Average Customer Review:
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. Consumer Reports 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, where it garners a 4.3-star rating after nearly than 26,800 user reviews. There are fewer reviews at Best Buy -- but still nearly 170 -- and even higher satisfaction with a 4.8 star rating and recommendations from essentially 100 percent of owners (all but three). Among experts, it earns a 4-star rating at Good Housekeeping.com, is fourth on the list of top 10 scales at Thoroughly Reviewed 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. For what it's worth, it's the scale we selected for our ongoing personal battle with the bulge, and have found it to be accurate, consistent and easy to use.
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 $20 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 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. $30) 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 -- 4.4-stars after nearly 14,000 reviews at Amazon, and it's the second highest rated scale at Thoroughly Reviewed. 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 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.
One more step up in the EatSmart line is the EatSmart Precision CalPal (Est. $35). It, too, has a 440 pound upper limit, as well as a couple of extra features that move almost, but not quite, into the smart scale category (see below). It lacks Wi-Fi connectivity and with it the ability to interface with an app to track weight and overall fitness. However, it can calculate BMI, and has built-in memory to store last weight readings for up to four users -- which it can identify by their weight. Wirecutter names it their top basic scale based on its overall accuracy, not its features, and unlike the scales above it can display weights in .1 pound rather than .2 pound increments. User reviews are more limited than for the cheaper EatSmart scales, and a little less rosy, including a 4 star rating at Amazon based on nearly 230 reviews.
There are plenty of other choices to consider in this category as well. The Taylor 7506 (Est. $35) 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, Consumer Reports 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 4.1-stars at Amazon following more than 1,770 reviews. At Walmart, users are even a smidge happier and the Taylor scale earns a rating of 4.5-stars there following roughly 685 reviews. Not all feedback is positive, however. Wirecutter puts the Taylor 7506 in its also-ran category, calling it "an outdated and subpar model by our standards."
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 -- both of those were among the gripes stated by Wirecutter. 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 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. $20) 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 users -- a 4.5 star score based on nearly 5,000 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 Weight Gurus Bluetooth Smart Scale (Est. $60) looks like the top option in this category. It gets positive expert feedback from sites like Wirecutter and Top Ten Reviews. More significantly, we saw better feedback for this scale from users than most other smart scales at any price.
Putting the smart features to the side for a moment, at its core, the scale was "consistently accurate" in detecting changes in weight of .6 pounds or more in tests by the Wirecutter. At Top Ten Reviews, Rebecca Spear says that "Most scales we reviewed varied at least slightly, but this unit successfully gave the same weight for all of our volunteers." It's accurate, too. "When measuring free weights, it was closer than most scales to the actual weights." she says.
In addition to weight, the Weight Gurus scale can measure BMI, body fat, lean mass, water weight, and bone mass, and can track the information for up to eight users. It connects to a mobile device via Bluetooth, and the Weight Gurus app is available in both the Apple iTunes store and Google Play. The app can share data with some popular fitness platforms, such as Apple Health, MyFitnessPal, Fitbit and Google Fit.
Ease of use seems to be above the norm, which explains why this scale's user feedback is above the norm for smart scales as well -- including a 4.4 star score at Amazon following nearly 3,470 reviews. "We had no trouble setting this scale up and found that it connected via Bluetooth to a mobile device quicker than the best bathroom scales on our lineup," Spear said. The backlit LCD is easy to read, feedback indicates. The only drawback is that the near 400 pound (397 pounds/180 kilogram) weight limit is lower than on some scales.
Ease of use is what knocked a lot of otherwise good smart scales out of contention for Best Reviewed honors. One of those is the Nokia Body + (Est. $100). This is a (mostly) the exact same scale as last year's Best Reviewed selection, the Withings Body, but rebranded under the Nokia name. But while performance and functionality remain unchanged, Nokia launched a new app to go with the new name for this scale, and things have not gone well.
It used to be the top pick at Wirecutter, too, but app woes have relegated it to also-ran status. Connectivity issues are reported -- "turning it into a dumb scale for our long-term tester," says Wirecutter's editors. They also pan the redesigned functionality, saying that it's earning poor reviews from its tester, and the public in general. "We still like the scale itself, but until the app is updated we can't recommend the overall experience, Shannon Palus and Melanie Pinola conclude.
Nokia has issued a number of updates to its app, though feedback is too sparse at present to confirm that all issues have been addressed. That said, user reviews complaining about the app seem to have dropped off at Amazon, where the scale earns a 3.8 star score based on over 151 reviews.
App issues aside, this does appear to be a very good scale. It was the most accurate scale in earlier testing by Wirecutter (though that complete review is no long on line), with Pinola saying at the time 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.
In addition to weight, the Nokia 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, … body-composition readings were the most wild, varying between two and three percentage points on some days," Pinola noted. Similar comments can be found among user reviews for this scale, regardless of branding. 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." Those findings are largely echoed by users.