Best Bathroom Scales From Consumer Reports' Tests
We weigh in on how accurate models from Amazon Basics, Fitbit, Taylor, and others really are
Trying to lose, gain, or maintain your weight? A bathroom scale can help you track your progress. But, of course, it needs to be accurate.
"Sure, your weight can fluctuate, but ultimately, if you weigh 105.4 pounds, your scale's display should read 105.4 pounds,” says Bernie Deitrick, a test program leader at Consumer Reports.
In our labs, we put bathroom scales through a number of tests. We use a calibrated lab scale that displays the correct weight to the hundredth of a pound as our reference to weigh stackable weights, which we then use to mimic individuals weighing 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, 180, 210, and 325 pounds. (Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average adult male weighs 200 pounds and is 5'9" and the average adult female is 171 pounds and 5'3.5".) We compare the readings from each bathroom scale to those of the lab scale to determine the accuracy of each model.
We take multiple readings of each weight (using our stackable weights) on each scale to determine a model’s consistency rating. Our tester also stands in different positions on each scale to see whether the readings change—most didn't, but you’d be surprised how much the display can vary based on how you shift your stance. That makes up our unbalanced weighing rating. We also check how easy each is to use, from how large the numbers on the display are to how simple it is to adjust the scale to your preferences, and whether you can read the scale without needing to turn on a light.
Best Bathroom Scales From CR's Tests
Editor's Note: A previous version of this article, originally published on Feb. 17, 2021, included mention of predicted accuracy for higher weights. We've updated the story with test results up to 325 pounds.