Why bathroom scale purchase is a difficult decision – Buyer’s Guide 2017
In today’s world of smartphones and wearable devices, everything has got a transformation. Consider the bathroom scale or the weighing scale a few years ago which used to tell you how much your body weighs. It was a simple device.
But a modern-day bathroom scale can’t be called as “weight machine”. They do so much more than just weighing your body. You can measure your body fat, bones and muscles. It will tell you the weather forecast. You can connect it with a mobile app to upload the data from the past. It will give beautiful chart to further analyse your progress.
With more features and advancement, the buying decision becomes more complex and time consuming. In order to solve that problem, we have compiled this bathroom scales buyer’s guide. This guide will help you in knowing the criteria and factors involved in buying the best weight scale or bathroom scale for you.
Understand your goals
Your buying process begins with understanding what your goals are and how you want to use the bathroom scale.
Your goal might be just to lose weight and look smaller than you already are. For others, it might be to reduce the body fat to single digit while growing their muscle percentage.
An athlete might want to track more regularly and at more accuracy than the others. Many people keep track of their body water levels to be sure that they are hydrated enough.
Once you know what your goal is, you want to get the right scale that helps you in tracking and measuring the important parameters for you.
Who will use the bathroom scale
If you live alone, you don’t need to worry about it. But if you live with your family, you need to ask the previous question to everyone. You might want to measure just the weight once in a while. But if your wife wants to track the whole body composition then buy a more advanced scale.
More advanced bathroom scales allow you to set up several user profiles with age and gender information. You can track each individual’s historical data and analyse the results without needing a different bathroom scale.
Different Types of Bathroom Scales
There are several types of bathroom scales available in the market. Depending upon your goal and what you want to measure, go for the right one for you.
Standard scales are the weighing machines or weight scales which will give you just the weight measurements. If reducing weight is your only goal, you need to buy just a weighing machine. They are also quite cheap. Check out Health O Analog Weighing Scale on Amazon.
A smart bathroom scale will provide much more information than the basic ones. A smart bathroom scale measures body composition like percentage body fat, percentage muscle mass, percentage body water, bone mass, etc.
Some of them can be connected to an app via Wi-Fi so that you can upload your measurements directly. They can analyse your body measurement data to give you suggestions and feedback on what you could do to achieve your fitness goals.
The best smart bathroom scales are even compatible with popular fitness apps like MyFitnessPal or iHealth and you can directly upload your information to these apps.
How does a weight scale measure percentage body fat?
Some of you might be thinking that how can a weight scale or a weighing machine really measures body composition by just standing on it for a few seconds.
The answer is that they pass current through your body!
It’s not what you think. The modern day are not just made of springs that can sense the pressure and give you weight readings.
They use bioelectrical impedance to send very mild, low-voltage electric currents through your body that you don’t even feel. When the current passes through the body, it passes through the muscles, the bones, the water in the body, the fat, etc.
The scale interprets this bioelectric feedback sent through the body to give you accurate measurement of body composition.
Since the muscles conducts the electric current at a different rate than the fat in our body, this is the best way to accurately measure the body composition.
Criteria For Buying A Bathroom Scale
Accuracy and Consistency
This is probably the most important criteria for choosing the best weighing scale or bathroom scale for you. While most modern scales are quite accurate in weight measurements, we can’t say the same about the body composition as this is more complex.
Consistency is something which is overlooked by many while choosing the right scale. If a scale is accurate but not consistent every time, it is of no use.
The only reliable way to find out whether a bathroom scale is both accurate and consistent is by reading expert reviews and user reviews online. As you can only know of the accuracy and consistency after using a scale, it is not feasible to try out many scales.
We can’t stress enough on this factor as it will make or break your enthusiasm to achieve your fitness goals. If your scale shows inconsistent reading from one day to another, you’ll never know what to change in your activity in order to get the desired results.
During our tests, users weighed themselves every day during the same time in the morning right after waking up. Our body weight changes from morning to the evening depending on your meals and activity. If you measure your weight at different times on different days, you are sure to get inconsistent readings.
Style & Design
Most of the scales available in the market are quite sleek and sturdy. Pick a scale that matches with your bathroom style or a neutral one. Do not buy something which is very fragile, sensitive or has low weight capacity. Most weighing scales can handle upto 400 lbs weight, but check the product buy page for exact information.
Most of the scales have rounder edges to avoid hitting them by accident and getting hurt. It is still a good idea to store the scale safely in a cupboard or under sink where you don’t get hurt by hitting it accidentally.
Of course, the price is an important factor for choosing a weighing scale. You don’t want to overspend on it as there are many options available that are not so expensive.
If you are not sure about whether or not you will use all the features of an advanced scale, it is better to first try a simpler model and then only go for an advanced and more expensive option.
However, if you are a total geek or professional athlete who wants to absolutely get the best and the most expensive bathroom scale with the maximum features, you have that option too.
There are several features that you should be keeping in mind while choosing the best bathroom scale for you.
Mobile App: Some weighing scales can easily transfer data to a fitness app or their own mobile app for analyses and better tracking. If you are buying the scale for analyses, it is better to also check the app if it can deliver the charts and analysis in the way that you require.
Maximum weight capacity: Check the maximum weight capacity a machine has. If you weigh close to the maximum limit, it is a good idea to choose the one with the higher limit.
User profiles: Most of the machines have options to save several user profiles. If you are buying a machine for your family, check if all of them will be able to save their profiles without any problem.
Common Mistakes To Avoid While Using A Bathroom Scale
Measuring at different times on different days
Out of all the mistakes, this is probably the biggest and most common mistake that everybody does. Our body weight and composition keeps on changing at different times during the day due to different activities, meals or hydration level.
It is recommended to measure your body weight first thing in the morning after you go to the bathroom but before you eat or drink anything. This will ensure your body condition to be almost the same everyday.
If you drink water before measuring your body, you will get a higher percentage body water reading and a lower fat or muscle readings.
Measuring outside the house
All the digital bathroom scales are temperature sensitive and measuring body composition at different temperatures from one day to another will lead to different body composition measurements.
Ensure that you always weigh yourself at a location where the temperature is almost equal from one day to another without being affected by the outside temperature.
Measuring while wearing too many clothes
Something which is very easy to forget but very critical. Clothes do add to your weight and wearing different clothes can lead to different weight measurement while it shouldn’t affect your body composition measurement.
Measuring yourself in just the underwear or nothing is ideal. After all, it’s your own bathroom!
Measuring on an irregular surface
Use the bathroom scale on a hard, flat surface for an accurate reading. Using them on a carpet, bathroom towel or uneven surface can lead to inaccurate readings.
Measuring on different bathroom scales
There is always a little bit of margin of error in each weighing machine or bathroom scale. Do not use different weighing scales for measuring your body composition from one day to another.
Keep only one scale and use it everyday. This will ensure that even if there is a slight error in your measurements, the changes in measurements will be accurate.
Above all, do not get discouraged with your results. Losing weight and changing body composition takes time and you must give it some time.
Check out our post on Best Bathroom Scales Review to get a list of the best bathroom scales available in the market.