Best bathroom scales – 6 brilliant buys to help track your health from home

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  • In search of a pair of the best bathroom scales to follow you on your health kick? Perhaps you’d just like to own a pair to keep in your bathroom to check on your health? Either way, our guide features some of the best bathroom scales on the market this year. To not only calculate your weight, but in most cases, a set of bathroom scales can determine your body fat percentage, BMI plus more. Rest assured that these bathroom scales are just as good, if not better than the ones you might find at your local gym.

    We’ve listed a mix of run-of-the-mill bathroom scales and smart bathroom scales in this list. Take a browse of both to see which one takes your fancy. If you only want to find out your weight and would rather avoid the faff, then we would say to avoid a smart scale since they are more expensive and you won’t be taking advantage of all of the features they can offer. Otherwise, by embracing smart technology, you can learn more about your own body and not just be hung up on your weight going up or down. By collecting data on your weight, fat percentage, bone and water mass etc, you can see how your efforts are rewarded over time and learn what works for you using a pair of smart bathroom scales.

    Owing a pair of scales in your bathroom isn’t for everyone, and that’s totally okay! But, if you are someone who is looking to invest, then look no further than our guide below which features several tried and tested options. Once you’ve picked a bathroom scale, and if you want more fitness inspiration, check out our guide on cheap exercise bikes for the best buys all loved by the Ideal Home team.

    The best bathroom scales to buy this year

    The best smart bathroom scales

    Type: DigitalSuitable for use with: iOS, AndroidMeasures: kg, lb, stBluetooth/Wi-Fi connectivity: YesBattery: Four standard AAA batteries (included)BMI: YesBody fat: Yes

    Reasons to buyExcellent smartphone app

    Reasons to avoidSome users reported issues with incorrect measurements

    Nokia entered the health tech sector when it bought Withings, and the Body+ is one of the first branded products. You can track weight, BMI and fat percentage figures. It’ll even give you a visual weather report as you stare, bleary-eyed at your toes. It can also monitor muscle and bone mass and your body’s water composition. Battery life is an impressive 18 months and connecting it to your smartphone is refreshingly simple.

    The most impressive feature for us is Nokia’s Health Mate app. This gorgeous app works smoothly, looks great and the Dashboard section shows all your vital statistics clearly. A quick click through takes you to graphs displaying your progress, and you can also import more data like heart rate or steps – using Apple Healthkit. You can link with Runkeeper, MyFitnessPal and Nike+, even Nest smart home products (though, we’re not sure why!).

    We loved the ability to set Activity Alerts which remind you to do everything from stepping on the scales to having an after-dinner stroll or grabbing a piece of fruit at lunch. A selection of programs you can follow include a five-day healthier heart program, a 44week Pregnancy Tracker and Sleep Smarter mode. This uses data from Nokia’s new Sleep Sensor to get you a better night’s rest.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    The best bathroom scales

    Image: RENPHO

    Type: DigitalSuitable for use with: N/AMeasures: kg, lb, stBluetooth/Wi-Fi connectivity: NoBattery: 2 AA (included)BMI: NoBody fat: No

    Reasons to buyEasy to useGreat for non-techy peopleComes in white or blackLow battery indicatorAffordable

    Reasons to avoidBasicNot smart

    The RENPHO Digital Bathroom Scales do as they claim – minus the faff – and they work to simply just calculate your body weight. In your choice of kilograms, stone and pounds or just pounds, that is. Just flip the scale over to switch between measurements, it’s that easy. An LED screen makes it easy to read your weight, plus it has a total of four sensors for an accurate reading.

    Available in your choice of white or black to blend with your bathroom decor, these scales boast a strong bearing surface that can withstand up to 180kg. An error message will display if there is too much weight on the scale. With anti-skid feet, it has rounded edges to make it safe to store around pets and children. Whilst we’re on the topic of storage: it’s incredibly slim so it can slot anywhere from underneath a bathroom cabinet to between your toilet and your tub.

    While this scale can’t determine your BMI or measure your body fat percentage, it is a great basic option for anyone who just wants to know their weight and that’s it. It’s possibly the least confusing bathroom scale out there since you need only stand on it for it to begin calculating.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    The best bathroom scales for dieters

    Type: DigitalSuitable for use with: iOS, AndroidMeasures: kgBluetooth/Wi-Fi connectivity: Bluetooth onlyBattery: 4 AA batteries requiredBMI: YesBody fat: Yes

    Reasons to buyMetabolic age readingExtensive body measurements

    Reasons to avoidBluetooth installation can be tricky

    Billed as ‘the world’s most extensive smart scale’ Tanita has packed on the features with these bathroom scales. It will record 10 body measurements, including the usual BMI, fat percentage and actual weight. But it also records bone mass, basal metabolic rate (BMR – the amount of energy you expend each day when at rest), visceral fat and muscle mass. It’ll even rate your physique…eek!

    It’s an impressive, albeit terrifying, list of statistics for the average person looking to shed a few kilos. In reality, though, this is a set of scales for the fitness nerd who loves to know precisely how healthy they are. It’s also a lot to pay for a set of scales and if you’re a beginner I’d keep clear. Your data is transferred using Bluetooth and while not the easiest to set up, it was consistent and reliable.

    Tanita might not be a brand you’ve come across much, but it has a long reputation in the professional health industry and class-leading accuracy. Unlike Fitbit or Nokia, while easy to navigate around, the My Tanita app wasn’t the most insightful. While it was nice (well, sort of) to see all my health data on display I needed more information as to what I should do with it.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

    Best bathroom scales – 6 brilliant buys to help track your health from home

    The best bathroom scales for aesthetic reasons

    Type: DigitalSuitable for use with: iOS, Android, KindleMeasures: lb, kgBluetooth/Wi-Fi connectivity: YesBattery: Lithium batteryBMI: YesBody fat: Yes

    Reasons to buyNo batteries requiredExcellent designPregnancy mode

    Reasons to avoidSome customers report difficulty connecting it to WiFi

    Smart, stylish and designed to be as least intimidating as possible, this is a cute set of scales (choose black or white glass). They can show you the cold hard facts on a huge LCD screen, using weight, BMI, Body fat percentage, muscle, bone and water composition data. Or they can swap kilos for emoticons with smiling, frowning or passive faces, all the while uploading data to the smartphone app.

    This set of scales links nicely with Apple Homekit data and you can share results with the Map My Fitness apps. This is handy for runners and calorie counters alike. Qardio also offer their own range of health trackers including a blood pressure monitor and ECG reader. When you step on the scales you also receive haptic feedback (a little vibration) when your data has been captured.

    We were pleased that the scales are rechargeable (up to 12 months use) which means fewer batteries need throwing away. We found the smart emoticons a really nice way to start the day. That’s assuming we’d been good the day before. We also loved the fact that in the pregnancy mode – which tracks mum-to-be each week – you’ll always get a happy emoticon, whatever your weight.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    The best bathroom scales for runners

    Type: DigitalSuitable for use with: iOS, Android, MicrosoftMeasures: lb, kg Bluetooth/Wi-Fi connectivity: YesBattery: 4 AA batteries requiredBMI: YesBody fat: Yes

    Reasons to buyHuge LCD displayCompatible with Garmin fitness trackers

    Reasons to avoidTemperamental Wi-Fi connection

    Anyone already into their fitness tech will be familiar with Garmin and their vast range of running watches and fitness trackers. If you see someone who looks like they’ve run a marathon before breakfast, chances are they’ve got a Garmin on their wrist. So the addition of the Index Smart Scales complements the already excellent fitness tracking options available.

    Thanks to its huge LCD display this smart scale is the easiest to read. It boasts a huge amount of personal health information including body water, muscular and skeletal mass measurements. It provides the more typical weight, body fat and BMI figures. All this information is seamlessly passed to the Garmin Connect mobile (and desktop) app over Wi-Fi.

    Here you can pick apart your statistics using a suite of graphs and charts. If you’re a runner you’ll absolutely love it, but if you’re dieting it might be a bit much. That’s not to say it should be avoided by beginners and casual ‘wellness’ users. It also has sleep tracking and step counting analysis alongside weight and BMI. All things being well, the more your step graph goes up, the more your weight graph goes down.

    While the scales are accurate, and you can get lots from your weekly weigh-in, it’s the combination of fitness tracking and app that really impressed me. As well as tracking your training progress, the app has a number of expert training plans. These will fill your phone’s calendar with workouts and rest days. It’s a brilliant way to motivate you!

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    The best value bathroom scales

    Type: DigitalSuitable for use with: iOS, AndroidMeasures: kg, st, lbBluetooth/Wi-Fi connectivity: Bluetooth onlyBattery: 3 x AAA (included)BMI: YesBody fat: Yes

    Reasons to buySlim designEasy to store

    Reasons to avoidNo Wi-Fi connectivity

    Salter is a name more associated with baking cakes than burning calories. But this set of Salter scales has loads of impressive features, a huge screen and a bargain price. It uses Bluetooth to send your vital statistics direct to the MiBody smartphone app. This can track weight, body fat percentage, body water percentage, muscle mass, bone mass, BMI and BMR.

    The MiBody App is extremely simple to use, which should make it appealing to beginners. We like that you can easily set yourself goals, from reducing your waist size to dropping weight and increasing muscle mass. But we would like a bit more help deciding what those goals should be and some more motivation.

    You can watch your progress over time and compare results to recommended ranges which is great. You can also choose different modes if you’re a child or a regular athlete. There’s not much in the way of third-party integration here. You can add Apple health kit data to the app for a broader picture of your health. However, Salter does sell a blood pressure monitor which will help you get a better overall idea of your everyday health.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

    What’s the difference between normal scales and smart bathroom scales?

    Your run-of-the-mill bathroom scales that don’t require you to connect with an app or have Bluetooth are simply just for checking your weight. They can usually do this in your choice of kilos, pounds or stones. On the other hand, a smart scale is designed for you to get a deeper insight into your health since it can provide you with accurate BMI readings, body fat percentages plus much more. Smart scales make it easier for you to embrace a new health regime. With the generally excellent companion apps that come with the scales, you can set up your smartphone to send you reminders to do more (or eat less!), encourage you and keep you motivated. Combined with a little determination you’ll be surprised by what the latest fitness tech can help you achieve.

    Do I need a set of smart bathroom scales?

    Image credit: Fitbit

    Smart bathroom scales work thanks to a combination of friendly, easy-to-understand apps and a range of statistics that take into account more than just weight. Using a modern set of scales can really help you hit your health, wellness and fitness goals. As well as weight, smart scales can now tell you how much of your body is fat, muscle, water and bone. They can even recognise which member of the family is standing on the scales at any given time. This means your hubby doesn’t skew all your hard work in the gym!

    All your data is then sent to an app either using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Then you can easily track your progress over days, weeks and months and pick up fitness tips from experts. You can even get encouragement from other members. Many leading brands such as Garmin, Fitbit and Nokia offer a complete health package. This includes various fitness and heart rate trackers, sleep monitors and even blood pressure monitors. That way you have all your personal data together.

    It sounds complicated – and mildly terrifying to start with – but in truth, the more you use it the better you can understand your own health, and realise there’s more to wellness than just weight. The bad news? There’s no quick fix – you still need to put in the hard work. Give it time though and you’ll start to build up a picture of your health and learn what works. You’ll see where you can improve, and you don’t have to be a fitness freak to appreciate the difference a smart scale can make.

    What does all the health data mean?

    All the scales here can measure your total weight and display in either kg, lb. or stone. For all the advanced health data you need to have bare feet for the sensors to work.

    This is the ratio between your weight and height – you’ll input your height into the app when you sign up. It’s a pretty standard indicator of overall health, but most health professionals now want more data to assess an individual’s health.

    Your bone mass won’t change day to day, so this isn’t a figure you need to worry about that often, but if you notice a change over several months it could be worth investigating further.

    Body Fat Percentage is the proportion of fat to the total body weight. We all need some fat, but too much can damage your long-term health. Reducing excess levels of body fat can directly reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes even some cancers. Too little body fat may lead to osteoporosis in, irregular periods, even infertility.

    The daily minimum level of energy or calories your body requires when at rest (including sleeping) in order to function effectively. Increasing muscle mass will speed up your BMR. A person with a high BMR burns more calories when resting than someone with a low BMR.

    This is the weight of muscle in your body, and as your muscle mass increases (through exercise) the rate you burn calories increases which increases your BMR. This helps to reduce body fat and weight in a healthy way.

    You lose water continuously throughout the day, especially when you’re exercising, so it’s important to keep hydrated. If scales measure this, it can recommend you take on more water which can make you feel better.