How to buy bathroom scales
- Keep a regular check of your weight with weighing scales for your bathroom
- Bathroom scales - key features explained and top tips on properly using them
- Browse our bathroom scales picture gallery for the latest styles and features
Keep a regular eye on your weight with a stylish-looking and - crucially - accurate set of bathroom scales. Here's what to look for when you're shopping for bathroom scales to find the best model.
Types of bathroom scales
Digital electronic bathroom scales
Electronic scales use batteries and present your weight with stark digital precision. Some models have enhanced functions, such as memory programs which can remember your previous weight. As they become more commonplace the price of digital scales has come down - you can find them for under £20 these days.
Traditional mechanical scales
Spring-based mechanical scales used to be a regular sight in UK bathrooms - and there are plenty still available if you don't want a battery-run set of electronic scales. Your weight is shown on an analogue dial, so it’s important that it's easy to read. Mechanical scales tend to be cheap, with models under £10.
Body fat monitors
Body fat monitors are for the health-conscious looking for more detailed weight stats. As well as giving your weight, they analyse what proportion of this is fat, which can help if you're dieting for health reasons. See our 'body fat monitors explained' section below for more.
Some models provide extra data, such as your body water content, or daily recommended calorie intake. Prices start from £20 upwards.
Wi-fi bathroom scales
The digital revolution has even found its way into the bathroom scales market - wi-fi enabled bathroom scales automatically beam your latest weight to your laptop, computer or smartphone so you can track everything online. They can identify and monitor multiple users.
Bathroom scales style
Bathroom scales needn't be an eyesore - find a set that matches your room's style. Have a browse of our picture gallery for some inspiration:
Bathroom scales - what to look for
Which? hasn't recently tested bathroom scales, so we don't have specific models to recommend - but these tips will help you choose one that's fit for purpose to use in your bathroom.
Before you shop: take a look at our shop surveys, revealing the best and worst shops on the high street for buying electrical appliances, and the top electrical online shops, as voted for by thousands of Which? members.
Ease of use
A single-use product like a set of bathroom scales should be intuitive to operate - easy to switch on and off and straightforward to set up.
On mechanical scales, look at how fiddly they are to reset, as you may need to readjust the dial regularly to keep them accurate. On digital sets, check where and how you'll need to change the battery, as well as the type of battery it takes.
For accuracy, bathroom scales are best placed on a hard, flat floor surface. There are bathroom scales available that claim to be able to work just as effectively on carpet or soft flooring.
Size of bathroom scales
If you don't want to clutter up your bathroom, pick a light compact model that's easy to move about - or a set with smaller dimensions that won't take up as much floor space.
Bathroom scales display
Scales need to be easy to read - even if the truth is scary. Look for large, well positioned and back-lit displays on digital bathroom scales that you can clearly read from a standing position. Some mechanical scales use small lettering, making it hard to determine a precise reading. A 'doctor'-style mechanical scale shows the entire dial, not just a section of it.
Brabantia, EKS, Hanson, Salter and Weight Watchers are among the big brand names who produce bathroom scales - with own-brand models from supermarkets and stores including Argos, John Lewis and Tesco widely available too.
Top tips to using bathroom scales
Get into a weighing routine to help track an accurate view of your weight.
- When: you should weigh yourself at the same time of the day, and before eating a meal, at regular intervals.
- How: remove your clothes and shoes before weighing yourself, or only wear light layers.
- Where: don't put bathroom scales on an uneven or soft surface such as carpet - use your scales on a flat, even surface.
Body fat monitors explained
A body fat monitor sends a low, safe electrical current through your feet. This signal passes freely through muscle and blood but meets high resistance in fat cells - the monitor measures this resistance and uses it to calculate your fat levels based on what is normal for your gender, height, weight and build.
The argument for using a body fat monitor is that not all fat is visible or corresponds to body weight. As muscle is heavier than fat, your weight reading could suggest a new diet and exercise regime isn't working, whereas a body fat monitor can confirm that you've lost fat and the weight is now muscle.
The last time we tested body fat monitors was in 2006. Then, tests on a non-dieting volunteer over two weeks found that although the stated body fat values varied between machines, they were generally consistent for each machine. So while we don't know whether the original measures were accurate, if you use the same machine consistently to monitor fat levels, you'll get useful results.