Best bathroom scales for body fat analysisWhich bathroom scales can you trust?

20 May 2016

bathroom scales

We've tested bathroom scales that measure body fat - but are they any good?

We’ve found bathroom scales that give a body-fat analysis you can trust, whereas the worst in our reviews is typically more than 12 percentage points out.

Our tests suggest that body-fat scales aren’t accurate enough to replace professional medical advice. But some are much closer to the mark than others – the best was just 2.66 percentage points out on average.

The worst may as well just keep you guessing.

One of the worst we tested is also one of the most expensive, costing more than £100 – so you could end up overspending and overestimating your body-fat loss as you count down to your holidays.

We've tested bathroom scales from all the popular brands, including Salter, Tanita, Weight Watchers and Fitbit.

Want to know the bathroom scales that stand out from the rest of the competition? Head to our Best Buy bathroom scales.

Body fat – what’s the deal?

Your body fat percentage is the percentage of your body fat against your total weight.

Too much body fat is associated with health risks – including heart disease and diabetes. 

The tables below show an assessment of recommended body fat percentage, according to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

Assessment of body fat percentage - men
 20-39 years40-59 years60-79 years
LowLess than 8%Less than 11%Less than 13%
Healthy8% - 20%11% - 22%13% - 25%
Increased20% - 25%22% - 28%25% - 30%
HighMore than 25%More than 28%More than 30%
Assessment of body fat percentage - women
 20-39 years40-59 years60-79 years
LowLess than 21%Less than 23%Less than 24%
Healthy21% - 33%23% - 34%24% - 36%
Increased33% - 39%34% - 40%36% - 42%
HighMore than 39%More than 40%More than 42%

Table notes: Figures according to the RCN

To find the best scales for body fat analysis, we first measure the body fat of a group of people using a medical body fat analysis method as a reference measurement. Each person then measures their body fat three times with each set of bathroom scales, and we see how closely the readings match up.

As body-fat scales send a very small electric current around your body to work out your fat percentage, you shouldn’t use one if you have a pacemaker or other internal medical device, or if you’re pregnant.

Best Buy bathroom scales

standing on scales

Best Buy bathroom scales will be completely honest about your weight

Accuracy of body-fat analysis makes up 30% of the total test score we award bathroom scales in our reviews.

The accuracy and consistency of basic weight measurements are also very important to our test score, plus we assess just how good each model is at picking up on small weight changes.

This means you’ll be able to trust our Best Buy bathroom scales to be completely honest with you about your weight. And our ease of use tests reveal those which are a dream to use, too.

Bathroom scales need to earn an impressive 80% in our tests to earn our Best Buy recommendation.

Head to our bathroom scales reviews to find out which make the grade.

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