures sleep.
It also synchs wirelessly with up to 16 accounts, and won’t leave you scratching your head. It’ll make a pretty good-looking addition to your bathroom, too.
Salter Rose Gold Glitter Electronic Scale: £24.99, Salter
If you want to add a bit of sparkle to your bathroom, these pink, glittery scales are a great way of distracting yourself from the task at hand.
Including carpet feet for greater accuracy, and taking only one battery (included), these simple scales show your weight in kg, stones or lb – adjustable using a button underneath the unit – and includes quarter pounds.
As these are from Salter they come with a 15-year guarantee, and are a great option if you’re only interested in knowing your weight.
Aicock Electronic Body Fat Scale: £24.98, Amazon
Although by no means perfect, this scale looks the part, is light and slim for easy storage, and is competitively priced.
Turning on when you step onto it, weight in stones or kilos, fat, hydration, muscle and bone mass, visceral fat and BMI are all measured, and a daily calorie intake recommendation is also offered.
Doing away with the faff of an app, you can add your height, gender and age for more accurate guidance, and up to eight users.
The scale comes with a booklet that interprets your results, but be warned: although the readings are clear, the symbols on the display are tiny – so until you get used to the order the different measurements are displayed in, you’ll have to pick up the unit to read them off.
Salter Academy Professional Bathroom Scales: £69.99, Salter
Salter has been making scales for more than 250 years, so if you’re looking for accurate scales that can’t run out of batteries, this retro model will make a classic, reliable addition to your bathroom.
Adjusting the scales to zero manually means you can be confident your measurements are correct, and they come with a 15-year guarantee.
They also have a large dial, non-slip surface, and plenty of room on the footplate for larger feet and a capacity of up to 23.5st. Reassuringly sturdy.
Smart Fitness Scale: eBuyer, £21.99
Remarkably cheap for an app-connected scale, this model measures weight in kg, stones and pounds or pounds, and has a large, clear display.
It takes 17 measurements, including body fat, bone mass, protein rate and subcutaneous fat, giving ratings based on your vital statistics such as ‘ideal’ ‘insufficient’ and ‘low’.
But if you don’t connect to the AlFit app using the QI code supplied in the user manual (finding it without the code is a bit of a mission), it will only tell you your weight.
The app is simple to use and read, and can send reminders to your phone to weigh yourself, rather like a nagging personal trainer. A great-value buy.
Orchard Digital Glass Bathroom Scales: £26.99, Victoria Plum
These sleek and simple scales are unapologetically basic, but get the job done.
Made from tempered glass and available in Clear or Black, you can switch between weighing in kg, lbs and stones and lbs using a button on the bottom.
The reading is large and easy to read, and the scales turn on automatically when you stand on them. They’re also slim for easy storage, and are a solid basic buy.
The Verdict: Best bathroom scales
Connecting scales to an app can be a bit laborious, and you get what you pay for – some of the budget models we tested (not included here) were inaccurate by as much as half a stone. So although pricey, we were impressed by the Withings scale and how comparatively easy it was to connect and use.
If you’re looking for a cheaper, but still reliable option, the Smart Fitness Scale isn’t as sleek, but still does the job.
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