Last Updated on March 1, 2022
How accurate are bathroom scales? This is a question you might ask yourself more often when you’re not happy with what you see on your scales or when you’re working towards a specific fitness goal.
Like smart scales, bathroom scales are a valuable tool to have around the house when you’re trying to lose weight, manage your diet, or keep an eye on your gym progress. However, it can be difficult to determine just how accurate the number on each scale might be. Sometimes, you can step on one set of scales and get a different insight than the one you’d get at home.
Let’s look at the accuracy of bathroom scales and how different factors can influence the numbers you have seen on the screen.
How Do You Know if Bathroom Scales Are Accurate?
Accuracy is an important feature in any set of bathroom scales. Suppose your device measures things like body mass index, body fat percentage, and body composition. In that case, you’re going to be looking for a lot of highly accurate data to help you make fitness and dieting decisions.
Often, when you’re browsing for smart scales and digital scales online, you’ll see reviews sharing opinions from other customers on how effective each product can be. It’s worth noting that digital scales can vary in accuracy levels, depending on things like how frequently they’re used, how they’re calibrated, and what kind of technology is in each set of scales.
All bathroom scales come with some margin for error, but the smartest tools with the best technology can often give you a decent idea of your actual weight and your body composition.
Ensuring Bathroom Scale Accuracy
The best way to make sure you’re getting a good view of your body composition is to get measured at a doctor’s surgery or health centre. But, even then, there will be some room for error on various kinds of mechanical scales and digital scales.
Time of Day
While you can’t guarantee that your scales will be 100% accurate, you can reduce your chances of getting an inaccurate reading by managing the way you use your device. For instance, it’s best to avoid fluctuations in weighing schedules to get the most accurate reading.
You can get a better view of your true weight if you weigh yourself at the same time every day, such as the moment when you first wake up. This helps to minimise alterations in your scale accuracy caused by hydration, breakfast and wearing different clothes.
Where You Stand
If you weigh yourself several times over the day, you might notice that you lose or gain weight depending on when you stand on the scale.
Using Bathroom Scales Correctly
If you want to get accurate measurements of your weight loss, mass muscle gain, or other bodyweight information, you need to use the right strategy when accessing your scales. Whether you’re using a smart scale or digital scale system, make sure you read the instructions before you begin. Check the floor underneath your scales is flat and hard too.
Using your bathroom scale on the carpet or raised flooring can change the way your scales measure your weight. Mechanical bathroom scales and digital scales are both affected by flooring.
You should also ensure that your scales are clean before using them. Dirt, temperature fluctuations, and other elements can all impact the way your scales work. After you’ve checked your scales are in good condition, and you’ve set a schedule for measuring your body weight at the same time each day:
1. Check the Scales Are Set Properly
First, make sure your digital bathroom scales are properly set to zero. It’s easy to forget that you need to recalibrate your scales sometimes before you step onto it. For example, you might need to step on and off the scales to reset an inexpensive digital scale. Alternatively, you can reset mechanical scales manually.
Check the instructions that come with your mechanical or digital scales to ensure you know how the system works if you need to reset it properly. Sometimes, you’ll need to turn a dial, whereas you can press a button other times. Also, ensure that the batteries in your scales work if you can’t get them to stay on zero when you’re not standing on the scale.
2. Consider Environmental Factors
As mentioned above, the environment can strongly impact your weight measurements. Ensuring you have your mechanical scales or digital scales set up on a flat, hard surface will help to ensure you get consistent results. However, if you want to get the most accurate numbers from your bathroom scale, you might want to consider taking them out of the bathroom too.
A smart scale or digital bathroom scale to measure weight and body fat can struggle to perform in a humid or damp environment. For example, if you tend to measure yourself after going in the shower, the water from the steam could take a toll on the device’s inner workings. So the best bathroom scales might work best just outside of your bathroom instead.
3. Check the Scale Accuracy
If you’ve had your scales for a while, it might be worth checking that they’re still giving accurate and consistent results. After you’ve set your scales to zero, step onto your scale, write down the reading, and step off again.
You should do this up to five times to get the best bathroom scale accuracy reading. You should get the same reading on the mechanical or digital screen every time you use the scale, particularly if you’re careful with your position and weight distribution.
Make sure you step onto the scales with the same motion each time, avoiding any shifting or bouncing which could change your weight. If you get a different reading more than once, this could be a sign that your scales aren’t working as well as they should be.
Sometimes, the problem is that your floor surface isn’t as flat as it should be or that your batteries need changing. Other times, the issue with your scale could be significant enough that you need to invest in a new device.
Testing Your Bathroom Scales
If you’re measuring weight loss and gain for a dieting and exercise routine, then you need accurate scales to help you track your progress. Unfortunately, even the best set of scales can struggle to deliver the perfect reading after a while. But, while you might not be able to test things like body fat percentage and muscle percentage regularly, you can test that your scales measure weight correctly.
Weigh Items at Home
Put your scales to the test by getting an item from your home with the weight written on it. You should know that the weight written on this product is accurate – such as with a small dumbbell or a can of food. If you know how much the item weighs exactly, you can place it on the scales and check that your scale gives you the same weight reading.
It’s a good idea to check that you can still get an accurate measurement regularly, as scales can lose accuracy over time. Digital scales, in particular, have a habit of losing their efficiency and accuracy as they lose battery or internal components begin to suffer from wear and tear. So if your scales start to give a less accurate reading, this could be a sign that it’s time to invest in a new set.
Maintaining Accurate Bathroom Scales
If you’ve invested in the best smart scales for more accurate readings, then the best thing you can do is protect your device with the right usage. Intelligent scales are great for giving you more in-depth information about your body. Such scales accurately measure all kinds of readings, like muscle and body fat percentage, but they can also be quite sensitive to damage. Here are some tips to ensure that you keep your scales in good condition.
1. Avoid Overloading Your Scales
Make sure you follow the instructions regarding the maximum weight allowance for your scales.
2. Replace Batteries Regularly
Remember to replace the batteries every so often to ensure that you’re not running out of power during readings.
3. Keep Away From Moisture
Try not to expose your bathroom scales to too much moisture and other factors that could affect its performance.
4. Be Gentle
Be careful with your scales. Please don’t jump on and off them or shake them when you’re not happy with the readings.
5. Keep Scales Clean
Ensure that you keep your scales clean so they can continue to operate correctly for as long as possible. Avoid using dangerous or chemical substances to wash your scales, however, as this can harm the mechanisms within.
A Weight off Your Mind
How accurate are bathroom scales? A good set of scales can help you reach your target weight and give you an insight into the benefits of your exercise and diet routine. However, just like any mechanical or digital device, a scale can also be subject to some inaccuracies. Sometimes, even if your scale is working perfectly, there’s still a chance that excess water weight or humidity in the air will lead to a different reading.
Do you weigh regularly? Tell us about your experience below!