In looking at expert and user reviews of digital bathroom scales, we found lots of models that rate well and won't break the bank. One top reviewer looks at six digital bathroom ranging in price from $30 to $60 and found that all were admirable performers when it comes to accuracy and consistency.
The EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale (Est. $20) isn't tested by that reviewer, but we are going to go ahead and name it the Best Reviewed basic digital scale anyway. It's extremely popular with users posting at Amazon.com, where it garners a 4.4-star rating after more than 25,500 user reviews. There are fewer reviews at BestBuy.com -- but still nearly 120 -- and even higher satisfaction with a 4.8 star rating and recommendations from essentially 100 percent of owners (all but one). Among experts, it earns a 4-star rating at Good Housekeeping.com and is the pick of Rick Jamison and Kathy Schmidt Jamison, the bloggers at RickandKathy.com, who extensively document their search for a perfect bathroom scale.
There are lots of reasons behind these high levels of satisfaction. The scale's clear glass platform is considered attractive and modern. Accuracy is largely judged to be very good. At around $25 at retail, and sometimes less, the price is toward the low side among well-regarded digital bathroom scales. Finally, the company has a stellar reputation for customer service -- responding to user reviews at Amazon.com and working with owners that encounter issues until they are satisfied -- often sending replacement units unasked.
What you won't find in the EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale is a lot of bells and whistles, and that suits many just fine. "We didn't want anything fancy," the Jamisons say. "We didn't want weight scales that measure body fat (don't trust the results), and we don't care if our bathroom scale can WiFi to our computer, toaster, or some guy driving down the road in front of our house."
Ease of use is simple, and was made simpler still in a 2015 update that eliminated the need to tap the scale first to turn it on -- now, all you need to do is step on the scale to get a weight reading, shown in .2 pound increments on a 2.5-inch backlit LCD display. The scale does require 4 AAA batteries, and those are included, as is a tape measure that makes it easy to measure your waist, chest, thighs, etc. so you can manually track the inches lost as you take off weight. This digital bathroom scale is rated for users up to 400 pounds.
The EatSmart Precision Plus Digital Bathroom Scale (Est. $35) is similar, just upsized. You do lose the cool see-through look, but the chrome and glass scale still has a pleasing aesthetic. It's extra wide at 15.5-inches (compared with 13 inches for the EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale), has a larger 4.3-inch LCD display, and is rated for users up to 440 pounds. User reviews are similarly positive -- 4.5-stars after more than 13,250 reviews at Amazon.com. If you need the higher weight limit, and/or like the different aesthetic, the EatSmart Precision Plus Digital Bathroom Scale is an excellent choice. But it's roughly $10 -$15 more expensive than the EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale, and the couple of extra inches of width could make it a tight fit in some smaller bathrooms. It uses two AA batteries, which are included, but the tape measure that EatSmart includes with the smaller Precision Digital Bathroom Scale is missing here. User feedback regarding customer service is, once again, glowing.
There are plenty of other choices to consider in this category as well. The Taylor 7506 (Est. $30) costs a little bit more than the EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale and earns good feedback of its own. Though all of the six models it tests rate well, ConsumerReports.org puts the Taylor 7506 at the top of the heap. User reviews are good as well, though a step or two below that of the EatSmart scales at 4.2-stars at Amazon.com following more than 1,680 reviews. At Walmart.com, users are even a smidge happier and the Taylor scale earns a rating of 4.5-stars there following more than 645 reviews.
The Taylor 7506 shares the see-through glass look of the EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale, but at 15 inches is nearly as wide as the Plus version of that scale. What's not plus sized is the display, at just 1.5 inches, and it's not backlit. We saw some complaints about accuracy, too, especially after the scale is moved, but the Jamison's say that any shortfall between expert opinions and user feedback are largely the result users not following instructions regarding placement and first time use. We saw several helpful posts at Amazon.com that largely echo that, and that offer hints for such things as resetting the scale after it's been moved. We don't see the absolute gushing over Taylor's customer service as we do in reviews of the EatSmart digital bathroom scale, but we do see lots of reviews that indicate that long term durability is good, and the warranty is longer at five years (compared to two years for the EatSmart scales.)
The Greater Goods Balance High Accuracy Bathroom Scale (Est. $19) is another alternative to our top-rated EatSmart scale, and only the absence of any credible expert reviews keeps it from consideration for Best Reviewed status. It certainly scores well with Amazon.com users -- a 4.7 star score based on more than 2,000 reviews. It's attractive, most say, with a tempered glass top over a silver toned chassis and an easy to read backlit LCD display. It's a touch smaller than the EatSmart, at 11.8 by 11.8 inches, and .8 inches high, so it will fit nicely in a smaller bathroom. Weight capacity is 180 kilograms/397 pounds.
Like the EatSmart, the Balance aims for simplicity and hits its mark. There's nothing fancy here, just a basic scale that measures weight accurately and consistently, most users say. Reliability is good. The scale is covered by a five year warranty, and like EatSmart, Greater Goods appears to take customer service seriously and gets great feedback for being proactive when users encounter problems.
Not long ago, weighing yourself was a highly personal matter, with the results a secret shared only between you and your bathroom scale. But with all of the attention focused over the last few years on all manner of connected fitness and activity trackers, it is little wonder that scales that can share your data with fitness apps and web sites are now part of the picture. On the plus side, these sophisticated scales make it easier than ever to keep tabs on your weight and other fitness factors, such as body fat and BMI. On the minus side, there can be a bit of a learning curve with setting up and getting the most out of a smart scale -- especially when it comes to having it "play nice" with your home network, your devices, and your preferred fitness app or site. And if all you want to do is find out how much you weigh, the higher price of a smart scale gets pretty tough to swallow.
If a smart scale is a smart choice for you, the Withings Body (Est. $125) looks like the top option in this category, but with caveats. This is an updated version of the now discontinued Withings WS-50 Smart Body Analyzer that impressed experts so much (though less so some users) that it earned top honors in this category in the last edition of our report. The Body, and the even more feature rich Withings Body Cardio (Est. $125) look to carry on in that tradition, for better or worse.
First and foremost, this appears to be a very good scale. At TheSweethome.com, it's named the "absolute best scale." It's "the most accurate scale we tested, period," says Melanie Pinola, adding that it was the only scale they tested that was able to detect a weight difference of as little as .2 pounds on each trial. Counterintuitively, it would seem, that didn't mean that the scale was the most precise, but that wasn't a deal killer to the testers at TheSweethome.com. "Each time the reading was off during the three-weighs-in-a-row test, it was off by only 0.1 pound, an acceptable discrepancy in our book if you can trust that the scale is actually weighing you and if accuracy (and weight-change detection) is more important to you," Pinola says.
In addition to weight, the Withings Body measures important fitness parameters such as heart rate and body fat composition -- however testing reveals that that last measurement is no more accurate than the best body-fat scales that use BIA (biometric impedance analysis); in other words, fair at best. "During testing, the Withings model's body-composition readings were the most wild, varying between two and three percentage points on some days," Pinola noted. She adds that isn't unusual for this type of measurement among any smart scale. "For features like this, we know to adjust our expectations and watch the overall trends."
Connectivity is excellent over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, reviews report, as is the task of setting up the scale to work with your preferred fitness app. Ray Maker at DCRainmaker.com, a fitness technology blog, notes that no smart scale has more connected partners than Withings (108 in total, he reports), and, perhaps best of all, the scale's many available measurements "play nice in the sandbox with everyone." If you don't have a fitness app or site you are already using, Withings provides mobile and web apps that let you track your progress.
User reviews are starting to accumulate, and largely tracks with the feedback we see among experts. At Amazon.com it earns a 4.2 star score based on around 155 reviews. Most are happy, but complaints about inaccuracy -- particularly when measuring things other than weight -- are not rare. Some also express frustration with setting up and using the smart features.
The step up Withings Body Cardio adds a heart rate feature, as well as a somewhat controversial feature that claims to measure the stiffness of your arteries, which in turn is said to be an indicator of overall heart health. Most of the feedback regarding that latter feature, called pulse wave velocity, isn't very promising, including complaints that even if it measures what it's purported to, it's frustrating to use and doesn't always work. TheSweethome.com hasn't tested the Cardio version, but Pinola says she doubts that the extra features are worth the extra cost. Maker has looked at both, and while he's less harsh on the Cardio features than some reviews we spotted, he thinks the winner between the two is the Body for its value, especially since the new model includes muscle mass and bone mass readings that heretofore were only available on pricier models.