Do you want to measure more than just body mass? Some scales have the ability to measure body fat and other body-composition metrics, which can be a more accurate prediction of overall health than a simple weight measurement. If weight loss is your primary goal, a simple weight-tracking scale will be enough. Body-fat measurements using bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) are less accurate than professional measurements, such as hydrostatic weighing (water displacement method), but these techniques are not practical for most users. Check out our blog post on body-fat scales for information on how these scales can be useful to monitor health or an About.com article on how to get the most out of a body-fat scale. (ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Will you store the scale when not in use? Not everyone wants a bathroom scale taking up space on their floor. Professional upright scales are not easy to store, and they're generally less attractive than their sleeker, modern-looking digital counterparts. Digital scales and body-fat scales come in both plain styles and more high-tech-looking versions, with shiny black or chrome finishes. Others are often minimalistic, with clear glass and chrome accents that blend well with any décor.
How many people will use your bathroom scale? Look for a scale that can track weights and/or other measurements for multiple users if more than a single family member will be tracking their weight or fitness goals.
Are you a high-tech junkie, or do you want to access your stats on the fly? Users who are looking to improve overall health and love having access to their personal data via their smartphones will appreciate the functionality of high-tech body-fat scales. These scales store data in cloud-based applications, and some programs even track fitness activities and caloric intake.
Bathroom scales are a hot item around the holidays and after the start of the new year, as many people have set personal weight loss and fitness goals for the year to come. As such, bathroom scales are often priced at a discount around this time.
When purchasing a scale, you should ask the retailer what type of warranty is offered. We read complaints for nearly every bathroom scale we reviewed that some consumers received lemons right out of the box. As with most digital products, this is to be expected somewhat, but you'll want to buy with confidence that the company will repair or replace your bathroom scale should it malfunction soon after purchase. Warranties range widely in length between one and thirty years; most scales, however, have warranties between two and five years.
Wi-Fi is becoming a widely used technology for everything from remote office work to health monitoring. There are a variety of smartphone apps designed to help users stay on track with their fitness goals by counting calories, and tracking food intake and activities. Wi-Fi-enabled, digital body-fat scales have capitalized on this technology to combine the usability of a physical bathroom scale with the remote monitoring capabilities of a cloud-based application. These scales have been around for a few years now, but as newer high-tech body-fat scales are introduced, each offers more functionality and features than previous models.