If you want the most accurate scale available, experts suggest professional mechanical scales, which are more accurate thanks to their heavy-duty balance beams. However, while professional scales also have higher weight capacities, they can cost several hundred dollars and take up more space than traditional bathroom units. The Health o meter Professional Upright Scale 402KL (Est. $220), however, costs about the same as some high-tech digital scales but functions the same as the one in your doctor's office.
The Health o meter offers a 450-pound weight capacity measured in 0.25-pound increments, and its readings are highly accurate and consistent. That's because the mechanical design of this scale, a heavy steel base with a balance beam to display weight readings, leaves little room for human error. The Health o meter also offers a vertical beam, which can be used to measure heights between 30 and 78 inches, making it a great tool for families who want to track children's growth over time.
One alternative to the Health o meter is the Detecto 437 Eye-Level (Est. $180), which is slightly more affordable. It offers the same key functions as the Health o meter (although it doesn't come with a height rod), and users say it's relatively simple to set up. However, its capacity tops out at 400 pounds.
The primary difference between the Health o meter and those found in doctors' offices is its construction. While it's based on the same principle, the Health o meter's balance beam is actually made of plastic. Some users gripe about this feature, noting the numbers wear off, but most don't see it as an issue.
Surprisingly, many of today's digital scales offer the same level of accuracy as professional models, and the majority measure weight in smaller increments, typically to 0.2 pounds. Users who prefer a more attractive or easier-to-store option will find most digital scales more appealing. We found far more positive reviews for digital bathroom scales than analog versions. Any scale offering consistent measurements can be used to monitor weight loss over time, which many experts say is a more important factor than your actual body mass.
We chose the Health o meter Professional Upright Scale as our best pick in this category on the basis of hundreds of positive user reviews. Although the Detecto 437 has less user feedback available online, owners call it an excellent, reliable product.