Best Bathroom Scales From Consumer Reports' Tests

We weigh in on how accurate models from Amazon Basics, Fitbit, Taylor, and others really are

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

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.

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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 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 have access to our full bathroom scale ratings.

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.

Home Content Creator Haniya Rae

Haniya Rae

I​’m interested in the intersection between design and technology​—whether for ​drywall or robotic vacuums—and how the resulting combination affects consumers. I’ve written about consumer advocacy issues for publications like The Atlantic, PC Magazine, and Popular Science, and now I’m happy to be tackling the topic for CR. For updates, feel free to follow me on Twitter (@haniyarae).