Best bathroom scales 2023 and smart scales to measure your weight, body fat, BMI and more

The best bathroom scales and body monitor scales to measure your weight, body fat, BMI and more

Best bathroom scales: Pictured here, a women weighging herself on bathroom scales
(Image credit: Fitbit)

The best bathroom scales are also the best smart scales nowadays. Mechanical scales still exist, of course, but most cheap smart scales can measure so much more than weight for not a lot of money; why would you not get one of those? Some are so intelligent, in fact, that they can estimate visceral fat levels, BMR, metabolic age and track pregnancy weight gain specifically.

Whether you're trying the keto diet, a new exercise regime, or are already in good shape and want to monitor or crow about that fact; bathroom scales are a useful ally. And if you don't need or want all that extra data, you can always just get a cheap mechanical scale. Looking for even more bathroom essentials? Aren't you lucky as we have guides on the best electric toothbrushes, best electric shavers and even the best aftershaves for men. Treat your body right.

Best bathroom scales to buy right now

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How to choose the best bathroom scales for you

What we're talking about here are body monitor scales or smart scales  – you can still get plenty of bathroom scales that only tell you your weight, but that is not necessarily a useful metric on its own. 

Smart scales range from accessories that you add to your fitness wearable's data feed – from the likes of Fitbit, Garmin and Withings – to something more like laboratory equipment, which is able to track things such as visceral fat and BMR.

As with most areas of tech, these scales are largely styled so as to fit seamlessly with your lifestyle and home decor, rather than looking like something you'd find in your GP's surgery – though there are exceptions to this. 

Once you input your gender, height and age, scales can estimate muscle mass, bone mass and body water percentage. It can then add easy stuff like your BMI – a weight-to-height ratio that is fairly useful for calculating obesity, although it can be skewed if you have a lot of muscle, as rugby players never tire of telling us. It can also give insight into your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR – the number of calories you burn daily just by existing) and visceral fat rating (the more dangerous fats that surround the stomach and vital organs).

Although this data is usually shown on screen, these scales also work with apps via Wifi or Bluetooth connections, so you can track your progress over time on your phone and/or laptop.

It's worth bearing in mind that many of the statistics pulled up by scales are informed estimates rather than gospel truths. Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) can be easily estimated from your weight, height, gender and age, but a more accurate calculation would also take into consideration your daily and weekly activity level, which most scales don't. 

Not everyone even agrees that BMR or BMI are useful – for athletes and those who exercise hard every day, arguably they are not. However for the majority of the population, they are.

So don't live your life based on what your scales tell you. But do take their advice on board when working on a diet, fitness regime or general medical programme. 

What is the best smart bathroom scale?

At T3, we did a test a few years back to assess the accuracy of a range of bathroom scales, using a Loughborough University lab test (water displacement) to find out a T3 staffer's exact weight. On comparing it to the scales, we found that most were inaccurate to varying degrees, except Tanita's scales. 

However, exact accuracy, as with fitness wearables, is not necessarily essential. If the statistics are going in the right direction and within safe limits, it doesn't matter if your scales are a few grammes out.

That said, the best scale in terms of reliability and usefulness is probably the Tanita RD 953, which strikes an excellent balance between looks, accuracy and the range of body metrics measured. If you want to track your weight and body fat percentage alongside your favourite fitness tracking wearables, you might be better off with the simpler scales.

Are digital bathroom scales more accurate?

Digital scales are generally more accurate than mechanical scales. The mechanism used in analogue scales is not only more rudimental than digital scales, but the springs etc., will also decline over time, showing you less and less accurate readings.

Digital bathroom scales are not perfect either, but even if weight measurements are off, at least they are consistent. We recommend finding a spot in your home that's covered flat and firm to ensure your readings are as consistent as possible. You can check the evenness of the spot by trying to press down the opposite corners of the bathroom scales: if it wobbles a bit, the area is probably uneven, and the reading will be skewed.

Once the correct spot is found, make sure to measure your weight at the same time of the day. The best time to measure your weight is in the morning before you have your breakfast. 

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt looks after T3's Active vertical, which incorporates all things fitness, outdoors, wearables and transportation – anything that gets you moving and keeps you fit and healthy will go through his hands. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.

With contributions from