How Do I Choose the Best Electronic Weight Scale?

Kelly Ferguson

Choosing the best electronic weight scale is getting increasingly difficult as more and more technology is becoming available in these devices. It is not only a matter of choosing the best features within a price range, as for most items purchased, but also a question of the accuracy of some of the included features. The possible prices of an electronic weight scale range widely as well, usually dependent on which features are offered and not necessarily their accuracy. One aspect of a scale that must not be ignored if any of the users are very overweight is the scale's weight limit. Many scales will have difficulty reading obese users' weights and may either break or simply not register a weight higher than the maximum.

A digital bathroom scale may be used to track weight loss.
A digital bathroom scale may be used to track weight loss.

A simple electronic weight scale with no extra features may still vary widely from others in the precision of the weight measurement. Some scales weigh in larger increments, for instance every half pound (0.2 kilograms), while others are more precise and measure in tenths or even take the measurement to two decimal places. Which one is best is largely a matter of personal preference and budget, although athletes and individuals closely tracking weight for a competition or for a specific diet may enjoy a scale with a higher level of precision.

Most scales display the user's body mass index (BMI) because finding it is a simple matter of taking the height measurement the user has specified and plugging it in to a simple formula with the weight to find the result. Electronic weight scale features are also beginning to frequently include body fat percentage measurement, with some scales even attempting to read hydration levels and recommend a daily calorie allowance for the user. This information can not only help dieters attempting to lose weight, but it can also provide feedback for users trying to gain or maintain their weight. Sometimes, even if the scale weight has stayed the same, the body fat percentage may have changed, and that is often a better indicator of overall fitness than weight alone. Athletes or other individuals who engage in frequent exercise may appreciate the hydration feedback as well, since many people do not drink enough water to replenish the water lost during heavy exercise.

These numbers can be extremely useful to know, but unfortunately many scales have such a wide range of accuracy on these measurements that sometimes they cannot be relied upon. To find the most accurate scale, check professional review sites that list statistics about the accuracy of each model of scale, as many sites like this have tested dozens or even hundreds of popular brands for accuracy. Additionally, some individuals who already have an idea of their body fat percentage may be able to test scales for themselves while still in the store and get a feel for each scale's accuracy.

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