The Omron Body Fat Monitor and Scale HBF-400 earns praise from reviewers for its consistent readings. Consumers say weight readings are spot-on, but like most body-fat scales, the actual body-fat percentage given by this scale is not always accurate. Most reviewers say they aren't concerned about this, pointing out that changes over time are more important than the actual reading. As long as a scale is consistent, it can be easily used to monitor progress. A similar Omron scale was off by only 2.5 percent when compared to underwater weighing, considered one of the most accurate methods for assessing body fat. The Omron Body Fat scale measures weight in 0.2-pound increments (up to 330 pounds) and body fat in 0.1-percent increments for up to four users. It runs on four AA batteries and has a one-year limited warranty.
People who have owned the Omron Body Fat Monitor and Scale HBF-400 and comparable Tanita models say the Omron scale is less expensive and more consistent. Owners advise reading through the manual prior to using this scale, because it can be confusing to use initially. Users should also note that using a body-fat scale under the same conditions each time improves accuracy; body-fat scales should be used at least three hours after a meal, after you've emptied your bladder and not immediately following exercise. Because hydration affects body-fat readings, they should not be used first thing in the morning. If you don't need more than a simple weight measurement, consider the Omega Ultra Slim Digital Bathroom Scale (*Est. $40), which users say offers consistent and accurate weight measurements.
Feedback on the Omron Body Fat Monitor and Scale HBF-400 is frequently grouped with reviews of a similar model, the Omron Body Fat Monitor and Scale HBF-500, which has been discontinued. About 550 owners offer feedback on the two models on Amazon.com, and it's not always possible to determine which model is being reviewed. Viewpoints.com has a handful of reviews. Australian-based Choice magazine includes the Omron Body Fat Monitor and Scale HBF-400 in its most recent bathroom-scale review, although most of the other models tested aren't available in the U.S. About.com also names the Omron Body Fat Monitor and Scale HBF 400 as one of the six best body fat scales. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
About 550 owners contribute to an average rating of 4 stars out of 5, but reviews here include feedback on both the Omron Body Fat Monitor and Scale HBF-400 and the discontinued HBF-500. In some cases, it's difficult to tell which model is being discussed, but feedback overall is positive. Most of those who complain about inaccurate body-fat readings acknowledge that the readings are consistent, so progress can be monitored over time.
Review: Omron Body Fat Monitor and Scale, Contributors to Amazon.com
2. Choice magazine
Australian-based Choice magazine (similar to ConsumerReports.org) includes the Omron Body Fat Monitor and Scale HBF-400 in its most recent bathroom-scale roundup. Most of the models included in this review aren't available in the U.S.
Review: Body Fat Scales, Chris Barnes, Dec. 10, 2009
About.com names the six best body fat monitors, including the Omron Body Fat Monitor and Scale HBF 400. It's not clear whether the author has personally tested each recommended model. That said, both pros and cons are mentioned, including the scale's ability to store data for up to four users. The downside: To access previous data, users must bend down and push buttons on the unit. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Top 6 Body Fat Monitors, Wendy Bumgardner, Aug. 27, 2011
4. The New York Times
Registered dietician Joy Bauer tests four body-fat scales against underwater-weight measurements obtained at a hospital. This review covers the Omron Body Fat Monitor and Scale HBF-500, which has been discontinued but is similar to the Omron Body Fat Monitor and Scale HBF-400.
Review: Keeping Tabs on Your Fat, Abby Ellin, Feb. 15, 2007
A handful of owners contribute to an average rating of 4 stars out of 5. All but one owner say the Omron Body Fat Monitor and Scale HBF 400 is accurate and consistent, especially for body weight. Like other review sites, most who note that body fat readings aren't accurate realize that tracking changes over time is the most important aspect.
Review: Omron Body Fat Monitor and Scale Model HBF 400 (Omron) Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com