Best Bathroom Scales From Consumer Reports' Tests

We weigh in on how accurate models from Fitbit, Taylor, Withings, and other brands really are

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tester testing bathroom scales
CR's Bernie Deitrick prepares to run each scale through tests in our lab.
Photo: John Walsh/Consumer Reports

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight through diet and exercise. A bathroom scale can help you track your progress toward your goal 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 simulate individuals weighing 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, 180, 210, and 325 pounds. (According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average adult male weighs 200 pounds and is 5 feet, 9 inches, and the average adult female is 171 pounds and 5 feet, 3.5 inches.) We compare the readings from each bathroom scale with those of the lab scale to determine the accuracy of each model.

We take multiple readings of each weight on each scale (using our stackable weights) to determine a model’s consistency rating. Our tester also stands in different positions on each scale to see whether the readings change. Most don’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 to see how easy each scale 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.

More on Weight Loss

At home, you’ll get the most accurate picture of your weight if you step on the scale at the same time of day each time you take a reading. Usually, it’s easiest to do it right when you get up in the morning, before you’ve had a chance to drink anything, exercise, or eat.

For more information on how to choose the right bathroom scale, see our bathroom scale buying guide. CR members can get ratings and reviews of the top five scales from our tests—listed here in alphabetical order (not by rank)—and access to our full bathroom scale ratings.

Best Bathroom Scales From CR's Tests

Consumer Reports

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