How to buy kitchen scales
- Kitchen scales - key features explained plus handy measurement conversions
- Follow recipes, bake, cook and measure out portions with a set of kitchen scales
- Browse our kitchen scales picture gallery for the latest styles and features
A decent set of weighing scales is a vital piece of kitchen equipment in any budding baker or chef's cooking kit - and they can help to manage meal portion sizes, too.
Find a set of kitchen scales that are accurate, easy to operate and look good in your kitchen.
Types of kitchen scales
Mechanical dial kitchen scales
Spring-based dial kitchen scales are simple to set up - with no need for batteries - and usually come with a bowl or jug that your food or liquid is placed into. The weight is shown on an analogue dial, so it's important that it's easy to read and that you won't easily knock the scales while the dial settles.
You can pick up a simple, no-frills set of kitchen scales from around £5 upwards.
Digital kitchen scales
Electronic kitchen scales use batteries and deliver precise results using a digital display. Most digital scale models allow you to switch between imperial and metric measurements, offer settings for wet and dry ingredients and have a 'zero' reset setting - so you can weigh items with or without a bowl.
Digital scales tend to be pricier than mechanical ones, plus you'll need batteries. A premium brand name or extra features push up the cost, but expect to pay anywhere between £10 and £50.
Traditional balance kitchen scales
Classic two-sided kitchen scales are still popular today. These are used by balancing weights on the weighing dish and placing your ingredient into the bowl at the other side. Before you buy, check if the scales come with weights, or if you'll need to buy these separately.
These kitchen scales tend to be ornate and can double up as a decorative display item. Expect to pay £40+ for a decent cast iron set.
Kitchen scales style
Coordinate your kitchen scales with the rest of your kitchen equipment. Browse our kitchen scales picture gallery for some inspiration.
Kitchen scales - shopping checklist
Which? hasn't tested kitchen scales, so we don't have specific models to recommend - but these tips will help you work out which set of scales is best suited to your kitchen and cookery habits.
Size of kitchen scales
Think about the size of scales you need on two counts: what you tend to cook and where you plan to store your scales when not using them.
If you like to bake in big batches or are often cooking meals for a large group of people, make sure your scales can accommodate that - some flat digital models tend to offer quite limited space on which to place ingredients or balance a large mixing bowl, for example.
Conversely, compact models are much easier to stash away in a cupboard (some even fold up further). Scales that come with a measuring bowl will be more bulky to store and may need to be taken apart. Balance weight scales can work well as a decorative item that permanently sits on your kitchen top.
The display on your kitchen scales needs to be large and clear. Look for large, well-positioned and back-lit displays on digital kitchen scales that you can read easily. All mechanical scales should display both metric and imperial measurements on their dials but avoid ones with small faces, minute lettering or 'wobbly' dials - all of which can make it hard to get a precise reading.
If you're looking for a set of kitchen scales with an attached measuring bowl - helpful for measuring out liquids and messy dry ingredients - then look out for models that come with jug-shaped attachments you can remove from the scales and pour out into another container easily.
'Add and weigh' feature
On digital models where you want to place different bowls and ingredients on to the scales consecutively, look for an 'add and weigh' or 'zero' function that lets you reset without having to turn the scales off and on.
Electronic sscales have one big drawback - the possibility that they could run out of battery power right in the middle of cooking. Before you buy, check how many and what type of batteries the scales take and invest in some Which? Best Buy rechargeable batteries.
Cleaning your kitchen scales
Most kitchens scales should be wipe clean, but pick a set that doesn't have any intricate nooks that could be difficult to reach.
Before you buy, check if the measuring bowl is dishwasher-safe or has any specific cleaning requirements.
If you're after a sleek, metallic model where you place food directly on to the scale surface, look for a set that offers stain resistance and won't retain flavours or smells.
Dualit, Hanson, Salter and various celebrity chef ranges including Jamie Oliver and Heston Blumenthal produce kitchen scales - with own-brand models from supermarkets and stores including Argos, John Lewis and Tesco widely available, too.
Recipe measurement converter
Imperial (pounds & ounces)
|Liquid volume converter|
|Imperial (pints & fluid ounces)||Metric (litres)|
|2 fl oz||55ml|
|5 fl oz (1/4 pint)||150ml|
|10 fl oz (1/2 pint)||275ml|
|1 3/4 pints||1 litre|
|4 pints||2.25 litres|
|American cups converter|
|Cups||Imperial (ounces)||Metric (grams)|
|1 cup flour||5oz||150g|
|1 cup granulated sugar||8oz||225g|
|1 cup butter / margarine||8oz||225g|
|1 cup dried fruit||8oz||225g|
|1 cup golden syrup||12oz||350g|
|1 cup rice (uncooked)||7oz||200g|