Bathroom Scales Buying Guide

bathroom scales buying guide

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Bathroom scales are an essential tool for anyone looking to monitor their weight, whether for health monitoring, fitness tracking, or even just for personal curiosity.

Today, you can find a wide variety of scales ranging from basic models that simply measure weight to advanced designs that can track a full range of body composition metrics.

Choosing the right one can be a key factor in managing your health effectively.

Key Features to Consider when Buying Bathroom Scales


Accuracy is the most important feature of any bathroom scale. An inaccurate scale can give misleading readings that may affect your health and fitness goals. To ensure accuracy, look for scales that are regularly calibrated and have good user feedback on consistency. Some digital scales also offer recalibration features, which can be a significant advantage.

What is Calibration?

Calibration is the process of setting the scale to a known zero point and adjusting it to ensure the accuracy of weight measurements. This can be necessary because scales might lose accuracy due to regular use, moving the scale, or changes in the environment.

Automatic Calibration

Many modern digital scales come with automatic calibration features. When you step on or activate these scales, they automatically calibrate to zero before taking a measurement. This helps in providing a precise weight every time you use the scale.

Manual Calibration

Some scales might require manual calibration. This often involves pressing a specific button to reset the scale to zero. It’s a simple process, typically outlined in the scale’s manual.

Manual calibration might be needed when the scale has been moved or after changing the batteries.

Why It Matters

Regular calibration ensures that your scale provides reliable and consistent readings, which is crucial if you are tracking your weight for health or fitness reasons. An uncalibrated scale can give inaccurate results, which might mislead you about your health progress.

Weight Capacity

The weight capacity of bathroom scales can vary significantly. Standard models generally support up to 150 kg (about 23 stones), but if you or someone in the family needs a higher capacity, specialised scales can accommodate weights up to 250 kg (approximately 39 stones) or more.

It’s important to choose a scale that comfortably supports the user’s weight to maintain both safety and accuracy.

Ease of Use

For many, the ease of use is a critical consideration. Digital scales with a large, clear display are preferable as they allow you to read your weight quickly and without confusion. Backlit screens are particularly useful in low-light conditions. The interface should be simple, often just a step-on to activate with minimal button pressing needed.

Units of Measurement

In the UK, people may prefer different units of measurement; some are comfortable with kilograms, while others might prefer stones or pounds. A scale that offers the flexibility to switch between these measurements can be extremely useful, accommodating the preferences of all users in the household.

Additional Features

Smart Scales

Smart scales represent a significant advancement in home health technology. These scales connect to smartphones or other devices via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi allowing users to track their weight and other health metrics over time through apps.

This connectivity can be incredibly helpful for those on a structured weight loss plan, fitness enthusiasts, or anyone monitoring their health closely.

Some popular apps also integrate with other fitness devices, offering a comprehensive view of your health and progress.

Body Composition Metrics

More advanced scales don’t just measure weight—they can also analyse body composition. These scales use bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) to estimate other vital metrics such as body fat percentage, muscle mass, water percentage, bone density, and even metabolic age.

This information can be invaluable for those who are not just looking to lose weight but improve their overall body composition and health.

User Memory

For families or individuals who share their scales, having a user memory feature can be very beneficial. This feature allows the scale to recognise different users and track their information separately.

It usually works by storing profiles (often distinguishing users based on previous weight recordings) and providing each user with their historical data when they step on the scale. This helps maintain privacy and convenience, ensuring that each user’s health data is personal and accurately tracked without manual input each time.

Incorporating these additional features in a bathroom scale can significantly enhance its utility, making it not just a tool for weight measurement but a comprehensive health monitoring device.

These features are particularly appealing to tech-savvy users or those engaged in detailed health and fitness regimens, providing them with detailed insights and tracking capabilities that go beyond basic models.

Here’s a more detailed expansion for section 4 of your bathroom scales buying guide, focusing on practical buying tips for consumers in the UK:

Buying Tips

Read Reviews

Before purchasing a bathroom scale, it’s crucial to read through customer reviews. These reviews can provide real-world insights into a product’s reliability, accuracy, and usability. Reviews often highlight issues that might not be immediately apparent, such as scales being difficult to calibrate or having a short lifespan.

Popular UK online retailers like Amazon UK, Argos, and John Lewis are excellent sources for such reviews, offering a variety of user feedback.

Warranty and Support

Checking the warranty and customer support options provided by the manufacturer is another important step. A good warranty can protect your purchase against defects or failures, which is particularly valuable for more expensive, high-tech scales.

Additionally, consider whether the manufacturer offers accessible customer support through phone, email, or live chat. This can be crucial for troubleshooting issues or getting assistance with the product’s features.


Bathroom scales can vary widely in price, from affordable basic models to high-end smart scales. Define your budget early in the shopping process and compare the features available within that range.

While cheaper scales may offer basic weight measurements, investing a bit more can often get you additional features like body composition analysis and smart connectivity.

However, it’s important to balance cost with your actual needs—don’t overpay for features you are unlikely to use.

Where to Buy

In the UK, there are many options for purchasing bathroom scales. High street stores like Boots or Currys PC World offer the chance to view products in person, while online retailers provide the convenience of home delivery and often broader selections.

Consider your shopping preference and look for retailers that offer the best deals, keeping an eye out for sales or special promotions that could make your preferred model more affordable.

Tips for Getting Accurate Measurements

Ensuring accurate measurements from your bathroom scale is important, especially if you’re tracking changes over time. Here are some practical tips to help you get the most accurate readings:

1. Place on a Hard, Flat Surface

Always place your bathroom scale on a hard, flat surface, such as tile or hardwood flooring. Soft surfaces like carpets can absorb force differently, leading to inconsistent and inaccurate readings.

2. Calibrate Regularly

If your scale requires manual calibration, make sure to calibrate it regularly, especially if it has been moved. For scales with automatic calibration, stepping on and then off the scale so it resets to zero before taking a measurement can help maintain accuracy.

3. Keep it Level

Ensure the scale is perfectly level. An uneven scale can result in incorrect readings. Some scales come with a built-in level indicator or adjustable feet to help achieve a level positioning.

4. Avoid Moving the Scale

Frequently moving your scale can affect its sensors and calibration. Find a good spot for the scale and try to keep it there. If you must move it, recalibrate it before using again.

5. Measure at the Same Time Each Day

Your body weight naturally fluctuates throughout the day due to factors like hydration, meals, and exercise. For the most consistent readings, weigh yourself at the same time each day, preferably in the morning before breakfast and after using the bathroom.

6. Use Consistently

Stand still and center your weight on the scale when taking a measurement. Shifting your weight or leaning can cause inaccurate readings.

7. Check the Batteries

Low batteries can sometimes affect the accuracy of digital scales. If your scale starts showing erratic or inconsistent readings, it might be time to change the batteries.

8. Wear Similar Clothing

To ensure consistency, try to wear similar clothing each time you weigh yourself, or even better, weigh yourself without any heavy clothing.